I know I said that we were going to skip the G is for Good Health section in the A-Z of Cooking because I had already made the Cheese and Date Bread. Then I remembered that the banana cream I have been eating for breakfast for weeks came from this same section. And for those of you who care about such things my favourite version is also vegan because guess what? The Banana Cream contains no cream. That’s 1970’s health food for you.
So pretty. And it’s delicious too. And so easy to do. It takes all of about 30 seconds to make .
But first a little digression. They…whomsoever they may be…say that you are what you eat. It might be why health food often gets such a bad rap. I mean who want to look like the burghul salad which is the first recipe featured in the G is for Good Health section of the A-Z of Cooking.
So back to breakfast and the no-cream banana cream. This tastes and feels rich and luscious so you can almost feel a bit decadent when eating it. The basic recipe for the banana cream is bananas, yogurt, honey, lemon and crushed nuts. I have played with this for a number of weeks now and my favourite combination is to use coconut yogurt and maple syrup. The one highlight of that time I did Paleo was discovering coconut yogurt. OMG that stuff is the BEST. Shame it is so hideously expensive. At the time I looked into making it and it can be done relatively easily. I’ll add that to the to do list! And maple syrup is one of my favourite flavours. Its so good. But you can use plain yogurt or honey – whatever your favourites are.
I have also eaten the banana cream as a topping for granola and swirled into warm oatmeal //porridge and it is good with both!
I have used walnuts as the nuts in these pictures but almonds are also good. Sub in whatever you like. Or, if you hate nuts, use a sprinkle of granola for a lovely crunch!
I’m not overly fond of bananas but I have eaten the banana cream a couple of times a week for a few weeks now and there is no sign of it going off high rotation. I make the serving size below and put half in a container in the fridge for the following day – it keeps quite well overnight. Quick, versatile, delicious so simple and healthy to boot! So much nicer than that burghul salad!
Breakfast Banana Cream
A quick, easy and healthy breakfast dish. Vegan optional.
Place the banana, coconut yogurt, maple syrup, lemon juice and half the nuts into a food processor.
Blitz until just combined.
Spoon into serving dishes and sprinkle with the remaining nuts.
By Taryn Fryer
Adapted from The A-Z of Cooking
Adapted from The A-Z of Cooking
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
I feel that the A-Z of Cooking has given us two very simple recipes in a row. Next time we head there it should be for the Gourmet section. I have semi-chosen what I am going to cook and it involves a deep fryer so I am going to have to beg, borrow or steal one sometime soon. And if gourmet food and deep frying don’t quite go together in your mind, remember it was the ’70s – all sort of things happened that made totally no sense. Deep fried gourmet food was the least of their worries!
Och aye laddies and lassies, today we are moving from the lowbrow fish finger to the highbrow as we celebrate the life of poet Robert Burns with a breakfast version of a Scottish dessert, the cranachan.
tomorrow, January 25th, people all across Scotland will be celebrating the birth of Robert Burns with Burns Night Suppers. The traditional Burns night supper is an elaborate affair with a strict ceremonial order including pipers piping, many toasts and, of course, a haggis. A traditional cranachan is often served as a dessert at these functions.
We are not making a traditional cranachan today because it would normally be doused with a liberal dram (or two) of whisky. Sadly, I am still on my January cleanse so I did not want to include booze in mine.
And before anyone can cry “But that’s not how you make porridge”….we’re eating my cranachan for breakfast. And I’m hoping that even the most patriotic Scotsperson may be happy to forego the single malt for the first meal o’ the day. And whilst I’m certain whisky would be awesome, oats and fruit and nuts are an equally fabulous breakfast combo!
Burns’ love may be like a red, red rose but this girl’s heart skips a beat for ruby, red rhubarb!
Rhubarb is one of my favourite fruits. I love it’s tanginess, and its gorgeous colour.
I cut my rhubarb into pieces, washed it, and sprinkled it with some sugar then popped it in the oven to roast.
Next into the oven was some rolled oats, mixed with a little maple syrup to give them almost a slightly crunchy granola effect.
Whilst that was in the oven, I whipped some cream then added an equal amount of coconut cream and whipped that in, then added some plain Greek yogurt and stirred that through with a little bit more of the maple syrup.
Traditionally it would just be the cream and whisky here, maybe with a little sugar to sweeten it up a bit. I pretty much threw in the coconut cream on a whim because I had some leftover in the fridge and had no other use for it.
Then I roasted some pecans in yes, you guessed it, some maple syrup. (It feels a bit like I am also celebrating Canada this post).
The rest is assembly. Start with a layer of fruit – I had some blueberries as well as the rhubarb. Then a layer of the crunchy oats, a layer of the cream mixture – repeat. Finish with a layer of oats and sprinkle this with more blueberries and the maple candied pecans.
This is delicious!!!! You could alter the fruit for whatever is in season but I really liked the combination of what I started calling “rhu and blue”.
And that my friends, IS how you make cranachan!.
And for those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, here is an ad for oats that was on Australian television back in the day:
A fabulous and delicious breakfast to fortify yourself on the morning of Burn's Night or any other day.
For for those of you who are already totally confused, let me explain. A Jaffle is an Australian term for a toasted sandwich. And it is a much loved food for breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, supper, a midnight snack or any of the times inbetween.
And I made one based on Vincent Price’s Buckingham Eggs. And it was very good!
Like I guess many of my generation, the first real inkling I had of Vincent Price was as the voice in Thriller….
I had no idea he could not only cook, but cook like a boss, until I started blogging. It’s one of the reasons why I am so excited that the 50th edition of Vincent and Mary Price’s A Treasury of Great Recipes is about to be released. And I am reliably informed by Jenny of Silver Screen Suppers that, in her view, it is the best cookbook ever written! And Jenny knows her stuff!!!
Only a few more sleeps ’til that happens but first, Jenny invited her blogging pals to take part in a cookalong with some of Vincent and Mary’s recipes.
I hadn’t really intended on making the Buckingham Eggs for the cookalong . I was totally primed to make Vincent Price’s Champagne Chicken but, it was only 10:00am. Possibly a little too early for a roast dinner. But I was hungry and a jaffle seemed like the perfect thing to tide me over til dinner time. A quick glance at the fridge revealed eggs, cheese and anchovies. I had a thought process that went something like this:
You could make the Buckingham Eggs
But I want a jaffle
The Buckingham Eggs sound really good.
So does a jaffle.
Anchovy and Mustard butter…-
Egg and Cheese Jaffle
Hmm…what if we…
I like where you are going with this
And thus the Buckingham Eggs Jaffle was born. I’m sure neither Jenny or Vincent would disapprove of my tweaking the recipe slightly to satisfy both the devil and the angel on my shoulder! For the purists, here is a link to the original recipe as cooked by Jenny:
For my version make an English mustard and anchovy butter. I could not find any anchovy paste so I mushed up an anchovy. The mustard adds some heat and makes it a beautiful colour!I could just eat this on toast for ever and be totally content!
But, wait, there’s more!
Eggs and cream and cheese and onions. I meant to add some Worchestershire Sauce but I totally forgot! Oh well, all the more reason to make it again next Sunday!
Now, add the onions to the egg mixture and scramble them really lightly. You need them to thicken up but still be quite moist as they will continue to cook once they are in the jaffle iron.
Now, butter both sides of the bread (if you’re feeling decadent ) or the one side if not. Place the buttered sides on the surface of the jaffle iron. This is important otherwise your bread will stick like crazy. Place the cheese on one side and the thickened egg mixture on the other side.
Fold The Iron over. Trim any bits of bread hanging out of the iron and place over a low heat.
The only tricky bit is that once the iron is closed you have no way of telling how much the inside has cooked unless you open it up and have a little peek. Make sure you turn it over at least once so both sides get toasty. As a general rule, once the outside is a dark golden colour, the inside will be perfect. This is the colour you are aiming for:
At the risk of sounding a bit hippy dippy, when cooked like this, the egg and cream mixture and the cheese become one in a gorgeous creamy melange. This is surrounded by the crispy, salty, slightly spicy bread…..ZOMG delicious.
This made a super brunch, but if darkness is falling across the land and the midnight hour is close at hand, this would also make a super late night snack!
A massive thanks to Jenny for including me and to Vincent and Mary Price for the recipe.
For all the deets on the cookbook launch and activities around it, click any (ALL) of the links below:
Breakfasts and Brunches start the “B” section of the A-Z of Cooking. I chose a smoked salmon and egg combo called Nova Scotia Eggs which was, not surprisingly, delicious. You’d have to go a long way to go wrong with those ingredients.
Having said that, the recipe did it’s best to bamboozle me. Coat the eggs in mayonnaise it says. It actually had me questioning the word “coat”. Because to cover the eggs completely, which would be the normal translation, seems like a LOT of mayo. Then again it also calls for 8 tablespoon of mayonnaise to cover 4 eggs. I’ll say it again. That’s a shit ton of mayo.
Who knows, maybe Canadians really, really like mayo. Although having said that, I have no idea if the Nova Scotia eggs have any actual connection to Canada.
I also feel that unless I get something off my chest, I will probably never get to find out. You see, I am carrying a deep dark secret in relation to Canada. Well, in relation to two Canadians specifically but I get the feeling they are very community spirited. Do ill by two of them and the whole country takes against you. Anyhow, I feel that until I publicly right this wrong, I may never be welcome in the land where pines and maples grow, great prairies spread and Lordly rivers flow!
It happened like this.
A few years ago we holidayed on the Amalfi Coast. Whilst we were there we did a half day tour of Pompeii. The problem was that we booked ourselves onto a triple language tour. This meant that for each point of interest the tour guide stopped and spoke about it in Italian, English and Russian. Then there was time for questions. Of which the Italians and Russians had plenty. And she would duly translate the answers into the other two languages. Kudos to the tour guide for being fluent in three languages when sometimes I feel like I struggle with just one, but it meant the going was SLOW. So slow that, had there been glaciers in the vicinity, we could have watched them moving and marvelled at their speed compared to our progess through Pompeii.
An hour in, and we weren’t even inside the walls. He was starting to get antsy. “Come on, this is crap, we’re never going to see anything at this rate. And don’t you know about it?”
I may have slightly bigged up my knowledge of Pompeii. I had studied it in art class in high school for what seemed like an eternity however, high school was OMG, 20 years ago.
Excuse me while I have a minor major flip out about that.
OK. I’m back. I’m centred and TWENTY YEARS?
Back to Pompeii…anything to blank out the horror….During the next few Russian and Italian sessions we started a muttered debate. He wanted to leave the group and strike out on our own, armed with our purchased tour book and my…ahem…vast knowledge. I was equally adamant that we had paid for a guided tour and dammit, a guided tour we would have.
“Are you guys thinking about ditching this ?” Our conversation was interrupted by a whisper coming from a guy standing beside us. (We were all being very quiet so as not to disrupt the relentless Italian / Russian chatter).
“Cos we are too”. They were a Canadian couple on honeymoon and after a few more murmered exchanges we decided to very quietly leave the group and explore on our own.
“And we don’t need a guide. Taryn knows all about it.”
Why is there never a bottomless volcanic crater around when you need to push someone into one?
In retrospect, it was the best thing to do. The four of us covered an amazing amount of ground and had a great time doing it. They had a different book to us so we were all sharing what we had and we all got on really well. Then we reached a point where apparently, back in the day, you could look across and see the cave of the oracle of Cumae. And something in my brain clicked.
“You know that in the days before Vesuvius erupted the Oracle of Cumae told them to get out of Pompeii. Twice. But the people were so hedonistic and so consumed by their material possessions that they refused to go”. All of a sudden, I was Simon Schama. I knew all about the Oracle and the prophecies and I was not afraid to tell the world. The lovely Canadian couple were quite impressed. They even took notes. And He was impressed. Dammit, I was impressing myself. Who knew I paid that much attention in art history classes?
Much later in the day, when we were on the bus back to where we were staying in Positano, he asked if he could see the guidebooks. I handed them over and he started pouring over them with an intensity I have rarely seen.
“Whatcha looking for?”
“All that stuff about the Oracle…did you read that in here?”
“I dunno.Maybe…or maybe in the book at the hotel. Or maybe from memory. Why are you so interested?”
“I want to see if they say if that’s where they got the idea for the episode of Doctor Who”
“You know, the episode of Doctor Who where they go to Pompeii. And the oracle tells the people to leave. Twice”.
“I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.”
Except I kinda, sorta, maybe did. So, lovely Canadian honeymoon couple from Pompeii, whose names I have completely forgotten specifically and people of Canada in general. I’m really sorry. I have a very, very bad feeling that instead of telling you some amazing actual factual history, that I may have just given you the summary of the plot line of an episode of Doctor Who.
In terms of accuracy, it might have been better if I’d just sung that Bastille song to you.
Feel free to update the Canadian Wikipedia entry on Pompeii any day now folks.
And enjoy the Nova Scotia eggs, they are delicious. I made them for you!
And please let me in if I ever come visit, I really want to try some poutine.
I solemnly promise that will be my only egg pun for this whole post.
But really, what is Easter about if it’s not about eggs?
Well, yeah, ok sure it’s about Jesus….but eggs are important too.
This year I made my own chocolate eggs.
And ok, so Adriano Zumbo is not shaking in his shoes just yet but I get some points for trying right? Can’t this be like Little League and I get a medal just for turning up?
For those of you who don’t know Adriano Zumbo, he is a mad-scientist genius baker (kind of like an Australian Heston Blumenthal but with more macaroons and fewer snails). He makes things like this gorgeous V8 cake.
Think it looks simple?
Because when you cut this baby open you get this:
Yeah…uh huh and OMG wow!!!
Maybe I’ll try to make that next Easter never.
For anyone brave enough to try, you can get the recipe by clicking the link below:
However, ’nuff about Zumbo, back to my eggs. They weren’t just any plain old chocolate eggs. Uh uh. No way.
They also had a peanut butter fudge filling:
And in true retro style the peanut butter fudge mix has a secret ingredient.
Yes, I did just say mashed potato.
And it works surprisingly well. You can’t taste it but it gives the peanut butter a firmer texture. Actually the texture is very similar to that of my one of my all time favourite decadent little treats – a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. And when I say “a” Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, I of course mean a four twin pack.
I even had to check that there wasn’t mashed potato in a Reese’s PBC. There isn’t but there are two things that don’t actually have names, just initials. And you have to love a list that contains non-fat milk and milk fat right next to each other. So, that would be milk right?
I’m not going to come over all Michael Pollan about this (guess who finally finished reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma?) but you know what? I’m really not sure about eating the stuff that is just initials. However, whilst we’re on the subject of Mr Pollan, here is what he has to say about TBHQ, one of the ingredients in my possibly formerly beloved peanut butter cups:
But perhaps the most alarming ingredient in a Chicken McNugget is tertiary butylhydroquinone, or TBHQ, an antioxidant derived from petroleum that is either sprayed directly on the nugget or the inside of the box it comes in to “help preserve freshness.” According to A Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives, TBHQ is a form of butane (i.e. lighter fluid) the FDA allows processors to use sparingly in our food: It can comprise no more than 0.02 percent of the oil in a nugget. Which is probably just as well, considering that ingesting a single gram of TBHQ can cause “nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, delirium, a sense of suffocation, and collapse.” Ingesting five grams of TBHQ can kill.
Hmm…compared to lighter fluid, the mashed potato suddenly seems a bit more attractive does it not? And yes ok, you would probably have to eat your own weight in them to get that gram of TBHQ but it was enough to make me walk away from the rack of peanut butter cups today. Damn you Pollan.
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
Ox Eye Eggs
In my last post I assumed that everyone would know what Egg in a Hole was. I then further confused the issue by using the name we call these things in my family which is an Ox-Eye egg.
I actually managed to trace back the source of why we call it that. It comes from this book which I inherited from my…hmmm…I’m not sure of our exact relationship…maybe my second cousin? A great cousin? My nana’s sister’s daughter.
This was possibly my first cook book and the ox-eye eggs have become a family favourite. I will return to this book in due course because the illustrations are awesome but here is the recipe for the original ox-eye eggs:
I prefer to do mine in a frying pan than in the oven as I think it gives you a little more control over your preferred degree of yolk runniness but the choice is yours!
And look at this for an amazing breakfast – seriously, if I’d thrown some cheese on this plate all my five favourite food groups would have been covered – eggs, bacon, avocado, and bread!
Loading up that toasted circle with a piece of bacon, some guac and some semi-runny yolk? Probably about as close to heaven as I’m going to get!!!
And that’s Easter 2014 done!
Next time, a double whammy, a retro treat from Salads from All Seasons and a Daring Kitchen Challenge. I’m 3 months behind on my Daring Kitchen stuff and I’m really nervous about all of them – for very different reasons – again which we will get to in due course.
February’s challenge was Salad Dressing – and if you’re thinking that should be fairly impossible to fuck up, well, you haven’t seen the recipe I’m planning on using.
Hint – it too has a secret ingredient, which incidentally has been mentioned in this post. And it’s not mashed potato. If only.
I’m loving my extended Easter break. Hope your week is fabulous whatever you are doing!