There should be a banana bread for every season. In spring, with it’s fresh mornings, bright evenings and new blooms, banana bread should be kept pure and simple. Rich in flavour, dense in texture and a celebration of the pure banana experience. In summer you want to kick it up a notch by flinging in some pineapple and shredded coconut, or a burst of citrus with lime juice and zest, or a generous handful of summer berries to add some summertime sass to your favourite banana loaf recipe.
By the time Autumn rolls around you’re through with fruit and salad and any pretence at healthy snacks, you want indulgent treats to help you suffer the wind, rain and ever darkening days. The only answer? NUTELLA! Yes, the autumn banana bread must surely contain a substantial swirl of my favourite thing to come out of a jar. Some sort of peanut butter concoction would also be perfect, just don’t forget the chocolate chips. (more…)
About a month or so ago I was contacted by the publisher Phaidon who asked if I would like a copy of one of their new books to try out, review and, if I liked it, blog about it. Now, everyone likes free stuff and I love cookbooks so of course I accepted gratefully. With that eager response I totally forgot all about it until a mysterious heavy package arrived at home a couple of weeks ago. It was addressed to me but I was sure I hadn’t ordered anything lately…had I?
So I opened it with a slight tad of suspicion only to be delightfully surprised with the promised new book ‘What to Bake and How to Bake it’ by Jane Hornby. And it really is delightful. Even before I had delved in to its pages the eye-catching illustrated front cover held great promise. The inside didn’t disappoint either. This really is a ‘how-to’ of baking. The book has a blog feel to it as all of the ingredients and steps to each recipe are photographed meticulously. Each recipe is delivered in the same simplistic format which would be very easy for the novice baker to follow.
The cover is gorgeous, bright and the interesting design would certainly make you pick it up for a flick through in a book shop but if you are after evocative or arty food photographs then that’s not what this book is about. I think that’s ok though, because this book is meant to be a tool to teach which in my opinion is successfully does.
Way back (well, not really that far back) at the start of July I put together the beginnings of a ‘Summer Bucket List’ and now that we’re heading towards the middle of August and the end of summer it occurred to me that I better check up on my progress as time is running out.
The results are in…
Start using the skipping rope I bought on a whim about a month ago.Well, I did this once following the production of this list, so technically…
Have a barbecue at the beach.Yes! I even swam in the loch.
Finish the band t-shirt patchwork quilt I started a year ago – probably more a winter task but it’s been sitting under my bed for so long I can’t take it any more, and there will be rainy summer days to fill. Seriously, who was I kidding??