BeachBoy was out of town this weekend, and that always drives me to cook. 

I’ve been patiently waiting for the bananas on our counter to ripen for use in muffins.  Well, I’ve been somewhat patiently waiting.  I ate two of them.  While BeachBoy was out of town this weekend, I thought I’d make a yummy breakfast muffin for us to eat in the car on Sunday morning.  In our haste to make it to the nursing home before church services, there is never time to eat.  So, I’m constantly on the lookout for ‘on the run’ recipes. 

The recipe below is an adaptation of this banana muffin recipe.

Since I don’t have anyone to eat dinner with tonight, I think I’ll boil a pot of tea, squeeze in some lemon, and grab a warm muffin. Mmmmm…

Banana Muffins

  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 green bananas, mashed (unless you’re more patient than I am or prefer them ripe)
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. backing powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3.4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (sliced)

Mix together the bananas, sugar, butter, and egg.  Stir together the flours, soda, powder, and salt.  Combine.  Stir in nuts and berries.  Pour mix into a greased muffin tin and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.  Makes 12 muffins.

Earlier this month, I had the chance to attend the Taste of Home Cooking School  when it held a show in our town.  The first recipe they demonstrated smelled so good that I had to try it.  It’s a quick, easy fix, which is great for those busy house guest filled mornings that happen so often this time of year.  A twist on Monkey Bread, it’s a crowd pleaser, for sure!

Almond Cream Cheese Bundt

  • 1 cup sliced almonds, divided
  • 1 package cream cheese (chill in freezer)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 24 frozen dinner rolls, thawed but cold
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar

Glaze

  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract

Directions:

Coat a 10-in bundt pan with cooking spray.  Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of almonds and set aside.  Cut cream cheese into 24 equal cubes. In a small bowl, mix the sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon.  Roll cream cheese cubes in the sugar mix to coat completely.  Wrap a roll around each cream cheese cube to enclose.  Then, coat the rolls in the sugar mixture until coated. 

Place 12 of the rolls in the bundt pan and sprinkle with an additional 1/4 cup of almonds.  Combine the butter and brown sugar and microwave until the sugar is dissolved.  Pour half of the sugar mix over the rolls in the pan.  Then, layer the remaining rolls over the sugar mix.  Sprinkle with remaining nuts and any remaining spice or sugar mixes.

Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until the rolls reach the top of the pan.  Remove wrap and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. When rolls reach the desired color, cover with foil for the remainder of the cooking time. 

Immediately invert the bundt pan onto a serving dish. 

On the stovetop, combine the butter, sugar, water, and extract to create the glaze.  Stir until melted.  Then, drizzle the glaze over the warm bread.  Serve warm immediately or let rest to serve cool.

Yield: 12-14 sticky servings

 

This week, my elementary school students and I have been writing about small moments we have shared with our grandparents.  My moment, of course, was about food.  I thought I’d share it with you. 

A Golden Feast

 

                Sun beams tickle my nose as they dance through the lace curtains my grandma and I picked out together last summer.  I stretch as I yawn, my toes pressing deeper into the embrace of a homemade quilt.  Morning always comes early at Grandma’s house, but somehow I still wake refreshed.

As I listen, I hear the clamoring of pans in the kitchen, just down the hall.  A sweet smell greets me.  It’s a pancake morning.  Knowing the sound of Grandma’s work well, I recognize her pancake dance is well underway, with her tiny feet fluttering back and forth between the stove and sink. 

            Pushing the satin edge of the blanket down from my face, I slip out of bed and scurry to the kitchen.  Grandma’s famous Texas-sized pancakes glisten like the sun on her blackened griddle.  They call my name with their sizzling hiss. 

            From behind me, I hear Grandpa shout in from the living room, his voice rising above his banjo to let Grandma know she’d better make me two.  Apparently, I look especially hungry.  Sounds of “K-K-K-Katie my pretty lady” float in as he winks at me.

            Within moments, we sit shoulder to shoulder at the table, Grandma and Grandpa on their pink-padded chairs, me teetering on the coveted painted-spattered stool.  My pancakes’ otter-like flippers dangle over the edges of my enormous plate, daring me to devour them. 

            Grandpa smiles knowingly as he sips his coffee.  He doesn’t need a plate of pancakes, for while I can confidently smear pounds of butter and drizzle oceans of hot syrup over the steaming cakes, I can never finish Grandma’s golden feast.  The reward of placing the order will soon be his.