Tag Archives: banana

Hummingbird muffins (pineapple loaf)

30 Mar

Last Christmas was the first time I met a lot of my fiance’s extended family, and I wanted to make a good impression, so I brought one of those delicious fruitcakes from my very first blog post.  Turns out people don’t like fruitcake much (why?!  It’s SO GOOD!!!).  This year I brought a loaf of hummingbird cake, which is essentially banana-pineapple cake with some nuts.  Turns out you should refrigerate it, so keep that in mind if you make this.  It is still quite tasty and moist, though not as good as the fruitcake (but not nearly as labor and time-intensive).

I don't have my Ph.D. yet, but you could still call me doctor for doctoring this cake mix!

I don’t have my Ph.D. yet, but you could still call me doctor for doctoring this cake mix!

The bananas look a little beat up in the picture above, but they aren’t actually that ripe.  So I cheated and threw them in the oven to roast to get a riper flavor.

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We're GOING (roasted) BANANAS IN HERE!

We’re GOING (roasted) BANANAS IN HERE!

Another reason this was not time-intensive: it’s semi-homemade!  I used a box of “supermoist” yellow cake mix instead of measuring out flour etc.  I didn’t have instant pudding on hand (the only time I can recall buying instant pudding was in the future, for my barely-semi-homemade banana pudding), so I subbed in some powdered sugar and vanilla.  Mixed in some cinnamon, then made a little yolk-y picture.

If John Travolta and Nicolas Cage were in my kitchen, I bet they'd race to pull the eggs out of this bowl.  It'd be a Face/Off.

If John Travolta and Nicolas Cage were in my kitchen, I bet they’d race to pull the eggs out of this bowl. It’d be a Face/Off.

This all happened while the bananas were roasting.  I also drained a can of crushed pineapple, so I could put the juice into the egg-cake mix-sugar batter.

Our dog was standing in the kitchen and looking at this and kept saying "fruit roof!"  But since he's a dog, we thought he was saying "Fruit Loops!" and gave him a handful of cereal. That story is ridiculous.  You know we have two cats, we certainly couldn't also fit a dog in the apartment.  Much less a talking one.

Our dog was standing in the kitchen and looking at this and kept saying “fruit roof!” But since he’s a dog, we thought he was saying “Fruit Loops!” and gave him a handful of cereal.
That story is ridiculous. You know we have two cats, we certainly couldn’t also fit a dog in the apartment. Much less a talking one.

While the iced teas are popular, sometimes Snapple likes to make wacky promotional flavors, like pie.  Pie Snapple, however, was a dud, and Mr. S. decided to pull out his support.  Pi-napple was a huge hit!

While the iced teas are popular, sometimes Snapple likes to make wacky promotional flavors, like pie. Pie Snapple, however, was a dud, and Mr. S. decided to pull out his support. Pi-napple was a huge hit!

Once those are mixed with the yogurt, you can mash the bananas.  I love doing this with super ripe bananas because they yield so easily under your fork!  Also, I appear to use banana a LOT when baking (I love bananas!)  Mix in the pecans and pineapple with the banana, and then mix those with the cake mix.

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This guy used to mix up letters and numbers.  So when his girlfriend asked him to pick up some home decor items at this one store, he was very confused to find himself at a historic pier.  Though he messed up in that direction, he'd never do the converse: for instance, look at this bowl and say it's a pur-one.

This guy used to mix up letters and numbers. So when his girlfriend asked him to pick up some home decor items at this one store, he was very confused to find himself at a historic pier. Though he messed up in that direction, he’d never do the converse: for instance, look at this bowl and say it’s a pur-one.

Batter batter batter SWING!  Actually don't, please, you'll get cake all over the floor.

Batter batter batter SWING! Actually don’t, please, you’ll get cake all over the floor.

I initially meant to make this time and labor-intensive cake (just how labor-intensive?  You crush the pineapple by hand instead of buying the can), but went with these little muffins and a mini-loaf instead.

No pun: I suddenly wonder why they don't sell cake batter the way they sell cookie dough: just pour and bake.  It seems like something people might use... maybe not.

No pun: I suddenly wonder why they don’t sell cake batter the way they sell cookie dough: just pour and bake. It seems like something people might use… maybe not.

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Bake til done!  While it’s cooling, make a quick icing drizzle with cream cheese, milk, and powdered sugar:

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Even if something REALLY SAD just happened, you probably shouldn't cry over this.  You'd get saltwater in your icing

Even if something REALLY SAD just happened, you probably shouldn’t cry over this. You’d get saltwater in your icing

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If you’re talented/pinterest-y, you can make a pretty drizzle.  If you’re me, just chuck it on.

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It’s been a little while since we’ve had a picture of me eating, so here’s one!

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Hummingbird loaf: adapted from this recipe, who took it from Dole (the company)

1 box yellow cake mix

1 1/4 c powdered sugar, divided

4 eggs

1/4 c full-fat yogurt (I use greek)

2 tsp cinnamon

1 20 oz can crushed pineapple

2 bananas

1/2 c chopped pecans

1 tsp vanilla

1 TB milk

2 oz cream cheese

 

First, roast the bananas: put on a cookie sheet, in their peels, and throw in the oven.  Set oven to 350.

Drain pineapple, reserving 1 c juice.

Mix cake mix, 3/4 c powdered sugar, cinnamon.  Mix in eggs, pineapple juice, yogurt until smooth.

Do something else for a few minutes (I emptied the dishwasher)

Remove bananas from oven.  Peels will hopefully be black by now (about 10 minutes).  Carefully peel, then mash.  Add pecans and pineapple to bananas, then fold the mixture into the cake mix.

Pour into greased mini loaf pans or muffin tins (I made 12 muffins + 1 loaf out of this).  Bake in that 350 oven for 30 minutes, check the muffins.  If toothpick comes out clean, they’re done.  Loaf should be done around 40 minutes.

While they cool, smash cream cheese with remaining 1/2 c powdered sugar and milk until smooth.  Drizzle icing over loaves/muffins.  Store in fridge if they last more than two days.

 

 

Spring break! Actually, banana pudding

22 Mar

I’m in a hotel room in New York right now, enjoying my first day of spring break (it’s a Saturday so we’ll see how good I am at not working during the week).  What a great day so far: breakfast at Frontera in the airport (the ORD location is much cheaper than the real one), lunch at Katsu-Hama (I try to always go when I’m in this city), and dinner at the very young (4.5 month old) Wallflower for fancy-pants date night.  Thought I’d take advantage of the time difference and blog.  Actually now I’m hungry… I’m going to go get some food and come back to this post later.

Sated!  Grabbed a late-night falafel.  I love travel-eating.  Eat-cation.  Speaking of non sequiturs, each week in my advisor’s secret seminar, the speaker from the week before brings treats, preferably homemade baked goods (you can guess who started this tradition…)  Two weeks ago, our new and fantastic postdoc brought in a big bowl of his mom’s banana pudding.  So of course I emailed him to ask for the recipe and figured I’d make it for this blog, especially since I still haven’t bought lots of baking supplies for the new place (like a mixer… we did get bowls for Christmas though!)  Despite how much I LOVED my last banana pudding post, and I recommend that one if you want to make banana pudding from scratch, Mama Hull’s recipe is ridiculously easy.  It’s hard to even call this semi-homemade… as Michael said, “slicing the bananas is what’ll take the most time.”

Va-ped-atin sounds like "something missing substance," per fiance.  Which is perfect, because those are all the letters missing from these to make real words (va-nilla, whip-ped cream, jell-atin).  Sorry if that didn't make sense, I'm feeling a little daze-y.

Va-ped-atin sounds like “something missing substance,” per fiance. Which is perfect, because those are all the letters missing from these to make real words (va-nilla, whip-ped cream, jell-atin). Sorry if that didn’t make sense, I’m feeling a little daze-y.

The directions for this recipe are basically: mix everything, slice bananas, layer with Nilla wafers.

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I have actually never made instant pudding, so this was AMAZING to me!  You just whisk milk with the powder and it turns into pudding in like three minutes!  So crazy!!

Are you sure this is food?

Are you sure this is food?

I think I have had cool whip before in my home, as a kid.  I used to be REALLY into making elaborate jello parfaits for my family, layering different colors mixed with ice cream, fruit, or whipped cream.  When I was seven or so, someone in my family got me a set of parfait glasses for Christmas (I have a tendency of receiving kitchen gear for Christmas), and that spurred this phase where everyone had to pretend to like my creations.  Thank goodness that’s over!  (…I hope.)

Mix ALL the different and confusing textures!

Mix ALL the different and confusing textures!

Once you mix all the stuff, you really do have to take a long time to slice all the bananas!

The three phases of a dead banana's life: whole, peeled, sliced.  Not so appeeling, is it?

The three phases of a dead banana’s life: whole, peeled, sliced. Not so appeeling, is it?

At first I tried to slice the bananas in the banana peel and not use a cutting board, but it’s so much faster to cut six bananas on a cutting board.

Then layering time!  So pretty!  I, unsurprisingly, went a little dorky on it and made a smiley face out of Nilla wafers on top.  Michael’s looked much prettier with a circle of bananas on top and some crumbled wafers.

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This recipe makes enough to feed about 10 people who like banana pudding a lot, based on our dinner party and the leftovers the next day.  Just realized I failed at reading the recipe, which was literally two lines in an email.  Sigh.  Well, do whatever you like.  This is delicious!  Make sure you let it sit for a long time (I did overnight) so that the flavors meld and the Nilla wafers sort of melt into cake-like texture.

Yum!

Yum!

I have at least one friend!

I have at least one friend!

Mama Hull’s Banana Pudding, emailed from Michael Hull

1 large box (~5oz) vanilla instant pudding (I used two boxes of the 3.5 oz size)
2 2/3 cups milk
1 cup sour cream
1 (8oz) container of cool whip
1 box nilla wafers
6 bananas
Mix pudding with milk; whisk for 2 min.
Add sour cream and cool whip and mix together.
Layer, in a large dish, nilla wafers, 1/2 sliced bananas, 1/2 pudding; repeat. (I made three layers)
Crumble wafers on top. (I didn’t read this and it still turned out okay!)
REFRIGERATE.  Best if left overnight, but a few hours is OK too.

 

 

 

I actually followed a recipe: banana bread

30 Jan

Well, I made it into muffins, but close enough.  And I liked this recipe so much that I sent it to my brother (he asked for it)!  To make it clear how big a deal this is, I’ve never seen either of my siblings bake something besides a frozen pizza or a box of au gratin potatoes.

Anyways, when visiting my brother’s house in California as a wonderful respite from our polar vortex, I noticed he had three very brown bananas sitting on the counter.  Obviously, time for banana bread!  Always delicious and easy.  And my favorite: one big bowl and a little one only!

Can you SPOT the main difference between this picture and this: https://bakingandmath.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/p1010434.jpg ? I'll give you a hint: it's in all caps in this caption.

Can you SPOT the main difference between this picture and this one? I’ll give you a hint: it’s in all caps in this caption.

Dark brown/spotted bananas are very sweet and mushy, so great for banana baking (I’ve also used mashed bananas to lower the amount of sugar in a recipe).  Plus they’re so easy to mash!

I was going to make a double batch, but Santa Claus came by earlier and I decided to encourage his healthiness by giving him bananas instead of cookies.  So you aren't seeing the FOUR Nick ate.  Maybe I just wanted to make a dirty pun.

I was going to make a double batch, but Santa Claus came by earlier and I decided to encourage his healthiness by giving him bananas instead of cookies. So you aren’t seeing the FOUR Nick ate. Maybe I just wanted to make a dirty pun.

I invited Bruce Banner to come by and fork these bananas for me.  I was just curious if, after the Hulk comes around, he points at everything he did and yells HULK'S MASH!

I invited Bruce Banner to come by and fork these bananas for me. I was just curious if, after the Hulk comes around, he points at everything he did and yells HULK’S MASH!

So you start by mashing the bananas, then mix in some melted butter (melting it takes the small bowl).

BETTY BOTTER IS FROM 1899.  In case you're not aware who Betty Botter is, she's most famous for putting approximately this amount of a superior version of this product into her batter, hence making it better.

BETTY BOTTER IS FROM 1899. In case you’re not aware who Betty Botter is, she’s most famous for putting approximately this amount of a superior version of this product into her batter, hence making it better.

Beat an egg in the now vacant bowl, and add that along with some sugar (I went with less) and a dash of vanilla (I forgot this and the world didn’t explode).

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It seems to cost more and more for ingredients these days… guess you could call it a bowl market.

I love that one of the lines from the recipe is “Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in.”  Because most times recipes required you to whisk these guys into the flour before you add it, which is such a pain (requires another bowl).  It does avoid pockets of baking soda/salt, but so does sprinkling!

Call me Jean Claude Van DAMN this is a great action shot! (sarcasm) (+pun!)

Call me Jean Claude Van DAMN this is a great action shot! (sarcasm) (+pun!)

Mix all that up.  My brother and sister in law own this Pam baking spray stuff.  I’ve never used spray fats (I like my olive oil and butter and lard and I throw them in all my food generously), but this was AMAZING!  WOW!  So easy to grease the pan!  I forgot to take an action picture, but rest assured it was incredible.  I think it’s important, if you go this route, to get the ‘for baking’ one or else your stuff will taste like olive oil or whatnot.  Generally when greasing pans I wipe around a pat of butter, because that is delicious, or some vegetable oil (olive oil has too strong a flavor for greasing, in my opinion).

I put a heaping 2 TB of batter into each mini muffin spot.

I was looking for one of these pans for myself the other day, and searched for "4 x 6."  Then realized that I was in the postcard section of the store.

I was looking for one of these pans for myself the other day, and searched for “4 x 6.” Then realized that I was in the postcard section of the store.

We devoured most of these very quickly (it’s about three bites) before dinner, but here are some of the survivors from twenty minutes in the oven and an hour outside of it:

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And my adorable nephew showing one off!

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Quick and easy banana bread recipe from simplyrecipes.  All I did differently was bake mini muffins for 20 minutes instead of an hour for the loaf.  I figured since I did no doctoring I should just link to the original: here it is again.

 

Banana Pudding

16 Dec

Darn it it’s been nearly two weeks since my last post!  A first in the history of this blog.  My only excuse is that I have been fighting off a crazy cold (there was also finals and travel but that’s not really an excuse).  Today is day 16 since I first felt that little throat-tickle thing, and I’ve been sleeping a ton, drinking lots of water and chicken soup, and loading up on Vitamin C and self-pity.  Anyways.  Here’s a post!

I adore banana pudding.  It’s not a dessert I grew up with- the first time I had it was in the college dining hall.  In fact I can probably count the number of times I’ve had it on one hand, which is sad because it’s SO GOOD!  The cookies turn cake-like when soaked in pudding, and the weird goopy consistency of bananas works perfectly with the other components.  Apparently it’s a big thing in the South… I hadn’t heard of it when growing up in Minnesota and California, while my boyfriend was incredulous of my less than or equal to 5 times (he’s from North Carolina).  We also didn’t have kudzu.  You know that I love pudding in all its forms so it shouldn’t be a surprise that I made this.  What is surprising is that I haven’t made it before.

I live by a fantastic independent coffeeshop (it was in the nytimes once!) that does signature less-coffee-ish drinks every season.  I’m still dreaming of a lemon and rose and cucumber soda they did the summer I moved here.  This fall, the drink was the Cosby Classic, which was a latte that tasted exactly like banana pudding, complete with a Nilla wafer on top.  So of course I immediately walked to the store down the street and picked up ingredients for banana pudding, which meant Nilla wafers and bananas.

There's always rum for rum!  Because rum sounds like "room," sort of.

There’s always rum for rum! Because rum sounds like “room,” sort of.

Lots of banana pudding recipes on the internet are a little disgusting, probably still delicious.  For instance, this one has you beat an entire package of cream cheese with a can of condensed milk, instant pudding mix, other stuff, and half a container of cool whip.  I’m all for cream cheese (love scrambling it with eggs after a workout!), and condensed milk (I am Vietnamese after all), so I’m pretty sure it’s the container of “frozen whipped topping” that makes me go ICK.    It’s also a ridiculously popular recipe so I’m sure it’s wonderfully delicious.

I was tempted to get instant pudding mix, but go big or go home, right?  This is me taking risks and grabbing life by the pot.  Sigh.  Hyperbole aside making homemade pudding was definitely my adventure of the week.

I mostly followed the recipe on the back of the Nilla wafers box, plus a recipe from the internet that I cannot find right now but will keep looking for!

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This recipe is a high-whisk investment

Separate the whites from the yolks so we can make the meringue topping.  Then mix the yolks with the flour and sugar.  We’ll use hot milk to temper the eggs so we don’t get pieces of scrambled egg in our pudding.

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Once you’ve brought the milk (I used almond milk…) to a boil, slowly whisk in a little at a time into the beaten egg yolks + stuff.  Once the bowl is warm on the bottom, then pour in the rest of the milk and whisk whisk whisk!  Rinse out the pot, and throw everything back into it- it’s important to rinse out the pot so you don’t end up with burned bits of pudding in it.

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Whisk and stir the pudding over medium heat until it turns glossy and thick.  Some websites say it’ll take 15 minutes; it took me more like 3.  Then toss in the butter and vanilla and whisk those in.  Also throw in some Kahlua or other alcohol if you want.  I loved the Kahlua flavor in the finished pudding.  Set the finished pudding aside in that same bowl you used earlier, and toss it in the fridge to cool while you do the rest.

You really have to check your egg whites

You really have to check your egg whites

They start out pretty reasonable, not eggstraordinary at all

They start out pretty reasonable, not eggstraordinary at all

Then little bubbles start to appear and everything starts to get fancy-looking

Then little bubbles start to appear and everything starts to get fancy-looking

Once the champagne is gone, it starts looking even more fancy and shiny

Once the champagne is gone, it starts looking even more fancy and shiny

Until finally it's eight times its original size, and way glossy.  It doesn't remember where it came from at all.  Can you talk about an inflated EG(G)O?

Until finally it’s eight times its original size, and way glossy. It doesn’t remember where it came from at all. Can you talk about an inflated EG(G)O?

Once the meringue is done and glossy (add the sugar in around the second to last picture.  Also I did just use five captions to lead up to that last one), you can layer your pretty pudding!  I used a 9″x13″ pan because I wanted a pretty glass sides thing, but I wish I had an 8″x8″ or 9″x9″ glass pan so I could have more layers.

GOING BANANAS with photo size

GOING BANANAS with photo size

First put a little bit of pudding on the bottom of the dish, then throw on a layer of wafers, a layer of bananas, pudding, wafers, bananas, pudding, a third layer if you can, and top with meringue.

Layer 1.  Reticulating splines.  Sim City reference, anyone?

Layer 1. Reticulating splines. Sim City reference, anyone?

 

Layer 2.  Gesticulating Mimes.  (sim city 4)

Layer 2. Gesticulating Mimes. (sim city 4)

It would be so great if men were from marshmallow.  Maybe not.  I'd never keep a relationship for long because I'd eat him.

It would be so great if men were from marshmallow. Maybe not. I’d never keep a relationship for long because I’d eat him.

OK!  Wish me luck on a recovery before Christmas from this bug.  I went to the doctor on day 5 and she sent me home with Mucinex, but I’ll go back tomorrow and see what she says.

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Seriously this pudding is so yummy.

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ALSO HERE IS ANOTHER JOKE IT IS SO FUNNY.

IT IS SO FUNNY.  Also this picture is all over the internet so I couldn't figure out how to attribute it.

IT IS SO FUNNY. Also this picture is all over the internet so I couldn’t figure out how to attribute it.

Banana pudding, from the back of the box + the internet

Ingredients:

3/4 c sugar

1/3 c flour

3 eggs

2 c milk

2 tsp vanilla

2 TB butter (I use salted, if you don’t then add a dash of salt when you add the sugar)

3 TB rum/Kahlua/whatever liquer (how on earth do you spell that.  liquor.  liqueaur liquar) you want

Box of Nilla wafers

5 bananas

Make the pudding:

Separate the eggs.  Put the yolks in a big bowl and beat in 1/2 c of the sugar and all the flour; put the whites in a separate bowl.

In a medium pot, bring the milk to a boil.  Slowly whisk a little bit at a time into the yolk bowl, whisking constantly, until the bottom of the bowl is warm.  Then add in the rest of the milk and whisk away.  Rinse out the pot, then return the pudding to the pot and heat while whisking until it’s thickened and shiny and there are big, slow bubbles coming up.  This will take a few minutes.  Whisk in the butter, vanilla, and alcohol.

Transfer the pudding to the big bowl and throw in the fridge.

Make the meringue:

Beat the whites until small bubbles form, then disappear, and then soft peaks show up.  Add the remaining 1/4 c sugar.  Beat until stiff and glossy.  Takes 7-10 minutes.

Assemble the pudding:

Slice the bananas.  Smear some pudding on the bottom of a glass dish, then top with a layer of wafers.  Top with bananas, then pudding, and layer until you’re out of pudding.  I would suggest using not the whole box of Nilla wafers- some recipes suggest using 30, some 45.  I did not want to count.  Top the whole thing with the meringue, spreading all the way to the edges.

Bake in a 350 oven for 15-20 minutes or until beautifully browned.  Either eat warm (cool slightly), or refrigerate for a few hours and eat chilled.  SO GOOD.

 

 

 

HEALTHIEST vegan chocolate chip cranberry cookies

30 Jun

I was feeling sort of heavy and rained on yesterday (we had a DELICIOUS apple fritter from glazed and infused at lunch) and I felt like a) baking (b/c of rain) and b) something healthy (because of heavy).  So I wrangled up my ingredients and took an extremely loose interpretation of a recipe I found on the internet for these incredible cookies.  I love them, partly because there’s only 1/4 c of brown sugar in them.  I think you could sub anything for the flour, especially coconut flour (use 1 c instead of 1.5) or whole wheat + oat bran.

If I dance around and put everything on the counter in a rhythm, it's like everything is going to the kitchen sync

If I dance around and put everything on the counter in a rhythm, it’s like everything is going to the kitchen sync

So what did I do for “healthy” cookies?  I threw in an avocado and a banana instead of butter/oil and more sugar.

First, your flax gel- as usual, 1 TB ground flaxseed to 2 TB water, let set.

I'm imagining a vegan cooking show counterpart to the star of Argo, Ben Afflax

I’m imagining a vegan cooking show counterpart to the star of Argo, Ben Afflax

Most cookie recipes start with creaming the butter and sugar together.  So for us, we’re going to use a fork and mash the avocado and banana together, and add a little bit of brown sugar (really not that necessary, could sub half as much maple syrup or honey).

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This is Avocado-ive of earlier scenes involving mashing things

This is Avocado-ive of earlier scenes involving mashing things

You want to mash until there’s no big chunks: some little chunks are fine.  Don’t forget your splash of vanilla.  You can wait a few more minutes and do the dry before mixing in the flax gel, or just do it now.  No big deal!

For the dry, whisk together your oats, flour, ground flax seed, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice (yum!).  I never include salt in cookies, oh well.  Often recipes say sift together, I don’t have a sifter, but for anyone who does, you just mix the other things and then stir in the oats.

I am such a spice girl

All you need is positivity…I am such a spice girl

Then mix those dry ingredients in with your wet.

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ACTION SHOT!  My brother's giving me a camera for my birthday because I'm so frustrated with this phone.

ACTION SHOT! My brother’s giving me a camera for my birthday because I’m so frustrated with this phone.

Since ‘one banana’ and ‘half a large avocado’ are variable measures, this batter will be somewhere between perfect and very very wet.  So just add in more flour a tablespoon at a time until it feels like wet cookie batter (I ended up using just under a cup and a quarter).  Then put in all your goodies: I did more cranberries, fewer chocolate chips because I ran out, and a bunch of walnuts.

These goodies are driving me up the wall/nuts!

These goodies are driving me up the wall/nuts!

These babies don’t spread out much so you can easily fit a dozen tablespoon scoops of cookie on a sheet.  Partway through cooking (or before you put em in the oven) use a fork to flatten them a bit.

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Speaking of would-be celebrity chef names, how great would Cookeane be? I guess maybe they exist, just somewhere only they know

You can’t really tell when they’re done- just until it smells really good in your kitchen!  I took about 13 minutes and checked at 9.

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Vegan cranberry chocolate chip cookies (adapted very loosely from this recipe on allrecipes)

Ingredients:

1 medium banana

1 large avocado (you won’t use all of it)

3 TB ground flaxseed, divided

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 c brown sugar

1 1/2 c flour (or any substitute)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 c oats

1/2 c dried cranberries

1/2 c chocolate chips

1/2 c walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Mix 1 TB flaxseed with 2 TB warm water, set aside.

Mash entire banana with slices of avocado until you have about 1 cup (I used 3/4 of a medium avocado).

Mix in the brown sugar, flaxseed mix, and vanilla.

Separately, mix 1 c flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and oats.

Add wet ingredients to dry, mix.  If too wet (likely) add flour 1 TB at a time until it seems like wet cookie dough (but not pancake batter/muffin batter).

Mix in chocolate chips, cranberries, walnuts, whatever else you want (sunflower seeds?)

Drop by tablespoonfuls on cookie sheet, slightly flatten with a fork, and bake for 9-14 minutes or until it smells good and edges are lightly browned.

Pudding it all together…

22 Apr

I’ve been traveling for the past several weekends, and this most recent weekend I ran my first-ever conference!  Which means that I haven’t been too consistent on this blog; I apologize for that.  I need to start making backup posts and posting them during the busy weeks.

It also means that I have very few ingredients at home.  You might’ve noticed we’ve been baking egg-free for the past several weeks.  I LOVE eggs.  And not just because they’re eggstremely amenable to puns (well, not eggsactly).  When I went to the store last week, I basically only got eggs and zucchini.  And hence last week’s baking adventure: rice pudding! (Also roasted veggies).

The "in" crowd can be very finicky (no one likes that second egg, but don't tell her that.  She's getting kicked out later.  We just needed an eggstra for the shoot.)

The “in” crowd can be very finicky (no one likes that second egg, but don’t tell her that. She’s getting kicked out later. We just needed an eggstra for the shoot.)

It’s very nice having a rice cooker to make your rice.  Every rice pudding recipe I’ve seen uses precooked rice, rather than cooking the rice directly in the custard.  I think this dessert is for leftover rice, just like bread pudding is for leftover bread, but sometimes you just make some rice/bread for the pudding because it’s delicious.

I wish it was this easy to turn anyone... I meant thing on.

I wish it was this easy to turn anyone… I meant thing on.

This was my first time baking rice pudding rather than making it on the stove.  I did it just for you guys!

First step: butter your pan.  I’ve done this with paper towels and a pat of butter or oil, and I’ve also done it with my hand.  The paper towels absorb too much fat, while I don’t like the oil on my hands (wash them beforehand if you do this of course.  Or just generally, wash your hands before cooking.)  So I’ve started using a piece of parchment paper instead.  See picture.

She's got beautiful surfaces, but her size leaves something to be desired.  Just kidding this pan is perfect.

She’s got beautiful surfaces, but her size leaves something to be desired. Just kidding this pan is perfect.

Next you need to do your custard.  Beat your eggs…

I wonder if the BEATles did a lot of baking

I wonder if the BEATles did a lot of baking

Then add your sugar, splash of vanilla, spices, and melted butter, and mix well

The seven deadly cinnamons: cassia, Vietnamese, Ceylan, and Indonesion.  Okay there's four so sue me, mon.

The seven deadly cinnamons: cassia, Vietnamese, Ceylan, and Indonesion. Okay there’s four I lied. So sue me, mon.

Now add your milk, carefully (I always need bigger bowls)

Geez milk is such a drama queen.  She's always milking pictures for all she's worth.  I guess she can't help it...

Geez milk is such a drama queen. She’s always milking pictures for all she’s worth. I guess she can’t help it…

And mix that custard well.  Then add your cooled, cooked rice.

Check out the fork while my baker revolves it, rice rice baby vanilla.  I've done this one before but guys I LOVE THIS SONG

Check out the fork while my baker revolves it, rice rice baby vanilla. I’ve done this one before but guys I LOVE THIS SONG

Personally I think rice pudding is best with cinnamon and raisins but guess what I didn’t have raisins so it’s banana chocolate chip rice pudding!

If Orange County were in the tropics would they call them the Santa Banana winds?

If Orange County were in the tropics would they call them the Santa Banana winds?

Now throw your whole mix (it should be like very thin oatmeal, thinner than you’d like to eat) into you buttered dish, and bake for an episode of TNG, or about 45 minutes.

"We're ready for lunch captain." "Did you mean launch?" "That's what I said, sir."

“We’re ready for lunch captain.”
“Did you mean launch?”
“That’s what I said, sir.”

The custard should be set but still soft.  I actually overbaked mine because I forgot about it.  Yours should not be as brown as below.  And to be honest, I think you should do yours on the stove rather than the oven.

2013-04-17_21-57-13_799

Rice pudding recipe (taken from my head):

Beat:

1 egg

Add:

1/4 c white sugar

1 TB melted butter

1-2 tsp cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice to your taste

Mix in:

1 c milk

And add

1.5 c cooked rice

Throw the whole thing in a small buttered pan for 45 mins at 350 or until set.  You can then stir in some more milk (up to 1 c) for creaminess, OR

Throw the whole thing on the stovetop and simmer for 20 minutes or so.  Have another 1 c of milk to stir in a few tablespoons at a time until it hits the milky creamy consistency you want.

 

 

 

Upside down banana cake: no pictures =(

10 Apr

I wrote this post right after spring break and I still didn’t have a camera phone, so I borrowed the iPhone of my roommate’s friend who was staying with us, and took pictures with her phone.  Then I kept pestering her to send me those pictures because she left before I downloaded them, and they are gone I guess.  So no photos, but the recipe is pretty great so I thought I’d share it anyway.

 

Wrapping up spring break.  Yesterday I got home after being away for 12 days and I was exhausted, so I spent the day making a Pseudo-Seder feast (used wheat thins for matzoh, spaghetti squash for kugel, and this AWESOME VEGETARIAN CHOPPED LIVER made of onions, hard-boiled eggs, and walnuts) and wrapped it up with this beautiful upside down banana cake.

It’s much like the chocolate chip banana loaf I made a few weeks ago.  My roommates liked this cake better, I liked the loaf better, who’s to say?

The upside down part is the best: melt some butter and brown sugar in your cake pan directly on the stove.  I was freaking out about putting Pyrex on top of my gas burners but it worked so yay!  Then slice up a banana or two and arrange them artfully on the caramel-y layer.  It’s okay if there’s patches in the butter-brown sugar bit, they’ll melt away as the cake bakes.  Sprinkle a little lemon juice on those cut up bananas.

Next, put together your dough.  As per usual, you’ll whisk together your dry ingredients- flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder.

Melt a bit of butter (I love the microwave), then mash or blend two bananas.  I didn’t have any frozen ones this time so I used fresh, slightly ripe ones.  It’s far better with overripe bananas: more banana taste and more moisture.  Stir in a splash of vanilla, two eggs, and some greek yogurt.

Mix your wet ingredients into your dry…

And throw in a handful or two of chocolate chips.

Then pour the whole batter over the topping, and chuck it in the oven.

Yum!

 

Recipe is from http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2010/03/banana-and-chocolate-upsidedown-cake/:

Melt:

1/3 c brown sugar with

2 TB butter

in your cake pan directly on the stove

Then top it beautifully with:

3 sliced bananas

and sprinkle with lemon juice.  Set aside

Whisk together:

1.5 c flour

1 tsp each baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon

3/4 c sugar

Then beat together:

2 TB melted butter

2 eggs

2 mashed bananas

1/2 c yogurt

1 tsp vanilla

Mix these wet ingredients with your dry, then sprinkle in

1 c chocolate chips

and put it in your prepared pan.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or so.

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