Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

 

I got the idea for this from Kat Brown on Pinterest of course! There is something about being exhausted during a week of night shifts that makes me want to bake. Probably because i’m always baking comfort food. I went to the IGA down the street today and got some old bananas from the boys to make some banana bread. It was DIVINE. The cinnamon makes a beautiful difference to the original.

I did alter the original recipe slightly to suit my pan and my tastes. I prefer my banana bread not too sweet.

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

(Prep time 10mins, cooking time 40mins)

 

Ingredients:

 

For the bread

3 over-ripe bananas, smashed up

1/3 cup melted butter

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg, beaten

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp baking soda

dash of salt

1 1/2 cups flour

 

For the swirl

1/4 cup sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 180. Butter a loaf pan. Mine was 12 x 22cm, but you could use any sort. Just keep a close eye on it in the oven, and adjust the time as needed
  2. Mix bananas, butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla together. sprinkle baking soda and salt around on top of the banana mixture. Then gently stir in flour. Be careful not to over-mix!
  3. In a small dish, mix together the sugar and cinnamon.
  4. Add half of the batter to the loaf pan and then sprinkle half, or a little more than half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture all over the batter in the pan. Add the rest of the batter, and then sprinkle the leftover cinnamon-sugar on top.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. Remember, if you’re using a different-sized loaf pan, be careful and keep a close eye on it.
I ate mine still warm, and walked down the street to share it with the boys from the IGA. According to them I’m an ‘absolute legend’!
Notice the steam coming off the bread in the photo!
 
However, I think It will still be delicious cold!
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Sweet Potato and Haloumi Quiche

The name of this recipe is a sweet potato and haloumi quiche, but really its a sweet potato, spinach, red onion, mustard, ham and haloumi quiche, but that was just too long! When Craig and I were dating he made a quiche similar to this one and I was so impressed I married him! Since that time this quiche has evolved by incorporating lots of ideas mostly found in various Donna Hay magazines. However Craig can still claim the sauteed onion and seeded mustard base, and that is one of my favourite parts!

Sweet Potato and Haloumi Quiche

(preparation time 20min, cooking time 50minutes, serves 6)

Ingredients

1 sheet ready rolled puff pastry (thawed)

1 tbs olive oil

2 tsp seeded mustard

½ medium red onion thinly sliced

70g baby spinach stems removed

200g sweet potato thinly sliced

50g shaved ham

4 eggs

1 ½ cup milk

2 tbs melted butter

1 cup grated cheese

½ cup self raising flour

Salt and Pepper to taste

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Spray a 24cm quiche dish with cooking spray. Place puff pastry sheet on dish and press to shape into the dish. Poke holes with a fork into the pastry case to prevent the case form puffing up too much when you dry bake it. Place the pastry case into the oven and dry bake in the oven for 10minutes.

2. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add onion and seeded mustard, stir fry until the onion is soft. Add the onion and mustard mixture to the base of the puff pastry case once dry baked.

3. meanwhile, place the sliced sweet potato in a microwaveable bowl with a few tablespoons of water. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for a couple of minutes on high to soften the sweet potato.

4. Place a thin layer of ham on top of the onion and mustard mix followed by the spinach and then sweet potato. repeat this one more tiome so you have two layers of each (except the onion). Place the sliced haloumi on top of the last layer of sweet potato.

5. Whisk together the egg, milk, butter, flour and a little salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Fold in the cheese and slowly pour the mixture over the layered spinach, sweet potato and haloumi. You will find that the cheese tends to stay on top but this means that a nice cheesy crust forms.

6. Bake the quiche in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until the top is golden. Allow it to cool a little before cutting into it. You can eat it hot or cold, both are great! Serve with a salad or some steamed vegetables.

Bus Station Keftas

Craig bought me a North African and Middle Eastern recipe book for Christmas this year, I have only tried a few recipes so far but this one has been a stand out! According to the book this is the kind of dish that is sold at bus and train stations throughout North Africa and the Middle East. It is cooked on the spot and eaten straight from the pan.

Its a really easy dish to make and the only item that is hard to find is a Moroccan spice blend called ras el hanout. I found it online from spice bazaar and it cost me $4 for a pack. Sounds expensive but you only use one teaspoon. I have made it about five times and haven’t used half the pack yet. Because ras el hanout is a mixture of many different spices there isn’t really an easy way to replace it with something else (unless you make it up yourself).

Bus Station Kefta

Serves 4

Ingredients

225g minced (ground) lamb

1 onion finely chopped

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs

5 eggs

1 tsp ground cinnamon

Bunch of flat leaf parsley chopped

2 tsp olive oil

400g can of chopped tomatoes

2 tsp sugar

1 tsp ral el hanout

Small bunch of fresh coriander roughly chpped

Salt and ground black pepper

Crusty bread to serve

Method

1. In a bowl, knead the minced lamb with onions, breadcrumbs, one egg, cinnamon, chopped parsley and salt and pepper until well mixed. Lift the mixture in your hand and slap it down into the bowl several times.

2. Take a small amount of mixture and shape it into a small ball, about the size of a walnut. Repeat with the remaining mixture to make about 12 balls.

3. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy frying pan. fry the meatballs until nicely browned. Turning them occasionally so they cook evenly.

4. Stir the tomatoes, sugar, ras el hanout and most of the chopped coriander into the pan. Bring to the boil, cook for a few minutes to reduce the liquid and roll the balls around in the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

5. Make room in the pan for the remaining eggs in the pan and crack them into the spaces between the meatballs. Cover the pan, reduce the heat and cook for about three minutes, or until the eggs are just set.

6. Sprinkle with the remaining chopped coriander and serve in the pan with chunks of bread to use as scoops.

Note: I didn’t have any fresh coriander, and no time to get any so I just used a little extra parsley and added half a teaspoon of ground coriander into the sauce. Also I was making it for a large family dinner and so I tripled the recipe, and cooked it in a large casserole dish. Which meant that after I cooked the meatballs in the pan I combined it all in the casserole dish and put it in the oven at 200C, the eggs took about 5-8 minutes to cook in the oven.