Thursday, August 22, 2013

Shine Supper Club: Spiced Peanut Butter and Melted Banana Sandwich Spread

Even though I can't eat much in the way of bread anymore, with my nutty work schedule, I can certainly appreciate the simple convenience of a sandwich. So when, two days before I'm supposed to leave for vacation, I got a call from work asking me to come in early the next day, I knew what my lunch would be. And it just so happened that the Shine Supper Club is doing Sandwiches this month.

So I had a major challenge: Come up with something I could eat on the way, would hold up in the heat, and all in a matter of about 6 hours. Oh, and my mother happened to have just used up all but the last heel of the bread.

I've been somewhat obsessed recently with a couple of things. One is a blog called Chocolate CoveredKatie, full of healthy dessert ideas. Another is PB2, a powdered peanut butter that, while not convenient to mix and use as a peanut butter replacement, is wonderful for mixing into smoothies, yogurt, pancakes...or sandwich spread.

So I combined two things. I used CCK's Melted Banana trick, and mixed the caramelized banana with PB2 and cinnamon with just a little water to thin it out.

The “recipe”:
Spiced Peanut Butter and Melted Banana Sandwich Spread

Enough for one sandwich

1/2 large banana
2 tblsp PB2
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Water, enough to thin to desired consistency.
1-2 slices of bread (I don't folding over for a half sandwich, but it does make for a thick sandwich)

  1. In a covered bowl, microwave banana in 20 second intervals, mashing with a fork between intervals, until banana is completely mushy. (About 3 sessions in my microwave).
  2. Mix in PB2 and cinnamon, adding water to achieve desired consistency.
  3. Spread over bread slice and enjoy!

They say necessity is the mother of invention. While I may go back to my old standbys, though, this is one to keep in the aresenal. It held up until I got to work without making an absolute mess, and still tasted good when I got there.

Sometimes I bring a cold cut sandwich, sometimes peanut butter and jelly, sometimes it's cream cheese and olive and other times I grab something from the drive thru on the way. When I'm in the mood for something different, though, I know what I will turn to.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sourdough Surprises: Buffalo Flatbread Crackers

I almost missed this month's SourdoughSurprises challenge. It seems a little crazy that one long weekend in Western New York can throw off my whole month. I'd been struggling with inspiration and figured I'd bake when I got back, but before I knew was the 18th and I still hadn't made my crackers.

However, one benefit to my trip was inspiration. Other than the traditional Polish fare that I was expecting at my family reunion, I had three treats I wanted more than anything and can't get in Florida: A Tim Horton's S'mores donut (which they apparently don't have anymore), orange chocolate sponge candy, and traditional chicken wings.

I finally got my wings at the Anchor Bar at the Buffalo Airport just before I left, but I was still wanting more. (Then again, I can always go for good chicken wings). So what better way to flavor my sourdough crackers than Buffalo-style hot sauce?

Before I ramble on too much, the modifications I made to the recipe (summer humidity is making baking a challenge):

Buffalo-Style Sourdough Flatbread Crackers
Adapted from C Mom Cook
1 cup Sourdough Starter
1 1/4 cup flour
3 tablespoons prepared Buffalo wing sauce (or 1 1/2 tablespoons each melted butter and hot sauce of choice)

Combine flour, starter, and butter.  Add enough flour to form a stiff ball.  Cover and let sit aside for at least 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes has passed roll dough out very thin. Cut into rounds with a biscuit cutter and repeat until all dough is used. Prick with a fork and brush with Buffalo wing sauce.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven. Begin checking at 10 minutes (I did not roll mine out thin enough, so they took 16 minutes to become crispy). Let cool on cookie sheet before transferring to a storage container.

So a little pressed for time, I didn't make them perfectly. My original intention was also to top them with some Ranch and chicken, so I made them a little too big. Mistakes aside, they tasted pretty good. While I can't say they were a complete success, they certainly weren't a failure.

Now I just have to fix that donut craving...

Check out our other awesome flatbreads!