Boyfriend and I are on a money saving mission, so keeping things cheap-ish is the theme of 2016. Well at least this month. Can you tell I like to spend money? Keeping with the theme of adult responsibility (booo!), we’re cutting back for Valentine’s Day. Instead of the lavish, crowded restaurant dinners of years passed, we’ll be at home putting together a romantic dinner together. I’m okay with it. I really am. I’m very clearly still trying to convince myself. This does however give me an opportunity to spring for ingredients I usually forgo. Maybe lobster? Filet mignon? Ahi tuna steak? The possibilities are kind of exciting.
There’s a couple of things always in large supply at my house. These things include laundry, baby toys, and most importantly, overly ripe bananas. I buy a bunch of them once a week. The kid loves them, the man loves them, I kind of like them. But at the end of every week, I’m left with approximately two bananas, which I promptly unpeel and add to my plastic freezer bag of frozen bananas.
When the bag starts to reach capacity, I know it’s time to make something with a few of them. And until I come across banana centric recipes besides pancakes, muffins, and breads- these are the winners! A while back I shared my recipe for Sweet Potato Banana Bread. This time, it’s Banana Nutella Swirl Muffins. Ugh. To die for. It’s basically a classic banana bread muffin with a little twist. Or a little swirl rather. Go forth and prosper people. These muffins won’t let you down.
Some months back, the Food Network did the Kid’s Baking Championship, which was adorable and hilarious. Watching ten year olds in long aprons whipping meringue and crème bruleeing is my idea of entertainment, and inspiration to get Conner in the kitchen sooner rather than later. I’d love a little pint sized sous chef. Adorable. Around Christmastime they did the Holiday Baking Championship, which was also fantastic, gingerbread and festive cookies galore. Then a few weeks ago, they launched the Spring Baking Championship. I’ve been watching regularly, even forgoing my religious Sunday night Bravo watch parties for it, which is a big deal.
One of these past weeks, there was an “upside down cake” challenge, where the eight or so competitors had to do their best spins on the fruit on the bottom classic. Before this episode, I had literally never even heard of anything other than a pineapple upside down cake. Black grandmas all over the country make it with canned pineapple and maraschino cherries, with a typically light and kind of spongy cake, with just the right amount of density to hold up to the fruit without becoming soggy. But on this episode, I witnessed not only the classic pineapple version, but also peach, blueberry, strawberry, and a whole variety of other upside down cakes. I was immediately inspired to make my own. I hit the supermarket in search of perfectly ripe peaches, but spotted plums instead. Boom.