Monday, February 25, 2013
We have a house guest right now who is looking for a job in Nashville, so there has been lots of cooking going on for the past week. The one benefit is that Ken is a harpist and plays lovely, lovely music while I cook. It is so peaceful and beautiful. Everyone should have a live harpist accompany them while they cook at least once in their lifetime. It is amazing!
This morning, our 2.5 year old grandson came over for a visit while his mother went to go work on her writing. He stops by a couple mornings a week and he is such a sweetheart. His name is Adrian but we all call him DeeDee. DeeDee really likes to help grandma in the kitchen! He likes to pour and stir and taste. He asks about a million questions at a time, is extremely observant and makes us laugh a lot. He loves - I mean LOVES - The Music Man and listens to the CD over and over and watches the original movie again and again. This morning while baking he said "YE GODS, Grandma". Oh how it made me laugh. If you haven't seen the movie or the play in a while, that is a line from Mayor Shinn's daughter Zaneta. His mother played that part when she was going to be a sophomore in high school. Amazing how things repeat isn't it?
Well, this morning I had 4 sad bananas on the counter that no one had eaten and they were ready to be deep sixed, except that I really didn't want to waste them. I asked DeeDee if he wanted to help grandma bake and he was in like Flynn. I mean, you get to mix and measure and pour and stir and - taste!
I used a recipe from Giada de Laurentis, but I added my own little twist. Her muffin recipe is for banana muffins iced with mascarpone icing. I don't like icing on muffins, but I had just a little Nutella in the bottom of a jar and I decided to add some and see what happened. What happened? Yum is what happened! Ken, our houseguest, and Dan declared these muffins fantastic! So, this recipe is a keeper and we will be making it again. Here is what you need:
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 TBSP vanilla extract
4 ripe bananas, mashed
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
Beat the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla to blend. (I used a wooden spoon instead of a mixer, worked just fine). Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to blend. Add the bananas and stir until well blended.
Put paper liners in each cup of a muffin tin and using a 1/4 cup measure, fill each muffin paper about 1/2 to 2/3 full. (I got 20 muffins out of this recipe).
Now, for the special twist! I added 1/2 tsp of Nutella to the top of each filled muffin cup and kind of swirled it around with a toothpick. Bake for 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. I had to bake mine about 30 minutes, maybe because of the Nutella.
Remove from the oven and try to keep from eating them all at one time. Holy Moly these are good! I sent some home with DeeDee and his mom for his brothers to share and Dan and Ken ate 2 each immediately. Yes, I also had one and it was hard - very hard - not to eat another one. Yummmmmmo! Nothing like a bite of that delicious chocolate/hazelnut spread in the middle of a banana muffin. Wowee!
Next time you have some bananas that no one will eat because they are mushy or overripe, give this fabulous recipe a try! No use wasting a banana when they can be used for something this delicious!
Things to Remember:
On a traffic light, green means go and yellow means yield, but on a banana it's just the opposite. Green means hold on, yellow means go ahead and red means where did you get that banana? Mitch Hedberg