Going Bananas!

Is anyone else out there going bananas trying to get your house cleaned, menu made, grocery shopping, cooking, baking and then keeping the house clean for your Thanksgiving Dinner????

Don’t get me wrong, I love Thanksgiving! I even volunteer to have my whole family come to my house for Thanksgiving.  Come one, come all….but, this year it is taking me longer to get everything done. I am blaming it on having Company over. It is hard to get a lot done when you have Company over. Don’t you agree? : )

So, I decided to quit worrying so much about it and just,”go bananas,” and make banana bread with a twist of lime.

This recipe for, Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze, is super moist, has a great flavor and the lime glaze adds a refreshing tart taste. If I could have gotten away with it, I would have just eaten the top off the whole loaf of  bread, because it was that good!

Anywho, if you need a distraction from figuring out your Thanksgiving plans and don’t mind getting the kitchen just a little bit dirty, give this recipe a try.

Here is what you will need to make this delightful bread.

First think you need to do is mix the flour, baking soda and salt together.

Next, in a separate bowl, you need to cream the butter and sugar together.

In the same bowl you creamed the butter and sugar in, add the eggs and mix together.

In another bowl, mash or beat up your bananas with a mixer.

Add the mashed bananas, yogurt and vanilla to the creamed mixture.

With a mixer, add in the dry flour mixture in with the wet banana mixture.

Lastly, stir in the coconut.

    

Pour batter in to a prepared loaf pan. I get my pan ready by lining the bottom with parchment paper and giving the inside of the pan a little spray of vegetable spray.

Once the batter is poured into the loaf pan, top the batter with some coconut.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for one hour or until a wooden pick inserted comes out clean.

Cool bread in pan for 10 minutes and remove.

While the bread is cooling you can make the glaze.

First thing to do is take a little zest from the lime using a zesting tool.

 

Add  the lime juice (you can substitute lemon) juice to the lime zest.

Add in some coconut.

Then add 1/2 cup of powdered sugar.

Stir together.

Once the banana bread has cooled off, pour the glaze over the top  of the warm bread.

Spread it evenly over the top of the loaf.

Now all you have to do is slice and eat (gobble) up the bread.

So the motto of today’s recipe with the holidays fast approaching, if you feel like you are going bananas, make banana bread!!

Here is the recipe!

Adapted from Cooking Light

Ingredients:

2 cups of all purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup butter, softened

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cup mashed bananas (about 3 bananas)

1/4 cup plain low fat yogurt ( I used vanilla flavored and it worked out great)

3 tablespoons vanilla

1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut

Lime Glaze

1 tablespoon flaked sweetened coconut

1/2 cup powdered sugr

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice

zest from half of a lime

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and the salt. In a large bowl, with a mixer, cream together the softened butter and the sugar. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the mashed bananas, yogurt, and the vanilla. With the mixer set at low beat in the flour mixture until moist. Stir in the coconut. Spoon batter in a prepared 9 by 5 loaf pan. Sprinkle the top of the batter with coconut. Bake for one hour or until a wooden pick comes out clean. Let the bread cool for 10 minutes then take out of pan and cool slightly. Prepare the glaze but zesting a half of a lime, and mixing with the lime juice, coconut and powdered sugar. Pour the glaze over warm bread spreading evenly.

Next time you have some extra bananas, give this recipe a try. Before you know it, your loaf will be half gone just like mine!

Tonight I am going to eat banana bread…tomorrow I will worry about Thanksgiving!!!

Enjoy!

Becky

Caramel Apple Blondie Pie

A few weeks back, I made this dessert for a ladies day at my church. It was my emergency back up dessert I had ready in case I could not save the apple bundt cake I had made the night before. You can read all about that adventure here.

I was able to take both my bundt cake and this apple blondie. Both desserts, to my delighted suprise, was snatched up pretty fast by those hungry ladies at church. Some ,even wanted the recipe. Woo hoo!!!

BUT……after making the bundt cake a couple of more times, I lost the recipe!

I looked and looked for that recipe, feeling pretty bad that I could not post and send the recipe to the ladies who wanted it.

Then….I was saved! I met my good friend Minerva for breakfast and she gave me a bag full of magazines and coupons and other fun stuff, but the greatest thing I found was the recipe in a magazine I based my recipe after.

Relief!

So…before I lose the recipe again and forget what I changed and added, I thought I better post this great take on putting a blondie, apples and caramel together and sticking it all in a pie crust. AND…with Thanksgiving right around the corner, this would be a perfect fall dessert to add to your dessert menu!

The pictures I took for this recipe was when I was making it for a dinner where I was sending two of these pies. I used oval disposable baking pans to bake this blondie in and it worked great.

         

These are the two different dishes I baked this in. I used a 10 7/10 by 8 by 1 3/4 inch disposable pan and I used a deep dish 9 1/2 inch ceramic pie plate (baby college girl bought me for my birthday). Both of these sizes held this dessert nicely.  If you are using a smaller baking dish, you might not use all the batter. 

Here are your step by step directions:

Here is what you will need to make this apple yummy dessert.

Peel and slice 6 apples.

Coat the apples with flour and brown sugar. (check with the recipe to see the amounts, because some of the ingredients are divided between the apples and the blondie)

Melt butter in a pan. (check the butter amount in the recipe because the amount is divided between the apples and the blondie)

Saute’ the apples in butter until they are tender. Set aside to cool.

    

Melt the rest of the butter.

I was in a hurry and just added all the ingredients to the melted butter and it turned out fine. In actuality you are suppose to do this in steps like the recipe says to….sometimes I have a hard time following directions. oops… so in this picture I am adding my flour, baking powder and salt to the butter.

Add the rest of the brown sugar, beaten eggs and the vanilla to the butter and flour mixture.

Mix all the ingredients together to make the blondie batter.

Stir in the chopped pecans. I save a few pecans to decorate the top after it was baked.

I used store bought pie crust and used a rolling pin to roll the dough into a shape that would fit the disposable baking dish I was using.

In what ever baking dish you use, cover the bottom and the sides with pie crust.

Press 2/3 of the sauted apples into the bottom on the pan, on top of the crust. Spread evenly.

Pour the batter over the sauted apples.

Spread the rest of the sautéed apples over the top of the blondie batter.

After it is baked, drizzle with caramel sauce and garnish with a few pecans.

The only thing I might have changed in this recipe is making sure I was using large apples or more small ones.

Caramel Apple Blondie Pie

Adapted from Southern Living Magazine

Ingredients:

6 large apples (Granny Smiths or any other firm apple)

2 tablespoons flour

2 cups brown sugar (divided)

1 cup butter (divided)

1 and 1/2 cup four

1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs, slightly beaten

2 tablespoon vanilla

3/4 cup of coarsely chopped pecans (toasted)

1/2 package of refrigerated piecrust. (you only use on pie crust and not two)

Caramel Ice Cream topping

 

Directions:

Peel and slice apples into 1/4 inch think slices. In a large bowl toss the apple slices with 2 tablespoons of flour and 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a large skillet and saute for 15 minutes or until the apples are tender. Remove from heat and cool.

Preheat your oven to 350.

Melt the remaining 3/4 cup butter. In  a large bowl, stir together 1 1/2 cups of four with the baking powder and salt. Add in the eggs and vanilla, melted butter and the remaining 1 1/2 cups brown sugar. Stir until blended. Add the pecans and stir until all the ingredients are blended together. Fit a pie crust in a large 9 to 10 in pie pan. I used a large 9 1/2 inch pie plate. I just used a rolling pin and rolled the pie crust to make the crust big enough to fit.

Spoon 2/3 of the sauted apples over the bottom of the piecrust. Spread and press the apples evenly over the pie crust. Spoon the batter over the apples. Top the batter with the remaining apples.

Bake in the oven for 70 minutes or until the center comes out clean with a wooden pick. Cool completely. Drizzle the cooled pie with 1/3 of caramel ice cream topping and top with chopped pecans.

This is a perfect fall or holiday dessert. I love the mixture of the blondie with the sauted apples and we can’t forget that caramel topping. It travel greats too, if you need to take a dessert for a dinner away from home.

Enjoy!

Becky

 

Pumpkin Puree Three Ways

Remember when I posted this picture a week or two ago?

Well….my kiddos at school took the 50 pie pumpkins and made fresh pumpkin puree. With the fresh puree, they made pumpkin pie filling and baked pumpkins pies in their “from scratch” pie crust.

My kiddos did Gooooood!

One of my goals for my classes this year is to show the kiddos that they do not have to rely on using a can to make food. I just felt that my kids needed to experience how to take a pumpkin and turn it into a pie without opening a can (except for the can of Crisco for the crust).

On day one the students, peeled, cleaned, cubed and boiled pumpkins. Then they took the boiled pumpkin and put it into blender and pureed it into pumpkin puree. They also roasted the pumpkin seeds and while the seeds were roasting they made their pie crust in a food processor.

You can see the big refrigerator at school is full of pie crust and pumpkin puree.

Here is just one of the 24 pies that we made in two days.

The only complaints I had was that I forgot to buy the whipped cream…..

Oh well….

Anywho, I thought I would show you three ways you can take a pumpkin and make it into puree.

These are the three pie pumpkins I started with. Pie pumpkins are raised to be used in pumpkin pies. I was told that they were sweeter than the bigger pumpkins. You can use bigger pumpkins to make pumpkin puree also.

         

One way to make pumpkin puree is to roast the pumpkins. First you cut the top off of the pumpkin. Then cut the pumpkin in half and clean out all of the insides (save the seeds to roast later). Place the pumpkin face down in a baking dish and add about 1/2 cup of water. Roast in a 350 degree oven until the pumpkin is fork tender.

    

See how the fork goes right in to the pumpkin.  I then took the pumpkin halves and put them on a cutting board. The peeling of the pumpkin just pulled away leaving me mounds of roasted pumpkins.

Another way you can make pumpkin puree is to either boil or steam them.

         

Here is how I steamed the pumpkin. I first peeled the pumpkin. I then quartered it and scraped out the seeds. After that I cubed the pumpkin (you can see them on the cutting board behind my steamer pan). I used my steamer pan, which is like a double boiler, the only difference is that it has holes in the bottom to let the steam rise up from the boiling water.

     

I put the steamer on the range and started to boil the water, letting the steam cook the pumpkin till it is tender. (the tender pumpkin is pictured on the right)

    

The last way I made the pumpkin puree was by simmer the cubed pumpkin. You simmer the pumpkin until it is fork tender, then drain off the water.

 

Here is the pumpkin!  I had to put the steamed and boiled pumpkin together, cause I ran out of room on my little cutting board. (I need to ask for a new one from Santa), The steamed and boiled pumpkin is on the left and the roasted pumpkin is on the right. After this step, you put the cooked pumpkin in a blender or food processor to puree.

The roasted pumpkin was  more dense than the boiled or steamed pumpkin, but took longer to cook. The boiled and steamed pumpkin took more time to cook, but longer to peel and cube.

At school, we boiled ort pumpkin because overall it took less time and the pumpkin puree turned out great.

Here is a picture of the fresh pumpkin puree. To the left is some of the left over pumpkin pie filling we made from the pumpkin puree.

All the left over pumpkin puree, I put in freezer bags and put in the freezer. I measured out 2 cups of pumpkin puree for each bag, as that is what most recipes using pumpkin call for.

Anywho, if  you decide to do, “the crazy” and buy 50 pie pumpkins, I have given you three ways to easily prepare pumpkin puree, fresh from a pumpkin.

Don’t forget you can roast all those pumpkin seeds too.

Here is a link to a post on how to roast pumpkin seeds.

I am all “pumpkined” out!

Have a GREAT DAY!

Becky

 

The Strawberry Plug Project, part three.

I apologize for being “off line” so to speak for over a week.

Whew, it has been a busy week for me at school and at home. My Dad left yester day for his Honor Flight for veterans and I had grades due last week….ect ect….you know how it is, life just happens.

Anywho, I wanted to tell you about part three of the big strawberry plug project.

If you have been following along, you know that we (I) had this great (crazy) idea to plant strawberry plugs in October. In my earlier two post, I explain how Company and I made three 60 foot long rows by digging the sides down.

We leveled off each row with a piece of wood.

Next, we added drip lines on top and buried them about 3 inches under the ground.

Then we covered each row with a heavy duty plastic.

Now, the fun begins.

Here is the 250 strawberry plugs that have to be planted. To plant this little boogers, we have to cut a hole in the plastic and dig a hole and then plop the plants in and plant them.

Sounds easy right?

Well….it was a lot easier when we got oldest grand daughter in to help.

After, we (finally) got them all planted, we put straw down between the rows.

Oldest grand daughter loved the mountain of straw.

Part three is all done. Company has covered the plugs with sheets on two of the nights it had a chance of frost. The goal is to let the plugs get in two months of root growth, then let them go to sleep  for the winter. When it starts getting around 20 degrees or below we will do “Part Four.” Part four is covering the plugs with hoops of plastic to keep the snow and freezing temps from killing the crowns off during the coldest months.

BUT, I can’t wait for, “Part Five!”

That is the part when we get to pick and eat the strawberries!!!

Keep you fingers crossed!

Becky