Hazelnut Apricot Whole Wheat Bread

DSCN2442I’m really in to braids right now. Yep, braids. I haven’t had a haircut in about 7 months and my hair is getting long and unruly. I’m reluctant/too lazy/afraid to find a new hair salon so I’m rocking a braid. I’ve even been watching YouTube tutorials to discover new styles and then I take pictures and send them to my friend Anna in the US. I’m super cool, I know.

But my most impressive braid is this bread!! I am so absolutely proud of it and I’m excited to share it with you. I got this recipe from The Great British Bake Off: How to Bake. I might have mentioned it before, but I’ve become a big fan of the TV show The Great British Bake Off. After every episode I always want to get in the kitchen and make something. So recently I went to the library and checked out the book and went on a baking spree trying out all kinds of things – and the more
complicated the better.  Continue reading

Pecan Banana Bread

DSCN2199I know green banana bread isn’t for everyone, so if you want something a little more normal here is a recipe for a regular banana bread. I like this recipe because it’s flavorful, moist, and it’s pretty close to healthy. It’s also not as sweet as some banana breads because the only added sweetener is a little honey and apple juice. Don’t get it twisted, it’s not purely healthy because there is a lot of butter.

To figure out how much butter I need, I used my scale. I’ve wanted a digital scale for awhile and I finally bought myself one soon after I moved to London. It was on clearance at a nearby department store and I thought, “this is a sign, I’m finally going to get it.” And it’s been totally worth it! All my UK recipes are in grams and this helps measure them. It also helps me convert my US recipes more easily. For example, I know that 1 tbsp of butter equals about 14g but what the heck does that look like? Now I don’t have to eyeball it, I can measure it! It’s awesome. And yes, I know I’m a bit dorky for getting excited about measurements.  Continue reading

Sweet and Tangy Wings

For me, chicken wings have sentimental value. That might sound like a stupid thing to say, but I think most people have at least one food that makes them feel happy, or nostalgic, or something gushy like that. Chicken wings are one of my happy foods.

Wings were a staple of my junior and senior year of college. Every Thursday, my friends and I would race to Cornerstone, our favorite local bar, to take advantage of 25¢ wings. The thing is, you had to arrive before 10pm to get the deal. If you couldn’t get there by 10, we would call in your order to one of our friends who was already there (and if you were first to arrive you usually had to order about half a dozen varieties of wings). But what made wing night so great, is that it was a standing date with my friends. We’d eat a ton, have a vodka cranberry (pretty much all of our drink of choice at the time), and then we’d dance all night. It was a blast, and today wings still remind me of happy times with my college buddies. Below are some college pictures, circa 2007.

Continue reading

Spicy Carrot & Beef Tagine

IMG_1916Thank you to everyone who submitted to the first-ever cooking is messy giveaway. Congratulations go to Meg, and her comment about Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma! That is a really great book, and one any food-lover should consider. So this weekend, I will be sending Meg her copy of Jacques Pepin’s Essential Pepin.  Before moving to the recipe, let me tell you just a bit about Meg. She is incredibly well-read and knowledgeable about books.  Her blog, A Bookish Affair, has great reviews of all kinds of books (my favorite are the ones on historical fiction). And, she posts all the time! Seriously, many times a week. I’m always impressed by how often there is a new post. You all should check her out! Continue reading

Pan-Seared Steak Marinated in a Spicy Soy Sauce

image (14)When I made – and promptly ate – this dish, I wasn’t thinking about the blog so as a result the pictures aren’t that good. Sorry. I’m not the best photographer and then I wasn’t paying attention to food aesthetics. But, this marinade was so good I had to share it. It has excellent, bold flavor that I haven’t often been able to get when I’ve made steak in the past.

If you’re not a fan of spicy this might not be the recipe for you. It’s not very spicy in the way of hot wings. Instead, it leaves a pleasant tingly feeling on the lips and mouth after each bit. It’s a nice after effect. Continue reading