1. I have a new blog, Farm Girl Adventures! Check it out, tell all you friends, don’t touch that dial, etc.
Also, obviously, it’s been *ahem* quite some time since I’ve updated this blog (although I did get a non-spam comment from someone a few months ago. So that was exciting.)
Anyway, I’ve been toying with the idea of starting another blog, a more general blog, about farm life/being in my 20s/whatever else I decide to write about. So, look out for that one. (I’ll still keep Stuff I Made, too.)
This recipe comes to me from one of my best friends and her lovely boyfriend, who, since shaking up together this summer, have become a dynamite cooking duo that makes me tremble in awe. (Seriously, they’ve made homemade pho, complete with raw beef. And it was good. And it didn’t make anyone sick. Total cooking badasses.)
The recipe is pretty simple, and has three main ingredients which can be modified based on your cooking desires/needs/what you happen to have in your cupboard. The ingredients are: Bananas, chocolate and milk (or, more generally, liquid.)
For this batch, I used four bananas, one cup of skim milk and 1/4 cup of dark chocolate chips.
Take the bananas and cut them up into chunks, then put them into a plastic bag and freeze them for a few hours. You’ll be freezing the whole thing later, so this is really just to get a head start on the solidification process. (Ooh, fancy science terms.)
After a few hours (or whenever you get impatient,) take the bananas out of the freezer and dump them into a food processor or blender. (I think my friends used a food processor. I used a blender. I’m not sure it matters.) Add your chocolate (however much you think is good) and your liquid (again, a cup seemed right for my needs, but I think less would have been okay, too.) Then blend it all together until it’s thick but pourable. (Or, you know, food process it.)
Pour the mixture into a plastic container for freezing. (Mine fit into one 32oz yogurt container.)
P.S. Like a true blogger, I’m going to apologize for the partictularly crappy quality of photos in this post. My camera was being weird and I don’t know how to fix it! Lol! Technology, right? Plus, I’m a just a girl!
(No, but seriously. It’s a crappy five-year-old point and shoot and the batteries were low. So hopefully next time it’ll work better.)
Of course, being me, I modified the recipe a little bit based on my needs. The recipe is for a giant layer cake, but that sounded complicated and I don’t have any pans or baking dishes that are the same size. So I decided to halve the recipe and just make a single-layer cake.
When I went to ice the cake, I realized I had forgotten to buy any whipping cream, so I used a recipe from the Sweet Times at Emandal Cookbook.
I used Rogue’s Chocolate Stout (per the recipe’s suggestion,) and it turned out well, though I’m sure other types of stout would work.
Chocolate Stout Cake (via the Eugene Weekly)
2 cups stout of your choosing (like Rogue’s Chocolate Stout)
2 cups unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1-1/3 cups sour cream
Preheat oven to 350º F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans with 2-inch-high sides. Line with parchment paper; butter paper. Bring stout and butter to simmer over medium heat in large saucepan. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in large bowl until blended. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl until blended. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just until combined. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. With a spatula, fold batter until completely combined.
Divide batter equally among pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer cakes to rack; cool 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto rack and cool completely.
2 cups whipping cream
1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped
Bring cream to simmer in medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chopped chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Refrigerate until icing is spreadable, stirring frequently (about two hours).
Place one cake layer on plate. Spread 2/3 cup icing over. Top with second cake layer. Spread 2/3 cup icing over. Top with third cake layer. Spread remaining icing over top and sides of cake.
It was tasty–really moist and thick.
I think I may have found the perfect pancake recipe. It’s the best one I’ve made, anyway, and it’s supposedly healthier than regular pancakes (fewer calories and Weight Watchers points, anyway.)
When I was growing up, my dad use to make us pancakes on weekends. It was probably a disgustingly Rockwellen scene: my brother and I reading the comics while my dad expertly mixed the batter and navigated the hot griddle. Sometimes he’d add oatmeal or bananas, or if we were lucky, chocolate chips.
Sometimes I still get a hankering for pancakes on the weekends. Recently, I’ve used both Krusteaz and various cookbook recipes, but I’ve been kind of frustrated because I feel like all the batters I use don’t cook evenly (though this may have more to do with my technique than the actual recipe.)
Anyway, I randomly found this recipe online and I was super pleased with the results. These guys cooked quickly and evenly and were moist and delicious.
Note that it calls for the batter to sit overnight. I realized this after I’d mixed all the ingredients together and heated up the griddle (though you’d think the “overnight” part of the recipe title would have tipped me off.) However, it didn’t seem to be a problem.
3/4 cup whole grain flour
3/4 rolled oats (not instant)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 T sugar
3/4 cup milk
Mix ingredients together in a large bowl. Place in refrigerator overnight. (Again, I didn’t do this and they were still great.) In the morning pour batter in heated non-stick pan until bubbles begin showing on the surface. Turn pancake over with spatula – wait 2 minutes and serve.
P.S. My friend turned me onto this super cool blog called Jim’s Pancake’s — it’s written by a dad who makes awesome pancake art for his kids. (Who, by the way, are freaking adorable.) Check it out!
Real quick update today with two pumpkin seed recipes. Hopefully, ya’ll saved the seeds from the pumpkins you carved for Halloween. If not, I was just at Safeway earlier today and there were still a bunch of pumpkins and they were all on sale. Plus, after you’ve scooped out the seeds, you can bake the pumpkin flesh in the oven with oil, blend it up and make tasty soup.
I had two cups of seeds, so I made two different kinds. I baked them together on the same sheet, so I think the flavors kind of blended and the seeds got a little mixed together. But they’re still super delicious.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds (via Spider Magazine, which I subscribed to when I was little and was surprised to discover is still around.)
1 tsp garlic salt (or salt and garlic powder)
1 1/2 T oil
1-2 cups pumpkin seeds.
Mix together salt and oil. Stir in pumpkin seeds. Spread on baking sheet and bake at 300˚F for 30-40 minutes until golden and crispy.
Cinnamon Soy Sauce Pumpkin Seeds (via me, but I’m sure there are a gazillion similar recipes)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp oil
a splash of soy sauce
a splash of water
1-2 cups pumpkin seeds
Mix together cinnamon, salt, oil, sugar, water and soy sauce. Stir in pumpkin seeds. Spread on baking sheet and bake at 300°F for 30-40 minutes until brown and crispy.