Banana Waffles

Banana Waffles
Our three-year-old has mastered the art of bedtime procrastination. If you ask him when he’s supposed to go to sleep, he says 10:00 without hesitation. I hate to admit it, but he’s not far off. The other night I was in the process of packing lunches for the next day when he popped out of bed again and strolled into the kitchen. His hand reached up to the counter to grab half a banana, and then he devoured it.

He absolutely loves fruit, so I always make sure to have bananas, melon, pineapples and other things around for him. We are fortunate that I can make sure our house is stocked with fresh fruit, but that’s not the case for every family. I’ve partnered with Fyffes to share these banana waffles that combine two of my son’s favorites, banana bread and waffles, into one.

For any banana-related post on social media, Fyffes will donate 20 pounds of bananas to Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin. Just use the tags #BananaLoversDay and #FightHungerWithFyffes. The campaign started on August 16th and runs through August 27th, National Banana Lovers Day. Please join in to help Fyffes reach their goal of donating 5,000 pounds of bananas! Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin distributes over 25 million pounds of food to meal programs, food pantries and shelters in the area.

Banana Waffles
Banana Waffles
Loosely adapted from King Arthur Flour

Serves 4

3/4 cup white whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg
1-1/2 cups buttermilk
1/3 vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large banana mashed
Maple syrup, chopped walnuts, sliced bananas and other fruit

Preheat a waffle iron.

In a medium bowl, combine both flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl. whisk together the egg, buttermilk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract followed by the mashed banana. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined.

Bake the waffles until golden brown. Serve with maple syrup, chopped walnuts, sliced bananas and other fruit.

This post is sponsored by Fyffes.

Blackberry Pound Cake

Blackberry Pound Cake
Call me weird, but I think the reason I love blackberries is because of their seeds. There is something so satisfying about their sweet flavor and almost crunchy bite. When I was pregnant, I had a major blackberry craving. At the time I worked in downtown Chicago near 2 weekly farmers markets. I would go to the same stands to buy a quart of blackberries, head back to my desk and start snacking, nearly polishing them off. There were far worse things I could have been overeating!

I still go crazy every blackberry season mashing them into yogurt and cooking them down into small batch jams. Last weekend I baked a loaf of blackberry pound cake. After pureeing berries with a little sugar, I spooned them carefully into the batter and dragged a skewer through the loaf to create a ribbon of blackberries. For pound cake, the slices were light and not too dense. I ate the cake for breakfast, snack-time and even for dessert with a side of fresh blackberries, of course.
Blackberry Pound Cake
Blackberry Pound Cake
Adapted from Everyday Food July/August 2010

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature plus more for pan
3 ounces blackberries
1-1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch-by-5-inch loaf pan, line with parchment paper and butter the parchment.

In a food processor, puree the blackberries with 1 tablespoon sugar.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, salt and baking powder. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the butter and remaining sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract. On low speed, add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with the sour cream and beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.

Spoon about half the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Add half the blackberry puree and layer with the remaining batter followed by the rest of the puree. Drag a skewer through the batter to create a swirl. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center or the loaf comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 30 minutes before removing the loaf and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Corn Edamame Succotash

Corn Edamame Succotash
Yesterday at the farmers market I picked out 4 ears of corn and a bunch of scallions. We are coping with a major tomato surplus in our garden, so I am trying to balance it out with other fresh fruit and veggies. Don’t get me wrong—I’m NOT complaining. Having too many tomatoes is an absolute dream. Fingers crossed we can recreate this magical soil mix, so we have the same bounty next summer.

When I was about to pay for everything at the market, the farmer said I should grab 2 more ears of corn, because 4 were the same price as 6. I didn’t read the sign to see the deal. At home I fired up the grill and made corn edamame succotash. The classic version uses lima beans, but I had a partial bag of edamame stashed in my freezer. Plus edamame is way more exciting than lima beans, right?
Corn Edamame Succotash
Corn Edamame Succotash

Serves 4-6

3 ears corn, shucked
1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for serving
1/4 teaspoon black pepper plus more for serving
1-1/2 cups shelled edamame, cooked
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered, if large
2 scallions thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chives

Preheat a gas or charcoal grill on high heat.

Rub the corn with 1 teaspoon olive oil and grill until lightly charred, about 5-7 minutes. Let the corn cool slightly before slicing the kernels off the cob.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and the remaining olive oil.

In a large bowl, combine the corn, edamame, tomatoes, scallions and chives. Stir in the lemon vinaigrette. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.


Cherry Pie

Cherry Pie
My lazy streak came to an end last week. Finally a combination of inspiration and motivation hit, and before I knew it, I was baking a fruit pie. The dough is never the hard part since I always whip up mine in the food processor. For me, it’s a foolproof way to ensure flaky, buttery crust with dough that hasn’t been overworked.

The filling was a cinch, too. For this cherry pie, I just folded the fruit into sugar, cornstarch and vanilla extract. The lattice crust was where I went all out using one of my most trusty kitchen tools, a metal ruler, to create a woven plaid. Once baked and golden brown, I almost hesitated to slice it, but I didn’t think twice after I took that first bite.
Cherry Pie
Cherry Pie
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living August 2007

Makes 1 pie

For crust
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour plus more for work surface
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1-1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
2-1/4 sticks (18 tablespoons), cold unsalted butter, cubed
4 to 6 tablespoons ice water

For filling
2 pounds fresh cherries, pitted (I used sour cherries.)
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For pie
1 large egg, lightly beaten

In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse sand. With the motor running, slowly pour the water through the feeder tube. The dough will come together in about 30 seconds. Divide the dough in half, press into disks, cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour up to 2 days.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl, stir together the cherries, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and vanilla extract.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out one of the dough disks into an 11-inch diameter circle about 1/8-inch-thick. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate. Trim the dough.

Roll out the remaining dough into a rough 9-inch-by-12-inch rectangle. Cut into strips. Lay half the strips over the pie. Weave the remaining strips in the opposite direction, folding back the perpendicular strips as you go. (For lattice inspiration, try here and here.) Trim the strips creating a 1-inch overhang, Tuck the strips under the crust and crimp the edges. Brush with the beaten egg.

Bake the pie for 1 hour to 1 hour & 15 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. If the crust starts browning too quickly, loosely cover with foil.

Cool the pie to room temperature before serving.

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