Tag Archives: bread

Three years!!! Wow, that’s like twenty-one in dog years

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Three years ago today, mi Tio Paul and his lady love Laura, walked down the aisle of the Moody Gardens Mansion and pledged their undying love to one another in a ceremony of marriage in front of all their family and friends… well almost all their family. I was forced to stay home and babysit their cat, Maddie, who I’m convinced is the only kitty in history to actually be more afraid of me than I am of her. It probably doesn’t help that I sneak up and pounce on her while she’s sleeping and scare her while she’s eating’s so I can eat the rest of her kibble. And I’m fairly certain if she were able to “crap her pants” whenever I’m around, she would. But I digress.

So I would like to take this moment to wish mi Tio Paul and mi Tia Laura a very happy anniversary as well as apologize for any amount of therapy I may have caused your fur-child to need following the mental abuse I inflicted on her three years ago. I truly am sorry. However, I would like to set the record straight and clarify that her recurring bouts of constipation are NOT my fault, and I really wish she would stop blaming me for that particular issue. Just because I slipped a couple Lego blocks and a few Fibercon tablets in her food bowl while she wasn’t looking does not mean that her inability to defecate is in any way my fault. Maybe she just needs to eat more veggies and go for a walk once in a while.

Anyway, in honor of mi Tio and Tias beautiful union, I made a delicious breakfast bread containing two ingredients that are also a match made in heaven– strawberries and bananas. And because mi Tia Laura is a vegan, I made this bread completely egg and dairy free. It’s also really low in sugar and contains no added fats or oils. Perfect addition to a romantic breakfast in bed or as a dessert to complete a candlelit dinner for two.

Feliz Anniversario Po and Rara!

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Rainy days and Sundays always get me down

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Well, unfortunately I think I may have spoken too soon. After pressing the publish button on Friday to post my last blog installment, the skies opened up and it’s been pouring down rain ever since. The blue skies have turned back to gray and the warm temperatures have cooled way down and I’m back wearing my knitted sweaters and furry slippers (oh yes, I have furry slippers). I guess that silly groundhog was right, and it really is going to be closer to April for it to be officially Spring-time. Some days I think I should just pack it up and move down to the Virgin Islands to be with my Tio Tony. From what I hear, days down in the islands are spent sunbathing on the beach, staring out at the clear turquoise-blue waters of the Caribbean, all the while sipping fruity concoctions with little umbrellas in hollowed out pineapples… sounds muy bueno to me. Not at all like my typical day up here in Oregon which mostly consists of shivering profusely under a pile of blankets, staring out the living room window at the howling winds and rain, all the while praying for mi papa to come home soon so I have a warmer lap to sit on and a bowl of plain old tap water to drink… with no little umbrellas, of course. Not exactly living the dream. So if you’re reading this, Tony, I’ve checked my schedule and I’m pretty much free and available to come visit you anytime in the near future… seriously, anytime. I don’t shed much and I eat very little. My poops are fairly small and I sleep a good portion of the day. I’m sort of like a furry, mute newborn, except I can cook meatloaves and bake cupcakes and lick my own eyeball with very little effort. Now if that hasn’t sold you on the idea of my coming down for a visit, well then I don’t know what else will.

Actually I may have one more thing up my sleeve in order to persuade you. I promise if you let me come visit you, I will make you this incredibly delicious breakfast bread every day of my visit. Or at least until you get so sick of it that blueberries and bananas are beginning to seep out through your pores and you beg for some homemade strawberry doughnuts instead. Or a cranberry-pecan coffee cake, perhaps. Or maybe even some apple-cinnamon muffins. Seriously, Tio Tony, whatever you want hombre. Just send me an invite and we can make this happen. In the meantime, drool a little over this lovely baked beauty.

Alright, that’s all the begging asking politely I can handle for right now. My paws are getting cold from typing and I think mi papa is home to warm me up before bedtime.

Hey, I’m down here Big Guy.

Cheaper than plastic surgery

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I love birthdays. I really do. It’s the one day of the year where one can truly feel special and as if the whole world stops and everyone focuses their time and attention only on you. I’m lucky enough that I have two doting parents who make me feel special every single day of my life, but still, it’s fun to celebrate that momentous day when I popped out of mi birth mama’s womb along with my eleven other brothers and sisters who, unfortunately, shall now remain nameless. And not because I don’t like to talk about them, but because I really don’t know their names. Well except for Pepito, but that’s a totally different issue altogether. Ever since he labeled me a reject and the runt of the litter and stole my favorite chew toy, he’s not been one of my favorite relatives. Not that it bothers me anymore, though. I hear he got adopted soon after I left Mexico by an odd-looking man from Dubai and is now making the rounds throughout Asia as the rubber-nosed Chihuahua clown in a traveling circus troupe. Who’s the reject now, Pepito?

But back to birthdays. Mi (adopted) mama’s birthday is actually coming up really soon and the only other thing she’s mentioned wanting as a present besides a huge vat of peanut butter, a few jars of Vietnamese Cinnamon and a butt implant (alright that last one was actually my idea– but hey, she’s about to be 31, flat as a tortilla in the rear and let’s face it, Shakira she is not), is a banana bread that she can enjoy all to herself. And since I can’t exactly afford to pay for her plastic surgery procedure on my own and mi papa refuses to take out a second mortgage on our casa in order to foot the bill (as well as something about him loving her just the way she is… blah blah blah), I figured I could at least make her day by fulfilling her banana bread request. Here’s a sneak peek at her upcoming present. I made it this past weekend for mi abuelo and abuela just to make sure it would be suitable for her, and based on their individual reactions, it definitely was.

 Birthday Banana Bread with Peanut Butter Glaze

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup ground flaxseeds

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground allspice

2-3 large ripe bananas, mashed

1/2 cup Greek or regular plain yogurt

3 tbsp canola oil

2 large eggs or 1/2 cup egg substitute

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1 tbsp creamy peanut butter

1 tbsp milk

Directions:

1) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Combine flours, flaxseeds, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice in a large bowl.

3) Mix mashed banana, yogurt, canola oil, eggs and vanilla in a medium-size bowl until combined. Add granulated and brown sugars and mix until combined.

4) Add banana mixture to flour mixture and mix until just combined. Fold in walnuts.

5) Pour batter into a loaf pan and bake 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.

6) Allow to cool 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

7) For the glaze: Combine powdered sugar, peanut butter and milk in a small bowl and mix until smooth and creamy. Pour over top of completely cooled bread. Serve in slices and enjoy!

This bread is definitely a keeper and I have a feeling mi abuelos will be requesting a loaf for their individual birthdays as well. Of course!

Well I better be going now muchachos. It’s getting late in the evening and I need to prepare something for dinner tonight. I’m thinking maybe a stir-fry….

Buenos noches amigos!

Utilizing the Peanut Butter Supply

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As you’ve probably noticed by now, we have quite a lot of peanut butter hanging out in the pantry of our kitchen. And by “a lot” I really mean more than any normal human being could ever hope to consume in her lifetime. Not that I would put it past mi mama to try to lick those jars clean before their expiration dates (and boy, if given the opportunity I would definitely like to be there to help her out), but we probably have enough to supply a small village in Chihuahua. So yet again I was inspired by the huge surplus of peanut butter and got to work creating a new recipe that could utilize some of it. And by “some” I mean the amount I actually ended up using barely made a dent in the overall amount we have left. Oh well, at least it’s one less bowl-full she’ll need to eat as a midnight snack (and 11am snack, and 2pm snack and pre-dinner appetizer…).

So after scanning the rest of the contents of our fridge and pantry, I came across three freckled bananas that were just screaming to be used in some sort of bread or baked good as well as a package of unopened gluten-free all-purpose flour mi mama had purchased a few weeks ago on a whim. Apparently she thinks she may have an intolerance to gluten… I think it’s just that her stomach lining has now turned into peanut butter and can no longer function properly in order to digest anything else. Still, the idea of creating a gluten-free baked good really intrigued me so I set forth to concoct a recipe featuring all three of these items. Therefore, I present to you my “Use up some peanut butter and over-ripe bananas” gluten-free peanut butter banana bread.

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Banana Bread

3 ripe bananas, mashed

1/3 cup plain nonfat yogurt (I used Oikos Greek yogurt)

1/3 cup peanut butter (I used crunchy)

3 tbsp butter, melted

2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce

2 large eggs

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1 1/2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour (I used the Bob’s Red Mill brand)

1/4 cup ground flaxseed 

1 tsp xanthan gum (this is used to add volume and viscosity to gluten-free breads)

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/3 cup dry-roasted peanuts, chopped (optional but really adds some awesome crunch)

Glaze:

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1 tbsp milk (any kind will work)

1 tbsp peanut butter (I used creamy)

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×5″ bread pan with Pam

2) Mix first 5 ingredients in a large bowl until well combined. Add the sugars and blend well.

3) In a medium size bowl, combine all other ingredients except peanuts.

4) Add dry ingredients to wet and stir until just moistened. Add the peanuts to combine.

5) Pour mixture into loaf pan and bake for 1 hour. A toothpick should come out clean when it’s done.

6) Allow to cool 10-15 minutes before removing from pan onto a cooling rack.

7) Combine the glaze ingredients in a small bowl with a whisk until smooth. Drizzle over the bread.

8) Cut a slice, smear with more peanut butter, wipe the drool from your mouth and devour.

I’m pretty sure this is a bread that will satisfy not only those looking to go gluten-free but also those just looking for a yummy banana bread bursting with peanut butter-y deliciousness.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go figure out what I’m going to make for dinner this evening. I’m thinking soup….

Move over Betty Crocker

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Recently, I attended a lovely pot-luck brunch hosted by the adoptive mother of one of the Pomeranians I play Friday night Poker with. Honestly, I almost declined the invitation at first as my social schedule has grown so immensely these past couple weeks and I never feel as though I have a day to just relax. Sunday mornings are generally the only days I am able to just lay around on the couch, cuddled up in mi papa’s sweatshirt while catching up on episodes of Top Chef that mi madre has DVR’d from the previous week. However, I knew how completely heart-broken the hostess would be if I were to not attend and even more upset that there would not be one of my yummy baked goods among the spread of food. So in the end, I agreed to the invite and pulled out my measuring cups and mixing bowls, tied my trusty apron on and got to work. I toyed around with a few ideas I already had in my head and got out some of my cookbooks and issues of Bon Appetit for some more inspiration. I then asked mi mama and papa what they thought I should make. After veto-ing Mama’s Toaster Strudel suggestion (the only breakfast item she know hows to make… silly baking-impaired woman), mi papa suggested I make “some sort of breakfast bread that’s not too sweet but still full of major flavor and spice.” Bueno, Papa! And thus, my Cinnamon-Raisin Tea Bread was born.

Cinnamon-Raisin Tea Bread with Almonds

1 cup raisins

2 cups hot water

3/4 cup buttermilk*

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup canola oil, or applesauce

1/2 tsp almond extract

1 large egg

1 large egg white

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup ground flaxseed

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 to 1 cup chopped almonds, depending on how nutty you want it

*Note: If you don’t happen to keep buttermilk handy in the fridge, you can substitute skim milk mixed with 1/2 tbsp lemon juice or white vinegar

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8×4″ loaf pan with cooking spray.

 2) Pour hot water over raisins in a bowl, cover and let sit for 5 minutes.

3) Combine buttermilk and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a wire whisk. Drain raisins through a colander and add to buttermilk mixture.

4) Combine flour and next 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add to buttermilk mixture and stir until just moistened.

5) Pour into loaf pan and sprinkle with chopped almonds.

6) Bake 45 minutes or until toothpick poked into middle of loaf comes out clean.

7) Allow to cool 10-15 minutes before removing from pan.

8) Cut into slices, top with peanut butter, jam, butter etc and chow down. Mmmm, mmmm, good!

Easy peasy, low in fat and sugar and a fun alternative to your morning toast with jam. Speaking of fun, I really must pry myself away from my laptop now as I need to go rearrange my sock drawer.

Adios muchachos!