Let me warn you right up front that for the next week or so, you’ll be hearing a whole lot about my best friend Bethany. You may remember her from these Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes I made to say goodbye when she (sob) left me to move to Maui. Obviously there are benefits to her living there. Namely, we have a place to stay for the very reasonable price of free. Actually, Bethany does requires one thing…that you allow her to Martha Stewart you while visiting. She’s a meet you at the airport with a lei, basket of chocolates and lotions on your bed, act as your chauffeur/chef/activity coordinator, wash and fold your clothes, play with your children, pack a cooler and a bag of goodies for the beach, provide you with rockin’ sunblock, and set up an umbrella so your pale freckly skin is protected kind of friend. Being with Bethany is, in a word, ah-mazing. Bonus, we have equally out of control hair and manic smiles when being blown off the edge of the world on top of Haleakala. It’s always a good thing to have friends who are equals on the crazy train of life.
Someday I will learn how to manage a bunch of bananas. Meaning, I’ll buy just the right amount that are exactly the correct ripeness so as not to have two or three that go brown on me before they’re eaten. Until that day comes, I have to figure out new and exciting things to do with the abandoned-too-ripe-to-be-consumed-any-way-but-as-banana-mush bananas. Since my children have teeth, it seems cruel to feed them anything the texture of baby food. This recipe screamed out to be made for two reasons.
#1: I love banana bread.
#2: I love scones.
Combining the two into one amazing breakfast food? Genius!
I like to go all out on Saturday mornings. It’s really the only day of the week I can do breakfast up right with all the fixins’ since Monday thru Friday mornings are a mad dash of bodies, backpacks, missing socks, frantically gulped coffee and hastily applied mascara as I scramble to get my kids out the door to school. Sundays are pretty much the same except I feel a lot worse about yelling at my kids (for the fourth time) to get in the car when we’re heading out to church instead of school. Oh yeah, Christian Mom of the year right here! Anyhoo, now that I’ve outed myself, let’s move on to my most recent Saturday morning treat. Fritters. Deep fried, crusty on the outside, warm and soft on the inside fritters. Yum yum yum.
New Year’s resolution #1 is to get back to blogging. The whole, two kids in school at different times/becoming nothing more than a chauffeur thing has really thrown me off my game. Nevertheless, there were many brilliant recipes this year and so I bring you Bakerlady’s Top Ten of 2012. By popularity (that means you wonderful readers picked these), here they are:
Honorable Mention – Nanny’s Banana Pudding – I just can leave her off the list. It was so close to cracking the top 10. Probably my favorite dessert making memory of the year at her cabin with my sisters.
#10 Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Parfait — A dessert I made for a dinner party with friends that turned out to be absolutely gloriously delicious. And beautiful. Very impressive.
#9 Disneyland’s White Chocolate Raspberry Cookie — My favorite snack in the park and apparently a cookie that many people want to replicate at home. I got to share one at Disneyland this fall with my kids. They love it as much as I do!
#8 Cinnamon Roll Pancakes — A quick way to fancy-pants up your kids breakfast. Ah-mazing!
#7 Rolo Cake Bars — I made these for the guys who painted my house this summer. Quick, easy and absolutely scrumptious!
#6 Greatest Chicken Salad Ever — This wasn’t a new recipe since last January, I’ve been making it a long time. Thanks to the power of Pinterest however, many new folks discovered it this year.
#5 M&M’s Rolo Pretzel Bites — Possibly the most evil (in the best way possible) thing I’ve ever discovered. You’ll find yourself eating them like popcorn…until you remember halfway thru the batch that you really really really shouldn’t do that because you just consumed a half bag of Rolos without realizing it.
#4 Snickerdoodle Bread – Like your favorite cookie in bread form. Soft and delicious with a ribbon of cinnamon butter thru the middle and a crusty cinnamon sugar topper. Yum yum yum!
#3 Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars — These were a spin-off another popular recipe. The addition of the pretzels to smooth peanut butter and chocolate was awesome in my book, and yours too!
#2 Lemon Monkey Bread — My personal favorite discovery of this year. No boring caramel monkey bread for my readers. This stuff is warm and soft with a hit of sweet and great tang from all the lemons. Dee-licious!
And the number one recipe this year coming in with more hits this year than my entire site had in the history of Bakerlady (aka: a whole lot!)…
Reese’s Peanut Butter Bars!! I love how many of you found Bakerlady thru this recipe (thanks Pinterest). I enjoy all the stories I get to hear about making this dessert with your mothers, grandmothers and enjoying them in your school cafeterias growing up. I’m still pretty peeved that my school never had these things…but happy for those of you who did. Sort of happy anyway.
Thank you all for coming back to Bakerlady all year for more deliciousness. Have a safe and happy New Year’s celebration and I’ll see you all in 2013!!
I was given a big bag of pears from my mom last week from the bounty of her orchard. Ok, it’s not a real orchard, just a few trees in her yard. But my mom’s green thumb is absurd. She’s like the plant whisperer. There’s so much fruit on her trees, you’d think she had fruit fairies painting them on at night. What? Fruit fairies are totally a thing. When I returned home that day, I had more pears from my neighbor on my front step. She’s also a crazy awesome fruit and veggie magician. See? I don’t need to learn to garden…people just give me produce. It’s luxurious. None of the work and all the rewards! Since I kill every growing thing I touch, I need people like this in my life.
In the past several weeks I made two monumentally bad choices. Probably more, but these two will probably haunt me the rest of my life. The first mistake was trying salt n’ pepper pistachios for the first time. Please hold your judgement until you find out the other thing I’ve never had before. Pistachios pale in comparison. I think since I first cracked one of those salty nuts I’ve taken down an average of a pound of them a day. No exaggeration. I’ve blown thru three 5 pound bags of those evil snacks in about two weeks. Fifteen pounds of nuts? That’s crazy! I just can’t get enough of them.
I love a good breakfast bake. It’s so adaptable. You can put just about everything in them. This is my base recipe for a perfectly filling and delicious morning meal. I’ve made it so many times I can practically do it in my sleep. Which is good, since I’m always throwing it together first thing in the morning. Yawn.
It was National Waffle Day last week and so (of course) I had to make waffles. This recipe has been tweaked a ton from the original to produce light fluffy waffles that are a little crisp on the outside and perfectly warm and soft on the inside. It’s my favorite waffle recipe and is requested often by my munchkins.
Monkey bread is the devil. I cannot resist it. I especially enjoy a new spin on it, like adding some kind of new flavor to the delicious combo of cinnamon sugar and buttery goodness. I can more readily call it breakfast if it includes fruit which makes this blueberry filled bread perfect for supporting my delusion. So, breakfast it is. That’s when I served it to my family anyway. But, I also ate it for lunch and dessert so it’s really all-encompassing food. The oatmeal practically makes it a health food…so I figured it was ok to have it for more than one meal.