Nov 3, 2010

Grammy's Here for Dinner and Banana Cake!

Last night was the highly anticipated arrival of Grammy! Auntie Kelly and my baby cousin went to pick her up from the airport while I stayed at the house helping Gabrielle finish her homework. Look at this sweet face enjoying writing out her vocabulary words.
As Grammy's flight didn't come in until 5:30 pm, Kelly wanted to have an easy dinner, crock pot style. Earlier yesterday, she gave Gabrielle a few options and put her to work. Gabrielle chose a Beef Bourguignon recipe from Fix-It and Forget-It. She excitedly put the meal together and was very proud of how delicious it came out!
I enjoyed my serving very much, especially knowing how carefully it was prepared ;) Thanks, Gabby!
After dinner, Gabby and I decided to make a recipe from the November 2010 Cooking Light magazine: Banana Snacking Cake.
Of course Zachary couldn't be left out of the fun.
Despite it being considered a healthy recipe, I found additional changes I could make to reduce the amount of calories and fat. 


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt 6 oz container fat-free vanilla yogurt
  • 3/4 cup mashed ripe banana 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup canola oil 1 6 oz container cinnamon applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 375*.
2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon in salt in a large bowl. Stir with a whisk. Make a well in center of flour mixture.
3. Combine yogurt, banana, applesauce, vanilla, and egg in a small bowl and stir until blended. Add wet ingredients to the flour mixture, stirring just until moist.
4. Pour batter into a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. 
While the cake was in the oven, we licked the bowls clean. No need for a dishwasher in this household! Just kidding. 
20 minutes later... 
Everyone loved the final product. It was very light and fluffy, just like banana bread. I'm not really sure why Cooking Light refers to this as a "snacking cake." Sure, the title is much more enticing, but c'mon, who are they trying to fool? This is essentially bread, just baked in more of a cake shape. Those tricksters got us. 

I shall leave you with a hilarious picture of my cousin. He stuck his head through the arm hole of Grammy's shirt and ran around yelling that he was a "black ghost." :)
And that would be him knocking his sister off the chair a few minutes later. Sibling love!

What are some simple recipe changes you like to make to "healthify" them or reduce calories/fat? Have a good night!


  1. What cuties!!! I made a vegan banana cake recently and absolutely loved it!I'm all about using applesauce or other fruit/veggie purees in baked goods. I also like using almond milk vs. regular milk. Hope you are having a good week

  2. You did what I would do too. And yes, snacking cake sounds way more scandalous then bread! I also use smart balance light when I know fat is needed in the recipe. I use egg substitute and a little stevia with sugar if I have it around. I think you did a great job though!

  3. Gabby is so cute! She actually reminds me of my best friend back in elementary school.

    I find bread recipes the easiest to healthify without changing the texture/taste. I'd say my favorite's healthy muffins..usually by replacing some of the butter with pumpkin or applesauce, reducing the sugar, making it whole wheat..stuff like that.

  4. SO adorable! Love it - thanks for sharing. I've never made anything like this before!

  5. Oh what cuties!! Sounds like you're all having a blast. :D

  6. Cute family! I use Brummel N brown yogurt spread instead of real butter. Or add yogurt/applesauce in place of some of the oil.

  7. To reduce the amount of butter in mashed potatoes (good God, I love mashed potatoes), I use chicken stock and fat free plain yogurt with and some fresh chopped chives. The potatoes come out light and fluffy and REALLY full of flavor. YUM!

    Also, my daughter makes the same face Gabby does when she does her homework. Coincidentally, Avory had to write out vocab words and definitions last night too.

  8. Loving Gabby's perfectly polished nails...she's training for her high fashionista years!

  9. Kids are always so much fun in the kitchen--looked like you had a ball! :-)

  10. aw, kiddies are the best- so cute! Looks like they had a blast with you :)

  11. looks like you all had lots of fun! The food looks delish and they kids are adorable!


  12. Yum! I love banana bread, and one of my recent fads has been substituting yogurt in recipes... So tasty! I almost always make my own adaptations to recipes. Personalized = better.

  13. Aren't kids fun? Great looking cake! I like to use applesauce to healthify recipes, too...

  14. NOTHING beats family time! Looks so fun to meee! Seriously days like that complete me haha. SUCH a wonderful post anddd that recipe looks delish! How did you think to sub in the apple sauce? Nice job!

  15. HAA, omg we may have a baby blogger on our hands!

  16. You're cousins are so cute!! It looks like they LOVE spending them with you :)
    Love the picture with the head thru the arm hole.
    I usually use applesauce whenever I bake as well, but never thought to use cinnamon applesauce. That cake, well, bread ;) looks SO yummy!!

  17. What cutie patuties! As for me, I don't bake. Ever. I'd rather not eat cake than have to make it and eat it. I'm sooo lazy.

  18. So cute- reminds me of my days as a little Gabby (my parents still call me that) when I'd lovingly make chicken dijon and be soooo proud of myself.

    I very rarely use white flour- there are so many whole-grain alternatives!!

  19. You're going to be such a good Mommy Blogger :) I often find myself using yogurt in recipes as well... That cake looks delishhh

  20. Those kiddos are so cute!

    I always sub whole wheat flour for white flour in recipes and I'll sometimes add in a bit of ground flaxseed. I've avoided messing with fat substitutions lately because I ruined a lot of recipes in the past by doing that haha.

  21. Love the pics of the kiddos, they're cute! That banana bread looks delicious :)

  22. Those kids are cute. Maybe I'll have some, hmmm...

    I love banana bread. Yum! I wish I had people to bake with me when I was little!

  23. your cousins are so cute!! every time you post pictures of zachary, i can't stop laughing.

  24. mmm banana bread. one of my FAVORITES!! im planning on making the trader joe pumpkin bread mix sometime soon, but i think it calls for oil, and I plan on swapping the oil for some good ol' applesauce.
    sorry i haven't commented in a while! :)

  25. So cute and so much fun! Even better, you made wonderful food too! :)