Friday, May 18, 2012

banana brownies

more banana fun, although i think this might be the last one (someone decided to save me and blend the rest of the bananas into a smoothie). i'm getting my fix of baking before i leave for the summer!
this was one of the "100 ways to use banana" list i mentioned in the first banana post. i used the prep work of the banana from the original recipe (the recipe used a bit more sugar and butter but i'll get to that in a bit) but the brownie part i cheated. i had never thought of baking brownies with banana, and now i wish i had always baked my brownies w/ bananas. i used maybe about 1/2 Tblsp of butter and a couple small handfuls of brown sugar (i obviously do not treat baking as chemistry...but it usually turns out okay). i also wish i had used more bananas (i think i had 4 bananas but in a bigger pan) to overlap them b/c my bananas did not show up on the bottom as well.
there was a box of hershey syrup brownie mix in the pantry and i used that for the brownie (and i even put in some oil, haha, if you know me, you know how lazy i get about oil, so this is a big step)
the pan needed more butter b/c all the bananas didn't come out (but it left a pretty cool design!). eumm. chocolately goodness, i think the hershey syrup that came w/ the box was an added bonus to the richness of the dessert (this stuff disappeared real quick).

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

baked banana fritters

the bananas never end. since i didn't want to  clean up deep frying oil i tried baking these. half of them are w/ cornmeal and half of them are w/ flour and coconut.
i preferred the cornmeal versions more to get more texture w/ the mushed bananas. i would have also baked them longer as it felt a little too uncooked.

Cornmeal version
¼ c yellow cornmeal
½ Tblsp raw sugar
1½  very ripe bananas, mashed

Flour version
¼ c. flour
½ Tblsp raw sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ c unsweetened toasted coconut
1 ½ very ripe bananas, mashed


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Combine flour/cornmeal with the coconut, sugar (do I need this?) and cinnamon.
  3. Mix in mashed bananas
  4. Scoop in large spoonfuls onto a oil sprayed aluminum foil and spray with a light coat on top.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

happy mother's day!

it's mother's day! i know i said i was doing a banana series, but i'm taking a quick break to bring you yummy goodness. this year is for M and for new mom- s1. for mother's day the family is having crabs, but i also got a chance to try out this cauliflower recipe and made some dessert as well (i hate to admit that the frozen cranberries from thanksgiving lasted until now...but no wasting of food, and it turned out pretty darn good:)
my friend actually found this awesome recipe and as we were paying attention so well in class, we got sidetracked by this. the crust is a cauliflower base and it's actually really tasty. i think processing the whole cauliflower i got more than the 4 cups that the recipe called for and i think it would have been better w/ more cheese and egg to bind and also baking a bit longer. i put in about 2-3 tsp of frozen garlic paste which melted into the cauliflower after i microwaved it. (it's awesome that you can cook things in the oven)
toppings included: green pepper, tomato (too watery), kale, onions, avocado (i preferred it broiled in the oven over topped fresh afterword) w/ fresh mozzarella on top. i baked the crust for i think 10 minutes (b/c the edges were crisping) but i should have baked it longer b/c it was still a pretty soft crust. also, spread oil or spray the tray/aluminum foil w/ oil so it doesn't stick. i only made one pizza and am saving the crust to make it fresh tonight. eummm, just writing about it i want some more. time for a break...

ok, back :D my tummy is happy again. so for dessert i figured the frozen cream cheese and frozen berries needed to be used up (although M loves angel food cake, that will have to wait until after finals)
i tried my hand at jam making. i boiled the frozen cranberries in a small amount of water w/ lemon juice (i think it was about 1.25-1.5 cups of cranberries w/ about 1/2 cup of sugar. i boiled the cranberries and popped them as i went, once it boiled i added the sugar and stirred constantly for about 5 minutes. even though it didn't seem to make the pectin-esque jam, after a while it became jelly-ish (although it did make a film, but just mix that in).
this is sort of baking in my mind- cranberry cheesecake bars modified from pillsbury's raspberry version. the frozen cream cheese consistency changes a bit w/ the ice particles so i'm not sure how that works out and i also added in an additional 1/2 cup of cream cheese b/c the crust to cheesecake ratio seemed a bit too heavy on the crust side. i also didn't add the jam on top. it's hanging out in the fridge right now waiting to be cut into by M, but i'll get back to you on the texture and taste of frozen cream cheese (but the cranberry jam tasted pretty good- i like it on the tart side).

happy mother's day to all the moms out there (who all seem to be at home depot...:)

* finally got around to trying the cheesecake squares, i don't know if i pressed the crust in too tight but it turned out like shortbread (which is not a bad thing) and was hard to get to come out w/ the cheesecake. so we sort of ended up eating the cheesecake part and then topping the shortbread cookie-esque crust w/ cranberry jam. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

so many bananas...

there are a million over ripening bananas in the house and it's near impossible to bake w/o eggs. and patience. and time. (and school, but we sort of pretend that doesn't exist:) the next couple posts are going to be how to use bananas, especially since i found this awesome photo montage of things to do w/ bananas that wasn't just straight up banana cream pie (which is still very much a possibility). everything i'm trying is super easy (as for all the issues mentioned at the beginning. 
the first recipe is about as easy as it gets- frozen banana bites. i got it all prepared before i had to jet for class (although i was almost late getting to school...haha). grab some super ripe bananas and chop them up, about 5-6 per banana. i used 2 bananas.
melt 1/4 c. of chocolate chips (i had semi-sweet) and 1/4 c. creamy peanut butter and melt it in a microwave safe bowl for about 30-45 seconds, mix and dip the bananas in the mix. you can leave them undecorated (as in the back ones) or you can top/roll them in fun stuff- i used chopped pecans. dessicated coconut, any nuts, etc would be excellent options. then pop these bad boys into the freezer (i transferred bananas w/ the parchment paper into a wide short tupperware). and wha-lah! come back at the end of a long hot day and you have some super yummy bananas waiting for you. 

has anyone noticed their bananas having the sticker "yo nana" on it? what happened to my chiquita stickers? 

next for the next banana posting- baked banana fritters (and it's really only b/c i don't want to deal w/ cleaning up all that oil...supreme laziness! hopefully it turns out yummy)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

panda, panda, panda!

mini cupcakes everywhere!!!! (although if you look in the back, there's some normal sized cupcakes as well) for noah's 100th day birthday celebration we made pancakes in honor of his half chinese heritage. these come from bakerella with some modifications. i wanted to make the cupcake match the panda so i found some polka dot cupcake liners at michaels and made an oreo cake batter (from the cake doctor).
polka dots on the inside and outside! so cuteeeeeee
the creation of a panda, i think i needed more milk in my frosting to fluff it more (or just add more frosting) b/c the choc chips were having a hard time sticking in (esp the ears)
i would also take bakerella's suggestion and use white confetti pieces and a food pen to make the eyes. i put a dot of frosting and then broke a sprinkle in half to make the eyes...and this ended up the only panda with complete eyes. also, as a side note, the oreo cake tastes better in the cake form with the whipped cream frosting and crushed oreo, but these are super adorable.
look at all their expressions! is it bad that i like the ones that look confused. and someone lost an ear at the top of the board!