Monthly Archives: June 2016

Banana Bread w/ Flax & Bourbon Soaked Raisins


3 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
4 tsps Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground Allspice
1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
1 tsp Salt
1/4 Cup Ground Flax Seed (optional)
2/3 Cup Canola oil
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
4 Eggs
4 overripe mashed bananas
1 Cup Raisins
1/4 Cup Bourbon (you can also substitute dark rum or brandy)



Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Prepare two loaf pans or bundt cake pans by spraying with non-stick spray.  I use the spray made specifically for baking.  You can also coat with a layer of butter instead.

Soak the raisins in the bourbon in a bowl and set aside turning from time to time.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and salt.  Mix in the flax seed. Set aside

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer or stand mixer beat together the canola oil & sugar until frothy and well combined (about 3 minutes) on medium speed.  Add the eggs and beat on high until light and fluffy and soft peaks form. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat on low speed just until combined. Add 1/3 of the bananas and beat on low speed until just combined.  Repeat with remaining flour and bananas 1/3 at a time. Do not overbeat else the bread will be tough.  Add the raisins and bourbon and fold in.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 45 mins to 1 hour.  Bread is done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Cut into slices and enjoy!!  Makes two loaves.

Note: if you choose to leave out the liquor but include the flax meal, you will need to add an extra banana as the flax will dry out the bread without the additional moisture from the bourbon.  If you aren’t concerned with making it healthy, cream together 2/3 Cup of softened butter with the sugar instead of canola oil for an even more yummy bread!!

Weekday Chicken Curry

I have several different ways to cook Chicken Curry.  There’s no one recipe that I use and typically it depends on what I have on hand in the house and how much time I have.  This particular recipe is quick enough to make for a weeknight meal, but can be made over the weekend and eaten during the week.  It will only get more flavorful over time.  

As I’ve likely explained before, a curry is anything with a gravy.  The gravy is the curry. It is NOT a spice as many believe in the West.  Real Indian cooks never use curry powder.  We do use different masalas (spice blends) which are added to various other ingredients to form a curry.  

I took this pot of chicken curry to the office with me and it was a big hit so I promised to post the recipe on the blog.


6 – 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 cup lowfat Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp Patak brand Madras Curry Paste*
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
3 – 4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped or mashed
1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
3 Tbsp Canola oil
1 large cinnamon stick
1 medium onion finely sliced
1/2 cup unsweetened grated dry coconut*
1 large onion finely chopped
2 bay leaves
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp red chile powder* (not the kind you use to make Texas chili)
2 Tbsp garam masala* (I used the Rajah brand. If there’s time I will make my own)
1 Tbsp salt
2 cans unsalted tomato sauce
Water as needed
1 tsp Sriracha sauce
Chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)

*Available at most Indian markets


Wash and dry the chicken thighs and place in a large glass bowl. Combine the yogurt, Madras curry paste, black pepper, garlic and ginger in a bowl adding a little water to thin out, if needed, to make the marinade.  Add the marinade to the bowl of chicken and mix thoroughly.  Set aside for at least one hour or refrigerate overnight if possible.  If refrigerating, remove and bring to room temperature one hour before cooking.

In a large dutch oven, heat the canola oil on medium high flame with cinnamon stick.  When cinnamon starts to sizzle, add the sliced onion and cook until it is golden brown being careful not to burn it.  Reduce heat if needed.  Add the coconut and stir quickly.  It will brown within 10 seconds. Immediately add the chopped onion and stir and cook for 2 minutes until the onion is translucent.  Add the turmeric, chile powder, garam masala, bay leaves & salt.  Stir well and cook until the oil starts to separate – about 3 to 4 minutes.  Turn heat to high flame.  Add the chicken thighs in one layer. Allow to brown on one side for 2 mins, then turn and brown on the other side for an additional 2 mins. Add the tomato sauce, Sriracha and enough water to just cover the chicken and stir well.  Bring to a boil, turn heat to simmer and cover.  Cook for 40 – 50 minutes until chicken is tender.  Taste to adjust seasonings adding more salt, chile powder or sriracha to suit your taste buds and heat level.

Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve over Basmati rice.  

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