This s**t is bananas

Posted: September 17, 2009 | Author: Alyssa | Filed under: Alyssa | Tags: , | 4 Comments »

I love bananas…sometimes.  Bananas are a food that I can go 2 years with out even thinking about, and then all of a sudden have a 2 week craving for them.  No idea what this strange phenomenon is, but hey…its better than craving doughnuts (although I tend to crave those too….)  For the past three days I have been eating about 2 bananas a day, so tonight I thought that I would change it up a little bit and use bananas in a new way.  I’m not sure what made me try frying them, probably a combined influence of Paula Deen and my deep seated love of butter and sugar.  Either way, it turned out completely different than I thought it would and it was freakin’ delish, so I’m happy :) .  Unfortunately my inner fat kid was so excited to eat it that I forgot to take pictures.  Stupid chubby kid in my head…always getting in the way.

Anyway, here is what I did, and I’m not sure if I will be able to recreate it, but I’m definitely going to try…

Ingredients:

1 Banana cut into  round slices (about 1/2 inch thick, maybe a little thicker)

Brown sugar

Butter

Vanilla extract

Cinnamon

I think this is how it went…

Melt butter in fry pan over medium-high(ish) heat.  While its melting, coat the banana slices in brown sugar.  Not a super thick layer, but more than just a sprinkle.  Put the slices into the pan and let them cook for a couple of minutes, until the sugar starts to caramelize.  Sprinkle some vanilla extract over them and then flip them.  Cook them on the other side for another couple of minutes.  Once the sugar is all melty and gooey, sprinkle the bananas with some cinnamon and toss them around in the pan to make sure they are totally coated, then remove them from the heat.

I’m sure there is a classy way to serve these, but I just dumped them in a bowl (at this point I was so excited to eat them that we are all lucky that I didn’t just eat them straight out of the pan).    The bananas got all gooey and delicious, and the sugar and cinnamon mix really well with the banana flavor…holy cannoli it was good.  Actually, because it was so good, I am SURE the next time I try this I will tank it, but hey! thats what cooking is all about.  Sometimes its amazing, sometimes its a flaming ball of tragedy…but thats how we get better :)

Sorry for the vague measurements, but everything is pretty much based on the flavors you like, so its hard to give specifics.  Happy frying!

TT


A Bar is a Bar is a Bar?

Posted: August 5, 2009 | Author: Rita | Filed under: Rita | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

What makes a cookie bar a cookie bar?

Last night I attempted to bake banana-oatmeal bars with chocolate chips; a perk of not timely eating all the bananas means that they will be featured in a new, desserty incarnation. After much soul searching, I determined to make bars because the week before was banana bread muffins and I like creating new things. The bars were decided upon because Epicurious’s other ideas were banana pudding bananas foster or other unportables I can’t give out at work easily, and the dessert cookbook I own didn’t list much with banana!

I used this recipe, but substantially adjusted it based on reviewers’ suggestions and to taste. Basically, I halved the sugar, added a cup of oats, upped the ripe banana quotient to three instead of two and nixed the nuts. I figured it would be bar-like, since, well, it’s a bar recipe. Didn’t happen.

I’ll be honest, I like baking and I like that it’s generally simple and has consistent rules and formulaic outcomes, (whipping room temperature butter + eggs cracked one at a time equals…) but I’m pretty ignorant about what leads to what! (…equals fluffier cakes? Uh…?) So in adjusting this and other baked goods recipes I do not know, essentially, what exactly I’m doing. Which is fine by me since everything usually comes out ok anyway, but not what I was expecting; it would be nice to know how to actually achieve what I thought I was making!

My roommate, not at all a cook, whipped out her Betty Crocker Cookbook guide which she got as a ‘new college student’ gift from relatives. And there was the light! It gives overviews on these basic rules I was not tutored in. I’m more at ease with mains, salads, the savory stuff. But this basic intro to baking is exactly what i need. It might be helpful to review the whole thing, to be honest.

She told me that it’s one thing to play with an established, “sure thing” recipe but to adjust an unknown, well, who knows what will happen?

That being said, my “cake” got rave reviews! But does anyone know what makes a bar a bar?



Johanna: The Improviser

Never quite follows the recipe. Doesn't really measure. Tastes with her fingers. Somehow, it always works.

Alyssa: The Triple Threat

Can do it all. And modest to boot.

Bakezilla: We Use Mixers Too

She likes to bake. Actually, baking is the only thing she does. It's a passion.

Rita: The Kosher Chick

Restrictions have nothing on her.