I remember when I was a teenager, my mum used to tell me that I didn't need so many clothes and that I should save my money for other things; that no one is really going to remember what you wore the other day or last week. It took me awhile to see the point in her logic and to this day, I'm still guilty of splurging on extra clothes that I don't need but well, that's all part of being a girl! Over time though, I have gotten a lot better and yes I might be looking a bit daggy in my reworn clothes but hey, like mum said, no one has actually commented or said a thing!
Now with books, that's a completely different matter. It's actually only been in the recent couple of years that I've started hoarding my cookbooks and now they are overspilling off the bookshelf and onto the floors. All my bookshelves are full now and I've taken to arranging them in neat 'big' piles and well, I tried to stop myself from buying them but unlike clothes, each and every cookbook is so very unique that it's really quite hard to say no. Well as I'm struggling to stop myself from buying them, the only other solution is to use them and hey presto, that's exactly what I'm doing!
My go to recipe book at the moment is Nigella's 'Kitchen'. Here's an extremely easy recipe for coconut & cherry banana bread.
Preheat oven to 170 degrees. Line a loaf pan with baking paper. Melt 125g unsalted butter in a saucepan and take it off the heat. Peel and mash 3 medium sized bananas in a small bowl. Beat 150g caster sugar into the cooled, melted butter, then beat in the mashed bananas and 2 eggs. Fold in 175g plain flour, 2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp bicarb soda. Finally, add in 100g dried cherries and 100g dessicated coconut. Fold well so that everything is incorporated, then pour into the lined loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes, check with a skewer to see if the loaf has cooked through (the skewer should come out of the cake clean).
Once out of the oven, leave it in the tin for 10 minutes. Then carefully slip the cake out of the tin onto a wire rack to cool. Slice away and eat!
I mentioned I was in love with frozen cherries, well I'm quite the bit in love with dried cherries (this was the bag I picked up at Sweetness the other week after a lengthy trawl through Sydney looking for them). Used in the loaf, the dried cherries don't taste the least bit dry at all. Through the baking process, they seem to plump up and absorb a bit of water (sort of like when you soak raisins/currants in water and they come up rather juicy). Great thing is that I hardly made a dent to the bag of cherries so I have plenty more to experiment with, the cherry chocolate cookies I was thinking of the other day might just be it!