Let me start by saying that I'm not the type of food blogger who buys a nice camera, learns a little Photoshop, and then starts calling myself as a "photographer". I have a lot to learn and I respect the art and its artists too much to consider myself among them. Besides, I'm a graduate student- I can't afford Photoshop- let's be real. But I am the type of food blogger who is ecstatic to have a new toy that can vastly improve the quality of my photographs. And I'm a little bit in love with these macro shots. Ok, a lot (hence the long-form photo post). Aren't they pretty !?
Toasted bran muffins sweetened with brandy-poached raisins, honey, and a sprinkle of bee pollen
A lighter take on custard with homemade pistachio milk, a touch of honey, and cardamom
There have been a lot of soft foods in the house lately. Chris has been getting some dental work done and eating cautiously to avoid a toothache in the meantime. On day one he brought home some preserved fruits, applesauce, bunches of soup, and pudding. Dark chocolate Jello brand pudding- those powder packets that you whisk some milk into. And although at first it seemed like just another strange mutant food product from my childhood, I have to admit that it was pretty delicious. With the weather heating up fast here, I couldn't help but think how wonderful it would be to have a cold pudding or custard around the house more often. I was not, however, sold on the prospect of eating a whole bunch of milk and sugar granules all summer long. I thought perhaps a nut milk would serve as a healthier alternative and soon it became abundantly clear what I had to do. I had to make pistachio milk. I have distinct memories of eating Jello's lime green, ridiculously artificial pistachio pudding. I used to love it, long before I ever loved actual pistachios. So now as a pistachio-lover trying to avoid dairy and artificial flavors, everything has come full circle in this pistachio milk custard, lightly sweetened with honey and accented with a hint of cardamom. This custard came together like some kind of fated romantic encounter, leaving me completely and utterly in love. It's light and creamy, nutty and floral. It feels decadent, but it's high in protein, packed with healthy omegas, and low in sugar. Indulgence doesn't have to be bad for our bodies, my friends. And you can safely indulge away with this one.
Over-ripened bananas, bitter dark chocolate , and a sweet, salty, crunchy peanut topping
When I was young, I hated bananas. They are stringy and soft and, at times, off-puttingly sweet. I don't think that any of my sisters ever cared for bananas much either, but for whatever reason, my mom kept buying them. It seemed as though we constantly had a big bunch of uneaten, overripe bananas sitting in our fruit basket. Thinking back on it now, I wonder if my mom knew each time that she purchased bananas that their fate would be to become banana bread. I don't think I know a single person who doesn't like a good banana bread, regardless of their stance on bananas- myself and my sisters included. And we ate a lot of banana bread growing up. Not only did my mother make it often, but every time we visited my Nana, she'd send us home with a loaf or two and a jar of peanut butter. I'm happy to report that I do enjoy bananas now. In fact, I have several banana trees in the yard and harvest dozens upon dozens of little apple bananas every year. But once a banana starts browning, even the slightest, it may as well be banana bread already. Bananas are like peaches or melons, in that if you don't eat it in just the right window of time, they loose all of their best attributes. So I buy my bananas under-ripe and as soon as the body yellows up, I start eating them daily. Somehow last week, the bananas got neglected, and since there are few things more unpleasant to me than eating an over-ripe banana, I knew exactly what I had to do. And as often happens in the kitchen, a simple recipe that I intended to follow (my Nana's) got away from me. Happily, it led me to this creation, which, so far, has only received reviews along the lines of "Oh my god- that banana bread!".
Hi there! I'm Cara- plant ecologist, gardening addict, and whole foods enthusiast. My whole life revolves around plants, including my kitchen. Join me here at LWM each week as I post local, seasonal, plant-based recipes and write about my never ending quest to find balance and tranquility in this crazy little world.