Sunday, February 06, 2011

Go-go Bananas!

So I said that I was finished worrying about cutesy titles, but then what did I do? I sat around thinking of more cutesy titles. Kill me now! I am such a freak! "Quick Treats For Playing" was going to be my "six geese a-laying" one, recipes for whipping out quickly with kids who are itching for something to do, but I kept wanting to post more than what I had. I'll come back to it, I imagine, but the self-induced pressure was really stressing me out. Anyway, I snapped out of it this weekend. August had a fever and that had me home bound. I am always home bound, but usually I am trying to be a first grade and fourth grade teacher. The weekends are lovely! And since we had college Bible study on Friday night, I went into the weekend with a clean house. So the weekend was given over to those projects that I put off because they are small and tedious and more or less a pain in the butt. Really, in the chaos that is my mind, most things fall into that category- only they are somehow HUGE too. But, as you probably know, once you start doing those things, you feel so silly that you put them off for so long. This weekend, I finally got around to making two recipes I had been meaning to make for a while (a new chili one because my old chili recipe is getting on my nerves and a banana pancake one), polished the silver vase for my mother-in-law's Valentine gift, got all my Valentine's gifts together and ready to mail (after a few odds and ends get taken care of), appliqued a cupcake on a shirt I made for Elspeth, cut off and hemmed up some of August's old pants to make shorts for my nephew, cleaned out the girls' drawers and closet, and finished the twelve days of recipes! Hurray! I have them scheduled to post one a day for the next six days. I went bananas!

In honor of me going bananas and getting all of those monkeys off my back (ba-dum-pum!), I give you... banana recipes!

Banana Crunch Muffins- it is, of course, one of Ina's. It's from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. And it's pretty much my favorite muffin recipe ever.

3 c. all purpose flour
2 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 lb. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs
3/4 c. whole milk
2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. mashed ripe bananas (2 bananas)
1 c. medium-diced ripe bananas (1 banana)
1 c. small-diced walnuts (I always replace walnuts with pecans)
1 c. granola
1 c. sweetened shredded coconut

- preheat oven to 350 and line 18 muffin cups with paper liners.
- sift flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. add the melted butter and blend. combine the eggs, milk, vanilla, and mashed bananas and add them to the flour and butter mixture. scrape the bowl and blend well. don't overmix.
- fold the diced bananas, pecans, granola, and coconut into the batter. spoon the batter into the paper liners, filling each one to the top. bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Banana Sour Cream Pancakes- another from Ina. These are the ones I made this weekend. I tried these with Nutella, but they really are so much better with syrup. For banana and chocolate love, try the next recipe. This barely yielded enough for my family- only about 8 good sized pancakes- so you may want to make a second batch or try doubling it.

1 1/2 c. flour
3T sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 c. sour cream
3/4 c. plus 1T milk
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 ripe bananas diced, plus extra for serving

- sift flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together.
- in another bowl, whisk together sour cream, milk, eggs, and vanilla.
- pour wet over dry and stir, just until combined.
- pour batter (I used 1/3c. scoops) onto a heated (medium) and buttered nonstick skillet and place 1-2T of the diced bananas in the center. cook 2-3 minutes, flip and cook one minute more.
- serve with butter and maple syrup.

Chocolate-Banana Filled Crepes- this one is a Paula Deen recipe. You must admit that she knows what she's doing when it comes to decadence. These are certainly decadent. St. Louis definitely had some pleasant things about it. And we surely do miss our friends and family there. The other things we miss are our favorite St. Louis area restaurants: Liluma, Miso (well, we really only ate there once so we can't very well miss it. still, it deserves to be mentioned), Canyon Cafe, Senor Pique (best fish tacos ever!!!!), and City Coffeehouse and Creperie. We can always be on the hunt for good Mexican food or sushi, but if there's no creperie, then there's just no creperie. So I decided to figure out how to make crepes. They are exactly the same, but they are close enough when you just gotta have some. You'll also be surprised how easy they are. If you are intimidated of confused though, here is a link to the video of Paula making them herself.

1 c. flour
pinch of salt
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 to 2 c. milk
1T butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla

toppings- (must have all)
1 jar of Nutella
sliced bananas
whipped cream
powdered sugar (okay, this is optional, I guess, but you'll have it out to make your whipped cream anyway, so just go ahead)

-sift flour and salt together into a bowl. make a well and add egg and egg yolk. slowly pour in the milk and after about half is poured in, stir in the melted butter and vanilla. add the remaining milk (the batter should be the consistency of light cream), then cover and let stand for 20 minutes at room temperature.
- heat a well greased 6 inch skillet. add 1/4 c. batter. tip skillet from side to side until batter covers bottom of pan. cook until bottom is golden brown. turn and cook a few seconds longer (total cooking time is like 60 seconds) and remove to plate.
- smear crepe with Nutella and layer sliced bananas. fold and top with whipped cream and a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

"Not Yo' Mama's" Banana Pudding- please believe me when I tell you that I had a hard time typing that. Even I have a limit to how silly I'll get with a title. But we already knew that Paula had no shame. And why should she? When she comes up with a recipe like this, she can call it whatever she wants as long as she shares the it with the rest of us!

2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
6 to 8 bananas, sliced
2c. milk
1 5oz. box instant French vanilla pudding
8oz. cream cheese, softened
14oz. sweetened condensed milk
12oz. whipped cream

- line the bottom of a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish with Chessmen cookies and layer bananas on top.
- in a bowl, combine pudding and milk and blend well with an electric mixer.
- in another bowl, combine cream cheese and condensed milk and mix until smooth.
- add cream cheese mixture to pudding mixture and blend well. pour this mixture over the Chessmen and bananas. top with a layer of the remaining Chessmen. cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.


annie said...

Oh, it is such a mistake for me to read your blog at 11 pm. Now all I want is a snack....

Those all sound delicious. What kind of granola do you use in the muffins? Also, I must try those crepes. Soon!

Thanks for the recipes!

Abby said...

Annie, I almost mentioned that I have bought some fantastic granola from our Farmer's Market from some sweet little Amish ladies that I have been using. I have also made granola before- I think from a recipe that Meha gave me. I don't know about what's available in stores, but if you have a favorite, let me know. We have Aldi and Trader Joe's up here too :)

Anonymous said...

we LOVE that banana pudding recipe! i make it frequently for pot lucks ;) those crepes sound amazing...

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