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Buttermilk Clouds
 

Buttermilk Banana Nut Muffins

All my life...all...I have been searching for the perfect Banana Nut Muffin recipe. And last night I found it. Last Saturday I found a little set of clay pots from Southern Living. They are so friggin' cute that I can't stand it. There are 6 of them. And they don't have drainage holes in the bottom. As soon as I saw them, the bananas on my counter popped into my head. And I knew. Yes, I knew. And it so happened that I also had a new recipe to try. So. Here is it. The best Banana Nut Muffin recipe ever. EVER! I think the magic happened with the buttermilk.

Oh. Most of the time my banana bread turned out gooey in the middle. I do believe that these little clay pots cured that problem. The middles were done, the outsides were not burnt and they rose sooooooooo beautifully! Big excitement in our house. Yes sir.

title

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed bananas (3 medium sized bananas)
4 tablespoons buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1. Grease and flour 1 large loaf pan (9 1/4 X 5 1/4-inch) or whatever combination of pans you’d like. I used a mini loaf pan and a 8 1/2 X 4 1/2 loaf pan. You can also make banana muffins with this recipe, if you wish...which is the option I chose. And I also only sprayed the pots with oil. No flour. Set pans aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs, mashed bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla until the batter is well mixed.
3. Add in the flour, baking powder, salt and soda. Mix until well combined. Divide batter into greased and floured pans and bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
4. Let bread cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Loosen the bread with a knife and carefully remove from pan. Finish cooling on rack. Slice and serve once cooled.

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By: Sharon Pickering | 3/31/2011 at 4:55 PM | | If you want, you can leave a comment by clicking here.

First homecooked dinner in our new house

We finally had a homecooked meal in our new home. Happy happy. Joy joy. And it was not just any old dinner. It was Boeuf Bourguignon ala Julia Child. And just how did this come to pass? Well, it started a few months ago. We went to the afternoon matinee and saw Julie & Julia. Loved it, much to our surprise. So much so that I immediately ordered Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

cookbook


Immediately I wanted to make something out of it. And I wanted to do the Boeuf Bourguignon. But, D said why don't we wait until we get into our new home and make this as a special first meal? So, we waited.

Then, the big day arrived. I had unpacked enough to find my stove, and it was on. Luckily I had the perfect special pot to cook it in! My Pumpkin Pot. In no time at all I had the pot on the stove and the beef browning.

Here is the recipe to make this most wonderful dish.



boeuf-bourguignon


Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon
Recipe Courtesy of Julia Child

Ingredients
One 6-ounce piece of chunk bacon
3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds lean stewing beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 carrot, sliced
1 onion, sliced
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups red wine, young and full-bodied (like Beaujolais, Cotes du Rhone or Burgundy)
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups brown beef stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves mashed garlic
1/2 teaspoon thyme
A crumbled bay leaf
18 to 24 white onions, small
3 1/2 tablespoons butter
Herb bouquet (4 parsley sprigs, one-half bay leaf, one-quarter teaspoon thyme, tied in cheesecloth)
1 pound mushrooms, fresh and quartered

Cooking Directions

Remove bacon rind and cut into lardons (sticks 1/4-inch thick and 1 1/2 inches long). Simmer rind and lardons for 10 minutes in 1 1/2 quarts water. Drain and dry.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Sauté lardons in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a flameproof casserole over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes to brown lightly. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon.

Dry beef in paper towels; it will not brown if it is damp. Heat fat in casserole until almost smoking. Add beef, a few pieces at a time, and sauté until nicely browned on all sides. Add it to the lardons.

In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Pour out the excess fat.

Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and toss with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Then sprinkle on the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly. Set casserole uncovered in middle position of preheated oven for 4 minutes.

Toss the meat again and return to oven for 4 minutes (this browns the flour and coves the meat with a light crust).

Remove casserole and turn oven down to 325 degrees.

Stir in wine and 2 to 3 cups stock, just enough so that the meat is barely covered.

Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs and bacon rind. Bring to a simmer on top of the stove.

Cover casserole and set in lower third of oven. Regulate heat so that liquid simmers very slowly for 3 to 4 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.

While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms.

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons butter with one and one-half tablespoons of the oil until bubbling in a skillet.

Add onions and sauté over moderate heat for about 10 minutes, rolling them so they will brown as evenly as possible. Be careful not to break their skins. You cannot expect them to brown uniformly.

Add 1/2 cup of the stock, salt and pepper to taste and the herb bouquet.

Cover and simmer slowly for 40 to 50 minutes until the onions are perfectly tender but hold their shape, and the liquid has evaporated. Remove herb bouquet and set onions aside.

Wipe out skillet and heat remaining oil and butter over high heat. As soon as you see butter has begun to subside, indicating it is hot enough, add mushrooms.

Toss and shake pan for 4 to 5 minutes. As soon as they have begun to brown lightly, remove from heat.

When the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve set over a saucepan.

Wash out the casserole and return the beef and lardons to it. Distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms on top.

Skim fat off sauce in saucepan. Simmer sauce for a minute or 2, skimming off additional fat as it rises. You should have about 2 1/2 cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly.

If too thin, boil it down rapidly. If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons stock. Taste carefully for seasoning.

Pour sauce over meat and vegetables. Cover and simmer 2 to 3 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times.

Serve in casserole, or arrange stew on a platter surrounded with potatoes, noodles or rice, and decorated with parsley.

This dish was a perfect choice to Christen a new kitchen. The aromas spread through out the house...as it should be. Perfect dinner for a cool autumn evening. I felt a little closeness to Julia as I drank my glass of wine and prepared this awesome meal. Thanks, Julia!!



julia-child

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By: Sharon Pickering | 11/18/2009 at 4:24 PM | | If you want, you can leave a comment by clicking here.