Chocolate Chip Pineapple Banana Bread

I’ve been so busy getting ready for my dance show that I’ve barely had time to bake! My show is next week, and I couldn’t be any more excited. My dance looks so great already, and I can’t wait to have it from an audience.

Anyway, I wanted to make banana bread but as usual I wanted to mix up the standard recipe. Usually I try to make banana bread with really overripe bananas, but the ones I had weren’t quite ripe enough. Instead of waiting around, I decided to add in the pineapple to add some extra sweetness to the bread. It turned out great!

Chocolate Chip Pineapple Banana Bread from Square Root of Pie

Chocolate Chip Pineapple Banana Bread

Ingredients
2 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
dash salt
1 stick butter
3/4 C brown sugar
2 eggs
3 bananas, mashed
1 8oz can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 C chocolate chips

Ingredients
1.
Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Mix in eggs.
4. Gradually mix the flour into the butter mixture.
5. Fold in bananas, pineapple, and chocolate.
6. Pour into a greased 8×8 pan. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown and a knife comes out clean. Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Pineapple Banana Bread from Square Root of Pie

Bird Cake

I’m so behind on my blogging! Things got crazy busy the past few weeks. Interviews, family visits, and finishing up work. Today was my first day back at school, which is bad because summer is way more fun. But it’s also good because I’ll probably get back to blogging more than just desserts, now that I’m back to cooking for myself.

A couple weeks ago my coworkers requested cupcakes. I’ve been wanting to try out this flavor for awhile, and I had all the major ingredients, so I decided to give it a shot. No, there are no birds in this recipe, although a few people actually did ask me if there were. Think tropical carrot cake.

Hummingbird Cupcakes
Makes one dozen.

Ingredients
for the cake
1 1/2 C flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 stick butter
1 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 large bananas, mashed
2/3 C crushed or finely chopped pineapple (I used frozen)
1/3 C applesauce
1/3 C raisins
for the frosting
8 oz light cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
~1 C powdered sugar

Instructions
1.
Preheat oven to 350F. Line cupcake pan with paper liners.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking soda. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Stir in vanilla and eggs.
4. Gradually add dry into wet to combine.
5. Stir in banana, pineapple, applesauce, and raisins.
6. Bake 20-25 min, or until a toothpick comes out clean. The cakes should be dense.
7. Once cupcakes are cool, mix cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar until smooth. Frost cupcakes and serve.

Fly Lice

Christmas in Bangkok! By far the least Christmassy Christmas I’ve ever had. I went with one of my friends (hello, I know you’re reading) and her friend from home who was visiting. I didn’t take the same flight as them, so I got to have a fun three hours waiting at the airport by myself, but it was okay in the end. Just like Taipei, Bangkok was mostly temples, shopping, and street food, and I was okay with that.

Our first day, we wanted to go to some of the cool temples near the river. We pretty much got scammed by a tuk-tuk driver into taking a very expensive longboat instead of the public ferry, but as far as scams go, it wasn’t the end of the world. After that though, it was all ferry all the time. Definitely the coolest form of public transportation I’ve ever taken.

First stop: the Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho. It’s a gigantic statue of Buddha laying down, and it looks even bigger because it’s in a room barely big enough for it. Very impressive. The bottom of Buddha’s feet have a really intricate mother-of-pearl design, and the walls inside the building are painted as a huge, extremely detailed mural. After that, we went to Khao San Road and then Patpong Night Market. So much cheap shopping! Lots of cheesy souvenirs and bad knockoffs, sure, but I managed to find a few decent things. There were also plenty of food carts, so I might as well go into the street food now.

Pad thai pad thai pad thai. I think I had it three or four times, including Christmas dinner. Stir fried noodles with shrimp, egg, peanuts, sprouts, chili, lime, green onions, yum yum yum. Also satay, fresh squeezed juice, Thai tea, scrambled eggs with rice, mango sticky rice, fried bananas, red curry, green curry… We ate so many meals on the street. Pretty much everything I’ve had before, since Thai is tied with Mexican for my favorite cuisine, but obviously it was a lot cooler (and cheaper) eating Thai food in the street in Thailand than at a restaurant here in Los Angeles. What was new to me, though, was coconut pancakes. They’re not like fluffy pancakes, but rather a crunchy shell filled with cream and coconut shavings. We had those our second day, at the floating market.

We booked a day tour since everything we wanted to see that day was at least two hours outside the city. First stop was the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Ratchaburi. Plenty of boats and stalls were selling tourist crap, but I was way more interested in the real stuff. Little old ladies sitting in the water cutting fresh produce or handing bowls of hot noodles to people standing on the side of the canal. Definitely awesome to see. We took a boat through the market and then looped around through other parts of the canal where people actually live.

These houses were gorgeous! Sure, they were all a bit run down, but most were pretty big and almost all of them had tons of potted plants and other decorations out front. It was so beautiful. After that, we hopped back on the bus which took us to lunch.

This meal was really different than I expected. Not at all spicy like Thai food usually is – just really fresh tasting. Tons of bell peppers, onions, tofu, pineapple, cashews, and – my favorite – broccoli. Then we were off to the River Kwai Bridge, and finally, the place I was excited for most: the Tiger Temple.

It’s a conservation center run by monks. Some tigers are born there, but a lot are brought in as cubs after their mothers are killed by poachers. There were so many tigers! You wait in line for a bit, and then get two volunteers assigned to you: one holds your hand and walks you from tiger to tiger, where you sit and rub their adorable tiger bellies for a bit, and another takes pictures for you. Besides that you can walk around the rest of the center on your own. They also have other animals, like boars and deer, and you might run into a monk taking a tiger for a walk. Such an unbelievable experience.

Right near Wat Pho is the Grand Palace, which is half official government buildings, half temple, all tourist attraction. We went on Christmas day. The buildings are really beautiful, completely covered in tile and gold. They have a free tour in English a couple times a day, and we were lucky enough to get there right as one was starting. We got to learn all about what the different statues represent, the types of architecture, the function of each of the government buildings, etc. Afterward we went to the Chatuchak Weekend Market. It has something like 8,000 stalls, making it the largest in southeast Asia. It’s definitely a local market – souvenirs were actually hard to find amongst all the clothes, dishes, furniture, and food. We went more just to see the market than to do any actual shopping, but I did get something amazing:

Coconut ice cream, served in the coconut it was made from, topped with red beans, sticky rice, and pineapple jelly. Merry Christmas to me.

For our last days we laid on the beach and got tans, and then just walked around a bit. Sometimes my favorite thing to do is just walk around and look at people going about their business. The sidewalks in Bangkok are overly crowded with people cooking different foods, and any alley big enough to accomodate a market is filled with stalls of fresh fruit.

Thailand was amazing. I want to go back. Maybe not Bangkok – after five days, I definitely feel like I got a sense of what the city is about – but somewhere else definitely. Just for the food.