Thursday, August 25, 2011

Roasted Banana Cupcakes with Honey-Cinnamon Frosting

I love bananas.  I don't eat them on a regular basis, but I just LOVE to bake with them.  The other day at the grocery store I scored a huge bag of about 12 "ripe" bananas for a whopping $0.99!!!  SCORE!!!

I had plans of making some delicious banana nut muffins just like OtisSpukmeyer's. 

Fast foward a few days to yesterday.  I got home from work, opened the door and the banana smell hit me in the face.  Oops, looks like they've sat a bit too long.  My first thought was to make the muffins or some bread loaves (my second banana baking favorite).  I totally changed my mind when I opened my cabinet full of cookbooks and saw Martha's Cupcake book and knew there just had to be something Banana in there.

As soon as I read through the recipe I thought to myself "Oh Martha, you've really done it this time!"

Roasted Banana Cupcakes with Honey-Cinnamon Frosting

Martha Stewart’s Roasted Banana Cupcakes

yield: ~16 cupcakes
  • 3 ripe bananas, plus 1 to 2 more for garnish
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sour cream1/2 teaspoon
  • baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
Honey-Cinnamon Frosting
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I used more like 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.
  2. Place 3 whole unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet and roast 15 minutes (the peels will darken).
  3. While bananas are roasting, sift together together cake flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  4. Remove bananas from oven and let cool. Peel carefully into a medium-size bowl and mash.
  5. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  6. With an electric mixer on medium–high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy (~5 minutes). Add egg yolks slowly, beating until each is incorporated and scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  7. Add roasted bananas, beat to combine.
  8. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of sour cream, beating until just combined after each. Beat in vanilla.
  9. In another bowl, whisk egg whites to soft peaks.
  10. Fold 1/3 of whites into batter to lighten. Gently fold in remaining whites in two batches.
  11. Divide batter evenly among lined cups. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
  12. Cool cupcakes completely on wire racks before frosting.
  1. Using an electric mixer, beat all ingredients until smooth. Feel free to add some extra honey or cinnamon to taste.
  2. Garnish with slices of banana (roasted or raw)

Yeah, I know what you're thinking, they are a lot of work.  Its true, they take quite a while.  But the roasted banana flavor makes them totally worth it!  One great thing about this recipe is that they can be frozen (unfrosted) up to 2 months or stored up to 3 days at room temperature. That is only if they last that long.  I know mine didn't!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Update: While I'm 25...

With only 4.5 months until my birthday, here's an update of my "list" (original post here):

- Lose 15 pounds
- Have a date with Joe that includes a picnic
- Bake a pie
        Lemon Meringue Pie from Lemon Meringue Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke – Made it at my mom’s the weekend I forgot my camera…oops. I’d never made one of these before and everyone who came to the bbq said it was wonderful! Yay me!
- Make homemade spaghetti sauce
Find a fantastic recipe for salsa and making it with veggies from my garden
        I made salsa just by throwing a bunch of stuff together.  I had about 2 cups peeled fresh tomatoes, ¼ cup chopped onion, 1 chopped jalapeno, 1 clove minced garlic, a little salt, and some fresh chopped cilantro.  It turned out fantastic!!  I can’t wait for more tomatoes to be ready!
- Bake a loaf of bread
- Visit a new city
         I just bought tickets to Louisville and Lexington in October to visit my bestie, Danielle.  Even though I’ve been there before to see family, I’ve never explored as a tourist.
Go to a concert
         Steel Magnolia – June 23
         The Band Perry – June 30
         Gloriana – July 7
         Randy Rogers Band with Reckless Kelly – July 14
         Corey Smith – July 28
         Kenny Chesney – July 30
- Run a 5K (and train for it first)
         Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure – August 14
- Make a menu for the week using my cookbooks, or at least Monday through Wednesday for the whole summer (Memorial Day through Labor Day)
         I’m doing a good job prepping for part of the week
- Write notes to friends
- Make homemade salad Dressing
- Blog at least 1x per week!
- Volunteer with an organization
         Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Shirt Pick-Ups - August 9 & 12
- Go to church more
Go to a Sporting KC Soccer game at their new stadium (I'm not sure when construction is going to be completed though – Opened June 9)
         Hubby and I went July 23 with some friends from work.  It was crazy hot, like 100 degrees. We were trying not to move and photos slipped my mind, but the stadium was really awesome.  I hope we can go again this season.
- Attend a Play, Symphony, or Orchestra Concert
- Make a little "Welcome" spot for visitors to our house
- Host a dinner party (or a BBQ?)
- Read 2 books a month (any suggestions?)
         June:  The Help, Decision Points
         July: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie…and ? (oops only 1 book!)
Plan a trip for "just the girls"
         Labor Day Weekend Trip with my Mom and Sister
- Get a pedicure with my mom
         Planning to do on the Girls Weekend Trip
- Make a fancy tiered cake (a reason isn't necessary)
- Tailgate at 6 Royals Games
         June 6 vs Toronto Blue Jays
         July 8 vs Detroit Tigers
         We better pick up the pace, season ends in September!
Ride a motorcycle

Friday, August 5, 2011

My 1st Quilt

If you know me at all you know that I love to sew!  I really enjoy spending time in my sewing room making something beautiful.  I've made many aprons for bridal showers, and some stuff around the house too.

Now that rush of our friends and family's weddings are over I decided it was time to learn to quilt so I could make some baby quilts.

A beautiful girl named Brooke Allison was the first youngster to come along. And there are more coming after, so I've got to get busy!

A friend of mine was making a baby quilt for her good friend who was preparing to have her first child also.  She'd made quilts before so I asked her many questions and she gave me this pattern from Quilt Taffy that she was using.  Quilt Taffy was even kind enough to provide a free printable pattern so go check it out. I thought it looked easy enough so that's what I made.

I attempted to embroider the baby's name on the quilt, but it didn't show up as much as I'd liked so I probably won't do that in the future.  I'm sure Brooke will enjoy this quilt for a long time.  Onto the next quilt. Any good starter pattern suggestions for other baby quilts?

Photo courtesy of Brooke's mom, Melanie

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Simple DIY: Guest Bedroom Full Length Mirror

My parents came to visit Hubby and I a few months after we moved into our house last summer.  With them, they brought boxes and boxes of stuff.  They called this stuff mine but I'm not entirely sure I'd seen any of the in the past 5 years {do I really need it then?}.   Hubby and I were still settling in so we just stashed them with lots of other boxes into our basement. FINALLY, about a year later I am finally getting around to going through this 'stuff'.  One of the first things I pulled out is my old full length mirror. 

Did you notice how the mirror is Red??  Well before it was Red it was Green.  Before it was Green, it was Gold.

When I was in high school, I started out my training to be crafty and creative when I was finally given free reign to decorate my room however I wanted.  I loved {and still love} the idea of using bright, bold colors for decorating. 

I had asked my parents for a few things for my room to decorate including a two-tone comforter in Pink and Orange similar to the one below from JC Penney.

I searched and searched the stores until I found the perfect turquoise valance for my small bedroom window.  My mom was gracious enough to make me some bright yellow curtains to replace the dark brown doors to my closet.  She also made me three different shaped pillows for my bed in Green, Yellow, and Blue.  The rose colored walls from a young girls childhood was replaced with a more mature white.  I took LOTS of time to create my own simple two-stripe border at the top in light blue and bright blue. I was also given permission, after much begging, to paint my light switch plate and outlet plates to be a bright green.  I also painted the frame of the mirror green as well as my entire bulletin board that hung above my desk. 

My parents eventually painted over the blue border in my old 'bright' room and switched it with what became the guest room when my sister got married and moved out.  During my 3rd year of college I received a co-op opportunity.  So I stayed at home for the fall semester and got some great experience working for a construction company.  I had previously lived in the Dorms then my sorority house at college and I was getting REALLY tired of seeing my original college bedding.  I decided once again that I would get new bedding and re-do a bit of the room that I'd be living in.  I went out and bought a Black Desk, a Black-White-and-Red bed-in-a-bag set, made black and red curtains to cover the old closet doors, and made a matching black and red valance.  This is when I noticed that the green mirror didn't quite fit.  So, I painted it red.  I do still miss the green a bit. 

So, we've lived in our house for 2+ years now.  The guest bedroom was almost the first thing that was 'done' as far as decorating and unpacking.  The only thing it was missing was a full length mirror.  I got out the spray paint, newspaper and tape and got to work.  Within a few hours I converted this mirror from something I'd grown up with to something our guests will be able to enjoy. 
After we finished spraying it, we used a razor blade to scrape off some of the green and red that I'd gotten on the glass part of the mirror. 

Oh look, here it is now in all it's glory!