Sunday, January 29, 2012

Double Chocolate Banana Bread

We had some bananas that were not being eaten because they were a bit too ripe. As a joke, my wife said you could make some banana bread out of those as she was walking out the door. When she returned she found something better.

I found a couple recipes, but was missing vanilla that day, so a little ingredient improv came up with this recipe. I started with this as a base recipe.

Simply Recipes Banana Bread

and modified it to this:


3 ripe bananas
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup chocolate syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Put the bananas in the mixer and mix them until mushy.
Put the rest of the ingredients in and mix until a nice batter has formed

Put batter in a small (4x8) bread pan and bake for 1 hour (actually more like 1:10)

Make sure to let it cool for a bit before removing from your pan as it can be gooey in the middle if you got a clump of banana.

I've also tried this with some chocolate chips too, but put in too many and the whole thing fell apart. It was still tasty, but it was a mess! Next time I'm gonna try it with 1/4 cup choc chips and see if that works a little better.

Generally speaking, in our house of 9, this loaf of banana bread doesn't last long.

Chrissy's Birthday Cake

For my wife's birthday this year, I wanted to make a simple yet tasty cake. I wanted to to more than just a box cake, but nothing too crazy as things have been a little nuts around the house since the holidays. I wanted to do chocolate and I wanted to try some layers, so after a little searching I found this recipe. It uses a box mix and frosting in tins, but adds extra ingredients to make the cake super moist and the frosting extra creamy!

Rich Chocolate Layer Cake at Country Living

I followed the directions pretty closely, except that I left the almonds and coconut out of the frosting.

It was a big hit! It certainly didn't last long. My layers weren't perfect, but they did turn out pretty good. The recipe also had a couple great tips that I will take into future cake baking. They are:

  • Cut out a wax paper circle for the bottom of your cake tins as to keep the cakes from sticking.
  • Put strips of wax paper under the edges of your cake before frosting, then slip the out after you are done. That way you don't have frosting all over the plate or platter.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

'The Stuff' - Buffalo Chicken Dip

There is one dish around our house that we love so much that my wife has dubbed 'The Stuff'. I had it a party once and had to get the recipe. It's actual name is buffalo chicken dip, I've modified it some since the first version I got, but it works really well.

  • 2lb boneless chicken breast
  • 1 12oz bottle Frank's Red Hot Sauce
  • 1 16oz bottle ranch dressing
  • 2 8oz blocks of cream cheese
  • 8oz shredded cheddar cheese
  • Your favorite tortilla chips for dipping (something that won't break too easy)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Boil the chicken until cooked through, then shred. For a heartier dip, shred with a fork. For something looser, I use the shredder on my KitchenAid to do a fine shred. To this chicken add the bottle of Frank's. Mix well and put in the bottom of a 13x9 (or similar size) pan. 

Combine the bottle of ranch dressing and cream cheese in a saucepan. Heat and stir until well combined. Add this white sauce to the top of the chicken layer.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Add a layer of shredded cheddar cheese and back for an additional 15-20 minutes. Let stand for about 10-15 minutes before serving (if you can).

We find that the fork shredded version required very hearty chips, something along the lines of Tostitos Gold, Where the finely shredded version works with just about any chips.

This has some kick that you can adjust depending on which buffalo sauce you use. So try your favorite and enjoy!