Green(ish) Thumbs

Life may be weird right now, but I think this is the first time I’ve ever done the official May-Long-Weekend planting thing. This is unusual because it’s very rare that I have my s*** together in time for the official start of gardening season in Canada (funny sidenote: Google voice-to-text bleeped that for me. I can just hear Not-Siri rebuking me in that unimpressed tone of hers).

Anyhow, through sheer dumb luck an order of plants I placed at Richmond Nurseries was ready yesterday, so I spent the morning putting stuff into pots: two tomatoes (one for slicing, one grape tomato), an eggplant, rosemary, and a Thai basil in pots out front; assorted salad greens and some parsley out back. Then there’s the herb garden on the counter (started pre-Covid, currently being expanded), and 4-5 jars of sprouts (amusing mostly because Meena and Kitty react with mock horror that I eat plants while they’re STILL ALIVE).

Put it all together and you could be forgiven for thinking I have a green thumb. I don’t.

I actually have a horrible record for “real” gardens, much to the chagrin of my neighbours who i’m sure would like me to do something with the post-apocalyptic disaster that is our flower bed. I just can’t bring myself to spend hours kneeling or bent over double for something that’s just there to look pretty. Growing my own eggplant on the other hand, now that’s pretty cool. And when I practically have to trip over the pots to get into the house, then I’m more likely to water them.

At least, that’s the theory. And sometimes it even works. We’ll see how that goes now that I only ever leave the house for my weekly grocery excursion.

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins with Peanut Butter Filling

Pandemic eating is weird. On the one hand, I’m packing the fridge full of salad-ready roasted vegetables, I’m marinating tofu like a mofo, and one counter’s growing sprouts while the other grows microgreens.

(Like, intentionally. Not just because I’m failing to clean them.)

On the other hand, well, this happened. At least four or five batches of this, actually, before I decided it might actually be ready to share. Not to mention all the batches of sourdough crackers (I eat them with hummus – that makes them healthy, right??), and sourdough pancakes, and sourdough crumpets… someone told me you can even make bread with that stuff. I should try that.

But anyhow, I promised myself for some strange reason, that if I was going to start blogging again, I was going to start by posting this recipe. Actually, I know exactly which strange reason: I told Allison in a random Facebook update that I was going to post this recipe. And I take my commitments to Allison very, VERY seriously.

But before I could get that far I decided that the recipe needed more tweaking, and I was going to have to make another batch. And then that one produced twice the amount of peanut butter filling I actually needed, so I was going to have to make ANOTHER batch of the muffin-part to use the filling, and then ANOTHER one to test the “final” version.

And of course, there’s more things I could do with this. I feel like the peanut-buttery filling should be peanut-butterier. I wonder if I couldn’t make the muffins come out of the paper liners better (pro tip: I suspect actually letting them cool first would help).

Maybe I should just call them Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins with Peanut Butter Filling Beta and be done.

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins with Peanut Butter Filling

  • Servings: 18 muffins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Pandemic baking at it's finest.

Filling

  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened*
  • 6 tbsp peanut butter (110 g)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (50 g)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
* 4 oz is half a block. So you’ll have enough left over for another batch 😉

Muffins

  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (120 g)
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour (120 g)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or plain greek yogurt
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Soften the cream cheese and peanut butter slightly in the microwave, just enough so that they mix easily, then blend all the filling ingredients together until smooth. Stick the filling in the fridge while you prep the rest (or overnight works too).
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line your muffin pan(s) with paper liners.
  3. Beat the bananas with the sugar.
  4. Add the butter, egg, and vanilla and beat until smooth.
  5. In another bowl, mix the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and then mix until combined.
  6. Fold in the sour cream and chocolate chips
  7. Scoop enough batter into each muffin cup to cover the bottom, then add a scoop of filling to each, and then top with the rest of the batter. (Tip: here’s your excuse to get some of those fancy food scoops – the kind that look like mini ice cream scoops.)
  8. Bake for 20-24 minutes.