Banana Coffee Cake | The Fauxmartha

I hoard two things in this world. Gift cards. And recipes. And maybe holey-armpit t-shirts, but we’ve already gone down that road.

My wallet is full of gift cards from last Christmas. Who knows, maybe from the Christmas prior. I’m not a shopper of clothes. But if and when I do, I probably have a gift card to pay for the total. I call this resourceful. My husband calls this wasteful. His giftcards don’t last a month. Read more

We made our first trek to NYC this weekend. It was glorious. But it started with an alarm at 5:45 am. A walk to the train in the pouring rain. And a two hour train ride. Wishful thinking—I thought we lived closer to the city. Read more

We still have zucchini left after making these bundt cakes and a zucchini pizza last night. I told you we had a lot. And it’s only when you have a lot of zucchini that you begin making cakes out of it. Don’t worry, we’ve eaten plenty of it in its original nutrition-filled form. But eventually you have to make cakes. Mini bundt cakes. Read more

I’m fighting against the seasonal clock to make as many rhubarb infested treats as possible. The window is short. Too short. I nearly broke out in sweat on a cool 70° morning at the farmer’s market this week. Was I late? Where’s all the rhubarb? Oh, it was there alright. At the very last stand. Read more

This time tomorrow we’ll know where we’re moving or not moving. Match Day is almost here. My stomach is in knots. Finger nails crooked from biting. And hair messy from lack of care. But messy is cool, right? As soon as we find out the news, we plan on stuffing our faces with croissants from our favorite little bakery down the street. Hopefully in celebration and not in consolation. Monday I’ll be announcing our news in the form of a sweet treat. But if we don’t match, it may look more like coal. Whomp, whomp.  Read more

We don’t really do the corned beef and cabbage thing. It’s not our cup of tea. But you better believe we do the Irish Soda Bread thing though. With green decorations. Made out of ribbon, yarn, coat hangers, and craft glue. Yep, that’s how we celebrate.

Want to celebrate like us? Here’s how—
1. Make Irish Soda Bread.
2. While it’s baking, make decorations for the soda bread, duh!
3. Get out some yarn, ribbon, craft glue, scissors, and a coat hanger.
4. Cut the coat hanger into 2 pieces. Wash thoroughly. Dry.
5. Cut 8 2″ (or so) pieces of green ribbon. Add glue to half of the 2″ piece of ribbon and fold over, making sure the yarn is in the center of the fold. Repeat 7 times. Allow glue to dry for about 30 minutes.
6. Cut triangles into each ribbon. Attached the yarn to coat hangers.
7. Once bread is done cooking, decorate.
8. Take pictures and eat!

Irish-American Soda Bread
Serves: one 8" loaf
 
Ingredients
  • 6 tbsp. butter
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 c. buttermilk
  • 1 c. currants
  • 1 tbsp. milk, for glaze
  • 1 tbsp. coarse sugar, for topping
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs, and beat on high speed until the mixture is thick and light-colored, about 2 minutes. Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, and salt, then 1 cup of the wheat flour. Gently beat in half the buttermilk, then another cup of the wheat flour. Add the remainder of the buttermilk, and the final cup of all-purpose flour, mixing until smooth. Stir in the currants.
  2. Spoon the mixture into a lightly greased 8" round pan, and line the bottom with parchment paper. Drizzle the milk atop the batter, and sprinkle with the sugar.
  3. Bake the bread in a preheated 325° oven for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Tent a sheet of aluminum foil over the top for the final 15 minutes, if it appears to be browning too quickly. Remove the bread from the oven, wait about 5 minutes, then carefully turn it out onto a rack to cool. Allow the bread to cool for at least 1 hour before slicing.

Recipe adapted from King Arthur Whole Grain Baking.

I’ve been a big lazy bum this weekend. Reason being—Broomball.

We played Broomball Friday night, and it did me in for the whole weekend. After all the years of playing competitive soccer, I don’t think my body has ever hurt this bad. Maybe I’m getting old. In hindsight, I should have come armed with knee pads, elbow pads, and a helmet. Speaking of helmets, I took a nasty spill about 10 minutes into playing, hitting my head on the ice. A goose egg bump ensued. Being the competitive kamikaze athlete that I am, if you can even still call me an athlete, I kept playing. But, oh, I payed for it the rest of the weekend.

You’re probably thinking—”Does she want some cheese, with that whine?” I’ll pass on the cheese, but I’ll take a cookie instead. And that’s exactly what I did yesterday. I soothed my soul with a healthy chocolate chip cookie. I wasn’t about to try making a new recipe to blog about with my head being a little more foggy than normal. There’s no telling how it would have turned out. So I stuck with what I knew—an oldie but a favorite.

This little gem of a cookie will delight your palette. It’s tiny. Cute. With hints of maple. Filled with dark chocolate. And hidden with healthy morsels of whole wheat flour, oats, walnuts, and honey. Even college students, known for their fast food pizza eating habits, love these cookies.

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Serves: 3 dozen cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 c. white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 c. walnuts
  • 1 c. pure cane sugar
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2/3 c. dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 c. turbinado (coarse sugar)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. In a sauce pan, melt butter and allow to cool for about 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, Whisk together flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in bowl.
  4. In food processor or high-powered blender, finely grind oats, and add to flour mixture. Then finely grind walnuts. add to flour mixture.
  5. Into cooled butter mixture, whisk in sugar, honey, egg, and vanilla extract until sugar is dissolved and all ingredients are well combined.
  6. Pour butter mixture into flour mixture, and mix until just combined. (Dough will be somewhat dry.)
  7. Mix in chocolate chips.
  8. Scoop cookies with a spring release scoop or roll in ball by hand. Chocolate chips will have a nasty tendency to drop out of the cookies. Give them a little nudge to stay inside. Roll cookies in turbinado and cinnamon mixture and place on silpat or parchment paper lined pan. Do not flatten.
  9. Bake for about 10 minutes. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes.
Notes
You can also freeze these cookies before baking. Do everything up to step 9. Instead of placing the cookies in the cookies in the oven, place them in the freezer on the cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes. This process is called flash freezing. Once they are frozen or hard, you can put them in a freezer proof bag and store up to 2 months in freezer. When you are ready for a cookie or two, set the cookie(s) out on your pan while preheating the oven. Bake for the same amount of time. You may have to add 2 minutes or so. With this method, you can have a freshly baked cookie instead of eating a week old cookie.

Go ahead and treat yourself to a cookie. A healthy(ish) one at that!