Banana Hazelnut Bread

I have neglected my poor blog lately! I decided to take a bit of an extended break while I finished up my undergrad degree… and I am officially done! Come June 12, I will have a Bachelor’s diploma in my hand and a huge smile on my face. Right now, though, all I have to worry about is an entire summer stretching out ahead of me… bliss!

I can’t say that I cooked a lot while I was studying for my exam and writing my final paper, but I did manage to whip up a few snacks and meals here and there. I am really looking forward to cooking for myself more now that I’ve finished my coursework. I have big plans for May, including some Spring cleaning in my apartment (it looks like a tornado landed in here…) and in my tummy. I’m aiming for fresher food with lots of produce, vegetable-based proteins, and as little refined sugar as possible.

But enough about that and on to the recipe!

This particular loaf got me through a week of breakfasts, and was inspired by my mom’s recipe for hazelnut cake (which I’ve blogged about before). That cake is so nutty and sweet, I can’t get enough of it! Or maybe I can — after all, it is cake, and often I’d prefer a healthier alternative — that’s where this bread comes in. The nuts improve the bread’s nutritional profile as they are a source of protein, so this is probably one of the best candidates when it comes to having a baked goodie for breakfast.

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Easter Feature: My Father’s French Toast

While I was doing my “Foodie Friend Friday” recipe series, my father visited my sister and I for about a week. During that time, he told me he wanted to contribute to my blog with a recipe of his own. Seeing as his cooking adventures are at the root of my own love of cooking, I agreed right away.

I had already lined up my five contributors for the month of March, so I didn’t know when the right time would be to feature his recipe. But then I realized… Easter weekend is the perfect time to feature a family-friendly, brunch-appropriate recipe!

I hope you enjoy my father’s French toast as much as we do whenever he makes it. Personally, I love to top it with maple syrup, berries, and a nice slice of sharp cheese — that last addition confuses my dad to no end, but I promise you it is a delicious companion to the sweet toast.

Editing this recipe made me rather homesick, I have to admit… But, my mom is here for the weekend so that’s the next best thing, I suppose!

Happy Easter (and Happy Passover, too)!

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Breakfast Blueberry Oat Loaf

Ever since I’ve started eating breakfast regularly, I wake up every morning and I am ravenous! I’ve graduated from just having a smoothie and I’m now supplementing my morning shake with other foods. In fact, I find that if I front-load my day with good, filling food, I have more energy throughout the day and I tend to eat less junk food. I assume this is because my blood sugar levels are more balanced, but I don’t know for sure.

Because I’m a total breakfast convert now, I’m trying to find some tasty and healthy breakfast options to start adding variety to my morning munching.

My basic criteria for breakfast are:
– lots of protein
– lots of fibre
– as much fruit as possible
– really quick to make
– and of course, it has to taste good

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Simple Bruschetta

Bruschetta is such a wonderfully fresh dish. It’s a wonderful appetizer, or works well as a light lunch when paired with a bowl of soup or a filling salad. Juicy tomatoes, basil, olive oil, crusty bread, and garlic — I mean really, what more could you want?

Granted, January isn’t the ideal season for fresh tomatoes, especially if you’re under a few feet of snow. But what better way to relive the glorious summer days than to put this on the table? It may just tide you over until June.

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Cornbread, Take 2

I’ve discovered a new baking trick that allows me to bake even when I’m out of eggs. It’s brilliant! It makes my baked goods light and fluffy, and binds everything together so that you never miss the egg.

The trick? Dissolving your baking soda in a few tablespoons of boiling water, and adding it to your dough last. The soda makes the mixture puff up and bond, and makes for wonderfully puffed up goodies!

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Marbled Cocoa-Banana Bread

Chocolate and banana are like peanut butter and jam to me: simply perfect for one another. And, while chocolate chip banana bread is pretty common (and totally delicious), when I realized I had a few overripe bananas to use, I wanted to do something a bit different with them…

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Jalapeno Cornbread

Cornbread is one of my favourite foods. It’s one of those things that I don’t think of often, but every time I eat it, I feel like I’m in taste bud heaven.

I got a fantastic recipe for cornbread muffins from a friend of mine, who had come across it online while looking for a way to use yoghurt in her baking. I’ve modified it by adding fresh jalapenos to up the taste factor, and I’ve baked it in circular pie pans. However, you can make this into a loaf or in muffin tins if you’d like!

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