Banana Peach Bread

Photo by Donaville Herrick

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 8 tbsp of room temperature unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 ripe peach
  • 1 tbsp of milk (I used Silk’s very vanilla soy milk)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt

Banana bread is always a huge hit in my house. I bake it at least once a month and it literally only lasts two days. My little dearests love it and the Mr. — let’s just say that next to bacon, banana bread is his biggest weakness. And it suddenly just dawned on me that I should try sprinkling bits of bacon on top of the next fresh loaf of banana bread I bake. I’m pretty sure Mr. will be pleased to the nth degree.

Last week, I added a peach to the banana bread recipe I always use and the result was nothing short of marvelous. I served banana peach bread for dessert one evening with a side of sliced peaches and banana, to further enhance the banana and peach flavors. The kiddos thoroughly enjoyed eating banana peach bread, though we were a little banana’d and peached out afterwards.

The directions for this recipe are from the Food Network, with the addition of a peach on my part and the use of a blender instead of a fork when it comes to mashing the fruit.

banana peach bread recipe

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 325 ° F. Butter a 9″ x 5″ x 3″ inch loaf pan.

2. Cream the sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

3. In a blender, blend the bananas and peach together adding a little bit of milk. Mix in the milk and cinnamon. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

4. Add the banana peach mixture to the creamed mixture and stir until combined. Add dry ingredients, mixing just until flour disappears.

5. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove bread from pan, invert onto rack and cool completely before slicing.

6. Slice and enjoy. Goes great with a bit of butter or a scoop of ice cream.

About Donaville Herrick

Donaville is the Founder of Dearest Nature and also Co-Founder and Creative Director of Hello Hello Hi. When visions of nature and web design aren't dancing in her head, she enjoys spending time with her three munchkins, baking cupcakes, and trying her hand at various crafts. Follow her on Twitter to stay updated with her day-to-day musings.

Summer and a Simple Radish Sandwich

Photo by Beverly Wang

Ingredients:

  • 1 slice of bread of your choice
  • 1 French breakfast radish, sliced thinly (a mandoline is great for this)
  • butter, softened to spreadable consistency
  • dijon mustard, optional
  • sea salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper

With the local farmer’s markets in full bloom lately, I’ve been trying to make the most of all the fresh produce available. Last weekend, I was browsing a stand when I came upon this lovely bunch of radishes. With their petite size and whimsical elongated shape (up until this point, I had only seen the round variety in my grocery store), I couldn’t help but pick up a bunch to try. These variety of radishes are known as French Breakfast Radishes, which are known for their delicately sweet flavor and crispness. After washing one and taking a bite; I knew that I had to use them in a way that would let their delicate flavor shine.

radishes / photo by Beverly Wang

The French eat these radishes on tartines (a sort of open-faced sandwich); simply prepared with butter and a dash of salt.  As I’ve mentioned in the past, I love meals that are simple and allow the main ingredient to shine; this sandwich is a perfect example of that. Light, refreshing and easy to make; I’m sure I’ll be eating this sandwich frequently in the warm days to come. I’ve used my hippie-dippie sprouted raisin bread for my version, but I’m sure any hearty bread of your choice will be delicious too. I couldn’t help but put a thin slathering of dijon mustard, but I’m of the type to put mustard on every kind of sandwich I eat.

radish sandwich / recipe and photo by Beverly Wang

French Breakfast Radish Tartines (makes one tartine)

Directions

1. Spread butter (and mustard if you choose) on one side of the bread and top with sliced radishes.

2. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

3. Devour.

radish sandwich / recipe and photo by Beverly Wang

Enjoy! How are you taking advantage of all the season’s great produce?

About Beverly Wang

Beverly is a web applications developer living in lovely Southern California. When she's not writing code, you'll probably find her in the kitchen or out capturing moments of her daily life with her camera. Never content to sit still, she always finds herself trying to do ten things at once. She believes that good food, made with love and from scratch, is the panacea for all ills.

AT&T (Avocado, Tofu and Tomato) Salad

Photo by Beverly Wang

Ingredients

  • 1 medium avocado
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes (8-10 pieces)
  • 1 4 oz. block of firm tofu*
  • 1 medium lime
  • black bean soy sauce**
  • shichimi togarashi***

I’ve been on an avocado kick lately. I’ve been putting it into sandwiches, mashing it for guacamole, and making lovely salads like this one. With an abundance of healthy fats, fiber, and vitamins C and K, there’s no reason why avocados shouldn’t be a part of one’s daily diet. I love them for their luscious, creamy texture and how they seem to have a cooling effect when I eat them; avocados are the perfect food to bridge between spring and summer.

AT&T Salad / recipe and photos by Beverly Wang

This recipe comes courtesy of my mom; she used to make this Asian-esque caprese salad, with tofu instead of cheese (we, unfortunately, are mostly lactose-intolerant in this family), shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven-spice pepper) instead of black pepper, and aged black bean soy sauce instead of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Tossed with a splash of lime juice, this salad is tangy, light, yet substantial enough to be eaten as a meal. It may seem like a random assortment of ingredients, but trust me; it’s delicious.

AT&T Salad / recipe and photos by Beverly Wang

Notes:

* About ⅓ of a standard water-packed package. If you’re tofu adverse, feel free to substitute with any cheese of your choice. Indian paneer, mozzarella, or feta would all be great choices here.

** This is a Taiwanese specialty soy sauce. It’s akin to aged balsamic vinegar in that it’s got a more viscous texture and a more complex flavor profile; it’s got notes of bitterness and sweetness.  Try to seek this out if you can in your local asian grocery (in Chinese: 醬油膏, usually labeled “black bean soy sauce paste”, or simply “soy sauce paste”); if you can’t find it, feel free to substitute with your favorite brand of tamari or soy sauce.

*** Shichimi togarashi; literally, “seven flavor chili pepper” is a Japanese condiment consisting of seven ingredients. Can be found in Japanese and asian grocers but can be substituted with your favorite chili powder.

Directions

1. Wrap the tofu in several layers of paper towels and pat dry. Cut the tofu into small cubes, about ½” in size. Put into a medium mixing bowl.

2. Depending on their size, halve or quarter the cherry tomatoes. Try to match their size to the size of the tofu cubes. Add to the mixing bowl.

3. Add enough soy sauce to just coat the tomatoes and tofu (see picture above). Mix so that the soy sauce coats the mixture evenly.  I try to do this step before adding the avocado so that the avocado doesn’t get too bruised in

the mixing process.

4. Cut the avocado into similarly sized pieces and add it to the tofu/tomato mixture. Add the juice of half a lime. Add more or less, to taste. Sprinkle with a few shakes of shichimi togarashi and toss lightly to combine.

5. You can choose to serve it immediately, or chill to let the tofu absorb more of the flavor. Either way, it’s delicious.

6. Enjoy!

AT&T Salad / recipe and photos by Beverly Wang

About Beverly Wang

Beverly is a web applications developer living in lovely Southern California. When she's not writing code, you'll probably find her in the kitchen or out capturing moments of her daily life with her camera. Never content to sit still, she always finds herself trying to do ten things at once. She believes that good food, made with love and from scratch, is the panacea for all ills.

Drinking Dandelions

Photo by Amy Renea

Dandelions are perhaps the most recognizable weed in America.  Those little yellow tops pepper the lawns of homes and universities alike, and keep lawn care companies in business.  Of course, you might not know that those leaves and those little yellow button tops are completely edible.  Many of our weeds are!  Remember purslane?

Today’s weed though is that sweet little flower that we love blowing in the wind to alight our wishes.  (p.s. Don’t eat those seeds — they don’t taste very good!  Just eat the flowers and leaves!)

hibiscus and dandelion tea / photo by Amy Renea

My favorite way to eat dandelions is in a sweet dandelion hibiscus tea.  A combination of sweet and slightly bitter, the tea is perfect for breakfast as a hot tea and also works as a sweet iced tea in the afternoon.

For the full recipe, visit A Nest for All Seasons and start brewing!

I knew you might want more than just tea, so I’ve collected some of my favorite dandelion recipes for you!

Let’s start with more beverages:

  • My Herbal Journey has a wonderful Dandelion Tea Recipe, while Mother Earth News has a delicious Dandelion Wine.
  • To preserve the fruit, you might want to try a Dandelion Jelly.  The Best Nest has a good recipe!
  • Last, but not least, how about a Dandelion Coffee?  Did you know that folks often made dandelion coffee during the Great Depression when coffee was hard to come by?  It is certainly not as good as our favorite brew, but is a pretty good understudy!  Check out this recipe on www.learningherbs.com.

Are you convinced yet?  Go pick a couple of those little lovelies and give them a try!  You never know — you might just find your new favorite free food!

About Amy Renea

Amy is a freelance photographer and writer based out of Hershey, PA. She spends her days chasing children and chickens around the back yard, sipping on dandelion tea and munching on sweet potato chips. Come visit the Nest for All Seasons to learn more about her food, photography, DIY designs and modern garden living!

Almond Poppy Seed Baked Oatmeal

Photo by Abigail Bradshaw

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds

My family had a full on addiction to almond poppy seed muffins from Costco when I was growing up – we went through at least a dozen a week. To be fair, there were six of us! Now that we’ve grown up and started to appreciate more wholesome ingredients, this is a healthy way that I still get that flavorful fix.

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350/F and lightly oil four medium-sized ramekins.

2. Mix all of the ingredients together and then bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.

3. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then serve with a pat of butter on top or with warm milk and fresh fruit.

4. Check your teeth for poppy seeds afterwards, and enjoy!

baked oatmeal recipe by Abigail Bradshaw

About Abigail Bradshaw

Creating good food is one of Abigail's favorite ways to share her love for creative composition with the people around her — mixing flavors, colors, and textures to create a delicious and quickly-eaten whole. When she's not in the kitchen, she's a multi-disciplinary creative living in the lovely Boise, Idaho, and running her independent creative business The Notion Creative Labs.