Friday, July 29, 2016

What do you do with over ripe bananas???

Why you make banana bread, of course. This is a recipe that was given to me many years ago by a dear friend and I have used it over and over again. Tweaking it a little along the way but it is delicious. Mr. Picky Eater loves it with his morning orange juice and bowl of fruit. Anytime that happens then I am making it all the time.
What's not to like, walnuts or pecans, a drizzle of honey atop the bread and included in the recipe is buttermilk. Everything baked takes on a excellent taste with the tang of buttermilk.
Getting all your ingredients together is important. Mixing the dry and wet ingredients separately is equally as important because a banana bread should not be over mixed. It will become tough and not as tasty to eat.

My Favorite Banana Bread

2 ripe, medium bananas, mashed
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 325*. Grease and flour a loaf pan. ( I use Pam for baking) Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Transfer to the prepared pan. Bake until the top is golden brown and splits slightly. About 1 hour and 20 minutes.

I always put a drizzle of honey over the top. It gives it a nice little crunch when you bite in. This banana bread also freezes beautifully.
The honey doesn't need to cover the top just a little back and forth drizzle.
It's moist, yummy and keeps for several days if properly covered. However, it really doesn't last long in our house.
I barely get it cut when it's devoured. Mr. Picky Eater hides his.

I am linking this post to Foodie Friday hosted by Michael Lee at Rattlebridge Farm.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

HELP, I'm a Chocoholic

I am such a Chocoholic but my Mr. Picky Eater refuses to eat anything with chocolate. I crave chocolate cake but it just doesn't make sense to make a whole cake since I would be inclined to eat the whole thing and that's not good. Wellllllllll, I decided to roll the dice and I will share with family to avoid eating the entire cake.
Over a period of time I had found several chocolate cake recipes that I wanted to try which I did and now have combined a couple of things from each recipe and I believe I have come up with the perfect chocolate cake. I  tried one with whipped cream between layers which I think is called "Perfect Chocolate Cake", while it was very good it was a little too decadent for me. Then I tried one with a cream cheese layer in the middle of a bundt cake and that too was a little over the top for me.
This one was delicious, a chocolate sour cream pound cake with a very simple chocolate ganach.

"Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake"

1 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla

Before beginning bring the eggs and sour cream to room temperature. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350 degrees F. Spray the bundt pan with Pam cooking spray for baking.

In a small saucepan, combine the butter, cocoa powder, salt, and water and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring, just until melted and combined. Remove from heat and set aside. Let it cool a bit.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and baking soda. Add half of the melted butter mixture and whisk until completely blended. The mixture will be thick. Add the remaining butter mixture and whisk until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking until completely blended. Whisk in the sour cream and the vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then invert onto a rack. Let cool completely before glazing.

For the ganache:
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream

In a small saucepan mix the two ingredients. On low heat melt the chocolate chips stirring constantly. Let the ganache cool completely and then slowly drizzle it over the cake.

My Notes: A tip really, I keep an oven thermometer in my double ovens at all times. I have  fairly new Wolf ovens but it has been my experience that no oven comes up to the proper temperature when it signals that it is at the right temperature. Especially with baking, I don't leave anything to chance. Keeping a thermometer in my ovens at all times has served me well.
It does not fill up the pan but it will rise to the top making a beautiful Bundt cake.

This ganache could not be more simple and I used a combination of semi-sweet morsels and milk chocolate morsels. With the hope of course, that Mr. Picky Eater would give it a try as well and he did and loved the cake. YAH!!!! I may finally be winning him over to the dark side.

This made the perfect amount for a ganache to go over this cake.

The sour cream in this cake made it lighter, moister and it kept well for several days. Satisfied my chocolate craving too, much to my delight. It is a delicious cake and I hope you will try this recipe if you get a chocolate craving as I often do.

I am sharing this post for Foodie Friday hosted by Michael Lee at Rattlebridge Farm. To see other wonderful recipes shared please click HERE.

Monday, July 4, 2016

A Grand Old Flag

I have many happy memories of July 4ths past as most of us do. Not only as a child growing up but one of my fondest memories was the last one spent with my Dad. I cannot think of a July 4th without remembering that evening. So glad that we have those memories.

I don't often decorate much for the fourth of July but this year I asked my daughter to make me a wreath for our front door. She is very good at this when it comes to wreath making and I use to do many crafts but not so much anymore. My daughter has a good eye for what works together.
I was then inspired to add a little more decoration for our front porch to welcome those who came by and to let everyone know that yes indeed we are patriotic.
From our home to yours, Have a safe and Happy July Fourth.