Cookie Dough Ice Cream Sandwiches

I made some AMAZING Ice Cream Sandwiches. You can go to my new website here to see them! You won’t regret it, I promise. Yum!!

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So Long, Farewell… unless…

Hello to those of you that still might visit here every now and then.

Thank you SO much for your support and comments these years. I’ve loved sharing my cooking misadventures and adventures with you all.

I writing this to let you know that I will officially be done adding recipes and stories to this blog. (Though I will still leave it up for those that are searching for a particular recipe or my fun Pinterest followers.)

This isn’t the end to my blogging adventures, though. I’ve decide to change course and follow my current passions in a brand new blog: Lunges, Laundry, and Lipgloss. This blog will focus on my new endeavors in staying fit, raising three crazy kiddos, and maybe some fun lifestyle/shopping tips. Plus, I hope to drop a few recipes in there, too.

I hope that many of you will stop by and check me out – though it’s still a baby blog with just one post so far.

Take care.

XXOO

Courtney

Getting Creative with Menu Bingo

Getting Creative with Menu Bingo

Anyone who likes to experiment in the kitchen will tell you that having so many recipes under their belt can be both a good and a bad thing. On the one hand, you have so many recipes to choose from when it’s time to prep your meals; on the other, making the choice can be quite difficult when you have too many options. An article on the New York Times goes as far as calling the problem of having too many choices “a paralyzing problem”.

But luckily, you can use a fun bingo game to create meal plans and menus for the week, eliminating the hassles of having to rifle through the hundreds of recipes you’ve mastered to be able to prepare something new for your family every day. Bingo has helped many households in surprising ways, with the UK Food Standards Agency even using it to promote healthy eating with Eatwell Bingo. The popularity of the game is undeniable too. When Iceland Foods launched their own online bingo portal in 2012, their CEO, Malcolm Walker, said, “we are excited to take our popular consumer brand into the world of online bingo , which is something we know that many of our customers enjoy. Now mums – and dads – can come to Iceland Bingo, too.” Now bingo can help you and your family too, all while making meal planning much more fun and interactive.

To play Menu Bingo, go through your recipe books (or choose from the dozens of recipes on Cooking Misadventures) for five recipes for each of the following categories: Main, Side 1, Side 2, and Dessert. Once you have these twenty recipes, you can then plot them out on a bingo card template, with one column standing for each category. Label each item in the columns a number from 1-5. You could also fill out there boxes by asking the members of the family what they feel like having and taking those down. Once you’ve made your bingo card, it’s time to roll a die, with the number that you roll corresponding to the dish that you’ll be cooking. Take turns rolling the die for each category, and when someone rolls a six, they get to choose which of the items to have. Once an item has been picked already, make sure to mark it off, and then proceed to roll for the rest of the days of the week.

You can have many variations of this game, such as a bingo card with seven items in each category – one for each day of the week – or even a bingo card each for breakfast, lunch and dinner. By taking some time out of the start of the week, you can cut back on your cooking prep time!

Marbled Chocolate Banana Bread

I had some brown bananas.

Strike that.

I had dark, dark, brownish-blackish, mushy, falling-apart bananas.

They needed to be used ASAP.

And we all know the best way to use those kinds of bananas is in a banana bread. But I’ve been there, done that lots of times.

Now, if you’ve ever looked through my recipe index, you’ve probably realized that I quite enjoy the chocolate banana combination. And I’d already made a banana chocolate chip bread, so I knew I needed to take this version to a new level. And a little experimentation with my four-year-old was the perfect way to do it.

The Recipe:

Marbled Chocolate Banana Bread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a loaf pan.

Part 1, Banana Bread:

3/4 c flour

1/2 t baking soda

1/4 t salt

1/4 t ground cinnamon

2 medium bananas (heavily speckled or even black bananas are best)

1/4 c butter, melted and cooled

3/8 c packed light brown sugar

1 large egg

1/2 t vanilla extract

Whisk all dry ingredients down to the cinnamon in a small bowl. Whip/mash bananas until frothy. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until blended. Add dry ingredients in two batches, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Pour into loaf pan.

Part 2, Chocolate Pound Cake:

1/4 c butter, softened

1/2 c sugar

1 eggs

1/4 c vanilla yogurt

1/2 t vanilla

3 T cocoa powder

3/8 c milk

5/8 c flour

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, yogurt, and vanilla and mix well. Add cocoa powder and stir until incorporated. Add milk alternately with flour, mixing just until incorporated.

Pour batter over the top of the banana bread mixture. With a small spatula or spoon, gently scoop and fold the banana mixture over and through the chocolate one.

Bake in center rack for 60-70 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, remove, and let finish cooling on a rack.

The Results:

Hey, look… something turned out pretty:

IMG_4391

And it tasted pretty good, too!

It was moist throughout, and the two flavors (obviously) went well together.

I do have to say, though, the banana bread was the definite flavor winner – for me, it overpowered the chocolate a bit. If you are a chocoholic, you might want to up the chocolate-y-ness if you make this. I wanted more chocolate, personally, but the rest of the family loved it the way it was. So, it’s your choice.

The best part, my four-year-old was SO proud and thought that the marbling was very cool.

And his smile made the extra work worth it.

Banana Chocolate ‘Ice-Cream’

Hey, look – I’m writing a real post.  With a recipe and everything… craziness, I know.

So, I was looking for an easy toe-dip kind of recipe to start with.  Something the kids could help with and enjoy, something that wouldn’t heat up my house on a hot day, and something that wasn’t horribly unhealthy.  I had no idea where to start.

And that’s where Disney Junior stepped in.

Yep, you heard that right.  This recipe is being brought to you by a Disney Junior informative commercial.  (Please don’t judge.)

In this commercial a mom (I think), and her son, make a delicious ice-cream style treat out of bananas – the boys were intrigued and I thought it looked easy and fun.  So off we went.

The Recipe

Banana Chocolate ‘Ice Cream’ adapted from Disney Junior

4 bananas, sliced and frozen

2 T greek vanilla yogurt

1/2 t vanilla extract

1 T unsweetened cocoa powder

Makes approximately 1 pint.

In a food processor, pulse bananas until broken into small pieces.  Add the rest of the ingredients and let processor run until smooth and creamy.  Serve immediately as soft serve or freeze for several hours for a regular ice-cream consistency.

The Results

I didn’t really remember much from the Disney Junior commercial except the frozen bananas in a food processor.  So, I started by having the boys chop bananas, place them in a Tupperware, and then froze them all.  Seemed like a great idea until I went to dump them out and this happened:

A giant frozen rectangular block of bananas.

A giant frozen rectangular block of bananas.

Hmmm – I’m thinking next time to freeze them on a cookie sheet individually, since this did not break up well in the processor.  Eventually, with the help of my trusty pick-axe (or butter knife), I got these into smaller pieces that could be chopped up.

Pulsing was the best way to get things started – and then I realized that the bananas were staying pretty dry and crumbly.  I wanted to add something wet and healthy to get the creamy effect, so vanilla yogurt and extract it was.

The idea of adding the cocoa powder came at the end.  Because seriously, why not?!

And it was borderline genius, I tell you.

When we sampled the finished product after mixing, it soft, creamy, and lightly chocolate-y flavored.  The banana was the star, but the chocolate added a depth to it that I found quite enjoyable.  The boys liked it a lot, too.

We decided to freeze the bulk of it for later that night.

When we pulled it out, it was pretty solid – so I recommend letting it set out for a bit before serving.  At this point, it tasted just like a regular banana ice cream – with a chocolate twist.  Very satisfying and very delicious.

(Though for those chocoholics out there like me, I’m thinking doubling the cocoa would be fantastic.)

It's going to take a while to get my picture skills up to snuff, but for now, here's the finished product.

It’s going to take a while to get my picture skills up to snuff, but for now, here’s the finished product.

Serious Thinking

Hello, dear readers… if there are any of you left out there.  And if you are, I thank you so much for keeping this little blog on your list (or I thank you for forgetting to delete it. 😉 )

I’m going to try my very best to start cooking and baking again.  Not that I’ve quit completely, but I certainly have been fairly lack-a-daisical about it.  (By the way, I’ve always wanted to use that term in writing.  Yay, a new first already!)

Anyways, I have been doing a little baking, but pretty much no actual meal cooking, Hubs has taken completely over and I think I need to start stepping back up.  And I actually want to (which is crazy to me).

Having three kids definitely has it’s challenges, but I think now that the littlest is toddling around, I can set her up with something to do while I work in the kitchen.  (Even if it’s just giving her a fork and spoon – which she’s obsessed with right now).  Additionally my middle guy has decided this year that he wants to be a baker when he grows up and adores helping out in any way shape and form in the kitchen – so, I have a built in helper.  It’s just a matter of getting his buy-in to what I want to cook, not his favorites (pancakes, cookies, and cakes from a box).  That should be a (mis)adventure in and of itself.

Looking forward to sharing and hopefully hearing from some of you.

I’ve definitely missed it.

~ Courtney