Tag Archives: fruit tart

Happy Birthday: Banana & Chocolate Chip Cake

I’m not a huge cake person, and I have extremely high standards for them.  Because of this, we didn’t even have a cake at our wedding.  Instead we had fruit tarts- yes, the mini versions of my annual Birthday Fruit Tart for my birthday.

Since I am a bit picky, it was hard to choose the cake for Ben’s (Sam’s brother) birthday.  We had a little get together last Saturday, a couple of days before his actual birthday, and I wanted to make a little treat.

Ben's Birthday Cake

While Sam made a wonderful dinner for Ben and some friends with our new grill, I attempted a cake.  Lucky for me, I was impressed- this turned out great.  The best part of it was that it continued to taste equally delicious (moist, fluffy) days after it came out of the oven.  This cake has the flavor and texture of a banana bread, although a bit more moist, with the addition of chocolate chips and a cream cheese frosting.

Ben's Birthday Cake 2

Banana & Chocolate Chip Cake
Adapted from: Bakers Royale

I’m not a huge fan of frosting, so I don’t use as much.  If you are a frosting-lover, I would double the recipe.

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup buttermilk
12 oz mini chocolate chips (1 bag)

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar

In a stand mixer, beat together the butter, white sugar and brown sugar until it’s fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time while mixing.  Then mix in the bananas, baking soda and salt, continue mixing.  Next, add in the flour and buttermilk, alternating the two ingredients as you’re pouring it in, continue mixing on low.  Finally, stir in the chocolate chips.

Grease a baking pan with a little bit of butter, then lightly flour it.  If you have two 8-inch round baking pans, divide the batter between them.  If not, pour half of the batter into the pan, bake the first one.  Allow the first to cool and take it out, then bake the second half of the batter.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Bake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes.  Double check to make sure a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cake.  If it does, then remove the cake from the oven, and allow to cool.  Repeat with the second batter if necessary.

To make the frosting, beat the butter, cream cheese and vanilla in a stand mixer.  Finally, add in the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time (otherwise it’ll make a mess).

Once the cake has cooled, add some icing in between the two layers.  Then frost the outside and top of the cake.

Monthly Review: February 2013

This past month has flown by for us, check out what photos I have captured on my iPhone!

Interested in what we’ve done in past months?
2012: May June July August November December
2013: January

February 2013: Birthday Cards

The month of February started off with my birthday on Groundhog’s Day!  Sam made me a delicious Birthday Fruit Tart (just like last year!).  Do you have friend’s birthdays coming up?  Check out the Cherry-Chocolate Birthday Cake or this delicious steak meal!

February 2013: running race

With other Back on My Feet members I ran the Love the Run You’re with 5K, sponsored by Pacers!  Although it was a little cold, we had sunny weather that was perfect for a morning run.  In March, I’m running the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon in DC.  This Sausage, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Casserole is a perfect post-run breakfast!  What races did you run, or are planning on running?

February 2013: Mia

Our friends Stephanie and Jack were out of town, so we got a chance to spend time with their dog Mia!  Isn’t she adorable?  Do any readers out there have dogs?

February 2013: Matchbox

For my birthday lunch, my friend Jess took me to the new Matchbox on 14th.  The restaurant has an open feel, and very well lit- it was great to try some new things on their menu.  I know the sliders and pizzas are the most popular, but do any of you have any favorites?  I’d love to hear suggestions.

February 2013: Valentine's Day

Jess and I also made these fun cookies for our husbands for Valentine’s Day!

If you’d like try a new cookie recipe, try the Sesame Seed & Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies I made!

February 2013: new house

The most exciting news for us this month: we bought a new house!!!  Our 1 bedroom condo sold and we’ve moved to a bigger house!  Yay for extra space!  Still in DC, just a different neighborhood (which means, more adventures)!

February 2013: old kitchen

With the move, we had to say good-bye to our fifth floor kitchen.  This is where the blog started, but don’t worry, we’ll be sticking to the original blog name.  The last food we made there were the Sesame Seed & Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies.

February 2013: organization

As we’re slowly unpacking all of our boxes, we also got some new housewarming gifts!  Thanks Aunt Kate for these awesome OXO containers- a perfect gift for a new pantry!

February 2013: pizza

We’ve already had some visitors this past week, our new kitchen and living room layout is perfect for entertaining.  Need some ideas for foods to make when you have visitors?  (Above is the Apple & Smoked Cheese Pizza.)

Appetizers: Apples, Blue Cheese & Honey; Fig & Arugula Flatbread; Fresh Corn Salsa; Roasted Mushrooms with Parsley; Spinach & Artichoke Dip;

Entrees: Beef & Rice Stuffed Zucchini; Vegetable Coq au Vin; Baingan Bharta; Bok Choy & Mushroom Bulgur; Lamb, Carrot & Turnip Stuffed Cabbage;

Brunch: Mushroom Shallot Frittata; Smokey Quiche; Zucchini Bread;

Dessert: Baklava; Blueberry-Rhubarb Crumble; Coconut Macaroons with Chocolate; Rum Raisin Ice Cream; Tart Cherry Pie;

February 2013: soup

I finished off the month by checking out a new restaurant in Chinatown- Daikaya (the new ramen spot).  The downstairs opened up on February 14th, and currently they are serving 4 different types of traditional ramen soup.

Over the last 5 years I have learned that DC is a small city.  Turns out my new friend Carol, who I met at Back on My Feet, knows a fellow DC blogger who has been participating in the Food Matters Project.  Also a runner, Meg has her own food blog, Fledgling Foodie.  It was wonderful to finally meet her, and it’s always nice to have more foodie friends!

Can’t wait for all new things in March!  Do any of you have any fun plans?

Happy Valentine’s Day 2013

Tune in tomorrow for some exciting news!  Until then, enjoy some chocolates & wine tonight!

Valentine's Day

Need last minute Valentine’s Day dinner ideas?  Check these out:

Apples, Blue Cheese & Honey
Spinach & Artichoke Dip

Shirmp ‘n Grits
Butternut Squash & Pomegranate Panzanella Salad

Filet Mignon with Bourbon Sauce
Apple & Smoked Cheese Whole Wheat Pizza
Vegetable Coq au Vin
Brazilian Fish & Shrimp Stew
Green Pea & Pancetta Linguine
Lobster Mac ‘n Cheese
Mac ‘n Cheese with Peas & Prosciutto
Rigatoni with Vegetables, Figs & Blue Cheese
Clams and Linguine with White Wine Sauce
Eggplant & Broccolini Pasta Salad

Blackberry Coconut Tart
Blueberry-Rhubarb Crumble
Chocolate Mini Lavas
Fruit Tart

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday Evi & Happy Groundhog’s Day!

Happy Birthday

Evi’s favorite dessert is not cake or cupcakes, it’s actually a fruit tart.  So to make the birthday girl happy, I made her a blueberry version this year.  The recipe is very similar to last year’s Birthday Fruit Tart.

Good-bye 2012, Hello 2013!

At the beginning of this year, I listed off some 2012 goals for Fifth Floor Kitchen- and looking back I think we did pretty good!  I’m so humbled and proud of this little space we have created, and since I’m feeling a little nostalgic about 2012, I wanted to share a handful of favorite highlights from this past year.

2012 Top 3 Recipe Posts:
1. Indian Chicken Soup
Indian Chicken Soup

2. Vegetable Coq au Vin
Vegetables au Vin with Coq 2

3. Seasoned Popcorn 2 Ways
Popcorn 2 ways

2012 Top 3 Travel Posts:
1. Bonn, Germany
2. Boston: Sam Adams Brewery Tour
3. Warsaw, Poland

Other 2012 Highlights:
1. We got married!  We had a wonderful wedding near Charlottesville, VA (check out our posts about this great city here and here) and we spent an amazing honeymoon in Phuket, Thailand (blog posts: Pt 1, Pt 2)!

2. Where else did we travel? Boston (Posts: 1, 2, 3), Philadelphia, and Baltimore.

3. Food-wise some of our personal favorites were: Cowgirl Creamery Cheese Pairing, Lobster Mac ‘n Cheese, Birthday Fruit Tart, Crunchy Fish Tacos with Chimichurri Sauce, Brazilian Fish & Shrimp Stew, Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, S’more Cookie, and Buckwheat Crêpes with Corn Salsa.  If you haven’t tried these, definitely add them to your “to-do” list for 2013!

3. Other fun stuff: Eat Write Retreat Blogger Conference, Slave-free Tomato Day, Holiday White House Tour, An Edible Mosaic Book Launch, and being part of the Food Matters Project.

4. We also started a series “Monthly Reviews”, a great way to see some of our iPhone photos and adventures we might not write about: May, June, July, August, and November.  A December one is coming up soon!

Over the course of 2012 we have had 116 posts- that’s a lot of words, photographs and recipes!

But I do love the feeling of a New Year- a fresh start, being able to look ahead towards all the new opportunities this year will bring.  We are looking forward to 2013 to continue sharing our culinary and travel adventures with you all- remember to keep up with us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram!

We wish you all a happy and healthy New Year!  Thank you so much for reading, commenting and being part of Fifth Floor Kitchen!

Warm wishes for a happy new year!

Many hugs,
Evi & Sam

Evi & Sam Wedding

*Our wedding photos were taken by our friend Meaghin Kennedy- check out some of her photos here, or her blog: These Salty Oats