Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Banana Brownies with Peanut Butter Fudge Frosting

I'm trying to eat healthy this month. Today is not a good day for that. I had some overly ripe bananas that I needed to make something with, and instead of banana bread I made banana brownies! I can't stop eating them! The brownies are thick, but not cake like. I've been keeping mine in the fridge and they are so fudgy! The frosting has a little bit of peanut butter, so you're getting that classic peanut butter and banana flavor. Oooo the frosting would be great with Nutella too...hmmm. So if you're looking for something to make with those old bananas, try these brownies instead of bread!!

Banana Brownies with Peanut Butter Fudge Frosting
adapted from backforseconds.com
3/4 cup unsalted butter 
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips 
2/3 cups cocoa powder 
2 cups sugar 
1/2 tsp salt 
1 tsp vanilla 
1 cup overripe mashed banana 
4 eggs 
1 1/4 cup flour 
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips 
1/4 cup salted butter, softened 
1/4 cup shortening 
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2/3 cups cocoa powder
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar 
1/4 cup milk, half and half, or cream 

 1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
 2. In a large microwave safe mixing bowl, heat butter and chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 increments, stirring each time, until melted and smooth. 
3. Whisk in cocoa powder until smooth. Stir in sugar, salt, vanilla, and mashed bananas. Add eggs, one at a time, stirring after each addition. 
4. Gently stir in flour until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. 
5. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan. Bake 23-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with fudge like crumbs. Let cool completely before frosting. 
6. To prepare frosting: In a mixer with paddle attachment, cream together butter, shortening, and peanut butter until light and creamy, scraping down sides when needed. Add cocoa and powdered sugar and half of the milk; beat very well. If too thick, add more milk until desired consistency is reached. Beat a couple of minutes until light and fluffy. Spread over cooled brownies.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Frozen Slushies

We have been eating these slushies all summer! I had never tried to make anything but ice cream in my ice cream maker before, but these work so great! All you need is a packet of unsweetened drink mix (like Kool-Aid), water, sugar, and your ice cream maker. I have a 1.5 quart Cuisinart ice cream maker (pictured below) but any electric salt free machine will work. So if you're looking for a sugar rush and brain freeze, this is your treat. :) 

Frozen Slushies
1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
1 pkt of unsweetened drink mix

1. Dump water, sugar and unsweetened drink mix into freezer bowl of ice cream maker. Make sure bowl is completely frozen first.
2. Put in the mixing paddle and cover with the plastic lid.
3. Turn machine on and let it run until mixture reaches slushie consistency, about 20-30 minutes.

Makes 5 8oz servings

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Hot Fudge

Only a few more days left until school starts here, but that doesn't mean summer has to end, right?! It'll be hot in Texas for weeks still, so we have plenty of time to eat ice cream with this hot fudge! I have made a couple batches of this in the last few months. I separate it into freezer and microwave safe plastic containers, or even glass canning jars, put one into the fridge to use and stick the others in the freezer! Then when I'm ready to pull one out, I move it to the fridge to thaw. When we need to heat it up, I open the container and put it into the microwave for 30 seconds. We have had hot fudge all summer long! 

Hot  Fudge
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 TBSP cornstarch
2 cups sugar
1 12oz can evaporated milk
1 cup butter, cut into TBSP sized pieces
2 TBSPs light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla

1. In a medium sized saucepan, whisk cocoa and cornstarch, and sugar together. Slowly whisk in evaporated milk. Stir in butter pieces and corn syrup. Whisk together, over medium heat until it comes to a boil.
2. Boil for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
4. Blend hot fudge sauce for 2 minutes using either an immersion blender, or by pouring sauce into a stand blender.
5. Serve immediately or pour into jars and store in refrigerator or freezer. Sauce thickens as it cools.
Makes about 4 cups.

Hot Fudge from the freezer

Monday, July 31, 2017

Food from my Trip to England and Ireland

I'm so glad that I'm writing this post right after dinner because if I wasn't, I'd be crying for this food!!! I have been home from my trip to England and Ireland for 11 days. We had so much yummy food, and tried lots of new things like Yorkshire pudding, Marmite, black pudding, and Cornish Pasties. I fell in love with Cornish Pasties. A traditional Cornish Pasty is a meat hand pie filled with beef, potatoes, swede (turnip), onion, and seasoning. We had Cornish Pasties for 3 meals while we were in England, and I have been craving them since I got home. I have done some research found that they are a protected food!! Cornish Pasties have PGI status (Protected Geographical Indication) which means a true Cornish Pasty has to be made IN CORNWALL and to certain specifications. This means I can never have a genuine Cornish Pasty in the US! :( Luckily the Cornish Pasty Association provides a recipe to make your own, and you can bet I'll be trying that! I had scones almost every day while on my trip. Look through the pics to see which one was my favorite. I have already made some since I've been home. :) I have a new recipe to try that I got at the Highclere Castle gift shop. It is Lady Carnarvon's scone recipe, so I'll be trying that one soon too! I must admit that there were a couple of pizza nights and even a stop at KFC. Haha. I couldn't get over that they don't have ranch dressing there! Another thing that bothered me was that you are charged for soda refills. I will definitely miss the clotted cream. The stuff we buy in jars here doesn't even compare. I'm glad to be home and out of my pastry coma, but the thing I will miss most are the amazing bakeries!

Our first dinner was at Bread Street Kitchen, a Gordon Ramsey restaurant in London.

 Sunday Roast with Yorkshire Pudding at Bread Street Kitchen
Yorkshire pudding was like a crispy, airy roll.

Sides with my Roast

Short Rib Burger from Bread Street Kitchen

Banana Split Crepe from Kensington Creperie 

Donuts from Bread Ahead in Borough Market
We had one of the salted caramel with a piece of honeycomb.

Yummy sandwich from Little Dorrit Cafe

 Fruit Scones from Patisserie Valarie

 Salad with Chicken, Peaches, Avocado, and Honey Mustard Dressing from The Orangery at Kensington Palace

Chicken with Potatoes and Carrots from The Orangery

Afternoon Tea with Wild Berry Tea from The Orangery

Grocery Store Trip in Newbury

Breakfast at AirBnb in Highclere

Highclere Castle Coach House

 Pasty from Highclere Castle Coach House (really good)

 Scone from Highclere Castle Coach House (also A+)

My Scone at Highclere Castle :)

Bread from Methuen Arms in Corsham

Fish and Chips with Mushy Peas from Methuen Arms

Ice Cream from Methuen Arms

Breakfast at Sign of the Angel in Lacock

Breakfast at Sign of the Angel

 Hobbs House Bakery in Tetbury

Viennese at Hobbs House Bakery
It was like 2 shortbread cookies with buttercream and raspberry jam in the middle.

Mac and Cheese from Absurd Bird in Bath

3 Sliders from Absurd Bird

Eggs Benedict at The Kennard (hotel) in Bath

 Full English Breakfast at The Kennard

This tastes like beef bouillon. Not my favorite.

Bath Bun from the Assembly Rooms Cafe in Bath
Tasted like a roll and came with cinnamon butter.

Scone with Cream and Jam from Assembly Rooms Cafe

This might have been my favorite place. We visited the Cornish Bakery 3 times on the trip. Once here in Bath, once in Tintagel, and once in Newquay. 

Cornish Pasties at The Cornish Bakery

Cornish Bakery again in Tintagel

This was one of 3 favorite things I had. This is a cheese and onion pastry from The Cornish Bakery.

Hedgehog Cone from Chapel Porth Beach Cafe
This was Cornish vanilla ice cream rolled in clotted cream and hazelnuts!!

This might look like salad, but it's Rocket. An arugula like lettuce. Lots of dishes come with Rocket. Also, something I learned is that Ranch dressing doesn't exist in England.

Scones to go from Newquay
Another of my favorite things was a chocolate almond croissant from The Cornish Bakery. It was so good I couldn't stop eating it to take a picture. This is it's cousin the almond pastry. Almost as good.

Now we're in Ireland. French Toast at Glashaus Hotel 

Aaaaand a scone. 

Another pic of the scone from Glashaus Hotel. This was my favorite scone from my whole trip. I think it had something to do with that clotted cream, plus it was served warm.

Cheese from England served and eaten in Ireland

This was an interesting dining experience. We stayed in Kilbride Manor, a manor house in the village where Gavin lived. We were the only guests and had this large old dining room all to ourselves.

Fruit at Kilbride Manor

Scrambled Eggs at Kilbride Manor

Apple Custard Pastry at Russborough House in County Wicklow

We tried black pudding and white pudding for breakfast on our last morning in Ireland. They are sausage, the black made with blood, and the white with oatmeal. Not my favorite.

This was the last thing I ate before we left. A spinach pastry at the Avoca Food Market in Malahide Castle.

Also bought a couple things at the Avoca Food Market. :)