It finally began to feel like summer this weekend! Which is awesome, because it’s only Spring. After a very rainy and dreary April it was nice to get some hot weather our way.
We headed down to the States on Friday to spend the weekend with Adam and his family at Maple Falls. The only thing wrong with the weekend was the hour and ten minute wait at the border going down. However, luckily for us it was about a 5 minutes wait coming home.
We took advantage of the glorious weather and went bike riding, swimming and walking in the sun.
We biked into Maple Falls and discovered some new trails, including a road that lead us to this sight.
We rode up to to see a large building on fire surrounded by fire trucks. We asked a bystander what was going on and they said it was a controlled practice burn. Turns out it used to be the old elementary school but due to asbestos and the age of the building it had to be taken down. This was also a practice run for soon-to-be firemen who were getting used to the water nozzles. They weren’t allowed in the building because of the safety hazards.
It was sure a sight to see, and we were quite close to it actually. There was a basketball court not too far that some kids were playing at, and some neighbours had brought out their lawn chairs to witness the burning. It was already super hot out Saturday morning, and standing next to a giant blaze made it even hotter.
We rode over to the gas station to get some refreshments.
And later after swimming, some leftover brownie with ice cream and strawberries. Refreshing – definitely hit the spot.
We took our niece for a walk with Lainey, but after a little while Lainey decided she had enough walking in the heat – so we gave her a little lift in the buggy. At first she wasn’t sure about it, having to push her into it, but after a moment she realized how much better it was and decided to get nice and comfy for the ride.
Another way to cool off? Banana Ice Cream.
This one-ingredient ice cream was all the rage last year, with someone even making a banana ice cream maker (which, really, is sort of ridiculous). All you need is some ripe bananas, and a food processor.
I had made it last year, but for some reason I wasn’t quite sold on it. Maybe it was the bananas or the fact that I think I made it in a blender – but I didn’t love it.
However, having made it again now with a food processor I really, really, love it.
I was looking for something to make last week with the ripe bananas on the counter, something that wasn’t banana bread or muffins. And actually, these banana’s were already frozen in my freezer – so I still had ripe bananas on the counter to use up (and I did, i’ll share that later). I had thrown a bunch of ripe bananas in the freezer to use in smoothies, but hadn’t used them yet.
It’s naturally sugar free, raw, vegan, and all other allergens-free ice cream. Unless you’re allergic to Bananas, then I feel very sorry for you.
The key to making banana ice cream is:
- Ripe bananas. You don’t want mushy, brown or gooey bananas, however. You want the banana peels to be spotted, but the banana’s themselves still good looking with few or no spots. The sugars will have just started to break down, making them sweeter, but the banana is still firm. This will give it a better consistency when making ice cream.
- Freeze them thoroughly. I’ve seen people do this with banana’s frozen for a half hour or so, but my banana’s had been in ziplock bags for at least a month – Now, I’m sure you don’t want to wait that long, but toss your cut up ripe banana in a bag and wait a few days, even a week until you make it. If they aren’t frozen enough the texture will be too runny. Slice them up, freeze them on a cookie sheet in a single layer and then transfer them to a plastic bag to freeze further.
- Food processor. If you don’t have one you can try a blender but I’m not sure how it will work out texture wise, you might need to add a little liquid to get it moving around in a blender.
And that’s it. Banana Ice Cream.
First becomes a crumbly texture
Next, it’ll begin smoothing out. I had to scrape it down a few times to get the mixture going again because it will start to ‘cluster’ up
And finally, smooth, delicious soft serve banana ice cream
You can also transfer to a container and freeze for hard ice cream
Banana Ice Cream
- 3-4 ripe bananas, sliced and frozen thoroughly
Remove frozen banana slices from freezer and place in food processor.
Turn food processor on and blend bananas, stopping to scrape down when needed.
Allow to blend until smooth. You can eat the ice cream as a soft serve, or freeze in container to harden.
Feel free to add in:
- Almond Butter
- Peanut Butter
- Chocolate Chips
What’s even better?
How about a Banana Ice Cream Sandwich with Gluten Free/Wheat Free/Dairy Free chocolate chip cookies - A totally Dairy free, Lactose Free and allergy free ice cream sandwich! Perfect for warmer weather. I suggest using a ‘non’ stuffed cookie with this one.
The banana chocolate chip cookie combo is definitely amazing.
To make the ice cream cookie sandwich, spoon banana ice cream on a cookie, top with another cookie then wrap in tin foil and freeze for 10-20 minutes before eating. Or, eat immediately for a slightly messier ice cream sandwich.
Adam and I are headed down to the states for the weekend and I thought I’d share one of the restaurants we ate at when we went down to Seattle a month ago as part of my ‘Seattle Eats’ series.
We visited the Mount Bakery Cafe. They have two locations, downtown Bellingham and Fairhaven.
It’s not too far from Bellis Fair Mall. We stumbled upon it after a Trader Joe’s run – mandatory stop on all border runs. We wanted something for breakfast with lots of options, and this bakery definitely has that.
The bakery was packed on a Sunday morning, a good sign. The food looked amazing – piled high with tons of sides. There aren’t too many seats so you might have to wait 10-15 minutes but I assure you it is worth every bite.
Adam sipped on some coffee white we waited. I loved the coffee mugs – not just for Christmas.
I had some water, which was served in repurposed wine bottles.
After perusing the menu while waiting, and seeing what other people were eating Adam quickly decided on the Waffle Eggs Benny, ‘Original Best Benny’ boasting ‘Bellingham’s Best Benedict’s’
It was good. Really good – I had a small bite while Adam quickly devoured the mountain of hollandaise covered eggs and ham.
I decided to side-step the likely stomach problems I would get by eating runny eggs (egg allergy), cheese (dairy allergy) and waffles (wheat allergy) and take the high road, though I really would have liked to eat the benny as well.
I ordered the fruit and granola with soy milk. The granola was ok, nothing too special and not a ton of flavour but definitely filling with raisins and coconut. I would probably order it again. The fruit was a good size, and the pear and apple were cut up into tiny slivers.
The bill came on a small clipboard that was decorated with postcards and stickers.
I would definitely visit the Bakery again for breakfast! And I highly suggest making a stop on your way down to Seattle, or if you’re shopping in Bellingham.
So I survived the crazy busy week! Our housewarming went really well, except for a sandwich scare 10 minutes before guests arrived (thanks to Mom for saving the day, let’s just say she had to go out and replace all of the sandwiches I had made the night before..) Aside from that, everything went smoothly and it was a great afternoon filled with our family. The house has never been cleaner, and I’m hoping it stays that way. Nothing like having your family over for a party that kicks your butt into gear to get things done. However, saying that I’m likely the one who is going to be the first to mess it up. Also, you don’t even want to know how crammed closets are, and the garage. I’m certain I’ll be looking for something later this week and be unable to find it due to the fact it has been crammed or stashed somewhere, like under the bed or in a box.
I’m excited to start school again next week, only two days a week, so hopefully the house will be a little cleaner as I won’t be rushing here and there every day.
Or, even better, I get hired to a school district and I’m not home often enough to make a mess – which is what Adam is wishing for; both the clean house and the job offer that is ;) haha, I’ll make money sometime soon I swear! Until then, Adam will be happy that I’ll be home to bake more often and cook which means there can be a clean (ahem) house, and freshly baked cookies waiting for him when he gets home.
Oh, and a small dog who is also excited to see him when she hears the garage door open like clockwork.
You’re probably wondering about the title, it’s sort of ironic really. While these cookies have no Dairy in them (hooray), we now have some Dairy producers living next to us now (double hooray).
I walked the dog the other morning only to be greeted by some lovely cows in the field right next to our complex. A neighbour said they must have brought them in over the weekend to graze on the huge pasture. So, we now have some neighbouring cows. Lainey was pretty excited, she tried her best to get as close as she could, scaling the landscaped rocks to see over the fence. They were pretty interested in her too, coming right up to the fence. However, the last couple times we’ve been out they have been at the far end of the field – though it doesn’t keep Lainey from trying to get as close as possible to the large bovine.
So far in our neighbourhood discovery walks we have encountered:
A Peacock (very odd, it was living in a deserted lot and we’ve seen it a couple times)
Horses (there’s a ‘secret saddle’ club and horse stable tucked away in the woods)
Bunnies (Lainey’s favourite),
and now Cows.
I didn’t realize we had moved into the country. I wonder what we will find next.
I made these cookies for the housewarming and there were none leftover. So, I’m assuming they were fairly popular. I couldn’t remember the exact amounts of flour etc. that I had used so I decided I had better make them again, just to be sure. Also, Adam requested that I make them again.
They have no dairy (the cows are safe), and no wheat or gluten. I think the first time I made them I used some flour, but this time I made them completely wheat/gluten free using alternative flours.
I subbed in coconut and rice flour along with almond meal. They are a super soft chocolate chip cookie, but not cakey. They are more like a chocolate chip shortbread cookie, in the sense that they are buttery soft and melt in your mouth. Ironically, they also contain no butter. I used coconut oil and apple sauce in place of that. Aside the from egg they could be vegan (you could use an egg replacer as well).
I like to pretend that because of all the substitutions and dark chocolate they are healthy and good for you, or at least that is what I’ll be telling myself after my 4th cookie.
I used my Trader Joe’s Almond Cocoa Spread that I had with my Caramelized Banana Bread here to stuff the cookies with. They are also delicious without the almond spread as well. I had leftover dough after filling some of them and the cookies bake great on their own. Just flatten slightly and bake for the same time. They are a little more crisp this way, unstuffed.
crisp, melt in your mouth (unstuffed) cookie
Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
(Wheat Free/Gluten Free/Dairy Free)
Recipe by Bakeaholic
- 1 cup Rice Flour
- 1/2 cup Almond Meal
- 1/2 cup Coconut Flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, solid (loosely packed)
- 2 tbs. apple sauce
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup roughly chopped dark chocolate
- Almond Cocoa Spread (or, Nutella, or other chocolate spread)
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, almond meal and baking soda. Set aside.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream coconut oil and apple sauce. Add sugars until creamy. Add egg and vanilla extract, beating until combined.
5. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate.
6. Take small ball of dough, 1 tbs, and form into ‘cup,’ place on baking sheet. Take out the frozen chocolate spread and place in the middle of each cookie.
7. Roll out another smaller piece of cookie dough and flatter slightly. Place overtop of chocolate spread and seal edges, rolling slightly into ball again.
8. Bake cookies for about 12 minutes or until browned very slightly. They will not become ‘crisp’ so to speak, but they will be done.
Allow to cool on wire rack. Store in cookie jar, or freeze. FYI they are also good frozen.
Spoon small teaspoons of Almond Cocoa Spread onto small cookie sheet, place in freezer to harden.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, almond meal and baking soda. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream coconut oil and apple sauce. Add sugars until creamy. Add egg and vanilla extract, beating until combined.
Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate.
Take small ball of dough, 1 tbs, and form into ‘cup,’ place on baking sheet. Take out the frozen chocolate spread and place in the middle of each cookie.
Roll out another smaller piece of cookie dough and flatter slightly. Place overtop of chocolate spread and seal edges, rolling slightly into ball again.
Bake cookies for about 12 minutes or until browned very slightly