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 😉

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Peace and This Day Needed Some Magic,

Isabelle

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Oats and Chocolate Chip Scones

Oats and Chocolate Chip Scones

Oats and Chocolate Chip Scones

I have been making this recipe for quite some time.  I don’t even know why I haven’t shared it with you guys.  It is so delicious.  Kids love it and you can truly make the whole thing in no time.  It is not too sweet.  It is a quick breakfast on a busy morning and it is absolutely amazing with a hot cup of tea.

I think that it would probably be easy to swipe the chocolate chips with blueberries or peanut butter chips or butterscotch chips…I say this but in all honesty I haven’t tried it simply because the hormonal wonderful teens that always hang at our house are somewhat obsessed in love with chocolate!

look at that gorgeous color and the amazing crust!  YUM!

look at that gorgeous color and the amazing crust! YUM!

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup rolled oats (old fashion NOT quick oats)

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces and kept very cold

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup cold buttermilk

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg, whisked (for topping)

Raw/Torbinado sugar  (for topping)

How to:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.  Set aside.

In a large bowl combine your flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add your cold butter.  Using a pastry cutter or your finger combine your butter to your flour mixture until you have a coarse mixture.  You shouldn’t have pieces any larger than a pea.

I do love my pastry cutter!

I do love my pastry cutter!

Add your chocolate chips, buttermilk, 1 egg and vanilla.  Using a wooden spoon combine until all liquid is absorbed.  Your dough will be extremely sticky.  Dump everything on a well floured surface (wooden cutting board is best in my opinion).  Using your hands (best tools known to man!) knead your dough gently until your have a soft texture (do not over knead).  Form into an 8 or 9-inch circle about 1- 1 1/2-inch thick.  Cut into 8 pieces.  Put all 8 scones on your prepared baking sheet.  Brush with your whisked egg and sprinkle with your raw sugar.  (amount suggestive to taste, about 1/2 teaspoon per scones I guess)

make sure it is not too thin

make sure it is not too thin

8 "almost even" pieces ;)

8 “almost even” pieces 😉

ready to go!

ready to go!

Put in your preheated oven and bake for 17-18 minutes.

doesn't that look so scrumptious?

doesn’t that look so scrumptious?

take a closer look...don't you just want to take a bite?!

take a closer look…don’t you just want to take a bite?!

Let cool and enjoy.

perfect afternoon snack!

perfect afternoon snack!

Note: I like to cut my butter into small pieces and put it back in the fridge for a few minutes while I get everything else ready.  I find that by the time I cut my butter into the small pieces it has already started to warm/melt just from the heat of my hands….just a thought maybe your hands don’t melt butter!  😉

my basket for the teens' breakfast

my basket for the teens’ breakfast

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Peace and I am probably more hormonal than they are,

Isabelle

Pumpkin-Almond Crunch

Pumpkin-Almond Crunch

Pumpkin-Almond Crunch

Pardon the interruption while I still try to squeeze into a bikini….yep all 43 years old of me in da bikini baby!  So I have been torturing my peeps with healthy grubs for a while  (meaning more healthy than ever for me).  I am still my usual everything from scratch kind of nut job (please don’t take offense if you are part of the same clan), but lately I have been annoying more than usual….which if you know me, well it’s kind of scary.  I put annoying on the map.  I thrive on annoying.  I rejoice in….OK this is annoying!

We are heading to Florida for Spring Break.  So although I am the biggest gym rat around I have managed to push the envelop a touch more in terms of not only exercising but cutting out a LOT of unhealthy habits.  First off; no more bread at breakfast.  Second, no more food…HA!  Just checking to see if you were paying attention!  Second, less snacking.

It’s been nice….especially nice when I will be lying on the beach in my granny bikini 😉

Here’s a little healthy treat to share with the class.

delicious treat for everyone!

delicious treat for everyone!

Adapted from: Canyon Ranch Nourish by Scott Uehlein

Ingredients:

3/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds

3/4 cup raw almonds

2 teaspoon canola oil

3 tablespoon real maple syrup

1 tablespoon flax seeds

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon all spice

3/4 teaspoon sea salt or kosher

1 1/2 cup dried cranberries

How to:

Preheat the oven to 300 degree F.  Lightly spray a baking sheet with canola oil spray or line with a silicone mat.

Toss the pumpkin seeds, almonds and canola oil in a small bowl.  Spread the coated seeds evenly on the baking sheet.  Roast for 20 minutes, or until almost dry.

first step....gotta start somewhere!

first step….gotta start somewhere!

Place the pumpkin seeds and almonds in a medium bowl and stir in your maple syrup until coated.

Combine the cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt in a small bowl.  Add the spice mixture and flax seeds to the pumpkin seeds and almonds.  Stir to combine.

Return everything to the baking sheet, spread as evenly as possible and roast for 15 minutes or until dry, stirring occasionally.  Keep an eye on this, pumpkin seeds burn easily.  Remove from oven and let cool completely.

second roasting....easy breezy

second roasting….easy breezy

Once cooled combine the seeds and the dried cranberries in a large bowl.  Put in an air tight container.

isn't it gorgeous?

isn’t it gorgeous?

To serve: I like to sprinkle over Greek yogurt and sliced bananas.  Any flavor yogurt works, I prefer Chobani non-fat plain yogurt.  If you prefer you may want to drizzle some more maple syrup, honey or agave syrup.  This crunch is also great over cereal or simply in a bowl while watching Duck Dynasty…. 😉

my afternoon snack

my afternoon snack

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Peace and Da Beach in Da Bikini!

Isabelle

Low-Fat Peanut Butter and Jam Bars

Low-Fat Peanut Butter and Jam Bars

Low-Fat Peanut Butter and Jam Bars

I found this delightful recipe in: The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook.  I changed the name.  Why?  Well, first off it’s my blog and I can.  Just kidding….I do have a good reason: they called them Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars, then right below it states: “feel free to use any flavor of jam here, but stay away from jelly, which has a weaker fruit flavor” …..ummmm why then call them “jelly bars” if we are using jam and SHOULDN’T use jelly…doesn’t make sense to me.  Also it’s a low-fat recipe…it should be in the title/name…shouldn’t it?

Did I lose you up there?  I am sorry.  I will just add this to my list of pet peeves.  (one more…!)

I really like the people of The America’s Test Kitchen, they really do their homework.  I mean they can REALLY spend hours, even months on a single recipe.  Lord knows I don’t have that kind of patience!  Luckily for me and you, they are really printer friendly.  These guys LOVE nothing better than to write write write….oh wait…I type type type…oh well, let’s call it even!

Let’s get to the recipe.

looks yummy doesn't it? :)

looks yummy doesn’t it? 🙂

Ingredients:

¾ cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

¾ cup sugar

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 large egg

¼ cup crunchy peanut butter, room temperature

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ cup dry-roasted peanuts, chopped coarse

1 cup raspberry jam (preferably organic)

How to:

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line an 8×8 baking pan with an aluminum foil, slightly overlapping on the sides.  Spray lightly with cooking spray.

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

In a large bowl beat your sugar and butter until soft and creamy.  Beat in the egg, followed by the peanut butter and vanilla.  Scrap the bowl as needed.  Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.

Reserve half of the dough for the topping.  Press the remaining dough evenly into the prepared pan.  Bake in your preheated oven until the crust is lightly golden about 20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.  Meanwhile stir the peanuts into the reserved dough for the topping.

the bottom crust

the bottom crust

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and spread the jam evenly over the hot crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border on all sides.  Drop small pieces of the topping evenly over the top.  Bake the bars until the jam is bubbling and the topping is golden, about 25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.

the jam NOT the jelly layer

the jam NOT the jelly layer

and the final yumminess

and the final yumminess

yummy!

yummy!

Let the bars cook completely in the pan for about 2 hours.  Remove the bars from the pan using the foil, cut and serve.

Yummy and healthy….depending on what your definition of healthy is…it fits mine so I am all about eating these delicious bars!

delicious, slightly crunchy and the perfect sweet salty combo!

delicious, slightly crunchy and the perfect sweet salty combo!

On a funny note, my oldest said to me when she ate a piece: “hey, mom those are pretty good, they taste like pb and j”!  I said: “well, that was sort of the point”….was the name not clear????  Darn teenagers!
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Peace and Calling it like it is,

Isabelle

Find my recipe here as well (go check out the great linky party!)

Spinach, Onions and Bacon Frittata

Spinach, Onion and Bacon Frittata

Spinach, Onions and Bacon Frittata

I had the most difficult time deciding on a recipe for my “monthly” installment of Everyday Food.  The issue I am using is No. 79 “the light issue”.  I don’t have a problem making light food.  I actually enjoy all kinds of light food.  For some reason, nothing appealed to me or it was something I had already blogged/talked about before.

I have made Chicken Fried Rice,  Sweet and Sour Chicken,  Hummus,  Scones.  (similar recipes were in the issue) And on and on…so after much flipping and re-flipping I finally decided to make: Spinach, Onion and Bacon Frittata.  Even though my husband is not a big fan of Frittata or Quiche or egg casserole…etc..  Tell me why we have chickens again?  For the eggs, right?  But since I rarely make Frittatas, I thought it would be a lovely change to our menu.  Of course, I decided to make this on a night he wasn’t home…why?  Because I am a people pleaser, wouldn’t you know it?   😉

yummilicious Frittata!

yummilicious Frittata!

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion thinly sliced (about 1 cup)

2 cups frozen spinach (from two 10-ounce packages) thawed and squeezed dry

Coarse salt and ground pepper

8 large eggs

1/2 cup cooked crumbled bacon (about 5 slices)

 How to:

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.  In a 10-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high.  Add your onion and spinach, season with salt and pepper, and cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add eggs and bacon, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.  Cook, undisturbed, until edges are set, about 2 minutes.  Transfer skillet to oven and bake until top of frittata is just set, 10-13 minutes.  Invert or slide frittata onto a plate and cut into 6 wedges.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

getting all the key notes in the pan!

getting all the key notes in the pan!

ready for the oven, see how the sides are just starting to set

ready for the oven, see how the sides are just starting to set

don't overcook this...you don't want to eat rubber!

don’t overcook this…you don’t want to eat rubber!

slice it up any way you to!

slice it up any way you want!

A nice green salad is the perfect companion for this creamy dish.

I decided on a nice arugula salad tossed with EVOO & red wine vinegar and some parmesan shaving...perfect match to my frittata

I decided on a nice arugula salad tossed with EVOO & red wine vinegar and some parmesan shaving…perfect match to my frittata

I love Frittata especially because you can substitute with whatever you have on hand.  It’s a great way to clean up your fridge.

Note: I didn’t have frozen spinach so I opted for 4 cups of fresh spinach and let it wilt with my onions….there you have it, easy substitution!

Another Note: I had 7 pieces of bacon not 5 (as suggested) don’t go calling the bacon police on me.  I mean what am I going to do with 2 pieces of bacon sitting in my fridge!  No one got hurt with the excess bacon!

Another Extra Note: I decided to add a little bit of fresh herbs to my Frittata: 1 teaspoon each: thyme, rosemary and marjoram…feel free to call the herb police on me…I am reckless!  😉

one last look....please forgive me for all the notes ;)

one last look….please forgive me for all the notes 😉

Other options:

Potato-Leek (1 leek: white and light green parts + 2 cups cooked potatoes + ½ cup ricotta)

Ham, Zucchini and Gruyère (1 cup chopped ham + 2 small zucchini, thinly sliced + ½ cup grated Gruyère)

Tomato, Scallion and Cheddar (1 bunch scallions thinly sliced + 2 cups grape tomatoes + ½ cup grated cheddar)

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Peace and Get Creative,

Isabelle

Buttermilk Biscuits

Buttermilk Biscuits

Buttermilk Biscuits

The best biscuits I have ever had in my entire life (a fun-filled 43 years so far!) were at The Loveless Cafe in Nashville Tn.  The Loveless Cafe is very well renowned for their biscuits.  The biscuits (and the restaurant) have been on TV more than once.  Even Mrs Stewart invited the biscuit lady: Ms Carol Fay to her show.  I purchased the dry biscuit mix from The Loveless Cafe, sadly they didn’t quite turn out the way I wanted them.  I have tried several biscuit recipes over the years.  Some worked pretty well, for example Bobby Flay’s Black Pepper Biscuits which I served with my Sunday Night Pot Roast.  Unfortunately they aren’t breakfast “I love the South” type biscuits.

I found a recipe in my favorite Saveur Magazine issue ( Saveur No. 153 ) the recipe makes enough for a small army.  I don’t want a mountain of biscuits lying around my house.  Using the 2 important techniques I found in this recipe, I adapted it to turn out 8 lovely biscuits.

#1. Do not overwork your dough.  Once everything is combined leave it alone.

#2. Freezing the butter and using a box grater to incorporate the butter into your flour mixture.  Gently combining the butter and the flour with your hands.  Do not overwork this step.  The heat from your hand could easily melt the butter.  Melted or soft butter doesn’t turn out flaky biscuits!

Gorgeous lovely Biscuits make me happy!

Gorgeous lovely Biscuits make me happy!

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tablespoon kosher salt

2 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 tablespoon baking powder

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

1 tablespoon honey (or agave syrup if you prefer)

How to:

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.  Set aside.

Heat oven to 400 degrees F.  Whisk flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder in a bowl.  Using a box grater, grate 5 tablespoons butter into flour mixture, and gently mix with your hands.  Add buttermilk, and gently fold to combine to form a soft dough.

grated frozen butter....who knew?!

grated frozen butter….who knew?!

Turn dough onto a floured surface, work the dough with your hand to incorporate everything.  Do not overwork your dough.  Pat or roll into a 1-inch thick disk.  Cut into 8 squares or using a round cutter cut into 8 circles.  Place on your prepared baking sheet.  Bake in your preheated oven for about 12-15 minutes.  Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a small pan; mix with the honey.  Brush over hot biscuits; return to oven until golden brown, about 5-8 minutes more.

do not panic even if your dough seems not perfectly combined, it will bake perfectly

do not panic even if your dough seems not perfectly combined, it will bake perfectly

yes...my 8th biscuit is sad looking...happens!

yes…my 8th biscuit is sad looking…happens!

when sweet butter hits the biscuits...magical!

when sweet butter hits the biscuits…magical!

fresh out of the oven smelling wonderful

fresh out of the oven smelling wonderful

Look at this delightful inside!

Look at this dreamy inside!

Simple, buttery, flaky, lightly sweetened by the honey butter, wonderful crust and EASY….really easy to make!

Matt wasn’t home to enjoy the biscuits, which meant we had some leftovers…3 to be exact.  I decided to make Egg McBiscuit for lunch.  The girls LOVED them.  The combination of the creamy egg, the salty bacon, the sharpness of the cheddar and the sweetness of the biscuits was simply flawless.

Egg McBiscuit by McNerdy!

Egg McBiscuit by McNerdy!

first bite might cause a picture perfect explosion

first bite might cause a picture-perfect explosion

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Peace and Biscuits,

Isabelle

Orange-Walnut Olive Oil Cake with Sweet Yogurt

Orange-Walnut Olive Oil Cake with

Orange-Walnut Olive Oil Cake with Sweet Yogurt

My husband and I have been researching food…not in the sense of new food to eat, cook or bake with but more what food does to your body.  For example, some food has natural anti-inflammatory benefits: Tumeric is one.  We are forever intrigued with using natural resources to cure any ailment our family might have.  I hate taking medications, it is against everything I believe.  I don’t like the side effects or the possibility of more damage without an actual cure.  We have been looking for books at our local library, there are plenty out there to keep us busy during the ugly winter months!

As you know, I love making everything from scratch.  Yes, I am the annoying mom who makes the granola bars, the bread, I love to make dinner every night…blah blah blah…I know this is not for everyone, but it’s for me.  That’s the way I grew up.  I never had take-out until I was in college and my roommate Helen informed me of a world I had been missing….my mom was also the crazy lady who even made her own egg rolls, fried rice and sweet and sticky spareribs .  I am not saying you should make everything from scratch, I am simply suggesting that we need to worry more about what we put in our bodies before we head to the doctor for some medicine to feel better.  Yes, I am getting off my soap box…simply because I have a great recipe to share with you 😉

During this little research I found a lovely recipe.  I thought it would be a nice treat for the family since we have been eating lots of good “green healthy” food lately and very little sweets.  Turns out this recipe is amazing.  I decided I should share it with you as well.

I love this cake, and I think it happens to be quite photogenic!

I love this cake, and I think it happens to be quite photogenic!

From: Power Foods  from the editors of Living Well Magazine.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for pan

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan

1 cup walnuts

1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest, plus more for garnish

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 cup packed light-brown sugar

3/4 cup fresh orange juice

Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish

1 cup low-fat Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

How to:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Brush cake pan with oil, line bottom with parchment; oil and flour parchment and pan.  Place walnuts in food processor and pulse until finely ground (be careful not to overprocess); set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together orange zest, flour, baking powder, salt, and ground walnuts.  Make a well in the center of flour mixture and stir in eggs, brown sugar, orange juice, and oil until just moistened; do not overmix.

nothing pleases me more than not using my mixer...going old school!

nothing pleases me more than not using my mixer…going old school!

gently mixing, gorgeous amber color!

gently mixing, I love the gorgeous amber color!

mix no more....you have arrived!

mix no more….you have arrived!

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.  Let cool in pan 10 minutes; transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

ready, set, bake

ready, set, bake

my house smells like heaven! Look at this perfect little cake!

my house smells like heaven! Look at this perfect little cake!

I had to give you a side view...absolutely stunning!

I had to give you a side view…absolutely stunning!

In a small bowl, stir together yogurt and confectioners’ sugar.  Before serving, dust cake with confectioners’ sugar.  Serve with sweet yogurt garnished with orange zest, if desired.

Time to treat yourself!

Time to treat yourself!

Note: This dessert is all about happiness.  Not just the taste but because it’s loaded with vitamins B12 (from the yogurt) and C (orange juice), folate (OJ, again), and omega-3 fatty acids (walnuts).  Nutrients shown to boost your mood.  🙂

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Peace and Happiness Always,

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:

Grandma Jones’ Pumpkin Cookies

Grandma Jones’ Pumpkin Cookies & Recipe

I can’t be trusted with recipes.  Especially if you leave them lying around.  First off, one of my biggest pet peeves is people keeping recipes a secret.  But I don’t have to go into all this right now.  This recipe wasn’t a secret per say…it was more the way I acquired it.  The thing is Grandma Georgia (Mr. Man’s paternal Grandmother) is moving into a smaller place.  Aunt Joyce has been working around the clock cleaning out, sorting, etc…Matt went and collected some boxes that could be looked through during Thanksgiving at our house, you know in case any of the children, grand children or even great grand children were interested in some of the items….well I looked through them first.  (OK OK guilty!)  I found this folder with old typed recipes….I took them all.  No, I am not ashamed.  I confessed to everyone on Thanksgiving day…after I offered them a delicious cookie!

I sat next to Grandma Georgia and showed her my delicious baking.  She was pretty happy I made them.  Especially since when Grandma Jones made them for her and Aunt Dorothy when they were about 16 she only got to have one…according to Grandma Jones, Georgia hadn’t put in a full day’s work therefore was only allowed 1 measly cookie!  I told her she could have as many as she wanted…I am nice like that!  😉

the recipe…notice the lack of directions/how to….

The page states: Pumpkin Cookies and ingredients, then it jumps to Brownies Mickey (with directions) and finally Magic Macaroons.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)

1 1/2 cup pumpkin (15-oz can)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup raisins (or craisins)

1 cup nuts chopped (pecans or walnuts)

How to:

***and this is where I had to improvise!*****

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl combine your flour with your baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt.  Set aside.

In your mixer cream your butter with both your sugars.  Add your pumpkin and vanilla.  Add your dry ingredients, mix until just combined.  Fold in your raisins or craisins and nuts.  Using a medium scoop drop your cookie dough on your prepared pan and bake in your preheated oven for 14-15 minutes.

creamy pumpkiny (?!) cookie dough

smelling delish!

Let cool completely.

I think we all deserve more than just one cookie…wouldn’t you agree?!

I love the spices and the cake like texture of this delicious cookie.  So perfect for the holidays, also would make a wonderful hostess gift….especially if you come over to my house…yes please bring cookies!

Printer friendly: Grandma Jones’ Pumpkin Cookies

Peace and Don’t Leave Unattended Recipes,

Isabelle

Apple and Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Bribery.  That’s right.  I decided to make this for the ladies in the office of our middle school.  Why?  First off I want to be their favorite sub.  Second, my kid goes to school there….you never know when you might need a favor.  Also they called me in to sub IN the office, meaning not in an actual classroom….I must tell you that I was asked to sub for the ISS….what’s ISS?  In School Suspension.  Meaning I would be the watch dog!

Disturbing fact: I was so thrilled to be THAT person…no kidding.  This made my day when they asked me.  I was beyond excited about the potential of subbing for that position.  So just to make sure they understood my happiness (and hide my craziness) the decision to make them cake was a good one!  Yep that’s how I roll people!

Apple and Sour Cream Coffee Cake (with a little caramel sauce)

This recipe is from my: Everyday Food Magazine (you might remember the initial story on how I hoard them! ) This is from October 2010 #76.  I was planning on making another lovely cake from Mrs Stewart’s collection but I randomly decided to check it online because it was asking for 5 1/2 cups of flour (which in my little crazy head sounded a bit much) turns out the reviews were HORRID…well you win some and you lose some…even for Mrs Stewart!  This Coffee Cake, however, received rave reviews!  Way to save the day!

Ingredients:

For the crumb topping:

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar

1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped

1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

For the batter:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for cake pan

2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for cake pan

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar

4 large eggs

1 cup sour cream

2 Winesap or Granny Smith apples (about 1 pound), peeled, cored, and diced medium

1 cup toasted pecans, chopped

How to:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make topping: In a medium bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, pecans, oats, cinnamon, and salt. With a pastry cutter or your hands, blend until butter is incorporated and mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Make batter: Butter and flour an angel-food cake pan or 14-cup Bundt cake pan.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.  In another large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars on high, scraping down bowl as needed, until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl after each addition.  Add sour cream and beat to combine.  With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat just until combined.  With a rubber spatula, fold in apples and pecans; transfer batter to pan.  Top with crumb topping and, with a butter knife, gently fold some of topping into batter.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes.  Let cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes, then turn out onto rack and let cool.

great start!

even better when done!

out of the mold and still in one piece…there is hope for me yet!

Note: after reading the comments on Mrs Stewart’s website I decided to make it in a Bunt Cake Pan.  Let it cool, flip it and then flip it back.  I also make a caramel sauce/drizzle as an extra incentive to love me more 🙂

like my fancy little caramel design? 🙂

I like to serve this with a caramel sauce.  It was not mentioned in the little magazine but I think it made this even more so delicious.  I like to make my own (recipe below) or you could buy your favorite at the store.  Either way it kinds of brings it all together for me.

yummy sticky caramel sauce

My caramel sauce post: my uncle’s famous caramel sauce

Printer Friendly: Apple and Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Printer Friendly (caramel sauce): Uncle Andre’s Famous Caramel Sauce

Peace and Bribery,

Isabelle

I shared my recipe on this lovely linky party please go check it out: