This weekend is Mother’s Day, and I thought I would share some things that my mom has taught me. I’ve seen other bloggers post about what they’ve learned from their mother over the years and I started thinking about all of the things she has said to me, taught me, and continues to teach me in life.
My mom and I are close – really, really close. People confuse us for each other on the phone (we sound a lot alike). We are often mistaken for sisters (I’m sure she’ll love hearing that, again), and we have become even closer as I grow older, when the big stuff happens and real life begins. Many people comment to her asking ‘how’d you get so lucky to have two good kids?’ – well, I think I’m a little better than my brother, Nick ;) but, I think she is a pretty lucky mom to have us too. We’re incredibly lucky to have such a loving, crazy, funny, caring, and strong mom.
After losing my dad when we were younger she had to become two parents in one, and I want to thank her for being there for us through the hard times, and the really hard times, and never ceasing to love and support us in all our of endeavours.
She is the first person I tell important news to, and the not so great news to, the first person I look to for advice, even if I don’t always want to hear it (ahem, the couch
), the first person to know when I’m sad, upset or something is bothering me just by the tone in my voice over the phone, the person who encourages me that everything will be alright, not to stress and the first person to forgive me when we have a fight (i’m pretty stubborn).
Things my mom has taught me
- There’s no excuse for rudeness
- Manners matter, always say thank you
- Don’t hold a grudge, life is too short
- It’s better to be overdressed, than underdressed
- Saying sorry is one of the hardest things to do, and admit your wrong
- Always be the bigger person
- How to be a good friend
- Any education is a good education
- Never leave the house without making the bed (this one is still a work in progress..)
- How to host a family dinner
- Advil and Zantac cure all
- How to properly fold sheets
- How to cook a roast
- How to make a roux
- How to make a good chili, and simple tomato sauce
- If you don’t want to have a drink, just order a coke with lime
- Don’t stress, everything will work out
- Always be kind to animals
- Do what makes you happy
- Trust your instincts
- How to be strong
People ask me where I got my love for cooking and baking. While my dad was my biggest influence, my mom always made really great cookies, without a recipe – and really good cinnamon buns.
I made these brownies last week when I wanted to use up some ripe bananas on the counter. I wanted to make something other than Banana bread. I decided to make 1-Ingredient Banana Ice Cream, recipe here
- but then I had more bananas to use up. So, I thought about what I could make with them, or what recipe I could add them to. I decided to make brownies, with the addition of Bananas. Some people don’t like certain combinations of chocolate and fruit, but Bananas and Chocolate are one of my favourites. The bananas make the brownie super dense and rich, like fudge. The banana flavour is certainly there, but it’s not as strong as say banana bread. The chocolate takes over, which makes it deep and rich.
And then I went a step further, and topped the Banana Brownies with Banana Ice cream.
Let’s just say I couldn’t eat it fast enough. Plus, there’s no guilt in adding the ice cream because it’s just Banana.
These are also gluten free, I made them with Rice Flour. You can sub regular flour as well. I recommend refrigerating them for a couple hours, or even overnight. I always refrigerate my brownies because it allows them to become more dense and fudge-like.
Fudgey Banana Brownies
recipe by Bakeaholic
6 tbs. Butter
3/4 Cup Chopped Dark Chocolate (can use chocolate chips)
2 medium Ripe Bananas
1 Tsp. Vanilla extract
½ Cup Sugar
1 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 Cup Cocoa
1 cup Rice Flour
1/2 cup walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8×8 inch baking dish with cooking spray.Heat butter and chocolate in a small saucepan, stir until everything is melted. Set aside to cool.
Whisk together the flour, cocoa and baking powder. Set aside.
In stand mixer with whisk attachment, or medium bowl and blender, mash the bananas, vanilla extract, and sugar. Add the egg and blend again.
Add in the melted butter-chocolate mixture and mix well.
Stir in the flour mixture and blend just until combined. Stir in all of the walnuts, you can save a few and sprinkle on top too.
Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. You want it to be slightly gooey when you check it, not completely dry. If it needs another couple minutes increase baking time.
** These brownies are best after they are refrigerated! **
I always refrigerate my brownies – it makes them extra dense and fudgey. I recommend letting them come to room temperature on the counter, and then cover and transfer pan to fridge for a couple hours, or even better, overnight. Of course, if you can’t wait feel free to eat them immediately =)
Store leftover brownies in the fridge for up to a week, or, freeze.
You can sub AP flour for rice flour also.
Even Better Topped with Banana Ice Cream!
This is a different type of baking post! You see, I made a batch of Mocha Brownies for a friend of mine’s BBQ yesterday, and posted some pictures from my Iphone on my Facebook page. I had received comments on them, and had 2 messages in my inbox asking if I was going to post the recipe on my website! I do bake often while I’m here on the island but I haven’t posted everything that I’ve made. But I thought why not post the pictures anyways, as semi-blurred as they are, and include the delicious recipe. I ate about 1000 of these yesterday, and taste-tested the frosting a few times over. They were definitely a hit! It has the perfect combination of fudge-yness and the coffee icing is so so so good. If you’re going to a BBQ, or have any other excuse to make them I suggest it!
These are densely fudge type brownies, not cakey, and super moist! You can choose to add the frosting, or even have them plain.
You Will Need:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
- about 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ pan
2) In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan set over low heat (I always use the saucepan method), melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Keep the element on low, and let the sugar dissolve. it’ll become shiny looking as you stir it. Add in the Chocolate Chips stirring until they melt.
- Meanwhile, crack the 4 eggs into a bowl, and beat them with the cocoa, baking powder, and vanilla till smooth.
- Add the hot butter, chocolate and sugar mixture, stirring until smooth.
- Add the flour and stir until incorporated.
- Spoon the batter into a greased 9″ x 13″ pan.
- Bake the brownies for about 20 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it. I checked mine and took them out at about 17 minutes, you don’t want it to overbake or else you will have a more cakey-brownie on your hands!
- Remove them from the oven and cool on a rack. I allowed it to cool for a bit, but then moved it into the fridge to speed the cooling process. This also sets the fudge-y texture of it, and makes it densely chocolatey.
While it is cooling, you can make the Mocha Frosting.
You will need:
- about 4 cups Icing Sugar, Sifted ( depending on the consistency )
- 1 cup strongly brewed coffee, or espresso, cooled
- a splash of milk
- 3/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature
- Beat the butter till it is light and fluffy. Add about 1/2 a cup at a time the icing sugar. After about 2 cups add in a splash of milk, and vanilla. You want the icing to be quite stiff before you add in the coffee/espresso. So you don’t want to add too much milk to water it down. Continue adding the icing sugar until you reach a stiff consistency, and add a little at a time the coffee. You can add it to your tasting preference, I added quite a lot for a rich coffee taste. The icing will thin quite a bit, you can add more icing sugar if you think it is too thin.
- Once you reach the desired taste/texture pour it on top of the brownies while still in the pan, and smooth it on top so it completely covers it.
- Return the brownie pan to the fridge to set. You can decorate the top with little coffee beans if you like. Allow the icing to set up again in the fridge before cutting into it. Trust me, it’s worth the wait.