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Chocolate Banana Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting

I made these for a potluck. Three people asked me for the recipe. Now you can be part of the three! 
Ingredients: 3 large ripe bananas, mashed 3 tbs butter 3 tbs oil 2 eggs 1/3 c buttermilk 1 tsp vanilla 3/4 c sugar 1/2 tsp salt
2 c flour 3/4 c baking soda
1/2 c cocoa powder 2 tbs butter
1/2 c milk chocolate chips (but you can use any kind)
Chocolate dipped banana chips and decorating sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 350F. Mix all the first set of ingredients together (all the wet + sugar and salt). Mix in the flour and baking soda. Split the batter in half and add the cocoa powder, 2 tbs butter, and chocolate chips to 1 half. You might have to use a mixer because the cocoa powder gets clumpy. Fill muffin cups with half of each kind of batter. Bake for 20-22 minutes. Makes about 18 muffins.
Cream cheese frosting ingredients: 1 – 8oz pkg cream cheese 5 tbs butter 1 tbs sour cream 1 tsp vanilla (I used vanilla bean paste) 1 c powdered sugar
Beat all the above together with a mixer. Spread or pipe on the muffi…
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Chocolate Chunk Cranberry Cookies

I'd been wanting to try out a recipe with chocolate chunks instead of regular chips and thought I'd give this one a shot. Result: rave reviews from the BBQ I went to at my friend's house.

Ingredients
(weight not volume)
10.1 oz flour
0.5 oz cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 tbs (1.5 sticks) butter
7 oz light brown sugar
3 oz granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla bean paste (you can use regular vanilla extract if you want)
9 oz dark and white chocolate chunks (I chopped up a 70% bar and used white chocolate disks 6oz:3oz dark:white - you can use whatever mixture you like, or use chocolate chips)
1/3 c dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350F.

Soften butter in the microwave. Beat sugar, egg, vanilla, and butter until fluffy.  Add dry ingredients and mix.

Drop about 2 tbs of dough at a time on the cookie sheets,  about 2" apart (I used a 1 oz scooper).

Bake for 10-12 min, rotating the pan once after 6 minutes until edges are starting to brown (and if you're …

No-Boil Pasta Bake

I was looking all over for pasta bakes that use uncooked pasta. After some modifications due to missing ingredients (my ricotta went bad) this was the random recipe that got my husband to eat like 2.5 helpings and my 4-year-old son to eat a bowl after telling me he didn't want any. Not sure if that's a good thing, but it at least indicated that it tasted good. :) 



Ingredients
8 oz uncooked pasta (I used gemelli because I like the shape)
15 oz Sonoma Gourmet Roasted Vegetable pasta sauce (you can use any pasta sauce you like - this is just what we had)
1 c milk
1/4 c water
1/3 c grated parmesan
1 lb sausage (optional)
3/4 c riced cauliflower (optional)
More grated parmesan and cheddar for the top
Fresh ground black pepper

I only threw in the sausage for flavor and the cauliflower so we could pretend we're eating vegetables.

Preheat oven to 375F. If you're using sausage and cauliflower, cook the sausage in a pan first and throw in the cauliflower at the end.

Put the uncoo…

Vanilla Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream

I think that the buttercream turned out kind of heavy, so I would probably add more half & half and powdered sugar and beat it a bit longer next time.

Cupcake Ingredients 5.5 oz flour 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 stick butter, melted 45 ml (by weight) sunflower oil 6.1 oz granulated sugar 2 eggs 1.5 tsp vanilla extract 3/4 cup buttermilk
Buttercream Ingredients 1/2 stick butter  1/4 cup brown sugar 2 tbs half & half 
1.5 sticks butter 1-2 cups of powdered sugar 2-3 tbs half & half
Chocolate sprinkles (optional) 
Preheat oven to 350F. Whisk all the wet ingredients together. Add the dry ingredients and stir gently until just incorporated (don't overmix or it will build up too much gluten).  Pour batter into cupcake tins lined with cupcake liners (about 3/4 to 4/5 full).  Bake for 15-20 minutes rotating once at the halfway point. When cake springs back from the middle of the cupcake, it's done.  For my oven, it was about 16 min, rotating at 8 minutes. 
For the…

Throwing some shade

Ombre Flowers

So I wanted to try that new ombre cake frosting trend.  I used whip cream here on an eggless chocolate cake I made for a potluck at work (for those egg-free individuals on my team).  Everyone was sufficiently impressed.  I was a little disappointed at the messiness of the blue/purple end, and I kinda ran out of cream, but it tasted good. Anyway...

Eggless Chocolate Cake 2 c sugar
1 3/4 c flour3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1.5 tsp baking powder
1.5 tsp baking soda
1/2 c sunflower oil, organic
1 c whole milk, organic
1 c boiling water 1 tsp salt 3 tbs flax seeds
Roses 2 c heavy cream 1/4c sour cream 1 tsp vanilla ½ c powdered sugar food coloring (if desired)
Pre-heat oven to 350F. Soak flax seeds in milk for an hour or overnight (or use flax meal). Blend (I used a stick blender). 
Mix dry ingredients. Mix in wet ingredients, with boiling water being last.
Pour into cake pan (9x13). 
Bake for 30 min, rotating once. 
Let cake cool at least an hour.
Whip creams and then mix in powdered sugar and …

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

My son (currently 2 years old) loves pancakes.  Protein, not so much.  I tried to get a bit more protein in his carbs.

Ingredients 
(organic, if possible)
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

3 eggs
1 cup cottage cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tbs milk
butter, oil or oil spray

Mix dry ingredients. Mix wet ingredients and then fold into dry ingredients mixing as little as possible (keeps the pancakes tender).



Heat a pan and grease with butter. My son likes small pancakes (so I use about 1-2 teaspoons at a time), but you can make full size pancakes if you wish.


It usually takes a minute or two before you can turn them over, or you can look for small bubbles at the edges of the pancakes before flipping.

Remove when golden brown.




If you want to substitute white flour, you'll have to add more flour (maybe 3-4 extra tablespoons) unless you like thin pancakes.

Also, I usually make a big batch of these and freeze them in layers (wit…

Baked Wheat Bao

My 2-year-old son likes baked char siu bao, but he's not so fond of the meat part.  I thought I'd try to make some for him and add a little whole wheat flour so they'd have a tad more vitamins. And I used organic ingredients where I could.

Ingredients
5 oz whole milk
1/2 stick salted butter
2.5 tbs warm water
2 tsp yeast
1 egg
2.5 tbs sugar
9 oz white flour
3 oz wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt

1 egg + water for egg wash

Glaze
2 tbs honey + 1 tbs warm water

Melt the butter in a glass measuring cup until liquid.  Add milk and microwave some more until all the liquid temperature is about 110F. The warm water should also be about 110F (this is the best temperature for the yeast).  Sprinkle the yeast into the water to soften.  Whisk the yeast water and egg into the milk mixture.

Put the flours, salt, and sugar into a stand mixer (or you can knead this by hand, but I don't know how long it takes).  Turn on the stand mixer with the dough hook attachment on a low speed setting.  Pour …