I like bananas when they’ve just yellow but tinged with the faintest color of green on the ridges that run their length. No spots, firm, and crisp sounding when I pop the top and pull that first piece of peeling away from the fruit. If bananas could stay like this for days, I’d enjoy one every day all by itself.
But they don’t.
I don’t like the cloying sweetness that begins to take over once the ripening process gets going, and the softer texture leaves much to be desired. I wish I was better at pulling out the blender because I wouldn’t have trouble making a smoothie and putting a too ripe banana out of its misery with some yogurt and orange juice, but I’m not.
Recently, we’ve had quite the ripe banana back up so I spent more time than I normally would looking for something different to make with them — something other than banana bread or muffins. I love frozen bananas dipped in chocolate and nuts, but they’re not something to be made with brown bananas. Pastry Chef Sherry Yard has some delicious ideas involving frying and dipping, so that’s on my list, but I wasn’t in the mood to get too involved.
If not frozen banana pops, then why not banana ice cream — or frozen yogurt since I had Greek yogurt and kefir cheese in the fridge. Then I could make banana frozen yogurt pops.
Last year at this time, our house was completely torn up due to a remodel. When left to consider where I might set up shop while all of the dust, noise, and construction workers took over, it didn’t take long to decide that if I moved my Mac down to the kitchen, I’d be just fine. It would mean that I could cook, shoot photos, then pass samples among the crew for critique before settling in to write about what I was busy making: cookies. This isn’t completely out of place if one considers that it is December, and many cooks do bake cookies for the holidays. But do they bake in the middle of what seemed to be a disaster zone at the time, and at the pace of one cookie per day? “The 12 Days of Cookies: A Gourmet cookie extravaganza” was born.
It doesn’t sound as crazy now that a year has passed, but the time has arrived to bake more cookies. Sandy of At the Baker’s Bench has invited those of us who participated last year to join in on the cookie baking frenzy once again along with a few new participants. Instead of choosing recipes from Gourmet, we are making Bon Appetit our source for recipes, but since I have a tendency to deviate from the norm, I just may select a recipe here or there for consideration as well.
The goal is to bake 12 cookies, posting one each day for 12 days. Since this involves far less of a commitment than making 101 of Mark Bittman’s Simple Salads, I think I’ll be just fine — especially since there is not one construction worker in sight. I’m happy to say that I’ll bake with quite a fine group of individuals: Claire of The Barefoot Kitchen, Courtney of Coco Cooks, and Judy of No Fear Entertaining who are all returning this year, and Michelle of Big Black Dog, Di of Di’s Kitchen Notebook, Renee of Flamingo Musings, and Tiffany of The Nesting Project who will be joining us this year. A special nod goes to Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes who started the group last year, but cannot join in on the craziness this year.
Are you ready?
Today I’ll begin working on the round-up for my month-long celebration of having 100,000 visitors to Sass & Veracity and drawing a winner for Gordon Ramsay’s new book, Three Star Chef.
I hope to have it posted tomorrow along with the your links that I promised and the well-deserved thanks to those of you who took the time to stop by and say hello. I do know how hard it is to get around to the blogs you enjoy, then try and juggle all the events that take place in FoodLand, so I appreciate that you took the time for mine.
I baked some cookies for you while you wait to see who the winner is (such a liar — I made them for my son, but let’s pretend, ‘kay?), and since lots of you choose to comment diligently, but didn’t send in a recipe too, I’ve decided I need a runner up prize, too. I think this is a textbook example of negative reinforcement, but you’re worth it.
I’ll let you know what the runner-up prize is tomorrow. Must. Go. Shopping. Hmmm…jalapeno sauce, habanero salsa, chipotle peppers…If you have any ideas, by all means, let me know immediately and I’ll hop right on it!