Tag Archives: Dessert

Strawberry-Banana Sorbet

I hate that period right after a really stressful and busy month when your body finally realizes it can relax for the first time in too long, lets its guard down, and BAM!  You’re sick.  I was starting to feel my body head down that road today, so I took a nice hour-long nap and drank tons of water.  I’m already feeling a little bit better, so I’m hoping I managed to ward it off.

It also helps that I made lots of yummy and frozen treats today, from ice pops to strawberry-banana sorbet.  All that cold fruit does a body good!

Strawberry-Banana Sorbet (inspired by this recipe)

  • 2 C frozen strawberries, roughly chopped–reserve 1/2 from the blender!
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 C cold water
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 2 t lemon juice

Put all the ingredients in a blender or food processor, except for 1/2 C of diced strawberries.  Blend until smooth.

Pour into the tub of an ice cream maker (which should have been frozen overnight, or as directed) and allow it to churn the sorbet for about 15 minutes, until it starts to thicken.  Add the 1/2 C chopped strawberries and continue to churn.  You can serve it immediately when it thickens as much as you want, or freeze it overnight to harden further.

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can just pour the strawberry-banana puree into a tub and stick in it the freezer, stirring it every half and hour or so until it reaches your desired consistency.

Isn’t it gorgeous?  I let it freeze for another two hours, but we wanted to have some for dessert.  It’ll probably be the perfect scooping consistency tomorrow.

The strawberry-banana flavor was seriously good.  Just enough tart strawberry perfectly mellowed out by the smooth banana (and the strawberry chunks just add that extra oomph).

Fritz, who loves ice cream and all things frozen (due to that heat-regulation problem that all men seem to have), says that it was really refreshing.  I’m excited to make more sorbet–I’m thinking a mojito flavor might be my next one!  Sadly, rum doesn’t freeze well…but I’m okay with having the rum on the side.

I also went over to my friend Gill’s house today, and made ice pops with another friend, Laura, and her daughter.  These ice pops freeze instantly “right in front of your eyes”, which makes them extra fun for layering and decorating.  We were definitely rookies, but it did give me some fun ideas for how I might make other frozen stuff in the future.

Here’s what we made:

The one I made was layered cranberry and lemonade with lime slices in the middle–yum.

And of course, how could I resist playing with my new camera with an adorable baby around?  I took about a million pictures of Laura’s daughter, Lila:

Isn’t she cute?

I’m a little sad because my sister has been sick for the last few days, and the doctor thinks she might have mono.  If so, our Boston trip is off, but we’ll see how she feels tomorrow before we decide whether to drive there for a visit.  Get better, Kristen!!

I’ll bring you some sorbet, if it helps.

Oh, one last thing (so many things to talk about today!).  I stopped at a little-old-lady church thrift shop today, and look what I walked away with for the outrageous price of 25 cents?

The sweet woman I bought it from laughed and said “Wow, you’ll have to eat a lot of oatmeal to fill that bowl!”

If only she knew.

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Double Trouble Chocolate Chip Cookies

Disclaimer:  These Cookies Are Almost Too Delicious To Be True.

They also aren’t healthy.  But neither is depriving yourself of beautiful things, such as a giant double chocolate bake sale cookie.

However, bikini season is coming up, so it’s understandable if you only lick the spoon and give half of your humongous cookie to your husband.  It’s not only understandable, but impressive.  I’m seriously shocked that I was able to muster up enough willpower to tear one of these suckers apart and hand half of it to Fritz.

It was hard.  But since I’ve gotten back on track with my eating and working out this month, I’ve lost two pounds!  And seeing results always helps that willpower grow.  Only six pounds to go ’till I’m back to my happy weight (those last three are so difficult to get past, though!)–and I can’t wait until I feel totally comfortable in my body (and jeans) again.

I also feel like I have so much more energy, what with all these green monsters in the mornings and quick workouts in the evenings.

Anyway, these cookies are the recipe I always fall back on when I’m making something to share with a big group of people or sell at a bake sale, because everyone loves them.  Everyone that loves crispy on the edges, gooey in the middle, double chocolate, walnutty chocolate chip cookies, that is. 

I know I sure do.  This recipe is from a Got Milk? cookbook that we had at home when I was growing up–I’m pretty sure I discovered this recipe when I was 14 or 15 and have made them ever since.

Double Trouble Chocolate Chip Cookies 

  • 1 stick butter
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1/3 C cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 C bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 C nuts (I used whole walnuts)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Mix the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, cocoa powder, and eggs together until combined.

Add the flour, baking soda, chocolate chips, and nuts and mix well.

Eat some dough (at your own risk).  I can’t be blamed for uncooked egg in your cookie dough (aren’t eggs pasturized?  Does that mean we can eat them raw? Is that a dumb question?).

Roll out the cookie dough into balls and flatten on an oiled cookie sheet.  Leave enough space for the cookies to grow, because they get rather large.  I made 14 large cookies, but you could halve them and have 28 cuter ones, too.

Bake them for 10 minutes and remove from the oven.  They will look like they aren’t done!  Let them sit on the cookie sheet for at least five minutes before touching them–that’s where they will finish baking.

These cookies are seriously the best chocolate chip cookie I’ve ever had.  Sometimes I purposely underbake them because I like gooey cookies.  A lot.

 I might as well just eat the dough, really.  Just slightly warm.  But for those of you weirdos who like a crisper cookie, go 11 minutes.  Probably not much more than that, since they still get a crispy edge at 10.

Either way, enjoy with some English breakfast tea poured in your favorite mug.  The kind of mug that holds waaay too much and weighs about 20 pounds, with thick ceramic sides that hold in the heat.  Even better if it’s from a cute flour/baking/spices mill.

Anyway, off to bed.  Toodle-loo!

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Royal Honey(moon) Wheat Scones

I’m a little late for the royal wedding, I know.

I also didn’t watch it (but I kinda wish I did).  So when the urge struck me to bake, I decided to make some scones.  Honey-ey and wheat-ey ones.

And then I named them after the royal honeymoon.

Aside from their delightful taste, a nice thing about this recipe is that it only makes 6 hearty-sized scones.  A lot of times when I bake I suddenly realize I have 5,843 muffins or 635 cookies that are just begging me for some lovin’.  And really, I only was craving one or two cookies.  So if you want lots of scones, either halve the size of each scone or double the recipe (or both!).

Royal Honey(moon) Wheat Scones (adapted from In Great Taste by Evelyn Lauder)

  • 1 1/4 C whole-wheat flour (I used 1 C whole-wheat flour and 1/4 C buckwheat flour)
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/8 t salt
  • 1/2 C water
  • 3 T honey
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a medium bowl, mix all the dry ingredients.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir “vigorously” (the recipe says so!) until combined.

As you can see from my “ingredient” picture, I started off making barley flour, but my grinder wasn’t feeling up to the job so I switched to buckwheat/whole-wheat to save myself some time and energy.

Let the dough rest for a few minutes, then pat out on a floured surface into a circle about an inch thick (I told you, these are hefty scones!).

Using a glass or biscuit cutter, cut into rounds.  Reroll the scraps, and cut again.  I had exactly enough dough for six big fat scones.

Place them on the parchment paper and stick ’em in the oven for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.  Let them cool on a wire cooling rack.  If you have been cooking for years and somehow still don’t own a wire cooling rack, find some other adorable gadgets to cool the scones off on.

These were 4/$1 at a garage sale I went to a few years ago.  Score.

Enjoy these scones with a warm cuppa tea or coffee.  Or…just eat them plain!  They are faintly sweet with the honey and have a light nutty taste.  They are also surprisingly fluffy for something made with all whole-wheat flour (hello one whole tablespoon of baking powder).

Oh and…Got Milk? (Thanks for the mugs, Dad!)

And if you haven’t had enough Henry updates lately (because how can you have enough Henry updates?), here’s a nice montage of him lounging around in his ultimate favorite spot of all time–inside a cardboard box.

Any cardboard box.

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Mom’s “Special” (Amaretto) Ice Cream

Mom was worried that she may come across as having a bit of an alcohol problem on this post.  I reassured her that she needn’t be worried, because she clearly doesn’t have one…she just enjoys an occasional sip of wine, you know?  And perhaps a rare enjoyment of amaretto poured over her ice cream.  And Bailey’s in her coffee.

Okay, okay, I kid.  She uses Bailey’s flavored creamer–she’s a working woman, you know.  And there’s not much ice cream to be found in these parts anymore.

Or there wasn’t, until I came home for break.  When we were kids, my mom would sometimes serve herself a bowl of ice cream and settle in for a movie.  When we clamored for a taste, she’d inform us that it was “Mommy’s special ice cream” and we couldn’t have any. 

Only when we were adults did we discover that “special” meant “21 and over” or “doused in amaretto”.

So in honor of a special lady, I thought I’d recreate the ice cream treat, only this time around with the “special” mixed right in.

 

Amaretto Ice Cream (original recipe here)

  • 1 1/2 C heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 C whole milk
  • 6 egg yolks (save those whites for a healthy omelet!)
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1 T light corn syrup
  • 3 T amaretto
  • 1/3 C chopped toasted almonds

 

Oh, yes.  Did I mention that this is a treat?  If you want a healthy frozen dessert, try this banana frozen yogurt.  However, if you’re ready to give yourself the gift of rich, custardy, creamy ice cream, then stick with me.

Now, if you are using an ice cream maker, don’t be like me.  Read the instructions and realize that you need to freeze the bowl for 6-12 hours before using.  Do that the day before.  Save your sanity.  If you aren’t using an ice cream maker, than you can put it in the freezer and just take it out and stir every once in a while to prevent big ice crystals from forming.

Bring the milk and cream to a simmer in a medium-sized heavy saucepan.  Not a rolling boil, just a nice chill simmer.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and corn syrup.

Slowly add the hot cream mixture–go slowly, because you don’t want scrambled egg yolks as part of your ice cream!

Give it a nice whisk, then pour back into the saucepan.  Place over medium-low heat and continue whisking until the custard thickens–it should coat the back of a spoon without running.  Once again, go slow and steady to avoid the eggy thing–it should take about ten minutes.

If you think you have egg bits, then strain back into the bowl; otherwise, just dump it back in.  Add the amaretto and chill in the fridge until completely cool. 

Now, either place it in the freezer and stir, or use your ice cream maker as directed.  Right before freezing, add the toasted almonds and do it up.

Yum.

This is so rich and creamy that you really won’t need a big bowl to feel satisfied–and the crunch of the almonds goes perfectly with the smooth amaretto.  It does melt quickly because of the alcohol content, so be prepared for drips–and don’t be tempted to add extra alcohol, because the taste is strong enough as is, and you don’t want to mess up the freezing process.

Special ice cream, indeed.

 

We had breakfast this morning with some family friends at Denny’s.  It’s always so nice to catch up (and Cora made another appearance, of course).

By the way, I shot the pictures for this post using our new Canon T3i!  Exciting, huh?  I also was using the manual setting for the first time ever in my life–what do you think?  Any tips?

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PB&B(anana) Chocolate Chip Cookies

We brought our rapidly browning bananas home with us, only to find that M&D also had a stash of hastily ripening bananas of their own.  Some might call that a baking crisis; others–a baking heaven.

Plus, one of the many things that I love about being home is that the cabinets are stocked with three times as many ingredients as mine is (“Mom! Do you have chocolate chips?  Coconut?  Peanut butter? Old-fashioned oats? Madagascar bourbon vanilla?  A one-person soup crock that I can take pictures with and then eventually sneak into my laundry to take home without your knowledge?  Yes!!?!”)

So yes.  I love baking at home.

Also, I’ve been taking pictures with Mom’s Canon–you’ll probably be able to tell, because even though I’m only using the most basic auto setting, the pictures still look a million times better.  We might be buying our camera really soon!

PB&B(anana) Chocolate Chip Cookies (original recipe here)

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 2 C old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 C peanut butter
  • 1/4 C canola oil
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla
  • 1/3 C shredded coconut
  • 3/4 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mom kept sneaking small objects into my ingredients picture until it looked like an I Spy book.  What can you find?

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium-sized bowl, mash the banana with the canola oil and peanut butter.  Add the baking powder, salt, and cinnamon and mix.

Add the remaining ingredients (oats, chocolate chips, coconut, and vanilla) and combine thoroughly.  Lick the spoon/beaters/rubber spatula.

Peanut butter, banana, coconut, and chocolate?  Yes, please.

Lay a piece of parchment paper over the baking sheet and drop spoonfuls of batter closely together.  The cookies don’t rise or spread much during baking, so press them into the shape you want (and don’t worry about them running into each other).

Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 15 minutes or until browned.  I underbaked them because I wanted them to be ooey-gooey banana-y bites (and since there’s no egg in these, you can do that).  They are warm, cosy, oozy perfect cookie bites.

So comforting.

Get your milk ready, because between the peanut butter and the chocolate chips, you’re gonna need it.

That’s the soup crock I’m stealing (look away, Mom).

These are also just the thing to recover from a cold workday outside:

Even Henry was found peeking around corners looking for a cookie.

And avoiding the wolfhound.

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Three-Layer Strawberry-Filled Chocolate Cake

Wednesday is Fritz’s birthday!

We have a tradition every year in which I make a new kind of birthday cake–it’s a fun occasion for me to bake something extravagant and decadent, and to try something new.  This year he requested a black forest cake, but since I know he doesn’t like cherries I adapted his idea to something similar (but probably more delicious)!

For his past birthdays I’ve made:

22nd–Reese’s peanut butter chocolate cake;

23rd–Cheesecake with strawberry topping;

24th–Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting;

25th–Pineapple upside-down cake;

…and now:

It’s a ridiculous three-layer chocolate cake with strawberry filling (and fresh strawberries) covered in whipped chocolate ganache–and it was so much fun to make.

I wasn’t going to blog it at all, but once I saw the three cake layers just sitting there, I couldn’t resist.  I didn’t adapt the recipe at all (except that I whipped the ganache, didn’t puree the strawberry filling, and added a layer of fresh strawberries into each strawberry layer), so I’m not going to repost it–but here’s the original site from Baking Junkie.

And here, my friends, is where it all began:

Now let’s add some strawberries:

Another cake layer:

And some more strawberries:

Of course we need that last layer of cake:

And then we slather it all over with whipped ganache:

Top it off with some sliced strawberries and chopped chocolate:

I’m pretty excited to try this cake–but we are waiting for Fritz’s actual birthday to slice into this bad boy.  For now, it’s sitting in the freezer ready to be defrosted Wednesday afternoon (hopefully it’ll be just as good).  That’s not to say that Fritz didn’t get to enjoy an early birthday present–he got to lick the bowls.

We also received a box from my parents with presents!  Needless to say, it did not contain an evil cat when it arrived.

What’s your favorite kind of birthday cake?  I used to hate cake when I was a kid so my mom always made me “dirt cake” with pudding, Oreo crumbs, and gummy worms.

Hmm…maybe that will be next year’s cake for Fritz!

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Fig and Walnut Bars

I’m watching The Reader as I write this.  If you haven’t seen this movie yet (or read the book), I strongly suggest that you do so, even though it is a bit, ahem–uncomfortable at times.

Yesterday I went to a rehab hospital with my class and met several patients with different life-altering diagnoses such as spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, strokes, and other neurological disorders.  What really struck me is that every patient that we were introduced to were working at their therapy with positive, if not downright upbeat, attitudes.

These are patients with fairly new injuries that had a significant effect on their physical and mental functioning.  Even though the hospital was a really great one, I’m sure they’d rather be home or in their jobs like they were a few months ago than struggling to do basic tasks that only recently were so easy they were automatic.  I just can’t imagine the immense willpower it must take every day to pick oneself out of the deep sea of “why mes” and “what ifs” and just start focusing on needs to be done.

So kudos to the people who can do that–you are amazing and inspiring,

I brought some leftover fig and walnut bars for my friends and I to snack on while we were driving to and from the hospital.  They were definitely a welcome bite, since we were starving.

Fig and Walnut Bars (adapted from this recipe)

for the filling:

  • 8 oz dried figs, stems removed and cut into quarters
  • 1 T Lyle’s golden syrup (or honey)
  • 2 T water
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t ground ginger

for the crust:

  • 1 C whole-wheat flour
  • 1 C old-fashioned oats
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 6 T apple butter (or applesauce)
  • 1 flax egg (1 T ground flaxseed in 3 T warm water)
  • 2 T Lyle’s golden syrup (or honey)
  • 1 C toasted walnuts, for the top

To make the filling, combine all the ingredients (figs, syrup, water, lemon juice, and spices) into a food processor and combine until roughly smooth.  If a dash more water is necessary for it to form a paste, add it.

Set aside.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and spray a square 9″ pan with canola oil.

In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients, leaving out the toasted walnuts (to toast them, simply place them in the hot oven on a metal pan for five-eight minutes until browned).  Stir until a thick dough is formed.  You may need to add a bit more applesauce or water if it is too thick–it should be like a drop cookie dough.

Spread about three-quarters of the dough into the bottom of the pan and press it even.  Layer the fig filling on top (it should be a thin but even layer), and drop spoonfuls of the remaining oatmeal dough on top of the fig layer.  Spread the dough thinly and press the toasted walnuts into the mixture.

Bake on the middle rack for about 20 minutes, until the dough is browned.  It’s a bit difficult to tell with all the walnuts and layers, but it should be relatively firm to the touch.  Allow it to cool completely before slicing.

These are amazing–the fig center is sweet enough to make it taste like a dessert, even though the ingredients say otherwise.  With whole walnuts on top and a soft oatmeal “crust”, there are enough textures and flavors to make this a seriously satisfying snack.

A fig newton on (healthy) steroids.

I cut them into bars first, and then in half again into bites–mini snacks are just that much more appealing, don’t you think?

I’ve got a lot of school work to do this weekend, but never fear: the spring break countdown has finally begun!  On Friday, Fritz and I are headed to my parents’ house for an entire week, and I can. not. wait!

Kinda weird that I have to bring my baby tomato plants on a 6 1/2 hour drive, but a you gotta do what you gotta do.

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Whole-Wheat Banana Marble Cake

There comes a time in every woman’s life when her grocery budget for the month runs out.

For me, that time was two weeks ago.  There’s still a ton of food in the pantry (whole-wheat pasta, beans, lentils, canned tomatoes, almonds) and the freezer (frozen pesto, pork chops, strawberries and mangos, and a loaf of whole-wheat bread), but we are seriously lacking in fresh veggies.  I made myself promise this time that I wouldn’t cheat and use next month’s cash because that’s what I usually do…and that’s why I’m stuck in a cycle of always running low at the end of the month.

But we do need vegetables. 

But I also can’t be trusted in a fresh produce section without going way overboard (so many exciting possibilities!), so after discussing the issue at length with my friend Lola, we decided it would be best for me to grab a few cheap packages of frozen vegetables and just make it work until April finally rolls around.

Nicely enough, Waldbaum’s had a 10 for $10 sale on frozen vegetables, but it even happened to be the good kind.  The steam-in-its-own-bag kind.  And they had some great mixes (such as Asian veggie mix) that were actually included for once.  So only $10 into next month’s budget, I’m a pretty happy camper.

And luckily I always have baking supplies in stock, so as per Fritz’s request for a sweet snack, I decided to bake a cake.  One that’s as healthy as you can get while still remaining cake-like.

Whole-Wheat Banana Marble Cake (adapted from Blue Ribbon USA)

  • 1 C sugar
  • 1/2 (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 C mashed ripe bananas (I used three bananas)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 C whole-wheat flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting the top (optional)

Tharrie (Fritz’s mom) gave me this cookbook a year or so ago and until now I hadn’t made anything from it.  It’s a book containing State Fair blue-ribbon winning recipes from  the 50 states.  Since my first try of a recipe from this book came out so well, I’ve got my eye on a few more I’d like to try.  This cake came from good ol’ West Virginia.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×9″ square pan (you could use a round one too, if you like).

Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixer for two minutes or until fluffy.  Add the vanilla, egg, and banana and mix until well combined.  While the mixer is running, slowly add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flour and mix until no lumps remain–scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice to make sure you have everything in there.

Take out half of the batter and set aside.  To the remaining half, add the cocoa powder and mix again until combined.  Scrape the sides down once more to make sure all of the chocolate half is, well…chocolate.

Drop spoonfuls of the plain banana half into the greased pan, leaving spaces between for the chocolate batter.  Add the chocolate batter in spoonfuls, then swirl the two colors together using a knife.  Be careful not to overswirl, or instead of marbled you’ll just have a mess.

It doesn’t have to be perfect, though.

Bake on the middle rack in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it (when baking a cake, by the time a toothpick comes out dry, so will your cake!).  Cool on a baking rack and dust with confectioners’ sugar, if you like.

I did.

Enjoy!  The sweetness of the bananas come through nice and strong, and despite the whole-wheat flour it still tastes like cake and not banana bread.  The cocoa swirled through and the sugar on top really make this a perfect dessert that’s not too decadent.

Not that I’m against decadence by any means.  Sometimes I just like to have my cake and eat it too, without feeling guilty or weighed down by frosting.

I’m sure you can guess that Fritz was a fan.  He had his with a scoop of butter pecan ice cream he has squirreled away in the freezer (I hate nut-flavored ice cream, so it’s safe from me), and proclaimed the cake, “really flavorful–banana bread and sweet cake combined.” 

And Henry?

Well, he was busy catching up on the season finale of Jersey Shore. 

I think we were all ready for Sammi and Ronnie to just break up already.

Jeez!

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Irish Apple Barley Pudding Parfait

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I wanted to make something to celebrate the holiday, but didn’t want to make Irish soda bread since I have two loaves of multigrain bread in the freezer, and I wanted it to be quicker than corned beef.  So what’s a girl to do?

I looked up some more traditional Irish recipes, and found a winner–apple barley pudding.  To make it a little less traditional, I added green whipped cream and voila! a pudding parfait!

It’s a traditional pudding made by hungry Irish farmers to use up old apples and barley during the winter months.  Luckily for the Irish, it’s very healthy.

Luckily for us, it’s also delicious (and you don’t have to add as much whipped cream as I did).

Irish Apple Barley Pudding Parfait (original recipe here)

  • 1 1/2 lbs tart apples (I used Granny Smith)
  • 4 heaping T barley
  • 1 liter water
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 C heavy whipping cream (with 1 T sugar, if desired)

Add the water and barley together in a pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer.

Meanwhile, peel, core, and slice the apples.

Add the sliced apple to the pot with the barley and simmer until the barley and apples are softened, at least half an hour.  It’s okay if the apples fall apart.

While that’s cooking, make your whipped cream.  Beat the cream in the mixer with the whisk attachment for a few minutes, until it stands in peaks.  Add some sugar if you want (I added a T) and a bit of green food coloring.

You can’t see how green the whipped cream is in all the pictures, but in real life it is pretty green.  Refrigerate until you are ready for it!

Anyway, once the barley is softened, add the lemon juice and put the entire mixture into a blender and puree until smooth.  Pour back into the bowl and boil for a few minutes, then refrigerate until cool.

To build your parfait, just layer in a glass and enjoy!

These came out to be so much more delicious than I anticipated.  I’ll even admit to you that I ate two of them immediately.  The apple layer is tangy and sweet and contrasts perfectly with the cool whipped cream.

Since today’s theme was stripes (is that a far leap from layers?), Henry decided to play along:

World’s stripey-est cat.

Now go have a Guinness!

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Banana Nut Oatmeal Cookies

I made these cookies two days ago when I got that late night urge for a whole-wheat sweet (ooh! a rhyme!).  The next day we were back on the road headed to Long Island, and I packed all the leftover cookies–and they were perfect energizers for the second half of the trip.  I promised my sister Kristen that I would post the recipe for her, and since I had some browning bananas to use up, I doubled the recipe and froze half of them for next week.

It has been a gray, rainy day, and these cookies perfectly fit the mood.  I wasn’t sure what to call them, because there are so many delicious ingredients that I wanted to highlight–but I thought that “Banana Walnut Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Maple Whole Wheat Cookies” was a bit too much…so I settled on the most important players.

Banana Nut Oatmeal Cookies  (adapted from this recipe)

  • 1 C old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 C whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 T ground chia or flaxseed
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 C raisins or craisins
  • 1/2 C to 1 C walnuts (I was heavy-handed with the nuts)
  • 1 banana, roughly mashed
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 C maple syrup (I used 1/2 C Indian or maple sugar, and mixed in 1/8 C water)
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 1/2 t lemon juice

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.  Toast the walnuts for six to eight minutes, and cool. 

In your mixer, mix all the dry ingredients (flour, oats, salt, soda, powder, cinnamon, chia).  Add the wet ingredients (syrup, eggs, vanilla, lemon) and mix just until it forms a ball.  Add the banana, raisins, and walnuts, and blend in.  I mixed until everything was combined–I loved finding chunks of banana in the cookies, so don’t overmix.

Line a baking sheet with parchment and space the dough close together–the cookies don’t spread out much, so you can cram ’em all in there.  Press down the dough a little, and place in the oven in the middle rack for about 10 minutes, or until golden on the bottom.

Cool on the sheets for a few minutes, then place on a cooling rack.  Since I doubled the recipe, I froze half of them in freezer bags for later–but it wont be too much later, since Fritz just got home from class and ate four already.

These cookies are just too darn good.

I wanted to call them “energy bites” because they really are energizing little crunch bites, but I was afraid that would make me forget they are cookies and think that I could eat more than two at a time.  Don’t want that!

Fritz and I are headed off to the gym in a few minutes–I am taking a Total Body Conditioning class, and then either doing some cardio afterwards or going to my old Hatha yoga class–not sure which one I’m in the mood for, but I’m leaning towards cardio.  Might be all those cookies I ate today…

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