Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Recipe: Peanut Butter Banana Cookies


I think we all consider making banana bread when we've got a banana that's a little too ripe. But I didn't want to make banana bread. I wanted to try something new! So I found this recipe on Gimme Some Oven online.


Ingredients:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup mashed banana (about 1 medium banana)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions:
1. Heat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, cornstarch, salt, baking soda and cinnamon until combined. Set aside.

3. In the large bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add peanut butter, egg, banana, and vanilla, and continue mixing on medium speed until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Fold in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

4. Measure out a rounded tablespoon-full of dough, roll it into a ball, then place on the baking sheet. Use a fork to press down the top of the ball and make a criss-cross pattern. Repeat with remaining dough.

5. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until slightly golden around the edges. Cool for 10 minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

I baked mine a little longer until they were a little past golden. They are crunchy on the outside but still a little soft in the middle. I'm almost tempted to dip them in peanut butter as I eat them! This is an easy recipe with ingredients you probably always have in your home, so definitely one to keep in your recipe book!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Kevin James Comedy Show


Image found here
In late September I went with my dad to see comedian Kevin James perform a stand-up routine at the Warner Theatre. I had seen him previously (probably in 2012, since I don't have a blog post about it), and I was excited to see him again.

The first opener was Michael Aronin. He has a physical disability, but makes it a part of his act. For example, he said to the audience, "Let's just get this out of the way. How did I get like this? Well, I was on a United flight..." I thought it was clever to wrap his own personal issue into his comedy, especially since everyone in the audience was certainly wondering about it. Here's a video I found online from a previous show:


The second opener was Chris Roach. My favorite joke he told was about visiting a spa for a full day of services: his face was wedged into what looks like a narrow toilet seat; his massage therapist was a big man; next he was naked in a hot tub with other men (although he couldn't remember when he took his underwear off); then he wondered why anyone would want to do a couple's massage, since you're trying to relax and escape reality ("Why don't we bring the kids, too?"). Here's a video from a different performance:

Then our headliner Kevin James was on. I love his comedy because it's so relatable and clean. You don't have to drop the f-bomb every other word to be funny. Some of my favorite jokes included:

-Complaining about people with food allergies, particularly the lactose intolerant, "Gluten Douche," and Nut-allergy Guy. I hate picky eaters to begin with, so those with food allergies who make a big deal about their issues and even impact the eating habits of others are very annoying. James joked that these issues all seemed to come up rather recently. "Remember seafood allergy guy?" he asked the audience, talking about how that was the hot issue in the 70's/80's; that guy would never last in a competition against today's food allergies.

-Loving the people mover at the airport but feeling super-lazy using it (along with the fact that you're trapped on it as the moving sidewalk passes a Cinnabon; he suggested people movers should all meet together at the end inside of a Cinnabon, like baggage claim for fat people).

-Appreciating the imagination of children, specifically how his daughter entertained herself in the doctor's waiting room by licking the air around her hand claiming it tasted like Rice Krispies.

-Talking about tattoos. He asked people in the audience if they had tattoos, and one guy (Keith) near the front had ELEVEN tattoos. So Kevin James was making jokes on the fly about this guy's tattoos! I'm always impressed by improv or ad-lib jokes like that.

Of course I love all the food jokes: we can all relate to food! But I usually think of Jim Gaffigan as the "food comedian." Even he has already done a Cinnabon joke:


Kevin James' "Sweat the Small Stuff" special is one of my favorites. Here are some clips from that:






Such a fun night! I already know I'll get tickets to see him again the next time he's in D.C. And you should go, too!