Sunday, July 18, 2010

Daring Cooks' July Challenge: Nut Butters

The July 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make their own nut butter from scratch, and use the nut butter in a recipe. Their sources include Better with Nut Butter by Cooking Light Magazine, Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds, and Food Network online.


So. I know. I haven't posted in a month.  Moving, school, work, life, blah blah blah, I know, no excuse.  Please don't be mad at me, friendsI am going to do my best not to let this happen again. 

Speaking of moving, here's a photo of my new kitchen:


I moved in with my friends Cindy and Blake about two weeks ago, and I'm absolutely loving the new place.  Even though I haven't been posting that much, I've been having a lot of fun cooking in our little kitchen.We've been doing a lot of late night, post-work dinner parties. Kind of ridiculous, really.


Back to the Daring Cooks. We had to make a homemade nut butter and use it in a recipe.  I chose to make almond butter and banana pancakes. 

My chef at work said I should steep the almonds in milk to get them kind of soft, which I did.

When the almonds were a little softer to bite, I strained them.

 After the almonds were strained, I put them in the food processor (Finally! A food processor! Yay for Blake!) and slowly added the reserved milk as needed.

I actually ended up using all the milk, plus a little oil.  Finish to taste with a sprinkling of kosher salt.

 For the pancakes, I used my favorite recipe from Joy of Cooking.  My blueberry pancake post lists the recipe, if you want it. This time around, I chopped up a few bananas and added them to the batter, along with some cinnamon.

 I spread a little of the almond butter on each pancake, and drizzled them with some local honey.

 Served with some sausage and a little fresh banana.  Delicious and easy!