Some of the most fun I have in the kitchen is when I have focus, or purpose. This may come from concocting something from ingredients I want to use up in the pantry or fridge, or when I have a specific audience to cook for.
Bananas, so many bananas
I had never ordered bananas from Fresh Direct before but had placed a large grocery order in anticipation of my nephew’s stay over his Spring Break. Of course, I ended up guessing at what he would like and ordered breakfast goods across the spectrum–yogurts, breads, granola and fruit. And as for fruit, I figured bananas would be a safe bet.
The price for a single order was about $2 so I figured I would get about 3-4 bananas but what arrived was a bunch of over a dozen! The week came and went. I was left with more than ten bananas.
I had a bag of vegan chocolate chips so decided to look up plant-based baked goods using bananas and chocolate chips and decided upon a recipe by Chloe Coscarelli. The recipe originally was for bread but I decided to make it into a bundt cake.
So that used about three bananas. I froze the rest of them to use in smoothies in the future. The vegan banana chocolate chip bundt was tasty but far too much to keep and so made some gift packages for friends.
The chocolate chips kindled a craving for more chocolate, specifically a chewy brownie. Instead of making the usual small tray, I decided to make mini bites.
These brownie bites are convenient as single bites but also easy to halve and spread a healthy layer of ice cream. I have always loved ice cream with cake crumbs or in this case, brownie chunks. I prefer the larger cake crumbles to grainy cookie crumbs, sort of like the difference between panko to old-school sandy breadcrumbs. The texture is completely different!
Cooking lunch for the boys
Our friends’ sons were on their own for a few days and we got the call that they come do lunch on Saturday. Of course, in high school time, lunch happens at 4:30pm.
I thought a bento favorite, chicken katsu would be easy, tasty and filling. The usual accompaniment would be steamed broccoli but decided to roast them instead. This, along with some Tamaki rice (my favorite brand) and a big bottle of bulldog tonkatsu sauce, completed lunch.
Spring has been struggling to emerge, and many days are still brisk and cold. An easy go-to lunch soup is creamless tomato. I made a big batch to enjoy and to freeze for another chilly day, which would no doubt be far off.