Banana-Infused Whiskey


I’m a big whiskey person (as evident from my boozy desserts) and when I saw this banana-infused whiskey in the weekend section of the WSJ, I knew I had to replicate it for myself. The recipe only involved two ingredients and four days. Of course I had to do this for myself!

And boy, was it oh so delicious! I was slightly hesitant about buying a bottle of Jameson because it’s slightly pricier than my beloved Jim Beam (which I’ve found to be a perfect balance between cheap whiskey and good whiskey) but I’m so glad I did anyway. The bananas take the bite out of whiskey, and what you’re left with is a smooth, almost honeyed liquid that smells like bananas and tastes a little sweet going down your throat. It’s perfect just by itself on the rocks. Which reminds me, I really should invest in some rocks glasses if I’m about to be drinking more whiskey… drinking alcohol in a mug really isn’t very cool.

This is probably the rocks glass I’d want if I were going about getting rocks glasses.


This is a Matterhorn glass from Tale. Isn’t it exceedingly exquisite? It makes me want to see the Matterhorn, now.

Banana-Infused Jameson
From The Wall Street Journal
3 bananas, peeled and sliced
1 750ml bottle Jameson Irish Whiskey

Place bananas and Jameson into a sealed container for three to four days. (It doesn’t have to be refrigerated!) Strain out banana slices using a mesh strainer and discard. The infusion should be slightly viscous and cloudy—this gives the drink its unique texture, body and flavor. Pour infused Jameson back into container or bottle. Serve in a rocks glass with a single cube.

From-Scratch Seven Layer Magic Cookie Bars

I already have a seven layer bar recipe on this blog, but this one deserves a post on its own because it’s even more homemade. Usually seven layer bars are made with graham crackers, canned condensed milk, sweetened coconut flakes and chocolate chips. All highly processed stuff, and I’ve a great disdain for things that come out of a package. This seven layer bar takes homemade to a new level: I made the condensed milk out of milk, and the cookie base is made out of an oatmeal cookie dough. The chocolate chips were from a chopped up chocolate bar. I could up the ante by making my own sweetened coconut flakes… and mill my own flour. Hah, I could carry the homemade schtick a lot further.

Honestly the only real reason why I had homemade condensed milk around was because I bought some milk to make cinnamon buns, but then I realized my yeast packets were expired and they didn’t activate. Which sucked, because I really wanted to make bread. But never mind, I used up the milk to make some condensed milk. If you wanted the condensed milk recipe, you can click here. I really don’t expect you to, though. Mine came out a little bit grainy, but then it didn’t matter in the seven layer bar.

The oatmeal cookie base is quite lovely, it holds everything up well and I feel good about putting a little bit more fiber into my body. The recipe had way more cookie than I’d like, so I just made oatmeal chocolate chip cookie dough with the rest and it’s now in the freezer, ready to be baked whenever I want some homemade sugary goodness.

Seven layer bars are so incredibly easy; I guesstimated all the proportions of the filling by just sprinkling it by hand. I like baking like this; I feel more at one with my food, you know?

From-Scratch Seven Layer Magic Cookie Bars
Adapted from Allrecipes
Makes 1 9×5 inch pan

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cups packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

FILLING
1/2 (7 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I threw in some white chocolate chips in there)
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Combine oats, flour, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture. Spread in the bottom of an ungreased 9×5 baking pan with the thickness to your liking; set aside. Spread condensed milk on cookie dough base. Sprinkle chocolate chips, coconut and walnuts. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes.

I recommend freezing the bars before cutting into them. It’s a lot easier to handle and you get cleaner slices.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

I don’t make carrot cakes very often, but when I do, I grate the hell out of a carrot and make sure it’s one moist cake. I happened to have a carrot lying around, and although I usually roast my carrots, I wanted to have my veggies in a slightly more delicious form: coupled with more carbs and fat. Carbs and fat makes anything taste better.

This cake, apart from the tedious grating of carrot, is really easy to make. I really like oil-based cake because it means I don’t have to cream butter and sugar. Everything’s just a simple swirl and mix with a silicone spatula. It’s really moist and I think this is a great base recipe. I used extra virgin olive oil because that’s all I had around, and I also omitted the ginger and nutmeg spices that the original recipe had. It still turned out pretty good, though. I still have trouble frosting a cake perfectly, but here’s what I think would help: freeze the cake, and chill the frosting for long enough so that everything stays firm.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes 1 two-layer 9-inch cake

2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups canola oil (I used EVOO with no problems)
4 large eggs
3 cups grated peeled carrots
1 cups coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Butter and flour two 9 inch round pans.

Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in medium bowl to blend. Whisk sugar and oil in large bowl until well blended. Whisk in eggs 1 at a time. Add flour mixture and stir until blended. Stir in carrots, walnuts and raisins, if using them.

Divide the batter between the prepared pans, and bake the layers for about 40 minutes each, or until a tester inserted into center comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans 15 minutes. Turn out onto racks. Cool cakes completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting
From AllRecipes

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners’ sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.