Peanut Butter-Banana Bread, Clean Water & The “Farm to Fork” Dinner

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My friend Liz makes the best banana bread. It is moist, nutty with just the right amount of spices & banana flavor. Every Christmas a few lucky friends are gifted a loaf or two of her bread. Due to her acumen in this field of baking I am always a bit hesitant to make my own banana bread fearing the results will be disappointing.

Last week 4 very, very ripe bananas were either going to be tossed or turned into a loaf….I chose the latter. Not trying to copy Liz’s bread, but to try something different, I made this loaf without nuts and with the addition of peanut butter powder. Have you used this yet? We add a shake or two to our smoothies each morning. It has all the yummy peanut butter flavor without the calories.

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Brown sugar, Greek yogurt & vanilla bean paste…all part of the batter….

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….resulting in this lovely loaf of goodness using over ripe bananas that could have been tossed, but were saved for better things!

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Speaking of “better things”….You may now be curious about the heading for this post…”I get the banana bread part, but what is the reference to this “Farm to Fork” dinner?”

Coming up very soon, October 27th to be exact, is a celebration dinner and fundraiser here in Nashville. The Cumberland River Compact’s 5th Annual “Farm to Fork” Dinner once again brings together local chefs, farmers, artists & musicians to celebrate the fall harvest and keeping our waters clean. This is a very important fundraiser for us all.

The job of the Cumberland River Compact is to work to create awareness of the need to keep the waters of our beloved Cumberland River and it’s tributaries clean and safe. This takes the time of many dedicated folks and money to keep the public aware. For more information on this fun and delicious night next Thursday, October 27th click here.

Just imagine trying to cook and run a kitchen without clean water? Imagine and be thankful.

Peanut Butter-Banana Bread

  • Servings: 12slices
  • Print

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Ingredients:

  • 4 to 5 very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter powder
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, very soft
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup raw brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a regular size loaf pan.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment mash the bananas. I leave them a little bit chunky.
  4. Sprinkle in the peanut butter powder and mix.
  5. Add in the softened butter, egg, vanilla bean paste & sugar. Mix well.
  6. With mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the banana mixture, along with the yogurt,  and mix just until blended.
  7. Scrape batter into the loaf pan. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until the top of is a dark golden brown. Test with a cake tester to make sure the inside is baked. The tester should come out clean with just a few crumbs. Let loaf cool in pan on a wire rack before slicing.

This bread is yummy for a few days and is sublime toasted and smeared with butter.

Teresa Blackburn      www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com

“Balsamic-Brown Sugar Infused Peach Frozen Yogurt”

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If you live in Nashville you might have seen “The Peach Truck” around your neighborhood? A few weeks ago they were parked  in front of the coffee shop next door to our house, The Red Bicycle, selling their Georgia fresh peaches. Bagged in paper sacks for proper ripening these Freestone Peaches, soft & fuzzy on the outside, juicy-sweet on the inside, were soon to be combined with a bit of Balsamic & Brown Sugar & churned into a soft serve frozen yogurt.

Peaches

Here is how you easily peel a peach….Cut an “X” in the bottom, plunge into hot boiling water for a few seconds….

Georgia Peaches

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….Remove from water & drain. Skin will easily peel away using the edge of a knife.

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Here is what you will need to for a batch of “…Peach Frozen Yogurt”:

5 peeled peaches, 1 1/2 generous cups of raw or brown sugar, 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar & 1 quart of full fat Greek Yogurt

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Here is how you make it:

 Cut peeled peaches into bite-sized chunks. Put into a glass or stainless bowl.

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Sprinkle brown sugar & balsamic vinegar over peaches.

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Stir to combine. Cover & chill overnight.

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I used this Balsamic vinegar which I purchased at Lazzaroli’s Pasta and Italian Market. It is almost like a glaze, but not quite…thicker than regular, a bit sweeter and a bit more expensive. I use it sparingly and for special recipes. It is a fine thing.

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This is what your peaches will look like the next day. They are ready for the ice cream freezer. I use a 2 quart electric Cuisinart freezer which works just great. Any ice cream freezer will do.

Here is what you do next:

In a large mixing bowl combine the Greek yogurt with the peaches & juice. Mix well. Pour into your ice cream freezer and churn according to your machine’s directions. Eat immediately or within an hour or so for a soft serve which is just the best way ever to enjoy it.

frozen peach yogurt

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Ripen peaches in a paper bag for a day or so to bring out their natural flavor & juice.

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“A Galette of Rainier Cherries (gluten free)”

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Galette

Fresh Rainier Cherries have arrived. Their beauty seduced me completely. I had to have them…eating some out of the bag right after paying for them…baking the rest into this tender-crusted galette …not too sweet, just right.

Galettes are easy to make. Simply a freeform crust filled, either sweet or savory, French in origin…a beautiful rustic, yet elegant look, not a rigid as a crimped pie crust, not as planned looking…they never look the exact same way twice…that is why I love them.

In my pantry there was a box of King Arthur Gluten Free Flour that I had not tried…some of it went into my pastry recipe. The outcome was beyond my expectations. A delicate pastry, somewhat shortbread-like, that baked up golden brown and flakey.

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For pastry crust: 2 cups King Arthur Gluten Free Flour (or any other flour), 1 1/2 sticks of cold butter cut into small chunks, a pinch of salt & ice water.

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Put flour  & pinch of salt in a food processor bowl. Pulse to blend. Add in cold butter chunks & pulse a few more times. Do not pulse too much. The butter should still be in small pieces. Drizzle in ice water, about 5 tablespoons, pulsing as you add. Remove pastry from bowl of processor &  form into two balls. Flatten each & wrap in plastic. Chill for at least one hour before using. This galette will only need one pastry ball. Save the other for another dessert either chilled or frozen.

When ready to make the galette, remove pastry from the refrigerator, let sit for about 10 minutes.

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While pastry is sitting for 10 minutes, whisk together 2 eggs, 1 cup low-fat or no-fat Greek yogurt, a generous pinch of ground cinnamon & 1/2 cup turbinado or raw sugar for filling. Set aside.

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Place pastry on a sheet of floured parchment paper & roll  into a rough circle about 12″ in diameter. It is just fine if edges are not even. Pour half of the egg-yogurt filling in the center of the pastry circle. Top with 1 1/2 to 2 cups pitted Rainier Cherries.

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Lift edges of parchment paper to fold pastry up and over the fruit overlapping the edges.

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Lift entire sheet of parchment paper with the uncooked galette & place on a baking sheet. Pour any remaining batter over cherries. Sprinkle with additional sugar. (I left the stems on a few of the pitted cherries just because I thought they looked pretty like that.)

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Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 35-40 minutes or until crust is golden brown and the custardy filling is set.

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Serve cut into wedges with a generous dusting of powdered sugar.

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There is a French children’s song about galette:

J’aime la galette, savez-vous comment ? Quand elle est bien faite, avec du beurre dedans.” (“I like galette, do you know how? When it is made well, with butter inside.”)
I agree!