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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

“Classic Quickbreads and Muffins, Pt. XXVI: Banana Muffins—the Darker the Banana—the Better the Flavor!”

The Grateful Dead are the king of the San Francisco bands as far as longevity, continuity, and commitment.  People love this band as do we and this, their second album, “Anthem of the Sun,” was released in 1968 is a worthy sophomore album. This features the original line-up of Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Billy Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, and Ron “Pigpen” McKernan and a bunch of others. This is probably their truest psychedelic album and is definitely a must-own!  Please take the handy link to Amazon.com, the world’s largest online retailer and buy it now! You won’t be disappointed!  Thank you, the Elemental News of the Day.


Here's the countdown to December 21, 2012: from today, we have 479 days to go until the End of Days, the End of Time, Armageddon, and the End of the Mayan Calendar!  Everybody, beware!


                                                   STINKBUG 2011


Chef James “JT” Tobiason

END Commentary 08-31-2011

Copyright © 2011 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 1,946.



Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Wednesday, August 31, 2011 by Chef James “JT” Tobiason


 Classic Quickbreads and Muffins, Pt. XXVI: Banana Muffins—the Darker the Banana—the Better the Flavor!

Bakersfield, CA, 08-31-2011 W:  Today, we will make another muffin recipe as I am having a great time doing this as it reminds me so much of my earlier career when I was learning the ropes—eagerly, I should say—from the best of the best in the area in which I grew up.  Baking is one of those things that allow one to be at peace with his-or-herself in the solitude of the kitchen.  Normally, no one else comes around and troubles the baker who is left with their thoughts.  It’s a great place to work out one’s problems, aggressions, and frustrations as magic basically leaps from one’s fingers.  The combining of different ingredients into something that makes everybody excited and overjoyed is almost too much to describe: all I know is that it made me who I am today.

There is nothing better than the muffins we’re making today: basic banana muffins, made with overripe bananas as they’re the best.  The blacker the banana, the more developed is its flavor and that’s where many of the different extracts are derived: from overripe fruit that no one has any use for except for the company making the flavorings.  As fruits get old, their flavors become more powerful and much sweeter and I can recall my grandmother taking the old ones and wrapping them up in paper bags and depositing them in the freezer for use at a later time. I used to think this was kind of strange until one day she took me by the hand and into the kitchen and there showed me how to transform a handful of ingredients into something out-of-this-world.  This is what we are going to do today so if you’re ready, let’s get it going!


Yield: about 1dozen medium-sized muffins / Mis-en-place: about 60-75 minutes:

All-purpose flour

Cake flour

Baking powder

Baking soda

Kosher salt

Ground nutmeg

Ground cloves

Large egg

Granulated sugar

Vegetable oil


Mashed bananas (about 2 medium-size)

Vanilla extract

Banana flavoring


1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready to work with. Spray 12 muffin cups with PAM or some such other food release spray, line with paper liners, and spray the liners, too; set aside. Preheat standard oven to 400°F or convection oven to 350°F.

2.      Double-sift the first SEVEN ingredients together and set aside.

3.      Cream the egg and sugar on an electric mixer equipped with a paddle attachment.  Cream until light and then beat in the oil, vanilla extract, and banana flavoring.  Stir in the buttermilk and mashed bananas and blend well.  

4.      Fold the DRY ingredients into the WET using the least amount of strokes necessary in order to blend the two together.  We do this so that the finished product isn’t chewy.  Overdeveloping the gluten in quickbreads and muffins spoils the completed product so always take care to NOT overmix.

5.      Refrigerate the batter for 10 minutes and then, scoop it into the prepared muffin cups up to their rims.  Be sure to use equal amounts and if the batter is slightly higher than the top of the cups, that’s okay, we like “high-tops.” Shake the pan gently to settle and then place a pecan half or two atop each muffin, press slightly, and place on the middle oven rack to bake.

6.      Bake for 10 minutes and then drop heat by 25°F.  Continue baking for another 20-25 minutes or until a paring knife inserted into each of the center muffins withdraws clean. Remove from oven at that point and place on a wire rack to cool.

7.      After a couple of minutes, gently rap the pan to loosen the muffins and then tilt them at an angle and complete cooling. To garnish them, mix a little bit of peach or orange syrup with powdered sugar until you have a stiff glaze and then using a spoon, dribble it across the upright muffins in a swirling pattern and allow finishing cooling.

8.      You can wrap each of them individually with plastic wrap and then place inside a Freezer Zip-Lock baggie and freeze until you need to use them.  Heat in a microwave oven until warm and then serve them. Be sure to keep them frozen rather than in the fridge as the fridge tends to dry breads out whereas the freezer keeps them in “suspended animation” for up to three months.

This is an awesome muffin that your friends, family, and guests will admire and enjoy.  Always be sure to keep old bananas that no one will eat by wrapping them in plastic wrap and tossing them into the freezer. Keep this one on hand and figure out different variations that you can do it with it like substituting mashed apricots or even mangos. Enjoy!

As I said yesterday, I have had a great time today and as always enjoy my opportunities to write for the Elemental News of the Day. We urge our readership to write to us and leave comments and if there are any of you, who would care to write an article for us, please get in touch via Magnolia Hilltop Brewers, P.O. Box 20669, Bakersfield, CA 93390-0669.  We obviously don’t pay anything but you will be given a full byline and that’s worth its weight in gold.  We want as many people who want to write to be able to do so and we believe that by presenting a forum for our fellow chefs, we are doing something for our beloved industry.  We love diversity and hope to add new and different authors to our pantheon of chefs, food and beverage directors, and culinary professionals.  Come on and join us, it’ll be fun!

Please remember to avoid doing business with AARC Technology in Bakersfield, CA.  These people don’t care about the small customer anymore but instead put all of their attentions onto their corporate customers. It’s sad to not remember why one has the success they do or from where it came.

Well, Day #3 has come and gone and we’ve four to go.  I think we will continue our baking seminar as I enjoy instructing you on how to be a creator, an innovator of tasty treats that people will fall in love with.  Being a baker has all sorts of benefits which only become apparent as one continues down the baking road. Well, in time, you will know what I am talking about so why not spend some money and purchase an album by the Grateful Dead and/or buy a cookbook from Amazon.com.  We are allied with them and are pleased to market their merchandise! See you tomorrow! Bye!    

Thank you!


James “JT” Tobiason

Professional Baker, American Baker’s Association, Certified Working Chef, ACF, CWC

This is me back in the 1980's when I was an Executive Sous Chef at a hotel Monterey, California. I originally came from Salinas, CA, spent time in Fresno and Bakersfield, and currently am working at a fine-dining restaurant in Visalia, CA. I began cooking in 1967 when I apprenticed under a top chef working in the Napa Valley.


END Commentary for Wednesday, August 31, 2011 by Chef James “JT” Tobiason

Please note that everyone who writes for the Elemental News of the Day is their own person entitled to their own opinions, attitudes, and insanity so does not necessarily speak for all of us.  Thanks, Stinkbug.


This original essay was authored by the one-and-only Chef James “JT” Tobiason

Recipes created by Chef James “JT” Tobiason on June 01, 1987 in Monterey, CA.



“Stinky” of the Elemental News of the Day for the best of the news, politics, sports, foodservice, hotel and restaurant business, the end times, the end of days, the apocalypse, armageddon, and whatever else happens to pop up!



          LE STINKBUG

This is #188, a 24” x 36" original oil painting by Beverly Carrick entitled, “Cloud Shadows." It's among her more beautiful works and is available for sale. You can see much more of her work at her Website, located at http://www.beverlycarrick.com or at Brian Carrick's Facebook page. At her Website, you will see not only more original oil paintings but also lithographs, giclees, prints, miniatures, photographs, and even her award-winning instructional video entitled, "Painting the Southwest with Beverly Carrick." Beverly has been painting for more than 60 years and is known around the world. Her work hangs in private and public galleries and is followed by a great many fans that circle the globe. We urge you to go to her Website NOW and view her work. It's possible that you will find something you like and will want to buy it for yourself, a friend, a loved one, or a neighbor! You will not be disappointed so please: do yourself a favor and go there IMMEDIATELY! Thank you, the Elemental News of the Day!

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Magnolia Hilltop Brewers and What's Cookin' Productions Trademark of Quality and Symbol of Integrity. Copyright 08-30-2011, all rights reserved. No unauthorized reproductions of any of this material are permissible unless granted by written permission. Thank you, the Elemental News of the Day.

Chief Editor: Stinkbug.

Assistant Editor: Moses Scharbug III

Proofreader: Amos Mosby Caruthers.

Beer: Smokehouse.




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1 comment:

  1. We have a great post here today, if you want to know how to make banana muffins, this is the place to go to learn the best recipe. Check it out!


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