Tag Archives: banana

The Moistest Banana Bars Ever

Wondering what to do with those brown bananas that are starting to attract fruit flies?  Well one concept is to peel them and freeze them for smoothies, but an even better idea is to make these breakfast bars from Gooseberry Patch.image

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar

Mix your dry ingredients in one bowl: flour, sugar, baking soda, salt.  In another bowl mash together the wet ingredients: bananas, shortening, eggs, vanilla.

Next, combine the wet ingredients with the dry until the flour mixture is just moistened.

Grease a 13″ x 9″ pan and pour the batter in, spreading out evenly.  Bake in the oven at 350 degrees Farenheit for approximately 20 minutes.

When cool, cut into squares and serve using a sifter to sprinkle fresh powdered sugar on top.image

Another topping option I didn’t make because I was out of cream cheese, and not feeling like a 20 minute drive to the store, is cream cheese frosting. All you need to do is cream together one package of cream cheese, a stick of butter, 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar and 1 tsp. of vanilla extract.  Then top the frosting with chopped walnuts for an extra nutty crunch.image

I’ve never had banana bread this moist, fluffy or tasty before. The top stays sticky where the sugar seems to rise and sit.  The inside is extremely light and fluffy, unlike most banana breads, which are a little dense.  It’s not over-filling and makes a larger quantity than a small bread pan would.  My mom suggested it needed walnuts, which, if you make it with the cream cheese frosting, would be the cherry topping of the sundae.  It’s an easy, grab-and-go breakfast for the week.





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Filed under Breakfast, Food

Shake It

I was on my way to the grocery store to attempt a new mediterranean inspired “dip,” to spread on roasted vegetables when my mom’s friend insisted I come home. Turns out I’m on “mom” duty for the next week, so I attempted to make my mom an easy, healthy meal she didn’t have to chew.  This also makes for a vitamin-rich, energy-boosting breakfast.

To make:

  • 1 low-fat yogurt, flavored
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 packet of Amazing Meal
  • 1/4 cup frozen fruit of choice
  • Swig of Fuze juice drink

In a Magic Bullet or blender (I’m turning into a fan of the bullet. You just flip your blender upside down and automatically have a cup with a handle.) blend together the bananas, yogurt, Amazing Meal, a gulps worth of flavored Fuze to create a drinkable consistency, and your favorite frozen fruit for thickness.


We’ve had these Amazing Meal sample packets sitting in the cabinet for quite some time, and what better time to boost your immune system with vitamins than when you are sick?  Unfortunately, our frozen fruit abundance depleted and all I could find were cranberries which seemed like they’d be way to tart for a shake.  They actually helped the overly sweet shake by adding a tart, heartiness. 


Pour in a glass and enjoy!  And don’t let the “green juice,”  as my younger cousin calls it, color scare you away.

It was sweet and delicious.  Overly sweet for my taste buds, but my mom loves fruit, in everything, including salsa.  So she was pleasantly surprised by the fruity natural sugars and thickness that still fit through a straw.

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Filed under Breakfast, Drinks, Food

Nutella & Peanut Butter No Frost Cupcakes

It was my mom’s birthday this Friday, so I decided to wake up early and make her some cupcakes. To keep it simple I stole the idea of adding Nutella or peanut butter to the top before baking and wala, no need to frost the cupcakes! Mini anything is the perfect bite-sized, guilt-free snack, so I made more minis than regular sized cupcakes.  They are just so adorable too.

To bake these treats:

  • 1 box yellow Jiffy cake mix
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup Nutella

imageIn a mixing bowl, mix together the cake mix, flour, sugar, eggs, butter, milk, cream cheese and vanilla using an electric hand mixer until well blended. To make it easier on yourself you can use two boxes of Jiffy, milk, vanilla, and an egg.  I decided to make more cupcakes than the little box allowed for, so I started throwing together a few items to a. spice up the plain cake mix and b. increase the overall volume of my batter.
imageNext, take three small mixing bowls,  preferably microwaveable.  This will be your topping.  I chose to experiment with three different blends, so you can do the same, pick one, all three or try your own.  In your first small bowl, add approximately 1/4 cup peanut butter. I used organic, as it was easier to stir and a little softer than the regular Jiffy.  In the next bowl add the remaining peanut butter and 1/4 cup Nutella mixing thoroughly.  In your final bowl, combine the cream cheese and remaining Nutella until creamy.  To soften the concoctions, throw each bowl in the microwave for 10 seconds.

I used both mini cupcake pans and regular sized muffin tins, spraying the regular sized as I didn’t have paper cups.  In the mini pans, fill each cup 3/4 full.  With the remaining batter, add in one banana, blend with a hand mixer, and fill the regular sized cups 3/4 of the way full. I then tossed some chocolate chips on top for added flavor and a delicious pairing with the banana, but you can also mix these in.

Once all the muffin tins are filled, add a dollop of each mixture into the desired muffin tin batter.  With the mini cupcakes, I chose to go row by row added Nutella cream cheese then Nutella peanut butter.  image

The big tins with the chocolate chips is where I used the organic peanut butter.  Then take a toothpick and gently pull the topping out from the center to the sides, mixing it with the batter a bit. It seemed the softer the mixture, the easier it was to gradually twist into the batter, still allowed the heavy, sweet topping to stay on the surface.  The cream cheese mixture was definitely the easiest, followed by the organic peanut butter.  I’d suggest microwaving them all to keep them soft and manageable.


Once everything is well blended, toss your pans in the oven at 325 degrees Farenheit for 20 minutes or until cooked through.  Take out the large peanut butter banana chocolate chip cupcakes and add a few more chocolate chips to the top while the pan is still hot so they melt as a frosting, or toss back in the oven for a minute. I didn’t do this, but the peanut butter was a bit much to eat in one sitting, and I think the semi-sweet chocolate topping would break up the dryness of the peanut butter.



imagePlace on a cooling rack when completely finished. And definitely eat while these babies are hot!

imageYou can see on the mini ones how the Nutella/peanut butter/cream cheese sits in the middle and on the top of the cake creating a layer that requires no frosting.  Our favorite, by far, was the Nutella cream cheese, but they were all delightful and even light enough for breakfast.  The peanut butter was a tad on the excessive dry side, but really paired well with the banana. I’m wondering if it would be better as a mini also, as there was still the concentration of the topping, but an even amount with the cake batter.

imageThe simple nature of these makes them a quick snack or dessert, and they are easy enough that the kids will be glad to help out in the kitchen, if only to be the first one in line for a taste-test. The amounts are variable, and depending on your personal liking, you can adjust everything.

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Filed under Dessert, Food

Dragonberry Cooler

In honor of Emily’s new apartments, we put together this scrumptiously sweet drink.

You’ll need:

Dragonberry Bacardi (strawberry flavored rum)
Strawberry Kiwi Crystal Light


In a powerful blender combine 4-6 shots of Bacardi, a cup and a half of water and a packet of Crystal Light.  Fill with ice (but not all the way to the top or the blender won’t be able to properly move the ice chunks around).  Put on ice crusher or pulse until ice becomes a slushy.  Squeeze in some fresh lime and add a slice to each glass for garnish.


Perfect for a hot summer day sitting out on the deck or poolside with a good book.  The Crystal Light makes this drink low on calories and kills much of the alcohol taste.  I added less than a full packet because it was a tad overpowering on flavor.  The water could be lessened for a thicker drink consistency, or add in a banana or frozen fresh strawberries for a variety of texture and less of a brain freeze.  The Dragonberry Bacardi is also a sweet tasting pair with lemonade.  Use crystal light lemonade for a “lite” version.

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Filed under Drinks, Food, Gluten-Free