28 March 2010

Banana Purses


A few nights ago my grandmother came for dinner.  It wasn’t really a planned evening and so I hadn’t any dessert in mind for after dinner.  But you (read: I) can’t have someone over for dinner and not serve them dessert.  Fortunately, I had all the makings for this little ditty already in the pantry and fridge and in a matter of a half hour dessert was served.  Unfortunately, sans Crème Glacee.




Banana Purses


3 ripe bananas, mashed

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 package puff pastry (2 sheets)

1 tbsp sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp milk


  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.  Line baking sheet with aluminum foil, spray foil with cooking spray.
  2. Mix bananas and maple syrup in a small bowl.  Combine the sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Working on a clean surface roll out a puff pastry sheet and cut in half lengthwise.  Using a rolling pin, roll each half into a 15x5 rectangle.  Cut each rectangle into three pieces. You should have twelve pieces when done.
  4. Evenly distribute the banana mixture onto the twelve pieces.  Fold the corners up and pinch to close in the center.  Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar. Transfer to prepared cooking sheet.
  5. Bake 15 minutes and serve warm.

These would probably be even better with ice cream. 

Maybe next time.

24 March 2010

S’mores Brownies


Every time I lose a pound I turn around and decide to make something absolutely scandalous.  So when my sister told me she had made S’mores Brownies, well I just had to try some out for myself.  Apparently, I didn’t make them the way she told me to, even though she described them to me at least three times.  I can be thick skulled I suppose.  I had the ingredients she spoke of: brownie mix, mini marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate chunks, so I thought, why the heck not.  Two days later, the scale told me why the heck not.  So my advice?  Enjoy these, either in moderation or after you throw your scale in the trash. Who needs the condescending little buggers anyways?

S’mores Brownies


1 pkg brownie mix (my favorite?  Ghirardelli Double Chocolate.  Y-u-m-m-y!)

Eggs, oil, water, etc. according to choice of brownie mix instructions

2 cups mini marshmallows

3 whole graham crackers, crushed

~ 1 cup chocolate chunks


  1. Make Brownies according to package instructions.  As they bake prepare topping (crush graham crackers).  Take the brownies out and place them on a wire rack, switch the oven from bake to broil.  Evenly distribute mini marshmallows on brownies.  Then spread graham crackers and chocolate on brownies. 
  2. Place brownies under broiler and WATCH.  In a matter of sixty seconds the marshmallows will start to brown.  As soon as they do, remove the brownies from the oven.  Let cool enough to cut, but enjoy them warm.  (Nuke leftovers for 10 seconds to get softer marshmallows.)

This is a very quick and fun way to spruce up a box of brownie mix.  Children and fans of S’mores will surely love them.

20 March 2010

Taste A Rainbow



Today is the first day of Spring, in celebration of the Sun passing over the Earth’s equator, we made Rainbow Cupcakes.  Using just a regular box of yellow cake mix and a box of food coloring we were able to turn a batch of cupcakes into a bright and colorful afternoon snack.

After making your cake mix according to the package directions separate the batter equally into 5 small bowls, then proceed with the following chart to make each color.


To make each color you will need:

Purple: 9 red drops, 6 blue drops

Blue: 12 blue drops

Green: 12 green drops

Yellow: 12 yellow drops

Red: 18 red

After you have made each color divide the batter equally into muffin pans.  You will probably get one or two less cupcakes than your package says you will get.  Bake in the oven for 20 minutes and then…

taste a rainbow (with your favorite icing of course).

085 063 Welcome, Springtime!069 078

09 March 2010

Monkey Bread


When I was little my  mother used Bridgeford Rolls from the supermarket freezer section to make small buttery rolls nicknamed ‘Monkey Bread’.  To this day those rolls are a staple at our Thanksgiving dinner every year.  They take all afternoon and are essentially just rolls cut in half, dipped in melted butter and left to rise throughout the afternoon, but they are delicious.  Simply put: there are never any leftovers.

The Bridgeford Rolls however no longer have that simple roll on their packaging and have since replaced their original “Monkey Bread'” recipe with a Monkey Bread that is of the more traditional kind, rolls dipped in butter, rolled in cinnamon and sugar and combined in one fashion or another with butterscotch pudding.  I have tried the Bridgeford Monkey Bread but was unimpressed when all the hard work led to a sweet roll that I thought was lacking in some fundamental way.

But then a couple of weeks ago I came across a recipe that called for refrigerated biscuit dough in place of frozen rolls.  I was instantly interested, and at my next grocery excursion picked up several types and brands of biscuit dough.  You see, we don’t generally do refrigerated biscuits around here and I was unsure which to go with when presented with so many options at the local market.  I went with both the store brand original and the Pillsbury Buttermilk for variety.  Then I came home and experimented six times over the next two weeks.  I learned that with this bread, that simple was synonymous with unsurpassable.  I also, no surprise here, gained three pounds.  But now I have perfected them.  No need to thank me.  Just try them for yourself, you won’t be disappointed.

This recipe is scrumptious but it also comes together in as little as 30 minutes from start to finish, which makes it even better.  To save your forearms from scrubbing duty turn the bread out onto aluminum foil immediately after baking and rinse your pan.

Monkey Bread


2 pkgs. refrigerated biscuit dough

2/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/2 cup chopped pecans.

1/3 cup butter

2/3 cup brown sugar



  1. Preheat oven to 350*F.  Spray 9 inch round cake pan.  Combine sugar and cinnamon in a gallon size Ziploc bag.
  2. Open packages or biscuits and quarter them. monkeybread monkeybread1
  3. Taking about 8-10 of them at a time, drop them into the cinnamon mixture and shake vigorously to coat.  Drop them in greased pan.  Repeat until all of the biscuit dough is coated. monkeybread2
  4. Sprinkle with chopped pecans.monkeybread3
  5. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the brown sugar.  Bring to a boil and pour over the rolls.056
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.  Turn onto aluminum foil and enjoy.


03 March 2010

Oatmeal Pancakes


I have been experimenting with several different pancakes recipes lately.  I thought of doing a week of pancakes but that is too much even for a pancake fan like myself.  I am just so excited with myself for finally being able to make pancakes, for the longest time I just avoided them.  I am still the world’s worst pancake flipper, but at least they taste good.

I wanted to get these posted for National Pancake day, but then I got confused as to when exactly National Pancake Day occurred.  Then I got busy, extremely busy, and either misplaced several days of my week or rushed through them so quickly I have no recollection of them.  So here I am, a week later, finally sharing this delicious recipe.  It only makes about 8 pancakes so if you have children or significant others who might want any, you may want to double the recipe.

Oatmeal Pancakes


1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup quick cooking oats

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp canola oil

1 egg


  1. Mix flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in food processor until smooth.  Add buttermilk, vanilla, oil and egg.
  2. Heat griddle to 350*.  Pour approximately 1/4 cup of batter onto griddle for each pancake.  Flip when pancakes start to have air bubbles around edges and cook on opposite side for another minute or two.
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