How to Ripen a Banana

Check out this great post about how to ripen a banana quickly! (link)

I bake with bananas often so I will definitely be using this trick! If you want to rippen them slowly, put them in a paper bag. Marc showed me this trick a while back and it works well.

 

 

Eat Basil!

Marc and I will be growing a small potted garden on our balcony again this year.  Last year, we had chives, chocolate mint, rosemary, basil and oregano.  We found that we used the chives, mint and basil the most. and, often times, we had to wait for more to grow before digging in.  This year, we plan to grow double of each and we may also add some tomatoes and hot peppers.

Here is a great article from Green Lemonade about basil and why you should include it in  your diet for more reasons than it tastes amazing! (link)

A New Addition to Our Food Family!

Introducing…BIG BIRD…our awesome new cookie jar!

Marc and I have been looking for a funny one for awhile and now the hunt is officially over!

Actually, he isn’t new at all (but, new to our house) as he has been in my family for over 25 years.  He was made by my big brother Chris (or as he likes to call himself “my Hero”). When Chris was a kid he took ceramics…no joke! And, as you can see, he was really good. He did have some help from the other students (mostly older ladies looking for a new hobby), but I think it was pretty awesome that he took ceramics even if it was only until he was introduced to sports.  He made a few other cool things, including a Darth Vader lamp.  Sadly, it broke quite awhile ago.  Man, I would have loved to have that lamp, but Big Bird will due just fine!

Anyway, Chris was nice enough to allow me to “use” it until he needs it back (which will probably be never).  At least, that was how I propositioned him. I have always loved this cookie jar.

Thanks Hero!

Banana Walnut Muffin Tops

Do you prefer the top of a muffin to the bottom? Most of us do – so much so that an entire Seinfeld episode was dedicated to the topic. I usually eat the bottom of the muffin first, just so I can save the top for last. I tend to do this with most of my food as I always save the best bit for last – whether that means eating the pizza crust first or saving the cheesiest bite of pasta. This usually works out pretty well, unless someone comes along and snags that last perfect bite off my plate.  Sadly, this has happened more than once. You would think that growing up with two brothers would have taught me how to fend off  food predators.

When I saw this healthy muffin top recipe on (never home)maker, I practically raced home to make them. The best part was that I had all the ingredients already! I only made a few changes because I did not have hazelnuts on hand (I used pecans) and Marc and I do not own an electric mixer (yet)! The original recipe can be found here and my slightly different version is below.

Ingredients;

  • 2 large bananas
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1-1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup hazelnut (or other nut) meal – I used pecans (see instructions below)
  • 1/2 cup oats -I used organic quick oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Handful walnuts
  • Handful chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 F degrees.

Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray (I used oil olive) and set aside.

In a large bowl mash the bananas with a fork. Then mix in the vanilla extract and maple syrup.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, pecan meal, oats, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. If you don’t have it — just process any type of nut in a food processor until flour-like.


Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until well incorporated.

Stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips.

Bake for 16 to 18 minutes until golden brown.

Enjoy!

The Hardest Test You’ve Never Heard Of

I knew that sommeliers were very knowledgible and good ones are worth their weight in gold. But I didn’t know that the test was this stressful. (link)

My Potato Project

Ok, it’s not my potato project, but this little kid did one and quickly found out the effects that pesticides have have on food.  Would you want to buy vegetables that couldn’t grow roots? (link) (via by friend Blue)

 

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