December is national fruitcake month.
Depending completely on your personal opinion, my childhood was either blessed or deprived. Why? Because, to my knowledge, I never tasted fruitcake.
This fact doesn’t disappoint me. Cursory research says that fruitcake was originally created to last for a full 365 days. A baked good that lasts more than a month is a little freaky. What do they put in that stuff?
So here is my version of a fruitcake with bananas, cranberries, oatmeal, and (of course) nut butter. I figure that any loaf with fruit in it can be called “fruitcake,” right?
Unlike real fruitcake, this bread will only last for about a week in the fridge (if you manage not to eat the whole loaf at once).
Makes 1 loaf, about 10 slices
- 3 overripe bananas
- 1 egg
- 2 cups oatmeal
- 1.2 oz (about 3.5 tablespoons) Gingerbread Cookie Blended Nut Butter
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup fresh cranberries, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 8X4 inch bread pan with nonstick spray.
- In a blender, combine bananas, egg, oatmeal, nut butter, and baking soda. Blend until smooth.
- Stir in spices.
- Fold in chopped cranberries.
- Pour into greased baking pan. Top with sliced bananas, if desired.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool completely.
- Slice and top with anything you would like! Butter, jam, more nutbutter, etc.
- Eat and enjoy!
If you have read this blog for long, you know that I have a solid reason to love November.
At first glance, this recipe seems a little haphazard. Rarely will you find penne and peanuts in the same bowl. But trust me. It works.
Moreover, it’s only three ingredients. Simple recipes are the best.
Thai Peanut Penne
- 12 oz. penne pasta
- 12 oz. frozen broccoli
- 1/2 cup Blind Spot Thai Peanut Sauce**
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger (optional)
- Cook pasta and broccoli according to package instructions.
- Melt peanut sauce in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.
- Stir all ingredients together.
- Eat and enjoy.
**If you want to make your own peanut sauce, this one might be similar.
If there is ever a time to make candy, it is October…
From January to April, I was a student teacher at a local elementary school.
In my last month of student teaching, I made a list of the many reasons that I was eager to finish:
- I will have time to blog again.
- I will have time for photography again.
- I will have time to run again.
- I will have time to bake again.
- I will have more time. Period.
Now that I have my diploma in hand, I have a confession.
What do you do while something is in the oven? Do you read? Blog? Dance? Clean the kitchen? Watch television?
The day that I made these trail mix muffins, I went for a one-mile run as soon as I put the muffins in the oven. I set the timer for 25 minutes and took off, knowing that (1) my mom would be in the kitchen just in case something happened, and (2) I would be back from the run in less than ten minutes.
My muffins burned. When I calculated baking time, I failed to take into consideration the size of the muffins and fact that I was using a metal pan. The good news is that they still tasted great…they just look a little, um, dark. As I sat to write this post, I chose to only photograph the prettiest of the muffins, and I adjusted the baking time in the directions.
But really, try them! They are great!
Trail Mix Muffins
- 1 ripe banana
- 3/4 cup milk of choice
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup oatmeal
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup mix of nuts and dried fruits (I used a mix of almonds, peanuts, cashews, and raisins)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mash the banana and mix in milk and vanilla.
- Add oatmeal, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.
- Stir in nuts and fruit.
- Spray a 6-count muffin pan with nonstick spray.
- Evenly distribute the batter between all six cups.
- Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until light brown (it may be in your best interest to not go for a run at this time 🙂 ).
- Let cool before removing from the pan (they will crumble in to granola if you don’t let them cool!)
- Eat and enjoy!