Wednesday, March 21, 2012

food glorious food

I'm not a food blogger. Sometimes I think I'd like to be. You already know that. Maybe someday.

For now, I'm just a mom who bakes treats for her kids (and herself and her husband and her neighbors and her sister's family). Gotta keep everybody pleasantly plump. Plus, I enjoy baking. I consider it a hobby. A hobby that has the potential to make your jeans too tight. Not every hobby can do that you know. Amidst all the folding and cleaning and wiping and all the other stuff I have to do every day, this is the thing I like to do (because honestly, I'm not liking laundry lately).

Here's a few of our recent favorites (and a not-so-favorite).

Cake Mix Banana Bread: Yum! Very light. I thought I had the recipe for the best banana bread. I'm afraid I was wrong. I haven't made that recipe in ages. This one's taken over the top spot in my book. It's easy. Cake mix. Oil. Eggs. Smooshed bananas. And for us, mini chocolate chips and a bit of cinnamon. My kids love it. Next I want to try it using a chocolate cake mix. Double chocolate. Double yum.

My friend posted on Facebook last week that she was baking her first ever loaf of banana bread. She's my age! I have baked hundreds of loaves of banana bread. I asked her how on earth she'd never made banana bread before. She said they eat their bananas quickly and they don't have time to get smooshy. Ha! I buy bananas and don't eat them on purpose just so I can make banana bread. Funny. She just didn't know what she was missing.

Another favorite banana bread recipe I've made a few times but never lasted long enough for me to remember to take a picture, cream cheese banana nut bread. That's a really good one. Very tasty. It might be second place. We like our banana bread around here.

Lemon Brownies: Oh, man. I can't even count the number of times I've made this recipe in the past few months. I'm a big fan of chocolate. That's no secret. If I'm going to waste my time eating dessert that's not chocolate, lemon's worth it for me. These are scrumptious. I always double the recipe and the pan is scraped clean to the last crumb. I'm making another batch on Friday (as per my neighbor's request). His wife is having surgery today and I asked him what I could do to help. He requested these. I'm pretty sure they'll be helping him, not her, but I'm happy to oblige.

Chocolate Cola Cake: I made this cake for Sunday dinner (well, the dessert part of Sunday dinner) when Aunt Nancy came down for a visit a few weeks ago. She likes Coke and cake so I figured I couldn't go wrong. It was quite tasty. The frosting was a little sweet for my taste (I'm not a big frosting fan so don't take my word for it). Danny enjoyed licking the spatula. No picture of the cake. Eaten too fast (or me too lazy).

Pancake Mix Chocolate Chip Cookies: I was sitting around doing nothing one day. Just thinking about baking stuff. I thought that if I can make yummy cookies using a cake mix then maybe I could do the same using pancake mix. We're not big pancake eaters around here. I prefer french toast. I had some pancake mix that could be approaching expired status. I did a little internet search and found these cookies. I don't have the brand of pancake mix in the recipe so I just used Bisquick. The recipe calls for 12-15 minutes of baking. I found that was way too much. Could be my oven. I tried 8-10 and they were perfect. I love the texture of these cookies. I like my cookies kind of crumbly, not chewy. Yum.

8 Minute Mini Cinnamon Rolls: These little goodies are evil. Eeeeeee-vil. I mean that in the nicest way possible. They're easy and tiny. You get the taste of a cinnamon roll without feeling the guilt (am I the only one who feels guilty after eating a cinnamon roll? maybe). They were a little difficult for me to roll into perfect spiral shapes. More than a few of them turned out all wonky shaped but they tasted just the same. Even the kids helped spread the brown sugar around. And Cate ate a big blob of it. Somebody needs to teach those kids to not eat blobs of sugar, get off the kitchen counter and for cryin' out loud, brush her hair. Sheesh.

Danny and I enjoyed our mini cinnamon rolls without the frosting glaze. I'm a weirdo and I've passed it on to my son. Oh, well. These kind of remind me of those mini pecan cinnamon rolls that my mom used to buy when we were kids. Those were good. These are too. I also found this recipe for crescent cinnamon rolls. I hope to be stuffing my face with them shortly.

Fruity Roll-ups: Of course I had to make these fruity roll-ups with green Jell-o. It's the state snack food of Utah after all. And St.Patrick's Day was coming up. Sorry to say these did not go over well. They sure are pretty though. And it was really fun slicing through them with a piece of string. Maybe it's the texture my kids didn't like. Maybe they haven't acquired a taste for green Jell-o yet. Give them time.

Peanut Butter Sheet Cake: I made this on Sunday for dessert at Aunt Judy's house. Danny has already requested that I make it again. It's what he ate for breakfast on Monday morning. What? It's good for you right? Peanut butter. That's protein. There's eggs and buttermilk in there too. Oh, goody! That's nutrition! I stashed a piece in the fridge and ate it for lunch yesterday. This one's a keeper.

A few more pictures from the great Jell-o roll-up incident. Danny tasted it. Then he made a puking face (complete with sound effects and actions). Cate decided to use it as a window cling decoration instead of eating it. Then they tried to throw the pieces at each other and the fun was over. Jarrett came over and tasted them and said it was the most delicious thing he's ever tasted made of Jell-o. Ha. He cracks me up.

And one last foodie thought.

Remember the chalkboard door in my dining room?

I still love it. Painting that door just might be the best thing I've done all year.

I've been writing the dinner menu on it lately (thanks for the excellent idea, Marisa!). And drawing pictures since my kids can't really read all those dinner food words. Sorry the first picture is crooked. I really do my best most of the time.

Just so you know, those are not the past 4 days. Sometimes I don't make dinner and we just let it ride. Keep it up there and make them think I'm going to actually feed them. Kind of boring to draw pictures of all the leftovers right? I just make a big deal of it in the morning when I know I'll be making an effort for dinner that night.

Danny drew the spaghetti for me on that first one. He was so excited to help.

My poor kids thought those peppers were apples.

That pizza was totally NOT homemade.

Cate was sure to point out to me that the carrots we ate were not shaped like that drawing. They were the crinkle sliced ones. I figured there was no way they'd recognize those in a drawing though.

And how about that block of meatloaf? Don't you just want a big bite of that? I promise it tasted way better than it looks. How do you draw a chunk of meatloaf anyway?

As I was drawing that blob of mashed potatoes on a plate, I asked Cate if she knew what it was. This was before I wrote the words, just in case she could read them (I'm pretty sure she can't but you never know). She instantly said, "Mashed potatoes! I love mashed potatoes!"

I love that kid and her enthusiasm for instant mashed potatoes.

p.s. If the thought of cake for breakfast makes you think of Bill Cosby (like it does to me), watch this. Start watching around minute 4 (or watch the whole thing if you've got 9 minutes to spare). I love Bill Cosby. What did we ever do before YouTube?

Mom is great! Gives us peanut butter cake!

1 comment:

Marisa said...

1. I need that PB sheet cake. I might go crazy and put some bananas in it. Definitely breakfast food then.

2. Since T started working out and having a banana in his smoothie every day, we never have bananas that get brown enough to make banana bread anymore. It's tragic. And I buy more bananas than I ever have before. We go through probably 15 bananas in a week. If I want to make banana bread, I have to either mark or hide the bananas.

3. The menus on the chalkboard look amazing! You're a fabulous food artist.