Halloween has come and gone and turned out to be much less eventful than anticipated. I was so excited for my son’s first Halloween, especially because my father was in town and able to experience this holiday with us. We had plans to attend a fall festival in the morning that his baby class was hosting, which would probably have been cuteness overload. My husband’s aunt handmade the most adorable bear costume that was worn all of 10 minutes for pictures…and that was that. However my 9 month-old ended up sleeping through all the holiday festivities and with only one group of trick-or-treaters stopping by, it felt like a regular Saturday. Now we are left with almost an entire box of full-size candy bars (these kids didn’t know what they were missing out on!) and my willpower not to eat one every time I pass them in the hall.
So, we are talking banana bread today. This quick bread is probably one of the easiest and most familiar baked goods in many kitchens with a plethora of recipes out there to prove it. Earlier, I posted a maple-olive oil banana bread recipe that has been in my rotation a few years now from the Shutterbean blog that I absolutely adore. The bread AND the blog. Actually, it’s been the only recipe I’ve used since I first started making banana bread.
However, this time I decided to change it up a bit and mash up two recipes that I’ve been eyeing on for some time that I found on a couple of my favorite blogs. So we have a vegan banana bread with a vegan, naturally sweetened salted date caramel swirl. YUM! Do not let the vegan-ness scare you away; there are no weird ingredient substitutions or fancy ingredients.
This bread turned out barely sweet, dense, and moist due to the number of bananas used. Then to bite into the date-caramel swirl within the bread is just a flavor bonus. I feel the bread is best served warm, straight out of the oven. However, simply toasting a couple slices in the morning works just as well and makes for a filling and delicious breakfast.
Here is another gem from Seven Spoons, Tara O’Brady’s yummy, vibrant cookbook. We know that roasted tomatoes are pretty amazing, but this is a very unique and in her words, “beautiful” way to treat them. Their delicate flavor is intensified from the slow-roasting and she recommends using them as an antipasti, in a salad with peppery arugula and lots of Parm or squished onto bread or flatbread- all of which sound amazing. However, I have used them to top my pasta dishes and grain bowls in lieu of sauce, which is also highly recommended.
Beware, these soused tomatoes take about 3-4 hours in the oven, so plan accordingly!
The leftover oil once the tomatoes are gone is definitely something to keep and use as a finishing oil or vinaigrette, mayonnaise or marinade base.
When I think of biscotti, I think of a sweet, crunchy biscuit that is meant to be enjoyed with my morning coffee. I have made them once before, a double-chocolate ginger version, which was love at first bite. However, when I saw a savory biscotti recipe in my Food & Nutrition magazine there was no hesitation- I was ready to give them a shot. And let me tell you, it was worth it! A winning combination of sun-dried tomatoes, Asiago, garlic and thyme not only taste delicious, but also make your kitchen smell divine while baking.
Go ahead and give them a try!
Rice crispy treats are practically a staple of childhood, am I right? I distinctly remember frequently making these, either at home with my mom or at friends’ houses. The best part was definitely not waiting for them to cool, but to grab the gooey warm bits and pieces before they even hit the pan!