Banana Cake II-all

I’m getting super lazy about taking pictures with my cooking and even crafting. Anyway last night I was able to bake a cake using my sour milk and bananas that needed to be used. And a couple of eggs that were long overdue to be used. I think I have been buying a few too many bananas since I keep baking with them.

Found the recipe here:

I cut way back on the sugar, and now think it calls for a caramel frosting. It doesn’t look like much when I make it, but it’s good.

On the crafting front I tried transferring a photo onto mat board. Worked ok, except I rubbed most of the picture out of the middle. I am excited to try again though. The parts I didn’t rub off looked pretty neat. Maybe a future Etsy thing, more interesting than selling just photo prints.

I will try my best to be better about keeping up to date on the latest.

And on a personal note I got my first freelance photography job. Taking photos for a local company of their products! Things are looking up.


Banana Bread Muffins

banana bread muffins

Bananas mashed, onto step 2

Bananas mashed, onto step 2

It’s cold, it’s Sunday afternoon and I have a few extra bananas. I decided it was time to make my super easy banana bread muffin recipe. I use a mixture of different sugars, flours and other substitutes and this recipe does fine with all my little tweaks.

I substitute some homemade applesauce in place of some of the butter and some of the sugar.


I use a custom blend of flours, 1 part stone ground wheat flour, 1 part spelt flour, and 2 parts unbleached unenriched all-purpose flour. Now onto the recipe.

Banana Bread Muffins

3 large bananas
1 egg
6 tsp cane sugar
6 tsp turbinado raw sugar
1/4 c applesauce (homemade works best)
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp melted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 c flour

Mash bananas. Add sugar and egg. Add butter and dry ingredients. Mix lightly. Place in lined muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake at 375° for 20 min. Makes 16.

In no time you have some awesome muffins.

Vegetarian Night

My crafting has really gone by the wayside with all my cooking and baking this last week. Tonight I took to Pintrest and my fridge for dinner. I found this recipe for a pasta dish that uses an avocado, lemon and some garlic. Sounds simple enough, but I decided to change it up a little bit..

I have some mushrooms that needed using and some Parmesan reggiano that was just asking to be grated. The recipe may not look so pretty, mainly from the lovely avocado green, but it does taste good.

The finished dish before it was plated.

Avocado Lemon Spaghetti

1 ripe avocado
1 lemon, halved and juice squeezed out (can zest for garnish)
olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves
a little extra lemon juice if desired
some salt and pepper
spaghetti, cooked to package instructions
optional: mushrooms, fresh grated Parmesan

Cook spaghetti (or other pasta) according to package instructions. Put everything except spaghetti (and mushrooms/Parmesan) into a food processor, blender, Vitamix, etc. Blend until it is the consistency you want, mine was a paste. Saute the mushrooms in pan with a little cooking spray then pour avocado mixture on top. Heat through, then add your pasta. Mix thoroughly and add Parmesan if desired. It will start to bubble a little which means it should be heated through, then serve and enjoy!

This is super fast and easy and has lots of flavor. Once you get over the bright green color it tastes pretty good.

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Cookie Update

Bad news on the Star Wars® cookies. The cookie recipe I used grew a lot in the oven. So I have some Yoda and Darth Vader general shapes, but the details aren’t really there. I just couldn’t bring myself to take a photo since they really don’t look the greatest.

One thing I was having the most trouble with was the dough being super sticky. I put it in the fridge overnight, then again overnight the next night to try and dry it out. When I put flour down on my board the dough ended up soaking in all the flour within seconds and it just stuck to the board. I refused to give up the batch since I really wanted to try the new recipe, but it’s a bit floury. I added sugar too to try and even it out. I’ve never rolled out cookie dough since my mom had a no roll sugar cookie recipe that worked really well. But that hasn’t really worked either since I started baking on my own.

Any suggestions on why the cookies which were about 1/8″ high going into the oven and about 1″ high coming out or why the dough and really any cookie dough I make now days is super sticky?

The Plan

We all have plans of what we want to do. It feels that my list just keeps getting longer. I started out this year wanting to read more. Now I hindered myself a bit when starting my third book of the year, continuing the Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice. I’m not even much of a vampire fan, maybe in high school a few years back, but I remember more about pirates than vampires. I think I’m determined to read the books just to say I did and so I will understand any references in the rare case someone might be so inclined to reference books from the ’80s.

Anyway as we have now entered into month 2 of this year I have rediscovered my love of all things crafting. And continuing my new enjoyment of cooking. This week I have meals planned for every night. Mostly chicken dishes. Apparently mushrooms go really well with chicken. But tonight will be the test of my new Star Wars® cookie cutters. I not only decided to try a whole new cookie recipe (to get rid of some sour cream) I am going to test out new cookie cutters. We will see how this turns out. I hope to remember my camera while making them for another post on, well just ending up with cool looking cookies. Sadly I have not mastered the art of frosting, so these will be plain tan cookies.

Also on the horizon are lots of new and a few old projects that I am working on. If anyone is interested I can keep a running progress on a counted cross stitch kit that I have bee slowly working on over the last year or so (too many other things to work on, so it’s been back burnered). I also make these cool note cards out of card stock and old wallpaper samples. I am going to test run some postcards too, not sure if the glue will hold through the mail process. These are my old things that I have been doing for a while. (I just love working with the wallpaper samples and their fun textures.)

The new projects are going to include transferring photos to wood, it looked cool on Pintrest and I am just waiting for some nice weather and a few kids I know to be available to be my models. I hope this can be a project I can promote with Etsy and make custom art from people’s photos. Another possible custom Etsy project are pins. I was thinking “save the date” or even putting a logo or symbol on them for businesses to hand out to potential clients. I think for “save the date” it would be something different than the customary postcard or magnet. Those are the two things that I am hoping to get started on first, but I’m always adding new stuff.

So keep checking in once in a while to see what I might be up to next.

Chocolate + Coffee = Cheesecake

I found a fun recipe for cheesecake a while back and never got around to making it. I bought the crust ingredient I was missing months ago (Oreos/365 chocolate sandwich cremes). Well those sandwich cremes happen to be expiring at the end of this month. Coupling expiring ingredient and being snowed in for a day I ended up making this lovely chocolate espresso cheesecake.

I had a sample for dessert at lunch. It doesn’t taste too bad. I cut the original recipe in half and put it into two mini springform pans. That was a little mistake, it should have been spread to 3 of the mini pans. So if you want to make this in mini pans, make sure to spread it into 3 pans or use 1 9″ springform pan. The mix of cheesecake, chocolate and coffee flavors just can’t go wrong! As you will notice below I like to change out ingredients, and just use what I have on hand.

Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake

16 oz Cream Cheese (I used 1/3 less fat)
1 Tbsp butter, melted
1 c Oreos (or something similar), crushed
1/4 c pure cane sugar
1/4 c raw sugar
1 egg
1 Tbsp coffee liquor (I used Tia Maria)
1 Tbsp instant espresso powder (I used a tablespoon of coffee I made while preparing this)
1 tsp vanilla
1 oz chocolate, melted (I used 34 g of Equal Exchange Espresso bean chocolate)

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix together the butter and Oreos and press into the bottom of 9″ springform pan and bake for 10 minutes. Take out and let set while you continue preparing rest of ingredients.

With electric (hand) mixer beat sugars and cream cheese until well blended. Add in egg, continue to beat until mixture is smooth. Add the coffee liquo, vanilla, and coffee, continue beating until smooth. Remove half (or a little under) of cream cheese mixture into another bowl. Pour the first batch of cream cheese mixture into the springform pan. Mix the melted chocolate into the remaining cream cheese mixture. Stir until well blended. Drop this mixture into the springform pan, you can either pour it in the middle or drop it by the spoonful to create more of a pattern.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until top looks dull. Remove from oven and let sit for 20 minutes before placing in fridge to complete setting process. I would let it sit overnight in the fridge before serving to make sure it sets. Then enjoy!

This is pretty easy to make and it’s really exciting to make your own super delicious cheesecake.

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