Sunday, March 20, 2011

Recipe of the week: Banana Cupcakes

I love banana cake! My high school graduation cake was banana and probably the best I've ever had. Lately I've been searching high and low for a good banana cupcake and haven't found one that I love. There's certain things that I think a banana cupcake cake should have and I couldn't find one or a recipe, so I had to create my own. I don't eat shortening so I wanted one with butter, and I wanted at least part of the flour to be whole wheat and I knew I wanted buttermilk in it because it makes it light, so here's what I came up with. Let me know what you think. A Vorte Sante!


1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup unbleached flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chopped walnuts


4 oz softened butter
4 oz light cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add the eggs, vanilla and buttermilk. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Add mashed banana and walnuts until just combined, you don't want to over mix it. Divide batter evenly into muffin tin (I use an ice cream scoop) Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

For the frosting:
In a mixing bowl or stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream the butter, cream cheese and vanilla until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add powdered sugar, mix for another minute. If you want chocolate cream cheese frosting this is where you'd add about 2 oz melted dark chocolate. Spread over cooled cupcakes and top with a walnut for decoration. Enjoy!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Book Review: 'It's Your Call' by Gary Barkolow

I got this book last November and finally finished a couple of weeks ago. I would have written this sooner, but I loaned to book to my daughter. There are so many things to ponder, so many things to look deeply at. I love the way Gary writes (and speaks for that matter), he is very authentic and to me that is incredibly valuable.

The first two chapters, 'The Weightiness of Your Life and The Mystery of Your Life' really speak to your heart in regard to how God created you and that He has put a weightiness and glory that is uniquely yours. That you have something to offer the world that will be missed if you don't step into your calling.

I think the thing I got clearest about after reading 'It's Your Call' is that my roles in my life (ie wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend) are not my calling in my life.

I particularly liked Chapter 7, Awakening Your Desires. I was reminded that my desires are the same reason I started this blog...more on that later. One of my favorite parts is near the end when Gary talks about living like an artist. Picasso said "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." I'm not sure what that means for me but I'm definitely pondering it.

Here's a link to Gary's website:

I highly recommend you get a copy of 'It's Your Call', it's full of truth and beauty.