Thursday, May 15, 2014

Lemon-Poppy Seed Biscotti

I like rituals. They give me a peace of mind. They settle me into a permanence that I can take comfort in. It's not that I don't like change; instead, it is because rituals excite change that I like them. I love the ritual of coffee, the familiarity of its taste. I used to have a working espresso machine, and I must say, it was one of the best purchases I made. I used to enjoy grinding the coffee beans, packing my espresso, and watching it extract to form a crema. I enjoyed how hands-on the process was, how involved I had to be to get my morning cup. With it broken (R.I.P), I now must resort to buying espresso, and while it is no great inconvenience, it is expensive.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Brown Butter, Sesame Seed Banana Bread

Sometimes, I feel homeless. Not in the sense that I do not have a home--I do--but because I do not have a space that is all mine. Is that selfish? To have a comfortable home surrounded by people you love and yet still feel discontent?

 I don't know.

But the thing is I share everything. My room, my closet, my bed. There isn't a corner that is mine to personalize or a space to escape to.

Once I moved away from home to go to college, and since then came back, home has not felt like home used to. I have been told that once you move away coming back is not the same and I do believe that. Eventually I will be able to afford my own place, or at least space, but until then I will have to quiet myself with knowing that all things have their time.

There are certain smells whose essence conjures the nostalgia of home. Fresh baked banana bread is one of those. It smells of warm, ripe bananas, cinnamon and clove. This is a one bowl, no mess bake that requires some old bananas and no patience. Just mix with a spoon, bake, cool, eat. I like baking like this: simple, no frills.

This recipe is a combination of herehere, and here. This recipe is my go to banana bread at all times. We used to make it all the time at the restaurant. I wanted to add a little something extra to it this time though, and since I love brown butter and sesame seeds, I decided to combine everything into one bread. If you don't have sesame seeds, don't worry, its not essential. However, I will admit that their nuttiness adds something extra to this bread. Ripe bananas are a must, so buy some extra bananas next time you are at the grocery store and give them a few days on the counter.

Brown Butter, Sesame Seed Banana Bread

In one bowl combine

3-4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup browned butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
pinch of clove
1 1/2 cup of A.P flour
1/4 mixed sesame seeds

Bake at 350 for 40-50 min until toothpick in center comes out clean.

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