Pistachio & Dark Chocolate Biscot-tea party!

Hello lovlies! I hope all is well!

I’ve reached the official ONE WEEK countdown until I return en Suisse and I couldn’t be more excited for round 2! Mostly because I’m dying for the heavently chocolate aisle in Migros and red wine cheaper than water but also for the Alps and the whole “speaking French” thing 🙂

Anyhoo, in honor of Downtown Abbey being on TV in the States (I found Season 3 a few months ago on my secret TV website but I didn’t want to break that to my mom, she was so excited, so I waited to watch it ’till I came home for Christmasssssssss) and that my mom finally obtained my great grandmother’s favorite china pattern, we decided to have a little tea party. It. Was. AWESOME. And of course, any Smith Family Tea Party wouldn’t be complete without some homemade pistachio & dark chocolate  biscotti!

Pistachio & Dark Chocolate Biscotti

Inspired by Janet & Greta Podleski 

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup oat bran or oat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped pistachios
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Combine flour, oat bran/flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. With an electric mixer, beat together the sugars and butter on medium speed in a large bowl. Add eggs and egg white, lemon juice and vanilla, beating until well blended.
  4. Using a wooden spoon, add flour mixture to sugar mixture and stir just until blended. Add pistachios and dark chocolate chips
  5. Lightly flour hands and divide dough in half. Shape each half into an 8 x 3 x 3/4 inch loaf and place on a prepared cookie sheet.
  6. Bake on middle oven rack for 20 minutes. Remove loaves from cookie sheet and cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 275 F.
  7. Transfer loaves to a cutting board and cut each loaf on a diagonal with a very sharp knife (you should end up with 8-9 slices)
  8. Place slices back on cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes on one side, then flip them over and bake for 8 more minutes. When finished, allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.
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Spiced Banana Coffee Cake

Hello World!

It’s me again (quelle surprise!!!!) broadcasting from Lausanne where things are gettin’ chilly. I’m talking leggings-under-your-tights-under-your-jeans type stuff, at least for me. (When it comes to the cold, I wimp out faster than a Chihuahua who accidentally found himself on an elite dog mushers team delivering milk in rural Alaska.) However, the one good thing about cold weather is the opportunity to craft yummy and delicious things in the kitchen, which also provides an excuse to stay indoors. Take this banana streusel coffee cake for example: good enough for breakfast…..dessert….. all the time. 24/7. Infinite coffee cake.

Some pals and I have a little dinner rotation going during the week and, as yesterday was my night to cook, I made this cake for the grand finale. We had some perfectly speckled bananas lying around and I figured, why put them to waste?! (I get pretty picky when it comes to the texture of bananas I’m willing to eat and I always feel awful throwing them away and rejecting them. Problem solved!)

To spice things up a bit, you could replace the 3 mashed bananas in this recipe with anything else of a similar density or texture for an entirely new cake. Pumpkin purée, sour cream, chocolate pudding- the choice is yours!!!

Spiced Banana Coffee Cake 

For the cinnamon streusel:

  • 2/3 cup white whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown or cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold

For the cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons white sugar
  • 6 tablespoons brown or cane sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup smashed bananas (about 3)

Directions:

1. Preheat an oven to 350°F (around 180°C) and grease a medium sized loaf pan or 9 inch cake pan.

2. For the streusel, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Set aside.

3. For the cake, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and sugars until well combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and add the bananas. Mix until just combined and slowly add in the flour mixture.

4. Spread half of the batter in the prepared pan and sprinkle half of the streusel over the batter. Top with the rest of the batter and remaining streusel. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 30-40 minutes. Allow cake to cool for a few minutes on a wire rack and serve!

Literally, the Easiest Guacamole Bruschetta Ever.

Wazzzup mes amis?!?! Still here in Switzerland (or EN SUISSE if you’re feelin’ Frenchie) and life is sooo good! I’ve been up my usual tomfoolery, putzing around little villages, journeying up mountain tops via tram car, daily testing the whole “death by chocolate” hypothesis– you know the drill.

What’s more, thanks to my kitchen and ample supply of nearby cooking buddies, there’s been quite a superb amount cool culinary creations going on here. Take this fantastic recipe ( grace à Emma Rogers) for example. I give you: Literally, the Easiest Guacamole Bruschetta Ever.

This tasty treat combines good ol’ Texas ingredients with a little European class. The fresh baguette really makes this dish reach its maximum toothsome potential, especially when said baguette is smothered with a little garlic, olive oil….. and lots of love!

Fun fact- avocados in Switzerland are beautiful. So luscious and green and mouthwateringly delicious. Two of these, combined with a sweet tomato, lemon juice, salt and pepper are all you need for an extraordinarily easy peasy afternoon meal.

Literally, the Easiest Guacamole Bruschetta Ever

By: Emma Rogers

Ingredients:

  • 1 baguette
  • a few cloves of garlic
  • olive oil
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • lemon or lime juice
  • salt ‘n pepper

For the guacamole:

  1. Peel the avocados and place in a medium sized bowl
  2. Mash the avocados
  3. Add the diced tomatoes as well as the  lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste

For the bruschetta:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and slice the baguette
  2. Using a spoon, drizzle the bread generously with olive oil. (I actually like to toast in the oven a bit before doing this, just so the bread gets a leeeetle firmer)
  3. Next, take a garlic clove and rub the slices down.
  4. Pop those suckers in the oven and cook until the garlic wafts through your house and makes your mouth water, and the bread is golden brown and crispy (about 5-10 minutes).
  5. Take the bread out and spoon the guacamole onto the slices. Eat everything!