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Photo credit: Grafiker

Yesterday, I went to the store to get milk and walked out with a 40 pound box of bananas. My husband tells me that I can’t just run into a store to get something. He’s right—I’m always scanning for a good deal.

I gave each of my boys a bowl and a utensil for mashing bananas and started peeling. (The girls were away for the day.) The perfect bananas went onto a pan to be frozen for later. The not-so-perfect ones got their bruises cut out and got mashed by the exuberant boys.

I got busy baking, and Joel (2 years old) “helped” by pouring baking soda into my muffin cups and all over the floor. What would I do without toddler help? 😉

My all-time favourite banana recipe is the “Banana Chocolate Chip Cake.” Actually this is my all-time favourite recipe—period. I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve baked this easy, moist, yummy cake.

So here it is. Enjoy!

 

Banana Chocolate Chip Cake

 

½ cup butter

1½ cups sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

1 cup mashed bananas

1/3 cup sour milk

1 cup chocolate chips (my recipe says these are optional, but, no—they’re not.)

 

Cream together butter and sugar, and stir in eggs and vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients. Add bananas, sour milk and chocolate chips, and stir until mixed. Pour into a greased 9×13 pan. Bake at 350 F for 35 minutes.

 

Many thanks to my good friend Abby for sharing this recipe with me many years ago.  🙂

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I’ve mostly given up baking; I find it far too tempting. Who knows how many calories have been gobbled by the time I lick off the beaters, wooden spoon, spatula and bowl (I have some huge bowls.) I’ve passed off the baking to my daughters, and it’s an arrangement that works for all of us.

Tonight though, I made some black-bean brownies to take to a pot-luck. Yep, you heard me right, the main ingredient—black-beans. I don’t go for super healthy, but gross stuff. These are good, really good.

IMG_1443[1]So your supposed to pour all the ingredients into a food processor and mix it, but I don’t have a food processor, so I pulled out my trusty blender.

I couldn’t find the lid. Not unusual. Oh well, a bowl works just as well for a lid (except it rattles.) I rarely use a lid anyway. I like to trust my instincts. (I have a knack for knowing the consistencies and speeds where spray is likely to occur. Ha! What’s a little spray?)

The last time we made these brownies is when the kids’ home-teacher came over to see their portfolios. She’s off wheat, so I told her that we’d make these great wheat free brownies for her. So, we pull out all the ingredients—and I’m out of cocoa. Seriously?! So that 5 pound box of cocoa that I bought a few years back really did have a bottom. Oh well, we substituted the sugar and cocoa with chocolate icing and hot chocolate powder. It was…a little strange.

Then there was that crazy binge last summer… I had been visiting my dear friend Miriam and was just about to leave when she hands me a stack of two heart shape tins. “Happy Birthday, Rachel. They’re those black-bean brownies you like.”

“Thank you!” I gushed and gave her a big hug. She doesn’t have to tell me that they have mint icing. Its enticing aroma is spinning my head. Miriam knows that I’m crazy about that combination.

“Don’t eat them all at once,” she says with one side of her mouth smiling and a rather direct look.

“I won’t!” I said with a laugh.

As soon as I’m out of sight of the house, I crack the lid off the top tin and scoop up a brownie—moist, rich, but balanced with the coolness of mint. Amazing.

“Can we have one mom,” says a sweet voice from behind me.

“These are my birthday present you know.”

“You’ll probably eat them all,” another voice pipes up.

I decide to be generous and hand out six of my brownies to the children. Soon, I was into the bottom tin. It was easy to justify it. These brownies are crazy healthy, I said to myself, all that great protein from the eggs and black-beans, and coconut oil is such a healthy fat. Coconut sugar is low-glycemic too. (I don’t really know what that means, but it sounded pretty convincing to myself.) And then…there was only one little brownie left, so I ate it, because what’s the point of leaving just one?

So, you’ll understand why I’m a little worried to have two pans sitting on my counter. I think I’ll put on some mint icing. 😉
And the recipe is:

1 can of black beans rinsed
3 eggs
1/2 cup coconut oil or butter
1/2 cup cocoa
3/4 cup coconut sugar or white sugar
3 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips

Ready for icing

Ready for icing

Preheat oven to 350F. Add all ingredients (except chocolate chips) to a food processor (or blender if your prepared to work at it!) and puree. Stir in chocolate chips and pour into a pre-greased 8×8 pan. Bake for about 35 min. Ice with mint icing or eat with ice cream.

Share with your children. 🙂

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It’s no secret that I’m crazy about chocolate (Don’t Touch My Chocolate!) and regular chocolate chip cookies were just not going to cut it, so I did a search on Double Chocolate Cookies and did I ever find a winner. I’m going to post the recipe here so I don’t lose it and so you can make me some for my birthday! (Which is in 11 months and 1 day, but who’s counting?) 😉

Double Chocolate Cookies

1 c. butter or stick margarine
1½ c. white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
2/3 c. cocoa
¾ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
2 c. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F. Cream butter and sugar and add eggs one at a time. Stir in vanilla. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and add to butter mixture. (I always cheat here and mix my dry ingredients together on top of the wet before stirring together. I’m not a fan of dirtying unnesassary dishes, but I’m putting in the proper instructions in case you are. 🙂 ) Stir in chocolate chips and drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes until just set and allow to cool slightly on sheets before transferring to racks to cool.

I substituted butterscotch chips for a ¼ of the chocolate chips because I thought it would look nice. But I think white chocolate chunks would look even better. I also quadrupled the recipe because I quadruple every recipe and ended up with 19 dozen cookies! It’s a good thing they taste so good, (or maybe that’s a bad thing!) Anyway, the recipe should yield 4-5 dozen amazingly soft, chewy and decadent cookies. Enjoy!

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