Monday, January 31, 2011

This dish is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

In our kitchen, rapidly browning bananas usually mean banana bread or muffins are on the menu— but this time I felt like shaking things up a little. I've recently been thinking about the last great dessert I had [honestly, when am I not thinking about dessert?] It was a pear-croissant bread pudding from Sutro's at the Cliff House in San Francisco (over Christmas). It was one of those desserts where you just wanted the taste to linger on your tongue. I swear I didn't drink anything for at least 20 minutes after my last bite. 

Anyway, back to my bananas...   

I tried my hand at creating a banana version of the croissant bread pudding. I started with this recipe and adapted it to get the taste I was going for, which is usually somewhere between decadent and sinful. 

Here's my set up:

I use ramekins for a lot of my desserts, mostly in an effort to predetermine those portion 

12 "mini" croissants. Buttery and delicious. 

Cube those suckers (wouldn't even try tackling this without a quality bread knife). 

Meanwhile, whisk together wet ingredients in a large bowl. I probably would've thrown this in the stand mixer if I'd thought about it sooner... 

...but a little elbow grease never hurt anyone!

Whisk in the semisweet chocolate bottom-dwellers chips. 

I transferred the croissants by the handful into the bowl of wet ingredients—I prefer this method to pouring the custard over the bread. 

Fold until well-combined, but not mushy! Mush = zero texture after baking. 

Place the ramekins in a shallow baking pan, and fill with water to the halfway point. 

Spoon your bread pudding until you have even amounts in each dish, but not too much over the brim. The bread will absorb the custard and expand while baking, so the top will rise ever-so-slightly. 

Pop in the oven, bake at 350º for about an hour...

et voila!

And now for a barrage of photos, because I think these came out beautifully...

Banana Chocolate Chip - Croissant Bread Pudding - ☆☆☆☆☆
4 eggs
1 ¾ C heavy whipping cream
¼ C milk
¾ C raw sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
12 mini croissants (or 6-8 regular croissants)
2-3 overripe bananas, mashed
1 C semisweet chocolate chips
  • Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350º. 
  2. Place baking dish(es) in a shallow pan, fill halfway with water. 
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk whipping cream, milk, eggs (one at a time), sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in bananas, and chocolate chips.
  4. Transfer croissant cubes into the wet ingredients. Fold until well-combined. Let sit for 5 minutes. 
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, or until a knife/toothpick/etc inserted in the center comes out clean.

If you're into bread pudding (and I certainly am), this is a 10. Enjoy!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Photo Friday {Week 4}

Thought I'd be able to present a whole week of "tired" photos as per the DPS theme of the week. No such luck... here goes week four:

1.23 - Nap time (tired, woo-- got one in!)

1.24 - Sweet Tooth

1.25 - Storm's a-brewin

1.26 - And here we go

1.27 - Snowed In (she's loving it)

1.28 - Anticipation

This week was a little rough. I was too "busy" sitting on my bum enjoying snow days to think about snapping photos (go figure). I'm looking forward to next week-- I just got Photoshop and can't wait to start experimenting!

Sharing this post with: Miss Mac's 365 Photo Project

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Perfect Lunch

... and yes, I do feel like I'm 10 years old again! Although a much healthier version of my 10-year-old self, if I do say so myself.

Case and point:
♡ Ezekiel 4:9 sprouted grain bread (mmm protein and fiber)
♡ All-natural peanut butter (heart-healthy fats)
♡ Organic bananas (no pesticides or hormones in my fruit)

How do you "healthify" your old favorites?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Chocolate-covered what now?

Girls night in with my loves. 

Our get-togethers usually happen around some classy booze and lots of not-so-classy food. Baking is my thing (in case you live under a rock), so I'm sad to say that I'm usually a contributor to the not-so-classy food portion of the evening. 

But NOT this time... (well, not as much this time) 

I was inspired by a SparkFriend, to make some dark chocolate-covered clementines-- so I took them as a healthy option. I have to say, these little suckers were fun to make but mostly they were just darn pretty! 

Here they are, start to finish...


Fun snack + pretty AND easy to prepare = will be making these again. Too bad clementines are seasonal (womp).

Friday, January 21, 2011

Photo Friday {Week 3}

Has it really been three weeks already?! Guess so. Anyhoo, I was hoping this week would be all about food since we got our Restaurant Week on... then I realized I'm too busy trying to seem like I regularly dine at these places (oh and shoving delicious food in my face) to be that girl. Might be time to take a smaller, more discreet camera for restaurant photos. Until then, here's week three...

1.15 - No dumping  For a quick sec, I thought this was one of those "dolphin-safe" tuna logos. That's clearly not the case.

1.16 - Gordita and Fancy - I don't have a great macro lens, so this is the best I could do for DPS' weekly theme

1.17 - Ice, Ice Baby — And just like that, we had a 4-day weekend. 

1.18 - Mmmm

1.19 - 5ish sunset — Ready for the days to get muuuch longer.  

1.20 - Frosty — Only a happy little wine topper could make our dish drain look that pleasant. 

1.21 - Mood lighting — Perfect for a weekend-welcoming nap. 

Another week of photos has come and gone. Not sure if I'm getting any better with the camera, but I'm reading up and actually retaining a bunch of info— that's gotta count for something, right? Stay tuned for next week, the DPS theme is "tired" and I'm going to try to get a full week's worth of tired photos. Shouldn't be too hard with my classes starting back up!

Happy weekend :)

Sharing this post with: Miss Mac's 365 Photo Project

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cream Cheese Danish-y Goodness

Say that three times fast. 

While you were saying that, I was nibbling on THIS:

and it is beyond. Beyond what, you ask? Beyond delicious, beyond easy to prepare, and rather importantly—beyond easy to clean up.

It all starts with a grand total of six ingredients: 

cream cheese

sugar, vanilla

crescent dough (and not pictured: cinnamon sugar and butter)

Whip up your cream cheese, sugar and vanilla til they're well combined...

...and make a pretty photo...

Roll one can of crescent dough out into the bottom of a 9"x13" pan.

Spread the filling evenly... don't skimp on those corners!

Then roll out the second layer of crescent dough on top of the filling. 

Melt butter, pour on top layer and finish off with a generous sprinkling of cinnamon sugar. 



 Yup, that's mine. 

That one too. 

Maybe if you do my dishes, I'll let you have a taste... but probably not :)

This recipe is one of many from my school's awesome cook book. Our genius social committee collected recipes from the staff and put together quite the collection of breakfasts, apps, entrées and desserts. This is my first attempt at a dish and it was quite the crowd (read: Amwilli) pleaser. Plus, it got me in the mood to work my way through more of the recipes in the book... so look out for some goodies!

Cream Cheese Danish - ☆☆☆☆☆
♡ I'm a cream cheese kinda gal, so this speaks to my soul.
♡ One bowl recipe
♡ Easy clean up
♡ It's dessert!
♡ Haven't tried, but you could "healthy" up this recipe with lowfat cream   
     cheese, reduced fat crescent rolls, and raw sugar (or those Splenda/sugar hybrids). 

Here's the recipe:
2 - 8 oz blocks of cream cheese
1 C sugar
2 cans of crescent rolls
1 tsp vanilla 

Preheat oven to 350º
Blend cream cheese, sugar and vanilla together. Lay out one container of crescent dough on bottom of 9x13" pan. Spread cream cheese mixture over first layer. Lay out the second layer of crescent dough (try to pinch the holes shut). Melt 1/2 stick of butter and pour over top of crescent dough. Mix together 1/2 C of sugar and 1 T cinnamon and sprinkle over top. Bake  for 30 minutes. 

✳✳✳A BIG shout-out to Miss P for sharing such a tasty recipe!✳✳✳