Weekend Baking/Cooking MarathonJanuary 7, 2008
Last weekend, I went crazy. Instead of having a nice relaxing Sunday watching the Chargers win their first playoff game in 13 years (I think, I don’t actually watch football…ever), I decided to bake one or two things. It was raining, I had just come home from the grocery store (went over budget, again), and Jared and Kelie were about to start watching the game.
When I was at the store, I found some nice cucumbers sitting there, just staring at me! There is this restaurant in Petaluma called Dempsey’s and among other things, they have the best Bread and Butter Pickles I’ve ever had. So, when those cucumbers were just sitting there, I thought it was time I tried to replicate Dempsey’s masterpiece. And since pickles take about 12 hours to make, I started on those first thing.
Here they are finished, and while this is definitely a Claussen pickle jar, these are definitely home made and so much better. An approximation of Dempsey’s pickles — not quite the real thing — but really good nonetheless.
After the pickles were nicely salted and resting in the fridge, it was time to bake. I started with a Lemon Yogurt cake, borrowed happily from Ina Garten. When I’m baking, I always have the tendency to mess something up. I don’t follow recipes well, and so I’ll mess up the order, the quantity, the temperature, or any of a number of other things (there’s a reason nobody got to see a post about the Christmas Marshmallows I made…what a disaster!)
After the Lemon Yogurt cake, I realized I had three bananas that were about to go bad. Wham! An hour later, Banana Pistachio Bread was in the oven. Simple and delicious.
I had bought too many apples because I was daydreaming while putting them into my cart. So when I got home and realized that I had 10 extra apples for the week, I decided to do the only sensible thing: make Applesauce! Applesauce is the easiest possible thing to make. I make mine with a little Apple Cider Vinegar. Makes it just a little extra tart and helps break down the apples faster while cooking.
After applesauce came the dinner prep. On the menu was Ceviche with Sea Bass and Scallops and a Radicchio and Endive Salad with Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing. Oh, and for the hell of it, I also made Buttermilk Biscuits from this previously-posted recipe.
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 c whole wheat flour
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 c walnuts, coarsely chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan.
3. Sift all-purpose flour, soda, salt together, stir in whole wheat flour, add to butter mixture, mixing well.
4. Fold in bananas, vanilla, walnuts.
5. Pour into pan. Bake 50-60 min, or until vake tesster comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then on rack.