Applesauce Banana Bread

Applesauce Banana Bread
This delicious recipe came to me as I clasped on the brink of brainstorming on how I can enjoy a warm, flavourful breakfast bread, but steer clear of a dry taste. As I was making this batch, I thought to myself, “What can kick this up a notch, and make it more savoury without compromising moisture?”. Then it came to me. Like a kick in the face as I opened up my fridge to fulfil my curiosity – old fashioned applesauce. Considering most of this week considered of soft and soluble foods as my intake due to my illness, I had a whole batch whipped up. Good luck, or a series of unfortunate events? Either way, applesauce is what took my usual banana bread over the edge and extra tasty!

Applesauce Banana Bread

3 ripe bananas
1 cup of applesauce
3/4 cup of white sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup of melted, salted butter (if not salted, add a pinch of salt)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup hemp seeds (hemp seeds are a healthy alternative to nuts – swap out with almonds if desired)
1 tsp cinnamon
A loaf tin

Serves: 1 loaf of banana bread

1. Mash ripe bananas in a medium size bowl. Add melted butter and mix.
2. Add sugar, egg, applesauce, hemp seed, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Mix.
3. Mix in baking soda and flour until fully combined – should have the consistency of thick cake mix.
Mix dry ingredients.
4. Lightly grease loaf tin, and pour in batter.
5. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.
Let cool.
6. Let cool for 10 minutes, then run a butter knife along the edges and flip over onto tea towel.
7. Serve, and enjoy!

Tip: Best when served fresh and still warm. If your making this in advance for the week like I do, wrap in plastic wrap and keep it in a cool place to lock in the moisture. Slice, and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds when you want a quick and warm breakfast meal!

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Open-Face Prosciutto and Turkey Sandwich on French Baguette

Open-Face Prosciutto Sandwich

This fast and easy Open-Face Prosciutto and Turkey Sandwich is great as an appetizer cut into bite-size meals, or when close-faced as a snack for the beach! Filled with crisp apple, baby arugula, salty prosciutto, turkey, and tangy Havarti, it sure beats goldfish in a box (which I also love).

Open-Face Prosciutto Sandwich on French Baguette

1 12-inch French baguette, sliced in half
8 slices prosciutto
5 slices Havarti cheese
8 slices lean turkey
1 apple (I used red delicious), halved and sliced
1 cup baby arugula
2 tsp butter (or margarine)
2 tsp lime juice

1. Butter bread, and layer.
2. Top off apple with lime juice.
3. Use optional halve of bread to top and cut into 12 bit-size sandwiches!

Roasted Tomato Crustini

Roasted Tomato Crustini

Hello all! I’ve been super busy lately with work, writing, and planning a beautiful trip to Europe! Oui, it is true! I am finally travelling overseas for my first trip to Paris and London. And with such cities as architecturally beautiful as Paris and London, one must also equip themselves with new accessories to capture these moments…like a new camera! Yes, on top of a trip to Europe (which my wonderful boyfriend has planned), I have ventured into the world of photography with my first DSLR camera, the Nikon 3100. Not only will I now be capable of capturing the lush green pasture of Paris’ Jardin du Luxembourg, but I will now have higher quality pictures for all of you readers to better present my delicious and fun recipes for you to view! On that note, I bring to you a little appetizer I created today in the midst of my daily mayhem – my Roasted Tomato and Buk Choy Crustini with Tzatziki Dressing.

Roasted Tomato and Buk Choy Crustini with Tzatziki Dressing
1 Large Roma tomato, thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
12 pieces of thinly sliced baguette bread
12 Baby Buk Choy
1/2 cup Tzatziki Dressing
Handful of Basil
Handful of Thyme
Olive Oil
Sea Salt

Serves: 12 Crustini

1. Lay out the bread on a cooking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle minced garlic evenly over pieces.
2. Preheat oven to 350F.
3. Next, dollop a small spoonful of Tzatziki Dressing onto each piece of bread.
4. After rinsing the Buk Choy, chop off ends and arrange leaves evenly on all pieces of bread.
5. Place 1 slice of tomato on each piece of bread; next, finely chop basil and thyme.
6. Sprinkle freshly cut herbs over bread and dash each piece with a pinch of sea salt; drizzle with olive oil once again.
7. Cook for about 10 minutes, then broil for about 2-3 minutes on 500F
8. Plate, and serve!

Bon Appetit!

Spring Is Here!

gardening
(image courtesy of gardena.com)

Spring is here! Not only does that mean that I am back to work, but that gardening season has finally arrived! An easy transition into gardening that can be discovered early in the season is planting fresh herbs and spices. Growing herbs takes no special gardening talent, and can be done early enough in the season that you can have fresh, beautiful herbs before the frost even melts! The easiest way to do this is in small pots that can be convenienty accessable to you – like on the kitchen windowsill.

Early spring and late fall are the times in the year that you can start, and finish, to grow certain herbs and spices to make your growing season last even longer. But be careful – not all herbs react positively to indoor planting. Below is a small guide to the planting and transplanting of popular garden herbs.

-Basil-
Start Seeds Indoors: March – April
Start Seeds Outdoors: Anytime after last Spring frost
Height: 1ft. – 2ft.
Spread: 1ft.
Light: Full Sun
Soil Conditions: Rich, Moist
Growth Type: Annual

-Chives-
Start Seeds Indoors: February – March
Start Seeds Outdoors: 1 Month before last Spring Frost
Height: 1ft. – 1.5ft.
Spread: 1.5ft.
Light: Full Sun
Soil Conditions: Rich, Moist
Growth Type: Perennial

-Cilantro & Coriander-
Start Seeds Indoors: Not Recommended
Start Seeds Outdoors: Anytime after last Spring frost
Height: 1ft. – 3ft.
Spread: 4 inches
Light: Part Shade – Full Sun
Soil Conditions: Light
Growth Type: Annual

-Dill-
Start Seeds Indoors: Not Recommended
Start Seeds Outdoors: 1 Month before last Spring frost
Height: 3ft. – 4ft.
Spread: 1ft.
Light: Full Sun
Soil Conditions: Rich
Growth Type: Annual

-Fennel-
Start Seeds Indoors: Not Recommended
Start Seeds Outdoors: 1 month before last Spring frost
Height: 1ft. – 2ft.
Spread: 1ft.
Light: Full Sun
Soil Conditions: Rich, Moist
Growth Type: Annual

-English Lavender-
Start Seeds Indoors: March
Start Seeds Outdoors: Anytime after last Spring frost
Height: 4ft. – 6ft.
Spread: 1ft. – 1.5ft.
Light: Full Sun
Soil Conditions: Rich
Growth Type: Annual

-Lemon Balm-
Start Seeds Indoors: February – Early March
Start Seeds Outdoors: Mid March – Early April
Height: 1ft. – 2ft.
Spread: 1.5ft.
Light: Part Shade – Full Sun
Soil Conditions: Rich, Well-Drained
Growth Type: Perennial

-Parsley-
Start Seeds Indoors: March – April
Start Seeds Outdoors: Anytime after last Spring frost
Height: 1ft. – 2ft.
Spread: 1ft.
Light: Full Sun
Soil Conditions: Rich, Moist
Growth Type: Perennial / Biennial (requires 2 growing seasons to flourish)