Monthly Archives: November 2012

Black Bottom Banana Bars

You know how some foods have the power to bring back a flood of some of your most wonderful memories?

This recipe does that to me.

I got it while I spent a summer traveling with four other college students from my school. We went from camp to camp filling the roles of counselors, game coordinators, recruiters for our school, and pretty much helpers in anyway needed. It was one of the best experiences and, every time I think of Black Bottom Banana Bars, you guessed it… I think of all of those wonderful memories.


Ok, I’m back from Memory Lane. :)

Let’s get started!


A friend once described it as a cross between banana bread and brownies. And I really don’t think you can wrong with that combination.

Black Bottom Banana Bars

1/2 c butter or margarine, softened

1 c sugar

1 egg

1 t vanilla extract

1 1/2 c mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)

1 1/2 c all-purpose flour

1 t baking powder

1 t baking soda

1/2 t salt

1/4 c baking cocoa

The Prep:

Cream butter & sugar, add egg & vanilla, beat thoroughly until combined. Blend in bananas. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to creamed mixture and mix well. Divide the batter in half, spread onto a greased 13×9 baking pan. Add cocoa to one half and mix in. Spoon batter with cocoa into baking pan and spread evenly. Spoon remaining batter on top and swirl with a knife. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

I’ve demonstrated the last few steps for you:

Divide the batter in half in separate bowls.


Add the cocoa to one half of the batter and mix well.


Spread the cocoa batter evenly in baking pan. Then carefully spread the remaining half on top.


For some extra fun, give it a swirl.

Disclaimer: The swirling you see in the picture did NOTHING to the banana bars. When it was done baking there was not a single trace of a swirl! All that to say – please don’t follow my swirling methods. Ok, thanks.



I’ll let you in on a little secret…

In my opinion, it is absolute best when it is served warm and with ice cream.





Chile Verde

Chili is like the chicken salad of fall & winter. In the summer, nothing hits the spot better than a savory chicken salad. There’s hundreds of ways to make it and more than one is “right” and both of these qualities are true of chili as well.

And as we start reaching cooler temperatures, I am more and more excited for chili season.

So I kicked it off the only way that seemed appropriate… by making chili.

But not just any chili… this is Chile Verde.

And you MUST say it in your best Sofia Vergara accent.

It doesn’t taste as good if you don’t. Trust me.

Here’s what you’ll need:

The gang: red bell pepper, chili powder, ground cumin, onion, pinto beans, salsa verde, garlic, and ground beef or turkey.

Not pictured: cayenne pepper, which I did not add because I’m not into the spicy food scene. But I encourage you to add it if you are!

Recipe from Eating Well:

1 lb lean ground beef or turkey

1 large red bell pepper, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

6 cloves garlic, chopped

1 T chili powder

2 t ground cumin

¼ t cayenne pepper, or to taste

1 16-oz jar green salsa, green enchilada sauce or taco sauce

¼ c water

1 15-oz can pinto or kidney beans, rinsed

The Prep:

Cook beef, bell pepper and onion in a large saucepan over medium heat until the meat is browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin and cayenne; cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Stir in salsa (or sauce) and water; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in beans and cook until heated through, about 1 minute.

Top with tortilla chips, monterey jack, or cilantro. I promise you’ll warm right up.

Happy Chili Season,