Banana Zucchini Bread

Banana Zucchini Bread

Banana Zucchini Bread

I haven’t made a “new” bread at my house in quite sometime.  I have to be honest I have been playing with/obsessing over new essential oils for my peeps….yup going all earthy on you guys!  😉  Well, I am only half kidding.  I mean this whole idea of less chemicals and less medicine is really something I am aiming for.  Nothing against it but I am not a big fan of popping a pill for every little ache and pain….but this isn’t about me hugging trees and making magic potions….although a good quick bread could be considered a magic potion that would heal many many ailments if you ask me.  Then again I think food is love so what do I know?

Let’s not waste anymore of our valuable time and let’s see what this magical bread is all about!

DELICIOUS!

DELICIOUS!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

3/4 cup oats (regular not quick)

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

3/4 cup butter melted

2 bananas, mashed

2 cups shredded zucchini

1 cup (or more depending on how crazy your day has been going, see note) semi-sweet chocolate chips

How to:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a loaf pan, set aside.

In a medium bowl combine your flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves and oats.  Set aside.

In a large bowl mix your melted butter and your sugar.  Add your eggs and combine well. Add your mashed bananas.  Add your flour mixture at once and mix until just combined.  Using a spatula fold in your shredded zucchini.  Finally add your chocolate chips (if using).  Pour your batter into your prepared loaf pan and bake in your preheated oven for 60-70 minutes.  Let cool completely.

before....

before….

after!   <3

after! ❤

Note: I was going to say the chocolate chips were optional but by 6am I was dealing with: broken TV, an over-flowing toilet, two cranky teenagers, one crazy dog and spilled coffee….then by 10am: went for a run, fell at mile 1, broke skin on hands and right leg, kept on running (and bleeding…gross) to 5 miles, broke my favorite water bottle, 3 phone calls from the Canadian Passport office (as if I am applying to be the Prime Minister!)…this day needed CHOCOLATE!

AND THEN….I got stuck on the phone with the TV guy for what seems like an eternity and he told me his life story…I wish I was kidding: he has a wife named Miracle and a daughter named Isabelle….what are the chances?!

this may not have fixed my day but it sure helped  ;)

this may not have fixed my day but it sure helped 😉

Printer Friendly: Banana Zucchini Bread

Peace and This Day Needed Some Magic,

Isabelle

Mellark’s Secret Banana Bread

Mellark's Secret Banana Bread

Mellark’s Secret Banana Bread

If you remember (or maybe you are new to my world!) I have a weird “thing” about not reading books that are recommended to me.  Especially if the book is a best seller.  This leads me to The Hunger Games Books (the trilogy) I fought it and fought it…so much so that my 13 year old daughter started to call me names (you know…names like: mom, mommy, ma, momster…) eventually I did give in and read the books.  They are fabulous.  I know these books are not news to anyone, especially since they have been made into a movie.  Our kids being who they are, (at times due to questionable parenting) decided that I should own the “Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook”.  They gave me the book for Christmas.  I decided to share a recipe with you today so you can get the full sense of how lovely this little cookbook is.  Of course, I went with a classic “Isabelle”: banana bread, a favorite around here….why change?  I mean you can’t go wrong with banana bread, right?

The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook

The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook

Note: if you don’t know the series, Mellark is the last name of Peeta, a character whose family owns a bakery.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Pinch of kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

4 ripe bananas, mashed

1/2 cup melted butter

3/4 white sugar

1/4 turbinado sugar

1 egg, beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

How to:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease or spray an 8X8 square pan.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl combine your flour, salt and baking soda.  Set aside.

In a large bowl (or in your mixer) mix together mashed bananas and butter.  Add both sugars, egg and vanilla.  Add your flour mixture and mix well to combine.  Fold in your chocolate chips.

Pour your mixture into your prepared pan.  Bake in your preheated oven for 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool on rack.  Remove bread from pan and serve.

Ready to bake

Ready to bake

Smelling Delicious!  I had to tell the kids to WAIT about 10 times!

Smelling Delicious! I had to tell the kids to WAIT about 10 times!

I simply love a good banana bread...this is looking perfect!

I simply love a good banana bread…this is perfect!

Lots of banana flavor and sweet chocolate, perfect union!

Lots of banana flavor and sweet chocolate, a perfect union!

Note: mine took the full 60 minutes but if your oven has  a raging personality it might take less.  Don’t pick a battle with your oven…let it do its job 😉

This bread was GONE in less than an hour….gone…the kids attacked it and the adults were left dumbfounded!

I think my next recipe from this fun cookbook will be: Rue and Katniss’s Apple-Smoked Groosling or Gale’s Bone-Pickin’ Big Game Soup  🙂

Printer Friendly:  Mellark’s Secret Banana Bread

Peace and Gone,

Isabelle

Go check out this lovely linky party as well:

Chai Banana Bread

Banananananana Bread….YIPPIE

Note: as you read this I am already in Florida. 🙂 I just ran out of time to post…..

My week is getting away from me.  I have a lot going on, a lot I want to get done prior to my parents’ arrival, a lot on my mind with Janine dealing with more dreadful cancer crap (yes I said crap…cancer is crap!).  Bottom line I am on the fast track to Florida so I can help my buddy.  Mr. Man will join me shortly.  I am lucky to have such wonderful parents who come (all the way from Canada!) and stay with our daughters so I can be a friend.
Meanwhile I just had a revelation…(yes HUMOR helps me deal with stuff!)

My mom once said to me: “You know toddler years are a perfect way to show you how the kids will act/be in their teens”

SHE WASN’T KIDDING!

#1. Bathroom Privacy: May I please use the bathroom without interruptions?  Come on, I don’t need an audience, and this is NOT the right time to tell me the school’s most dramatic story of the day!

#2. My “stuff” is theirs.  My shower, my bed and all my stuff is not YOURS.  Oddly enough we have provided you with your own shower, bathroom, bed, shoes…

#3. Food.  When they are little they get weird ideas: no green food, no round food…etc..when they are teens they get weird ideas: I am only eating yogurt for the next 3 days, I am no longer a meat eater, I can only eat when it’s dark outside! WHAT?

#4. Sleep Deprivation: yours and theirs.  Yours: suddenly teens need to go to bed at 3am…meanwhile you are old and need to go to bed at 9…problem…who keeps an eye on them???  Theirs: if teens don’t get enough sleep they are nasty ugly mid-size humans!

#5. Clothes: as toddlers suddenly they cannot wear anything red (example…) as teens they can AND will wear the same darn t-shirt or pair of jeans…every single day of the week…bottom line: like toddlers somewhat GROSS!

To ease my pain and make my family forget that my mind is somewhere in the middle of Florida, I made a new banana bread.

Chai Banana Bread

Recipe from Cooking Light Magazine, found: here

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3)

1/3 cup plain fat-free yogurt

5 tablespoons butter, melted

2 large eggs

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons milk

How to:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray (or grease if you prefer).  Set aside.

Combine flour, soda, and salt in a medium bowl.  Set aside.

Combine bananas, yogurt, melted butter, and eggs in a bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed just until blended.  Add sugars; beat at medium just until blended.  Add flour mixture to banana mixture; beat just until blended.

Combine cardamom, cinnamon, ground ginger and allspice.  Stir 1 1/2 teaspoons spice mixture and 1 teaspoon vanilla into batter.  Pour into prepared  loaf pan.  Bake in preheated oven for 65 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes in pan on wire rack.  Remove from pan.

Combine remaining spice mixture, remaining vanilla, powdered sugar, and milk.  Drizzle over bread.

look at the lovely “drizzeeeeling” I did 🙂

Try to be patient…try…I wasn’t nor was my family.  It was like a bunch of vultures destroying a banana bread!  Delicious!

moist, with a marvelous hint of spices…give me MORE!

Printer Friendly: Chai Banana Bread

Peace and I can’t pronounce Chai,

Isabelle

Banana Bread with Chocolate and Crystallized Ginger

Yesterday, I remembered something important: how much I love the book “A Homemade Life” by Molly Wizenberg

It’s not that I forgot about it, but simply that I hadn’t opened it in a while and marveled at the delightful reading it is.

So when I showed it to Aunt Cathy and told her she needs to read it, I remembered.   If by chance she found her way from Portland to Seattle sometime soon then she needs to go to Mrs Wizenberg’s restaurant: Delancey.   Last night I put the book on my night stand and this morning I read it…again…cover to cover.

As much as I love my Banana Bread, I feel I owe it myself to try her recipe for Banana Bread with Chocolate and Crystallized Ginger.

The fact that I happened to have Crystallized Ginger in my pantry is even strange to me….somehow my family seems to think it’s par for the course.

Banana Bread with Chocolate and Crystallized Ginger

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate (or chopped semi-sweet chocolate bar, which is what I did since it looks so pretty!)

1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (3-4 bananas)

1/4 cup whole-milk plain yogurt (I usually have Greek…no problem)

1 teaspoon vanilla

How to:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease or spray a loaf pan, set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.  Add the chocolate chips (or chunks) and crystallized ginger.  Whisk well to combine and set aside.

I like the irregular chunks...go crazy with chocolate 😉

golden little nuggets of ginger

In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a fork.  Add the mashed banana, yogurt, melted butter and vanilla and stir to mix well.  Pour the banana mixture into the dry ingredients and stir gently with a rubber spatula, until just combined.  Do not overmix.  The batter will be thick and somewhat lumpy, but there should be no unincorporated flour.  Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top…if you want…I like messy tops…on BREAD!  Oh my goodness…

beautiful gorgeous batter!

mmmmm this is going to be great!

Bake in your preheated oven 50-60 minutes until you have a deep shade of golden brown.

I...I...am speechless....

Try to cool for at least 5 minutes before you decide to cut yourself a slice and burn your mouth…it’s a personal choice…I can’t wait.

simply delicious

Absolute Perfection…

Printer friendly: Banana Bread with Chocolate and Crystallized Ginger

Peace Out,

Isabelle

Gym Etiquette and Reese’s Peanut Butter Bread

Reese's Peanut Butter Bread

Why together? Well, since this is pretty much me ranting and complaining about poor gym etiquette, I figured I should end with something delicious. This is to make you forget that I have pet peeves that are somewhat compulsive and over the top. Please enjoy the 7 deadly sins (as per Isabelle) of gym etiquette.

1- Nudity: I am comfortable with my body.  I am not a prude.  I shower and change at the gym.  I am of the “we have the same bits and pieces” school of thought.  BUT, the walking around in the nude for 30 minutes between everyone, talking to everyone and “propping” your leg up on the bench while talking in your birthday suite makes me UNCOMFORTABLE.

2- Lockers: 1 person= 1 locker.  This is not your house nor your personal closet, you are not moving in, you are working out, showering and getting on with your life.

3- Saving Equipment: NOT GONNA HAPPEN.  This is not 4th grade P.E., this is not recess, your friends will have to find themselves their own treadmill, this is the one I am using, move your towel.

4- Sweat: I sweat like a “lady of the evening” in Church on Sunday….I wipe my sweat off of every piece of equipment I use.  If I wanted to deal with your sweat we would be married.

5- Dropping Weights: OK so you are not Arnold Schwarzenegger, this is not Venice Beach, don’t drop the weights on the floor like you are Hulk Hogan.  If you have to drop it you shouldn’t be lifting it in the first place.

6- Talking: this one is difficult….I don’t mind talking but some people strike up a conversations with you at the weirdest time: while you are sitting (i.e. relaxing) in the sauna or while you are mid run on the treadmill (trying not to fall off)  or while you are lifting weights.  I am not being rude if I don’t answer…. I AM WORKING OUT…if you want to have a social conversation, let’s go have a coffee at Starbucks, they love people who stay and talk for hours.

7- Cell phones…especially that blue tooth, ear “thingy”….OMG seriously!  For the love of God, I do not need to hear you yapping on your cell phone to your bestie for 1 hour while I am working out.  I always have headphones on and I still hear you over my music.  Also talking being people’s back while you are pretending to be working out is tacky.  I don’t want to hear you and by the way YOU LOOK LIKE A FOOL!

Back to what is far more interesting…and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for listening to my complaints.  I feel better.

I found this AMAZING recipe on Cookies and Cups Blog, please go check out her delicious blog: Cookies and Cups

Reese’s Peanut Butter Bread

Ingredients:

3 very ripe bananas, mashed (I keep my “unwanted” bananas in my freezer, please see: Good Old Banana Bread )

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup oil

1 egg

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

8 oz bag of Reese’s Mini cups

How to:

Preheat oven to 350 degree F.  Grease your loaf pan with butter or cooking spray.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together your flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside.  In a large bowl stir together your bananas, peanut butter, oil, egg and sugars.  Pour your dry ingredients into your wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Batter will be lumpy.  Fold in your Reese’s Mini cups and spread batter into prepared pan.

lovely batter

Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Let cool in pan for 10 minutes.

house smells amazing

look at this delightful madness....oh my!

Serve and hide a piece for later, I am not kidding….you’ll see why!  Then you’ll thank me for telling you to do so.

Printer friendly: Reese’s Peanut Butter Bread

Peace and Etiquette,

Isabelle

p.s. Again: thank you for letting me vent…I hope I didn’t offend anyone…if I did, I am sorry….this is just my experience with etiquette…everyone has their own! 🙂

Good old banana bread!

My family loves banana bread.  In fact every time my parents visit, I noticed that my dad expects to have a banana bread ready upon his arrival.  I have only one trick for my bread: old frozen bananas.  Not old like rotten but old like they have been overlooked and no one wants to eat them.  Don’t trow them away (although you could trow them in your compost….but that’s another post) put them in your freezer.  I have 8 in there as we speak/read.  I keep a plastic bag filled with “unwanted” bananas.  When the time is right, usually when I want my house to smell perfect, or when my parents visit, time to pull out 4 frozen bananas and make your bread!  They won’t be pretty but it makes a big difference in the bread.  Maybe the bananas are just happy to get a second chance! (wow, I do think too much about food….weird)

Here are my 4 friends thawing:

Here is the plan: Oven at 350F. Grease your favorite loaf pan (glass, ceramic, metal).

Mix together your dry ingredients:

1 3/4 cup of flour (organic if you want)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (or a good pinch)

Set aside

Next, in a large bowl (or in your mixer) mix together:

2/3 cup of sugar

5 tablespoons of butter at room temperature (yes the real stuff, you could use something else, it’s your bread!)

Then add:

2 eggs

1 tablespoon of milk

4 thawed bananas (see above) I usually just snip the top of the banana and squeeze it into the bowl (real technical stuff!)

Next you want to add your dry ingredients to the banana madness, just mix until well incorporated.  Pour into your greased pan, in the oven for 1 hour.

Here is what the glorious bread will look like:

 

Yummy Banana Bread!


***This bread doesn’t last very long at our house, but if you have the chance, I would highly recommend that you toast a slice, spread with butter and have it for breakfast.  It is ridiculously perfect!  A good cup of coffee would make a nice companion!

Here is the printer friendly version: Belle Banana Bread

Peace and Frozen,

Isabelle