Having a hard day? Need a stress reliever? This deliciousness and best ever banana bread is what I make.

Chocolate Shaved Peanut Butter Chip Banana Bread

Ingredients
  • 3 Very Ripe Bananas
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 1/2 Cups Sugar (I use 1/2 cup each white, brown and turbinado)
  • 1 3/4 Cups Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/3 Cup Shaved Chocolate
  • 1/3 Cup Peanut Butter Chips

Instructions
  1. Smash bananas and combine first six ingredients
  2. Add flour and baking soda and mix thoroughly.
  3. Fold in chips and shavings.
  4. Pour in greased loaf pan.
  5. Bake 325 degrees F for 60-70 minutes.
  6. After 60 minutes it will be pretty gooey in the middle which we like, so bake it longer if you want it cooked through more.
  7. Cool for 15-20 minutes. Remove from pan and enjoy with copious amounts of butter!

We don't count calories with banana bread.
 
 
Nearing Mother's Day my mother would usually inquire as to the plan for the day. My dad would reply, "You're not my mother." His point being that the day was to celebrate one's mother, not one's spouse. My mother was forgiving so the same never went for Father's Day. In that spirit the Trophy Wife made this wonderful breakfast dish for me this year. Even though I am not her father.
Picture
Ingredients
  • 18-20 Stale Dinner Rolls Torn Up
  • 1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 6 Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Ripe Bananas

Topping Ingredients
  • 1 Stick Softened Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup Oats

Oven
Preheated 350 degrees F

Preparation
  1. Mix and toss all ingredients except topping ingredients and bananas  with torn up buns.  Let sit about 15 minutes.
  2. In a separate bowl combine softened butter, brown sugar and oats.
  3. Slice two ripe bananas into ½ inch pieces.
  4. Pour ½ the mixture into a spray oiled lasagna pan.  
  5. Sprinkle that first layer with cut bananas.
  6. Added remaining bread mixture.
  7. Drop topping mixture in small chunks all over pan. 
  8. Bake 45 minutes until light brown on top.
  9. Let cool slightly and serve over warm maple syrup.

Optional
Add 1/4 cup of chopped pecans to the topping mixture if you wish.

Nutrition
Did you see the heavy cream and butter? Don't ask.


Notes
Inspired by a recipe from Paula Dean.
Picture
Picture
iDad Tshirt
BECAUSE I'M THE DAD T SHIRTS
BEST DAD EVER TEE SHIRTS
#1 Dad Tshirts
 
 
The first time the Trophy Wife took the kids swimming on her own, I played a little trick on her. I let her do all the prep work herself. The minute the kids were out of the pool, they were starving. She had no food along and wasn't prepared to get any either. So she learned the first law of Boy Scouts:
  • Be prepared. 
She also learned the first law of at home parenting:
  • Children are always starving. 

So be prepared with this great after school snack, because I can guarantee you the kids will be starving the minute they walk in the door.

Ingredients
  • 4 Large Slices Of Good Crusty Stale Bread Cubed (See my bread in a pot recipe.)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla

Preparation
  1. Spray oil  4 ramekins.
  2. Mix all ingredients together and pour into ramekins.
  3. Bake 350 degress F for 30 minutes.

Nutrition
About 350 calories per ramekin. 

Notes
  • These are large ramekins. You could probably use 6 smaller ramekins and cut the cooking time down to 25 minutes.
  • The puddings will raise a bit during cooking so don't over fill them.
 
 
Picture
Picture
My friend Ann from Sumptuous Spoonfuls is coming to town this weekend. So in her honor a new recipe for some delightful rolls. (Psst....actually, this is just the dough from the flatbread recipe made into rolls. But don't tell her that I recycled a recipe into something new for her. It will be our little secret.)

Ingredients
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp quick yeast
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup plus 2 T lukewarm water
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 T olive oil
  • spray oil

Preparation
  1. Mix the dry ingredients with a whisk or fork in a large bowl.
  2. Add the water and olive oil and mix until incorporated. It should be lumpy and wet, but not glossy. Adjust water as needed.
  3. Spray oil the top of the dough and bowl sides, flip the dough and then spray again.
  4. Cover dough with plastic wrap and towel. 
  5. Place in warm area to rise about 5-6 hours. I put on my stove top and turn the oven on to 150 degress F and the vent keeps the top warm. It needs to be about 70-74 degrees F.
  6. Pour dough out onto greased counter top and fold over twice. Cover with wrap and let rise another hour.
  7. Uncover and divide dough evenly into six to twelve pieces. (Depends on size of rolls you want.)
  8. On a floured counter top, shape the dough pieces into quick balls. Set aside and rest for a few minutes.
  9. Heat a Dutch oven or other large covered heavy pan with a cover in a 450 degree F oven for 15-20 minutes depending on size of rolls.
  10. Cook uncovered 5-8 minutes depending on size of rolls until golden.
  11. Remove to wire rack to cool.

Tips
Dough can be refrigerated for up to a week. Just remove from refrigerator and place on an oiled counter covered until room temperature - about an hour. Then bake as usual.

Add your favorite Italian herbs into this dough for a wonderful herbed bread.

For small rolls, you could cook them in a roasting pan with a lid or heavy cookie sheeet on top.
 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup plus 1/2 stick butter (2 1/2 sticks total)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 4 tablespoons half and half

Preparation
  1. Cream the butter in your mixer on medium for 2 minutes. 
  2. While the butter is creaming, sift the dry ingredients onto parchment paper or into a bowl with a spout.
  3. With the mixer on the lowest speed add the sifted ingredients until fully incorporated.
  4. Add the vanilla and half and half. Increase the mixer speed to medium and mix for 3 minutes.
  5. Adjust consistency by adding either a bit more sugar for stiffness or half and half for dilution.

Nutrition
It's frosting! lol


Tips
You should have a bit of frosting left over. 

This frosting can also can be used for cookies.
Picture
Picture
Picture
Monogram Gifts & More
 
 
Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines? This is the dilemma I faced standing in the baking aisle at the grocery store. My mom made store box cakes all the time. They are pretty much full proof for the novice cook. I've baked both. Neither is particularly spectacular, but there is an advantage to having a quick box cake handy in the cupboard. Although, honestly they taste sugary, a little airy, and a bit chemically. Also, the texture is so light it almost seems like there is nothing there.

I really want a rich cake with some substance to it. So after a few trial and errors I've come up with this recipe that seems to be pretty full proof and consistent. I hope you enjoy. (If you are looking for a comparison of store bought versus home made there is a good summary at the Ktchn called: Make Or Bake? Cake Mixes vs. Homemade.)

Pre Preparation
350 Degrees F
Butter and flour two 8 inch round baking pans.

Ingredients
  • 2 cups and 1 tablepoon all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar (I prefer dark.)
  • 1 1/2 cup 1% milk
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • butter to grease pans
  • flour to dust pans

Preparation
  1. Sift first 5 ingredients onto a piece of parchment paper or a large bowel with a pouring lip. 
  2. Cream the remaining ingredients in a bowl.
  3. With the beaters on low add the sifted ingredients to the wet mixture that has been creamed. Incorporate fully.
  4. Turn the beaters onto medium and beat for 3 minutes.
  5. Pour and divide the batter equally into the two round pans.
  6. Bake at 350 degress F on middle rack for about 30-37 minutes. The middle of the cake should spring back when touched and a toothpick test should be clean.
  7. Remove from oven and cool for 15 minutes on wire rack.
  8. Loosen the cake from around the edge of the pans. I use a small plastic spatula that I got with my small food processor.
  9. Invert each cake onto a plate and then revert onto a wire rack to continue cooling.
  10. Cool fully before layering and frosting. Shave off the tops with a fine serrated knife if necessary
  11. I like to use my chocolate butter cream frosting for this cake, but I'm sure other frosting would work just as well.

Nutrition
It's cake. Really, you have to ask? Well, o.k. Typically chocolate cake is about 150 calories per ounce of serving which includes the frosting. A slice could easily be 500-600 calories. So watch it!

Tips
Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting Recipe Link.

I prefer to use my stand mixer for this recipe, but you can use a hand mixer just as easily.

One nice thing about this cake is that the top doesn't rise too rounded, so that if you layer it you rarely have to cut off any of the top of the cake.

There are a couple of tricks to frosting a layered cake. First, put a bit of frosting down on your plate to help stabilize the first layer of cake. Secondly, you should do a light round of frosting around the cake first. This is usually called the crumb frosting. Then do the next layer of frosting after it has set up a bit.

If you are in a hurry, you can just dump all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix for 3 minutes.
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture

Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting

Ingredients
  • 1 cup plus 1/2 stick butter (2 1/2 sticks total)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 4 tablespoons half and half

Preparation
  1. Cream the butter in your mixer on medium for 2 minutes. 
  2. While the butter is creaming, sift the dry ingredients onto parchment paper or into a bowl with a spout.
  3. With the mixer on the lowest speed add the sifted ingredients until fully incorporated.
  4. Add the vanilla and half and half. Increase the mixer speed to medium and mix for 3 minutes.
  5. Adjust consistency by adding either a bit more sugar for stiffness or half and half for dilution.

Tips
You should have a bit of frosting left over.
Save the Date
 
 
I hate fruit roll ups. There I've said it. I prefer my fruit to at least somewhat resemble it's origins. These are so easy to make and they keep well refrigerated. They are great cold or hot. Just make a bunch and see how long they last.

Oven
375 degrees F

Ingredients
  • 1 point blueberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • a little salt shake
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter
  • a couple of salt shakes
  • spray oil

Preparation
  1. Spray four oven safe ramekins with oil.
  2. Mix first four ingredients in a bowl and then evenly divide into ramekins.
  3. Mix next five ingredients with a fork until crumbly.
  4. Top the blueberry mixture with the crumble and bake for 20 minutes.

Nutrition
4 servings
340 calories per serving

Tips
  • Recipe can be easily doubled.
  • You could eliminate the sugar and flour in the blueberries for step 2 and just rely on the topping sweetness for a lower calorie crumble.
 
 
One of the most important things I have learned as an at home dad is that children are hungry. Always. You need to be prepared. No, seriously I mean prepared. Like you are preparing for war or you get melt down city and cranky tantrums that threaten to expose your parenting deficiencies post haste. You do not want those stern looks from the mothers at the swim practice because you weren't prepared. Failing all of "man"kind once again!

Nor do you want to drive into another fast food joint and unload your wallet on food that will only last about 20 minutes until the next emotional outburst. I have come to believe that these hungry, emotional responses from kids are what has driven the explosion in fast food, prepackaged sugar snacks and "nutrition bars". None of which is really good for our kids. 

What I do is overcook and carry. Make more food than your family can eat in one meal and carry extra with you whenever possible.  (Get a good portable cooler...sort of a food security blanket.)


The first step is to have extra basic ingredients. One of my favorite quick foods is fried rice, but the important part is that you need cold precooked rice. So, always make extra rice and store it covered in the refrigerator. And I am not talking about keeping extra Chinese take out rice in those nasty card board boxes. You only end up with rock hard, flavorless construction material if you do that. Put that rice in a different sealed container.

Once the kids are hungry, you can have a pretty nutritious meal within a few minutes. Here's my basic recipe.

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups cooked and refrigerated rice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 egg
1 tsp soy sauce
2-3 drops fish sauce

Optional Ingredients
1/8 cup precooked diced chicken
1/8 cup precooked vegetables (scallions, carrots, broccoli, celery, onion, peppers are all good options)
1/4 cup finely diced lettuce

Preparation
  1. Heat a cast iron or non stick pan until it is very hot. You could use a wok too.
  2. Add the oil and let it heat a bit.
  3. Add the rice and start to heat. 
  4. Add optional precooked chicken or vegetables finely diced.
  5. While the rice is heating combine the egg, soy sauce and fish sauce and whisk quickly.
  6. Add the egg mixture to the rice and stir quickly until set.
  7. Add optional lettuce and wilt.
  8. Serve.

Picture
Picture
Nutrition
2 Servings
Approximately 250 calories per 3/4 cup.
Reduce calorie count if vegetables are added.

Tips
The trophy wife hates the lettuce added at the end. I learned that trick from an old Chinese home style cook book. I love the flavor and the texture. So I only add it to mine!
BEST DAD EVER TEE SHIRTS
BEST DAD EVER TEE SHIRTS by BartzPeterson
Shop for Best T-Shirts online at Zazzle.com
I AM SHER LOCKED TSHIRT
I AM SHER LOCKED TSHIRT by BartzPeterson
Get the best custom tees online at zazzle.com
 
 
This is one of my all time favorite breads. It is soft with a great crumb, crunchy crust, and a bit of sweetness. Perfect for toasting, with soup, or just for sandwiches.

Ingredients
  • 2 cups all purpose flour (I've used Dakota Maid, King Arthur, and Ultra Grain)
  • 2 cups whole wheat white (I used King Arthur)
  • 1/2 tsp quick rise yeast
  • 1 3/4 tsp table salt
  • 2 cups and 2 tablespoons tepid water
  • 4 Tablespoons honey
Preparation
  1. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Dissolve honey in water, add to dry ingredients and mix with rubber spatula until well combined and lumpy. It should be wet in appearance, but not glossy. Adjust water as needed depending on type of flour. 
  2. Spray oil the dough and inside of bowl. Turn over in the bowl and spray the opposite side too. Cover in plastic wrap and towels. Place in warm (about 72-76 degrees F) to rise about 8-9 hours. I put my oven on 180 and place the bowl on top of the stove.
  3. After rising, turn out onto a lightly oiled counter. Fold over twice. cover in plastic and a towel. Let rise an additional 1 hour. Turn oven on to 450 degrees F with Dutch oven and lid inside to heat it up.
  4. After second rise, turn dough out onto a lightly floured counter top and quickly shape into a boule or round tight ball shape by gently pulling the dough under. You will need to flour your hands a bit. Just use enough flour to make the dough less sticky. Do not over flour as you need the dough to remain wet. 
  5. Remove the Dutch oven from the oven and remove the lid. Plop the dough in the hot dutch oven seam side down. Cover and return to oven and bake for 30 minutes covered. This is the steam heat that creates the crunchy outer crust. Then remove the cover and bake an additional 15 minutes uncovered.
  6. Remove loaf from Dutch oven and let cool lightly covered with a flour sack towel.
  7. Consume with loads of butter!
Picture
Picture
Picture
Servings
About 12-15 servings.

Nutrition
About 120 calories per slice before the butter and depending on slice size.

Tips
  • I start my bread in the morning and by dinner time I have a wonderful loaf.
  • Once sliced, face it down on a piece of parchment or lightly waxed paper and wrap the loaf in a flour sack towel.
 
 
Picture
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all purpose flour (I've used Dakota Maid, King Arthur, and Ultra Grain)
  • 2 cups whole wheat white (I used King Arthur)
  • 1/2 tsp quick rise yeast
  • 1 3/4 tsp table salt
  • 2 cups and 2 tablespoons tepid water
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 Tablespoon white sugar
Preparation
  1. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Dissolve honey and sugar in water, add to dry ingredients and mix with rubber spatula until well combined and lumpy. It should be wet in appearance, but not glossy. Adjust water as needed depending on type of flour. 
  2. Spray oil the dough and inside of bowl. Turn over in the bowl and spray the opposite side too. Cover in plastic wrap and towels. Place in warm (about 72-76 degrees F) to rise about 8-9 hours. I put my oven on 180 and place the bowl on top of the stove.
  3. After rising, turn out onto a lightly oiled counter. Fold over twice. cover in plastic and a towel. Let rise an additional 1-2 hours. Turn oven on to 450 degrees F with Dutch oven and lid inside to heat it up.
  4. After second rise, turn dough out onto a lightly floured counter top and quickly shape into a boule or round tight slightly flattened ball shape by gently pulling the dough under. You will need to flour your hands a bit. Just use enough flour to make the dough less sticky. Do not over flour as you need the dough to remain wet. 
  5. Remove the Dutch oven from the oven and remove the lid. Plop the dough in the hot dutch oven seam side down. Cover and return to oven and bake for 30 minutes covered. This is the steam heat that creates the crunchy outer crust. Then remove the cover and bake an additional 15 minutes uncovered.
  6. Remove loaf from Dutch oven and let cool lightly covered with a flour sack towel.
  7. Consume with loads of butter!


Servings
About 12-15 servings.

Nutrition
About 120 calories per slice before the butter and depending on slice size.
Picture
This is what the dough looks like after it has been folded on the counter.
Picture
The crust is incredible on this bread and the flavor is absolutely yummy! It doesn't taste like a heavy or sugary bread. It is smooth with a light texture and a crunchy crust.
Picture
Tips
  • You don't need a fancy Dutch oven for this. I happened to have an inexpensive dutch oven from Costco. It is an 8 quart oval, but I noticed it is no longer available. I think it tends to be a seasonal item. They do also have a round 6 qt which I think could work as well. Or like many people just use a stock pot with a lid or a roasting pan with a high enough cover. Anything that will take the heat!
  • Click here to see how to shape a boule or round ball loaf.