Craving Cheeseburgers, Part 2: My Love Affair With Dessert

When we last spoke in “Craving All Cheeseburgers” my husband and I really DID go out for the delicious, juicy cheeseburger and I kept my promise (to you) to look at the dessert menu. Did you think I would disappointed you, my friends? Of course not.

On the dessert menu: Creme Brulé, Ice Cream, Sorbet, flourless chocolate cake (No other pastries) and a special Banana-Chocolate bread pudding. That definitely interested my husband, since he loves bananas and chocolate. I was trying to be nice, so I said I would share it with him. I had my doubts.

Big Mistake.

It tasted like the banana bread that I bake except much drier.  I

Monique's Banana & Raisin Cake

Monique’s Banana & Raisin Cake (Photo credit: Great British Chefs)

make banana bread several ways. Plain, with raisins. Plain with chocolate chips and lastly banana bread with both chocolate chips and raisins.

I’m a huge fan of raisins, so give me an oatmeal raisin cookie and I’m in heaven. I will eat chocolate chip cookies but I prefer oatmeal raisin, I might have to try to make them this week. I’m an oddball I know, I like molasses cookies and cinnamon cookies ginger cookies and vanilla cookies, that’s why my nickname, years ago, was “Vanilla Girl.” I like chocolate too as a pre-dessert, dark chocolate I consider medicinal in a heart healthy kind of way.

The bread pudding was too hard to resemble anything pudding like. It had the consistency of a very dry sponge.  My husband ate some of it and we

Description unavailable

Description unavailable (Photo credit: rob.knight)

brought the rest home which is still sitting in our over crowded refrigerator. I scrounged around our cabinet and came up with some cinnamon cookies and a (large) spoon of Nutella for my dessert. Not bad at all.

Tonight, I am looking forward to the Greek diner’s rice pudding that my mother lovingly bought me after we shared the best tuna sandwich in the world. There are only a few places that are known to us for tuna approved edibility.

Our main course tonight will probably be scrambled eggs and English muffins but as long as I am happy with my dessert nothing else matters. I have to put raisins in the rice pudding now, before I forget.

Rice pudding bowl

Rice pudding bowl (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I haven’t told anyone this but I just ordered home-baked molasses cookies on-line and I am waiting for them to arrive any day now. (They were expensive.)

My friend Judith really does eat dessert first when she is home, I need the anticipation. I have a Pre-D and then a  real-D. Same kind of concept mine just has a base of protein.

Tomato, TomAto.

PS Those were the best cookies I have EVER had. Worth every dollar. They also come in a “Snickerdoodle” variety which the company says is the Molasses cookies with raisins. Does anyone know? I looked up Snickerdoodles and there are many versions.

Please help.

That is going straight on my birthday list. I’m drooling.

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My Banana Has Freckles

Chimpanzee

Chimpanzee (Photo credit: lightmatter)

I feel like a monkey, somewhere, somehow I have evolved into a monkey from a human being, it’s the evolutionary theory backwards. All I have craved lately are bananas. Not just bananas but banana smoothies, made by moi. I LOVE THEM. They comfort me, soothe me, and make me feel happy. I’ve had one every day for about five days now. There are no more bananas in the house anymore, I must go shopping tomorrow but waiting for them to ripen is an exhausting ordeal.

When I want them to ripen faster I put the bananas in a brown paper bag with an apple tossed in because I once read this hastens the process. If it doesn’t at least I don’t have to see green edges, which in fact, is the only way my mother and son can eat bananas. Raw bananas? Ugh. There must be a science to banana eating and yes, I have also heard that you should peel a banana from the bottom like the monkeys do. I’m flexible, I do that once in a while but eating them while they are green? No, that will never do and don’t confuse green bananas with plantains because that is just entirely different. You need bananas with freckles, especially if you are baking with them, carmelizing them or using them in a yummy smoothie. I also make a mean banana bread but so far, that’s a family secret.

I am sharing my banana smoothie recipe with you, I only hope it gives you as much joy as it gives me:

In a blender put:

3 ripe bananas (RIPE is the operative word, not okay if they are green)

a  small container of yogurt (you choose) I have used strawberry/banana yogurt, cherry vanilla or plain yogurt (I use 0 percent)

a bit of crushed ice (many people like icy smoothies, like my daughter, so feel free to add ice cubes or more crushed ice-I like them more creamy)

a dash of vanilla and almond extract to taste

2-3 Tablespoons of vanilla ice cream or low-fat vanilla ice cream (optional)

one teaspoon of brown sugar (optional)

a peach, plum, raspberries, cantaloupe or any old fruit that needs to be used (again, optional)

Blend at High for about a minute.

Take a Tablespoon to taste, adjust as needed. Pour, serve and enjoy!

Mellow Yellow Monday – Banana Cream Pie

Banana Cream Pie. Need I say more? Fluffy, moist, creamy. I do not like chocolate with my banana cream pie

nor do I like bananas with my chocolate cake. I like them plain and simple, each taste and texture separate. Banana cream pie. Yellow. Mellow. Delicious.

Banana cream pie and four bananas.

Banana cream pie and four bananas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mellow Yellow Monday: Pancakes

Banana Pancakes

Banana Pancakes (Photo credit: babe_kl)

Not just any yellow fluffy pancakes but BANANA PANCAKES!

For added ecstasy, carmelize a few of the bananas

(often carmelized bananas are dessert in our

family-some add chocolate syrup to them, others, vanilla ice cream.

I just go for the sweet, sticky bananas fried (Use Pam) in a frying pan, with low heat.

In fact, I go bananas for banana pancakes.

(similar to* “I go cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs!”)

*Cocoa Puffs, a product of General Mills

Mellow Yellow Monday- Bananas

Yeasted Banana Bread.
bananas

Bananas are yellow and alone, I eat them as a snack. They don’t make me specifically joyful but many years ago when I started making banana bread, I made myself a hero. I’m not a great cook or a fabulous baker with a wide repertoire of things I know how to expertly make. I make a mean banana bread though. It got such rave reviews from my husband and son, my mother, sister, niece and nephew that it was now called “Aunt Laurie’s Banana Bread” and that made me proud. I don’t have many skills but when I start peeling those ripe bananas into the same glass bowl I always use, I know that in an hour, people will be clamoring for more. I don’t think I’ll ever get famous for “Aunt Laurie’s Banana Bread” but when I serve it,  I feel like a star.

Banana Milkshakes

'Cavendish' bananas are the main commercial cu...

Image via Wikipedia

I feel really poorly again today and I don’t know why. Every step hurts, every joint aches, every muscle is stiff, and I’m not hungry, which is definitely unusual. The windows had been open with fresh air coming in but I missed the comfort of the cool air conditioner and a cozy blanket and the room swaying like a slow-motion ballet. My head is pounding and I feel weak, it’s hard to move, hard to think, I feel like throwing up but can’t.

I tried Alleve for my body aches and headache but it didn’t help. I always question and try to diagnose my ailments and when I come up with no new answers, I sigh and breathe deeply and think “Fibromyalgia Flare?” Or maybe it’s the flu or too many allergens, a virus or just a few bad days. At this point I don’t care what it is or what it is called, I just know I am back in bed, with my dog near me and my mood, weary. I’m tired of being tired and achy and I want to slip into my sneakers and go places, see people. Instead, I am alone with my book but I haven’t read one single page.

I tried so hard to heal myself and I made a banana milkshake, with very ripe bananas, milk and ice and sipped it slowly to try to soothe my spirits, to hydrate myself with bright and shiny, nutritious food. It didn’t help and I am disappointed; I thought for sure that the banana milkshake cure would help me. I tried to listen to music and sing but I just couldn’t stand to listen to the music, so I stayed silent, listening only to the beating downpour of rain attacking my windows. I can’t even think of leaving my bed to help out with driving and that makes me feel both guilty and drained; my head pounds harder, my whole body feels hot and it burns like a slow-cooker, constant with a warm temperature.

Last night I felt worse than today and I tried to cure my evening with chocolate. There’s a lot to be said about half a big pack of M & M’s at the end of a very long day. I chose each pretty color to pop into my mouth and crunch. I know it is not right to treat illness and malaise with food  but once in a while, the cheerful colors of M & M’s soothe me, the endorphins kick in and I go to sleep.

Perhaps tomorrow I will feel chipper and I will wake up happy, my head and eyes clear and more energy in my body. Maybe my legs will swing over my bed and I will greet the day with enthusiasm. But if not, maybe it will happen the next day or the one after that. If I still feel the same way I will eat the rest of the pack of M & M’s, make another banana milkshake and begrudgingly call the doctor. I will have to go in to see her and she will most probably tell me “it’s viral, go back to bed and drink plenty of liquids” as if I didn’t know that already.

To Reach A Hidden Heart

heart

I’m a mom, a fifty-four year old, plump (not so pleasantly),  kind, giving person but I laugh too loud. Sometimes because I have only fifty percent hearing in my left ear, I also don’t always hear things perfectly. I wear old mom jeans, sneakers instead of  gold strappy sandals, or even unlaced Keds, because my feet hurt and ache constantly. I have plantar fasciatis and just walking in any shoes is uncomfortable.  I have Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s Thyroididtis and numerous other ailments. I’m old.

I don’t wear flirty skirts because (see above) it would just look plain silly. I can’t wear tight shirts (well, I could) but the stomach bulges would hang over my jeans. I used to have pierced ears but I think they closed so I don’t wear much jewelry anymore. Most importantly, I don’t wear make up from Sephora or MAC or Bobbi Brown. When I wear lipstick, which I do almost every day, I consider that enough. Should I be ashamed of these things, proud or just accept them? I’m okay with it but I have an almost seventeen year old daughter who most probably wishes, I was a cooler mom. A much cooler mom.

It’s not as if I stay in the kitchen and make home-made oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies because I don’t. I spend money at the supermarket and look at every single product, especially new ones.I bake brownies from a box (Ghiradelli) and the only thing I bake from scratch is an amazingly moist banana-raisin -chip loaf. My son adores it and appreciates it, my daughter won’t even try it because she hates any type of raisin and anything resembling a mushy banana. The only banana flavor she eats is mixed with strawberry in a pink container that has artificial  flavorings called yogurt. Sometimes, if my husband makes a smoothie (with ice and ice cream) she will drink it; when I make a smoothie it isn’t cold enough.

More importantly I wear my emotions like I would a soft new white scarf. Actually, you can see how I feel miles away. The worst offense, I’m mushy. My daughter is not. She keeps her feelings inside of her so even when I attempt to tone down my mushiness and delicately try to give her a compliment, she turns inwards. I wear my heart on my sleeve, you can see my emotions a mile or two away, my daughter keeps her feelings way deep inside her. I’m trying to connect with that but I’m not having much success. I know she loves me, I do know that and of course, I love her more than anything (read this kids: I love you both equally.)

When my daughter was very young, I was her world. She needed a lot of comforting and she could find that only in my arms, her tear-streaked face blanketing my neck like a worn-out washcloth. Now, she’s an amazing young woman, sure of herself, has a lot of friends, talks to me about them but her feelings are buried down deep. She is like my husband before my constant influence on him for the last 24 years. I want my daughter to know how much I love her, how proud I am of her, how I know she is incredibly intelligent and kind but I’m not sure I’m getting through. Yesterday, we spent the day together and I delicately told her how happy I was to spend time with her each week. I got this as a response: “ok.”

I feel frustrated but I guess my job as a mom is to make sure she knows I love her and that I will always be here to listen if she wants to talk. If I turn down my emotions any more I will be mute. The only thing I can do is wait and see what happens and accept her for who she is. I am happy that she talks to me about her friends, I am thrilled she is affectionate with her friends; I hope they can reach inside her wall and feel her beauty, her heart and her strength. I hope someday I will have the same privilege too.