{twd} lots of ways banana cake

But I only made it one way. 😉 I followed the recipe as written with one exception. I used nonfat milk instead of coconut milk. I wasn’t going to open a can just for 1/2 cup and then try to figure out what to do with the rest before it goes bad. I also made the cake in two 9-inch cake pans as written. I was going to bake it as mini-muffins, but I was feeling lazy and thought cake layers are easier.

I stuck one in the freezer and took one into work where it was enjoyed by all.

Thank you to Kimberly of Only Creative Opportunities for hosting this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie selection. One day soon I’ll have a computer…

Advertisements

The $37 Drink

While I was in Vegas I craved a frozen strawberry daquari. In town there are alcoholic slushie stands EVERYWHERE. Of course, when I was craving one I couldn’t find one anywhere. I eventually found one…and it ended up costing me $37. Yes, $37 for a drink. It was larger, but still.

We stayed in a timeshare with a full-kitchen, including a blender. And as luck would have it, we also had all the ingredients to make my version of the $37 drink. It tasted awesome and  a lot better than the one I bought because the ingredients were all fresh and natural.

Here’s how I made it:

  • a bunch of strawberries (brought for the road trip, but not eaten)
  • a banana (ditto)
  • a bit of club soda (brought to make my favorite drink in the world: vodka + club soda with lime)

Blend it up until it’s a nice puree.

  • Add a bunch of ice (full-kitchen=ice machine)

Blend some more until it has a slushie consistency

  • Add a few sugar packets, to taste (part of the coffee set-up)
  • 5 generous shots of vodka (again, brought along for my favorite drink)
  • freshly squeezed lime juice (ditto)

Blend until just mixed. Pour and serve! It made 3 1/2 drinks.

my sweet vegan

The day before I left on vacation I was contacted by the publisher of My Sweet Vegan asking if I would like to review the book. I practically squealed my answer. Hannah Kaminsky, the wonderfully gifted blogger, wrote the book and I’m a big fan of her blog–BitterSweet. Of course I would review her cookbook!

Often times when you read a cookbook review on a blog, the blogger has tried a bunch of the recipes and has gorgeous photos to match. I’m more of a real-time blogger–I tend to make something and post it soon after. I don’t have a back log of posts waiting for publication. For one, I’m not that organized and my life is a bit too chaotic. Secondly, I’m not a note-taker and if I don’t write about it right away I will forget about it.  Sometimes I’ll make something and take pictures of it and never write about it. So it goes.  {/paraphrase Vonnegut}

Anyway, starting today and throughout 2010 I will bake from My Sweet Vegan and write about it. Often times when I buy a new cookbook and can’t decide which recipe to make first, I make the very first recipe listed. I’ve made a bunch of first recipes. 😛 Anyway the first recipe from Hannah’s book is:  Better Banana Nut Muffins.

Do they live up to their name? Heck, yeah! The muffins were a huge hit at work. So much so that someone who very rarely ventures into my office came in to tell me how much he liked them. What makes them better? The banana flavor is intense. It shines, it screams it’s presence. These are not wallflower banana muffins. Where does the flavor come from? In addition to the usual mashed ripe bananas, the recipe calls for dehydrated bananas. Genius! Never in a million years would I have thought of that.

I can’t wait to try some of the other recipes:

  • Graham Flour Fig Scones
  • Butterscotch Blondies
  • Maple Pistachio Crèmes
  • Peanut Butter Bombs
  • Chai “Cheese”cake
  • Root Beer Float Cupcakes
  • Wasabi Chocolate Cupcakes
  • Green Tea Tiramisu
  • Plus a bunch more!

If you haven’t checked out Hannah’s blog, BitterSweet, please do. Not only are the recipes killer and creative, but she has mad photo skillz. Also, buy her book: My Sweet Vegan.

{twd} mini tropical crisps

IMGP7306

I’m sure the Cran-Apple Crisps are delicious and I know they are  seasonally appropriate. However, I’m currently in a vacation frame of mind. I leave for Fiji/French Polynesia in a week & a half and I can’t wait. When I read Dorie Greenspan’s Playing Around suggestion of using bananas & pineapple instead of the cranberries and apples, I jumped at it.

I made an 1/8th of the recipe and was able to make 5 two-bite crisps. For the fruit I used: pineapple, banana, mango, and dried pineapple. When I made the crisp topping, I used chipotle chile powder instead of the spices.

Thank you to Em of The Repressed Pastry Chef for hosting this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie selection. If you would like the recipe, please visit her blog or buy the book.

IMGP7308

{sms} mom’s banana apple muffins

In preparing for this week’s Sweet Melissa Sundays recipe, I kept reminding myself to buy bananas early enough to allow them to get nice and ripe. I meant to buy them before I left for Las Vegas last Sunday, but forgot.  In preparing for a getaway to Vegas is remembering to stop at the store to buy bananas high on anyone’s list?

I’m glad I stumbled on Twitter at just the right time when fellow bakers were discussing the oven trick for ripening the bananas. I didn’t read the details about the oven trick, just read the words “oven trick” and “bananas”. I stuck my bananas in oven while it was preheating and took them out when it beeped.

Other than the oven trick, I halved the recipe and made 8 regular sized muffins.  The trick to this banana bread is the addition of apples carmelized with brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Yummilicious!

Thank you to Joy of Hot Oven, Warm Heart for selecting Mom’s Bananna Apple Bread. For the recipe, visit her blog or buy the book.