Recipe: Peanut Butter Banana Donuts

I thought this recipe would be helpful because if you are anything like me, you probably have a bunch of bananas finding their way to the bottom of the fruit bowl and going spotty. Maybe a little passed spotty to that place where they are too brown and soft to be enjoyable to eat, but not brown enough that you say the hell with it and throw them in the trash.

And I know everyone else will just tell you to make banana bread, but these are just so much better. Let's dive in.

Banana Donuts with Peanut Butter Drizzle

Yields 18 donuts

Donuts
2 1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 stick cold butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
2 bananas

Glazes
4 cup powdered sugar
4 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a donut pan by spraying with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until combined. Add the cubes of butter and using a pastry blender (or your hands) cut the butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is sand-like with bits of butter throughout.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until fluffy. Add in buttermilk and vanilla and whisk until combined. In a separate bowl, mash the bananas well with a fork. Add them into the bowl and using the whisk, incorporate into the buttermilk with the whisk until banana is throughout the mixture. Pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients and fold together with a rubber spatula.

Scrape the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a large tip (or a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off) and pipe the batter evenly among the wells of the greased pan. Before placing into the oven, lightly tap the donut pan on a flat countertop to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then let cool completely on a cooling rack.

Once the donuts are fully cooled, place wax paper underneath your cooling rack and start making your glaze. Add powdered sugar and water into a saucepan and start whisking them together. The mixture will be very stiff and not come together easily. Once it is mostly combined, heat glaze over medium heat, whisking frequently. The glaze will start to come together and thin out. Remove from heat when the mixture is warm but not hot. Dip each donut into the glaze and let cool on the rack. In a separate saucepan, heat peanut butter until it's warm and pourable. Pour into a pastry bag with a small tip (or a ziplock bag with the end snipped off) and drizzle the peanut butter over the donuts. Let cool completely. Keep donuts in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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Recipe: Raspberry Yogurt Popsicles

In recent years I've developed an addiction to ice cream and frozen treats. 

This is not something I've had my entire life. As a kid, I remember occasionally getting ice cream for a treat or on vacation or occasionally something from the ice cream man who drove around our neighborhood. But I don't remember craving it the same way I do now. Recently I'm pretty game for ice cream any time, any day, any where. Need a pickmeup? Go get ice cream. Need to celebrate something? Let's get ice cream! Need to kill some time before going to the movies? Ice cream that you get a lid for and end up sneaking into the movies. It's just exactly what I want at any given moment and I've decided to go with it.

These popsicle were created because I tend to come home from work very hangry and need something right away. Because when you are tired and annoyed from work and hungry, you'd be surprised how often you decide to just get ice cream for dinner. Having these not-too-unhealthy alternatives handy means I make it to dinner more often.

Raspberry Yogurt Popsicles

Makes 10 popsicles

2 cups fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons honey
Half a lemon
1 1/2–2 cups vanilla greek yogurt

Place raspberries in a medium sized bowl. Add honey and juice from half a lemon. Using a spatula or spoon, cover the berries with the juice and honey and let sit for at least a half an hour in the fridge. Pour your raspberry mixture into a blender, and blend until smooth. If you really hate raspberry seeds, you can pour the mixture through a mesh strainer before filling your popsicle molds, but I didn't bother.

When filling your popsicle molds (I believe I have this one), alternate between the yogurt and raspberry puree until they are 3/4th full. Then using a wooden skewer, swirl the layers together a little bit to get swirls. If you don't have a wooden skewer lying around, you can use anything that's long and fairly skinny. You also don't have to swirl them at all and they will still be great. Add in your popsicle sticks and freeze for 4–6 hours until completely frozen.

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Cocktail: Coconut Pineapple Frozen Margaritas

Margarita season is finally here! I know, I know it's technically okay to drink a margarita during any time of year, but something about a frozen margarita on a warm day with a side of chips and guac just can't be beat. Tequila-based cocktails always feel innately summery to me. They remind me of Saturday afternoons or long happy hours with lots of nachos.

Along with gin-based cocktails, margaritas find themselves on the top of my favorite cocktails list. And so many flavor options! What more could a girl ask for?

Coconut Pineapple Frozen Margaritas

Makes 2 large or 4 small margs

1 cup pineapple, cubed
1/2 cup canned coconut milk
1/2 lime
4 oz tequila
2 cups ice
Optional: toasted coconut, honey, lime slices, and additional pineapple cubes

**If you have a smaller blender or are worried about too much liquid for your blender, half the recipe to make one drink at a time. 

In a blender, add pineapple cubes, coconut milk, tequila, and ice. Using a fork, juice the lime into blender. Pulse until the margaritas are slushy and no large chunks appear.

If you want to garnish the glass, spread honey along the rim of the glass and press into toasted coconut. Spoon your margarita into the glasses and garnish with a pineapple cube and lime slice. Enjoy immediately or store in the freezer.

I don't tend to like my drinks too boozey, but if you are looking for a stronger marg, add up to 2 additional ounces of tequila.

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Spring Bucket List

petit jardin en ville in old city philadelphia

It's spring folks! And I'm pretty damn happy about it. Things are feeling fresh and new, the city is sunny and people are out and about, my work is in full bloom and very green, it's just a nice time before it turns into Hades. 

The theme this season is cleaning, organizing, and making the house more enjoyable. I love our home, but winter has a way of making papers pile up and clutter just sitting around waiting to be put away. I want to take the next couple of months and really get that in order, along with trying to take more weekend and day trips to spend time outside and together. So here we go!

  1. Hang art in extra bedroom
  2. Take more weekend and day trips
  3. Make headway with the side hustle
  4. Plant herbs in pots out back
  5. Work on ice cream blog post
  6. Buy flowers more often
  7. Cook dinner at home more often
  8. Take bags of clothes to thrift store
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Recipe: Blueberry and Custard Sheet Cake

So, yesterday was G's birthday! 🎉

If you don't know, I'm really into birthdays and celebrating them. It's important to take some time, do the things you like to do, eat good food, and celebrate a little bit. G and I both had off on Monday so we spent a quiet morning at home while I baked this cake, made a trip to Reading Terminal Market to get Beiler's Donuts and eat lunch, cleaned up around the house and watched some TV together, opened gifts, and then went to the movies. A simple day, but the weather was lovely and it was just nice to relax.

For the past 3 weeks or so, G and I have been avidly watching The Great British Baking Show (starting with the first season) and it's safe to say I'm definitely obsessed with it. So after a few days of me pestering G about what he wanted his birthday cake to be, he finally said "I want whatever that is on the tv!" and this cake idea was born. It's a standard vanilla sheet cake, topped with a creamy custard, fresh blueberries, and whipped cream. Simple, but different, and very tasty.

Blueberry and Custard Sheet Cake

Yields 15-20 pieces

Custard
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cup milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten in a small bowl
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cake
1 1/2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whipped Cream
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 pints of blueberries

Make the custard: In a large saucepan, whisk sugar, cornstarch, salt, vanilla extract, and milk until smooth. Cook and whisk over medium heat until thickened and bubbly, about 10 minutes. Once thickened, reduce heat to low and cook for 2 minutes longer, whisking the entire time. Before adding in the eggs, you'll need to temper them. Take 2-4 spoonfuls of the heat mixture and whisk it into the eggs, gradually raising the temperature of the eggs so they don't scramble. Repeat with 2-4 more spoonfuls before adding all the egg mixture into the pan. Bring to a gentle boil and cook for 4 minutes longer, whisking the whole time. Final mixture should be thick without lumps and a light yellow color. Pour into a large bowl, press plastic wrap across the top so it doesn't form a skin and let cool completely in the fridge for at least an hour. I left mine in overnight. When you remove the custard from the fridge, give it a good whisk before using it.

Make your cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a baking pan with butter. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and then butter on top.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar for 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl and add in eggs, one at a time, until combined.

In a separate bowl, sift both flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to remove and clumps and combine ingredients. Mix in 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the creamed butter, then mix in half of the buttermilk and all of the vanilla extract until just combined. Repeat with another 1/3 of dry and the rest of the buttermilk, and then add in the final dry ingredients. Careful not to over mix. Pour mixture into the prepared baking sheet and spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the top if golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool completely.

Make your whipped cream: In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix whipping cream on high until sift peaks form. Add in powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until combined.

Assemble your cake: Once your cake has cooled, spoon the custard over the top of the cake using a rubber spatula to even out that layer. Press blueberries into the custard in a stripe pattern so they are evenly distributed on the cake. Top with a layer of whipped cake and enjoy! 

Because this cake is covered in whipped cream and custard, store any leftovers in the fridge and best served chilled. 

A Blueberry and Custard Sheet Cake for a Birthday! UnusuallyLovely.com
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