September 15, 2011

Easy Fig Cake


I miss having a fig tree. I was used to have one in grandma's garden, along with a cherry tree, a plum tree and a beautiful vegetable garden featuring squash, strawberries, concord grapes, tomatoes, green beans and more.

Even though I live in a town blessed with amazing food and produce coming from local farmers, I still miss having something that is mine. The problem is that I haven't been living in a place long enough to have the chance to grow something on my own --not even a small terrace garden.

So, when I went home for my holidays a few weeks ago, one of the first things I did was picking as many as a could from the tree and eating them still warm and sunkissed. Full and satisfied, I brought the rest inside for some easy and quick baking – no one want to spend too much time inside when the sun shines and the bikes are ready to go, right?


September 12, 2011

Ricotta Pancakes with Maple-Glazed Bananas

Ricotta Banana Pancakes

I once heard someone saying that overripe bananas were bound to become banana bread or muffins. Well, they were created to top pancakes, too. I haven't tried them inside the pancake batter yet, but on top, they are just delicious. 

Let me tell you about this banana-maple glaze. Pure maple syrup and good, ripe, spotty bananas, simply cooked for a few minutes in a hot skillet. Easy. And this is just the glaze. 

For the pancake batter, I used whole wheat flour, plus some local fresh ricotta. Ricotta means 'cooked twice'. This dairy product traditionally comes from the South of Italy. It's traditionally made with either cow's, water buffalo's or sheep's whey – a by-product of cheesemaking – becoming a classic example of waste not, want not. Piedmont (where I live) is known for other kinds of cheeses, but some cheesemakers still use whey to make ricotta. Ricotta made in the South does taste different. But for my daily food consumption and recipes I found a lovely ricotta made close-by, which means it is as fresh as it gets.

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