……………………………………………………. Baking our mark

Recipe Flash: Frozen Banana Bites June 21, 2012

It’s day number two of nearly 100 degree weather in Philly.  I think this is the worst thing in the world.

Even the flowers don’t like it.

And, with the clarity of a corporate blackberry camera and the photojournalism skills of a writer, I give you a heat tour of my walk from work to home in Philly.

Everyone’s using the fountain as a pool

But no one’s in the park, which is usually overflowing with small children

Which means that no one wants to cook. Or eat anything other than ice for that matter.

The home-made solution to this predicament?

Frozen banana bites

Frozen Banana Bites (idea stolen from BA)

Basically, melt some chocolate with a little bit of oil. (Ratio:  1 cup chocolate to 1 Tbs. vegetable oil)

Dunk in a slice of banana and coat it. Fish it out with a fork and let some of the excess fall off.

Then, roll it around in something that goes well with chocolate and banana (i.e., coconut, oreos, peanuts, skor bits, etc. ).

Put the completed slices onto some parchment paper, then pop them in the freezer for a few hours. (Put them in a sealed container after you’ve frozen them if you intend to store them in the freezer for any length of time.)

…you’ll need more than two…

They taste like summer, but are lovely and cold. Can’t think of anything better for dinner tonight.


Vintage Oatmeal Everything Cookies July 7, 2011

This recipe for oatmeal cookies will not change your life. It will not make you suddenly like oatmeal. You will not feel the need to discard any other oatmeal cookie recipes you have if you try these.

Still, I like this recipe…if only because it’s incredibly flexible and forgiving. I can put literally whatever I want in these cookies, and they happily accept the ingredients. And since for me, cookies are primarily about the mix-ins, these are pretty wonderful.

On the 3×5 card my grandmother typed up for my mother (back when you gave people typewritten 3×5 cards with recipes), it says “Add nuts, chocolate chips, coconut, dried fruit, etc. as taste dictates.” What a perfect sentence to have on a recipe card.

So, if you’re looking for a simple oatmeal cookie you can deck out in whatever you want, check these suckers out.

Vintage Oatmeal Everything Cookies

1 cup shortening or butter [the fact that this recipe calls for shortening and, on the original family recipe, has all the ingredients that you need one cup of in a line is what makes this a vintage recipe to me. plus it’s totally not gourmet; it’s just homey and inexpensive to make]
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup flour
3 cups oats
2 – 2.5 cups whatever [Most recently, I did walnuts, pecans, chocolate chips, and coconut]

*Note: I hate nutmeg in oatmeal cookies, so I prefer this recipe since it doesn’t call for it. I’m sure you could throw it in if you like to muddle the taste of your chocolate chips.

Cream butter and sugars in a large mixing bowl. [This is a recipe that you want a Kitchen Aid for–it’s a lot of heavy dough to blend by hand, and it would probably kill your electric hand mixer.] Blend in egg and vanilla. Separately, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Then add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mixing thoroughly. Add oats and other mix ins, stirring in thoroughly. [If you’re using an electric mixer, you may want to do this step by hand.]

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for 13-16 minutes, depending on your oven.