Mama’s Banana Bread

 

I swear everytime I think I’ve had just about enough and one more minute of school will cause me to implode, the public school system announces a holiday. It’s only a three-day weekend, and I’m spending it all catching up on work, but the fact that I don’t have to wake up at five and spend six hours in uncomfortable plastic desks is more than enough to make me one happy little camper.

Lazy days stuck at home call for warm scents and comfort food, so that’s just what I’m bringing to you all today with Mama’s Banana Bread. Sweet to a fault and reminiscent of childhood, this bread will leave you more than satisfied (plus, it’ll make good use of those ugly bananas sitting on your counter). The secret to this rustic recipe is the use of the sugared pan and the sour milk. Sounds weird, I know. But it’s worth it, trust me.

So get ready to brush up on your banana-mashing skills and salivate over that perfectly cracked loaf top, and I hope you all enjoy your extra day off! IMG_6856IMG_6863IMG_6857IMG_6867

BAKERS NOTES:

– I used mini pans instead of regular sized because the portion sizes work better for me. I just made sure to check on the bread a little more often during baking to make sure it didn’t burn.

MAMA’S BANANA BREAD

1 cup granulated sugar (plus more for the pan)

1/2 cup salted butter, softened (plus more for the pan)

2 medium tired bananas (brown spotted)

2 large eggs

7 tablespoons sour milk (or 1 teaspoon white vinegar + enough milk to make 7 tablespoons)

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups flour, spooned and leveled

1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts), optional

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease two mini loaf pans with butter and coat it with sugar. ( Do this like you would grease a pan. Grease it first, then add about 2 tablespoons sugar to the pan and move the pan side to side until the bottom and sides are coated with sugar. Do NOT substitute cooking spray for the butter.)

2. Cream butter and sugar with a hand mixer. Set aside.

3. Add bananas, eggs, milk, and baking soda to bowl and blend until smooth.

4. Pour half the banana mixture into the butter mixture with 1 cup of flour. Mix with hand mixer until just incorporated, then add the remaining banana mixture and flour. Mix until just incorporated. Stir in nuts if using them. Pour into prepared pan.

5. Bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs. The edges will be a dark brown and there will be a nice crack down the center.

6. Cool completely before removing loaf from pan, but you can cut slices from the pan after it’s cooled for about 15-20 minutes.

Slightly adapted from Crazy For Crust

Recipe introduction from Sharon Lee

2014: A Year in Review

The year is coming to a close and I wanted to do a quick recap of some of  the recipes Angie and I have shared with you throughout the year. These are some of out most viewed posts of the year, so for our returning readers, we’re showcasing your favorites! Although the second half of 2014 wasn’t the most consistent year content-wise, we still managed to put out a couple really good ones, and we hope that you enjoyed them as much as we did!

1. Quinoa Fried Rice

One of our first posts, this is my go-to quinoa fried rice recipe. Guaranteed to spice up your plain old quinoa, it’s a clean and healthy alternative that stands out from the rest of our usually decadent blog posts. Filled with chicken and veggies, it can just as easily be altered to fit your vegetarian/vegan/picky-eater preferences.

This actually sold really well to my brother, who usually hates quinoa. Yay!

 

2. Rocky Road Brownies

We took your go-to brownie recipe and took it to the next level with walnuts and a browned marshmallow topping, turning it into a ice-cream flavor inspired variation. Best served warm and gooey, this recipe has gotten tons of love on foodgawker and tastespotting because it’s honestly that good.

browning the marshmallows with the broiler after baking was the perfect finishing touch

3. Blueberry Scones

Crumbly and flaky in all the right ways, this classic blueberry scone recipe was a favorite among you guys this year. Perfect on crisp winter mornings with a cup of hot tea, it’s definitely a keeper.

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4. XXL Cowboy Compost Cookies

A variation on the classic cowboy cookie inspired by the idea behind Momofuku’s compost cookie. Made XXL so its big enough to share, but small enough to keep all for yourself.

IMG_39505. Naan Flatbread Pizza

Y’all really have quite the savory palette. These naan flatbread pizzas were one of our very first posts, and is still something that I make to date. It’s such an easy and versatile dish, there’s no wonder why you guys keep coming back to it.

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– This year, I traveled to  San Francisco and  the East Coast and was fortunate enough to be able to share all the great food that I had while I was there.

– We also put out our monthly favorites (for most of the year) in hopes of getting better connected with you guys. I  included everything from the music I liked, to the snacks I obsessed over, and the clothing trends I fell in love with each month.

And that’s a wrap for 2014! It’s been such a busy year for us, and we’d like to thank you from the very bottom of our otherwise cold souls. We genuinely thank all of you for staying with us through our extended absences and we hope you’ve enjoyed reading our content as much as we’ve enjoyed sharing it with you. Cheers to 2015!

Mini French Toast with Grilled Peaches

I enjoy the weirdest things in life. The smell of black coffee, corgi puppies, and the way a Junior Mint sounds when you break it in half, just to name a few. (p.s if you’ve never broken a York Mint patty and don’t know what I’m talking about, go do it. Now. It’s a game-changer.)

I find that if you take pleasure in the little things, it gives you a much more positive outlook of life because there’s just so much more to look forward to! People might not always understand why you get so excited when you see Justin’s peanut butter, but hey, as long you’re happy right? And I think this french toast could easily be added to your list of little reasons to be happy! While physically tiny, it’s anything but small flavor-wise. Soaked in traditional cinnamony egg wash, fried to perfection, and topped with warm grilled peaches, it’ll turn your breakfast world upside down. Plus, it’s mini, and mini servings means you can eat more without feeling bad. Which is always, always a plus.IMG_4229IMG_4237IMG_4231 MINI FRENCH TOAST WITH GRILLED PEACHES

1 13 oz French baguette (or around that size)

3 large eggs

1/2 cup of half-and-half

1/2 milk (I used 2%)

1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1-2 tablespoons of butter for greasing the pan

2 yellow nectarines

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon sugar

FRENCH TOAST:

1. Let bread stale for two days before cooking, this will ensure a non-soggy French toast. Slice into 1-1.5 inch slices

2. Mix eggs, half-and-half, milk, and cinnamon together a bowl until well combined.

3. Soak the bread slices in the mixture for about 2 minutes each. Meanwhile, heat up the frying pan at medium heat and melt butter.

4. Cook bread on frying pan until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side.

GRILLED PEACHES

1. Dice nectarines into small pieces. Heat the grill pan at medium heat and melt butter.

2. Add peaches and allow to cook until golden brown and cooked through. You want to be able to see a bit of the grill marks on the peaches.

3. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon sugar. Sautee until the sugars are well incorporated.

4. Top the French toast slices while still warm. Serve with maple syrup and enjoy!

Portobello Mushroom Veggie Wrap

With the upcoming school year right around the corner, and by right around the corner I mean in one week (for me at least), I’ve decided to do a small series of recipes that will work perfectly for back to school. Sometimes it can be a real hassle making lunch in the mornings when you’re still half-awake, especially if you’re already running late. However, I think that time should never be issue when trying to prepare a nutritious meal for yourself or someone you love, so all of my recipes will be simple, quick, and have steps that can be done ahead of time.

One of my absolute favorite things to take for lunch are sandwich wraps. They’re portable and can be eaten on-the-go and can be filled with savory or sweet fillings, whatever you’re craving for that day!IMG_3895

For the Portobello Mushroom Veggie Wrap, the first thing you’re going to have to do is sauté one sliced mushroom cap and two baby bell peppers with some olive oil and salt.IMG_3898

Then you’re going to need one tortilla to use as the wrapper. I like to use whole grain tortillas, but the options are endless. (i.e spinach, sun-dried tomato)IMG_3901

Then you’re going to take half of a medium-sized avocado, spoon it out onto the tortilla, and mash it all up. After the mashing it complete, sprinkle a bit of lemon pepper to taste.IMG_3903

Place your mushroom slices on.IMG_3904

Then your peppers.IMG_3905

And top the whole thing off with a handful of spinach.IMG_3917

Wrap it all up, and you’re ready to go!

See how easy that was? And don’t be afraid to stray from the recipe. Add things, take things out, make substitutions with whatever you have in your fridge. Make it your own and have fun with it! Happy wrapping!

PORTOBELLO MUSHROOM VEGGIE WRAP

1 portobello mushroom cap

2 baby bell peppers (or 1/3 large)

1/2 medium-sized avocado

1/2 cup raw baby spinach

sea salt, olive oil, and lemon pepper (to taste)

grill pan (but honestly, a plain old frying pan works too)

1. Slice mushroom cap and bell peppers. Saute on medium heat with olive oil and salt until cooked thoroughly and there are a bit of grill marks on the peppers. Take off heat.

2. Warm tortilla on the pan until warm and soft. This way the tortilla won’t rip as easily when wrapping.

3. Spoon out avocado onto the tortilla and mash up. Add lemon pepper to taste.

4. Layer on mushrooms, peppers, and spinach. Wrap it up and enjoy.

Blueberry Banana Nut Buttermilk Bread

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What time is it?! SUMMERTIME!
After surviving (barely) sophomore year, my goal is to sleep all day and play all night. Beach days, disney dates, and the baking craze are on the way! Unfortunately, the only dates I had this past week was with my SAT II Chemistry Prep book. But, even with dreaded studying, I can always muster together time for baking!
So, blueberry banana nut buttermilk bread. Isn’t that a mouthful? Well you’ll have your mouths full for sure after a nibble of this delectable bread. This was my first time making banana bread AND using a bread pan, and it was an absolute success! I’ve made it 3 times in the past week. Twice for my family and once for my chemistry tutor! (This lady deserves major kudos for helping my poor soul get an A in Honors Chemistry). She liked it so much, she told me she ate half of it fresh out of the oven with coffee on the way to her next student! As for my parents, my dad loves it with margarine and my mom devours it plain. So whether you sip coffee with it, slather it with margarine, or find your own personal pairing, I hope you enjoy this beautiful loaf!

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar(I actually used 3/4 since my parents don’t like things too sweet)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3(1cup) ripe bananas, mashed(overripe is best)
1 cup blueberries
1 cup(or amount desired of nuts of your choice; I used pecans)

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a loaf pan with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in eggs, buttermilk and vanilla until well combined. Beat in bananas until well combined. Gradually add flour mixture to the sugar mixture at low speed, beating just until incorporated.
Add blueberries and gently toss to combine.
Scoop the batter evenly into the loaf pan. Place into oven and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes before inverting the cake onto a wire rack.

Recipe used from http://damndelicious.net/2012/06/23/buttermilk-banana-blueberry-bread/

Bread Quiche

Happy Memorial Day folks! Hope your long weekend is filled with tons of BBQ and the first taste of summer. For those of you who don’t know, I am a most definitely a breakfast person. I love pretty much all breakfast food, from dutch babies to omelets, and I can never relate to people who always skimp out on breakfast, claiming that they refuse to  eat “that early in the morning”. Personally, I can’t think of anything better than rolling out of bed and having a piping hot pile of eggs and carbs waiting for you. But maybe that’s just me. It’s by far my favorite meal of the day, and it gives me that much needed kickstart to get my day going. Bread Quiche

My mom wanted to test out this recipe before she took it to her Bible study luncheon, so I made it over the weekend, and I AM IN LOVE. It strays from the traditional quiche since it lacks a crust, but do not fret my fellow-carb lovers, the bread is IN the quiche itself. It tastes great, and its really easy too! You literally just chop everything up, pour it into a baking pan, and throw it in the oven. It’s a low-maintainence dish, perfect for busier mornings. I highly suggest adding some variety to your morning meals with this quiche, you’ll thank me later.Bread Quiche

 

BREAD QUICHE:

4 cups of whole wheat bread, cubed (please do not use sandwich bread, please. I used a whole grain loaf bread from La Brea Bakery.)

4 eggs, completely whisked together

1/2 of a large tomato, chopped

1/2 of a onion, sauteed

1 1/2 cup of spinach

4 pieces of thickly sliced turkey, chopped

4 ounces of feta cheese, crumbled

1 tablespoon butter

1 1/2 cups milk

salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Lightly grease baking pan to prevent sticking. Put bread cubes into the pan

3. Evenly spread tomato, onion, spinach, and turkey on top of the bread. Sprinkle the feta cheese evenly on top.

4. Pour milk into the eggs and mix well.

5. Pour egg mixture into the pan and make sure most of the food in the pan is immersed in the mixture.

6. Place in oven and leave to cook for 45 minutes. Take out to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

NOTES:

– Spinach can be replaced with cooked broccoli or asparagus

– Feta can be replaced with blue, cheddar, or mozzerella

– Turkey can be switched out for bacon or ham or omitted

 

 

Southwest Quinoa Salad

Taking a super quick break from the overwhelming load of European history that still needs to be memorized to post this super easy, super quick Southwest Quinoa Salad.Southwest Quinoa Salad

It’s quick and healthy, perfect for providing the nutrition you need to take your exam in your best condition without taking up too much of your study time to prepare! The red quinoa and fresh veggies complement the light dressing that goes with it, and it’ll leave you satisfied and ready to get on that “all nighter I refused to start studying two weeks earlier whoops” study grind. Or maybe that’s just me.Southwest Quinoa Salad

But not all is horrid and stressful in the kingdom of Christine. Because after one month of waiting with a side of anxiety-induced nail biting, I finally got notification that I have been accepted onto my school’s yearbook staff! I’m so grateful for the opportunity that’s been given to me, and I’m psyched to be able to take part in creating the book next year! But until then, I’ll just be eating Southwest Quinoa Salad, drowning in study material, and craving summer.

SOUTHWEST QUINOA SALAD

1 cup red quinoa cooked according to package

1 14 ounce can of black beans, drained

1 14 ounce can of yellow corn, drained

4 green onions, diced

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/4 large red bell pepper, diced

1/4 large green bell pepper, diced

Juice from 2 limes

1/3 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

 

1. Cook quinoa according to package.

2. After cooking, allow to cool completely (about 15 minutes) and then transfer to large bowl.

3. In another bowl, mix together lime juice, olive oil, cumin, black pepper, and salt.

4. Add black beans, corn, onion, bell peppers, and cilantro to the quinoa.

5. Add dressing and toss to coat evenly.

6. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

Oreo Cheesecake

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It’s all sorts of cheesy 🙂 This past week being the week before Prom, I got to see all sorts of creative and adorable askings by hopeful boys and acceptances by excited girls. Excitement was in the air. Being a sophomore, I didn’t expect to go to Prom this year. But seeing the all the askings was adorable and heart warming, especially admit the stress of AP test. Since baking always relieves stress, I decided to take some time off of studying and bake this cheesy cheesecake 🙂 I hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:
-2 8oz packages of Philadelphia Cream Cheese(room temperature)
-3/4 cup brown sugar
-1 tablespoon vanilla extract
-3 eggs
-Oreo Pie Crust(I bought mines at Stater Bros)
-about 9 Oreos, crushed (more to taste)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325
1. Mix cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract in a bowl on low with hand mixer
2. Add eggs, one at a time, until mixture is incorporated
3. Fold in chopped Oreos
4. Pour batter into Oreo pie crust
5. Bake in oven at 325 for 40 minutes
6. When finished, let cheesecake cool completely
7. Put cooled cheesecake into refrigerator for at least 4 hours
8. SERVE AND ENJOY!

Chocolate Egg Cupcakes

Okay, so in complete honesty, this was not the recipe I intended to post. My original idea was to do Cadbury Egg Cupcakes, but of course, all the markets around me weren’t carrying them. Extremely frustrating. But I had all the other ingredients on hand already, so I just grabbed a bag of plain chocolate eggs instead. They literally just ended up being chocolate cupcakes with pretty buttercream and chocolate on top. Sigh…

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I had a three day weekend, and I decided I was going to take some time for myself. With the craziness of school, sports, and the upcoming testing, I’ve been all over the place and haven’t had time to take care of myself. So I decided to stay home rather than go out with friends, turn off my phone, and take the time to the things I usually don’t have the leisure to do.

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It was actually really really nice. I thought I would’ve gotten bored after a couple hours, but there was just so many things I realized I wanted to do. I painted my toenails, went on a run, got my eyebrows done, made cupcakes, made biscotti, listened to new music, and caught up with all the food blogs I follow. I haven’t been this productive in quite a while, and it was so refreshing to just do what I wanted to do. It was a good recharge for the old batteries, and now I’m confident that I’ll be able to face the week coming up! Happy Easter to all of you that celebrate it, and enjoy the cupcakes! They’re super easy to whip up, and they’ll be a crowd pleaser for sure!

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 (P.S Excuse my inability to frost cupcakes, its been a while..)

CHOCOLATE EGG CUPCAKES

24 dark chocolate cupcakes (box mix or homemade, its your call)

1 package of chocolate eggs

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:

4 ounces unsalted butter, softened

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Bake chocolate cupcakes and allow to cool.

2. Beat together cream cheese and butter with a hand mixer. Then add powdered sugar one cup at a time until smooth and creamy. Beat in vanilla extract. Add food coloring if desired.

3. Frost cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, and top with chocolate egg!

 

 

 

Chocolate Funfetti Cupcake Puppy Chow

I’ve never been the type to take chances. I like planning things out, organizing all the aspects, and weighing my options. I always stay on the safe side, and being spontaneous has never been my forte.

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However, recently I’ve been realizing that as much as I’d like to have control over everything that happens to me, it’s impossible. More and more I’m learning that sometimes, things aren’t going to work out the way I planned, and I have learn to deal with it and go with the flow of life. Even the most ‘for sure’ things are going to fall through, and that’s just life

 

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And more importantly, I’m slowly learning how to recover from these disappointments. Not only to shake it off and get back up, but to understand that there’s a purpose for why failure happens and that there are lessons to be learned. I’m learning just “wing it”, not stress over the trivial things, and just trust that God has a plan.

Taking chances isn’t all that bad, so I think you should all take a chance and try this Chocolate Cupcake Puppy Chow. Puppy Chow is rampant over Pinterest, with so many different variations, but I haven’t had the chance to try it out until now. And let me say, it did not disappoint. No joke, half of it was gone within the first day. It’s addicting. And ridiculously easy to make.

 

CHOCOLATE CUPCAKE PUPPY CHOW

16 oz. milk chocolate

6 cups of Chex cereal

1/2 box Funfetti cake mix

Rainbow Sprinkles (the more the merrier!)

1. Pour all the chocolate into a large, microwave-safe bowl and melt in 30 second increments until completely melted. Stir until smooth.

2. Pour cereal into a large bowl. Pour in chocolate, cake mix, and sprinkle. Mix gently until all the cereal is coated.

3. Store in an airtight container and enjoy!

RECIPE SOURCE: http://backforsecondsblog.com/2012/07/cupcake-muddy-buddies/

NOTES:

– Be careful not to burn the chocolate! You will be really sad to see chocolate go to waste!

– Work fast! Especially if you’re not using melting chocolate. You want to coat the cereal before the chocolate hardens again.