Way back when I was pregnant, I did a little walk through of Barcelona’s famed Boqueria market.
Well, we revisited the market over the Christmas holidays. Not only are there different displays for the season, I managed to make it into a corner of the butchers that I completely missed last time…
I’ve been wandering around The Pioneer Woman‘s site for a few years now, checking back every now and then to read her photoshop tips or hope for another installment of her rip-roaring love story, Black Heels to Tractor Wheels. Although I browsed her recipes, I never made any.
Until now. And I have only one way to describe it.
Make this for yourself. Make it for someone you love. Make two loaves and freeze one. It’s decadently rich. The second time I made it, I ate a loaf and felt ill for a week… but it was worth it.
The Pioneer Woman’s Olive Cheese Bread
Combine 1 stick (appx 113g) of butter, 1/2 c (4 fl oz) mayonnaise, 3/4 lb cheese and 6 oz each black and green olives, chopped, in a bowl. She recommends monterey jack but I used a “4 quesos” blend which has cheddar, emmental, and who knows what else. Spread onto two halves of a loaf of french bread (or ciabatta, if your baguettes are too skinny to stand up to the mixture). Bake at 325F (about 160c) until melted and browning, about 30 minutes. Remove, slice, and serve hot!
After reading Eating our Words’ post on grilled mac n cheese weeks ago, I decided to recreate the oozy goodness myself. After all, what else would I do with a huge batch of easily the world’s most delicious macaroni and cheese?
The execution was straightforward, and as the sandwich started to sizzle, the aromas of browning butter and melted cheese were irresistible.
Mmmmm… delicious! My only change would be to salt the leftover mac a bit more, and heat it up before sticking it in this carb-monster. The grilling action by itself was simply not enough to heat all the mac n cheese goodness all the way through. But the buttery, cheesy, oozy, crunchy and pasta-y (? whatever) textures put this over the top.
A couple weeks later, wine bar 13 celsius tweeted a peanut butter and jelly bacon and potato chip panini special. I had to get in on this one too… even if I didn’t have any bacon in the house.
Salty peanut butter and crunchy chip goodness with a sweet jelly note. Bacon might be the only thing that would make this amazing bit of genius even better. But I was on a roll and decided I needed a grilled sandwich dessert:
Grilled Camembert and potato chips. Creamy, nutty, crunchy, salty… next time… bacon!
I’m a pretty opportunistic baker, in that when I really want something but don’t quite have all the ingredients, I google until I find a close enough approximation, then wing it and hope for the best.
This unique recipe yields a more cake like texture than the dense, crumbly “banana bread” most of us are used to. I liked it! I hope you do, too.
Rich Banana Cake
Adapted from AllRecipes.com
Cream together 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup sugar. Add 3 eggs and beat well. Add 1 cup flour, 1 t baking powder, a smidge of salt and a scoop of instant coffee. Mix in 1-2 mashed bananas (I had 1 and a half. Don’t ask me how I ended up with half a banana in my freezer) and a handful of chopped walnuts.
Pour batter into a buttered and floured cake pan. Bake at 350F or 180C about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.