Who Doesn’t Love a Bake Sale?

What are you doing this Saturday? Do you want to enjoy the beautiful San Diego weather forecasted for this weekend? Would you love to enjoy that weather with a delicious homemade dessert in hand? And wouldn’t you love it if you knew all of the proceeds went to an amazing cause like helping hungry children? I can make all of your dreams come true! And if you can’t make it, or if you live out-of-town, there’s still a way you can get involve and help out a worthy cause.  Keep reading!

Food Blogger Bake Sale 2013

I participated in the San Diego Food Blogger Bake Sale last year for the first time.  It was a truly professional bake sale organized by an amazing blogger (and person – yep, she’s real), Marie of Meandering Eats (http://www.meanderingeats.com/).  Once again, Marie has organized another awesome event.  However, she will be off to Medical School soon, so wish her good luck when you see her Saturday!  If you haven’t gone in the past, let me explain that you are getting yourself into a situation.  The desserts look great, the labeling and packaging are so cute, and there are samples just to make sure it tastes as good as it looks (and it does!).  The problem will be that you will want to buy a lot of stuff, maybe even buy some things to eat before you leave the parking lot, and maybe you’ll buy some things to take into the office to share with those silly people who missed it!  It’s alright because the money goes to Share Our Strength No Kid Hungry (http://www.nokidhungry.org/).  This is a national bake sale, as well, so help us beat other cities!  Take that, Pittsburgh!  Just kidding. Or am I???

The bake sale takes place this Saturday, May 4th, at Great News! Cookware and Cooking School in Pacific Beach (http://www.great-news.com/) from 10am-2pm.  The people at Great News! have been awesome supporters of this bake sale, so a huge “THANK YOU, GREAT NEWS!” goes out to them .  If you haven’t had the opportunity to investigate the store before, this will be a great time to do so!  Make sure to sign up for their newsletter so you can get additional discounts every so often!  And there is a Starbucks super close, so go ahead and make a day of it!  Finish it off by driving down to the beach with the family afterwards.  Seriously, can a Saturday get any better?

If you can’t make it, there are other opportunities to get involved.  Simply go to: http://sdbloggersbake.wordpress.com/  There you can enter raffles, donate money, see a tentative menu, and read more about some of the individual bakers who will be offering their goods.

This is such a fun event!  Please pass this information around to friends, family and co-workers.  In 2011, $1750 was raised, in 2012 we raised $3151, and we are hoping to surpass our goal of $3000 this year.  I’m not suggesting we are a competitive bunch of bloggers, but come on!  We want to raise the most money for this organization out of the entire country!  Again, no competitive bone in our bodies.

Take Care and Happy Eating!

Prune Banana Bread?

The other day, my husband and I were craving a dessert.  I wanted something good, but not too unhealthy.  I came across this recipe on myrecipes.com.  It’s a recipe from a cooking school, La Cocina Que Canta at Rancho La Puerta, a hotel and spa in Baja California.  I love cooking with prunes, but I’ve never used them in this way.  I was intrigued by the lack of sugar and butter in the recipe.  I had to give it a try!  Franz and I give it a big thumbs up!  It has a perfect chocolate flavor – not too sweet, but just enough to satisfy my chocolate craving!  If you have any great recipes using prunes, let me know!  I always buy a huge bag of them, & I’m always looking for new ways to incorporate them into my meals!

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Chocolate Banana Bread

12 ounces pitted prunes

3/4 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2)

2 large eggs

1 cup all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour (or 1/2 cup each)

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 cup chopped walnuts (I used half walnuts and half pecans.)

1/2 cup banana chips, coarsely chopped (I used unsweetened, freeze-dried banana slices from Trader Joe’s.)

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1)  In a small saucepan, bring prunes and 2 cups water to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until prunes are very soft, about 20 minutes.  Drain.

2) Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly butter a 5-by-9-in. loaf pan and line bottom with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit.

3) In a food processor, whirl prunes and bananas until very smooth.  Add eggs and whirl to combine.

4) In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon, and baking soda.  Stir in nuts, banana chips, and chocolate chips.  Scrape the thick batter into a pan and spread level.

5) Bake bread until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out a little chocolaty but not gooey, 45-50 minutes.  Loosen bread from pan with a knife and invert onto a rack.  Remove parchment.  Turn bread right side up and let cool at least one hour before slicing (my husband and I waited about 15 minutes!).

Take care and happy eating!