Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Bomb Banana Shake!

Hey friends –
My cute little girl had to do a project for school and we decided it would be fun for her to be a guest on my new blog.  She’s totally adorable and is a superstar in the kitchen.  This is Emma.  Isn’t she cute?

Take it away, Emma!

Hello, my name is Emma.  I have two sisters and two brothers.  One of them is named Elliott.  He is so cute. My older sister is 11 years old and her name is Cassidy, and I have a little sister named Jane.  We call her Jane-Jane.  My like, brother, Corbin, is 6 years old. I’m 9.  I love cheesecake and mostly anything with potatoes.  My favorite type of cheesecake is plain with fresh strawberries.  And I can’t stand olives.  Not even a tiny bit.
For my class (I’m in 3rd grade Spectrum) I had to read a cookbook for my non-fiction.  The cookbook I read was The Children’s Step-by-Step Cookbook by Angela Wilkes. 
Rachelle: Why did you choose to read this book?
Emma: Because I love to cook stuff.
Rachelle: How come out of all the fun recipes in this book, you chose to make this recipe?
Emma: It would be the yummiest and easiest thing.
Rachelle: So you’re into working smarter, not harder?
Emma: Yes. And plus, everyone loves milkshakes.
Rachelle: Well, let’s get to this then! J

1 banana
1 Tbsp Honey
1/2 cup yogurt
1 scoop vanilla ice cream
1 cup milk

Wash your hands.  Make sure you have a grownup with you when you make this. Measure all ingredients and add them to a blender.  Mix it until it isn’t lumpy. Pour into a glass and enjoy the deliciousness of a homemade milk shake.  P.S. It works much better with whipped cream and sprinkles on top! And maybe a little cherry. But we didn’t have a cherry to try it out.

Rachelle:  So Emma, after trying this recipe, would you recommend this book to your friends?
Emma: Yes! Because if they read the book they could try new foods and plus maybe do it for their own genre project.  And they could make something new, too!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Best Banana Muffins (Nutella or Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins)

Weekday mornings, I often find that we have a kid or two running a little slow to get ready.  By the time we are finally in the car, I've been yelling  letting the kids know that we're "walking out" for about 10 minutes and surely there's a kid or two who hasn't had time to eat.  Rather than freaking out (my natural instinct), I've found that having a stash of frozen muffins is a quick, easy, stress-free solution to a hectic morning. And they're totally more delicious and nutritious than a bowl of Captain Crunch.  I pop a couple in the microwave for 45 seconds and we're on our way.
Without further ado, here are the muffins that are currently in the lead as the favorite breakfast treat in the Bowden household.

Wet -
5-6 ripe bananas, smashed (the browner the better.  I usually just put them in the stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, then turn it on medium until there is mostly banana goo with a few little chunks)
3/4 cups sour cream
3/4 cup Nutella or peanut butter (or any combination of both)
4 large eggs
1/2 cup melted butter, cooled to lukewarm
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 cup granulated sugar
(those last two aren't wet, but they get mixed with the wet before the dry goes in)

(In a large mixing bowl, sift/whisk together the following:)
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1-2 tsp cinnamon
1/2-1 tsp nutmeg

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (any sweetness - I prefer semisweet), set aside

This can be done in one muffin tin.  I prefer to use two, because otherwise it feels like you're doing nothing but lining and filling for 2 hours.  So, line two muffin tins with paper or foil liners.  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, add the banana, sour cream, and Nutella/peanut butter and mix until well combined.  Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until well combined.  Add sugars, butter and vanilla and mix again.

Make a well in the bowl of your dry ingredients, then dump the wet ingredients in the center.  With a rubber spatula, fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just incorporated.  Do not over-mix.  Add the chocolate chips and fold again.

Fill muffin cups until about half full.  Bake (one pan at a time) at 350 degrees 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the middle muffins comes out clean or with a few crumbs.  Cool slightly in the pan (only until cool enough to quickly handle...think "hot potato"), then transfer muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.  This recipe yields a LOT of muffins (about 40).  Place any leftovers in freezer-safe containers (I use gallon size Ziploc bags) and store in freezer.  They're good for a few days (2 or 3) when kept covered, and they freeze beautifully.  I would guess they'll keep in the freezer for a few months, but ours never last more than a couple of weeks.