Banana Nectarine Bread (GF)

nectarine banana bread First off, I want to apologize for such a poor quality photo – office lighting doesn’t make anything look particularly great. This yummy recipe suitable for breakfast or as a dessert was pulled from Vegetarian Times Magazine. I was super happy to stumble upon this recipe since Sprouts had a sale on nectarines for $.48/lb – I couldn’t pass up that deal. Plus, it’s summer! Nectarines are delicious by themselves or in an icy pitcher of Sangria. Okay, I need to remember it’s only Wednesday – not even close to it being appropriate to jump into weekend mode.

To be quite honest, my baking skills are sub-par and I did not expect this to come out as well as it did. The whole loaf was gone within 2 days. I also feel the need to point out that I was not the only person who inhaled this within that time – I had a little help. 🙂

Banana Nectarine Bread (GF)
Recipe makes 1 loaf or 8 slices

the ingredients:

  • 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 large banana, mashed
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 3 large nectarines, peeled and pitted, 2 cut into ½-inch dice, 1 cut into 8 wedges each

the method:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 1-qt. loaf pan with cooking spray.

2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Beat egg in separate bowl, then whisk in milk, followed by bananas and melted butter. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture until just combined. Fold in diced nectarines.

3. Pour batter into the loaf pan. Arrange nectarine wedges in row, smooth side up, down center of each loaf. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Easter Pavlova

I’m the first to admit it – desserts are NOT my forte. Since my family follows my blog and knows that I have an extreme passion for cooking, they figured they would challenge me to make a dessert for our Easter gathering. Needless to say, I was very initimated but rather intrigued.

I immediately googled “Easter desserts that even a child can make,” and Ina Garten’s Pavolva really caught my attention. I always feel confident in any recipe I get from her, because let’s face it, she is a goddess in the kitchen. I followed most of the recipe exactly, but I created my own fruit topping in lieu of the mixed berries.

Note: Although this recipe is super-simple, it takes almost 3 hours from start to finish so make sure you have ample time to bake…

Ingredients:

  • 4 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Sweetened Cinnamon Whipped Cream, recipe follows
  • 1/2 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 3 kiwis, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 pint fresh blueberries

Cinnamon Whipped Cream:

  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
The Method:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees F.

Place a sheet of parchment paper on a sheet pan. Draw a 9-inch circle on the paper, using a 9-inch plate as a guide, then turn the paper over so the circle is on the reverse side. (This way you won’t get a pencil mark on the meringue.)

Place the egg whites and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat the egg whites on high speed until firm, about 1 minute. With the mixer still on high, slowly add the sugar and beat until it makes firm, shiny peaks, about 2 minutes.

Remove the bowl from the mixer, sift the cornstarch onto the beaten egg whites, add the vinegar and vanilla, and fold in lightly with a rubber spatula. Pile the meringue into the middle of the circle on the parchment paper and smooth it within the circle, making a rough disk. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Turn off the oven, keep the door closed, and allow the meringue to cool completely in the oven, about 1 hour. It will be crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.

Invert the meringue disk onto a plate and spread the top completely with sweetened whipped cream. Place the sliced fruit in any pattern, leaving a border of cream and meringue. Serve immediately in large scoops with fruit.