Monday, March 29, 2010

Banana Coffee Cake with Chocolate Chip Streusel

While cat sitting for a friend, I realized that said friend had been very remiss in leaving 3 bananas on the counter. Since they were almost dead anyways, I took the liberty of whisking them home. Of course, once I got home, I realized that the only thing I could use them for was banana bread. However, this time I wanted to shake things up a bit.

After a bit of searching, I found this lovely looking recipe for a banana bread coffee cake with streusel. Having no mixer or whisk isn't too much of a problem, so I forged ahead. It turned out lovely and moist. Of course, I cooked it in the wrong dish, so it too much longer to cook in the middle, thus being hard to get out of the dish in one piece. As you can see.

Still, it tasted very nice. Especially with all that chocolate on top. Why not try one with your next batch of soon to be dead bananas?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Gulab Jamun

This is a recipe I've meant to make for years now. The main thing holding me back was that I wanted to be "authentic", meaning I wanted to buy a whole storeful of milk, then boil it down into powder. You know what they call that? Powdered milk! Yes, I realize I'm insane at times. Once I finally got over that, I decided now was the time to do this.

For those of you who've never had them, the base is a dough made powdered milk based dough rolled into balls then fried in oil. After being fried, you let them sit in a sugar syrup that's been flavored with spices. Sound good? It is. Don't let the powdered milk part scare you off, it's really very mellow and really helps soak up that good syrup.

This first time I ever had gulab jamuns (Glob Jah-mun) was from a can that I bought in an international foods store. Why do I remember this? Well, for one they tasted unlike anything I'd had before and the texture was incredibly strange. More than that, I poured sugar syrup all down my front while in the car. Luckily I had some raggedy pajamas in the backseat (no idea why) that I could change into. Unluckily, I had an hours sticky drive back home.

Barring that drive, all my other experiences have been good. So when the inspiration to make them struck me down, I went with it. Realizing that starting from scratch was insane, I chose to use powdered milk for the basis. I had all the ingredients on hand including the whole cardamom pods and saffron. Is that strange for a college student?

Once you've made your "milk dough", you have to roll them in little balls and fry them. No big deal. I just happen to forget that dough expands when it cooks. Yeah, roll these smaller than you think you'll want them. Unless you want to be attacked by the Giant Gulab! These had a much better texture than the packaged ones. More doughy and less like styrofoam. Floated in some of the lightly spiced syrup, these were awesome. They actually reheat in the microwaves like champs too.

Why don't you try something different for dessert tonight? Of course, if you do, let me know how it goes.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Turkish Breakfast

I'm currently dating a Turkish fellow who decided it was time that I discovered the joy of a decent Turkish breakfast. Generally, this includes some meat, tomatoes, olives, cucumbers, green peppers, cheese, bread, and whatever else you can throw together. Our meal started with frying up a little sucuk (garlic sausage pronounced soo-jook) in a pan, then cracking a few eggs on top.

Add some Turkish feta, olives, tomato, and bread. Pour some coffee or black tea and water. Done.

Since I'm always complaining about American breakfasts full of the same old crap that's too sweet for that time of day, this was perfect. Best breakfast I've had in a long time. Plus, I didn't even have to do dishes.

In the spirit of food I didn't make, why don't you check out these gorgeous henna-inspired spice cookies over at Sprinkle Bakes?

Or think about busting out an edible bouquet for your next party buffet?