Banana bread is a classic treat often served with brunch or breakfast. Carrot cake, banana bread's “big sister”, is another classic favorite. What do you have when you cross banana bread and carrot cake together? Hummingbird cake! Hummingbird cake has long but rather unknown history in the South. The first known published recipe was in 1978 in Southern Living Magazine. Mrs. Wiggins, of Greensboro North Carolina submitted the recipe to the magazine after winning numerous awards and ribbons for the cake. The recipe went on to be the most requested recipe in the magazine's history.
One of my favorite times of the year is when the cherry trees begin to blossom; a signal that summer is drawing near and winter is around the corner. The fragrance and the beauty of these tiny blossoms is intoxicating!
Cherry trees produce small, bright red fruit perfect for pie, scones, jams, jellies and muffins. Cherries are so versatile they can even be used in savory applications such as sauces, salsas and bread stuffing.
Fireworks, picnics, cottages, bon fires...... If you live in the United States, the most beloved of all summer holidays is the Fourth of July. A time when our country celebrates its independence from Great Britain. A time for family, friends and celebration with food and drinks.
It's summer time, you are playing outside with your friends and you hear the familiar song of the ice cream truck. Instantly, you scatter to your houses asking (pleading with) your mother for money to buy a cold confection. You see him slowly come around the corner, your friends and you wait patiently as he makes his way down the street. Finally, he's here! So many choices plastered on the side of his truck. Do you want the bubble gum foot pop, the red white and blue firecracker pop or maybe the classic nutty cone. You settle on a the patriotic red, white and blue firecracker pop. Twenty minutes later, your face sticky in red and blue food coloring, you continue building your fort or riding bikes with friends. A garden hose at the end of the day turns into a make shift washroom to remove the dirt that has stuck to the red and blue drips on your face and hands.
If you live in any of the cold weather states, you have probably noticed the absence of good quality, seasonal fruits. There are your standard apples, oranges, strawberries and blueberries. Even these selections are shipped in from distant lands, beautifully ripened but void of any flavor. I did run into a small selection of what, I am guessing, is a leftover stock of stored plums at my local grocery store. After picking through a group of obviously-stored-too-long specimens, I found a few pounds of nice looking fruit that would be lovely in a fruit tart. Once baked in a buttery pecan crumb crust, the fruit could once again shine. And shine it did!
Bacon is one of the most delicious, mouthwatering meats. The smell of cooking bacon in the morning will wake just about anyone from the deepest sleep. But….. bacon isn’t just a side accompaniment for your over easy eggs. Bacon has gone mainstream and is now added to not only savory foods but also sweet confections. Bacon caramel corn, bacon vanilla shakes and bacon topped cupcakes are just a few of the creative ideas I have seen floating around the internet. Desserts with bacon combine the sweet and the salty to make the perfect sweet treat.
The children's book, Madeline, is a sweet story about a young girl and her escapades in Paris. It's a classic children's story that I have read to my daughter many, many times! As I baked the cookies, I imagined the spunky Madeline sitting down with her school mates, a spot of tea and a madeleine cookie in hand.
Raise your hand if you love coffee! Now raise your hand if you love your coffee with a splash of cream and a couple teaspoons of your favorite flavored syrup! I must admit I raised my hand. I love a perfectly made latte with vanilla syrup. But, they get expensive and I knew there was a simple and less expensive way to make my favorite drinks at home.
Sea salt is a relatively common seasoning found in most grocery stores, markets and restaurants. This type of salt is often used to season dishes without overpowering the complex flavors of the food, like iodized table salt sometimes will. While working on a recent project, I was astounded to learn that there is a very large variety of salts on the market today. Everything from black sea salt to salts from the volcanic ash of a mountain. After reviewing many of the salts, I realized just how versatile and flavorful salt can be. Beanilla sells vanilla Fleur de sel, and it is amazing! But we can't always wait for this delicious and versatile salt to be delivered to our door. We created a simple and delicious recipe that is the perfect gift for a hostess, as a parting gift at a wedding or kept in your pantry waiting for your next delicious creation!
Kahlua; a simple concoction of vodka, water, coffee and sugar cane. If you made some homemade Kahlua using our delicious recipe, you know that the addition of a Beanilla vanilla bean made this liquor even more delicious!!! Kahlua is definitely a popular liquor to pour over ice and leisurely sip on after dinner. Did you know that you can utilize this liquor in a variety of desserts and baked goods?! One of my very favorite pairings is with chocolate. Simply add a small amount to chocolate ice cream bases, drizzle into your favorite mousse recipe or make a batch of chocolate Kahlua cookies!