I have some good news about the truck situation...we finally found a replacement for the disastrous Chicago Truck! I won't bore you with all of the details but we pretty much got screwed (pardon my French) by the car salesman over there. He promised us that the truck was ready and it wasn't. It needed to have the computer (a $6,000 part) replaced which would take weeks. We basically drove from Miami to Chicago (over 1400 miles each way) for nothing. But wait. Well, not exactly nothing. We were able to stand in line for 45 minutes and get our first taste of the highly coveted Sprinkles cupcakes. One of each flavor. That's 13 flavors so about $50 bucks worth of cupcakes. I couldn't help myself, really. The store looked so pretty, the cupcakes smelled and looked divine. I went into this excited sugar crazed mode and said "One of each, please!!" before my less insane counterpart M could stop me. Here are some pics of the outside:
Pretty nice, right? Well, the cupcakes were very tasty. Some I really liked - the vanilla was very good as well as the cinnamon. Others not so much. The cherry cupcake was just way too cherry. Cherry that was trying too hard. You get the point. Anyway, we did have a bit of fun during the trip but it wasted a lot of precious time and money (M still won't let me forget we paid $50 for cupcakes - just for the two of us). It also taught us that you shouldn't drive more than 1 hour to buy a vehicle. At least we never will. Lesson Learned. BAM.
Now for the fun part! I have a yummy banana nut muffin recipe to share with you. It's moist and hits the spot for breakfast or snack. I was happy to have some when she came home from school with a starved look on her face. They would also be great to put in a lunch box for dessert.
Banana No-Nut Chocolate Chip Muffin Recipe (adapted from Tyler Florence's Recipe on Foodnetwork.com)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 overripe bananas
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and lightly butter 2 muffin tins or use cupcake liners (which is what I did).
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Mash 2 of the bananas with a fork in a small bowl so they still have a bit of texture.
Note: I mashed 2 bananas (as seen below) but I also mashed the other bananas with the sugar before putting the electric mixer to them.
With an electric mixer fitted with a wire whisk, whip the remaining bananas and sugar together like you mean it, for a good 3 minutes.
Add the melted butter, eggs, and vanilla and beat well, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. It took me about 1 minute on medium speed. Be sure not to over mix or you will have banana rocks! Fun to play with sure, but not very nice to eat.
Fold in the mini chips and the mashed bananas with a rubber spatula. I decided to make 2 versions, one with chocolate chips and one without so I divided the batter into 2 bowls.
Spoon the batter into the muffin tins to fill them about halfway. I used a large ice cream scoop and a plastic scraper. Very effective indeed!
Give the muffin tin a nice rap on the counter to get any air bubbles out.
Bake until a toothpick stuck in the muffins comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. It took mine exactly 19 minutes at 375 degrees. Let cool for a few minutes before turning the muffins out (or if you're anything like me you'll try to pop one out early while it's still piping hot). Here's a pic of the cuties once they were safely cooled down.