Bananas never last in our kitchen. In fact, until recently I’d have to remind myself to put bananas on the list before heading out to the grocery store. Thanks to my almost daily green smoothie habit, we will easily go through a bunch in under a week. Trevor also likes to have a piece of fruit with his breakfast and lately it became a battle of who got the last banana. Since my weekday green smoothie usually happen after work, I always lost. Until now.
One day after work I was picking up groceries at a store on the east end of town (Trevor was working late) and I came across the 50% off produce cart. Usually the cart is pretty empty at the end of the day, but on this lucky day it was completely loaded with bags of ripe bananas. I checked a couple bags and discovered that despite being really ripe, the bananas were still in pretty good shape. I knew I couldn’t pass up such a good price and ended up bring home four large bunches (with minimal bruising after dragging my bags onto the streetcar).
After peeling and filling up my freezer (mmm, future smoothies), I was still left with a lot of bananas. Trevor was set for the next week with his own separately purchased bunch for breakfast, but I knew I wanted to bake something besides a standard loaf of banana bread.
Enter banana bread pecan scones. All the flavour of banana bread, but in a personal-sized soft and buttery scone. I’m a sucker for nuts in my baking, so after shaping the scones I lightly sprinkled (pressed) some chopped pecans into each triangle before popping them in the oven. Have you ever wanted to plant yourself in front of your oven and inhale the smell of toasted pecans? You will after the first 5 minutes of baking these scones.
Normally I like to have a pat of butter or jam with my scones, but these were wonderful on their own with a side of Saturday afternoon coffee. They’ll also make a nice side dish for a special occasion breakfast or a take-along snack for a weekend road trip. Me, I had to force myself to stick half of them in the freezer because I tend to lose my mind around freshly baked goods. After inhaling two already.
Banana Bread Pecan Scones
12 large scones
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground flax seed
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup cold butter/margarine
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed
- 2 tbsp almond milk
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350*F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- In a large bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, brown sugar, baking powder, ground flax seed, cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut in the cold butter/margarine until the mixture is coarse and the butter/margarine pieces are pea-sized.
- In a small bowl, mash the bananas. Add in the almond milk and stir until the bananas and liquid are combined. Pour mixture into the flour bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until no flour is visible.
- Turn the dough onto a floured surface, lightly dust with more flour and knead 10 times. Pat the dough into a large circle and slice into 12 triangles. Place the scones on your prepared baking sheet and lightly press the chopped pecans into the tops of each scones.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes until the scones are set and the bottoms are brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wired rack. Enjoy plain, with jam or with a slab of butter/margarine (I preferred mine plain).
So besides making my own ice cream, I’ve apparently now become a person who makes her own crackers. I know, crazy. If you had told me that I would become this domestic when I first started this blog, I would have laughed and laughed and laughed. Yet here we are, almost 4.5 years later, and I’m posting a recipe for the incredibly long-winded but very addicting olive oil and rosemary sea salt crackers.
One of the main reasons I never thought I would make my own crackers is because they’re pretty cheap to buy and really, what’s easier than opening a box? We always have a box or two going at once because they’re a great snack when we don’t want something sweet, they pair wonderfully with everything (i.e. hummus, guacamole, salsa, soup, etc) and they go on sale at the Shopper’s Drug Mart near our condo all the time. And I’m all for getting optimum points on things like groceries so I can use the points to buy non-grocery things like chocolate. And shampoo when we run out.
I always start things with the best of intentions. Back in early 2014, I had an idea to create another little category on She Bakes Here called “Sweets of Toronto.” Since moving here in 2010, I’ve accumulated a list of favourite bakeries, shops, and sugar-related fun around the city. After constantly posting photos on my Instagram account, I thought it would something I could expand on here.
The first post went up about a month later after Trevor and I took part in the Kensington Market Sweets Tour through Tasty Tours. And then, I’m embarrassed to admit that until today, it remained the only post under the “Sweets of Toronto” category. Once spring hit, we became busy looking for a new place to live and then in the summer, we moved and then immediately flew to the UK for my friend, Crystal’s wedding. When we came back, it took us a little while to settle into our new place (we didn’t have a chance to unpack before we left) and then the next thing we knew, it was Christmas! And then 2015!
Basically this is my long-winded excuse and lead-up to introduce my second and long-awaited Sweets of Toronto post for Dlish Cupcakes, which is without a doubt my favourite cupcake shop in Toronto.
I never thought I would be the type of person who makes her own ice cream. This idea changed when I was diagnosed as lactose-intolerant as a child and later even more so when Trevor and I started dating.
Back when I was diagnosed, there wasn’t a lot of dairy-free food options like there are now. So for a good number of years I relied on taking those funny tasting Lactaid pills so I wouldn’t have to give up my love of cheese, chocolate and most importantly ice cream. Social events like birthday parties were always a little weird and I soon became known as that kid who had to pop pills in order to eat a slice of pizza or birthday cake.
Years later I was in university, I was on a strict budget and as I slowly stopped taking (or forgetting to buy) the pills, I found that I was able to tolerate eating dairy in small to medium doses. Today I no longer have to take the pills, but since I started dating Trevor, I also don’t purchase as many dairy products since I’m usually stuck eating it myself. When I do buy ice cream or pizza, I tend to feel a little guilty when I eat it in front of him. Food isn’t really that fun unless you get to share.
There is nothing worse than a tease. Especially a warm weather tease.
Case in point: I have five zucchini plants, a spinach plant, a lettuce plant and a rosemary plant crowded in large, over-sized pots on our living room floor. All lined up against the window like prisoners on death row, fighting for valuable sunlight, day in and day out, as the sun passes by our south facing windows. I haven’t been able to put them back out on the balcony since last Saturday, before the weather dropped and the wind decided it was back with a vengence. My poor little plants look a little cooped up and after this long winter, I know exactly how they feel.
It’s partially my fault because I definitely started my indoor seeds too early. I blame it on my excitement because this summer we finally have a (small) piece of outdoor space. In my ignorance, I also didn’t think that all five zucchini seeds would take and now I’m staring down at five plants covered in little buds. If all five plants flower and produce fruit, I may be in trouble. If that’s the case, be prepared for a lot of zucchini recipes this summer.