Seedy Bitches: Super Seedy Banana Bread

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

-Sometimes seedy is a good thing.-

Hey there,

Long time no see. I've been working 60 hour work weeks lately. Kill me, please.

Also, I've been blogging like a crazy person writing about produce at Writing about dead wasps in your figs, why apples turn brown, and about how grapes relate to mythical sex.

You know... the usual.

But I have developed a really nifty banana bread recipe I dig.

So let's talk first about seedy bitches… who needs ‘em? They come in all flavors: the guy who doesn’t put money in for tip after dinner, the douche who brings five annoying and incredibly uninvited plus ones to your party, the girl who trash talks about anyone who’s not there. Cut the seedy bitches out of your life and never look back.

Now these people are not to be confused with the good kind of seedy bitches, like this banana bread. Yes, we know everyone in the world has their own banana bread recipe, but shut up and listen: this seedy banana bread is flavored with brown sugar and tahini, giving it a rich earthy flavor. Plus, it’s packed full of poppy seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds making it a protein-rich banana bread to boot.

Lovely toasted or perhaps smeared with butter and jam it’s the kinda seedy bitch that’ll help you get over the other, more distasteful seedy bitches in your life.

Super Seedy Banana Bread
Makes 1 loaf 

1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, plus extra
3 tablespoons poppy seeds, plus extra
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 2-3 bananas)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup tahini
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1. Pre-heat your oven to 200F and place the sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds on a sheet pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until fragrant. Set aside to cool.

2. Next, we’ll toast the sesame seeds. These are a bit more delicate, but easy. Place a dry skillet over medium heat for about 4 minutes. Add the sesame seeds and keep them moving, cooking for about 2 minutes. Add the poppy seeds and toast for another minute until it all becomes fragrant, keeping an eye on them as the seeds can go from toasted to burnt quickly. Take them off the heat and place them in a bowl to cool.

3. Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter and lightly flour a 9x5 bread loaf pan and line with a bit of parchment so as to ensure the loaf will easily slide out. (Insert easy dirty joke here.)

4. Whisk together the bananas, butter, vanilla extract, sugar salt, and tahini until thoroughly mixed. Add the eggs and whisk together, then the baking soda. Add the pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, poppy seeds and sesame seeds - reserving a few of the latter two for topping - and whisk in.

5. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour until just combined.

6. Pour into the prepared baking dish and top with the extra poppy seeds and sesame seeds. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (Again, insert easy dirty joke here.) Allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning out of the pan and continuing to cool on a wire rack. Serve warm to bitches who aren’t seedy, sketchy, skeazy, etcetera. Also excellent toasted and served with butter.

Super Nutty: Use 1 ½ cups of mixed chopped and toasted almonds, hazelnuts, and macadamia nuts for a unique and nutty twist. 

Citrus Blam Banana Bread: Add a heaping tablespoon of orange zest and lemon zest to this recipe to give it a powerful fragrance!

Sour: Pickled Sour Cherries

Thursday, July 30, 2015

-Life is like a bowl of pickled cherries: sour and sweet.-

I am a sour person. Not to mean that I'm unpleasant, but that I love sour foods. I'll go Granny Smith over Pink Lady any day, thank you.

It's odd... As a child, I hated sour foods. Sour candy, in particular. If you were a child of the 90's then you are no doubt familiar with one specific popular sour candy of the time: Warheads.

On the playground we would eat them in bulk as a sort of schoolyard dare, all of us fueled by the urban myth - which turned out to be true - of the kid who burned his tongue in the Warhead Challenge. (The challenge being to hold this sour candy under your tongue for 30 seconds.)

Also by "we," I mean, "everyone else." I was a wuss at sour foods as a kid, a sad fact that didn't help alleviate my persona as social pariah and teacher's son.

Today, I can power through theses candies like, well, candy.

It's also therefore no surprise that I often make pickles - sour foods at their best. Even more so when I pickle sour cherries.

Pickled sour cherries are a curious condiment. The vinegar actually tames the natural pucker of the cherries. After a month of curing they mellow, sweeten, and absorb the flavor of the pickling spices. The result is a sweet, sour, floral, and fruity pickle that it best served with bourbon.

Only one farmer in Sacramento grows them and they're only around fort a short time. This year I was quick on the draw and picked up enough to make a batch so that come fall when my bourbon habit picks back up I'll be ready.

For the recipe, go here.

Bad Decisions: Five Spice Coconut Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Friday, July 10, 2015

-A perfectly good way to torture yourself on a sweltering day.-

For the most part we actively decide against making bad decisions. We're taught to do so by both society and our own experiences.

-That pan is hot. Don't touch it.

-Use a condom.   

-Fireworks are explosive. Best not to launch one off of my head.

-Perhaps now is not a good time to take a scenic tour of Somalia.

-This cheese is fuzzy and green. Don't eat it.

-I shouldn't spend my rent money on a Playstation 4.

Then again, sometimes we make decisions regardless of the fact that they might be unwise. Perhaps the ill-nature of the consequences or the very disregard for the situation itself is part of the joy in making the bad decisions.

-I'm going to totally mix tequila and rum tonight. Also vodka. This will be terrible tomorrow and I acknowledge that, but tonight we gettin' crunk.

-I hate her. Time to donk up her shit.

-Texting and driving.

-I'm pretty sure I can still pull off this puka shell necklace I wore in the 90's and not get ridiculed for it.

-Pointing the cat's laser pointer at my husband's crotch will result in a hilarious outcome that will totally not include his genitals being turned to ribbon.

-I should turn the oven to 350F and bake cookies, even though it's 105 out today.

This last one got me recently. I had the AC roaring and I was sucking down glasses of iced tea like I was going to win a prize. However, I really wanted cookies, so it was gonna happen.

In the end? Worth it. So worth it. Chinese five spice is a secret weapon in baking and let me tell you that it belongs in a cookie.

So go. Make your delicious bad decisions. 

 Five Spice Coconut Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Adapted from the Vanishing Oatmeal Cookie Recipe from Quaker

1/2 cup, plus 6 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup shredded coconut

Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats and raisins; mix well. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

Sick: Gochujang Egg Flower Soup

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

-Also a con: pictures suck because it's, like, 10PM and I can barely function.-

Being Sick on Memorial Day Weekend

  • Putting that new juicer through its paces. Solid food is but a waning memory fading into the distance.
  • Stumbling on a new soup recipe that might be the greatest thing since Netflix began instant streaming. 
  • Husband and I are becoming terribly obsessed with binging Steven Universe on Netflix. ("I just had the best idea for an album cover.")
  • Mandatory liquid diet has caused me to shed weight. I gained two belt notches back! Fuck ya'll, I'm skinny again! 
  • Have mastered how to fit two giant cats and a corgi-like bean bag on me while I lay on the couch binging said TV show.
  • Dayquil is the best high ever. Don't know why kids think cocaine is where it's at. 
  • *barf*
  • Right ear keeps plugging. Cannot hear out of that side and I keep walking at a tilt. Was fun for a minute, until the hallway wall went all ninja and jumped me.
  • Missed a friend's wedding. Super not cool and had to physically restrain myself while hubby convinced me that no bride wants SARS as a wedding gift, regardless how nicely I wrap it.
  • I really want to eat that bacon in the fridge, but there is no way in hell it is going to stay down.
  • The very thought of bread makes me queasy. A disturbing fracture to my reality. Surely up is down. Dogs and bedding cats. Nothing makes sense.
  • Dayquil is the worst high ever. Apparently, I cannot actually fly, which is lame. 
Anyways, enjoy the soup recipe. Easy. Simple. Flavorful. 

Also, there's now a sign-up for the Vanilla Garlic newsletter. There's big changes a-coming, plus a free e-book as I work on it. More details to come, so if you like off-color humor and sarcasm be sure to sign up.
The Best Egg Drop Soup Ever For When You're Sick
When I'm sick I like a bit of spice in my food to help purge the ick out of my body, and this soup does the trick. Broth, egg for protein, crisp veggies, and plenty of garlic and ginger.

The spice comes from a huge dollop of gochujang, a Korean chili-soy paste that's plenty sweet and packs a mighty kick. (Here's a nifty video about the stuff.) Easily available at any Asian market. Sriracha isn't a great substitute, so try to find it if you can. However, it will work in a pinch, as will any great hot sauce. After tasting this soup, you'll quickly add it into your everyday cooking. 

Serves 4

4 cups of chicken stock
1 tablespoon of corn starch
1 tablespoon coconut oil (sesame or vegetable is also fine, but not peanut)
1 tablespoon grated ginger
2 large garlic cloves, grated
6 green onions, finely chopped
1 heaping tablespoon gochujang
2-3 medium bok choy, washed and chopped into thin strips
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
3 eggs, lightly beaten
salt and pepper

1. Reserve 1/2 cup of the stock and mix with the cornstarch until dissolved.

2. Clean the bok choy of any dirt and cut into thin ribbons. Set aside.

3. Place a wok or cooking pot over high heat and add the oil. Once the oil is shimmering add the ginger, garlic, green onions, and gochujang. Fry for about 30-60 seconds or until very fragrant.

4. Add the chicken stock, soy sauce, bok choy in a pot and bring to a boil. Add the cornstarch and stock mixture and stir. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for three minutes.

5. Slowly add eggs while stirring the soup. The eggs will blossom into ribbons as they cook in the broth. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired. Serve immediately with crunchy bread (if you can keep bread down) and oolong tea. Bask in the awesomeness.

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