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Banana Walnut Muffins

22 Apr

I love, love, love banana bread. Whenever I am home in Washington, my mom makes it. When I was in college, my Obachan would send me boxes of banana and zucchini bread. At this point, you know I am not a baker. The other day, I tried making paleo banana nut muffins and they were dis.gus.ting. That’s why I am sticking to eating real banana walnut muffins (I just think muffins are so much cuter than bread slices) on the days when I am loving my carbs.

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So, this morning, I cleaned up my little apartment (how does such a tiny space get soo dirty?) and then baked banana bread. Not only did my apartment smell amazing, the muffins tasted amazing. As soon as they come out of the oven, I like to spread some butter on them and omg, perfection. After the first day though, they are best enjoyed toasted with butter and maybe a smoothie to drink it down with.

I can claim no fame to this recipe. It was given to me by my mama. And it was given to my mama by her mama. That makes it a family recipe. But don’t worry, I am not one of those people that freak out about sharing family recipes. It’s delicious, so I hope you enjoy it.

Ingredient List:
– 3 ripe bananas
– 1/2 C melted margarine
– 1 1/4 C sugar
– 2 eggs
– 2 C flour
– 1 tsp. baking soda
– pinch of salt
– 1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
– 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
– 1/2 C chopped walnuts

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Directions:

1. In a large bowl, mix together your bananas, melted margarine, eggs, and vanilla extract. Basically, the wet ingredients.

2. Then, combine all your dry ingredients – sugar, flour, salt, and cinnamon.

3. Stir all ingredients together (do this by hand, not a mixer), add your walnuts. Give it a whirl to distribute the walnuts and then you can put them in your muffin tins.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

NOTE: You could also use those mini bread loaf pans. I think this recipe will make one small loaf. If you make muffins, it will make approximately 16.

The Boyfriend Rates It:5
This bread is delicious. The bread itself is light fluffy with just the right amount of banana flavor. And the walnuts always add that much appreciated crunch.

Extra Note from Dyane: I mean, really, why wouldn’t he rate this one highly?

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Baked Apples (Almost Apple Pie)

20 Oct

I have seen variations of this type of recipe a few times. I don’t know exactly where to give credit to, but probably a magazine like Real Simple or Food and Wine. Those are the places that I tend to read recipes but then can never find the page again.

I am not much of a dessert person, but I do like fresh fruit desserts and the boyfriend loves sugar. He also really loves ice cream. After making the butternut squash, I wanted to eat more foods that used those warm fall spices – nutmeg and cinnamon. Hence, this recipe.

This is pretty basic, and I have no measurements. Basically, I was at the grocery store and bought 2 apples. Then, came home, cored out the seeds, and “stuffed” the apples with some brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, almonds, and butter.

Then, I put them in the oven at about 350 degrees for roughly 20 minutes. I just checked them a few times and took them out when

1) my apartment started to smell like apples and

2) I could easily poke the apples with a fork.

Then, I cut them in half and served with vanilla bean ice cream. It was almost like apple pie, but without all the work of making pie crusts – which I am terrible at.

If I were to make this again, I would make a few changes:
1) Let the apple sit for a second before you eat it with the ice cream. Our apple was so hot, it melted the ice cream a bit faster then I’d care for.
2) I think it would have tasted better with candied walnuts (in a pan, toast walnuts with bit of sugar) than with the almonds — they were too thin and didn’t add the flavor I wanted.

Overall, for me, this was “eh.” They were good, but I have made better fruit desserts before. I think with the changes, it would taste much better. But hey, it was the easiest thing I’ve made lately.

The Boyfriend Rates It:3, and cut the apple into smaller pieces too. Otherwise good taste.

Banana Pancakes

13 Oct

Breakfast is usually the boyfriend’s job. But, since we are trying to eat breakfast every morning now (it is the most important meal of the day, right?) I am trying to learn a few breakfast recipes also. I found this recipe on the Food Network. The original recipe is here.

The adapted recipe list is as follows (the bold is what I did different from the original recipe):

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter, plus 3 tablespoons
3 ripe bananas, cut into 1/3-inch slices

And of course, extra banana slices, syrup, and butter to top off the pancakes.

Now, mind you, cooking food that I can’t taste along the way or when appearance matters, is a challenge for me.. That means my pancakes are not pretty looking. Hopefully you’re better at getting that perfect golden brown and the perfect circle, but, as far as my tummy was concerned, they were pretty tasty.

First, I mixed the dry ingredients together and the wet ingredients together. Then, I slowly added the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Lastly, sliced up 2-3 bananas into that mixture. The mixture should be lumpy.

Next, do the best you can to pour the batter nicely into your pan. I greased mine with PAM spray, but I think that contributed to the darker color on my pancakes, rather than that nice golden brown pancakes normally have. I tried to pour mine into this cute little heart shape. I got it as a gift for Valentine’s Day from my sweet mama a few years ago, but as you can see from the batter pouring out the edges, I am still working on perfecting it. Once the batter gets little bubbles, flip it and cook for about another minute on the other side until they are cooked to perfection.

As you can see, the heart pancakes I was trying to cook up for a cute breakfast in bed for the boy wasn’t working too good. So, I switched to irregular circle shaped pancakes.

This recipe makes a lot, by the way. I think it could have served 4 people with 2-3 pancakes each (depending on the size you pour). Overall, the recipe is good — I just need to learn to pour the batter better. Practice makes perfect, right?

Enjoy!

The Boyfriend Rates It: 3, couldn’t quite put my finger on it but something was missing.

Blueberry Muffins

12 Oct

After not cooking for a month, I honestly missed my kitchen. I cooked and prepped and chopped anything I could find in my kitchen this weekend. On a hunt to make something, I noticed I had about a cup of frozen blueberries left in my freezer. Perfect! I am out of chorizo, so I needed something to have for breakfast this week!

I am no baker, so I found a recipe for the blueberry muffins here. I really don’t know if its proper to share someone’s blog with their recipes, but at least I cited it!

I followed the recipe pretty accurately, just adding the zest of an entire lime because I like that little freshness it gives in the muffins, and it made about 10. I think they were good because when I got home from work today (first day back after three weeks off is roooouuuughhhh), there were only three left.

And finished…

I am not sure if anything is more cozy than a fresh out of the oven blueberry muffin with some butter on it.