Friday, April 17, 2009

I'm Into Bread Lately

I started the day with a bowl of muesli with chopped banana (trying to use up those bananas) and milk. If my 20-month old son is home with me for lunch, I typically make some sort of sandwich; but today I went for a hot, kid-friendly lunch: mac and cheese. I added a couple of chopped up chicken hot dogs and some steamed green beans (it's kind of like a donut and diet coke, but not quite as bad). While I enjoyed mine all mixed together, my son picked out the hot dog pieces and had his green beans on the side. He used to be such a veggie eater, but now that he has been thoroughly introduced to treats like animal crackers, chocolate, and mildly sugary cereals, we fight more and more to get him to eat veggies. But that's another story for another time and another place.

I ended up making a loaf of banana bread (only three bananas left now!) that couldn't have been better. My son stood atop a kitchen stool and "helped" me. We mashed the bananas with our hands, stirred the dry ingredients together, cracked eggs into the sugar and butter, and had loads of fun assembling the batter. I was planning to use different elements of recipes from America's Test Kitchen and Nigella Lawson's How to Be a Domestic Goddess, but in the end I went with Nigella's version. The main difference was that her recipe called for rum-soaked golden raisins and less sugar and nuts; I liked the less sugar aspect and the golden raisins intrigued me. Lacking any rum, I simply soaked the raisins in boiling water. I'm sure the rum would have been a delightful addition, but the way I did it was fine. The bread was moist and just the right sweetness. The toasted walnuts (I did actually take the toasted part from America's Test Kitchen) added a lovely flavor that was a great complement to the sweetness.

The burgers were less than a success. My husband was planning to cook them on the grill but because he did not get home in time (and because I need to learn how to use the grill...once and for all), I cooked them on the stove top. I simply added grill seasoning to lean ground beef (the lowest fat Danish beef is 3-7 percent fat) rubbed some oil on the patties, and cooked in a saute pan. A grilled burger is so much more flavorful. Here's to a long grilling season ahead.

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