Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Blog the first

I've always been intrigued with the notion of blogging yet was never quite sure of the forum I wanted to venture into. I mean if the cyber world will be reading my thoughts and ideas then it needs to be mind bending and done in the proper context. So here it and books. Yup, that's right two of my favorite topics neatly wrapped up into one. However, it goes one step further dare I say is actually books about food.

I am a huge fan of Molly Wizenberg and her blog Orangette (see blogs that I follow). I highly recommend her recipes as they are dead on.  Through her blog I  found This Book Makes Me Cook an online book group that incorporates all my favorite things. There are other like-minded individuals around the globe who are members. What are the chances that there are others out there with a food/book obsession?!?

My first book for the book club is authored by the aforementioned Molly Wizenberg, entitled A Homemade Life. We are to prepare a meal inspired from the readings. (Not an easy task as there are soooo many to choose from). Truth be told I tried most of the book's recipes. I devoured this book while on a sunny vacation with some friends. The combination of sun, water, food,(real and imaginary) book, and peaceful banter all in the dead of winter was fabulous. My sole regret was not being able to prepare any of her recipes immediately. My family was thankful for my due diligence and continues to reap its rewards. Her granola , and prunes (which I call plums to the squeamish) have become staples. Her father's (Berg) french toast was amazing, but my all time favorite is the chocolate chip cake. Once I make this it goes so quickly and a new batch is brewing within the day.

Ruth Reichel is awaiting.....

Banana Bread with Chocolate and Crystallized Ginger
Makes 1 loaf or 1 8-inch round cake
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
2 large eggs
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup well-stirred whole-milk plain yogurt (not low or nonfat)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Set a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 350F. Grease a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan or an 8-inch round cake pan with cooking spray or butter.
2. Melt the butter on the stove or in a microwave and set aside to cool slightly.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate chips and crystallized ginger and whisk well to combine. Set aside.
4. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a fork. Add the mashed banana, yogurt, melted butter, and vanilla and stir to mix well. Pour the banana mixture into the dry ingredients, and stir gently with a rubber spatula, scraping down the sides as needed, until just combined. Do not overmix. The batter with be thick and somewhat lumpy, just make sure all the flour has been incorporated. Scrape the batter into the loaf pan and smooth the top.
5. Bake into the loaf is a deep shade of golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 mins to an hour. If the loaf seems to be browning too quickly, tent with foil.
6. Cool the loaf in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Then tip out onto the rack, and let it cool completely before slicing. The loaf freezes well wrapped in plastic wrap and again in foil to protect from freezer burn.


  1. Hi Judy,

    A warm welcome to the world of blogging and to our book club. Unlike you I had never heard of or read Orangette till I read Molly's book. Boy, was I missing a lot! But that is what is great about this virtual community of writers. You get to learn something new everyday.
    The banana bread tempted me as well but this being the new year and all I decided to stick to a low fat, eggless version. Maybe by Aug I will muster up enough courage to make this one if not her wedding chocolate cake.

  2. Welcome, Judy! I hope you have a great time blogging. To me the banana bread was a serious contender when I had to decided what to cook. I agree with you, all the recipes are fabulous. Looking forward to reading more from you.

  3. Welcome to the club, Judy! You've picked a winner of a recipe

  4. Welcome to our book club and I hope you enjoy being with us. Yes, its a lovely book and full of great recipes. Have done my cooking from it but have to post yet.
    I love chocolate cake and shall be trying this soon.