my go to sweet treat: banana chips

While thinking of a post that would help me ease my way into blogging, an obvious option sprang quickly to my mind. What could be more perfect as an intro to easy delight than my go-to easy dessert?

Like a lot of people, I have a major problem with snacking when I’m bored. Unfortunately, my laziness encourages me to just pick any option that will satisfy my sweet tooth but does nothing for my sweet body (…totally kidding, my body is still stellar).

While I have strived to stop snacking on things like chocolate chips (seriously, they are my weakness), I have had no desire to completely drop all sweet snacks from my life.
One day, the perfect solution presented itself in the form of a blog post on A Beautiful Mess. The sweet and salty banana chips they prepared are perfect for getting some sugary goodness while pretending you are making a healthier choice.

With no further ado, here is how to make this simple and sweet treat.

Dipping banana in brown sugar

You will need:

  • One or two bananas, depending on how hungry you are
  • Brown sugar
  • Knife and cutting board
  • Baking tray and parchment paper
  • Vegetable oil
  • Oven

First, preheat your oven to 400°F.

I like to set up a mini assembly line with a banana or two on a cutting board, a bowl of brown sugar (make sure there are no lumps) and my baking sheet prepped with lightly oiled parchment paper on top.

Cut the banana(s) into thin slices then dip both sides into the brown sugar. The brown sugar layer should be relatively light but I have no self control so my slices get coated pretty heavily.

Lay out the dipped banana pieces on the baking sheet and put the sheet in the oven for 15-20 minutes.  When the brown sugar melts and the edges begin to crisp you can take the sheet out and let the chips cool for a short while.

Completed banana chips

I got bored of waiting so these aren’t fully done.
They were still delicious though

If you can manage to not gobble them all down in one go, the chips can be stored for a short while in an airtight container. If you are like me, though, they’ll be gone in a flash. Luckily, they are so easy to prepare and you can quickly bake another batch the next time the urge strikes you.
If the urge does strike you, let me know how it goes!

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candles and cupcakes

The other day I was busy doing schoolwork at my kitchen table when one of my housemates came up to me and asked if I liked candles. The question seemed incredibly out of the blue until he clarified that every time he saw me working at the table I seemed to have a candle burning beside me.
Indeed, one of my favourites was currently flickering on the table (if you don’t own this candle, you need to get it now. I don’t care if you don’t like candles, this one is amazing).

This made me realize that I almost constantly keep a candle alight somewhere nearby when I’m in the house.  The lovely light and awesome smells are part of the little things that bring me delight throughout the day.

This post is one of many to come that will detail things that may seem insignificant but that often bring me happiness and could perhaps make you happy too. An idea from Robert Brault that I really love is this: “Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things”. Lighting candles and other similar practices may seem insignificant but I really believe they can make big differences in your day.

One element of life that is almost guaranteed to brighten my day is good food, especially desserts. While I am not the greatest at cooking, I am a moderately confident baker and will often whip up something when the mood strikes me. Recently, the mood struck and some cupcakes were called for. To end off this post, here is a straightforward and simple recipe for vanilla cupcakes I found online.

(Makes about 20 cupcakes)

Cupcake

For the cupcakes you will need:

  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • Cupcake tray

 

Preheat your oven to 375°F and line a muffin tray with baking cups.
Cream the butter and sugar together and then beat the eggs in one at a time.
Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt and then add portions of this to the mixture, alternating with milk. Stir in the vanilla.

When a nice and smooth consistency has been reached, divide the mixture evenly into the cupcake tray.
Bake for 18 minutes then let it cool in the pan. I was too eager and began icing too early and the icing began to melt so trust me, cool your heels and wait for the cupcakes to cool a bit.

2014-03-23 18.38.04I made my own icing from this recipe but I must say: if you are like me and have no appliances to mix for you, it may be best to just buy pre-made icing. I almost gave up halfway through mixing because it was rather tiresome (and I have no patience and was super bored). For my pride’s sake I stuck with it and made some absolutely delicious icing that I dyed purple with food coloring. I will leave it up to you to decide if it is worth it. One bonus to making your own: you get a little bit of a workout with the mixing so shoving multiple cupcakes in your face immediately after seems a little more justifiable.