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What to do with ripe bananas?

It seems I wrote my last post just in time! I went on to Google yesterday and the doodle for the day was a depiction of a scene Swan Lake, and had been created with the SF Ballet. Turns out yesterday was Tchaikovsky's 170th birthday!

But moving on, today is cooking!

So I have been making lots of banana bread lately - some of you have had to endure firsthand my need to get rid of old bananas. I never seem to eat them fast enough.

Anyway, I discovered that, as much as I hate to admit it, the recipe for lowfat banana bread (given in an earlier post) is not as good when you only use nonfat yogurt. You need some butter - as long as you use the minimal amount acquired by the recipe, I can't tell the difference. But maybe its the nuts too, that made it better - I always used to leave those out.

For a topping, I chopped up blackberries and tangerines and mixed them with whipped cream.

However, after we finished the second loaf, the first one a double recipe, my father has no interest in seeing another loaf of banana bread. What else do you do with overripe bananas?

I have trying to drink a lot of banana milk shakes. In the blender: two bananas, three tablespoons of sugar (I have a sweet tooth) and filling the container just under halfway with milk - also four ice cubes. I had to learn patience to let the blender run for a while - I always stop it too soon, and then the milk and banana separate, or sometimes I even end up with some banana chunks. I also like to add a dollop of fat free chocolate sauce.

On my father's birthday, I cleaned, and I got my Dad Ralph Nader's new novel, Only the Super-rich Can Save Us! I cannot recall what we did about dinner, but I made a lemon pudding cake for desert. It's really light and fluffy - I could probably eat a whole cake in one sitting. The bottom is supposed to be creamy/moist (at first I thought it was underdone).

Baked Lemon Pudding Cake
  2 tablespoons butter (no-fat or low-trans fat margarine can be substituted) 
  6 tablespoons Splenda® - I only used regular sugar
  6 tablespoons super-fine granulated sugar 
  2 large eggs 
  1/3 cup lemon juice 
  Zest from one lemon, finely chopped 
  1/2 cup unbleached flour 
  1 1/4 cups low-fat milk - I used nonfat milk
  Powdered sugar 
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch pie dish with cooking spray.
2. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter or margarine well with an electric mixer. Add the Splenda®and sugar and beat well.
3. With an egg separator, separate the eggs; save the egg whites in another mixing bowl.

Add the yolks to the butter mixture one by one

gradually add the lemon juice and lemon zest

The batter will look like lemon frosting at this point.

Slowly add the milk to make a thin batter. Set aside.
4. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they are stiff with an electric mixer.

Gently fold the egg whites into the lemon mixture.

Pour the batter into the prepared pie plate.
5. Place the pie plate into the preheated oven and bake 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the pie plate from the oven and allow the pudding cake to cool. Dust top with powdered sugar if desired and/or serve with fresh sliced strawberries. 
Yield: 6 servings 
Nutritional Information:
Per serving (without strawberries and whipped cream): 170 calories, 5 g protein, 24 g carbohydrate, 6 g fat (3.3 g saturated fat, 2 g monounsaturated fat, 0.4 g polyunsaturated fat), 83 mg Cholesterol, 0.4 g fiber, 83 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 32%.

We didn't celebrate Valentine's Day. I could have sworn I made a desert for Easter,and I think it must have been Mint Chocolate Snowballs, my new favorite cookie to make, because I cannot recall making anything else.

Chocolate Mint Snowball Cookies
  3/4 cup whole-wheat flour 
  3/4 cup unbleached white flour - I only used regular flour
  1 teaspoon baking powder 
  1/4 teaspoon salt 
  1 cup mint-flavored, semisweet chocolate morsels (like Nestle Toll House)* - I just used regular chocolate and added mint extract
  3 tablespoons fat-free sour cream 
  3 tablespoons canola oil 
  1/3 cup granulated sugar 
  1/3 cup Splenda - again, I only used regular sugar
  1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  1 large egg (use a brand higher in omega-3s, if available) 
  2 tablespoons egg substitute or 1 egg white, beaten slightly - I just added 3 eggs
  Powdered sugar 
1. Combine flours, baking powder, salt; set aside.

Melt chocolate chips over low heat in microwave or in a small nonstick saucepan. - I don't know why they suggest microwave here, because if you melt chocolate in a microwave it will burn. You have to melt it with indirect heat in a double boiler, or a bowl inside a larger saucepan full of water.

2. In large mixing bowl, beat sour cream and canola oil with sugar and Splenda. Add chocolate mixture and vanilla and beat to blend. Add egg and egg substitute and beat until smooth. Add flour mixture and beat only until blended. 

3. Split dough into fourths and wrap each fourth in plastic wrap. Freeze until firm (about 20 minutes.)

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees - I used the time to clean the kitchen, and when I was done the dough was ready
Shape each portion of dough into about 10 (1-inch) balls, and place on cookie sheets that have been coated with canola cooking spray.

Bake for 10 minutes, watching carefully. Once the cookies are cool, dust the tops with powdered sugar, if desired.

Yield: 40 cookies (20 servings)
Nutritional Information: 
Per serving (2 cookies each): 100 calories, 2 g protein, 15 g carbohydrate, 4 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 1.2 g fiber, 60 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 36%.

Every Christmas, my mother used to make Mexican Wedding Cakes, or Sandies if you like, which were like round shortbread with walnuts, and since the end result looks the same, I feel like I've found a substitute.

The reason I have all the photos, is because I ended up doing the presentation I had to do for German class on baking Mint Chocolate Snowballs.

On Easter also, I died eggs, for the first time in years. They say the brown ones have a richer hue. Can you tell the difference?

Current Book: Cultural History: History and Theory, Anna Green

Quote of the day: "We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink." — Epicurus