Fact of the Week: June 24, 2013

The true origins of the Bridesmaid is entangled in folklore. It is said that in Ancient Rome 10 witnesses where needed to ward off evil sprits. Bridesmaids, dressing to match the Bride, may have originated in England during the Victorian Era; this was done to confuse and prevent any ill wishers from sabotaging the wedding. Whatever the true reason may be, I am very happy to stand next to my best friend this weekend and be her Bridesmaid on her very special day, even if I have to wade off a few evil spirits and saboteurs!


Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

My roommate had overly ripe bananas and we had a potluck to host. Solution? Banana bread. Side note: If you ever have brown bananas and you can't make this right away, what I always do is place my brown bananas in the freezer. This preserves them till you want to use them and they are easy to thaw out. 

Yet again I can't just make plain and boring banana bread, so I went to the inter-webs and found this recipe: http://lovintheoven.com/2010/03/cinnamon-swirl-banana-bread.html

Warning this did not last very long, so doubling the recipe might be nice. 


For the bread:
3 over-ripe bananas, smashed up
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
dash of salt
1 1/2 cups flour

For the swirl:
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbs cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and four a loaf pan. Mix bananas, butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla together. Add baking soda and salt around on top of the banana mixture. Then gently stir in flour. Be careful not to over-mix. 

In a small dish, mix together the 1/3 cup sugar and 1 Tbs cinnamon.

Add 1/2 of the batter to the loaf pan and then sprinkle a little more than half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture all over the batter in the pan. Add the rest of the batter, and sprinkle the leftover cinnamon-sugar on top.

Bake for 50-60 minutes, but remember, if you’re using anything other than a 9x5 pan be careful and keep a close eyeball on it!


Fact of the Week: June 10, 2013

The earth rotates about 1000 mph. By comparison, the moon rotates about 10 mph.


S'mores Cookies

I was recently invited on a multi day rafting trip in Oregon. In my team oriented challenge course facilitating we talk about boating; there are three roles to play on a boat and in a team: Captain, Crew, and Cargo. Before my trip I was airing my concerns with my Grandpa about how I might just be Cargo on this trip, just along for the ride and not of much help at all. He told me to do something to not be Cargo, to use my skills, like baking. That seemed like a prefect solution, a way to say thank you and contribute to the team! So I came up with this recipe I found on Pinterest, because lets me honest I can't do just normal chocolat chip cookies anymore! 

Yields 4 dozen

1 cup butter 
1 cup brown sugar 
2 eggs 
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1 cup chocolate chips (or one giant Hershey’s bar chopped)
1 cup mini marshmallows
4 dozen or so graham cracker squares (about one box) 

Preheat oven to 350 F
Cream together butter and sugar until incorporated. 
Add in eggs and vanilla and beat in thoroughly.
Then add the flour, salt, baking soda, chocolate chips and mini marshmallows. Stir it all together till incorporated. 

Lay the graham crackers on a baking sheet, evenly spaced. Place a small ball of dough, about half an inch in dimeter on each cracker and lightly flatten each ball. 

Bake at 350°F for no more than 11 minutes (after 11 minutes, the graham cracker will burn). Some of the marshmallow may toast off the cracker, but simply remove the cracker from your cookie sheet and quickly transfer to a wire rack. 


Fact of the Week: June 3, 2013

Garter snakes often defecate on themselves and release a foul smelling substance from their anal glands to discourage a predator.