banana walnut bread and more.

i spend a lot of my spare time browsing foodblogs, cookbooks, magazines, and especially foodgawker. i always find myself searching for a recipe for overripe bananas, because i always have too many bananas and never get the chance to eat them all before they are too ripe. well last time i had overripe bananas i made a banana marble bundt cake, and a time after that banana chocolate chip muffins (sorry no pics). well this time i decided to just go with a simple banana walnut bread. working at starbucks i notice a lot of customers purchasing the banana walnut loaf we offer, and while i don’t really eat the pastries at starbucks, i always find myself wanting to recreate some of their pastries. i have baked pumpkin scones in the past, which turned out quite delicious – sorry to say i never blogged it, but should have because they were excellent. in my last entry i baked a blueberry coffee cake, which could be compared to the very berry coffee cake starbucks sells. well anyways, on to the banana bread. i decided i wanted to bake something after i got out of work today at around 9 pm. i didn’t start baking until 1130, but seeing as it was a fairly simple recipe, decided it wasn’t too late. i even had the chance to start prepping a baked french toast recipe for the morning. (will hopefully blog that tomorrow or later this week). ah, now i remember why i was making so many references to starbucks. well the recipe i used and found off of a user on foodgawker turns out to be a recipe that starbucks supposedly handed out at their store. i don’t quite believe this is the exact recipe that starbucks uses, because when i look at the ingredients, there seems to be more than just eggs, sugar, bananas, flour, etc. but anyways, it turned out to be a pretty decent recipe. i used 2 1/2 very ripe bananas instead of the 3 the recipe calls for, because i didn’t have the other half of the banana. it still turned out good, and not overly banana-y. so i’m kind of glad i was missing half of a banana.

i feel like the recipe called for too many walnuts, and next time i’m going to reduce the amount i put in.

hm now what else. the other day i went to the library which is always fun, because i get to check out different cookbooks without spending a penny =) i checked out Rachael Ray’s Big Orange Book, which has an awesome collection of recipes. i’m a huge Rachael Ray fan, so hush up all you RR haters. =) i’m definitely looking to purchase this cookbook after checking it out. i decided to make something simple and carb-o-licious, because well, i love carbs. i landed on Elsa’s Baked Ziti and figured it would be good. i was right. it’s a cheesy ziti (in my case, rigatoni) pasta made with ricotta and parmigiano-reggiano cheese. the recipe didn’t call for mushrooms, but i love mushrooms, and decided to put some sliced up portabello shrooms in there. it made the dish meaty and very filling. i did give some to the boyfriend, and he said it would be better with chicken, so in the future i will make the dish again, with chicken, at his request.

okay so this picture does not do the dish justice. but you can see the gooey parm-reg cheese stretched out over the noodles. yum-o! i served it with a bleu cheese cabbage salad (recipe also from The Big Orange book). i ended up putting far too much crumbled bleu cheese, so it was a big strong, but tasty nonetheless. same day i decided to bake a pie. my pate brisee (pie dough) needs some major work. i’m find making the actual pie dough, but when it comes to rolling it out, it’s a disaster. i wanted to try and make a fruit pie, and so i decided on doing an apple blueberry. it was yummy, but just looked like a disaster. here is my sad excuse for a pie: you don’t know how hard i tried to fix the top crust. i eventually gave up (as you can see) and just decided to stop messing with it and just bake it. i adapted the recipe from Joy of Cooking: All about pies and tarts. there are some excellent looking pies in that cookbook, and so many i’d like to try out.

well, it’s 1 am. i’m finally tired, and i must wake up early tomorrow to bake that french toast. yum-o!

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