Monday, February 25, 2013

Banana Bread Donuts

Yummy note: This is a perfect little breakfast, or snack day or night for us. It can be easily adapted to make dairy-free and nut-free which is so nice, as it is hard to find any commercially-prepared donuts that don't have dairy in them. My youngest loves these donuts, and my oldest really likes chocolate chip banana bread, so it was a nice compromise for the two. :) Not to mention, we like to always have these donuts in a hidden freezer stash for us to enjoy. It makes a perfect cold, frozen treat for those little ones when they are having a bad day, especially if they are teething and want something to chomp on that doesn't involve lots of sugar! Besides these donuts being wonderful right out of the freezer, they stay very moist for several days after baking them. My daughter helped me do a lot of the photos for this post, she is getting to be a pretty good little photographer for only 6 :)  Way to hold the camera and for having a good eye, Alicia. 

Banana Bread Donuts

I was inspired to make these by these two recipes:


1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 small ones) (the browner the bananas the better)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup yogurt (use a soy yogurt to make these dairy-free)
1/4 cup butter, melted (use a dairy-free alternative butter, or canola oil works) 
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour (use regular all-purpose and whole wheat flour)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips, optional Note: Other optional ingredients is to add chopped nuts or even cinnamon chips to your batter before baking. Finishing ingredients: cinnamon/sugar for dusting, or a glaze using chocolate or vanilla frosting

My helper in the kitchen.. 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease/spray donut pans. In a mixing bowl, combine bananas, sugar, yogurt, vanilla, melted butter, and eggs. Next, pour in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until the batter is incorporated. Add in optional chocolate chips or nuts at this point.
For ease of filling the donut pans, do yourself a favor and put the batter into a plastic baggie and cut the corner to eliminate lots of mess. Fill the donut pans about 1/2 to 3/4 full.
The pictures in this above collage were all taken by my 6 year old daughter, Alicia.  Note, I only had to recrop one of her pictures  above of the donut batter, the rest are Alicia's work!

Bake in the 325 degree oven for about 8-9 minutes for the small donuts, and about 10-11 minutes for the larger-sized donuts. Once donuts are done, cool them for a few minutes in the pan, but then remove them from the pan quickly before they get too hard to remove them. Toss with cinnamon/sugar coating or glaze with your choice of a simple frosting/glaze. This recipe makes atleast a dozen or so large donuts, plus a pan or so of little donuts. We like to use both sizes; the little donuts makes great little snacks for the kids.  

Monday, February 18, 2013

Avocado Cup Salad

Yummy note: I am so excited for this month's Secret Recipe Club, as it is my first month with a new to me group of bloggers. In the past year and a half or so, I have been blogging with a great, group B, but I thought a nice change up was in order with the new year. So I offered to switch it up and move to another group, and I got to move to group C. I thought this might be my chance to see some more great food bloggers out there better. I love seeing so many new sites for inspiration. So SRC group C friends, it looks like I am here to party with you now! 
For my first assignment with group C, I was assigned to The Ginger Snap Girl. Wow, what a great first impression of group C, as I just fell in love with Gloria's site. Gloria has such wonderful pictures on her site, that how can you resist not making a bunch of stuff from her blog as they all look so beautiful and tasty! She confesses that her favorite things to bake are cookies, and well, I can't disagree with that. Gloria has several chocolate chip cookies recipe variations on her site, that you must check out and see what kind of cookie fits your cup of tea. I love my cookies too, however, I am trying to eat a bit healthier. Shh.. don't tell anyone that I still love my desserts, and it seems I must eat something little and sweet after my evening meal or else I feel my day isn't complete. So fighting my urges to make these cookies, I went for the avocado cup salad; yes, I did it, I picked something lighter. :)  Oh, but it did not lack any flavor, as this salad was amazing; it had wonderful flavor, texture, and color. Definitely adding it to my rotation of salsas

Avocado Cup Salad
1 teaspoon of olive oil1 cup of fresh or frozen sweet corn about a half of a pepper, diced (The Gingersnap Girl recommended using a red, yellow, or orange pepper, However, I used red and green peppers, diced, as that is what I had on hand.)
2 roma or plum tomatoes, cut in half, seeded and diced
1/4 cup of red onion, finely diced
2 teaspoons fresh cilantro (Adjust accordingly, from 1 teaspoon to 2 teaspoons to your liking.)
2 limes
1 small jicama, peeled and cut into thin strips (about 2 cups)
2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced in half lengthwise
The original recipe called for these ingredients, which I did not use in my recipe. I didn't have them on hand, but I’m sure it would have added extra crunch and flavor! 
1/2 of a green chile or jalapeno, finely diced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
tortilla chips, broken into pieces

For the salsa part, heat a pan or skillet with a teaspoon or so of olive oil. Add in the frozen corn, peppers, and the optional chile. Saute for about 10 minutes or until veggies begin to get tender or begins to have a roasted appearance in the pan. Set aside in a small bowl to cool. Begin chopping the tomatoes, onion, and cilantro. Once the roasted corn, pepper, and chile mixture has cooled slightly, add in your chopped tomatoes, onion, and cilantro. Take the juice of one lime and pour over the salsa and stir.

Next, prepare the jicama slaw by peel the jicama and chopping it into thin sticks. Place the jicama in a bowl and toss in a pinch or so of chopped cilantro. Take the juice of your other lime and pour over the jicama and cilantro, and mix until nicely coated.

Prepare your avocados by slicing them in half, and then peeling and pitting them.

Assemble your plates starting with the jicama slaw on the bottom layer, with the half avocado next and then your beautiful salsa on top. Top each salad with a sprinkle of green onions and crushed tortilla chips. 

The Ginger Snap Girl said you can serve 4 side salads with this dish, but I liked it for a main meal dish, so I split it between 2 dishes. I served mine with a simple sauteed shrimp dish and it was a delicious pairing.