Potato Leek Soup

This post should have been written a long time ago. Unfortunately, the meal I’m going to tell you about happened right before that magical time of year known as Reading Week. Anybody who has ever gone to a university that gives students a week off midway through term knows what that means; you accomplish little, almost none of what you intended, and you don’t quite manage to get as much sleep as you were hoping either. Nonetheless, it usually turns out to be a good time, whether spent on vacation, at home visiting friends and family, or vegging on the couch with a bowl of popcorn, watching Uma Thurman annihilate enough people to populate a small town (it’s called Kill Bill and it’s a Quentin Tarantino Kung-Fu movie, just in case you don’t know what I’m talking about) while your brain does the vacationing. Mine was a happy combination of all three.

Anyway, this all started when Jasmine and I got together on a Wednesday afternoon to hang out and chat, and so I could admire her new dreadlocks (which are awesome!). I was at her house for quite a while, and before we knew it afternoon had become evening, and we were hungry. It was the perfect opportunity to do some cooking together!

To add to this already ideal situation, Jasmine’s roommate Patrick was out of town for a couple weeks, and he had left a bunch of perishable food behind in the fridge. Being the selfless people that we are, we decided to rescue that food from its mouldy demise, and turned it into soup instead. As if fortune hadn’t smiled on us enough, Patrick had left us exactly the right combination of ingredients for making potato leek soup. So here it is, our original potato leek soup recipe, made with a little bit of butter, salt, pepper, and ingredients in Patrick’s fridge.

(In case you’re wondering, we also froze some of the leftovers and saved them for Patrick, so he got something good out of this too!)

Potato Leek Soup
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 4 leeks
  • 2 cups mashed potatoes
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 packet of chicken bouillon
  • 1 1/2 cups of grated cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper

To start, finely chop the leeks and melt the butter in a large pan. Add the leeks to the butter and saute on medium to low heat for a few minutes, until the leeks are tender. Add the mashed potatoes and stir in the half of milk. Cook it for 5 minutes more, then add the rest of the milk and the chicken broth. One this is nice and hot, but not quite boiling, add the cheese stirring it in bit by bit until it’s all melted. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper.

Now, to get it nice and smooth, you can put it a blender (or something equivalent) and puree it until any remaining potato chunks are gone and you can’t see the individual pieces of leek. Sprinkle on a little more cheese and it will look something like this:

And just for fun, here’s Jasmine and I, each with our [first] bowl of soup. (It was so good we went back for seconds)

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Mmmm… Lobster. And Pie. And Salad. And Stuffed Mushroom Caps.

Brace yourselves, because this is going to be a long one. I haven’t written anything for weeks, so I’m about to make up for it by giving you a four course meal. Last night, I made my boyfriend dinner for his birthday. The results were fantastic. And I’m going to give you all of the recipes, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

The menu:

  • Raspberry, Mango and Spinach Salad
  • Multigrain Ciabatta with balsamic vinegar and olive oil
  • Stuffed Mushroom Caps
  • Lobster with a lemon garlic dip
  • Apple Pie
  • A full-bodied white wine

Now, it is important to note that the foods in this menu are not perfectly complementary. When I planned it, it was more organized about what I wanted to cook and eat, and not how well it would go with the lobster main course. So I am not advocating for the goodness of apple pie with lobster or anything (according to the internet, blueberry pie is the dessert of choice for a lobster dinner).But I do think that it worked fairly well anyway, and I actually found a recipe in Canadian Living for a Lobster and Apple Pie so the combo isn’t too far-fetched. I will say that the mushroom caps complimented the lobster extremely well. In terms of the dip, butter with lobster is always the best, but if you’re serving this to someone who isn’t too thrilled about dairy products, olive oil makes a reasonable substitute.

One of the really nice things about this meal, is that almost all of it can be done ahead of time. The only thing you’re going to have to do during the evening is cook the lobster.

To start with you could make your own bread if you had the time or inclination, but if you’re really going to make the rest of the food on this menu, you probably don’t. So buy a nice loaf from the grocery store or a local bakery, and you’re ready to go.

Then, make a salad. Throwing together some baby spinach, a couple kinds of fruit (like raspberries and cubed mango), and goat cheese is basically all you need to do. I used a garlic and mango dressing, but a raspberry or balsamic vinaigrette would be equally delicious.

Next, the mushroom caps. I’ll actually give you a recipe for this one.

  • 8 large white mushrooms, stems separated and chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs, about 1 slice of bread’s worth
  • ¼ cup herbed goat cheese
  • ¼ tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ tsp hot pepper flakes
  • Salt and Pepper

Melt the butter in a pan, and fry the mushroom stems and onions in it until soft. Add the garlic, bread crumbs, goat cheese, Worcestershire sauce and spices. Cook for another two minutes, until the goat cheese is mixed in evenly, then place a spoonful or two of the mixture into each of the mushroom caps. You can now put them in the fridge for a few hours until you’re ready to cook them if you want to. When you’re ready, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the mushrooms in a glass baking dish pan with just enough water to wet the bottom. Bake for 15-20 min and serve warm.

Sadly, they disappeared to quickly for me to get a picture of the finished product, but this is what the mushroom caps looked like before they went into the oven:

This is the first time I have ever made lobster, so I will admit that I don’t really know what I’m doing. I bought two frozen, cooked lobsters at the grocery store, and I just boiled them for 3 or 4 minutes to get them warm. Maybe someday I’ll make another post involving a live lobster, and perhaps I’ll steam it or pan fry it instead. But last night, this is what I did.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Put the (already cooked) lobster in and boil it with the lid on for 3-5 minutes to get it warm again (about 3 minutes if you’ve had it out of the freezer for a bit, closer to 5 minutes if it’s still icy). Take it out, and on a cutting board crack the claws and slice it in half from the underside of its belly to the end of its tail. Do the same with the other lobster, and then dig in!

Note: the digging in part gets messy. If you’re like me and you don’t have any lobster eating utensils around, or even a nutcracker, then be prepared to get your hands dirty and splatter a bit of lobster juice everywhere.

Lobster is great dipped in melted butter, but I made a sauce using olive oil, which turned out to be a great alternative.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tsp parsley flakes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ tsp sea salt

Mix it together in a small pot, heat it up, and serve it in a small bowl for dipping.

This is the apple pie that I made.

I may not know much about lobsters, but I’ve made a fair number of pies in my life. I feel that in terms of pies, I do know what’s going on, and this pie is no exception.

In my opinion, if you are going to make a pie, you should be making the whole thing from scratch. If you don’t feel like rolling out pastry, then you might as well just go out and buy the entire thing. But if you’re willing to put in the effort , mixing the pastry is ridiculously easy and rolling it out and fluting the edges is not much harder (unless you’re using whole wheat flour. In that case it gets trickier). The entire pie should take only an hour and a half. Two hours if you’re really slow and you drag out the cleanup time. But trust me; it is worth every minute of it.

Here’s the pastry recipe I used. It can be done with whole wheat flour, which is often what I do because I like the nutty taste of whole wheat. However, if you want a pie with pretty edges, and perfectly textured, easy-to-roll-out pastry, you have to use all-purpose. On this occasion, that is what I did.

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup chilled, unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup sunflower oil
  • water

In a food processor, mix together the flour, butter, sugar and salt until it forms fine particles. Add the sunflower oil and pulse once or twice. Then, trickle in the water as you’re mixing it until the first small clumps start to form. Once this happens, separate the dough into two halves and wrap it in wax paper. Let it rest in the fridge for at least half an hour before rolling it out.

In the meantime, you can start peeling apples. Last time I made an apple pie, I had two helpers who, in exchange for some of the finished product, peeled the apples (Thank you Gillian, Caileigh and Brendan!). This time I was not so lucky. And eight apples does take a considerable amount of time.

This is the recipe for what goes inside the pie. It’s for a deep-dish pie plate, or one that’s about 10” in diameter. In a store bought pie pastry, you should be able to make 2 pies, maybe slicing up an extra apple or two. (But why would you do that, when making your own pastry is soooooo much better?)

  • 8 cups of apples (granny smith apples work really well)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp worth of other spices (nutmeg, allspice, ginger, cloves, cardamom… basically whatever you’ve got. I had a pumpkin pie spice mix.)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
After peeling the apples, you can pour the lemon juice over them. Then mix together the dry ingredients and add them to the apples as well. Stir it until the apples are coated.

This next bit is my favourite part. You’ll need a pastry board and a rolling pin, and you’ll want to get them both well-covered in flour. Take the pastry out of the fridge (if it has been in the fridge for more than an hour it will be hard. You may want to take it out for a while before you start rolling it out.)

On your well-floured pastry board, flatten the first ball of dough slightly, and then roll it out with the rolling pin until it is roughly 16 inches in diameter. Or about half a centimeter thick (Yes, I’m switching back and forth from imperial to metric. You’re going to have to deal with it). Pick the dough up by rolling it around the pin, and then lay it out in your pie plate.

Add the apples.

Roll out the next piece of pastry just like the first, and place it on top. Then cut away the excess pastry and inch away from the edge of the pie plate. Roll or fold the edges of the crust so that it is tucked under itself and not hanging over the edge of the pie plate anymore. Flute the edge of the pastry by pushing it in with your thumbs and pulling back with your fingers. (Something like that. You’ll figure it out). Don’t forget to cut slits in the top for steam to escape. It hasn’t happened in this picture yet.

Pop the pie into an oven preheated to 400 F. You may have to cover the edges of the crust with tin foil if it starts to brown too quickly. I always do. The pie will be done in about an hour, when fruit juice is bubbling through the steam vents and the apples inside are tender if you stick a knife into them. It needs to cool for at least 3 hours before you serve it, but when you do, you can pair it with ice cream, old cheddar cheese, or nothing. It’s good regardless.

Irish Soda Bread

Here’s that bread I promised you!

This recipe came out of my Mom’s cookbook. I know she got it from a friend, and before that, who knows? It’s one I’ve made many times, and I love this recipe for many reasons. One, it’s delicious. Two, it’s really easy. As if you need anything more than that. But I can keep going. It’s healthy, in small quantities (so really, it’s not, because I can’t recall eating a piece that wasn’t at least twice as large as it should be). In my opinion it tastes better because it’s made with whole wheat flour. It’s crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. It can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and with almost anything (but especially Beef Stew). If you want to change it up, it can be made into biscuits instead of a loaf, or you can add totally different spices (I got you started with a few different possibilities). As I am being reminded at this very moment, cooking it makes your kitchen smell amazing. It’s been roommate and boyfriend approved. And did I mention that it tastes delicious?

Irish Soda Bread

  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp each of parsley, onion flakes, caraway
  • or 1 tsp each basil and parsley, 1 clove minced garlic, 1/2 a small onion, finely chopped (my personal favourite)
  • or maybe even  2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg and a pinch of cloves plus a handful of raisins kneaded in at the end. I’d eat this version for breakfast with honey.
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups buttermilk (you can use buttermilk powder to make this if you want. That way you don’t have to have the buttermilk on hand)

Measure out all of  the dry ingredients. Cut in the butter and oil. Stir in the buttermilk. Knead slightly. Form into a round loaf or into smaller biscuits. Set on a greased tray and cut a cross in the top with a knife. For a loaf, cook at 400 for 15 min and then 350 for 40 min. For biscuits, cook at  400 for 1 min and then 350 for 20. Place on a rack to cool.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

This is a stew that my Dad always makes at least once a winter. I would even go so far as to say it might be his favourite thing to make outside of barbeque season. And he does it well. Unfortunately, I won’t be at home for this year’s rendition, so I had to give making it myself a try.

 

I’m not sure I should call it a recipe, because I think of it more as a set of guidelines. The key is to throw in anything and everything that seems like it might work. It reminds me of a quote from Huckleberry Finn, “In a barrel of odds and ends…things get mixed up, and the juice kind of swaps around, and the things go better.”

These are just some of the many vegetables that found their way into the stew.

While Huck’s culinary advice doesn’t apply to every scenario, it certainly works for beef stew. Or, it can be venison stew if you prefer. You can add parsnips, a can of tomatoes, or frozen peas (towards the end), leave out the sweet potato, or the celery, whatever makes it work with what you have on hand. When it comes to flavouring the stew, the list of possibilities is near endless: Worcestershire sauce, Ketchup, BBQ Sauce, Beer, hot peppers, Wine, Vinegar (or wine vinegar), tabasco sauce, thyme, a bay leaf, oregano, mustard, and of course salt and pepper.

When I made it, since I didn’t have Worcestershire, I added things like soy sauce, fish sauce, lemon juice, honey, and some of the liquid from a jar of dill pickles. It sounds crazy but it works. The only caveat I have is that it’s not good too put in so much of something that it becomes overpowering, especially if it’s an ingredient you’re not sure of. Still, there’s a lot of freedom to try things, and every batch of stew can be a little bit different. The only thing limiting you is the size of your slow cooker, so go create!

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

(I wasn’t really sure what to include in this, but I decided that if I was only ever going to make it once, this is what I would put in)

  • Olive Oil
  • ½ kg  (1 lb) package of stew meat
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 cups beef stock (or water)
  • 4 carrots, scrubbed
  • 2 large onions
  • 2 large potatoes, scrubbed
  • 3 celery sticks
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled
  • 1 turnip, peeled
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tbsp barbeque sauce
  • 1 can of beer
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-2 tsp hot pepper flakes
  • Flour and Water
  • Salt and Pepper

To start with, try to cut most of the fat and gristle off of your chunks of stew meat, and cut them into similar sized pieces. I like 1 inch cubes. On medium, heat some olive oil and add the beef and garlic, then sprinkle on the flour to coat the pieces. Fry them for 5-10 minutes until they are browned on all sides. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, start heating up the beef broth in your slow cooker and cutting all of your vegetables into same sized chunks. You can add the meat and vegetables to the broth at any time. Once that’s all done, add the sauces, beer and seasonings, mix it all together and top it off with some water if the liquid isn’t covering the veggies.

Now you’ve just got to wait for it to cook. You can relax, go to class, or write a blog post. (Or do all three!) You should give it around 12 hours (overnight) on Low or 6 hours (all day) on High to cook, but it varies with the size of your chunks and the slow cooker you use. You’ll know it’s done when the beef and vegetables are tender. Mix together some water and flour, using just enough water to dissolve the flour. Start with stirring ½ cup of this mixture into your stew, and then add more until the broth has reached the colour and consistency you want. Finally, taste your stew and add salt and pepper as you see fit.

The stew should be served nice and warm with a thick slice of bread or a biscuit, preferably after spending the day outside chopping wood or playing hockey on a nearby river. The copious, delicious leftovers can be frozen or kept in the fridge for a couple days.

The bread in this picture is a favourite recipe of mine, called Irish Soda Bread. I plan on making another loaf soon, and you can expect a post about it to be appearing here in the next few weeks.

The Best Banana Birthday Cake

Two days ago was the birthday of a very special person, someone near and dear to both Jasmine’s heart, and mine. That means that there must be cake. Fortunately, my fellow author was well prepared for the occasion, with ingredients, and most importantly, a recipe. Not just any recipe, but the same wonderful banana cake that the birthday girl’s family usually makes for her birthday. And the only thing better than Jasmine making a cake and blogging about it, is Jasmine and I making a cake together!

We made plans a few days before to get together after one of my exams. I’m immensely glad that we did, because coming out of that particular exam, I needed the comfort of a warm kitchen and a good friend. (Turns out, calculators are fairly essential when writing an exam on probability! Who knew?*) Anyway, once we’d finished catching up on each other’s lives, we got down to business and made a cake.

*If you’re actually concerned about how I did on my exam, my prof did find me a calculator about halfway through. But the panic involved wasn’t particularly conducive to good test-writing. We’ll see what happens!

I’ll admit that Jasmine did most of the work, but I’ll justify it by saying that we were in her kitchen. (Although that doesn’t explain why I was even less helpful during the cleaning up part) While I mostly flitted around taking pictures, I did mix the wet ingredients.

And then we added the bananas, the vanilla, and ALL THE CHOCOLATE CHIPS! (Really, we used up all of the chocolate chips. Admittedly, some of them went into our mouths, but most of them went into the cake.)

At this point, Jasmine prepared to pour the cake batter into the pans. Since the dry ingredients were still sitting in a bowl on the kitchen table, it’s a good thing she didn’t. I suppose that one problem you can run into when cooking with other people is that it’s easy to get distracted from what you’re doing. Fortunately, someone was paying attention (me!). Disaster averted.

After mixing in the flour and pouring the cake mix in to the pans at a more appropriate time in the baking process, they were all set to go into the oven.

Chocolate Chip Banana Cake
From Crazy Plates, with only the smallest of adaptions

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon each baking powder and soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cup mashed bananas
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips (at least)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease your baking pan. We used two 8″ cake pans.

Combine flour, powder, soda and salt in a medium bowl.

In a large bowl beat together eggs and butter. Add the rest of the wet ingredients and beat until smooth.

Add dry mixture to wet mixture in batches, it should be pretty thick. Then add the chocolate chips. Make sure you eat some too. You know, like a quality check.

Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Serve as is, or get fancy and do some icing. It doesn’t need icing, but it wouldn’t hurt either.

TIP: if you’re making a layer cake (like us) you can bake the cakes at 300 F for about half an hour. They’ll come out flatter and be easier to stack. We went for the “cut off the dome part” method, because Jasmine wanted a taste straight out of the oven, but if you’re crazy and don’t feel like sneaking a snack ahead of time, you can totally reduce the heat for a flatter cake.

(A note from Jasmine: As soon as I finish my exams, if I ever finish my exams, I’ll post part 2 of this birthday feature: the icing. So stay tuned!)

I Love Leeks

This is going to be quick, because it’s late at night and I’ve got a lot of studying to do tomorrow. But after coming out of three exams in as many days, today was my day of rest. I did some serious cooking today for the first time in almost two weeks (that might be a lie, but I really tried to refrain from wasting time in the kitchen). I went grocery shopping for the first time in a month. Ditto for doing laundry. I guess that doesn’t actually sound very restful, but it was still a nice day.

I knew exactly what I wanted to make, because I’d been planning it since acquiring the main ingredient three weeks ago. My Dad grows the most extensive gardens you’ve ever seen in the summer, and last time my family came to visit he brought me a bunch of leeks. In the Jamie Oliver cookbook I have, there’s a recipe called “Slow Cooked Leek Soldiers with Bacon” and it’s the best way to cook leeks that I can think of.

The first time I made this, it was wonderful. To me, the warm, buttery taste of leeks combined with a bit of bacon-y goodness and a hint of thyme makes for an unparalleled winter comfort food. I don’t know if cozy is an adjective that can be used to describe food, but if it can, that’s how I would describe it.  If I wasn’t writing a physics exam on Monday, there would be a loaf of homemade bread to go along with it.

Anyway, if you enjoy the taste of leeks, I highly recommend that you make this dish sometime, and as I mentioned before, it’s a Jamie Oliver Recipe, so it’s obviously awesome.

My adaptations to the recipe involved cutting it in half, because I only had that many leeks. I also changed a few other things because fresh thyme is a luxury I don’t have, and I can’t justify opening a bottle of wine to use a single glass. I also left the bacon on top of the leeks while I ate it, whereas Jamie took it off and chopped it up.

Slow Cooked Leek Soldiers with Bacon

  • 6 leeks
  • Olive Oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • A knob of butter
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Water
  • 4 slices of bacon

Preheat your oven to 400ºF. Butter a small (roughly 6×6) casserole dish. Trim the ends of the leeks and discard the outer two or three layers. Cut off, wash and finely chop the dark green part of the leeks. Put them in a frying pan with the olive oil, garlic, thyme and butter, and cook them for ten minutes until softened. Meanwhile, take the remaining pale green and white parts, wash them, and slice them into two inch pieces. When the dark green tops are done, spread them out in the bottom of your casserole dish, and then place the two inch pieces upright in the pan. Ideally, they’ll be packed nice and close together, but if the dish and the number of leeks you’re using don’t quite agree with each other, that’s fine.

Add the vinegar and chicken stock, and enough water so that the leeks are standing in at least a half inch of liquid. Layer the bacon overtop. Get a big strip of wax paper, wet it under the tap, and then fit it snugly around the leeks. Then cover it sheet of aluminum foil.  Place the dish in the oven for an hour or so, until the leeks are tender, and you can easily slide a fork into one of them. When they have reached this point, remove the foil and wax paper and put the dish back in the oven for 20 minutes. When the bacon is crispy, take it out, let it cool, and then enjoy!

 

Oatmeal + Chocolate Chips + Cookie = Delicious

(My favourite kind of math)

You know what’s awesome? Cookies.

Specifically these ones

You know what’s even more awesome? My roommate Gillian. Put them together and what do you get? A scrumdiddlyumptious way to spend a Friday night. (And yes, scrumdiddlyumptious is s a completely legitimate word, as every Roald Dahl fan knows)

This is approximately what happened.

I arrived home at about 5 o’clock Friday night with absolutely no plans, and a very strong desire to unwind after a week of classes and homework. So, when Gillian asked if I would like to make cookies, I replied in the most exuberant way imaginable. Something like this:

This is not an exaggeration.

Gillian quickly went to the internet and procured a recipe for Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, while I poured over my cookbooks and became happily distracted by all of the soups, cakes, muffins, breads, sides, etc. that I hope to make someday (This is a fairly commonplace event). Anyway, we settled on Gillian’s recipe and set about discussing all of the changes we might like to make. Most notably, we decided to double the batch (the only thing better than cookies: twice as many cookies!). We also added sunflower seeds, traded applesauce for a banana and some yogurt, and added (fake) maple syrup in place of some of the sugar. I will admit, these adjustments were largely motivated by a lack of applesauce and an excess of sunflower seeds and maple syrup, but I would say that they turned out to be good ones, nonetheless.

We went to work, Gillian mixing up the dry ingredients and I the wet, whilst happily chatting away. Before long, we had this!

And then this!

And then into the oven they went.

One of my favourite things about cookies is that they don’t take long to cook. As much as I love pie, it can be difficult waiting multiple hours for it to cook and cool. There’s something magical about the instant gratification of pulling a cookie out of the oven a mere ten minutes after it went in, and being able to pop it into your mouth a minute later. Of course, it’s also the reason why I ended up eating about four of them. But were they ever delicious. Sadly, I can’t shared the soft, chewy texture of a cookie fresh from the oven, or the sweet, silky, cocoa-laden taste of a still warm chocolate chip, (at least not over the internet) but I can show you a picture and leave it up to your imagination.

The finished product. Yum!

  • 1 cup WW Flour
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 4 cups of oats
  • 4 tbsp butter (room temp or melted)
  • ¾ cup brown and white sugar, each
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 overripe banana
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ½  cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, white and brown sugar, and maple syrup. Add the eggs, and then stir in the yogurt, banana and vanilla. In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add dry to wet, combine, and then mix in the chocolate chips and sunflower seeds. Drop by teaspoonful’s onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and place into the oven for about 12 min.