Archive for May, 2008

Recipe: Banana-Apple Crumble Muffins


Banana-Apple Crumble Muffins

I usually don’t like eating bananas when they are too ripe, so when I remembered I had a couple of ripe bananas in my kitchen the other day, I decided to make a batch of banana muffins from scratch. I also wanted to make this batch a little different so I added an apple to the recipe, used sour cream to make the muffins soft, along with a brown sugar topping and ended up with a dozen tasty treats! Since I added the apple, I was also able to cut down on the amount of sugar that’s usually called for in regular banana muffin recipes. Feel free to substitute the oats for granola for the crunch topping, or omit the nuts.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12 medium-large muffins


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup butter (melted, at room-tempurature)
2 large-sized bananas (ripe)
1 apple (peeled and diced)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup Quaker Oats
1 tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. butter (melted, at room-temperature)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. For the topping: in a small bowl mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, oats and melted butter with a spoon, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
  3. For the muffins: In a medium-sized bowl, mash bananas with a fork or potato masher.
  4. Using a wooden spoon, mix in the diced apples to the bananas. Then add the melted butter, vanilla, beaten egg and sour cream to the banana-apple mixture until blended.
  5. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.
  6. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture until just combined. Fold in chopped walnuts, being careful not to over-mix.
  7. Pour batter into a lightly greased or lined 12-cup muffin pan, about 3/4 full.
  8. Sprinkle a small amount of the the sugar-oat topping on top of each banana-apple muffin.
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.
  10. Cool in pan for 5-10 minutes before removing. Eat and enjoy!

Kanye West: Glow In The Dark Tour (in Toronto!)


Kanye West’s Glow In The Dark TourIf I learned anything last night, it’s that Kanye West really knows how to put on a damn good show. Kanye West’s Glow In The Dark Tour, featuring Rihanna, N.E.R.D. and Lupe Fiasco took place last night at Moslon Amphitheatre in Toronto, and lucky me got some great seats for the show.

I wish I left work a little earlier though, because it ended up taking my friend and I almost 45 minutes to get from Union Station to the Exhibition grounds. The station was packed with concert patrons and Toronto FC fans who were also lining up for the streetcar to see the soccer game that just happened to be at the same time in the same area. We should’ve took the Bathurst station route instead.

The show was slated to start at 7pm and we got there around 7:40. Unfortunately we missed Lupe Fiasco’s performance (which was the main act that I really wanted to see), but luckily Lupe came out at the end of the show to rap a few verses with Kanye. It was cool seeing them together.

We found our seats in time to see a good chunk of N.E.R.D’s performance. The group had brought a couple of fans onstage from the front row, one of which took their sweet time getting off the stage (I mean… we’re not here to see and 18-year-old “try” to dance to hip hop on stage). Pharrell got the crowd going. “Lapdance” is one of my favourite tracks from N.E.R.D. And surprise surprise, they ended up bringing up a multitude of girls/groupies on stage for “She Wants To Move”.

The next performer was songstress Rihanna. I didn’t realize that she had cut her hair even shorter… it looks good on her though. Rihanna came out in a red, military-style jacket and skin-tight pants (first of a couple costume changes). Her performance was good and she had the crowd ella-ella-aye-ing when she sang her hit “Umbrella”. This girl could go a wicked bogle, let me tell you.

And now to the star of the evening (which his performance stated more than once) Kanye West. The last time I saw him live was a couple of years ago at the ACC. This performance blew that one out of the water. Instead of just going from track to track, with some shout outs to the city’s audience, Kanye’s performance played like some type of apocalyptic sci-fi drama. The stage was set up to perfection… it really looked like a planet’s surface (no wonder they took so long to set up). The giant screen where “Jane”, the ship’s computer, spoke from looked like a suped-up version of the original Star Trek’s technology with all those flashing buttons and streaming starlight (now that I think about it, the set up kind of reminds me of the Synergy computer from Jem and the Holograms… lol). With levitating orbs that had planets and and anime-looking ‘shooting star’ character projected on them, smoke and pyrotechnics, the whole set-up looked really good.

One of the things I liked about Kanye’s performance was that he was in character the entire time. From beginning to end it was almost as if you were watching a play of “the biggest star in the universe” (Kanye) crash lands on a remote planet and tries to find his way home. Even the order of which tracks he performed related to the theme of the show: obvious ones like “Touch The Sky”, “All Falls Down” and “Spaceship… and then there were tracks “Wake Up Mr. West” (to start the show when he wakes up from the crash landing), Jesus Walks” (when he was feeling lonley and isolated on the planet), and “Stronger” (when he had to find the power within to find his way back to earth).

Kanye had energy from beginning to end. He ended the show on a positive note with some words for the audience on his personal philosophies, some of which are included “Thank You and You’re Welcome“, his new book co-authored by J. Sakiya Sandifer. Luckily they were giving out some copies after the show… it was a pretty interesting and entertaining read filled with “Kanye-isms”.  I have to give props to the live band that was playing below the stage as well… great job with the music.

And yes… things did glow in the dark during the show!

I need to cut up my credit card…


Athletes World PurchasesDon’t you just hate it when the bank raises your credit card limit and you’re like, “that’s cool… but it’s not like I’m actually going to spend that much”, but you end up shopping like crazy with it anyway? Yeah, well that’s the predicament I’m in, but at least I’m trying to pay off a good amount of the balance monthly.

My Achilles Heel is sales… esp. 50% off the lowest price sales, like the one the majority of Athletes World locations in Canada are having. I was at the Eaton Centre location last month and got some really good deals. This week I heard that the Athletes World store in Yorkdale mall was having a similar sale. I was worried that I wouldn’t have much of a selection since the sale started earlier this week, but I did manage to pick up some great bargains.

I got a nice Adidas hoddie, a tube top, a pair of black Nike Shox EL’s, New Balance 550’s, Antidote leather casual sneakers, and a pair of black Baby Phat high tops for my sister. The grand total? Only $150 including tax! Damn, I’m glad I got off work early today and headed to the mall! :D

You’d think that since I’ve just came back from a week’s vacation I’d be more cautious with money… but sometimes you just gotta jump on these sales (who knows when they’ll happen again!)

On a side note: yes, I’m back from my week-long Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Valor. I had sooo much fun, and I urge anyone who hasn’t been on a cruise before to save some money and go. It’s soooo worth it. I carried my journal along to jot down all my ‘happenings’, so when I finally decide to unpack completely I’ll back post them here on my blog (this weekend for sure!) :D

Gone Cruisin’!


In about 8 hours I’ll be on a plane headed for Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  About an hour after that I’ll be shuttled to Miami, then prepping for my Eastern Caribbean cruise on Sunday.  I’m soooo excited!  My first ever cruise and first real vacation in a long time.  Of course I haven’t finished putting the finishing touches on my luggage as yet, but for the most part I’m packed.  I just need to clean up my apartment and make sure my friend knows where my cat food is to feed my feline while I’m away.

I doubt I’ll get much sleep tonight, since I have to wake up at 5am in order to get ready in time to drive down to Buffalo (only 1.5 hours away), because I’ll be catching my flight to Florida from there.  I saved about $200 off my airline ticket by opting to fly from Buffalo vs. Pearson International Airport in Toronto.  Plus my friend who’s driving us down there can put in a full day of cross-border shopping.  That’s always a plus!

I’ll be keeping a daily journal of my cruise, so I’ll be sure to post them when I return a week from now (back-posted for readability of course).  Back in a week! :D