I told you I was a little obsessed with warm sweets.
And the obsession is going to a whole new sweet and delicious level. Banana Lumpia. Chocolate Coconut butter. Just umm…..
Can you tell I am a little overly excited? But really, when am I not? My whole goal here for this little space is to only post things I am head over heals excited about. So this means all the !!!!! are a very good thing. Plus, I know I say this a lot, but how the heck else am I supposed to show my excitement over things? I mean, you can’t see me or hear my voice, so without all the, “oh my gosh”‘s and exclamation points it would be a pretty dull place around here.
Speaking of dull places I finally spent some time yesterday adding color to my life. Lots of color, or well, as much color as I could with what I had on hand.
I am the type of person who loves color around me. It inspires me. Recently I have been reading a lot on inspiration and how to find it, so yesterday I spent the afternoon creating a work zone that was just that, inspiring. I have to say that it was pretty fun.
As a kid/teenager I was always, always rearranging and redecorating my room. It was honestly what I would do on weekends. Sometimes my best friend Stephanie would help and occasionally we would even go and do a little rearranging of her room. Sometimes I got my grandma involved and got her to take me to Target for new bedding or lamps (this obviously would score me cutest results). The rest of the time I would just wander around the house looking for things I could steal from other rooms to help liven mine up. I would move EVERYTHING around. The bed, the dresser, my desk, everything in my tiny room until it was just a little different than it was before. How I managed to move all that stuff without any help I do not know, but I did it all time. I loved it and I loved a freshly organized space to walk into everyday. A pretty and colorful space.
I think I did this mostly because one, I love organization and two, I loved to shop for clothes and put styles together in my head. Unfortunately, unless my grandma was buying (which she did do a lot) I had no money. So instead of buying new clothes and putting those together, I constantly reinvented my room. I know, I am so weird, but it was how I got creative with what I had, and also what I liked to do to get rid of my anxiety.
Did I ever tell you guys that for my FIDM application I actually made a fashion runway entirely of sugar cookies, Easter peeps, other Easter candy and Poptarts?? Yeah, I did and it was maybe the coolest thing ever. I loved it…..and so did they, since it got me accepted.
Or maybe it was the collage that I made with magazine cutouts of the Chanel flowers from one of their spring runway shows. Oh my gosh, I wish I still had that. I would totally hang it up! It was so pretty! It was one of my favorite collages I ever made, and I have made a lot them over the years. Collage making was seriously one of my favorite things to do. My grandma actually has one that I made hanging up in her kitchen. I think I was in third grade when I made it, but I still like it.
Oh, and in case you are wondering, before my life was consumed by food, I was all about fashion. Sounds weird, but I totally was. Specifically styling clothes, I loved it (still do). How I switched from styling clothes to food is a story for another day.
Anyway my point is, my life used to have so much more color and pretty things, but then I grew up and got a little busy and all the color + pretty things (i.e I need to go clothes shopping!) got left behind. I didn’t realize until a few days ago how much I was really craving them. Craving the things that really make me, me. The things that show my personality and the things that help me thrive.
I also realized that this has been reflecting on the food I want to make. Lately my mind just cannot stop thinking about colorful foods, foods that look pretty and generally just a whole lot of foods that are not American in any way. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I am still cooking good old American food, but I am loving exploring other people’s cultures through food. It is extremely fun…..and inspiring. I know so cliche, but true.
With the Olympics officially kicking off today (or was it yesterday?) I thought it would be the perfect time to start sharing a few different foods from around the world. Kind of cool, right??
I first read about Banana Lumpia when Lindsay posted her recipe. Ever since then I have been wanting to make it. It is a fried Filipino snack that is so simple, but so good. I could not find Lumpia wrappers, so I used egg roll wrappers because that is what I had on hand, but next time I will use spring roll wrappers. I think their texture would be similar to the Lumpia wrappers.
What am I really, really excited about though?? The Chocolate Coconut Butter. Seriously, I am deeming this the best chocolate sauce I have made yet, and you guys know how much chocolate sauce I make. This coconut butter is addicting. It works with milk, dark or semi-sweet chocolate and it the perfect thing to spread on toasted bread in the morning, for a snack or obviously as a dessert. If you use dark chocolate that makes it 100% healthy in my book. You can eat it whenever you like, all the time and with everything, SO GOOD!
The Chocolatey Coconut Butter with the Sweet Banana Lumpia is the perfect combo and the whole thing is actually really quick and easy to make. No fuss at all. Oh, and you can bake the Lumpia. Sorry to say though, I did try baking them but decided that frying them is the better way to go. So. Much. Better. Take it from me, don’t waste time, go the more delicious route. Just do it.
- To toast the coconut preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spread coconut flakes on a baking sheet in a thin layer and bake in preheated oven. The flakes will toast very quickly and won't take more than 5-10 minutes. After a few minutes stir the coconut to help ensure even color.
- Add the toasted coconut and the sea salt to the bowl of a food processor. Process the mixture, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides, for about ten minutes or until the mixture is blended and as smooth as possible. Add the melted chocolate, vanilla and salt, process again until combined. Transfer to a bowl for serving. Or transfer to a glass jar for storage. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
- To make the banana lumpia grab your bananas and depending on their size cut them into halves or quarters. You just want them to fit inside your wrappers (I cut mine into fourths). If using lumpia wrappers lightly steam them for just a few minutes before wapping or dip them in a bowl full of warm water. Place the banana in the center of the wrapper and drizzle with 1 teaspoon honey. Wet the edges of the wrappers and then fold up the sides and roll the wrappers over the bananas into a log. It is a lot like wrapping a burrito or egg roll. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
- Heat a few inches of oil in a large skillet or frying pan over low heat. Once hot, but not smoking, add the lumpia, a few at a time, and fry for 3-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Serve the lumpia warm with the dark chocolate coconut butter.
In the Philippines these are eaten as a snack, totally acceptable. Don’t you agree?