Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Don't Throw Those Bad Bananas Out!

Sorry, it has been a few days since my last post. I have been pretty busy signing up for things on Craigslist. (My favorite site). I was able to find some paid focus groups and some catering gigs for the Jewish Holiday. I'll let you know in the post to come how they went. Last week I did about 4 mystery shops, my other job, LOL. It was the first time I had been to a Panera Bread, very crowded, and very delicious. Not a place to take the kids for lunch, tables are small and like I said way too crowded. They scored real good. I haven't had a bad experience yet with any of my shops, customer service out there is good. In between I have been organizing my scrapbook/craft room and baking, baking, baking....
I tend to buy alot of bananas at BJ's $1/3lbs ,great buy now a days. So when the kids don't eat them fast enough, they go bad and they say yew! But I say yum-mie... I have a great recipe that is so moist. It makes about 4 or 5 smaller loaves. I keep out two and freeze the rest. Unfortunately, it is so good I could eat a whole loaf. So here it is, I add the yogurt to lower the fat and moisten it.

Banana Bread
1 c. butter
1 1/2 c. brown sugar

2 eggs
1/2 c. non-fat yogurt
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
4 c. AP flour
5 to 6 mashed ripe bananas
1/2 c. crushed pecans

1) Cream butter and sugarby hand or with a mixer with a paddle.
2) Add eggs and yogurt
3) Add salt, baking soda, and flour. Mix just until combined. It is best not to over mix, so that it will not be tough and dry.
4) Fold in bananas and pecans. Spoon into well grease loaf pans.
5) Bake in preheated oven @ 350 degrees for 50
to 70 minutes depending on pan size.
*Note: I let then sit 5 minutes and then pop then out to let cool on their sides on wax paper.

So when you have what you think or your kids think are bad bananas, make this wonderful bread

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Baking Fiesta continues....

We all love sugar cookies here at our house, and usually I do them around each holiday, in shapes and decorate them. This time I decided to try without frosting. I chose a recipe from one of my new favorite books, "America's Best Lost Recipes". Check out this book it has great old fashioned recipes from days gone by.

They are very soft, and not too sugary. Nice to have with tea. So give it a try...

Iola's White Sugar Cookies


1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c. sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. buttermilk
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1. In your mixing bowl, cream together until fluffy the butter and sugar. Reduce speed and add egg and vanilla, until combined.
2. Combine the dry ingredients and add to the creamed mixture, alternating with the buttermilk. NOTE: If you have no buttermilk, take 1/2 c. of milk and add in 1/2 tsp white vinegar.
3. Wrap the finished dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled. At least 2 hours or overnight.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking pans with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll the chilled dough about 1/4 inch thick and cut with 2 1/2 inch circle cutter. Space them an inch apart on baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Bake 12 to 14 minutes , let cool 20 minutes before storing. You can reroll any scraps you have and cut. Store in air tight container and they will stay moist for awhile.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A Day of Baking....

Monday was a little rainy here in New England, so I decided to bake. And bake I did, I will be sharing what I have done the next couple days. I'm a BIG fan of Molasses Cookies, especially with ginger added. I think I could eat the whole batch if given the chance.

Here is my recipe. They come out flat and chewy.
Molasses Cookies
INGREDIENTS:
* 1/2 cup softened margarine
* 1 cup white sugar
* 1/2 cup dark molasses
* 1/2 cup cooled brewed coffee
* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoons baking soda
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/2 cup white sugar
DIRECTIONS:
1. In a medium bowl, mix together the margarine and 1 cup sugar until smooth. Stir in the molasses. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger; blend into the molasses mixture, alternating with the coffee. Cover, and chill dough for 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Roll dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining white sugar. Place cookies 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Flatten the cookies with the bottom of a glass.
.3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until tops are cracked. Cool on wire racks.