Banana Pecan Nut Muffins

We moved to London four months ago. It is a long time, but I have been too busy with all kinds of things and I have neglected my cooking blog which I feel so sorry about. Now the life has settled down a bit and I finally have time to start adding the recipes I have tested here. Nice.

I posted vanilla rasberry muffin recipe a long time ago. Here in England people seem to love all kinds of muffins, sweet and savoury. They also love so called ”breakfast loaf”  for breakfast. It is a small loaf shaped muffin and tastes heavenly. My favourite one over here is Costa Coffee’s Banana Pecan Breakfast Loaf. It is almost like a muffin, but not that buttery and sweet. I wanted to cook that kind of breakfast loaf, but I couldn’t find a recipe that looked good or worked. I tried one recipe, but I wasn’t happy with it at all. As I find the basic ingredients for my rasberry muffins so good I varied that recipe and created my own banana breakfast muffins. Below you can find the ingredients. They were super tasty!

6 large muffins

110 g butter

130 g white sugar (it is 1 1/2 dl= 2/3 cup)

3 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

210 g flour (it is 3 1/2 dl= 1 /2 cup)

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 jar (150-200g) Danone vanilla yoghurt

3 extremely ripe bananas

100g pecan nuts (crushed)

Preheat the oven 180 C degrees. Butter the muffin molds. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in the large bowl. In the other bowl, whisk butter and sugar until white and cream. Add the eggs one in time. Whisk well all the time. Add dry ingredients  into creamy butter-sugar-egg mixture. Mix well, do not whisk. Finish by adding vanilla extract and Danone yoghurt.  Mash the bananas with the fork and add this mash to the dough as well as the pecan nuts. Decorate the muffins with few pecan nuts. Bake them as long as they become beautiful and browny.

Fawlty Towers Walfdorf Salad

Anyone who has ever watched a lovely British TV-series called Fawlty Towers will remember the episode called Waldorf Salad. In this episode a fancy American comes to stay in the hotel and Basil seems to blow everything -like usually-. When eating in the hotel restaurant this American snob wants to have Waldorf salad, nothing else suits for him than this particular salad. He comes from New York and there ”one can find it anywhere”. But Basil is silly and not aware of this American side dish and keeps on asking: ”What is a Waldorf anyway, a walnut that’s gone off?”

Whilst being only an entertaining British sitcom this Fawlty Towers episode includes a small piece of history anyway. Waldorf salad is a legendary salad created between 1893 and 1896 at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City. The American is right, in New York you can find it anywhere since the end of 19th century. It landed a bit later in Europe.

Encouraged by this hilarious Fawlty Towers episode I had to try this famous salad. I made it last summer when our American friend was visiting us from New York. I thought it would be a funny thing to do. There are different variations of this salad, but the main ingerdients stay the same. I searched for the recipes and one that seemed to look good to me I tested. This salad is an extremely nice side dish for BBQ. We ate it at the summer cottage and liked it. It tastes quite mayonnaisy, even though it isn’t. Actually it is a very refreshing salad because of pineapples and youghurt. Maybe try it next time when having some BBQ?

Four portions:

1 celeriac ( in some recipes you find sliced celeri sticks)

2 apples

4 tbs cream

3 tbs mayonnaise

4 tbs youghurt

2 tbs lemon juice

4 tbs walnuts

1 dl pineapple slices

salt, white pepper, sugar

1. Combine cream, mayonnaise, yoghurt and lemon juice.

2. Cut the apple into small cubes and grate the celeriac.

3. Mix apple, grated celeri, pineapples and walnuts together. Add the mayonnaise mixture in it. Spice the salad with salt and pepper. Finish the taste with some sugar.

Serve it with a good steak!  You can get some variation in flavour by using celeri instead of celeriac!

Jerusalem Artichoke Purée

We had a fancy dinner night with the girls and we created the whole 4 course menu for ourselves again. This amazing mousse was something that crowned the mouthwatering main course that was goat cheese stuffed guinea fowl filets wrapped in bacon. The taste of guinea fowl is more gamy than basic chicken and it goes so well with the smoky tasting Jerusalem artichoke. This combination is part of my menu suggestions including selection of wines. Try it and you won’t regret!

500g Jerusalem artichokes

1/2 lemon pressed

1/2 dl canola oil

2 egg yolk

1 1/2 dl Turkish yoghurt ( 10% fat)

salt

1. Boil the artichokes in the water where half of lemon has been pressed in. Cook them until they are soft.

2. Purée the artichokes. Add half of desilitre of oil and mix well. Then add the egg yolks and in the end add the Turkish yoghurt and mix well.

3. Spice it with a pinch of salt.

4. Serve it with chicken or guinea fowl and nice white wine!

Prunes in Meringuecream -Toast for Finnish White Winter

This is one of my favourites of wintertime desserts. It gives the flavour of Finnish Christmas cookies combined with punch prunes, white snowflakelike meringue and fresh youghurtcream.

2 dl prunes

1dl punch

1 dl water

Cream:

1 1/2 dl of cream

1 jar (150g) Bulgarian youghurt (thick sour natural youghurt)

(2-3 tbsp lemon juice)

christmas cookies

Meringue:

1 egg white

1/2 dl white sugar

1/2 tbsp lemon juice

Make meringue well beforehand (or buy it ready). Whisk the egg white, sugar and lemon juice. Place it on a baking tray. If you cook it by yourself remember to bake it for a long time in low temperature, approximately 100c degrees.

This dessert is served individually in cups.

Cut the prunes into small cubes. Put the prunes, punch, water and lemon juice into a sauce pan, cook for 5 min until the prunes turn soft. Let it cool for a while. Whip the cream and mix it with the youghurt and lemon juice. Crush the christmas cookies and put them in the bottom of the cup. Make layers by using crushed cookies, prunemixture and creamyoghurt. On the top of the dessert sprinkle some crushed meringues.

This dessert is not too sweet, but such a lovely wintertime surprise for dessert!

Vanilla Raspberry Muffins

I just got an email from my friend few days ago. The last lines were: I really do miss your muffins. Eveytime I pass your house, the muffins you served flash into my mind

This Vanilla Raspberry Muffins -recipe is one of my secret recipes. I haven’t shared it in public until now. The secrecy is the moist yoghurt like texture. If you wanna make sure that if people don’t miss you they at least miss your muffins, bake these vanilla raspberry ones. Every time I bake these muffins the same delirious reaction occurs.

6 large muffins

110 g butter

130 g white sugar (it is 1 1/2 dl= 2/3 cup)

3 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

210 g flour (it is 3 1/2 dl= 1 /2 cup)

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 jar (150-200g) Danone vanilla yoghurt

Preheat the oven 180 C degrees. Butter the muffin molds. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in the large bowl. In the other bowl, whisk butter and sugar until white and cream. Add the eggs one in time. Whisk well all the time. Add dry ingredients  into creamy butter-sugar-egg mixture. Mix well, do not whisk. Finish by adding vanilla extract and Danone yoghurt. Bake and smile.

Taste of Rome -An Amazing Caesar Dressing

Mouth-watering Caesar Dressing:

1 egg yolk

3 small slices of anchovy

1 tbls water

1 tbls lemon juice

1 tsp mustard

1 dl of oil

1 garlic clove

black pepper

1dl of natural yoghurt

Mix the egg yolk and the slices of anchovy in a blender. Add water, lemon juice and mustard. Add the oil using the blender. In the end add the black pepper, garlic clove and the natural yoghurt. Enjoy with the fresh salad, crutons and parmesan cheese topping!