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Banana Chocolate Cupcakes February 11, 2012

Filed under: Food — ceb33 @ 5:29 pm

Made these last night because my bananas were going bad.  They’re pretty good.

Original Recipe:

Banana Chocolate Cupcakes

1 c. flour ($1.77/3 lb)
1 c. sugar ($2.59/4 lb)
1/3 c. and 2 Tbsp cocoa powder ($2.49)
3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 ripe bananas (mashed)
1 egg
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract ($1.39)
1/4 c. oil
1/4 c. milk
1/2 c. warm water
(total cost: $8.24)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Mix together dry ingredient (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt).
In a separate bowl mix together other ingredients (milk, banana, egg, water, oil and vanilla extract).
Add the liquid mixture into the dry mixture, and mix together.  The final batter is very thin.
Pour mixture into muffin pan (either lined or greased).

Bake for 20-24 mins.

I frosted some of my cupcakes with peanut butter frosting which I made by mixing together Betty Crocker vanilla frosting and peanut butter.  The others I frosted with just the plain vanilla frosting.  I think I like the ones frosted with just vanilla better, the peanut butter kind of overwhelms the banana chocolate taste.


Slightly Orange Cupcakes February 5, 2012

Filed under: Food — ceb33 @ 4:16 am

I just bought a muffin pan and really wanted to try my hand at some cupcakes.  Unfortunately, I don’t have mixer or most the materials required to make most cupcakes however I did have everything needed to make the following recipe (except vanilla extract) and it’s super easy.

Original recipe:,196,138166-225200,00.html

Slightly Orange Cupcakes

1/2 c. softened reduced fat margarine
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1.5 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 c. orange juice
dash of milk

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Cream margarine and sugar.  Add in one egg at a time, mixing in between.

In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking powder and salt.

Mix dry ingredients into sugar/butter mixture.  Stir in orange juice and milk.

Bake for 18-24 mins.

I glazed the cupcakes with a little orange juice and plan to frost them tomorrow with vanilla frosting.

These came out okay.  I was hoping they’d be a little more orange-y, but they still taste good — a little tangy and sweet.
Taking them to a superbowl party tomorrow, hopefully people like them. 🙂
Go Giants?


Chicken Makhani (Butter Chicken) February 4, 2012

Filed under: Food — ceb33 @ 1:19 am

Spent my day (after class) grocery shopping so I could make this!

Original Recipe:

My version:
Chicken Makhani:

1 lb chicken ($2.20)
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste ($2.99)
2 tsp red chili powder ($0.69 — *I used chili powder from a normal grocery store, this probably slightly different than the red chili powder that the recipe calls for which you will find at an Indian grocery)
1 Tbsp coriander powder ($3.19)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp fenugreek powder ($2.99 — *The recipe calls for 1/2 tsp. fenugreek leaves which are not the same thing as the powder.  The powder is made from the seed.  I couldn’t find the leaves and bought the powder — the sauce may have ended up tasting a bit different with the leaves.)
1/4 tsp cumin powder ($2.29)
3/4 Tbsp reduced fat margarine
1/2 tsp sugar
tomato ketchup
1 large tomato (~.5 lb) ($0.80)
1/2 large onion ($0.40)
1/4 tsp. garam masala ($2.99)
1/2 c. heavy cream ($1.50)

(total: $20.04; but I have all my spices now for next time I make it!)


Slice tomato and onion into strips set both aside separately.

Slice chicken into strips and mix in a large bowl with:
½ tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp chili powder
½ Tbsp coriander powder (1.5 tsp)
dash of salt

Heat up a frying pan (medium heat) — check for hotness by splashing in water to see if it sizzles.
Once hot add olive oil to pan.  Then add chicken.  Saute until chicken is cooked.

Remove only the cooked chicken from the pan (leave in the oil and spices in pan) and put on plate.

Add ¼ tsp cumin powder and onions to pan.  While the onions cook add ½ tsp ginger garlic paste, few splashes of water, ½ Tbsp coriander powder, 1 tsp chili powder and fenugreek powder to them.

Stir in the tomato and turn down the heat a little.  Cover the pan and allow to cook for about 10 mins (I’m not sure how much time I allowed, I washed some dishes while waiting).

Take the pan off the heat and allow to cool to a moderate temperature.
Put tomato and onion saute into a blender and blend until smooth.

I washed out my frying pan quickly with a little bit of water, then allowed to heat up again on medium heat.
Add butter to the hot pan.  Then add the oils that have seeped from the chicken onto the plate to the butter.  Mix in the tomato puree.
Add a sugar, a small squirt of ketchup, and salt to taste.
Turn down the heat a little (I am always nervous about dairy curdling) and stir in cream.
Add in garam masala and chicken and bring heat up so that the sauce is piping.

Serve over rice or with naan.

This sauce turned out really well — it doesn’t taste quite like at an Indian restaurant but pretty close, and if you plan to make more than once will cost way less!

chicken makhani


February 1st 2012; Cincinnati: Baked Parmesan Hummus February 1, 2012

Filed under: Food — ceb33 @ 9:56 pm

It’s a balmy 61 degrees outside.  I don’t think I’ve ever gone outside in February without a real winter coat on.. until today.  I wore a fleece jacket and some jeans, and — in light of the wonderful weather and no class — I walked down to the Indian grocery to buy the first ingredient of many {ginger garlic paste $2.99} for my second attempt at making chicken makhani (the first didn’t turn out so well).

Anyway, the goal of this blog is to keep a running tally of the things (whether food or crafts) that I make.  This will include directions, recipes, the cost of the project, whether I liked the final result, and suggestions for the next time I make it.

For starters, last week I tried to make Baked Asiago Hummus [original recipe from Better Homes and Garden (… However, I didn’t have asiago cheese, so mine was Baked Parmesan Hummus.

Baked Parmesan Hummus:

1 tsp onion powder
1 15 oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp sesame oil
½ tsp garlic powder
a dash or two rosemary
6 Tbsp shredded parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450 F.
In a blender I combined beans, olive oil, sesame oil, garlic, rosemary, 2 Tbsp water, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp black pepper. Process until smooth*. Stir in 2 Tbsp of the cheese. Transfer to a casserole pan.
Top with remaining cheese. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is browned and hummus is heated thoroughly.

Now there were multiple problems with this recipe.  First, the original recipe asks you to use a food processor rather than a blender — unfortunately I don’t have a food processor — the blender wasn’t particularly good at catching the beans so I ended up having to squish the beans with a fork.  No good.

The second problem: the hummus was very bean-y (that’s not a word) and bland.  Now I prefer my hummus to be like that made by Sabra.  In order to get the correct flavor I think I should have added some tahini sauce and maybe some lemon juice.

Perhaps when I buy a food processor I will try this recipe again.