Oh, Bananas, how I love thee. You’re such a delicious treat and you’re always there when I need you.
You know it’s true; regardless of what time of year it is you’re bound to find bananas sitting pretty in the produce section. The ingredient for this week’s Food Blogger Challenge happens to be bananas so imagine all the yummies that are in store for us! I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. So what did I come up with for this challenge? How about a Banana Cheesecake with Rum Glazed Walnut Topping?
To make it even better I made mini banana cheesecakes too; I needed something to tide me over while the big one baked. I made these in a mini muffin tin
I love cheesecake but let’s face it – it can get boring. Yes it’s delicious like, all the time, but sometimes you just want to jazz it up a bit. Adding banana to the Cheesecake jazzes it up and gives you your daily dose of potassium in a scrumptious slice of bliss. As if banana cheesecake weren’t enough, the rum glazed walnut topping is just icing on the cake, figuratively speaking – kind of.
The banana flavor is very much alive in this cheesecake. The topping adds a much needed texture difference to an otherwise uniform dessert. This is one cheesecake you have to try if you’re a banana fan.
I’m all about traditional foods when it comes to holiday’s. I love diving deep into the roots of a culture and pulling up recipes that were used way back when. My family’s cookbooks and recipe boxes are great for that. They’re filled with recipes from parents, grandparents, great grandparents and so on. My step dad’s recipe box goes all the way back to the mid 1700’s (allegedly) with recipes from Ireland, Germany and France.
Sometimes, however, you just want to be creative and cute. You want to make something that’s not necessarily traditional but still fitting to the holiday. Take St. Patrick’s Day for instance. I’ve shared a few of my family’s traditional Irish St. Patrick’s Day recipes. These are passed down recipes that represent Ireland, but I want to share yummy American derived St. Patrick’s Day goodies too! And, sometimes, you just have to bring the kids in the kitchen and let them decorate the goodies.
These Pot of Gold Cupcakes stem from my love of lemon & chocolate combinations. They’re like the Sonny & Cher of the food groups. You keep expecting them not to work out. Sometimes 1 will overpower the other, but when you put them together they make great things happen. It was hard to choose how I wanted my lemon filling. I whipped up some lemon curd and was just going to use that but decided to go an extra step and make a lemon mousse.
All I did was add a cup of whipped cream to the lemon curd. It lightened up the mixture and spread it out so I could fill more cupcakes! I also used my favorite Hershey Cake recipe since it’s one of those that doesn’t need improving. I used the same method of filling the cupcakes as I did with my Mounds Cupcakes. We also used canned white frosting and the kids dyed it green – call me lazy (because I am today!) They came out so good and fluffy; if you’re not on the lemon & chocolate bandwagon take my hand and I’ll pull you in!
Note: The kids had free reign with the decorating of these cupcakes. They mixed icings, played with decorating tips and made a huge mess. They had an incredible amount of fun though – why not let yours do the same?!
How many times have you walked into a grocery store, found a great deal and stocked up only to find once you got home it wasn’t what you thought? I do it all the time; most recently with Oats. I thought I was getting the regular oats, but instead it was the quick oats. Talk about disappointing!
I had big plans to make lots of Oatmeal inspired goodies so I grabbed 5 containers of these. I donated 4 of the containers to our local food bank and kept one to “play with”. There was a recipe on the label for Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies – it had my attention. I did a little modification to the recipe to make it more of an Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies that suited my tastes.
The end result was a yummy combination of chocolate and oatmeal with a hint of cinnamon and cardamom. Cardamom in oatmeal cookies? Yes! Maybe it’s just me, but I love chai tea. Cardamom, even the slightest bit, reminds me of a tall, hot mug of perfectly creamy chai tea.
So, the moral of this story is that you can turn those mistaken purchases into something positive if you just believe (sorry – that’s my Peter Pan reference for the day.) John wasn’t crazy about these cookies since they were “more oatmeal than cookie” in his words. He’s use to the “Oatmeal Cookies” you buy from the store. You know, the ones that are more cake-like with an icing filling. Crazy man!
I know, I know – you want the recipe already – I’m just babbling on. Let me tell you how to make these delicious Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk cookies so you can make them for yourself. Find the recipe below and be sure to tell me what you think when you make them!
*Lesson: I think I’ve made it very clear that I’m a kitchen novice. I’m constantly learning as I go. Tonight the lesson I learned is that wax paper and parchment paper are not interchangeable. Baking cookies with wax paper at higher temperatures leads to a smoky, stinky mess in the kitchen. You’ve been warned!