Month: March, 2015

Waiting with Banana Bread

I have officially finished work and have two and a half week left until my due date. After hearing that more babies are born on the full moon, I am hoping for an early Easter arrival as I am getting impatient playing the waiting game. I want to meet the wee bub! The baby room/actually a cupboard is almost ready, I have washed all the tiny little clothes, and I am about to start cooking things to go in the freezer to pull out when I am also pulling out my hair over a crying new born.

DSCF4997

Today dawned so beautiful, I couldn’t bring myself to make a soup or a pasta sauce to freeze. I wanted to bake something fresh and tasty to enjoy at our sunny window with a good book. I came across Ottolenghi’s banana bread in his new book Plenty More and decided that it would be perfect, even though I had to modify it a bit due to lack of ingredients in the pantry. He says to grill it after cooking with fresh sliced banana, tahini and honeycomb which sounds absolutely glorious. Instead I just had it warm from the oven with coffee. Bliss.

DSCF4999

Banana and Pecan Bread

1 cup of pecans
3 large ripe bananas
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups of brown sugar
1/2 cup of full fat milk
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt of salt

DSCF5001

Preheat the oven to 175°C  and line a loaf pan with waxed paper. Toast the pecans in this for about ten minutes, take them out and roughly chop them. In a bowl, beat the bananas, sugar and eggs until combined. Next add the salt, milk and oil. Sift the dry ingredients in and continue to mix for a few more minutes. Finally add the pecans and pour into the loaf pan. Pop in the oven for about an hour ten and then put on a baking tray to cool (if you have one).

The result is a deliciously moist and tasty banana bread. I would definitely track down the full and proper recipe in Plenty More and try that, but for today, this one made me particularly happy.

DSCF5004

Advertisements

A Celebration

I had always been a bit negative about American style baby showers, but Sunday proved me wrong. My friend Kelly organised the most beautiful day for me with every little detail thought out- the room decorated, fresh spring flowers everywhere, waffles and fresh berries, champagne, lemon and lavender cocktails, games and fun. There was even a surprise arrival of two friends who now live in Los Angeles! As I looked around the room at all these amazing people I did not know even existed this time last year, it made me realise how I am not having a baby in a foreign city without friends or family, but in a beautiful sunny city Ollie and I happily call home, surrounded by amazing and caring friends. So thank you to everyone who helped make this day so special.


IMG_5001

IMG_5004

IMG_5013

IMG_5021

IMG_5018

The first asparagus of the season

When I saw that the asparagus man was back at the market on Sunday, along with the strawberry man and rows of beautiful fresias, tulips and daffodils,  I knew it was Spring. I also knew that I would have to make something delicious to do the first asparagus of the season justice. And somehow my mind went to eggs- the one food I don’t like and never have. Despite this, I think the baby inside me does like eggs because I have found myself wanting to eat them throughout the pregnancy. So here is a way to eat eggs without tasting them- a rich and creamy asparagus tart, especially good for thin, young asparagus that hasn’t been left to get tough and woody.

Asparagus Tart

1 packet of filo pastry
3 eggs
200mL cream
Small handful of Italian parsley
Freshly grated parmesan, about a handful
Salt and pepper
A big bundle of fresh, new asparagus

DSCF4991

Snap the woody ends off the asparagus and discard them. Then chop off about the same again and boil until tender. Whiz them up in a blender with the egg, cream, parsley and parmesan and then pour into the filo casing. Par boil the remainder of the asparagus (the long slim stems) and arrange these across the tart. Pop in the oven for about 35 minutes and voila! A beautiful looking and tasting asparagus tart best enjoyed with a fresh green salad with a lemon, olive oil and grainy mustard dressing.