Monthly Archives: July 2010

Ultimate Banana Bread

I found this article on Banana Bread in the Cook’s Illustrated magazine I bought a couple of weeks ago. They did a bunch of experiments and found that if you put 6 bananas and some concentrated banana juice into the mixture, it comes out moist and delicious. I did not follow the directions very well because I ended up smashing all 6 bananas into the batter instead of saving one for the top of the bread. I also didn’t have a loaf pan so I cooked it in the deepest one I had. Thank goodness for CorningWare!!

I can’t really rewrite the recipe here but if you want it, you can get it from or you can buy this month’s issue (August 2010 – Issue #105)



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Posted by on July 2, 2010 in The Bakery!


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Aussie Meat Pies

CoRDs was nice enough to give me a good looking recipe from a very old Australian cook book so I thought I would attempt to follow the recipe as exactly as possible. Some of the things (like Parisian Essence) are not essential to the flavor of the meal and also are impossible to find here. I know I should use Beef Lard for the pie crust but I probably won’t do that because its hard to get here.

Australian Meat Pies
Serves 4-6
Temp: 400F to 375F

Pie Base:
2 cups Plain Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
4 tablespoons beef dripping (I used butter in place of this)

Pie Top:
345g puff pastry
Egg glaze

1/2kg coarsely minced beef
1 stock cube (I used the equivalent amount of bouillon concentrate)
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups water
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons plain flour
Extra 1/2 cup water
Parisian Essence*

Saute the meat in a saucepan until well browned. Do not add any oil. Drain off any surplus fat. Add crumbled stock cube, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add water, bring to boil, cook few minutes. Mix flour with extra water until smooth. Remove the pan from heat, cool slightly, stir in flour thickening. Bring back to the boil, stirring continuously, until well thickened. Cook further few minutes. Add sufficient Parisian Essence to give rich brown coloring.

For the base pastry, sift flour and salt into basin. Place water and dripping in sauce pan; heat gently to melt dripping. Pour hot liquid into well in centre of flour. Mix with knife to begin with and when cool enough, use hands. Knead on lightly-floured board until free of cracks. Roll out, and line bases of pie dishes. Use small saucer to cut circles. Fill centres with prepared cooled filling.

For the pastry tops, roll out puff pastry on lightly floured board, and cut with small saucer to make rounds for tops. Wet edges of base pastry, gently press tops into place. Pierce centre with pointed knife. Brush well with egg glaze. Place in hot oven approximately 10 minutes until browned then reduce heat to moderate and cook further 5 minutes.

*A quick note on Parisian Essence – I had no idea what it was when I got the recipe. I did a Google search and it seems pretty simple to make. It is just sugar and water cooked down to a dark molasses color. It is added to recipes like this one to make the food look darker and richer. It is also commonly added to brown gravies.

I have been told these are served with “tomato sauce” on top of them but when I asked what kind, my informants described ketchup. I intend to serve them with ketchup available because Carter is not a big fan of ketchup on most things. I was also deliberating adding a portobello mushroom to the mix, diced up like the meat. I think the mushroom might give it a delicious rich flavor. I find it odd that there is no garlic or onion in this recipe as well but that’s ok! I can live without it, at least the first time I make it. I have to get some pie plates from the store (I think I will buy some aluminum ones from the grocery store that are disposable and order some good ones from Amazon for the future) Pics and Updates on this tomorrow! 🙂

Meat starting out…

Meat half browned…

Meat drained of fat and water/salt&pepper/bouillon added…

Meat with the flour thickener added…

Bouillon I stole from my mother in law! (Thanks BJ!)

Pie crust already made and puff pastry prepared for topping!

Half filled done and half undone!


Full meal!

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Posted by on July 1, 2010 in General Food, Meals!


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