Caterina's Cinnamon Banana Bread Muffins

bananaCaterina Giammarresi makes the best of student life and brown bananas to make cinnamon banana bread muffins. In one of my many attempts to save money while at St Andrews I told myself that I would do all my major grocery shopping at Morrisons or Aldi this year. So a few days after arriving in St Andrews, I made my first trek of the year out to the ends of the badlands. I walked into Morrisons with a concise and edited list in hand, and as always, walked out with twice as many things as anticipated. I mean, who knew when I would make it back this far from town centre? I had to take advantage of the situation.However, I soon realized that I underestimated how long some of my fresh purchases would last. My bananas, which were lime green when I bought them, turned brown in a matter of days. If there’s one thing that I don’t like it’s wasting food.  So I started imagining how I could possibly eat all of these overripe bananas in the next day. That's when a brilliant idea came to me: banana bread. I’d never actually made banana bread before though and my oven only really half works so I was scared that the bread wouldn’t bake all the way through. Despite these worries I did my research and, after taking a look at and borrowing ideas from about 50 different banana bread recipes on foodgawker, I decided to make cinnamon banana bread muffins. Ingredients:- 3-4 overripe bananas- 1 egg OR ¼ cup vegetable oil (if you want it vegan)- 1 tbsp cinnamon (for batter)- 1/3 cup melted unsalted butter OR applesauce (if you want it vegan)- ¾ cup cane sugar (for batter)- OPTIONAL ¼ cup chopped walnuts- 1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda- A pinch of salt- ½ cups flour- 1 tbsp cinnamon (for topping)- ¾ cup sugar (for topping) Instructions:1. Preheat oven to 175C2. Put 12 paper liners in muffin tray3. Mash up bananas, then mix them into a bowl with egg (or oil), cinnamon, melted butter (or applesauce), sugar, and nuts.4. Once thoroughly mixed, sprinkle the bicarbonate of soda and pinch of salt into the mixture.5. Slowly fold flour into the mixture with a mixer; be careful not to over-mix.6. Pour an equal amount of the batter into each of the 12 paper liners in the tray.7. In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar and cinnamon for the topping. With a spoon, sprinkle an equal amount of this mixture on top of each unbaked muffin.8. Bake muffins for 20-25 minutes. If you aren’t sure if they are ready, put a toothpick in one, if it comes out clean (without batter), then your muffins are ready. Let them cool, and enjoy! Caterina Giammarresi Photo credit: Caterina Giammarresi

Caterina's Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

Caterina Giammarresi shares her take on a delicious summer pesto.Over the summer holiday I tried to spend as much time as I could doing the things I love to do that I wasn’t able to do during term time in St Andrews. Number one on my list was eating delicious, healthy food that I just couldn’t make in McIntosh Hall! So, I spent the majority of my summer Sunday afternoons cooking and eating with family and friends. A few of those afternoons were dedicated to experimenting with a variety of ingredients to make a flavourful summer pesto. Among my favourites was this simple, yet exquisite sun-dried tomato pesto. Ingredients:-2 cups fresh basil-¾ cup sun-dried tomato (this can be adjusted depending on which flavour you want to be strongest)-1/2 cup pine nuts-1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (If the tomatoes are not already soaked in olive oil then add more)-1 or 2 cloves of garlic (depending on preference)-Salt and pepper to taste-2 tbsp fresh parmesan cheese (optional)* Instructions:-Combine all ingredients into a food processor and process until the ingredients create a creamy, consistent texture.-Use right away for a great pasta accompaniment, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

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  *I ate the pesto vegan and it tasted great, so you don’t really have to add it. Additionally, the pesto will probably keep in the refrigerator longer without it. Cheese can always be added at the time of the meal. Caterina Giammarresi Photo credits: Caterina Giammarresi  Do you love talking turkey? Discussing damsons? Pontificating over pie? The Tribe does too! If you have a food blog, want to rant or rave about a restaurant, or have something to say on the subject email culture@thetribeonline.com!