Monday, January 09, 2006

two recent adventures in the kitchen (updated)

Adventure #1: Chocolate Brownies
Nothing too taxing here, seeing as I used a premixed box of stuff, just add butter, oil, &eggs.

Of course, the oven tends to bake hotter than what is set, so I set it to 350F as instructed, but figured I look in on it at 15mins as opposed to the 20-24 min baking time stated on the box.

The aroma of chocolate brownies started to waft thru the apartment pretty soon…

Then it seemed to turn into more of a burning smell…

I decided to check it out just around 13mins cos I wanted brownies, not blackies, if u get what I mean…

Opened the oven door to peek, and was greeted by smoke.


I switched it off but kept its door closed.
Went to bedroom window – opened it
Put floor fan into motion to circulate air in apartment.
Opened apartment door.
Cold air started getting pulled thru the apartment
THEN I opened the oven door to let the smoke out
Flapped around a bit with some newspapers to make sure the smoke alarm didn’t go off

Okay, crisis averted.

And the brownies? Apart from some charring along the sides, they were fine.


And charred edges notwithstanding, they tasted great too.

And THAT is also kinda surprising, seeing as I used a “healthy” product (only 5 items in its ingredients list! Compare that to Betty Crocker, Pilsbury, etc) made with flax seed. I think it has just the right amount of chocolate to satisfy the requirement for a “chocolate brownie” without going overboard like most of the other mixes out there. (Of course, my next box is a deluxe brownie cheesecake swirl brownie mix by Pilsbury, LOL!).

Adventure #2: Banana (Chocolate) Bread
When we went shopping a week ago, we got a medium sized bunch of bananas, since the previous small bunch got gobbled up very fast. Of course,we then proceeded to NOT eat the bananas much, until there remained three poor things getting more and more spotted and black on the outside.

Back in the olden days, we’d make some sore of banana pancake to finish up bananas like these. I have no idea how to go about fixing such a thing now. But I mentioned it to Kosh, and he said he had a recipe for Banana Bread somewhere, if I wanted to try it out.

Seeing as those poor bananas weren’t getting any fresher, and I didn’t want to waste them, neither did I want either of us to force ourselves to eat them when they weren’t appetizing anymore, just to not waste them… fixing a loaf of banana bread sounded good.

So the recipe started with “cream butter and sugar”. Ugh. Cream? How is that? So I let the butter sit out while I prepared all the other ingredients, figuring it’ll get soft, then I used a spatula to mix it together with the sugar. Took some elbow grease, but turned out okay, or so I thought.

Then I had to add the pre-beaten eggs. Ugh, it looked gross… and lumpy, cos of the butter.

Then added the pre-mashed bananas (mashing was fun!).

Still lumpy.

Added all the other stuff as needed, and if it was still lumpy, well too bad :p

Seeing as we didn’t have nuts, I added half a cup of chocolate chips to jazz it up a bit.
Kosh the chocolate addict should have a pleasant surprise :-)

And then for the actual baking… mindful of the too-hot oven, I set it for 325F instead of 350F, hopefully that will make a difference…. The recipe calls for 1.25hrs, but I’m checking it at 1hr just in case.

Right now the apartment is filling up with the excellent smell of banana bread… mmmMmmMMmMM!

I *will * be keeping a nose out for a more smoky smell as we get closer to the 1 hr mark… (another 20 mins to go)… but hopefully there’ll be no need for another round of smoke detector deflection today :p

Oh, and I can break my fast in just under 30mins from now, whoohoo! Maybe with a slice of the bread?!! Yummmy :-)

Yeah, I decided that I should “pay back” some of the fasting days I “owe” from the last fasting month… figured if I do 4 days straight this week, it would be the first time in a long time that I’d have actually “earned” my bbq beef ribs in a long time :-D

Of course, by the time I'm putting the finishing touches to this post (friggin' dial-up!!) it's 7 mins to go, and there's definitely a smoky edge to the banana bread aroma. Time to check!!


(update: yeah, the top was slightly darker than what I would have wanted... but it's GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD! Looks like ideal baking time = 55min @ 325F on this oven)


  1. With all those write-up about foods, I never thought that you went fasting. Trying to lose weight huh? :D

  2. I'm one of those who doesn't whine about fasting and how hungry I am etc etc etc... I know of lots of people who would never consider themselves "weak", and yet they don't want to cook or be exposed to food while fasting cos they are afraid they'll succumb to temptation... not me :-)

    oh - any weight loss is just bonus lah, the main thing is to pay back what i "owe" seeing as I didn't do much fasting during Ramadhan this time around..


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