Blueberry banana bread

Blueberry banana bread
Blueberry banana bread
Blueberry banana bread
Blueberry banana bread
Blueberry banana bread
Blueberry banana bread
Blueberry banana bread
Blueberry banana bread


I have always been a bit of a fiend for a sugary crust. 
The specific crunch that sugar can create on a crust is perfection. 
Think back to that moment of bliss when you closed your eyes and did a little happy dance over that morsel you just popped in your mouth. 

I suppose it's all about the simple things. Simple things that have the ability to invoke a powerful emotional response.
Complex in their simplicity - these moments and experiences always have so much more going on that meets the eye. 

Unfortunately, it is oftentimes the simple things that are most taken for granted.
In a recent collaboration with Country Road, I had to stop and think about the simple things in life. 
The basics that move me. 

Baking in my kitchen is a staple to my happiness. Only then am I in my element with all my senses being nourished.
To smell a fresh loaf of bread in the oven, to breathe it in and have your heart warmed by it is a simple pleasure that I could go not without. 
In one breath, it has the power to bring my entire childhood back into the here and now rendering me overcome with memories long since forgotten and a lingering feeling of nostalgia that can last for days.

After much thought, I decided to combine my thoughts on these 'simple things' and share something truly special with you.
The Result?

A simple yet sentimental loaf of banana blueberry bread with the ultimate sugary crust.
The baking is a labor of love and smelling it will bring you untold happiness and, well, tasting? You decide. 
Create a moment of reflection for yourself.  

What are your simple things? 


Serves: 6 cooktime: 1h 30m

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe bananas, smashed - don't have ripe bananas? Put them in the oven at 100 degree Celsius for 40 minutes
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup desiccated coconut
  • ½ cup of blueberries (frozen or fresh)
  • 1 fresh banana sliced to top the bread.
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Grease your bread loaf tin a 4x8 inch or 10 x 20cm

In a large bowl using an electronic mixer mix the butter and the mashed bananas.

Mix in the sugar, egg and vanilla.

Add the baking soda and salt and mix it into the batter

Add the flour and coconut and beat, do not over beat the batter. Using a spatula gently fold in blueberries. Be carseful to not break them as you will get a blue banana bread. Top the bread with the sliced banana and sprinkle the top with the sugar. This will result in a perfect crust.

Add your mixture to your baking tin and bake for 1 hour.

Allow cooling on your cooling rack in the tin for 15 minutes and then let it cool further out of the tin.

-Melissa

This blog post is sponsored by Country Road. All homeware can be shopped here.
 

Homemade Gnocchi with Ragu or Sage Butter

0L8A6039.jpg

Calling all gnocchi lovers!

I have always envied Italian blood or perhaps more specifically being able to cook with your Nona and learn the true Italian way. Italian food is possibly one of my all time favourites!

I am sure you can agree when Julia Roberts eats that bowl of spaghetti in Eat Pray Love that you were never the same again.

I completely lost myself in that moment of the fork swirling the spaghetti and the Neapolitan sauce oozing with rich tomato flavour and of course the slurping up of that perfectly al dente spaghetti. All that was needed was some fresh basil and I would have sold my Kenwood mixer for that moment (not really but pretty close)

Cooking for friends and sharing recipes with them is what inspired me to invite contributors to my blog. I wanted to create a space that wasn’t only a single voice (my recipes and my story)

Combining my love for EVERYTHING Italian (I even drive Italian) and the  approach of a collective experience; I found my first candidate! The beautiful and wildly talented fashion guru Miss Raya Rossi from The Visual Journal!

I can guarantee you that a day cooking with her was filled with laughter and of course a lot of snap chat! You should follow us @melissadelport and @RayaAFF 

We decided that gnocchi was going to be the order of the day. Reason being? It’s so damn hard to make a good homemade gnocchi. I decided to combine our recipes and the outcome? Sheer brilliance. The best part is that we did gnocchi two ways with a simple ragu and a butter sage sauce not to forget our vegetarians out there! You will not go wrong with this recipe!

I also thought I should share the following excerpt from Eat Pray Love because it is one of the truest sentiments I have ever heard.

Liz: I’m in love. I’m having a relationship with my pizza. You look like you’re breaking up with your pizza. What’s the matter?

Sofi: I can’t.

Liz: What do you mean you can’t? This is Pizza Margherita in Napoli, it is imperative to eat and enjoy that pizza.

Sofi: I want to, but I’ve gained like ten pounds. I mean, I’ve got this. . .right here in my tummy, you know this. . .what’s it called? What’s the word for it?

Liz: A muffin top. I have one too.

Sofi: I unbuttoned my jeans like five minutes ago just looking at this.

Liz: Lemme ask you a question, in all the years you’ve ever undressed for a gentleman–

Sofi: —it hasn’t been that many.

Liz: Alright. Has he ever asked you to leave? Has he ever walked out, left?

Sofi: No.

Liz: Because he doesn’t care. He’s in a room with a naked girl. He’s won the lottery. I’m so tired of saying no and waking up in the morning and recalling every single thing I ate the day before. Counting every calorie I consumed so I know exactly how much self-loathing to take into the shower. I’m going for it. I have no interest in being obese; I’m just through with the guilt. So this is what I’m going to do, I’m going to finish this pizza and then we’re going to go watch the soccer game and tomorrow we’re going to go on a little date and buy ourselves some bigger jeans.

P.s If you have not seen Eat Pray Love, you need to do 3 things immediately, rent it, make this gnocchi for dinner and open a good wine!

SALUT!


serves 5

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams mince meat (try get non lean meat as it softens better with the fat but lean will also do)
  • a few good glugs of olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped 
  • 2 carrots grated 
  • 1 teaspoon oregano 
  • 1 teaspoon thyme 
  • 1 bottle Passata (tomato pure in a bottle) 800grams 
  • 1 onion grated 
  • 1 cup parmesan grated 
  • 1/2 a cup of milk 
  • 200 grams butter 
  • half a cup of sage leaves 
  • 800 ml potato (should be about 8 large potatoes) 
  • 4 egg yolks 
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg 
  • 1 teaspoon lemon rind
  • 150 ml parmesan grated
  • 200-250 ml flour 
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup course cooking salt

Instructions:

Gnocchi:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius 

Boil the potatoes until soft. Do not over boil them. You should be able to pierce them with a fork but they should still be firm.  
Place the potatoes onto of the coarse cooking salt and pop them in the oven for 20 minutes. 
Allow to cool.
Once cool, cut in half and scoop out the insides and pass through a sieve. The other option is to put the potatoes through a potato ricer like Raya did. 
Form potatoes lightly together and make a well in the middle. 
Put in yolks, parmesan, salt, pepper and nutmeg and lemon rind and work together until combined.
Then add flour. Do not knead the mixture work gently with it. Add the flour in stages until you are able to roll the gnocchi into sausages and cut them into bit size pieces. 
Gently use a fork to make indentations for the sauce to stick. 
POACH the gnocchi in salted water until they float to the surface. Then remove them. This is the secret, do not boil the gnocchi as they will break. 

Ragu Sauce:

Add olive oil, garlic clove salt, pepper, 2 grated carrots, oregano, thyme in a pot on high heat. Add the bottle of passata (tomato puree in glass bottle). Put lid on. Turn to medium heat and leave for 15 mins. 
Grate an onion into a separate pan of hot olive oil and butter.
Cook the onion with salt, pepper and oregano until soft.
Braise the meat with the onion and add more olive oil.
Let the meat cook for 10 minutes.
Add 2 table spoons of passata into the meat for extra flavour.
Once the meat is lightly cooked add it to the passata pot. 
Add a cup full of finely grated parmesan.
This gives it more flavour (without adding more salt)
Let the ragu cook on low heat for another 15-20 minutes. This will allow the sauce to thicken. There should be more meat then sauce. 
Add half a cup of milk, and continue to let cook for another 5 minutes. 

Butter sage:

Fry the butter and sage over a medium to high heat. 
Add the gnocchi. Remove once the butter has browned.
 

Raya's Top Tips:
- Use a carrot to sweeten the passata if the tomato is slightly acidic. 
- Grate your carrots and onions they cook better
- Let your meat soak in the flavour of the tomato - leave it on low for longer. 

-Melissa
 

Source: www.thetrufflejournal.com/homemade-gnocchi-with-ragu-or-sage-butter

honey nut granola

Honesty is key. It keeps relationships healthy, people humble and most of all opens doors for love and all other wonderful things to walk through.  I believe that homemade food speaks of honesty. It just tastes better and in the case of this recipe, it's true. I love recipes that you can use in several different ways. It allows you to get creative and have fun because that’s what cooking is all about.

This honey nut granola is great because not only can you make a granola that keeps for up to two weeks but you can also make seed bars which are great for lunch boxes and snack attacks.


Ingredients:

  • 300g Rolled oats
  • 300g raw mixed nuts, cashew, brazil, almonds
  • 100g mixed seeds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 250g butter
  • 200g honey
  • ¼ dried cranberries
  • 1 cup dried mixed fruit, chopped
  •  ¼ cup raw cocoa nibs, if you would like

Instructions: 

Preheat oven to 180 celcius 

Melt butter and honey together in a sauce pan and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in cinnamon. 

Mix together the oats nuts and seeds and combine with the butter mix.

Spread on a well oiled oven tray and put in the oven and bake for approx 45mins until golden and tossing every 10mins so as not to burn.

When ready remove and toss through the dried fruit and cocoa nibs. Once cool store in an airtight container.

For granola bars:

After 20 minutes of baking compact the ingredients into a dense brick like shape. Continue to bake on 160C for a further 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Once cool slice into bars.  

Serve as granola bars or with fresh full cream yoghurt and freshly sliced banana. 

-Melissa 


Source: www.thetrufflejournal.com/honey-nut-granola