Barley Banana Bread

 

Banana bread is a staple at all of our houses, but we always like to sneak in a nutritional boost wherever we can. This loaf is made with overripe bananas (the ones that tumble from the freezer whenever you open the door) and barley flour – along with regular all-purpose flour, it adds a delicious nuttiness and boosts fibre even more than whole wheat flour would. You can find it alongside the other flours in the baking section of most grocery stores, and once you try it you’ll find yourself using it in pancakes, cookies, muffins, cakes – and as a bonus, it’s Canada’s third largest crop (after wheat and canola), and more than half the barley grown in Canada is right here in Alberta.

Barley Banana Bread
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Ingredients
  1. 3 very ripe bananas
  2. 1/2 cup sugar
  3. 1/4 cup canola oil
  4. 2 large eggs
  5. 1 tsp vanilla
  6. 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  7. 3/4 cup barley flour
  8. 1 tsp. baking soda
  9. 1/4 tsp. salt
  10. a handful of chopped walnuts, chocolate chips, raisins, coconut, fresh or frozen blueberries (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, mash the bananas, sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla with a potato masher - don't worry about getting all the lumps out. It will look sort of cottage-cheesy.
  3. Add the flours, baking soda and salt and stir until almost combined; add any additions and stir just until blended.
  4. Spread into a buttered 8”x4” loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes, until golden and cracked on top and springy to the touch.
The Best of Bridge http://www.bestofbridge.com/

Inside-Out Chocolate Chip Cookies

Back to school time is cookie season for us – I don’t know whether I make them out of self-preservation or to fill lunchboxes. Everyone needs a little comforting treat when summer comes to an end, and I like baking a batch of cookies on the weekend to wrap and tuck into lunch boxes all week. Sometimes, when I’m really on the ball, I’ll make and freeze balls of dough so I have something to slide into the oven after school – there’s nothing like walking in the door after a long day and the house smells like chocolate. Bonus: with a stash of dough, you can bake a few at a time in the toaster oven, and not have a couple dozen to eat your way through.

To freeze and bake, freeze balls on a sheet and then transfer to a freezer bag; take them out, place them on a parchment-lined sheet and let them sit while the oven preheats, then bake as directed.

Inside Out Chocolate Chip Cookies
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Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
  2. 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  3. 3/4 cup sugar
  4. 1 large egg
  5. 2 tsp. vanilla
  6. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  7. 1/3 cup cocoa
  8. 1 tsp. baking soda
  9. 1/2 tsp. salt
  10. 1 cup white chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars until pale and almost fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
  3. Add the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt and stir or beat on low until almost combined; add the chocolate chips and stir just until blended.
  4. Drop dough by the spoonful onto a parchment-lined sheet and bake for 10-14 minutes (depending on their size) until set around the edges but still soft in the middle. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Makes 2 dozen cookies.
The Best of Bridge http://www.bestofbridge.com/

Chewy Date + Walnut Bars

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I love a good chewy bar, like a brownie only without the chocolate – these are essentially blondies, rich with butter and brown sugar, which acts as a blank canvas you could add anything to. These are made with crunchy nuts and chewy dates, which are a winning combination.

Soft Medjool dates are most often found in the produce department of the grocery store, and have pits that are easy to remove, but mean they stay soft, unlike the hard bricks of dates you so often find in the baking section.

filipino-cookies-1

I’ve made these with soft brown sugar, but one time when I was out I used turbinado – the result was still sweet and caramelly, with a slightly crunchy texture I loved. They’re so fast to mix together, they may become your new go-to when you need a quick dessert or comforting after school snack. (After all, there’s nothing like coming home to the smell of something baking.)

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Canola Granola

granola

It’s Stampede week, and we’ve been busy doing cooking demos over at the Calgary Co-op Kitchen Theatre. Julie was asked to do a show featuring canola, one of our favourite Alberta ingredients and our go-to cooking oil; granola was a perfect pick. It’s easy to make and great for packing to take on hiking or road trips, to summer camp or to the cabin – anywhere you need a healthy burst of energy, granola is perfectly portable, and you don’t have to worry about it squishing or melting. Read More

Pecan Shortbread Squares

Pecan Shortbread Squares
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Ingredients
  1. CRUST
  2. 1 CUP BUTTER 250 mL
  3. 1⁄3 CUP FIRMLY PACKED BROWN SUGAR 75 mL
  4. 1 EGG 1
  5. 1 TSP. LEMON JUICE 5 mL
  6. 3 CUPS FLOUR 750 mL
  7. 21⁄2 CUPS PECAN HALVES 625 mL
  8. HONEY BUTTER FILLING
  9. 3⁄4 CUP BUTTER 175 mL
  10. 1⁄2 CUP HONEY 125 mL
  11. 3⁄4 CUP BROWN SUGAR 175 mL
  12. 3 TBSP. CREAM 45 mL
Instructions
  1. TO MAKE CRUST: PREHEAT OVEN TO 350°F (180°C). THOROUGHLY MIX BUTTER, SUGAR, EGG, LEMON JUICE AND FLOUR AND PRESS INTO A 10 x 15″ (25 X 38 cm) EDGED COOKIE SHEET. PRICK WITH A FORK AND BAKE FOR 20 MINUTES. COVER CRUST WITH PECAN HALVES.
  2. TO MAKE FILLING: IN A HEAVY SAUCEPAN, MELT BUTTER AND HONEY. ADD BROWN SUGAR AND BRING TO A BOIL, WHISKING CONTINUOUSLY, UNTIL DARK BROWN, 5–7 MINUTES. REMOVE FROM HEAT AND ADD CREAM. MIX AND POUR OVER CRUST. RETURN TO OVEN FOR
  3. 20 MINUTES. COOL BEFORE CUTTING.
The Best of Bridge http://www.bestofbridge.com/
A KNIFE THAT CUTS FOUR LOAVES OF BREAD SIMULTANEOUSLY — A FOUR LOAF CLEAVER.

Nuts and Bolts

For those who are mechanically declined!~ and just about anyone else!

Nuts and Bolts
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb. butter
  2. 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  3. 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  4. 1 1/2 tsp. onion salt
  5. 1 1/2 tsp. celery salt
  6. 4 cups “Cheerios”
  7. 4 cups “Life” cereal (corn chex)
  8. 4 cups “Shreddies” or “Wheat Chex”
  9. 2 boxes pretzels or pretzel sticks
  10. 2 cups peanuts (salted if you insist!)
  11. 1 box “bugels”
  12. 1 box cheese nips or cheese bites
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 250 F. Place butter in very large roaster and put in oven to melt butter while oven in preheating. Add all ingredients and stir well to coat evenly with butter. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Stir every 1/2 hour.
  2. Book Reference – The Rest of the Best – Vol. 2 (Page: 71), Grand Slam (Page: 45)
The Best of Bridge http://www.bestofbridge.com/
It’s easy to identify people who can’t count to 10. They’re in front of you in the market express lane.