You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Gold Medal’ tag.
Ahem, may I say first, CONGRATULATIONS, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir on your Olympic gold medal! First ever Canadian gold in Ice Dance – and the youngest, too! Woot!
I’m not even a real fan of ice dance, but I watched their last two performances, and even I was converted.
Okay, back to banana bread.
What did people do with their leftover bananas before they invented banana bread? I’m one of those people who can’t eat a banana if there’s even one tiny spot of brown on it. I like my bananas a little green, actually, which is probably not even good for me. I think it’s the smell. I don’t actually want my bananas to smell like bananas. If it weren’t for banana bread, I would likely throw out my body weight in bananas every year. Between bananas and eggs, I think I have issues.
Whenever my bananas get a little too greebly (i.e. Jim has given up on them, too), I throw them in the freezer. From time to time I open my freezer, and the frozen bananas, having bred and multiplied, jump out and try to bruise my toes. Then I make banana bread.
Jim likes banana bread.
This is my most recent successful recipe:
1 ½ C whole wheat flour
1 C unbleached flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ C wheat germ
¼ C flax seeds
¼ C + 2 T apple sauce
2 T butter (at room temperature)
1 C brown sugar
3 large eggs
4 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed (if you’ve frozen them, they must be completely thawed)
¼ C 2% yoghurt (I use Liberty Organic)
½ C chopped walnuts, toasted
½ C semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 9×5” pyrex loaf pan with non-stick spray.
- In a non-stick pan over medium heat, toast wheat germ until browned. Stir constantly so it doesn’t burn. Remove from heat, and combine with flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and flax seeds in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl or in the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the sugar, applesauce and butter.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beat until well mixed.
- Add yoghurt & beat again.
- Add ½ of flour mixture and mix until well-combined.
- Add ½ of mashed bananas and mix again. Repeat with remainder of flour and bananas.
- Stir in walnuts and chocolate chips (quickly but don’t stir too many times).
- Pour into loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour to 1:15 (done when a toothpick comes out clean after inserted).
- Cool bread in pan for 20 minutes. Run a knife along the edges then gently tip the bread out of the pan onto a rack. Cool completely before cutting.
Olympic update (because I know you care)
I have so far been to two hockey games: women’s U.S. / Russia and men’s Russia / Slovakia. There’s been a bit of bitching in the media about women’s hockey being a two-team sport and some suggestion that it should not be in the Olympics because of that. You know what I have to say. F*ck that. There are a NUMBER of countries with excellent hockey programs (think Russia, for starters), whose women go out there and despite playing their hearts out, look like amateurs next to Canada and the U.S. The reason for that is investment. In their own countries. In women’s hockey. Despite all the hype, we don’t necessarily “breed” better female hockey players here. We just invest in them from a young age. We support them, not as well as we support our boys, but we’re getting there. The other countries, instead of bitching, could try doing the same. Or shut the hell up.
“You and my wife are very good at different things. But I think her Italian has yours beat.”
~ P. (B.’s husband)
P. uttered that comment after I spent 3 hours slaving away over lasagne for 900 while he lazed in the hot tub drinking scotch. You’d think he would have held his tongue, especially after I admitted to having “cheated” by using some store-bought components (did I mention it was lasagne for 900? Okay, maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but only a bit)! Oh, and did I mention that P. is firmly of the belief that everything is better with meat (i.e. beef or pork), ergo he is hopelessly biased??
I’m sorry, folks, that I’ve been largely absent for a while. I completely dropped “don’t cry over spilled milk” day so I owe you one. More importantly, I owe my ladies one. Due to extremely poor planning, I was at a ski lodge on Mount Washington with no computer (don’t worry, I’m not looking for sympathy). I tried skiing for the first time in many, many years. And confirmed my opinion: après-ski is much better than skiing itself.
Today is technically National Gumdrop Day. Whatever (and, really???). I’m waving my magic wand/pulling a fast one and substituting Papparadelle con Anatra e Funghi Brasati (nope, don’t speak a word of Italian; I used Babel Fish to help me figure out the translation).
Papparadelle with Braised Duck and Mushrooms
2 T extra-virgin olive oil (separated)
2 duck legs, skin and visible fat removed; cut into 2 at joints
salt and pepper
2 large shallots, thinly sliced)
1 head garlic, cloves peeled and thinly sliced
1/3 C sweet red vermouth (because that’s all I had)
2 C chicken stock (home made if at all possible)
2 sprigs thyme
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
2 C (approx) oyster mushrooms, stems removed and slightly shredded
1 Tbsp butter (cold)
1/2 C flat-leaf parsley, leaves only
1/4 C freshly-grated parmesan
1/2 recipe (about 1/2 lb) fresh pasta dough
- Season duck parts with salt and pepper.
- Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in dutch oven over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Add duck pieces and brown on all sides. Remove duck from pan and set aside. Lower temperature to medium.
- Add remaining Tbsp of olive oil to pan. Add garlic and shallots and cook until slightly browned, stirring constantly. Deglaze pan with vermouth, using spoon to scrape browned bits from bottom of pan. Add chicken stock, thyme and dried poricinis.
- Return duck to pan, add a pinch of salt and reduce heat to simmer. Cover and simmer for 1 hour, until duck pulls away from bones (turn duck pieces once if liquid does not quite cover).
- Remove duck from stock and set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly. Remove thyme sprigs and discard. Shred duck from bones, discarding veins, cartilage, fat etc. Return duck to stock.
- Simmer duck in stock until reduced by 2/3 (approx 30 minutes).
- Meanwhile, roll pasta dough through machine to thinnest setting (I added 2 Tbsp pepper to the dough while I was making it). Cut sheets into 6-inch lengths and then into 2-inch slices for papparadelle.
- Bring large pot (5L) of water to a boil with 3 Tbsp table salt (this is not a time to use kosher or sea salt).
- Add oyster mushrooms to duck mixture and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Quickly stir in cold butter.
- Add pasta to boiling water and cook for 1 1/2 minutes or until al dente. Reserve 1 C of water before pouring pasta into strainer.
- Add pasta to duck and stir gently to incorporate ingredients. Add reserved pasta water as required to keep sauce at desired consistency (i.e. saucy).
- Plate pasta, scooping mushroom / duck mixture on top.
- Top with parmesan and parsley. Serve.
We ate this pasta while celebrating with a large bottle of wine. Not Valentine’s Day (please), but Alexander Bilodeau’s Gold Medal – the first gold medal won by a Canadian on Canadian soil, ever, and also the first Canadian gold medal in the 2010 Olympics.
Go Canada Go!
Oh, and p.s.: Take that, P.