As you guys can probably tell by now, I am a huge advocate of muffin making. I bake them often, and many times I like to feature them here on the blog. This is because, in my eyes, muffins may be the world’s most perfect food.
They are simple to prepare, they taste kinda like cake, and there are endless variations to be thought up. I could probably make muffins every single day and never repeat a flavor combo even once… at least for a year or so. And I’d relish every single minute of it. ♥
You know what else I love about muffins? My picky two year old will eat them for breakfast. She has a hard time agreeing to putting anything in her mouth that’s not a “leaf” (kale salads, raw spinach, etc.) or a cookie. Yet, every single muffin I’ve ever fed her has been happily gobbled up–mostly by her, sometimes by the dog. She’s also into sharing.
When I make muffins these days, I like to jam them full of mix-ins to balance out all those leaves. ;) These are typical blueberry muffins with a few extras–buckwheat, zucchini, and banana–added in for good measure.
This recipe is a combination of this cheesecake I made a while back + an insatiable craving I’ve been having lately for some banana cream pie.
It is not at all what I remember my mother’s banana cream pie to taste like (I’m pretty sure she included shredded coconut and jello pudding in her version), but it certainly hit the spot. With cashew cream, walnuts, bananas and almonds… it has all the fixins for a proper pie.
Did I mention it practically makes itself?
Okay, it definitely gets a little help from a food processor. Still, it is very easy to make if you have one of those aforementioned fancy gadgets, and a little extra time to spare.
This fruit salad (like most fruit salads, right??) is very simple to throw together and oh so tasty. The use of avocados, mangoes, and bananas only adds to the extra creamy deliciousness.
Speaking of deliciousness: VeganMofo is still going strong!! But my google reader may not survive this one. It is so chock full of awesome vegan eats, it just may explode. Seriously, I have got a lot of catching up to do!
It is in hectic (and yummy) times like these, that a nice easy fruit salad is the perfect treat to whip up. So easy, so sweet, so good.
Ever since I can remember, I have had a slight aversion to pancakes. Oddly enough, I think they smell delicious, and look beautiful, and are fun to make… but I just can’t get into actually eating them. Every once and a while, though, the boys in my house will request pancakes. And so, every once in a while, I give them another shot. When I do opt to eat a few pancakes, I will absolutely never… ever… put syrup on top of them. Not even a drizzle. No way.
Am I a complete freak?
No matter how often I try, for over 28 years I have always thought the same thing about pancakes: “meh”. They are always just “meh”.
Add syrup and I think they are downright gross.
But, this recipe is a bit different for me… I actually think these are pretty good. Better than “meh”. Maybe I like them because they are loaded with one of my favorite flavor combos of all time- peanut butter and banana (only rivaled by my love for peanut butter and jelly).
After convincing myself that these pancakes would be yet another recipe to add to the “just okay” pile… I ate a huge couple of bites and gave the rest to my son (he got his own too). That’s progress! Normally, I wouldn’t have even tried a bite. I have a pancake complex… I admit it. My son excitedly proclaimed that they were the best pancakes he has ever eaten. Which, for the record, is saying a lot.
So there you have it- a pancake recipe that is kid friendly (aren’t they all?) and “me” friendly. Um, yeah- for all of you out there who will be making pancakes for me. Maybe my mom is paying attention to this? Well… I know my husband is. Hi, dear.
And completely off topic: this will be my only post this week as I am getting outta Ohio and heading to Philadelphia! I am so excited to take a vacation I can hardly stand it. :D
So, it will be a little barren around here over the next week. But, I promise I will have something wonderful and fun to share with you people upon my return! Until then… pancakes are always fun. Even without syrup.
Sometime last week, as I opened up my Google reader, I was greeted by this.
Is that not the most wonderful and genius muffin ever? It made me mad with muffin envy. Those bad boys just looked so damn good I set myself a goal to make muffins ASAP. I wanted to de-glutenize Mihl’s version, but I had no Dandies or cranberries. Plus, I really suck at looking at/using other people’s recipes. I pretty much never follow them as written. Admittedly, when I look at all the other fabulous food blogs out there, I skim over the whole “recipe” part and get right to the photos. Look again… you know you want to.
But, back to the issue at hand…
Before I started to even preheat my oven, I realized that I hadn’t yet created a gluten-free version of my own chocolate muffins. Naturally, I decided to nip that problem right in the bud. I started by making a simple chocolate muffin that accompanied our family on a long hike this weekend. By round two, I had created the muffin monstrosity pictured above.
I also happened to pick up some Dandies at the grocery this past weekend while we were out in “the big city” gorging on ridiculously huge and ever-so-tasty dosai (plural? for dosa). It all made for a pretty spectacular weekend.
Checking out cookbooks from the library offers some fantastic inspiration. We are fortunate to have a wonderful library in the town close to where we recently moved. It is super jam packed with hundreds (thousands!) of cookbooks. I only pay attention to the books with beautiful color photos. I flip through them frantically… and I drool.
So, as I was browsing through my recently borrowed Cafe Vietnam* cookbook by Annabel Jackson, a beautiful trio of dumplings caught my eye.
They made me think of mochi, and how I have been DYING to make mochi since I was 16! Given that mochi often pops up all over vegan blogs, I should have made some by now…
but, I never had rice flour.
And then I thought to myself, “I have rice flour now (slap to the forehead). I always have rice flour now!”
So without any further hesitation I knew I had to make some little rice dumplings- of some sort. On my way to the kitchen I saw a perfectly ripe banana… which is a rarity at our house because they tend to get eaten up quite fast. So I wondered, “what would happen if I just combined everything that was going through my brain at this exact moment?”
Well, folks… this recipe happened.
And, it was good. Very. Very. Good.
This is a fun twist on an old favorite. I have been making this recipe for years and it always turns out perfectly. In fact, I’m pretty sure this was the first recipe I came up with “all by myself”. :)
To make it gluten-free, I just subbed out a few different flours where I usually used all-purpose flour. Feel free to re-glutenize it by subbing the 2 cups of AP flour back in, and leave out the xanthan gum.
Banana anything is always great in my book, and these cookies are certainly no exception. Soft and chewy and authentically banana flavored…I am pretty sure you could win many people over with these. They couldn’t be easier, and chances are, you will have most ( if not all) of the ingredients on hand.
I didn’t add any spices to these, but you can. These cookies are like tiny little banana breads, just a tad chewier. And, I prefer my banana bread boring and banana-y. But if you like a little spice.. add away!
They really remind me a lot of these “mini” banana nut muffins I would get as a kid. Except these taste waaay better… of course.