Tag Archives: bananas

Banana Split Treat

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There seems to be a trend going on in the cooking arena. Deconstructed food recipes. Generally, I am not a follower but seeing a number of cooking shows which featured deconstructed recipes got me to thinking about what kind of deconstructed recipe I could create. I figured I should start with a fairly simple recipe rather than try something fancy. Besides, if I tried a more complicated recipe (deconstructed or not) it could be a big fat flop.

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Creating a Banana Split Treat turned out to be a very easy way to introduce myself into the world of deconstructed recipes. In case anyone is wondering, a deconstructed recipe is one that takes a standard recipe and rearranges how the dish is constructed but maintains the original ingredients. So for my deconstructed Banana Split Treat I used banana, cherries, ice cream, nuts and a little pound cake to give the recipe a new twist.

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Rather than splitting a banana I used two slices of pound cake as the base for the split then built the dessert from there. The end result was a nice sweet treat that I was proud to serve to a few friends at a recent gathering. Nothing fancy. Just a delicious deconstructed treat.

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Banana Split Treat

Ingredients:
4 slices pound cake
2 bananas sliced
1 pint vanilla bean ice cream
1 cup maraschino cherries
½ cup wet nuts
¼ cup liqueur (grand marnier, maraschino, etc)
hot fudge for drizzle

Soak cherries in liqueur for at least 1 hour.

Place slice of cake in a bowl. Top with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and sliced bananas. Spoon cherries and juice over bananas then add a spoonful of wet walnuts. Drizzle with hot fudge.

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Banana Pumpkin Muffins

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It is that time of year when the leaves turn into brilliant colors of yellow, orange and red. I love the transition of summer into fall just so I can watch the leaves blow in crisp fall winds then trickle slowly to the ground. I also love the smell of fall. The air is filled with the scent of apple cider, pumpkin and spices that let you know that fall is here and both Halloween and Thanksgiving are coming.

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Since I have started baking a little more I thought I would try out a new recipe that reminded me of the season and of course would be easy to make. Banana Pumpkin Muffins popped into my mind. What is easier than making muffins? It only take a few minutes to mix all of ingredients and about 15 minutes to bake.

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I use to look at really ripe bananas and think they were a missed opportunity to eat. Now, I see them as an opportunity to create. Pairing bananas and pumpkin flavors seemed like a natural fit and I was right. To make them even more yummy, I added a little crumble mix to the top of the muffins for another layer of texture and crunch. The result was a delicious moist muffin that went great with a steaming cup of coffee for my hubby and a cold glass of milk for me.

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Fall is a fabulous time of year and Banana Pumpkin Muffins are a fabulous treat for fall.

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Banana Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients:
3 ripe bananas
1 egg slightly beaten
1 ½ cups flour
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup melted butter
3 tbsp pumpkin spread
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt (optional)
Pinch of pumpkin spice (optional)
20 – 24 small baking cups

Crumble Topping:
¼ cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup packed brown sugar (add a little more if necessary)
1 tbsp butter
¼ tsp cinnamon (optional)

Place ingredients in a small bowl. Cut butter into the mixture until little crumbles are formed. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl gently mash the bananas leaving small chunks. Add remaining ingredients until well blended. Fill baking cups ½ way then top with crumble. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes depending on your oven. Test with a toothpick to see if the center is set.

 

 

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Banana Bread Bars

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The idea for Banana Bread Bars came to me when I was thinking of making more of my Fruit Nut Bars but I had two ripe bananas crying out for me to do something with them. I have only recently started using ripe bananas in various recipes. Before I started dmariedining.com I would just freeze overly ripe bananas for smoothies because I don’t like to eat mushy bananas. Fortunately for the bananas, I was in an aventerous mood and decided I could try making banana bread but in the shape of bars instead of a loaf.

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Making banana bread is not too different from making banana muffins but I found that the texture and flavor was slightly different. The Banana Bread Bars were firmer but still very moist. As always, my family and friends are my taste testers and truly honest judges of my cooking. If something does not quite meet their level of expectation or does not tickle their taste buds, they have no problem in letting me know without hurting my feelings. I also know I have not hit the mark if my son does not let me know how much he will miss my cooking when he goes to college or he does not brag to his friends that I can make dirt taste good. No, I have never tried to make dirt taste good but I figure that was a very high compliment coming from my youngest son.

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On the few occasions that we have unexpected company or I don’t feel like making a complicated dessert for a family gathering, I can make Banana Bread Bars in a little over an hour. That is my kind of cooking. The next time your bananas start turning brown don’t toss them or freeze them. Turn them into Banana Bread Bars. Pretty Quick and Pretty Easy.

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Banana Bread Bars

Ingredients:
2 ripe bananas
2 large eggs
3 cups flour
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
¾ cup sugar
½ cup chopped walnuts
8 oz mascarpone cheese
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
parchment paper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Shift flour, baking soda and salt together into a small bowl and set aside.

Place bananas in a large bowl and mash. Mix in vanilla extract and eggs. Set aside.

Melt butter in a medium size sauce pan over medium high heat. Add sugars. Stir until sugars melt and are smooth. Remove from heat and let cool for 8 – 10 minutes.

Add cooled sugar mixture to bananas. Slowly whisk flour with bananas and sugar until totally blended. Fold in walnuts. Pour mixture onto a rimmed baking pan lined with parchment paper. Spread out evenly in the pan. Chill in the frig for 15 minutes then bake for 40 – 45 minutes. Stick a toothpick in the center of the banana bread to see if center is cooked. If it comes out clean the banana bread is done. Let cool then cut into squares and store in an airtight container.

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Banana Nut Muffins

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For our first AAU game this season, I and another parent (C.T.) volunteered to provide snacks for the guys to have in between games. CT brought bananas, grapes and clementines while I supplied the Gatorade and granola bars. Although our intentions were good, we found out we could not bring food into the arena. Since it was a cold snowy day we could not organize the guys to go outside and partake of the goodies. Needless to say there was a lot of Gatorade and fruit leftover. CT suggested I keep the fruit and put it to good use so I left the games with a good helping of bananas.

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I thought about making some type of fruit salad but I ate quite a few grapes on our long journey home. My hubby ate most of the clementines which meant I only had bananas to worry about. I wasn’t in the mood for banana pudding and wanted to make something I had never tried before. As you know, I am still working on my baking skills and thought I could try out a banana nut muffin recipe.

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I found an old recipe in my recipe box for banana bread that I decided to turn into a muffin recipe. I just tweaked the banana bread recipe a little by adding golden raisins and nuts to the mix. Yummy… The muffins came out really moist and flavorful with a subtle crunch from the pecans. Plus, the golden raisins plumped up and added another layer of sweetness along with the ripe bananas. In the end, I was happy with my updated recipe and felt confident I could share this recipe.

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Thanks CT for providing the bananas and for helping me to stretch my baking wings once again to create a lovely banana nut muffin.

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Banana Nut Muffins

Ingredients:
4 ripe bananas peeled and mashed
2 eggs slightly beaten
2 cups flour
½ cup sugar
½ cup butter softened
¼ cup golden raisins
¼ cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp lemon or orange zest
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray then fill each cup a little more than half way. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until center is set. Place a tooth pick in the center of the muffin and if it comes out clean muffin should be done. If necessary, cook a few more minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edge of the muffin to loosen then gently lift out of the muffin tin. Dust with powdered sugar.

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Sweet Cake Sandwiches

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Sweet cake sandwiches. Don’t panic! These are not your typical sandwiches. They are really sandwich treats. I was working on another dessert recipe when I got distracted and started thinking about sweet cake sandwiches.

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I envisioned slices of dark chocolate cake topped with various fillings that represented things we usually put on a sandwich. Things like cherry tomatoes (cherry pie filling), cucumbers (kiwi) and mayo (whipped cream). Of course you can use any kind of cake you like as the “bread” of your sandwich. I am just a really big fan of dark chocolate.

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Sweet Cake Sandwiches are a nice dessert that can be turned into family fun and even great for a party. Little kids and big kids like me will love to make their own special sandwiches using simple ingredients. Granted this dessert may not be totally healthy but it sure is fun to create.

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Sweet Cake Sandwiches

Ingredients:
1 box of your favorite cake mix

Sandwich Filling:
1 small can cherry pie filling (*cherry tomatoes)
2 tbsp lemon curd (*mustard)
2 kiwi peeled and sliced (*cucumbers)
1 banana sliced
1 cup whipped cream or Greek yogurt (*mayonnaise)

Prepare cake mix according to package. Pour into a greased and floured 9x 11 inch meatloaf pan. Bake per the cooking times indicated on the package. Let cool.

Slice cake then spread lemon curd, Greek yogurt or whipped cream on a slice of cake. Add your favorite fruit filling to the slice. Top with a second slice of cake. Yummy…..

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