It’s the last day of the month and time to recap the noteworthy recipes and events from the month:
One-Hour Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (vegan) – This dough only takes 1 hour to make and rise. And it’s a now-or-later dough. Make it now or save it for another day, up to 2 days later. The recipe healthier since wheat flour is used and it’s vegan. The dough is soft, chewy, thick and hearty, versatile, and most of all, easy to make Browned Butter Buttermilk Banana Bread with Strawberry Butter – Buttermilk and browned butter are combined to create this banana bread that’s fluffy, soft, moist, and packed with rich, nutty, and deep flavor. Browning the butter takes just a few minutes and makes all the difference in the flavor Nutella Chocolate Chip Baklava – There are no nuts in this version, and instead, plenty of chocolate. In between flaky, buttery delicate layers of phyllo are thick smears of Nutella. Morsels of chocolate chips are sprinkled in between buttery, flaky layers before the whole pan in drenched in a sweet honey syrup Thick and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies – A recipe for thick and chewy oatmeal raisin cookies, that are also soft and moist, and this one delivers. The cookies are very texture-filled and are loaded with oats and an abundance of raisins in every bite Fruit Seed and Nut Crackers – Now you can stop buying overpriced store-bought crackers. These crackers are customizable, easy, crunchy & healthy. They begin as a loaf of hearty and dense bread, made with sunflower and flax seeds, raisins, and a variety of nuts Blueberry and Cream Cheese Muffin Top Bread – Tastes like one big muffin top and is more like a dense cake-meets-muffin-top than bread because it’s falling-apart soft, tender, and moist. It’s dense yet springy and bouncy, and it oozes with blueberries.There’s a cream cheese filling that’s baked in, adding more softness and moisture. Some of the moistest quickbread I’ve ever had Caramel Corn Chocolate Chip Cookies – The cookies are loaded to the max with caramel corn and chocolate chips, providing plenty of chewy texture. The cookies have a slight sweet-and-salty vibe between the abundance of caramel corn and oozing chocolate Roasted Sweet Potato and Goat Cheese Pizza (on One-Hour Whole Wheat Crust) – Roasted sweet potatoes, crunchy bell peppers, and tangy, creamy goat cheese are piled onto a soft, thick and chewy homemade crust. The dough for the crust only takes one hour to make and rise, and it’s a now-or-later dough. So you can make a pizza within an hour, or save it for up to 2 days later. The easiest and fastest way to make pizza at home Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie Granola Bars (no-bake, vegan, GF) – Both peanut butter and oatmeal cookies are favorites. I incorporated the flavor of those cookies into these fast and easy, no-bake granola bars Soft Batch Dark Brown Sugar Coconut Oil Cookies – NO Butter, NO White sugar, NO problem! These are some of the softest and most flavorful cookies, sweetened entirely with dark brown sugar. Because it has a higher concentration of molasses and molasses added to the dough, the cookies are rich and caramely with molasses undertones. A bit of cornstarch helps the cookies bake up extremely soft, and they stay soft for days, and actually get softer over time. The coconut oil flavors the dough very subtly, and although you can ‘taste it’, it’s much milder and more subtle than coconut flakes. I love these cookies and they’re an absolute new favorite! Overnight Buttermilk Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls – To date, the best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever had. They’re soft and fluffy and taste better than the kind you get at the mall. The recipe is very do-able even if you’ve never made cinnamon rolls. The overnight make-ahead option means you can wake up, pop cinnamon rolls into the oven, and enjoy fresh, warm, gooey rolls with your morning coffee. The dough is buttery soft, light, and fluffy Peanut Butter and Jelly Coconut Cashew Sandwich Cookies (no-bake, vegan, GF) – Healthy, all-natural sandwich cookies are made easily in a food processor by blending nuts and coconut, before filling them with peanut butter and jelly. Full of rich nutty flavor, and packed with texture from the coconut flakes and nuts, with creamy peanut butter and sweet jelly oozing Chai-Spiced Triple Citrus Tea (vegan, GF) – Can be served warm or cold, and the flavors of chai – cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and cardamom – bring this citrusy, bright tea alive. Three forms of citrus are used – pineapple-mango juice, sliced oranges, and lemons 30 Favorite Banana Bread and Banana Recipes – Posted for National Banana Bread Day (February 23) I shared 30 of my favorite banana bread and banana-based recipes. That’s no where near a comprehensive list of my banana-based recipes. I just love cooking, baking, freezing, blending, and using them any way I can. For example, in mid-2012, I ran a series called Banana Bread Fest and shared 7 weeks of banana bread recipes. Banana Yogurt Muffins and Little Banana Bread Loaf – So moist, tender and soft, thanks to the addition of Greek yogurt. Because there’s sprinkles baked right in, no need to bother with a glaze and goes from cupboard to oven to mouth in 30 minutes. The batter makes enough for 18 muffins or 1 dozen plus 1 little loaf Thick and Soft Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies – NO Flour, NO Butter, and NO White sugar used! The flavor is intensely chocolaty, balanced by the sweet and creamy peanut butter. The cookies are brownie-like in density and thickness. They’re soft, chewy, moist; more rich and bold than they are overly sweet. It’s a small-batch recipe, and makes just a baker’s dozen. Made for National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day on March 1 Hawaiian Bread and Maple Banana Baked French Toast – Hawaiian Bread is so light, soft, and fluffy, and is the perfect sponge to soak up a sweet, buttery marinade made with brown sugar, maple, cinnamon and spice. The bread is tossed with bananas before baking, which get nice and chewy as they bake Noteworthy Events & Announcements: My Cookbook: Peanut Butter Comfort – The biggest professional accomplishment of my life and over a year in the making. 100 Recipes, 200 photographs, all featuring peanut butter, all exclusively created and photographed by yours truly. I almost announced it many times in 2012 but didn’t because I wanted to surprise you. Well, Surprise! Yesterday (Wednesday 2/27) I attended Todd and Diane’s #thermadorwhiteparty at the Thermador Kitchens in Irvine, California. It was a wonderful, special, fabulous evening, graciously hosted by Thermador and was the brainchild of Todd and Diane. The kitchens are beautiful and the event was first class, all the way. Diane and I from my Instagram Feed So many friends were there including Lori , Jenny , Joy , Lynn , Kathy , Catherine , and so many more friends not in this photo . More photos on Instagram and in this Facebook Album , straight off my iphone and unedited. Almost one year ago to the date, I attended Todd and Diane’s KitchenAid, Cook Books, & Photography Event (February 29, 2012) and just as that event was a highlight I’ll always remember, the Thermador event will be the same. Great friends, great food, fabulous champagne, a gorgeous venue, what more could I ask for. Reflections on the Month: I made lots of bread this month: Pizza Crust (not bread in the traditional sense, but a yeasted dough), Browned Butter Banana Bread, Homemade Crackers that start off as a loaf of bread before being sliced and baked, Blueberry Cream Cheese Bread, Sweet Potato Pizza on homemade crust, Cinnamon Rolls, Muffins with a Little Banana Bread Loaf, 30 Recipes using Banana, including about 15 bread recipes; and Hawaiian Bread French Toast. It sure was carbalicious and wonderful. Five new cookie recipes: Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Caramel Corn Cookies, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies, non-traditional no-bake vegan sandwich cookies, and my personal favorite cookies of the month, Soft Batch Dark Brown Sugar Coconut Oil Cookies . I really loved all the cookies I made this month, each for different reasons and each filled a very different taste preference and need, but those Soft Batch Dark Brown Sugar Coconut Oil Cookies are ones that I cannot stop thinking about. They are so soft, rich in flavor, and I love everything about them. Even if you don’t ‘love’ coconut oil, please give them a try. I also was pleased with the photography in that post, making the cookies taste that much better in my mind. There are some recipes and posts I look at after the fact and even though I know how good the recipe tasted, if I personally don’t care as much for the photos I took, I don’t fully embrace the recipe retrospectively as much as maybe I should. Crazy but true; but I eat with my eyes and am very critical of the way I photograph my food. And there two other cookie mentions: Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie Granola Bars, granola bars that taste like cookies as well as a Valentine’s Day Roundup post, recapping older cookie recipes. Between bread and cookies, I was busy but crossed off two huge bucket list items: Baklava and Cinnamon Rolls. Both are the best I’ve ever had. The baklava isn’t traditional, the cinnamon rolls are fairly traditional. Both get Best of Class in their respective category, as judged by me and my family; the people I want most to be pleased. If they’re happy, I’m happy. I also came up with three overnight/make-ahead recipes: Pizza Dough, Cinnamon Rolls, and French Toast. I know it’s important for many readers to be able to prep food in advance or make things in advance, and when I can, I like to provide options for that. Anything to help save time or streamline things is a bonus. All in all, I loved the month, not only because I was happy with the recipes and photography I put forth, but because I finally announced my cookbook! and thanks to everyone who’s already pre-ordered on Amazon ! Previous Recaps: What did you do or make in this month that was memorable? Any recipes you’d like to tackle or like to see me tackle?