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Banana Bread

28 Jan

I have a hunch that Boyfriend plots.  He buys bananas every week, and doesn’t eat all of them. He lets them sit there and get brown, only then to say “Oh no, the bananas are getting ripe…” juuuuust as I’m in earshot. He does this so that I get the notion in my head to make banana bread with them. He thinks the can just put the thought into my head, and have nothing to do with it. But it’s alright, I love him anyway 🙂

I must confess that even though I have everything from blueberry crumb bars (a family favorite), to 15 different types of cookies, and 30 types of cupcakes. I have made cupcakes look like a bowl of spaghetti, I have covered things in hot caramel sauce, I have made-from scratch- an entire croquembouche. But the ONE thing that has given my problems has been banana bread. I know, it sounds so simple. Every time I made it, it was either too gooey, or too dense, or doesn’t even taste like banana.

Not anymore, thanks to America’s Test Kitchen.  Boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend got him a copy of The Family Baking book for Christmas, and I think I’ve used it way more than he has.
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Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

21 Jan

Now that we are in a new year, I’m sure at least one of us has gone into the “I’m going to eat nothing but lettuce for a month” mode. Okay, well maybe not that intense, but just like everyone else in the world, I’m sure we all want to lose weight and tone up for the coming year. How many of us have already slipped up on that? -Raises hand-

Okay, maybe we have slipped up a little bit, but what’s life without some guilty pleasures? Luckily, I have been experimenting with recipes. Trying to see how I can make those old favorites and comforts a little bit easier on the clothes we already have in the closet. An easy way to do this is with lots of whole grains.

Think about how many things we eat in a day that can be converted into whole grain. Breads, rice, cereal, tortillas, pasta… It takes a little bit of getting used to if you’re used to the sugary taste of whitened products, but once you go there, you’ll find that it’s hard to go back.  Boyfriend and I buy everything either “brown” or whole grain now, and we love it. But that doesn’t mean we don’t live a little too 😛

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Lemon Pound Cake with Raspberry Coulis

12 Nov

I love making something special for dessert to go with a special dinner.  I didn’t want to make something overly heavy/chocolaty for when we had the lasagna, so I looked around and saw that we had some frozen raspberries left over and some ‘real’ butter left over from my birthday cake. (We usually have smart balance on hand.)

I love pound cake. Wait, let me rephrase that. I love pound cake when it’s moist and dense. This pound cake was not, actually it was light and airy, but not so much as angel food cake. And that’s perfectly fine, it got the job done. My absolute favorite pound cake recipe is over at Smitten Kitchen here.

For my birthday, boyfriend’s mom got me a lovely gift set with extracts (lemon, orange, almond), whole nutmegs, and real cinnamon. Since then, I have tried to incorporate them any way I can into my baking.  I knew that the lemon would go really well with the raspberry coulis I had intended on making, so I went with that.

I forgot to put the coulis ingredients in

Always. I mean always, make sure that the first thing you do when baking a cake is to take out the butter and eggs. Unless other wise noted in a recipe, they should always be at room temperature.  This is so that when put in the oven, everything will bake at the same time, and one ingredient won’t bring down the temp of another.

Another thing I highly recommend doing, especially if you’re boyfriend, is that you butter and parchment your baking dish first, and set it off to the side. That way, when the batter is all ready to go, you can pour it in, and not have to worry about if you remember to spray it.

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