Drunken Banana (Fool Proof, Drunk Proof, Easy Banana Muffins)

It starts at eight am, the phone calls, the emails, the issues, the drama. From eight am till five you are chained. Chained to a chair (which between you and me is not that comfortable), and doused with other people’s problems and lit on fire. It sucks. Day in and day out we continue this pattern. Issue after issue, crisis after crisis, and not one person likes it; not you, not the person on the other end of the phone and definitely not your boss. But we wake up each morning and do it anyway because we are crazy.

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Anyways, ranting aside, we all hate work, that’s a given. But on the occasion we all like to do nice things for our coworkers,Martini recipe like bake them chocolate chip banana muffins for breakfast, to show them how much you appreciate them not literally lighting you on fire when you complain. But also on occasion you like to drink away a hard day at work, and three key lime pie martinis in you realize those muffins are not going to bake themselves.

 

Coworkers around the world, I have done you a favor. Drunk proof muffins!! *I think I am required by law to say that if you are under the influence take my ideas lightly, while it might be fun for me to make muffins and risk burning the house down, you might want to think twice about this idea.* After a few cocktails sprawled out on the chase lounge by the pool, those damn muffins still linger in the back of your head. Well have no fear, follow this recipe somewhat and your muffins will come out wonderful!

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 Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

These muffins are super simple to make and one of my house hold favorite. When the bananas go bad and the fruit flies start buzzing be sure to reach for this recipe and not waste those sweet, beautiful bananas.

Makes roughly 24 muffins

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup butter, softened

1/2 Cup sugar

1/2 Cup packed brown sugar

2 Eggs

1 – 1/2 Cups mashed ripe bananas (bout 3)

3 Teaspoons Vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

3 Teaspoons baking soda

1 bag of chocolate chips (or less, to taste really)

Directions:

  1. In a stand mixer cream butter and sugars
  2. Beat in eggs, bananas and vanilla.
  3. Combine mixture until combined.
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips
  5. Fill greased or paper lined muffin cups half way
  6. Bake at 350* for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean.
  7. Wait 5 minutes before removing from pan.

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Which came first: Tequila vs. Revolution (Vanilla Lime Cupcakes)

One tequila, two tequila, three tequilas more, four tequila, five tequila, six tequila, floor.

Happy Cinco De Mayo, we Americans will spend it sipping margaritas, taking shots of tequila followed by sour faces, and the hugging of the porcelain express. Leave it up to Americans to take a holiday from another country and turn it upside down, IT IS NOT A MEXICAN DRINKING HOLIDAY.

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WARNING HISTORY LESSON AHEAD: In 1861 Mexico was going through an economic crisis, debt was not being paid, other countries were involved, it was not a good time. Good ol’ Napoleon III decided that France should take over Mexico because of the prime real estate next to the US. So the French army went over to Mexico and started a French vs. Mexican war. On May 5th, 1862 they Mexican army was surprised by the French in Puebla but somehow, although the Mexican army was out numbered, they defeated the French for the battle of Puebla!

Mexico City was still taken over by the French, until they decided that they did not want it anymore in 1866 then handed it back over to the Mexican government. Cinco de Mayo in Mexico serves as a day of Mexican pride where they hold parades and mock battles, but tequila is not a requirement.  END HISTORY LESSON.

America has a great way of taking something and blowing it out of the water. Alcohol companies did a great job taking a celebration of pride and turning it into a day of drunken stumbling in the US, but hey who can resist a good shot of patron?!?

Unfortunately tequila and cupcakes don’t match, just like tequila and anything creamy doesn’t match, trust me I tried. However what is a must have with tequila? Limes of course and despite the lime shortage this year I was able to snag a handful and make wonderful Vanilla lime cupcakes. So take a shot, and chase it with these vanilla lime cupcakes! Happy Drinking Everyone!

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Vanilla Lime Cupcakes

Since tequila and cupcakes lead to a sour blend, these cupcakes signify what comes after the shot, and I am not talking about a sour face! This vanilla cupcake is super light and goes down easy, while the buttercream Lime frosting is not too sweet, but chases the cupcake like a champ!

Makes 12

Ingredients:

Cake

1 2/3 Cup of all-purpose flour

1/2 Teaspoon baking powder

1/4 Teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 Teaspoon of salt

1 Cup granulated Sugar

1/2 Cup unsalted butter, melted

2 Egg whites

1/4 Cup vanilla yogurt

3/4 Cup Milk

2 Teaspoons Vanilla extract

Frosting

1 Cup Unsalted butter at room temp.

6 Cups Powdered sugar

Juice of 1 lime, freshly squeezed

Zest of 1 lime

Few drops of green food coloring

Small lime slices for garnish, if desired.

 

Directions:

Cupcakes –

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a medium bowl mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside
  3. Melt the butter.
  4. In a stand mixer (or a large bowl for a hand mixer) mix the butter and sugar. Mix in the egg whites, yogurt, milk and vanilla until combined.
  5. Mix the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until incorporated with no lumps.
  6. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 the way with batter, bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Frosting –

  1. With a stand mixer beat butter until lite and fluffy.
  2. Add powder sugar, salt, lime juice, and zest and mix until creamy
  3. Mix in a few drops of green food coloring
  4. Transfer into a piping bag and frost the cupcakes when cool

 

Drinking at Work (Irish Car Bomb Cupcake)

Do you know how hard it is to write a post about St. Patrick’s Day when you don’t understand the holiday? I don’t own a single article of green clothing, I’ve never had green beer, I don’t like traditional Irish food, and leprechauns have to be the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of.

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When I was in second grade I tried to “catch a leprechaun” by building an elaborate trap out of Legos, Tupperware, and shiny things. I made the mistake of not telling my mom that I made this, and needless to say I didn’t even catch a fake leprechaun, that’s when I gave up on St. Patrick’s Day. Maybe in Ireland this has a special meaning, maybe Irish people in the states have a connection to this day, maybe one day I will like corn beef and cabbage, but today is not that day.

The only thing I like about St. Patrick’s day is a good Irish Car Bomb, which could be considered offensive to the Irish I suppose. A shot of equal parts Irish whisky and Baileys, dropped into a three quarter glass of Guinness stout. If not taken within thirty seconds of dropping, you can expect this mixture to curdle into an unappetizing mixture that makes you wonder what your stomach is going to do when you drink one. While I do not know the history of this shot, but can almost guarantee this was not invented by the Irish, however has become a staple on St. Patrick’s Day. May the luck of the Irish be with you if you choke down more than 3 of these mixtures, and may what happens in the glass not happen in your stomach.

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Cupcakes for days

While I do like a good shot at the bar, drinking all day at work is not acceptable. However drinking in a cupcake is acceptable. The Irish Car Bomb Cupcake is by far my favorite cupcake that I have made in my entire life. A stout cupcake with a whisky ganache filling and a Bailey’s buttercream frosting gets me every time. This is the one cupcake I will not share the recipe, if you want it made you can find your own recipe, however mine is the best.

May the luck of the Irish be with you!

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Questions or Comments? Please email NotSoCulinaryGraduate@hotmail.com

Cake pops and surprise parties these are a few of my (least) favorite things

On Sunday May 26, we had a surprise 50th birthday party for my girlfriend’s father. I hate surprises. First of all, they never end up being surprises. People are naturally curious; a significant other will wonder why you are buying an extra 100 pounds of hamburger meat when you only have a family of 4.

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Family Birthdays

Needless to say, this surprise was not so shocking. He knew our intent and walked into the downstairs living room with a straight face saying “Hey surprise!” Still ended up being a good party and everyone had a blast but the real story was the desserts, of course.

I got a little out of hand with the desserts, okay, more than a little. We had three different varieties of cupcakes including Irish car bomb, key lime, and chocolate coconut. The headlining cupcake was the Irish car bomb cupcake. This is the alcohol lover’s dream. Featuring a stout cake, whisky gnash middle and a Bailey’s butter cream frosting, there is nothing not to love.

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Insides of Irish Car Bomb Giant Cupcake

The other highlights of my dessert collection included white chocolate Nutella cups, dark chocolate peanut butter cups and chocolate covered pretzel rods.

But our story today is Cake Pops. With as much fury as Hurricane Sandy on the Jersey shore, I hate cake pops. They were an internet sensation sweeping the nation last year, and with any luck the love of these retched things will dissipate by tomorrow. You may ask why I hate them so much. Last year my mom bought me a cake pop pan. I thought this was great, until I wasted three batches of bake batter on this thing because I thought it was just the batter sticking to the pan, but no the pan version just does not work. Also frosting these things is as much fun as planning your suicide.Image

Anyways these lil balls of joy were meant to simulate a golf balls, and I believe they looked pretty good! I wanted to find white nonpareils to simulate the dimples in the balls but I could not find them anywhere!! (If I did not wait until the last minute (like I always do) I could have gotten them from this internet site, but nothing screams me like the day of) Also I put Air Heads on the stick to represented the golf ball sitting on a tee.

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Cake and frosting mix

Reason number 634 why cake pops suck: you bake a serving worthy cake, just to destroy it. Ripping this cake apart with my hands made me feel like a murder. I just created something so beautiful just to dump it out. OOOH the cruelty.

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Balls o’ cake

After rolling these babies in melted white chocolate, dipping them in white sugar sprinkles, and wrapping a sticky Air Head around the base, these looked and tasted scrumptious. The cake was like a sponge, a chocolaty soft, decadent, moist, sponge. The outside was crunchy white chocolate and the sugar sprinkles gave it that extra sweetness.

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Sticks in balls

As much as these suck to make, was totally worth seeing everyone all oogly eyed over how fabulous these little golf balls looked. They were a hit too, only two left over and they did not last long either.

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Golf Ball Cake Pops

For the cake:

2 Cups Sugar

3/4 Cup cocoa powder

1 ¾ Teaspoon baking powder

2 eggs

1/2 Cup Vegetable oil

1 Cup boiling water

1 ¾ Cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ Teaspoon baking powder

1 Teaspoon salt

2 Cup Milk

3 Teaspoons vanilla extract

For the pop part

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Grease a 13x9X2 pan.
  2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin, this is not a mistake, it is oaky). Pour batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for at least 20 minutes.

For the Pop:

Sticks

Nonpareils

Chocolate Frosting

Foam block

White melting chocolate

  1. Take the cake you just baked and crumble it into a bowl, just dump it in and crumble it up.
  2. Take half the can of frosting and dump in into the bowl of crumbled cake. With your hands mix it together. You could use a spoon but your hands are so much more fun.
  3. Roll the pops into balls
  4. Melt the chocolate according to the package
  5. Dip the stick into the chocolate, then dip the stick into the ball
  6. Dip the ball and the stick into the melted white chocolate, then stick the ball into the nonpareils
  7. Stick the cake pop into the foam block to dry.
  8. Enjoy slowly. And eat at least seven.