These Bananas are Driving Me Bananas!

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I thought I would start this out with a funny story before getting to my recent Pin recreation. Turns out the Pin I attempted ended up being the funny story.

If my dad is at the store and bananas are on sale he will buy them. Not for himself, but for me and the hubby. So every few days dad is popping over with a bag of bananas. A WHOLE bag. So today I have twelve over ripe bananas needing to be used. Two loaves of banana bread later I still have a boat load of bananas left. So Pinteresting I went.

 

I found Lazy Morning Banana Cake after a quick search for banana recipes.

Simple, easy to follow directions. Where did this go wrong? Or did any of it ever go right?

I had all the ingredients. Thought I understood the recipe and instructions. Problem number one: I could not find my measuring spoons. So I guess-a-mated. Problem number two: was I suppose to use all purpose or self rising flour? I only had self rising available. I had a fifty percent chance of using the right flour. Problem number three: I poured the batter into the pan. To me it seemed like way to much for one round pan. But the recipe used one. I trusted the recipe. Problem number four: I forgot to add the butter to the batter. The cake was already in the oven by then so I was committed at this point. Or should have been committed.

Thankfully I put a pan on the bottom rack just below the cake in case there was too much batter. I will let the photo tell some of the story.

Serious cake overflow

Serious cake overflow

The bake time was suppose to be twenty-five minutes. TWO sets of twenty-five minutes later and the cake still wasn’t done. Skelly was sitting at the table with his mouth hanging open. I believe that bony fellow was laughing at me. I was not in a laughing mood. There was also another pin going wrong during this time. Maybe I would see the humor in all of this later. Much later.

On a positive note the baking cake was smelling pretty damn awesome. So after seventy minutes bake time I took the cake from the oven. Was it done inside? I didn’t care at this point because the top was beginning to burn. After letting the cake sit a few minutes I worked up enough nerve to perform the fork test. Woohoo ! The fork came out clean. The cake was done. Finally. As you can tell by the photo that cake was not going to come out of the pan without a fight. The battle was epic. Ballads will one day be sung about this battle. In the end the cake did come out of the pan (not in one piece) and all that awaited was the taste test. I let the husband try it first. With some urging from him I finally took a bite. Oh my goodness. This disaster of a baking experience resulted in the best tasting banana cake EVER. Would I bake it again? Hell no! I’m still trying to get that damn pan clean. By the way I do realize my mistake now. I should not have used the baking soda with self rising flour. Okay that wasn’t my only mistake but it was where everything began to go wrong.

The cake

The cake

But you should give it a go. Just use a measuring spoon, maybe all purpose flour and divide the batter into two pans. Oh and don’t forget the butter. Let me know how it turns out. As I’m sitting here trying to decide how to finish off the bananas I still have left I see my dad walking to the door. Guess what he has a bag of?

Here is the original pin: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/314337248963963121/

Lazy Morning Banana Cake

Ingredients:
2 ripe bananas
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter and flour pan.

Mash up the bananas.

Mix everything but the bananas. After mixing fold in the bananas. Pour into pan (or pans if you screw up the batter like I did) Bake for twenty-five minutes. Done when you can insert a fork and it pulls out clean. Good luck and may the cake gods show mercy upon you.

Thanks for joining me on another Pinteresting adventure. Here is a photo of the Banana Bread. I will share the recipe soon.

The Amazing Rock Your World Banana Bread

The Amazing Rock Your World Banana Bread

 

Evil Queen Apple Cobbler

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Evil Queen Apple Cobbler

So this week is zombie apocalypse week at our house. You know after a while your cabinets get overcrowded with canned and boxed foods. When that happens here at the crypt we have zombie apocalypse week. Which means we survive on what we scavenge from the cupboards. Everyone should do this every so often to keep things up to date. Canned food does have an expiration date. You don’t want to be suffering from a terrible cold one day only to discover that the only can of chicken soup you pull out of the cabinet is out of date. Been there, not fun. Not at all.

So for the rest of the week the husband and I will survive on soups, tuna, vegetables and what ever boxed meals are hiding out. Maybe use up some of the frozen meat from the freezer too. We are about to enter the danger zone: the place where too much salt intake is just one can of green beans away. It’s really not as bad as it sounds. You learn to be creative with your meals. Did you know crushed up cheez its make a great topping for pasta salad?

Tonight we dined on canned potatoes, a huge can of green beans with a hearty black bean soup. Not the best meal we have ever had but still better than a fast food burger. Dessert was an awesome apple cobbler I baked. Breakfast tomorrow will be pumpkin banana bread. So today’s tally of pantry items used: two cans of potatoes, one can of green beans, two cans of black bean soup, a can of pumpkin puree, a box of pumpkin bread mix and a half bag of unused cake mix. I’ll explain the cake mix in a minute. I also used up four apples that were on the verge of mutiny and two extremely over ripe bananas. Lunch for work tomorrow: The husband will be taking canned Ravioli and I will take pasta salad. Two more items gone. I have two jars of spaghetti sauce, so tomorrow nights dinner will be meatballs cooked in the sauce. With some canned veggies for side dishes. Followed by a nice big ole blueberry muffin. I have several boxes of those. They were on sale last month, I couldn’t resist.

I am going to share with you a secret about baking a cake from a mix. When you grease and flour you pans…..drum roll…..wait for it….use some dry cake mix instead of flour. You don’t have to worry about your baked cakes having that floury taste along the edges. I just keep a bag of mix in a baggy, using it to flour the pan whenever I’m baking cakes. Tonight’s half bag along with the four need-to-use-soon apples gave birth to this amazing cobbler recipe I’m about to share, called Evil Queen apple cobbler. Why is it called that you ask? Apples make me think of evil queens and their poisonous ways. I just adore evil queens. I think it’s because they wear so much black.
I did not have enough apples to fill up my cake pan or pie dish so I used two small bread pans. The amounts aren’t set in stone.

Evil Queen Apple Cobbler

4 apples, peeled and cut to bite size pieces. I used granny smith apples.
Butter, 8 tbsp-ish (for the filling)
Butter, 2-4 tsp for topping, softened
Cinnamon (to your taste)
2 packets of Truvia (or sugar, 2 tsp)
1 cup of white or yellow cake mix

Since I used aluminum pans I did not butter the pans. If using metal be sure to butter the bottoms of the pans. I peeled and chopped the apples. I put down a layer in each pan. Put two ‘dollops’ of butter down. Sprinkled half a packet of Truvia and sprinkled cinnamon. I like a lot of cinnamon, again use as little or as much as you prefer. Add another layer of apples, butter, Truvia and cinnamon.

Layer 1 and 2

Layer 1 and 2

Now in a bowl combine your cake mix and softened butter. Start off with 2 tsp of butter. You are making a crumble type topping. You don’t want a batter. Add more butter if needed. This should be dry enough where you can apply the topping with your hands.

Ready to bake

Ready to bake

I then popped those little pans of happiness in the 350 degree preheated oven on a baking sheet. Since the apples are fresh bake forty to forty-five minutes. Test apples with a fork to see if they are cooked through. If you are using a canned pie filling thirty minutes of cooked time should be enough. I served my cobbler in a dish with ice cream. My husband just ate his out of the pan. Again the amounts are not set in stone. If you want more sauce in your cobbler add more butter between your layers, if you want it sweeter add more Truvia or sugar.

Baked

Baked

Time to eat !

Time to eat !

Once zombie apocalypse week is done and the cabinets are bare or almost I am going to try a pin I saw about slow cooking everyday. The pin is linked to a site where your are given list and instructions to prepare a weeks worth of meals. We shall see how that turns out. I also have a pin I am dying to try out. If it works my husband will worship me till his dying day. So come on back and share in the Pinteresting life of Gotha Stewart.

Dark Celebrations

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Celebrations. We use them to mark major events in our lives, we use them as opportunities to see people we care about that we don’t see often enough, most of all we use them as an excuse to over eat. Amen on that last part!

To me celebrations also mean that I can spend hours on Pinterest ‘researching’ on what to cook, how to decorate, or find the perfect little DIY hostess/guest take home gift. I also like to show off the new additions to my little morbidly dark family. My two granddaughters (Little Miss K and her sister Miss S) and our most recent addition: Skelly.

Skelly was a homeless soul who spent his time hanging out on a shelf in a big store. I saw him on several visits I made in September, finally I had to step in and give this guy a home. Skelly came home and spent most of the next few weeks sitting outside in a lawn chair waving to the neighbors and yes most waved back.

I was finally able to coax him inside after Halloween. Now he sits at the kitchen table. So when I hosted Thanksgiving dinner this year I thought why not use this family function to welcome skelly? So yes Skelly sat between my mom and dad during the big Turkey Day meal. Afterwards during family picture time everyone wanted Skelly in their picture. A friend of the family posted the picture of them on FB stating he was her boyfriend.

Skelly waving to the neighbors. The Thanksgiving celebration.

Skelly waving to the neighbors. The Thanksgiving celebration.

Skelly just so happens to be sitting right beside me now watching me type this blog. So it was my year to host Turkey Day. I once cooked a whole turkey in the late 90s. A lot of work but it turned out good but I’m all about making things easy. So Pinteresting I went. Short time later….Crock Pot Turkey Breast pin was found. Oh happy day. This my fellow goth or goth loving friend turned out so good that this dish is a regular at the Gotha Stewart household.

The trick is to find the right size breast to fit in your crock pot. Mine was a tad to big and the lid wouldn’t close completely, I knew once it cooked down some everything would be okay. Till then I put the lid on and used a brick on top to hold down the lid. Speaking of crock pot cooking. This was the first time I tried liners in the crock pot. Oh my dear. Why had I never used these things before? Best. Invention. Ever.

Here is the pin: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/314337248963062781/

I did not brown the top of the breast under a broiler. That’s more for looks anyway. The family was ready to eat so presentation was not a top priority. Rave reviews on this sacrificial bird! TRY THIS !

My daughter turned 20 this past August. I knew right away I was going to make her a multi colored cake. Purple/orange on inside with green icing. I used the batter coloring method from a past blog. People have asked what I use to color the batter. You can use the liquid food coloring or the thick gel stuff. I use the gel stuff. You can get a dark color without watering the batter down.

What I use to color my cake batter.

What I use to color my cake batter.

Before baking

Before baking

 

The Birthday Cake

The Birthday Cake

Plastic spiders are from Party City. Just wash them in soapy water before contact with food.

The guts of the cake

The guts of the cake

My sister has a birthday this week. Sorry I cannot reveal her age. She would kill me. For her I wanted to make her a Midori cake. Pinteresting I went. Every recipe I found called for only a few tablespoons of Midori. Really? Just a tad? If I’m putting it in a cake I want to be able to taste it. So here is what I did, and you can too. Whatever white cake mix or recipe you use, replace the liquid with Midori. If it calls for ¾ cup of water or milk. Use ¾ cup of Midori. The alcohol bakes out.
For Sister D I made Midori cupcakes. You can use a little Midori to flavor the icing. I chose not to since children would also be eating these. The icing was a canned buttercream frosting. I will be prowling Pinterest for some icing recipes soon.

midori cupcake

The result: The Midori itself is green but the cake will barely have any green color. Next time I may add some green coloring to the batter.

Yes you can use a recipe from Pinterest if you prefer. There are many to choose from. There may have been some Midori consumption during the baking of these cupcakes. I blame Skelly.

You may have noticed that all my celebrations have a little spookiness to them. If you have a little darkness in your soul like me don’t be afraid to let it bleed out into your life year round. I hope all your celebrations are dark and spooky ones!