Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Delicious Simplicity... and Some Well-Earned Kudos

Sometimes the simplest things in life are the very best...
though they're often things that go unnoticed
(even when they're sitting there right in front of you).

So close you can almost touch them... taste them.

And yet... still... not truly recognize them.

Sometimes they are so ethereal and lovely in their pure simplicity that they're simply overlooked (or thought to be something else... unattainable, perhaps).

Every so often in life it's good to take a step back... slow down...
get a better view of what's around you.

Try looking at things from a different perspective...




Sometimes this approach can result in a whole new rainbow of possibilities...
allowing you see things much clearer... up close and in full color.

Having a better view of the simple things in life can make all the difference...
force you to take note of what's right there in front of you...
(as if it was) served up on a platter just for you...

When in reality, it was there all along...
just waiting to be discovered.

So purely simple and delicious!

(hmmm.... chocolate truffles? little bon-bons? baked bits of cake?)

Frozen Chocolate-Dipped & Sprinkled Banana Bites
adapted from Bon Appétit

These little nuggets of frozen goodness hardly require a "recipe." Yet I did clip one from a Bon Appétit magazine back in 2009... to remind myself of just how great something so simple can be.

These bites are perfect little nibbles... anytime of year... when you want something sweet that won't make you feel guilty for having taken the pleasure.

I happened to have four bananas that were quickly crossing into the Better Make Me Into Bread Or Forever Lose Me territory. While you can easily toss bananas in the freezer to be used later for smoothies, or dress them up whole like the traditional frozen bananas you see... these are just SO much more fun. Simple and super yummy... one little bite at a time!!

My effort yielded 24 bites

3 to 4 bananas
2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons canola oil

For preparation: a few wooden skewers

Sprinkles of your choice... here are a few suggestions:
salty peanuts (or other favorite nut)
crushed candy bar (I used a Heath bar)
candy sprinkles
toasted coconut
rice crispies (or other cereal)

1. Line a large baking sheet with foil. (Note: make sure it will fit in your freezer or select a one or two smaller ones that will).
2 In a heavy saucepan, set over medium-high heat, add chocolate chips and oil; stir to combine. Cook until chocolate is completely melted; stirring frequently. Set aside to cool for about 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Arrange your choice of "sprinkles" in individual shallow bowls.
4. Once chocolate has cooled, cut bananas into 1-inch "bites" (discarding any pieces that are bruised). To make dipping easier, poke a short wooden skewer into your banana slice (just going about 1/2 to 3/4 the way through... not completely speared through slice!). Carefully dip slice into melted chocolate, making sure that banana is completely coated. Lift skewered banana out of chocolate and gently release excess chocolate from fruit by gently tapping skewer on rim of saucepan OR use your free hand to gently tap the wrist of the hand holding the skewer (this is how Bakerella gets such a great coating on her amazing, creative little Cake Pops!). It will take several quick and gentle taps to rid fruit of excess chocolate. (Note: the original recipe says to dip fruit into chocolate by hand, and then into sprinkles, BUT this will leave LOTS of chocolate in your toppings. It's best to patiently let the excess chocolate run off... I promise you'll be happier with the results.)

5. When you have a nice chocolate-covered little bite, spoon or sprinkle topping of choice over entire surface. Deposit coated bite onto foil-lined baking sheet; continue dipping and coating balance of fruit. (oops... this one got fully speared... best to swap out for clean skewers when this starts happening)

6. When finished dipping and coating all of your banana pieces, transfer them to freezer; leave for at least 3 hours before proceeding to nibble. (Leftover banana bites can be put into freezer-safe ziplock bags for later munching.)


Special thanks to all who voted for my entries in the Pacific Foods Everyday Chef Challenge... your support was much appreciated over these past few weeks!!!

A big CONGRATS to both Elana's Pantry and Herbivoracious for their winning entries... remember to cast your vote for your favorite recipes this next week! I know I will.

And... major KUDOS to all the Challengers that entered their own amazing creations these past few weeks... continue your voting to see who from this group will join your favorite blogger.

Congratulations all!

Disclosure: I worked with Pacific Foods on the Everyday Chef Challenge and received a stipend for my participation in this promotion.

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