Fudgy Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread with Pecan Streusel

Decadent, Fudgy, Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread with Pecan Streusel by My Little Jar of Spices

This bread is AM-AZING, I just couldn’t wait to tell you. Oh-so perfectly moist banana bread with a decadent dark chocolate batter delicately swirled in and a caramelized pecan streusel sprinkled on the top. Oh my, look at that I’ve salivated all over my keyboard. I like long, extravagant recipe titles so this sounds more complicated than it actually is, trust me. The first time I had banana bread when I was a child was when we lived in New York, and my mom bought this divine banana walnut loaf, and I remember thinking that I had never eaten banana that way before but somebody was definitely on to something. Shortly after that, we moved back to France and that put an end to that – in fact we didn’t have oreos, pancakes, muffins, cupcakes, donuts, and lots of other American goods in France in the early 2000s. So nicely sheltered from the mass food industry as we swam in a sea of artisan-made cheese, cured meats and crudités. Anyways, when they started opening Starbucks coffee shops in Paris, I was pretty happy to rediscover banana bread and even set out to learn to make my own recipe. And then I stopped eating gluten. And THAT put an end to that, and a lot of the above-mentioned.

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Cappuccino Pots de Crème

Cappuccino Pots de Crème by My Little Jar of Spices

Well hello there January, my least favorite month of the year. People generally either hate January or September. Not very hard to understand why. Post-holiday blues, post-vacation stress, back to work, back to school, everyone’s all tired, the media are all talking about diets, there’s not much to look forward to for the next few months except maybe Valentine’s Day and that’s not even a real Holiday. And then there’s the pitiful weather, which is the worst whether you are in the Northern or Southern hemisphere. January in Brazil gets HOT. Not “ooh tropical breeze and sipping Mojitos under palm trees” kind of hot, no, more like “unsexy glistening face, I can’t even move my arms because it’s so freaking humid and tropical pouring rain” kind of hot. Bet that snowfall you’ve been having in the US almost sounds kind of nice now eh? Continue reading

Raw Cacao, Avocado and Strawberry Shake + 10 creative ways to enjoy Avocado

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I don’t nearly post enough about avocados as much as I eat them, which is a shame because there’s so much you can do with avocados. Don’t listen to people who tell you that avocados are a “fatty” food and that you should eat them sparingly. Avocados are actually one of the most nutritious things you can eat, containing vitamins A, B, C, E and K, potassium, folic acid, magnesium and iron, just to name a few (more information here). They are rich in healthy saturated fats – the “good fat” that your body needs to function well and which, contrary to popular belief, helps reduce cholesterol and inflammation and plays an essential role in vitamin absorption, brain function, hormonal balance, cardiovascular health and immunity. In other words, eat your avocados without fear. This Tumblr probably says it better. My only small issue with avocados is time management: systematically towards the end of the week, they all decide to ripen at the same time and all of a sudden I have too much avocado on my hands. Not a problem! Avocado is not only for salads, there’s a lot you can do to use up your riping-soon-to-be-spoilt avocados, and here’s my top 10. Continue reading

Cherry Red Wine Brownies (with a luscious dark chocolate ganache)

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C’est le temps des cerises…. aaah, as I continue with my lyrical ramblings on the wonder that is France during the Summertime, let me take a moment to talk about cherries. There are cherries EVERYWHERE. Piles and piles of deep bordeaux-colored cherries on every street corner, all delicately laid out in large fruit stands patiently waiting to be taken home by passersby and baked in cherry pies and clafoutis and jams and be worn around the ears of little girls in their little print dresses. Ok so it’s not exactly like that but let’s say that it is because it’s such a nice picture. Anyways, I bought some cherries, and probably more than I needed (2 pounds, to give you the whole story). Continue reading

Cookie Dough Mug Muffin, gluten-free, vegan, sugar free

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See the Cookie Dough Mug Muffin version 2.0 here.

My very first blog post was for a breakfast teacup muffin recipe that could be baked in under two minutes in the microwave for instant gratification or a very quick on-the-go breakfast, a concept which people really seemed to like, sort of to my surprise as it didn’t involve any sophisticated cooking techniques and I thought I would have to put in more effort to wow readers. But then I remembered just how blown away I was when I discovered muffins could be made in a microwave: just combine ingredients in a mug, pop in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, watch it rise in child-like astonishment with your eyes glued to the microwave door (very important part of the process) and chow down. Now, whenever I feel like a quick treat or when we have people over for dinner and everyone’s munching on delicious Italian bread rolls and I’m all left out because there’s no gluten-free version for me, I just make a 5-minute salty muffin and I can join the bread feasting party with the rest of the cool kids. Freddy also loves the concept when, after a nice and fulfilling meal I lazily turn to him and ask “want a muffin for dessert?”, and he knows it means within the next five minutes. Continue reading

Intensely Dark Chocolate Pecan Brownies (gluten-free, grain-free, paleo)

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I’ve been wanting to post a brownie recipe ever since before I created this blog (I even took a picture of my first flourless brownie, see further down, in anticipation of the day I would start blogging), but I keep putting it off for some bizarre reason because I feel like I haven’t reached the perfect brownie recipe yet. Since even for most highly experienced out-of-my-league cooks, that process can take years, I thought I’d better get over myself already. After all, there will not be ONE brownie recipe but MANY, because we love our brownies too much in life to limit ourselves to just one version.  Continue reading

Strawberry Dark Chocolate Fondant Muffins… with a Playlist

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Dear friends, Happy Food Revolution Day 2013! Today is Food Revolution Day and I am on a mission to spread Jamie Oliver’s wise word. Jamie Oliver was one of the first chefs to inspire me to actually get into the kitchen and start preparing more meals from scratch. He made it seem so simple and fun, and that’s the way we all want to roll with cooking right? I especially loved how he didn’t bother with the time-consuming process of taking a spoon and fork to gently toss a salad with olive oil, and would go directly into the bowl with his hands all the while saying “look at these lover-ly colors! Just beauuutiful!”. Smart man. Continue reading