banana · bread · breakfast · brunch · brunch ideas · burger · burger patty · french toast · fresh bread · ripe bananas · stuffed

Fresh Bread Smells and Stuffed Food Smiles

fullsizerender-21This weekend I spent some time remembering the smell  of fresh bread walking down the streets of Paris. Since lately I’ve been on this kick of eliminating artificial preservatives I decided to do some research and make my own bread at home, bring the smell of Parisian bakeries to my home. So, I started with one goal in mind, dinner. Ever since last summer, I’ve wanted to try to duplicate the a delicious pork burger I tried at Yard House while visiting Southern California. So I decided to take this pork deliciousness to another level and make some brioche buns for it.

I found a recipe on The New York Times Cooking page. The recipe makes 6-8 buns so since I was only cooking for two I ended up making my own brioche loaf with oats and flax seeds on the side. The outcome? Two beautiful golden brown buns and a delicious loaf of bread with pretty hues of gold and oat shimmer.

I utilized my fresh bread in two different ways: for dinner and brunch the next day. It has been a while that I’ve wanted to make bread so I’m super excited that I got over my fear of yeast and can make it now whenever I want. Note: The only challenge with making bread is time. The amount of time the dough needs to rest is what may discourage, but believe me when I tell you that it is worth it!

img_5467My version of the burger from Yard House: A fresh brioche bun burger with a pork patty stuffed with mozzarella cheese, blueberry ketchup, non spicy candied bacon and spinach.  I think I liked my version much better. Perhaps it was the fresh bun or the pork burger patty that I stuffed with mozzarella cheese; all I know is that I am adding this one to my must-have burgers this summer.

The next day I was looking for something to satisfy my sweet tooth. There were two things I absolutely needed to use, 2 ripe bananas that have been begging me to use them before they go back and my fresh loaf of bread. I’ve probably never mentioned this, but even though my boyfriend loves everything I make, there is one thing that he’s never liked and that is my french toast. Now, maybe it’s because I enjoy a good challenge or perhaps my competitive nature kicked in, but today would be the day to make him change his mind. Honestly, the thought of my french toast not satisfying anyone has bugged me for years!

My strategy going in was to use the loaf of bread (you can’t deny the power of homemade), stuff it with a banana and maple syrup mix (2 ripe bananas and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup), and revamp my egg mixture. img_5466I replaced my old egg mix with this: 2 Eggs, 1/4 tsp cinnamon and sugar, a splash of almond milk ( which I made a couple of days ago), a pinch of nutmeg, 1 tsp of vanilla-bourbon extract and a splash of heavy cream. First I cut slices of the loaf of bread, about 1 inch. Then I cut down the middle to create pockets for the mashed bananas/maple syrup mixture. Once I stuffed the bread slices, I dipped in my new and improved egg mix. I buttered a pan and cooked in medium heat for about 5-8 minutes making sure each side is evenly cooked.

Once done I sprinkled with some powdered sugar, fresh blueberries and maple syrup. img_5463-1

These were absolutely delicious and just in case you’re wondering I wasn’t the only one to think so. Yup! after all these years, the french toast redeemed themselves! Ah, the sweet smell of victory is almost as good as the sweet smell of fresh bread. Or is it?

avocado · black bean burger · bun · burger · burger patty · cheese · dinner · food · grilling · mixture · quinoa · recipe · seasoning · spices · summer · sustainability

Getting Intimate with my Patty

In the next twenty days, I will be giving up red meat, pork and chicken (yes, please keep me in your thoughts and send me strength to overcome the cravings). The goal is to shed a few pounds in the next few weeks which is a great thing considering how mean and insulting my jeans have been to me lately. It’s also important to me that I do my part since I’m aware that excessive meat consumption is one way we (humans) negatively impact our long term health and the health of the environment. 
So, in order to prepare for this, I’ve been blowing the dust off my old vegetarian recipes and trying them out again. This, of course, isn’t very difficult since I do love all things vegetarian so it’s been a real treat! This past week I made my favorite kind of veggie burger patty, black bean. It was as good as I remember, but this time around I’m getting a lot more creative with the things I will be making with that black bean mixture. You’ll see…
For those who think this cannot be good or as satisfying as a juicy red meat patty well let me just say that you are both right and wrong. While there is no comparing to the real deal my black bean burger (BB Burger) is just a different kind of experience all together, so you’ll kind of have to go in knowing that. The great thing is that you can guide it to have the taste you want or are craving with the toppings you add to your BB burger. 
My black bean patty was a simple one this time around. Although I will confess that when I was forming the patty I thought about stuffing it with cheese. The only reason I didn’t was because the right kind of cheese was not at my disposal. 
Here are my ingredients:

For the patty mixture about…
  • 1 cup of black beans (I’ve also used kidney and pinto in the past)
  • 3 tbsp. of cooked quinoa, seasoned (I used tri color quinoa, but any will do)
  • 3/4 cup of breadcrumbs (I broke down some pita crackers in my NutriBullet in this case)
  • 3 tbsp. of chopped red onion
  • 1 cup of steamed spinach seasoned with salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. of manchego cheese (I’ve also used Parmesan)
  • A dash of cumin 
  • A dash of paprika
  • 5-6 leaves of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • salt & pepper
For building the burger:
  • 1 slice of cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 avocado
  • Fresh spinach
  • Tomato slices
  • Organic ketchup, mayo and mustard
  • Burger buns
(Remember to have fun with the ingredients you use to build your burger, these are just what I used to make mine. Look up burger menus for ideas!)
Combine the patty mixture ingredients until it feels like a paste and you can build a patty. If it’s too runny add more breadcrumbs. Make the patty shape and in a pan with a little olive oil cook both sides until the patty is kind of crispy. Place the slice of cheese on the last turn so it can melt with the heat. Build your BB Burger!
Remember to taste the patty mixture before you build/cook your patty and adjust it to your flavor preference. For instance, I like cumin, but you may not like it as much as I do, so feel free to do without it or add just a little. Salt preference is also different for everyone so get in there and taste what you’re making! There is no food God or higher power that is magically going to make your food taste good just because you follow the instructions. Get involved! Get intimate with your food, with your cooking and make it what YOU want it to be. After all, you’re the one who’s going to be eating it right? 
Bon appetite!