October 19, 2014

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

I got in a baking mood today but didn't want to bake up something that was bad for us.  I came across a recipe for Whole Wheat Banana Spice Muffins and figured I would use it as a guide to make a bread.

In a large bowl mix the wet ingredients.

1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter (soft)
2 mashed bananas
1 egg
2/3 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
1 1/2 tsp homemade vanilla extract

In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients.

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

The batter will become thick once it's almost done mixing.

Slowly add the dry into the wet until everything is combined.  Add to a pam sprayed loaf pan and bake. I baked in a loaf pan on 350 degrees until a tooth pick came out clean.  I think it was about 25 to 30 minutes.

Grilled Cheese English Muffin

For lunch today, I had an idea to make grilled cheese with an English Muffin.

You will need:

1 English Muffin (whole wheat)

I put some butter on one side of each slice of the English muffin.  I then put one slice (butter side down) on hot skillet pan.  Then I put the cheese slice and then other side of English muffin.  I cooked about 2 min on each side until I felt it was done and the cheese was gooey.

Here it is.

I took a knife and cut in half.

I took a bite.  It was fantastic.  It tasted just like a grilled cheese sammich.

Garden Update: Week 35

I didn't do a garden update last week.  Nothing really happened.  I still have a few plants thriving.

The garden has been moved from the middle of the deck to the side.

I did pick a small eggplant this morning.

There's about 5 or 6 new eggplant flowers on the plant.  :)  I love the purple flowers.  Here's two.

I looked over everything to make sure it was all good.

And what's that on the right side?  Is it what I think it is?

Yep, I grew lavender.  :)

Finally!!  I didn't think it would sprout.  I'm so excited.  I can't wait to see how long it takes to bloom.

Produce Stand 10/19

I went to the farm stand this morning to get some produce before hitting the grocery store.

I picked up:

Grape Tomatoes
1 zucchini
1 squash
1 onion
3 white potatoes
2 red potatoes (that are HUGE)
2 Honey Crisp apples
Green beans

I spent $10.80 on everything.  :)

Fahey Farms Honey

I have a friend who lives out in California.  This is the friend that got married in New York not too long ago.  She has her own little ranch.  She loves gardening and she also has her own bees to make honey.  She sent me a jar and it came in the mail on Friday.  I didn't see it until yesterday morning when I went to leave.  The box was on my front porch.  My friend, asked if I'd trade some of her honey for some of my Homemade Vanilla Extract.  I said yes!  :)

How adorable?  I can't wait to try it.

I'll be mailing out the Vanilla Extract tomorrow.  :)

Sur La Table Fall Macarons Baking Class

I stumbled upon a baking class for Fall Macarons at Sur La Table.  I knew my little sister would love to do this class.  I took a cake baking class a while ago with my BFF.  We liked it so we knew this would be fun.  They also offer many cooking classes.  I want to do a one of those sometime.

My sister and I had made macarons last year.  They didn't turn out the best but they were good.

My BFF, and I surprised my sister for an early birthday gift.  :)  She had no idea until we pulled into the mall area where we were going.  YAY!!

Once we came in, we grabbed our name tag with our name, an apron and a clip board with recipes etc for us and we took a seat right in the front.

A little guide on a dry erase.

There is a lot you need to know before you just go in and bake macarons.
Here's the front page of my packet.

After about 20 minutes we split into 2 groups of 4.  My sister and BFF on my team and then a lady named Pamela who'd taken the class before.

We got right to it.  We made 'Pumpkin Macarons" first.

Meringue was nice and firm.

Food coloring being mixed in.

Nice light orange.

Almond flour being mixed.

Once it was good, there's a special technique you have to do to make sure it's ready.  Chef Paula, is showing us.

Then you fill your bag.  Our batter was perfect!

There was a nice template on sheet for you to know how much batter goes in dot.

Here's my sister piping onto cookie sheet.

Taking the template out.

Tray is full and perfect.  You have to let the cookies rest for about 30 minutes to form a 'skin' before putting into the oven.


Here are the cookies once they were done baking.

We began our next batch of cookies.   "Spiced Macarons",

Here we are mixing in some Vanilla Bean Paste.

Once batter was ready it was then added onto the cookie sheet.

Cookies waiting for oven and forming skin.

We then made some "Apple Spiced butter cream".  It was delicious!!

Here's Chef Paula making caramel.

Adding to mixer.


Chef Paula, explaining how to make ganache.

The other team made the ganache since it was for the "Hazelnut Macaron" they made.

After the ganache was finally chilled, here's Chef Paula pulling it off plastic wrap.  It really didn't turn out right.

Funny picture.  Not sure what Chef Paula is doing here.

Our spiced macarons turned out perfect and Chef Paula was impressed.

We got to take about a 10 minute break to walk around the store and do some shopping.  When we came back in our cookies were put on plates with our names, so we could finish prepping them.

Here's the pumpkin ones.

I put the caramel on them.  These turned out to be my favorite.

I made a hazelnut/ganache one.  How cute?

We then finished decorating and got to try some and take any extras.

Here's my plate of Macarons.  So cute!

Here's my sisters plate.

We had little bags to put them in but a box would have been nicer.  (Which I won't recommend because some of my broke)

Adorable right?  Florian would approve.  :)

I stored my packet of papers in my baking/cooking class book I started years ago when I took some classes at a local farm.  :)

This template is really cool.  :)