Tag Archives: dessert

Mama’s Famous Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread2 So my mom’s famous chocolate chip banana bread is actually from a recipe! She does make a few tweaks to the recipe (like the addition of chocolate chips!!!) and she uses honey instead of brown sugar for a moist bread. I gotta give the woman some credit. She also has a secret trick–after she butters the loaf pan, she dusts a little sugar on pan so when baked, the outside of the bread has a sugary crunch. So good.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread This bread takes me back. Way back. I’ve been eating this bread since I was a wee thing. Home to me smells like freshly baked banana bread. Unfortunately, I don’t eat it now because of the wheat, but I love giving it as a gift. A small loaf of bread is such a good gift, don’t you agree?¬†This is also a great recipe to use up those too brown bananas. It’s super versatile, ya’ll.

This recipe makes two small loafs or one large loaf.

Banana bread recipe Notes: Try honey instead of brown sugar, add 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of nuts and make sure to dust that pan with sugar! We don’t want to be too healthy ūüôā

Do you have recipes that remind you of home? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

love,
melanie

 

 

Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Bread

Sweet potato bread, gluten free This isn’t your fluffy, white, B- student bread. Oh no. This is his cousin… twice removed. If this bread had a name, his name would be Barry and he would give you a beat down on the playground– behind the slide where no one can rescue you. Barry is dense. He’s a little chewy. Some may call him hefty. He’s got meat on his ribs, but underneath his tough exterior, he’s more akin to a fruitcake, not the rack of ribs he pretends to be.

gluten-free sweet potato bread If you’re looking for a prissy, pretty bread, this isn’t your jam. But if you need a little more heft to your breakfast bread (or lunch, or dinner, I don’t judge), Barry, I mean this sweet potato bread is it.

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 3/4 cup¬†milk
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • ¬Ĺ cup brown¬†sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • ¬ľ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¬Ĺ cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake sweet potato until tender. Keep oven on!
  2. Remove the skin and puree in a blender or food processor with 1/4 cup of the milk.
  3.  Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs and beat again.
  4. Mix together dry ingredients (minus the pecans and chocolate chips) in a separate bowl.
  5. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet about 1/4 of a cup at a time. After each scoop of dry, add a bit of the remaining 1/2 cup of milk.
  6. Fold in the pecans and the chocolate chips.
  7. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. And add dough.
  8. Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 25 minutes.
  9. Check to see if dough is cooked by pricking with a toothpick or a fork. The toothpick or fork should come out clean. Make sure press the toothpick all the way to the bottom. This bread can look done on top and be completely raw on the bottom.

Make friends with Barry. He’s dense, but filling.

love,
melanie

 

 

Super-Easy Snow Cream

snow cream recipe ¬†I was told from some old country folk that I couldn’t eat snow cream from the first snow of the season or from yellow snow (ha!), but the second snow was fair game. Yellow snow is never fair game. This week we had the second snow! Since I had never tried it, ya’ll know good and well that I was determined to make some snow cream.

how to make snow cream There are a million different variations of snow cream. I stuck with the easiest I found and the one with the ingredients I had on hand. There is no way I’m driving in the snow to the store for extra ingredients.

Here’s how I made super-easy snow cream:

Ingredients:

  • One gallon of fresh snow
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 3 tablespoons of vanilla (I like mine very vanilla.)

When it begins to snow, set out a gallon bucket. When the bucket is full bring it inside, add the sugar, milk and vanilla. I mixed mine with a stand mixer and it was so much easier to bring the ingredients together. That’s all there is to it!

a close up of snow cream Note: I want you all to know that yes, I considered the implications of using real snow that fell from the sky. I know all about acid rain and chemicals and in no way am I claiming that this snow cream is organic or good for you or even safe. I’m not feeding this to children or anyone against their will. We all know what’s in snow cream and that’s that. Eat at your own risk.

Have you ever had snow cream? I want to hear about it in the comments!

love and snow!
melanie

Maple and Rum Horchatas

horchata1I like my milk heavy on the coffee. Is that how that saying goes? No? What I’m trying to say is a big glass of plain, dairy milk makes me cringe.

The first time I encountered horchatas was when I lived in L.A. I was scared to try them because I thought they were a big ol’ glass of watery milk. But we ordered one anyway and boy was I was wrong! Horchatas are refreshing, delicious and made from rice water and almond milk– which I actually enjoy. I also enjoy a little refreshing nip of rum–if you know what I’m saying.

Here’s my recipe for the perfect adult horchata.

Ingredients

  • 1 ¬†cup of uncooked long grain rice
  • 5 cups of water
  • 3/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup
  • 4 shots of your favorite rum (We used Sailor Jerry’s¬†for the nutmeg and cinnamon flavors.)

horchata2

Pour the rice and water into a ¬†blender. ¬†Blend the rice until it breaks up, but isn’t total mush– about 1 minute. Let rice and water stand at room temperature overnight.

The next day, strain the rice water into a pitcher. Discard the leftover rice. Whisk the almond milk, vanilla, cinnamon, maple syrup and rum into the rice water. Serve over ice.

So much more refreshing and relaxing than a glass of milk!

What is your favorite summer drink?

love,
melanie

Dark Chocolate, Salted, Caramel Rice Krispies

rice_krispies Can you all tell this month has been kicking my butt? Easy projects have been key lately. Lucky for you (and me) this recipe is super easy!

I wanted to make Rice Krispies for a work luncheon, but I had to do something a little different. So, I thought, why not substitute caramel for the marshmallows?! Then I got real crazy and added sea salt and chocolate– my favorite combo.

Ingredients:
3 cups of Rice Krispies
1 package (14 oz.) of caramels
2 tablespoons of butter
5 squares of dark chocolate (or enough to drizzle on top)
2 pinches of sea salt

Directions:
Melt butter in a double boiler* over low heat. Add caramels and stir until candy has completely melted together. Add Rice Krispies to the caramel one cup at a time. Stir quickly! Take off the heat and spread into a greased pan.

Break chocolate into little pieces and melt in either a double boiler or a microwave. Drizzle onto the Rice Krispies. Sprinkle sea salt on top.

*If you don’t have a double boiler (I don’t) you can always place a slightly larger pot on top of a smaller pot of water to create the effect.

rice krispies with carmel and dark chocolate George said it reminded him of a grown-up version of a Star Crunch. I take that a huge compliment.

love,
melanie

Love Puddin’

pudding2

I know “Love Puddin'” sounds like something you’d affectionately call your extra stomach fat, but bear with me. The following is the best recipe for rice pudding or love puddin’, as I like to call it. It’s so good, you’ll be calling it love puddin’ in no time.

Ingredients:
2 cups of cooked rice
2 cups of milk (I use almond milk, but soy or dairy milk will work.)
1/2 cup of sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons of butter
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
a dash of cinnamon
strawberries, raisins or whatever fruit you prefer to sprinkle on top

Step 1: Stir the cooked rice, 1 & 1/2 cups of milk and the 1/2 cup of sugar together in a sauce pan on the stove over low heat.
Step 2: Leave on low heat for 15 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes.
Step 3: After 15 minutes the rice, milk and sugar will come together. Then, add the last 1/2 cup of milk and a beaten egg to the mixture. Stir the milk and eggs into the rice quickly or you will have bits of scrambled egg in the rice!
Step 4: Add the butter and vanilla extract.
Step 5: Sprinkle with cinnamon and garnish with strawberries, raisins or your fruit of choice.
Step 6: Enjoy your love puddin’ with the one you love! Or eat it all by yourself, I don’t judge. It’s good warm or cold!

pudding1

Recipe courtesy of my mom. Moms always have the best recipes.

love,
melanie

 

 

Gluten-free, No Bake, Chocolate Cake Bites

cake bite

My oven has been broken for over a month. I live in a gorgeous building, but when something breaks, there is no hurry to fix it.

Which means my cake cravings are out of control. You know what I mean. You always want something more when it is practically impossible to acquire. So, I searched around the Internet, did what a good librarian does, and found THE BEST, gluten-free, no bake chocolate cake. EVER. I mean it.

You can find the original recipe at 101 Cookbooks. I’ve adapted it just a tad to make cake bites since the cake is so rich.

Supplies

  • cupcake pan
  • cupcake liners
  • plastic wrap
  • whisk
  • double boiler or the bowl- over-pan method described below
  • medium pan

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces of 70% dark chocolate, well chopped
  • 8 ounces of heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 teaspoons finely ground espresso
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain salt
  • cinnamon, to serve
  • whipped creme, to serve

Step 1. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners. You may want to try spraying the liners with a little nonstick spray. I didn’t try it, but I wish I did since the bites were a bit ugly.

 

improvised double boiler

improvised double boiler

Step 2: Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over gentle heat. If you don’t have double boiler, don’t worry. I don’t have one either. Just put a larger bowl on top of a smaller saucepan and fill with about an inch of water and heat the water to simmering.

Step 3: As the chocolate is melting, in a separate pan, heat the cream over gentle heat. Stir in the allspice and the espresso.

Step 4: When the cream is hot to the touch, remove from heat and stir in the salt.

Step 5: After the chocolate has melted, pour it into the cream slowly and whisk slowly. At this point, you are probably going to think, this isn’t working! But I promise, if you are patient and keep whisking, it will come together.

Step 6: Pour mixture into the cupcake pan.

Step 7:  Cover with plastic wrap.

Step 8: Refrigerate until solid. I let mine refrigerate overnight.

Step 9:  Let the cake bites come up to room temperature.

cake bites

Step 10: Peel off the wrapper and finish them off with a little whipped creme and a dusting of cinnamon.

Hope your day is scrumptious!

love,
melanie