Heading to LA so it’s time to pull out the tooth-whitening kit and finish my script (yikes!). Both are painful but only the tooth kit will leave lingering sensitivity. I hope.
I don’t hate LA, in fact, I like it. I have great friends there and they have the best French fries on earth, but I will admit that the minute I step off the plane in Burbank (and you still do step off the plane there, and then walk down some metal stairs, and claim your luggage outside like it’s 1956!), my teeth suddenly seem dark brown to me. In addition to massive silicone everything and melted faces, everyone there has the whitest teeth. They glow. Therefore, the serious tooth-whitening kit which comes with the caveat that the goop you are marinating your teeth in can never “come in contact with your gums.” How is that possible?
When I’m stuck on finishing a script (and I always am) it definitely helps to watch good movies. The latest one I viewed was 21 Jump Street with Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. Is it art? Perhaps not, but unlike so many other silly TV-show rip-off movies ( A Team, I’m talking to you) this script took the time to create two main characters you actually care about. If you think back on all of the other super broad physical comedies you have watched, you will realize how rare this is. For me, it made all the difference in the world. I laughed at the situations and jokes, but it was the compelling story and characters that made it a fun movie and not just a series of goofy situations. My script has to be 1000 million times better than that because it’s not being written by Jonah Hill. No pressure or anything though…
Cupcake made to sample
One thing I know is that good? My banana layer cake. It was so tasty that I had to bake another one to send all the way to Oregon. I used a reusable cake dome from the Dollar Tree, freezer packs, and a ton of organic packing peanuts. Next time I will use plastic wrap like the lady at You Send Me told me to because the frosting took a walk. I have on good authority that it did remain, however, delicious.
Banana Layer Cake with Two Frostings
Printable recipe: Banana Layer Cake with Two Frostings.
Ingredients for cake:
2 cups flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup softened Earth Balance
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup mashed bananas in booze (I used two overripe bananas and Triple Sec — booze is optional but nice)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Ingredients for frostings:
6 cups powdered sugar
8 tablespoons Earth Balance or butter
8 tablespoons liquid (I used lactose-free milk but you can use coconut or almond milk)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons vegan cream cheese substitute
1 cup walnut pieces
When I have old bananas that are too ripe to eat I always mash them in some type of alcohol and leave them overnight. In this case, I used a measuring cup so I could see that the mixture (with Triple Sec) came to one cup of liquified fruit. I put the cinnamon in with the fruit but you could also add it to the flour.
Preheat your oven to 350. Grease and flour two baking rounds. I used 8″ ones but 9″ is a more normal size.
Cream the Earth Balance and sugar in a mixer. Add vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time. Sift the dry ingredients together and then add them to the wet mixture in three parts, alternating with the bananas and ending with the flour. Beat till smooth but try not to overdue it.
Pour batter into your prepared cake pans evenly and bake for about 30 minutes until they look firm and golden brown and the tops spring back when you push them lightly with your finger. Cool on a rack for at least 5 minutes before attempting to remove from the pans to cool further. If you frost too soon, the frosting will just melt off the cake.
Wash your mixer because you will need it for the frostings. I’m not sure why this cake has two different frostings. I might have run out of something and substituted. That is the usual genesis of my recipes. For instance, the reason there are walnuts all around this cake is that the first time I made it the frosting looked messy and I was hiding it. Walnuts turned out to be the perfect note to balance the whole thing out.
Cream half the powdered sugar and Earth Balance with the faux cream cheese. Add one teaspoon vanilla and just enough liquid to make it frosting consistency. If you are unsure, try some and if it is too hard, add more liquid. Use this frosting for your bottom layer.
Put the top layer on and using the same mixer, add the rest of the ingredients and add liquid till you like the look of it. Frost the top and sides and pat walnuts along the sides with a hard plastic spatula. Can be served immediately but freezes nicely for months.
Photo credit for final photos: Donna Carnegie