Breadwinner

……………………………………………………. 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.

 

Ricotta Frozen Smoothie March 18, 2011

Blender, ca. 1975, courtesy of my mother

This recipe is something I sort of made up as a substitute for frozen yogurt, which I am seriously craving today. Ricotta is kind of a nice change of pace from regular yogurt, especially as an alternate version of the Greek variety in terms of flavor and consistency.  It’s probably not something I’d eat all the time because the protein count is higher in yogurt, but whatever.  It’s gorgeous outside (crocuses sprouting in the neighbor’s backyard!), and there are lots of blackberries lying around in this house.

This takes a little planning, as the fruit needs about a day to freeze (or you could just buy frozen fruit if you prefer). You could pretty much add any fruit you like, I just happen to be obsessed with blackberries.  However, the bananas are non-negotiable– they provide the smooth and creamy consistency.

For the smoothie:

3 bananas, cut into pieces and frozen

2 cups blackberries, washed and frozen

1/2 cup blueberries, washed and frozen

3/4 cup frozen strawberry puree (this will be the one time I mention a brand: Goya puts out nice un-sugared frozen fruit purees at the local grocery store… they have some interesting flavors (i.e., prickly pear) that I intend to try soon.)

1 cup soy milk (or regular)

3/4 – 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese

1 tablespoon honey (I actually didn’t use this, but in retrospect it seems like it should be included in the mix.)

Start by letting things sit out of the freezer for a little bit (like 2-3 minutes) to at least get things more pliable, especially if you’re using a blender. (If you’re using a food processor you can probably jump right in.) Puree the bananas and strawberry puree together and add the milk slowly as they start to get clumpy. Then add the blueberries and blackberries (or your fruit of choice) in shifts (about 2). The mixture will start to get thick as the bananas become liquefied, so lots of stirring is important.  I ended up separating the mixture into two batches (put one in a bowl until I was ready for it) and continued to blend in the rest of the milk.  Add the ricotta and puree further.  Then mix the two batches together as best you can (this isn’t a big deal as long as things look about the same color, in my case a mauve-ish light purple– how delightful, right?)  Store in an airtight container in the freezer or eat immediately (highly recommended).

For next time: a spiked version of this would be awesome… I’m not really a cocktail/girly drinks person (weißbier and g&t’s, please), but a touch of vodka would definitely make this more fun……….. is it summer yet?