Archive | banana RSS feed for this section

an adult tuesday

6 Nov

So, my last post was a little confusing, but completely on purpose. Wait, that doesn’t make a ton of sense in itself. But…oh, never mind. A couple of weeks ago, I signed up to be a volunteer for a new community kitchen that opened in town. They have an amazing collection of cookbooks, give free lessons 4 times a day, 5 days a week, and use all organic produce and ingredients.

Oh, and this guy:

image image source

Seriously.

Blog Nov 4-6, 2009 070

The Kitchen’s goal for this week is to have 1,000 (or 2% of) people in Huntington cooking, and so a cook-a-thon was thrown! From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., there was a cooking class held every 30 minutes, taught by Jamie, for free. They made a beef and scallion stir-fry with noodles, and it smelled amazing – going outside was torture!

Blog Nov 4-6, 2009 076

We had a great turn-out; the firefighters and the media came out, and by 3 p.m., we’d had 250 people cook. Considering 20-30 people were cooking at one time, that’s crazy!

So, did I meet him?

YES!

He’s super-sweet, and at one point, he even called out to me from the stage, and was all, “darling, are you okay? we having fun?”. Oh yeah, we totally bonded. I’m bummed I wasn’t able to get a picture with him, but he was running around like a madman, and I hated the thought of bugging him like the crazy foodie fangirl that I am. I did get the next best thing, though.

Blog Nov 4-6, 2009 075

Yup, totally posing with his shirt. Love the fact that I looked thrilled beyond belief. For a shirt. I’m such a weirdo!

After coming home and eating dinner, E dragged me away. Don’t I look terrified?

Blog Nov 4-6, 2009 097

Just kidding! It was more like a treat…AVENUE Q!

Blog Nov 4-6, 2009 098

The show was amazing. The puppets were incredible (and I hate puppets!), the songs were amazing, and it was just darn plain funny. I would definitely recommend it, but not to young children, anyone uptight, or those who have no sense of humor.

Now for the food!

Blog Nov 4-6, 2009 063

9:15 a.m. Kashi GoLean and Honey Sunshine, with a teeny banana on its last legs, pecans and nonfat milk

Blog Nov 4-6, 2009 067

12:25 p.m. Clif Mountain Mojo Trail Mix bar – sheer heaven!

Blog Nov 4-6, 2009 073

12:50 p.m. ‘Bucks’ Grande Passion Tea with 1 Splenda

Blog Nov 4-6, 2009 078

4:35 p.m. Worst lunch ever! Benny’s Hickory Chicken sandwich, no bacon and no Swiss and a garden salad with no cheese and ginger dressing on the side. Seriously disappointing – too much bbq sauce, stale bread, off salad dressing, and obviously cheese. Ugh. I ate all the veggies, 1 tsp of dressing, all the chicken (with half the sauce wiped off) and half the bun. Everything else got tossed, although I able to salvage the cheese for E’s next lunch, which was about 1/4 cup’s worth.

Blog Nov 4-6, 2009 082

Now some girls are all about little blue boxes, but for me, my heart melts for a certain medium red one.

Blog Nov 4-6, 2009 086

Oh yeah. The fastest way to my heart is chocolate-covered fruit, and to me, Edible Arrangements is king. The best part? Thanks to Facebook, it was free. Definitely had to sample to make sure it was up to par.

Blog Nov 4-6, 2009 088

5:20 p.m. Granny Smith covered with dark chocolate. I was a good wife, and split it with E.

Blog Nov 4-6, 2009 090

6:30 p.m. Cedarlane LF chicken burrito. I’ve never had a Cederlane product that I didn’t like, and this was no exception. A little spicy, a lot of chicken. Almost too much chicken, but can there ever be too much? This guy was small but filling, especially with Blue Smoke salsa and shredded mozz on top.

Blog Nov 4-6, 2009 092

7:00 p.m. And of course, fruit for dessert! Dark chocolate-covered pineapple, split with E.

Blog Nov 4-6, 2009 093

Now there may or may not have been a junior whopper, no mayo, consumed after the show, on the way home at around 11 p.m. Not ideal, but it happened. Just saying.

Who’s your foodie rock star?

Mine are definitely Jamie Oliver, Rick Bayless, Grant Achatz, Giada deLaurentiis, and Paula Deen. Edited to add Martin Yan, Alton Brown and Michael Smith – how could I have forgotten? Thanks for reminding me, Susan!

curried along

2 May

I should really learn that when I promise to do a food post, I need to actually do it!

Breakfast isn’t pictured, because I didn’t think I’d like enough to eat, but lo and behold, I enjoyed it – it was oatmeal! I heated up some milk with 1/2 of a (defrosted) banana in it, added the oats and cooked for a few minutes. I topped it off with some pure Quebec maple syrup and some chopped walnuts. I swear, it tasted like banana bread and was really freaking good. One food hangup down, another 30ish to go!

I went to the gym, came home and decided to perfect the smoothie. I did better…kind of. I decided to omit the spinach until I’ve gotten the hang of it, and just did milk, yogurt, 1/2 a frozen banana, some frozen blueberries, True Protein milk isolate and mango flavoring. This one came out as beige with lavender tinges, didn’t really taste like anything and was so thick I could eat it with a spoon. However, I wasn’t smart enough to do that, and instead took my sweet time drinking it. After an hour, I’d downed two-thirds of it, and gave up.


Lunch was a spinach salad with mushrooms, carrots, green pepper and chopped walnuts, topped with herb-baked flounder and balsamic vinegar. Surprisingly, the combo worked and was both tasty and enjoyable. I ate it with 2 thin slices of roasted turkey and a half slice of Colby Jack.

Dinner was not so satisfying – we had Mushroom-Spinach with Coconut curry, Jyoti Jaipur Karhi, brown rice and roasted carrots, celery and green peppers. The mushroom-spinach curry was flavorful, but something was missing to make it great, and the Jaipur Karhi was way too salty, so I gave my portion to E.

I could tell I wasn’t satisfied, because less than 30 minutes later, I reached for a frozen one of these.

I gave half to E, and an hour later, reached for raw almonds, a piece of dried mango, and a sugar-free jello.
I couldn’t stop eating, and I didn’t want to mess up my day any more than I already had, so I called it a night and went to sleep. I finally tracked this morning, and strangely, I was in the low end of my range for the day. No wonder I was so hungry!

smooth

30 Apr

It’s a good thing that I didn’t have anything planned for dinner, because E came home starving, and me? Not so much. I don’t think it’s healthy to skip a meal, but I also don’t like to force-feed myself, so I figured that a smoothie was a good compromise. All I can say is that I’m glad E was there for troubleshooting, because lord knows that I couldn’t make a proper smoothie to save my life!

We blended up:
1 cup nonfat milk
1 cup 1% milk
3/4 cup nonfat yogurt
60 grams of True Protein milk protein isolate
5 grams of premium protein strawberry-banana flavoring powder
1 cup frozen berry blend
1 frozen banana
3 cups fresh spinach
a handful of ice

Let’s just say that my smoothie isn’t going to be winning a beauty contest anytime soon. This could be the very first time in my life that I’ve made something gray. You’d think it’d be impossible to make something so devoid of color, but it’s actually much easier than you think. This made each of us about 24 oz. of smoothie, which is a whole lot to drink down. It was pretty good, until you got to the bitter liquefied spinach parts, of which my second cup seemed to be full of. For 40g of protein, though, I may be willing to suffer just a little.

A couple of hours later, I got a little munchie, and decided to do a rehash of the dip from lunch. I mixed up some salsa, nonfat yogurt, cilantro, shredded cheddar and Tabasco, warmed it in the microwave for 30 seconds, and Ta Da! I ate it with a few baby carrots, and a small handful of Garden of Eatin’s Beet & Garlic tortilla chips.

Seriously, though – am I the only one who’s smoothie-challenged? Do you guys have any pointers for me?

WB Goodie Exchange, Part 2

28 Dec

Now onto what I sent to Julie!

I decided to send her an assortment of goodies that were each quite different from the others. Since her only request was No Fruitcake, I figured she and her husband were quite easy to please. I decided I’d send three of our family favourites that get gobbled up really quickly: Spice Cake Truffles, Banana Bread Biscotti and Walnut Wafers. Simple and easy to prepare (although a little time consuming), they all keep really well and would hold up in shipping. I also included some of our favourite Hickory Farms’ Melt-Away-Mints and a winter themed stationary set, which I hope she enjoys.

I got these goodie containers from Oriental Trading
they also come with covers for Halloween for dual usage.

spice cake truffles and Hickory Farms’ Melt-Away-Mints –
I love how festive they look together!


Spice Cake Truffles
adapted from a Bakerella recipe
makes between 35 and 50, depending on size of truffles rolled

  • 1 box of spice cake mix, prepared and baked as directed in a 9×13 pan and completely cooled
  • 1 can of cream cheese frosting (I use between 1/2 and 3/4 of the can)
  • 2 packages of white chocolate bark (about 12 oz. worth)
  • wax or parchment paper
  1. Crumble cake in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Mix thoroughly with frosting, starting with 1/2 the can and adding more as necessary – you want the mixture to easily form into a ball, but not be overly moist, mushy or sticky.
  3. Roll into quarter-sized balls and lay on a cookie sheet (I like to line mine with parchment paper). Chill for several hours in the fridge, or for 30 minutes in the freezer.
  4. When cake balls are thoroughly chilled, remove from fridge/freezer, and melt bark as per package directions.
  5. Rolls balls in chocolate (use a spoon to dip and roll, tapping off the excess), and place on another sheet of parchment paper until firm (I firm mine up in the fridge).

left: banana bread biscotti
right: walnut wafers

Walnut Wafers
adapted from What Did You Eat?

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, shelled and chopped
  1. Line one regular loaf pan or 2 mini loaf pans with plastic wrap (a regular loaf pan will give you quite large and fewer cookies, whereas a mini will give you more and small cookies).
  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Beat the sugar and butter together with a mixer for about 4 minutes.
  3. Reduce speed, and add in the eggs and beat until creamy. Add in the flour in 3 additions.
  4. Press dough into the pan(s), and wrap well with plastic wrap. Freeze for at least 2 hours, or as long as a month.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove dough from the pan, and allow to soften slightly. Cut as many 1/8 inch slices as you can fit in your pan (about 8). Cover the remaining dough, and put back in the freezer until you’re ready to slice and bake more cookies.
  6. Place slices on a non-stick baking sheet, about 1 1/2 inches apart. Sprinkle each slice with walnuts, and bake until dark brown (about 8-10 minutes). Once finished, allow to fully cool on a wire rack.

Banana Bread Biscotti
adapted from Picky Palate

makes about 25 biscotti

  • 3/4 cup mashed overripe banana (about 2)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar Splenda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons Splenda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place bananas, egg, brown Splenda and vanilla in a large bowl; mix until combined.
  3. Place flour, white Splenda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and cinnamon chips into a large bowl; mix to combine.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until combined.
  5. Divide dough into two even parts and place onto a lined baking sheet, 4 inches apart. Dust your hands with flour, and form each into 7 inch logs, about 2 inches wide.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes, and remove from the oven. Reduce heat to 250 and let cool for 10 minutes. Using a serrated knife, slice biscotti into 1/2 inch slices on the diagonal.
  7. Bake slices for an additional 25-35 minutes, or until crisped .

And just for fun…

the other half batch of the Spice Cake Truffles, ready to hit my stepmother-in-law’s birthday party – don’t you just love the sprinkles?

I’m sending the biscotti and wafers over to Joelen for this month’s Tasty Tools: Baking Sheet Pans!