I was actually thinking about making this banana bread paleo. I really like the idea of the paleo diet, not as a weight loss technique but as a conscious way of eating. I had seen a lot of paleo baking going around and it really made me think, maybe I could do it!
So I was very curious and first tried making banana bread using coconut flour. Oh how that went terribly wrong. It was just this dense doughy mess that was just unable to bake at all and it left me all depressed, eventually mindlessly playing with it like play-doh.
And then I was pretty shocked how many whole grain flours out there aren’t considered paleo. And those that are considered paleo (almond flour and other nut flours) are just crazy expensive to the point where you are most likely eating a 5 dollar slice of banana bread. Yeah, I don’t think so.
I learned that basically you can’t have any form of grain on the paleo diet (I know I’m pretty slow). Turns out eating paleo might not really be for me after all! I mean I eat brown rice and brown rice anything like there is no tomorrow. Cause hey! I thought brown rice was good for you!
Well APPARENTLY NOT. Or at least that’s what a lot of paleo gurus and articles on the web are now saying which leaves me all dumbfounded, as if all my morals were just suddenly contradicted. I see words like ‘anti-nutrients’ and ‘high-glycemic’ being thrown around and then I am being told that you should eat white rice over brown rice. Ehrrmm excuse me?? It’s like when I was told that kale is bad for you. The world is starting to not make a bit of sense.
Sadly the holidays are already over. At least for me, cause I’m already back at work! But then I have to deal with the holiday-travel-craziness AGAIN because I’m going out of town for New Years. Girl can’t catch a break.
But seriously DON’T get me started on how seriously angry my tummy is (yep Gertrude has a bit of a temper). Well it’s too late cause I’m gonna tell you.
I totally gave in and ate so many sweets for Christmas. There was this chocolate rugelach that was just indescribably good and we always have to have baumkuchen which is just a German family tradition, so I was munching on that for days. I had to retire early a few nights with my trusty heating pad set to ‘ultra high’ while it was wrapped around my abdomen. Clearly during the holidays you don’t think straight.
So I seriously have to do a little detoxing. And I know everyone says that after the holidays mostly because of fear of weight gain and also to just clear your conscious, but what about giving your stomach a break before you wreck havoc on it again for New Years? Stomachs do a lot of work and sometimes I don’t appreciate mine as much
So ladies and gentlemen let me present to you this fine and delectable dish! This is literally my soul food. It is quite simple yet utterly delicious that it will make you smile, well at least it does for me so that’s proof enough, right? It is one of the dishes on here that I make allllll the time and it’s just so darn easy to make.
Sometimes you have to take your favorite thing to eat and bring it to the next level. And I’m talking the let’s put all the things we love into a cheesy gooey and delicious bun sort of level.
Let’s first talk about pão de queijo. I absolutely adore those golden brown cheesy and chewy bites. I was fortunate enough to live in Brazil for a few years as a kid and I would always spend my allowance money at the padaria and get myself a pão de queijo. I was always so happy to bite into that soft and gooey center! We all have our own wonderful childhood memories of gustatory bliss.
But really when I do think of my time in Brazil I always think of pão de queijo. I was definitely bummed out when I returned to Germany and I had no idea how to fulfill my pão de queijo fix. Whenever I went to a new city, I had to inspect the designated ‘Brazilian’ part of town and search for that unknown Brazilian baker who had pão de queijo on their menu.
It was tricky and it became so rare to eat them that they were a luxury to me. Until I finally grew up into the independent and responsible adult I am today and suddenly realized why suffer when I can just make them myself!
How is it that I adored these delightful cheesy bread buns for all these years without even having a clue how they are made and what they are made of? Oh, Linda.
Every girl needs to have some cake every now and then. And this is how I felt when I made these little cute and delicious blueberry cakes. They are cakes specifically designed for the girl that deserves to have her cake!
First of all when the madness of Black Friday happened and all the ridiculous deals that followed afterwards, I was literally overwhelmed with all the gorgeous and wonderful things that had all of a sudden been miraculously marked down. And this cake stand was one of them!
I just fell in the love with that beautiful circular blue pattern on the top and that sort of thing I can just stare at for days. I love when things are intricately done and I am just a sucker for abstract and bold patterns and I had to snatch this up. But of course my main thought when I bought this is all the fabulous cakes I have to bake to accompany it.
And mini cakes just seemed like the perfect thing. I mean mini cakes are just so ADORABLE. I’ve realized that most of the baked goods that I usually love seemed to be so much better in a mini version, like mini pound cakes, mini bundt cakes, mini tarts, mini donuts. It just keeps on going.
There is something nice about the idea that you are not only controlling your portions but it is also a guarantee that most of the time your like mini bakes will turn out lovely (and instagram-worthy) with not as much effort and stress.
I am very much in love with gratins. When I first realized gratins exist and that I could actually make them at home instead of going to some fancy French restaurant, I was a very happy little lass.
So now it’s one of those dishes I make a lot now and have a lot of fun cooking as well. Certain recipes are very therapeutic as they take a little longer to make but not too long where you are breaking your back in the kitchen. And also putting together all the beautiful ingredients to make something even more wonderful is really rewarding and bittersweet in the end.
Usually when I make gratins, I jam pack them with a decadent cheesy sauce (like my beloved gruyere potatoes au gratin, you are so delicious my friend). But lately I have realized that dairy is doing nasty things to my stomach and I thought it was time to give my gratin a makeover.
And thank the universe for cauliflower! You wonderfully white cruciferous vegetable. Oh how you have made my life so much easier! I can still enjoy my creamy vegetables and not feel the pains of my stomach playing a symphony of embarrassing gurgles and growls!
This past weekend wasn’t just Thanksgiving but it was also my birthday! Now for some people I’m sure the thought of the double festivities would mean double the fun and all special attention. But actually it has now become pretty daunting for me.
Now what I mean by this is that sometimes things happen. The fact that it is both Thanksgiving and and your birthday makes you more fragile to certain unfortunate things that may occur like in relationships, family, your job and such.
The lesson I really got from my past experiences was that on my birthday I should be completely selfish. It should be a day about me and what I want to do. And more importantly to not depend on other people to bring you happiness on that day, because you can find all the happiness in yourself.
I don’t know if what I just wrote sounds completely narcissistic (and you know what it’s okay sometimes) but this year I really made sure that on my birthday I did and ate the things that I wanted.
I had a lovely custard berry cake and ate one of my favorite meals, this spaghetti with pesto and I even included some of the leftover rosemary and thyme in the mountain of herbs I usually put in this. But when it all came down to it, I really wanted to eat these chewy almond butter chocolate chip granola bars (seriously sooooo chewy).
Well it’s about time that I discovered what tahini was. I was always so confused. Is it salty? Is it sweet? Is it nutty, creamy or bitter? It seems that tahini is literally ALL of these things.
But when I tasted a drop of tahini from the jar I felt it lived up to the reputation. I knew I had to find a way to incorporate tahini in my life. Especially since I was getting a little tired of mayonnaise and ketchup for dip (which really made my stomach turn eventually).
I have been eating sweet potatoes like way too much lately. I look a little silly sitting in front of the sweet potatoes at the supermarket ardently engaged in my quest to find the perfect sweet potato.
Sometimes I buy them when I already have a handful at home. Sometimes I just throw a sweet potato in the oven even if I don’t want one, just for the sake that I might be hungry for it hours later.
And I usually am ALWAYS hungry for one at some point. I am quite addicted. But sometimes I’m surprised I haven’t had a terrible accident after cutting up so many unusually large sweet potatoes. Those are tricky (kisses my un-maimed fingers).
My sister came to visit me and I really wanted to bake something with her. However she is without a doubt gluten-free (and she’s pretty adamant about it too, bless her soul).
I also really wanted a photo buddy (a more nicer way of saying photo assistant aka. let me take pretty photos of you handling food). Cause let’s be honest when I take pictures of myself it’s a little awkward, especially when you don’t have a tripod. And I have very week arms so trying to balance the camera while holding a spoonful of potatoes ain’t easy folks.
So my sister diligently helped me out and put on her little cute jean shorts and made these cinnamon rolls with me. Total sister bonding time.
Sometimes cinnamon rolls don’t have to be super decadent. I get it, that’s what gets your mouth watering and everyone’s favorite past time in dumping all those yummy ingredients onto the dough and drowning them in frosting once they are out of the oven. But I gotta think smart in these moments.
When I was spreading the sugar and butter onto dough I thought to myself, that’s A LOT of sugar. My sister and I refrained from adding too much and just stuck to a more modest amount. But then we made up for it with the glaze.
My stomach has been really cranky lately. I don’t know what is going on with Gertrude (my stomach’s name?). She has been really fussy and sometimes I feel like she’s an old aunt nagging me.
Basically I just simply can’t handle certain foods anymore. I don’t want to get into the complicated (and rather unpleasant) subject on digestion but I just have to accept that my stomach is not the same as it used to be (and eating a bag of starbursts at a sleepover in middle school are days long gone).
So I have given up and started listening to Gertrude (I know it’s weird naming my stomach but I feel our recent involvement has now resulted in a first-name basis). I am learning to eat food that my body really wants rather than what my mind wants. And I am really trying to bridge that gap between mind and body so that they can live harmoniously.
Somedays of course you want your spaghetti in a box from the supermarket or you pass by the frozen section and there is your favorite mushroom pizza all perfectly and sneakily prepared for your convenience. But I’m now learning that somedays you want food that nourishes you, food that is fresh and food that gives your body energy and doesn’t leave you bloated and binge watching How To Get Away With Murder on a Friday night.
Sometimes you are in the supermarket, strolling along the aisles, when you come across the baking section and you look at those 8. oz bars of baking chocolate stacked up high and you think, how can I buy a dozen of these without looking like some sort of chocolate fiend? Well the answer lies within this cake.
I seriously cannot live without chocolate, and I am sure that I am not alone. I used to think milk chocolate was the best thing an eleven-year-old kid could ask for until I realized dark chocolate existed.
And after that I never had a single piece of milk chocolate again. I really don’t know why but whenever I would try it in a normal candy bar it just didn’t taste good, it didn’t really even taste like chocolate to me.
So this cake is a celebration for my love of dark chocolate. I mean I could literally drink this batter. All that ridiculous amount of butter and chocolate mixed harmoniously together could make a chocolate-lover cry.