August 25, 2009

Bananas, Chocolate Chips & Bubble Wrap!

Pardon my absence. It's been a bit of a whirlwind as of late!

We are moving. We are leaving our sunny home here in Pasadena and heading back to the Great Northwest to brave the colder weather.

Cardboard boxes are stacking, bubble wrap is slowly taking over our house and the tape.....oh the TAPE. You see I bought the cheap tape; although my intuition was telling me not to, I just couldn't reason forking over $20 for tape!? I mean goodness sakes it's tape after all, and this store-brand bundle of six states that it meets the post office's regulations for shipping boxes, so I figured it was good enough for our moving boxes.

Hmmmm, did I guess wrong or what?

The end of the tape when not properly pulled behind the two tiny plastic tabs of the tape gun, sticks. I then moan and groan and try my darnedest to pull the end back up, and it splits into two and then FINALLY I get it back into place, after wasting a yard or two of tape. So now, I wish I had bucked up and paid the extra $10 for the name-brand tape!

Enough about tape, I'd much rather talk about muffins.

So this morning, I was cleaning out our freezer and I found three beautiful fillets of halibut, one salmon fillet and a cluster of frozen bananas.

The fish we we'll be having for dinner with a Thai Basil & Cilantro Sauce, over the next few nights. And the bananas? The bananas turned into darling banana and chocolate chip muffins.

I made Travis' favorite of my gluten & dairy-free creations, Chocolate Banana Muffins and I made my favorite recipe from childhood with a contemporary twist. My mom still makes this recipe, Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips and Maraschino Cherries. Although it is dairy-free it is not gluten-free. It's delicious when she makes it, although I find it a bit too dry when I make it, as I leave out the Maraschino Cherries and typically make it with butter, rather than the called for margarine.

This morning, I solved the problem and quadrupled the moisture, I opted for 2 extra-large eggs, rather than 2 large. I also added 4 bananas, instead of 3. I cut the flour by 1/4 Cup. Lastly, I added coconut oil instead of her called for margarine. Other additions, not related to moisture were a pinch of sea salt and a touch of vanilla.

They came out moist and filled our boxes with a fragrance reminiscent of a tropical breeze....coconuts, bananas and cocoa.

Instead of packing, I was baking. As tomorrow the kitchen packing begins. So I share with you, Bananas, Chocolate Chips & Bubble Wrap! Feel free to leave out the bubble wrap!

Banana Chocolate Chip Moving Muffins
Makes 1 dozen Muffins & sometimes a few extra or 1-9" loaf

1 & 3/4C AP Flour
1 C Organic Sugar
1 t baking soda
1/4 t sea salt
1/2 C Coconut Oil, warmed to liquid state
2 Eggs, Extra-Large, room temperature
1 1/2 C (about 4) Extra-Ripe Bananas, mashed
3/4 t pure vanilla
1 C chocolate chips (Bittersweet or Semisweet)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Fill a muffin pan with 12 liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and sea salt.
In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, eggs, mashed bananas and vanilla.
Using a rubber spatula mix the coconut oil mixture into the flour mixture.
Fold in the chocolate chips.
Scoop into prepared muffin pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F for about 25 minutes or until golden brown and they spring back to touch.

Cool on a wire rack and pack with care.

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