Tips-y Tuesdays: Making New Crayons from Old Crayons

This is all over the internet, so I’m not really sharing any groundbreaking news here. But, I do have some tips on how to make new crayons from old crayons. These were another Valentine’s Day gift we made for our friends. The Fudgelet loves playing with them. Sometimes he wants his regular crayons, but he often wants to draw with these instead.

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Peanut Butter Change-Ups

I’ve been doing a new thing where if possible, I try to make a half batch of a recipe. It doesn’t always work if a recipe calls for one egg, or the like, but if I can, then it makes it so that we can get through the treats in a reasonable time without stuffing our faces constantly. I’ve been less hungry, but still wanting to bake a lot. So, this lets me satisfy my baking itches and my belly needs. The recipe today is an example. You can make a double batch of what I wrote (which is half of the original) or you can make it as is. This will make between 24-30 cookies, which is perfect for our small family to enjoy. It leaves you wanting more…without them getting stale first.

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Heart Cookies and Brownies

These were some treats we made for the week surrounding Valentine’s Day. Most were shared with friends, and a few were saved for us to enjoy. I wasn’t really pleased with either cookie recipe, so I won’t be sharing them but the brownie recipe was one I’ve already shared here and enjoy.

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Breakfast Pizza

I’ve seen breakfast pizza many places and not done the way I would like it…I like my eggs on the more “done” side and not running all willy-nilly over my pizza. I also want to be able to make it quickly if it is for breakfast. Or really, quickly for any meal. Who wants to work all day on a simple pizza recipe? This recipe from America’s Test Kitchen was perfect! The dough is something you make ahead of time, and it has built in time that allows you to make it a bit early or a bit late. The actual topping part is also simple. The longest part is cooking the bacon.

 

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Cinnamon Roll Bundt Cake

I don’t often make bundt cakes, even though I own a regular bundt pan and a mini bundt pan tray. Part of it is I am still looking for my perfect bundt cake recipe. They are denser than regular cakes, and I understand why, but I am still hoping to come around to them a bit more. Do you have a favorite recipe? This recipe was good…it is definitely sweet with a LOT of frosting to go around. I actually had extra frosting that we saved just in case…but then ended up tossing it. Next time I would maybe make a little less frosting just because the cake didn’t need as much. It is a moist cake, and I like the cinnamon swirl in it. I could even see making more of the cinnamon layer and doing a second layer of it.

My frosting didn’t come out as nicely as Bridget’s did, but the mini ones look nice. I would say maybe I needed more sugar to thicken the frosting, but it was as sweet as I could handle it as is.

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Flour Bakery’s Banana Bread

I’ve made my dad banana bread numerous times now. And when he has been happy each time, it seemed silly to bother looking for another recipe when the first one had been doing so well. Except for one problem…I didn’t have yogurt. I also didn’t have much time to go buy yogurt, and I wanted to make the bread ASAP to freeze it and have it ready to ship. Then I decided to search through my cookbooks and see if I had any other prospects.

99% of the recipes I have made from my Flour Bakery cookbook have turned out amazing, so I decided to check and see if they had a recipe. I didn’t think they would…and yet they did! More importantly, I had all of the ingredients because I happened to have sour cream in my fridge. It seemed meant to be. So, I turned my dad into a guinea pig once again…although because I didn’t trust it entirely, I put a little extra batter into a ramekin and baked it alongside the loaf. The Fudgelet, K, and I could have a small taste test to make sure it wasn’t bad. Not only was it not bad, but it had me rethinking my thoughts on banana as an ingredient (I usually only eat it raw). Impressive, and definitely the recipe I will try again the next time my dad asks for banana bread. My only complaint is I need to cook it even longer. My dad likes his treats dry. Cakes, breads, etc. So, this was a little too moist for him, even with my extended baking time. So, the plan for next time is to use only 2 bananas (I used 2.5-3) and to bake for 1.5 hours instead of 1.25 hours.

One of my favorite parts of this recipe is that the nuts are evenly dispersed. That means the top is smooth and the bread more uniform. With my other recipe, occasionally some nuts would burn on top. This solves that issue.

Directions for Flour Bakery’s Banana Bread

Adapted from Flour

  • 210 grams flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 230 g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed (about 300 grams)
  • 2 Tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream (I used sour cream)
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and butter a 9×5 inch loaf pan. In a stand mixer, beat together the sugar and eggs on medium speed for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.

Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. On low speed, slowly drizzle the oil into the stand mixer bowl over the course of a minute.

Add the bananas, sour cream, and vanilla, mixing on low speed until combined.

Use a spatula to fold the flour mixture and nuts into the stand mixer bowl.

There should be no flour streaks, and the nuts evenly distributed. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and smooth the top.

Bake for 1-1.5 hours, until golden brown and the center springs back when you press it with your finger. Let it cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes before removing it to finish cooling.

Directions for Flour Bakery’s Banana Bread (without pictures)

Adapted from Flour

  • 210 grams flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 230 g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed (about 300 grams)
  • 2 Tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream (I used sour cream)
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and butter a 9×5 inch loaf pan. In a stand mixer, beat together the sugar and eggs on medium speed for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. On low speed, slowly drizzle the oil into the stand mixer bowl over the course of a minute. Add the bananas, sour cream, and vanilla, mixing on low speed until combined.

Use a spatula to fold the flour mixture and nuts into the stand mixer bowl. There should be no flour streaks, and the nuts evenly distributed. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and smooth the top. Bake for 1-1.5 hours, until golden brown and the center springs back when you press it with your finger. Let it cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes before removing it to finish cooling.

 

Chicken and Green Bean Stir Fry

I’m here to share a relatively simple recipe that I’ve been making many iterations of recently. To start, you could change the meat and/or vegetable. You could also change the ingredients and amounts…this is a working recipe you can follow strictly, but it is best if you experiment. Sometimes I need more or less of an ingredient (or cooking time) depending on how everything is cooking.

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