Double Chocolate Banana Bread

Source: Smitten Kitchen


  • 3 medium-to-large very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup (115 grams) butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup (145 grams) brown sugar (I use dark here; either light or dark work)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional; I skip it)
  • 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 cup (about 6 ounces or 170 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chunks or chips


Heat your oven to 350°F. Butter a 9×5-inch loaf pan, or spray it with a nonstick baking spray.

Mash bananas in the bottom of a large bowl. (You’ll have a little over 1 cup mashed banana total.) Whisk in melted butter, then brown sugar, egg, and vanilla. Place baking soda, salt, cinnamon (if using), flour and cocoa powder in a sifter or fine-mesh strainer and sift over wet ingredients. (My cocoa is almost always lumpy, so this is essential for me.) Stir dry and wet ingredients with a spoon until just combined. Stir in chocolate chunks or chips.

Pour into prepared pan and bake 55 to 65 minutes, until a tester or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out batter-free. (A melted chocolate chip smear is expected, however.) Cool in pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edge and invert it out onto a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

The banana bread will keep for up to 4 days at room temperature. I keep mine wrapped in foil. It goes without saying that it has never actually lasted that long.

Asparagus, Goat Cheese, and Pistachio Flatbread

Source: two peas & their pod

Yield: Serves 2-4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

This quick and easy flatbread recipe is perfect for spring! It makes a great light lunch, dinner, or party appetizer.


  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 5 large asparagus spears
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Whole grain flatbread or naan bread
  • 3 tablespoons chopped pistachios, shells removed
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Lemon zest, for garnish


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. In a small bowl, stir together the goat cheese, chives, and lemon zest. Using a vegetable peeler, shave asparagus spears into long, thin shavings. Place shavings in a small bowl. Drizzle a little of the olive oil over the asparagus shavings and gently toss.

3. Drizzle a little olive oil over the flatbread. Place dollops of goat cheese evenly over the flatbread. Top with shaved asparagus. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste.

4. Place flatbread on a large baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and flatbread is crisp. Remove from oven and top with chopped pistachios and lemon zest. Serve immediately.

Sweet Potato Fries with Garlic and Herbs

Source: Williams-Sonoma

Anyone who likes classic French fries is guaranteed to like these cheese-and-herb-dusted sweet potato fries. They are roasted rather than deep-fried, which makes them healthier without sacrificing flavor. Leaving the peel on adds more taste and texture to the dish and also retains more nutrients.


  • 2 lb. (1 kg) orange-fleshed sweet potatoes
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse sea salt, plus more, to taste
  • 3 Tbs. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, minced


Preheat an oven to 450°F (230°C).

Rinse and dry the sweet potatoes. Cut the unpeeled potatoes lengthwise into slices 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick, and then cut each slice into batons about 1/4 inch (6 mm) wide and 3 inches (7.5 cm) long.

Place the potatoes on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with the 1/4 tsp. salt and toss to coat. Spread the potatoes out evenly. Roast, stirring with a spatula halfway through, until the potatoes are tender and browned on the edges, 20 to 25 minutes.

In a large bowl, stir together the cheese, parsley and garlic. Add the warm fries and stir gently to coat. Season with salt and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Vegetable of the Day, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2012).