Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip snack cake

I tried this recipe from Food 52 on a whim as I haven’t baked much using coconut oil instead of butter. This is a really easy recipe and delicious! I had not heard of a snack cake before but think it means you can eat it all the time! After my first bite, I thought ‘oh oh’! I think for non chocolate lovers that you could replace the chocolate chips with chopped pecans. I used bittersweet chips as that is what I had.

2 ripe bananas
2 large eggs (lightly beaten)

killer dessert
killer dessert

2 cups dark brown sugar
1 t. vanilla
10 T. coconut oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoons fine sea salt (plus more for sprinkling)
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 handfuls shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
Heat oven to 350 degrees and line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Mash bananas in a bowl and push them to one side to make room for the “liquid” ingredients. Add the eggs, dark brown sugar, vanilla, and coconut oil. In a separate bowl, mix the flour and salt. Add the flour mixture to the wet banana mixture. Stir with a whisk just until combined. Add the chocolate chips and coconut. Stir one last time to evenly distribute the add-ins. Pour batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle (from a height) with fine or flaky sea salt to lightly dust the surface of the cake. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes (mine was done after 45 minutes), or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack before slicing.

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Chicken Meatballs with ginger and lemongrass

This is an easy tasty recipe from Taste. I made the mixture in the early afternoon and then cooked the meatballs for dinner. I used a 1″ scoop and they were the perfect size. David enjoyed them with pasta and I had them on bibb lettuce with fresh tomatoes.
Chicken meatballs
1⁄4 cup
 (2 fl. oz./60 ml) grapeseed oil, plus more for oiling the baking sheet
1 lb. (500 g) ground chicken
2 Tbs. panko bread crumbs
1 Tbs. soy sauce
1 Tbs. Asian fish sauce
1 Tbs. minced lemongrass, white part only
1 Tbs. cornstarch
1 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
1 1⁄2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
14 small lettuce leaves
4 green onions, thinly sliced
2 limes, cut into wedges

Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly oil a baking sheet.

In a bowl, combine the chicken, panko, soy sauce, fish sauce, lemongrass, cornstarch, cilantro, ginger, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and mix well. Roll into 1-inch (2.5-cm) balls.

Warm a large sauté pan or frying pan over medium heat. Add the 1⁄4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) oil and heat until it appears to shimmer. Add the meatballs and sauté, turning the meatballs to brown evenly on all sides, about 5 minutes total. Drain on paper towels. Transfer the meatballs to the prepared baking sheet and bake until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes.

Arrange the lettuce, green onions, and limes on a platter. Serve the meatballs in a bowl on the side. Instruct guests to place a meatball in a lettuce leaf, top with green onions, squeeze with lime juice, fold and eat. Serves 3 to 4.

Lavender Shortbread

I hadn’t made lavender shortbread in years and this was a great year for two lavenders that edge my front porch. After harvesting some for the lavender shrub post, I decided to try a simple recipe from renown pastry chef, Gale Gand. I think this could be a perfect base recipe for shortbread and plan to try it with pistachios soon.
Lavender peak
Ingredients
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cool unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dried or fresh lavender flowers

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream the butter until soft in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add 1/4 cup sugar and mix until incorporated. Stir together the flour, cornstarch, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix at low speed just until the ingredients are almost incorporated, then add the lavender, and mix until the dough starts to come together. Flour a work surface, turn the dough onto it, and knead it 5 to 10 times, to bring the dough together and smooth it out.

Reflour the work surface. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a little less than 1/4-inch thick to fit an 8 by 8-inch square baking pan lined with parchment. To transfer to the pan, roll the dough up onto the rolling pin, lift it up, and unroll into the pan. (Or, press the dough thoroughly into the pan with your fingers.) Prick the shortbread all over with a fork, or use a pique-vite (dough docker) if you’ve got one, to prevent any buckling or shrinking. Sprinkle the surface evenly with 1 tablespoon of the remaining sugar.

Bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, deflate the dough by knocking the pan once against the oven rack then rotate the pan to ensure even cooking and a flat surface. Bake 10 to 15 minutes more, until golden all over and very lightly browned. As soon as it comes out of the oven, sprinkle the surface evenly with the remaining tablespoon of sugar. Let cool about 5 minutes. Using a very sharp knife, cut into 3 rows by 5 rows making about 1 1/2-inch by 3-inch bars. Let cool completely in the pan. Remove from the pan and store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.