I might have to rename this site, “Jamie Makes Banana Bread.” I’ve been making other recipes lately — this weekend I made Cinnamon Sugar Pecans that I thought I’d share with you — unfortunately, they don’t believe in photographs. They tasted pretty awesome though… Just so you know, I don’t only make banana bread… but as I’ve said before, it is a weekly event, so when I’m in need of a recipe to make the blog look like someone cares about it, I just change it up a bit. 😉
This double chocolate banana bread turned out amazing. We had it for dessert as part of a delicious Sunday dinner. Even though it was only in the low 30s, Mike and the kids spent a few hours outside yesterday afternoon working in the yard and running around. We are so desperate for Spring! After they came in we had hamburgers on the grill (Bo ate nearly two!), coleslaw, baked beans, and baked French fries — followed up by generous pieces of this banana bread (Bo also ate two — he must be growing…). Of course the trio loved this — it was banana bread — plus it had chocolate chips. I couldn’t really go wrong.
As with all banana bread, this was quick and easy to throw together. The chocolate make it rich and dessert worthy. Definitely a new keeper to add to our banana bread rotation.
Preheat oven to 350 and spray a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. In the bowl of your mixer, combine the sugar and the eggs. Add the oil and bananas until the bananas are well mashed and combined. Add the vanilla, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder. Add the flour and mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour.
At our house, banana bread is nearly a weekly occurrence. The trio loves it. It’s easy. And we seem to always have ripe bananas ready for mashing on our counter. I abide by the philosophy that one can never have too many bananas…
Since I make banana bread so often, I’m also often looking for ways to change it up a bit and this banana bread has a delightful cinnamon ribbon in the middle that gives it just a bit of crunch and extra cinnamony goodness. This recipe makes two loaves, but it could easily be halved to only make one.
The trio and I had it for dessert last night and again this morning for breakfast. It was a huge hit — and they appreciated the cinnamon ribbon. Anna thought it tasted like a cookie. Bo exclaimed that it was the best banana bread ever — but he often says that. And Clara licked the plate, which I took as a compliment instead of poor manners.
Preheat oven to 350. Prepare two loaf pans by spraying with Baking PAM and place them on a cookie sheet. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside. In a stand mixer, combine the butter and brown sugar and mix well. Add the eggs, one at a time and then add the bananas. Mix until the bananas are no longer lumpy. Add the yogurt (you can use any kind you have on hand -- I actually used strawberry with chunks that the kids don't like, but by the time it was baked you couldn't tell there was strawberry yogurt in it). Add the flour mixture until the batter is just combined. In your prepared loaf pans, spread ¼ of the batter into each. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle ½ of the sugar/cinnamon mixture over each half loaf. Spread ¼ of the remaining batter on top of each of the loaves. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until golden brown and mostly set.
Most weekends, we make a big breakfast at least one weekend morning. Favorites include pancakes, waffles, Mike’s famous cheesey scrambled eggs, and bacon. This weekend, I decided to try out these protein pancakes. I’m trying (and mostly failing) to eat more protein and fewer carbs and I was curious to see if the trio would eat this creation.
All three of the kids liked them. Clara wasn’t as in enamored as Bo and Anna, but she ate them as well. The combination of ingredients seems a bit strange, but the taste is really quite good — and I didn’t even miss all of the flour and sugar in my traditional recipe. I served ours with a small amount of maple syrup. If you want a real protein bang, try them with almond butter or peanut butter on top!
If you’re visiting from my friend Amber’s blog, Becoming a Coupon Queen, welcome! I hope you enjoy the recipes and knowing that Amber needs a recipe each week is helping me to be a bit more motivated about taking photos of the food I making! If you haven’t visited Amber’s site, go check it out. She has lots of good money saving tips!
In a high-powered blender (I used a Ninja) combine all ingredients and pulse until smooth. Cook pancakes over medium heat until cooked through. Serve with maple syrup and butter, almond butter, peanut butter, or other toppings of your choice. Recipe can easily be halved or extra pancakes can be frozen for quick breakfasts later.
I made this baked oatmeal on Tuesday morning for my trio to have for breakfast before school. We had several very ripe bananas that needed to be used after spending the long weekend in the Wisconsin Dells. The trio love to help me cook and both Clara and Bo helped to mash the bananas and combine the ingredients, which helped them to think that breakfast was extra wonderful since they helped make it. Anna was still asleep (by some miracle) and they were sure to encourage her to thank them for making breakfast. 😉
This recipe is a great weekday morning breakfast — it’s healthier than many breakfast options and tastes great with a smear of peanut butter on top. I served it to the kids with glasses of milk – and enjoyed a cup of coffee with mine.
This makes 12 servings, but it is very good leftover and can be frozen in squares for an extra quick “on the go” breakfast option.
½ cup brown sugar (you can use an alternative sweetener)
3 cups quick cook oatmeal
2 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup almond milk (any milk you have on hand will work fine)
Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9x13 inch pan with PAM. In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Add the eggs and brown sugar and continue mashing until it is well combined. Stir in the oatmeal, baking soda, salt, and milk. Pour mixture into pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. Cut into squares and serve. Great topped with a smear of peanut butter.
While we were all home for Christmas break, we made sugar cookies with the trio. Of course, decorating them was completely messy, but it’s become a Christmas tradition at our house. This cookie recipe is my favorite because the dough doesn’t have to be chilled, it’s easy to work with, and the taste is delicious (the secret ingredient is the almond extract!). These are perfect for any type of cutout cookies — they don’t have to only be made at Christmas.
I made yellow, blue, green, red, and white icing (just add food coloring) and the trio had a lot of fun decorating them. I had several different types of sprinkles, squeeze bottles, and bowls of icing that they shared. Santa was left three of their masterpieces and there were two carrots for the reindeer.
Preheat oven to 350. Using a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add extracts and eggs. Add the baking powder and then add the flour a bit at a time. The dough does not need to be chilled. Divide into several batches and roll onto a floured surface to cut. They should be ⅛ to ¼th of an inch thick. Place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper and bake for 6 to 8 minutes.
Decorate however you choose -- the trio used royal icing and sprinkles.
I wasn’t planning to post again before Christmas but I made this dark chocolate mint fudge on Friday evening and it’s too sinful not to share. This fudge is very simple to make and tastes decadent and indulgent. If you’re looking for a last minute gift or just something to enjoy with your family, this is perfect.
Mike and I have been enjoying our time off with the kids. We’ve built forts and Lego creations, cuddled on the couch while watching Polar Express, and cooked plenty of yummy food. Today, we’re going to the movies to see Frozen. The countdown to Santa is in full swing and we’re enjoying every minute. I hope you’re enjoying the season as well.
I love the combination of chocolate and mint — but during the holidays it seems to taste even better.
Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with cooking spray or line with foil. In a large saucepan, heat the butter over low heat. Once the butter has melted, add the sweetened condensed milk, dark chocolate chips, and 1 cup of the Andes chips. Stir constantly until the chocolate has melted. Add the heavy cream ⅛th of a cup at a time and continue stirring until the chocolate no longer looks granulated and appears more glossy. It should look like thick, glossy, chocolate cake batter. You do not want it to be too thin. Remove from heat and add the salt and extracts. Pour the hot mixture into the prepared 9x13 pan and smooth. Top with remaining Andes chips. Refrigerate for several hours until set.
No dessert takes me back to the good ole days like no-bake cookies. They don’t photograph well, but they taste delicious!
I always think about no-bake cookies at the beginning of the school year. I was a teacher at my hometown high school for 5 years and had the honor of teaching with my best friend, Mandy, for 3 1/2 of those years. We had so much fun and our crazy lunches, signs in windows, and yearbook sleepovers together are some of my fondest memories.
School started this week for Mandy and it made me think about the cafeteria’s delicious no-bake cookies. Often, Mandy and I would head to the lunch room praying that it was no-bake cookie day. Our favorite lunch? Noodles and no-bakes. It doesn’t get much better!
These would be a great after-school snack or dessert for all of the littles who are going back to school over the next few weeks! Bo starts Kindergarten on Monday and Clara and Anna start their second year of Pre-K on the 26th. I have a feeling more of these cookies are in our near future…
We just returned from spending a week with our favorite family — The Kilmartin’s — on a week-long vacation in Michigan. We rented a house a block from Lake Michigan and enjoyed hours at the beach.
One of our adventures was cherry picking. We went to Jollay Orchards by St. Joseph, Michigan and rode on a hay ride back to the sour cherry trees to pick. None of us had ever been cherry picking before and we — including the kids — quickly filled two buckets with fresh cherries. Even the Kilmartin’s youngest, Cara, was in on the action.
Luckily, the orchard had a pitting machine so we had the cherries pitted and then took them back to our house and I threw together a cherry pie. I had to substitute a bit from a traditional recipe because we didn’t have lemon juice, but the pie turned out to be delicious.
Since we were on vacation, I didn’t make the crust from scratch — opting to cheat and use the packaged crusts. But if I would have been home, with all of my flour, baking soda, and the like I would have made Dorie Greenspan’s pie crust. It’s the only one I’ve ever made successfully!
Recently, breakfast has been baking time. With the trio on summer break, we rarely have anything scheduled before 10 am, which gives us plenty of time to make yummy breakfast goodies in the morning.
This recipe was inspired by a jar of Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter that has been hanging out in my cabinet since Christmas. It’s similar to Biscoff spread so either ingredient should work in this recipe. The resulting oatmeal has that spicy cookie flavor — and it was the perfect recipe for the dreary and rainy day. (Pardon the photo quality — it was raining and dark so there was no natural light).
I made this in a round 2 quart Corningware dish, but when I make it again I think I will make it in a 9×13 inch pan and cut it into squares. Also, you can serve it with syrup, but I didn’t think it was necessary so we just ate ours plain. The kids loved it.
Spray a large dish (round or 9x13) with PAM. In a large bowl, mix the oats and baking powder together. In a separate bowl combine the cookie butter, eggs, milk and vanilla and mix well. Mix the dry ingredients and wet ingredients together and pour into prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until set.
Anna requests chocolate chip oatmeal nearly every day and she gave this “special” Cookie Butter Baked Oatmeal two thumbs up — and a tongue out for good measure. 😉
Well, our Easter didn’t turn out exactly as we’d planned. Both Clara and Anna are sick — it’s a strange illness — 100-102 fevers in the morning and evening — seemingly fine most of the day. Not really eating. Coughing. Hacking. Blah. They were supposed to be Baptized this weekend and now we are working to reschedule it. Best laid plans…
But that didn’t stop us from having fun in the kitchen to celebrate Easter. One of our projects were these Butterscotch Easter Nests. I made my mom’s haystacks and added jelly beans and Peeps. All three kids thought they were neat to eat. However, Bo was mad I put peanuts in the nests — and Anna and Clara wouldn’t eat the nests at all. However, they did eat the Peeps and jelly beans.
The nests are very quick and easy to make — perfect for a cooking activity with preschoolers.
In a large microwave safe bowl, melt the butterscotch chips. I typically melt for about 30 seconds and then stir to judge consistency. Depending on the type of chip you have, you may need to thin them a bit with milk. Add milk, a tablespoon at a time, until chocolate is a pourable consistency. Add in the chow mien noodles and peanuts and stir well until everything is coated with the butterscotch mixture. Scoop onto waxed paper and form into nest shapes. Add jelly beans. Nests will need to set for several hours to harden.