Macadamia Banana Bread

Never ever toss out a banana if it starts to get brown/black....just toss it in the freezer! They keep for a long time and are perfect for banana breads. We had 2 that had been sitting in our freezer for a few months (~5 months) and they were overripe perfection :) 

Banana bread was one of the first things my Mom taught me how to make and it's still one of my favorite comfort foods. This has been my favorite recipe for a long time, so enjoy!
Serves: 4 (4 ramekin sizes); double this recipe for (1) standard 9x5-inch pan.

  • 1 cup All-purpose flour  
  • 1/2 tsp Baking soda  
  • 1 dash of Salt (1/8 tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup Butter
  • 3/8 (0.375) cup Brown sugar 
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 2/3 (0.667) cup Bananas (overripe), mashed (1-2 bananas, preferrably 2)
  • 1/2 cup (or to your preferences) Macadamia nuts, crushed
  • Optional
    • 6oz (1/2 of 12oz bag) Milk chocolate chips
    • 1/3 cup shredded Coconut, toasted
  1. Preheat oven to 350F (175C). Lightly grease (4) ramekin dishes. 
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Add the macadamia nuts (save a handful to sprinkle on top), and optional items if desirable (chocolate chips, shredded coconut). Pour batter into ramekin dishes. Sprinkle some of the crushed macadamia nuts and brown sugar on the top of each for a toasty, sweet crunch!

  3. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 mins (60-65 mins for the 9x5 loaf), or until a toothpick inserted into center of the bread comes out clean. Let bread cool in ramekins for 10 minutes before turning out or serving.

  4. Slice some up then toast and butter (my fav). If you have ice cream, serve warm with some vanilla ice cream and enjoy! An easy trick is to scoop out some banana bread in the middle, leaving the bread in the ramekin dish, and filling with ice cream :)

How to melt some butter and toast at the same time ;)
Then it's ready for ice cream or by it's toasty self!

Filipino Chicken Adobo

This is an easy recipe that makes some juicy, flavourful chicken that falls off the bone! Filipino adobo is very different from Mexican, as it's tangy, sticky and sweet! 

  • 4 lbs. Chicken (skin-on, bone-in)
  • 1/2 cup Soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup Apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp Honey
  • 2 whole Bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp Garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp Black peppercorns
  • Optional: top with fresh chopped green onion
  1. Arrange the chicken pieces in a large pot in one layer. Remove the skin if desired.
  2. Combine the rest of the ingredients (soy sauce, vinegar, honey, oil, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns) in a bowl and whisk until the honey is dissolved. Partially crush the peppercorns if desired. Pour the marinade over the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours or over night.  
  3. When you're ready to make the chicken, add just enough water so that the liquid comes just up to the top of the chicken (about 1/2 cup). Cover the pot with a lid, place the pot over a high flame, and bring it up to a rolling boil. When it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to medium/low and let simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat your broiler on high. Remove the chicken from the pot and place it on a broiler pan (or a sheet pan with wire cooling racks placed on top). Place the chicken under the broiler until it is brown and crispy on top (5-10 minutes), depending on your broiler). 
  5. While the chicken is broiling, turn pot with the soy/vinegar liquid up to high and bring up to a rapid boil. Allow the liquid to boil heavily until it is reduced in volume by approximately one half. You may need to boil it for 5-10 minutes longer than the chicken is in the oven to get it to this point.
  6. Use a soft brush to baste a few layers of the reduced soy/vinegar liquid onto the browned chicken. Serve over rice or noodles and spoon more of the reduced liquid over top.
 BudgetBytes finished version looks a little better than mine, ha ha.

Hkatenkwan (Ghanaian Groundnut Stew)

I stumbled across this on tastespotting and was curious about this African "peanut butter" stew. I love the individual ingredients...peanut butter, sweet potato, chickpeas, chili flakes...but all together in a peppery, tomato-based stew? I've never had anything like this, so I figured I'd either love or hate this. Challenge: accepted. 

I found a few recommended and traditional recipes, keeping the traditional and most common ingredients. I added a little fennel and Thai fish sauce to add some flavour twists and swapped out the cayenne pepper for chili flakes for a nice heat (we like it spicy)! Well, an hour of simmering chili flakes made for a lingering burn, so I blended up a fruit lassi to take away the sting and it was perfect.

The final result: a spicy, peanut buttery heaven that is going in my all-time favorite recipes.

Groundnut is the common African word for peanut. This chicken groundnut stew is the Western African (Ghanaian) version of the groundnut/tomato stew eaten all over sub-Saharan Africa. The Western African style is usually more elaborate, with more ingredients and garnishes, which is noted in the optional ingredients. Suggested serving sides include ginger beer or green tea w/ mint with or after the meal to drink, followed with a fruit salad. 

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour, 45 minutes 
Yield: Serves 6-8 

  • 2-3 pounds Chicken legs, thighs and/or wings
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp Peanut oil
  • 1 large Onion (yellow), sliced
  • 3-inch piece of Ginger, peeled and minced
  • 6-8 garlic cloves, chopped roughly
  • 2-3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 15-oz can of crushed Tomatoes 
  • 1 quart Chicken stock 
  • 1 cup Peanut butter 
  • 1 cup roasted Peanuts
  • 1 can Chickpeas 
  • 1 tbsp ground Coriander 
  • 1 (heaping) tbsp Fennel, to taste 
  • ~1.5 tbsp Thai Fish Sauce 
  • 1 tsp dried Chili flakes
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste (skip the salt if using salted peanuts; lots of cracked black pepper) 
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro (didn't have) 
  • Optional additions: green chile peppers/habanero, bell pepper, pumpkin, squash, carrot, okra, eggplant, boiled egg.
  • Optional sides: steamed rice and (it's not African, but serve with) a fruit lassi to cool the heat ;)

  1. Heat the vegetable and peanut oil in a large soup pot set over medium-high heat. Salt the chicken pieces well, pat them dry and brown them in the oil. Don't crowd the pot, so do this in batches. Set the chicken pieces aside as they brown. 
  2. Sauté the onions in the oil for 3-4 minutes, stirring often and scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté another 1-2 minutes, then add the sweet potatoes and stir well to combine. 
  3. Add the chicken, chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, peanut butter, peanuts, chickpeas, coriander, fennel, fish sauce, and chili flakes and stir well to combine. Bring to a simmer and taste for salt, adding if needed (depends if you use salted peanuts and salted peanut butter - you may not need to add any salt). Cover the pot and simmer gently for 90 minutes (check after an hour), or until the chicken meat easily falls off the bone and the sweet potatoes are tender. 
  4. Remove the chicken pieces and set them in a bowl to cool, until cool enough to touch. Remove and discard the skin if you want, or chop it and put it back into the pot. Shred the meat off the bones and put the meat back in the pot. 
  5. Adjust the seasonings if needed, then add as much black pepper as you think you can stand—the stew should be peppery. Stir in the cilantro and serve with a cool drink (ginger beer, green tea w/ mint, or my fav for spicy foods: fruit lassi)!


Mexican Posole (Shredded Pork & Hominy Soup)

The one bummer to North Australia: Mexican food. However, that gives us a huge plus: we can cook proper Mexican now! Finding the ingredients aren't too hard, if you know where to go (Pennisi)...and the rest is easy and damn worth it! :)

Serves 6-8.

  • 750 grams pork shoulder, cubed
  • Canola oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1-2 whole chiles, roasted (Jalapeno is great, so is Ancho or Anaheim - whatever you have handy)
  • 2 cans (500g) hominy, drained
  • 1 dried guajillo chile (if you can find it)
  • 2-3 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp Mexican oregano (Italian will do if you can't find it)
  • 1 tsp fresh ground cloves
  • 1-2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 (large) bunch of cilantro, stemmed and chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Radishes, thinly sliced
  • Red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • Carrot, shaved
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Tortilla strips
  • Hot sauces
  • 2 scallions, finely sliced
  • 4 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • Fresh limes
  1. Begin by browning the cubed pork shoulder over high heat with the canola oil in a large soup pot.
  2. Towards the end of the browning, toss in 1 of the diced onions and let them brown just a bit.
  3. Once the onions are nearly done, add in the garlic.
  4. After 60 seconds add enough water to just cover everything, bring to a boil, and then let it simmer for about 60-90 minutes.
  5. While this is simmering, begin the rest of the prep.
  6. All ingredients after the pepper are garnishes, and should be prepared now and set aside.
  7. Combine half of the tomato with half the onion. Add salt, pepper, some diced chili, lime juice, and 1/3 of the cilantro to finish up the pico de gallo.
  8. In another bowl add some avocado, the remaining tomato, most of the remaining onion, another 1/3 of the cilantro, lime juice, salt, pepper, cayenne, and mix to make guacamole.
  9. The remainder of the garnishes should be set aside.
  10. Once the pork shoulder has cooked well, remove the meat and shred it. Then add it back into the soup.
  11. Add in all the remaining ingredients and let it simmer for another hour at least.
  12. Serve in a bowl and garnish with everything you have at hand including plenty of your favorite hot sauce.
  13. Bon ap!
All the goodies: guacamole, pico de gallo, and posole garnishes!

Shredding the pork.

Simmering posole.


Hot sauces: check.

Adding the garnishes...

Adding more garnishes...

Topping up with some fresh avo!

The BF, making things look good ;)