05Mar/16

Banana Bread Recipe with Coconut Oil

 

Banana Bread updated to a healthier version using coconut oil…

It is perfect for a mid morning coffee break, a healthy snack choice to send with the kids to school, or if desired, add cream cheese frosting and this recipe can even be more like cake and served as a dessert …whatever you choose, I think you’ll enjoy this recipe.banana bread picBanana bread 6

We always have bananas at our house, but once they start to get any dark spots, no one will touch them… so luckily, ripened bananas are what we need for banana bread! When bananas get ripe, if I’m not able to make the bread yet, I put them in a freezer bag (unpeeled) and freeze until I’m ready. This recipe calls for two cups of mashed bananas, about five– usually, depending on size. If frozen, the skin will turn completely black and the banana will have a sugary, watery texture when thawed – this is great for banana bread, so don’t drain – just remove peel, mash all up together and add.Banana Bread

When my son was younger, I packed a piece of this bread for him as a snack and he came home from school asking me to bring two pieces the next time because his teacher mentioned that it looked so good. A few weeks later, I made more and sent him in with an extra piece. He came home with a beautiful thank you note and a request for the recipe. Years later this teacher still remembered me for the delicious banana bread and mentioned it every time I saw her. At that time, I used the original recipe which called for a cup of vegetable oil… I recently updated to a healthier version using the coconut oil instead, which is so much better! Of course you can use either, but I encourage you to try it with the coconut oil.banana bread 5

Coconut oil…

Coconut oil is becoming very well known and popular for it’s many health benefits. I have only used (so only familiar with) Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil.  Check out the website www.tropicaltraditions.com for more information on this brand.  I have been researching information on all the benefits and have been trying to incorporate more into everything from cooking to skin and hair care, etc. I’m in process of preparing an informational post about these benefits which include tips for use, so stay in touch to hear more about my new obsession!

If you’re interested in more of a dessert like version – Banana Bread Cake…

Recently when I made this recipe, my daughter’s boyfriend mentioned how it would also be great with some sort of frosting. We all thought it was a great idea, and because it almost has a carrot cake consistency, I immediately thought of a cream cheese frosting… of course, I had to try and that is what I did for the attached pictures… scrumptious.  :)Banana bread 4

Banana Bread Recipe made with Coconut Oil
Print Recipe
Servings
2 loafs
Servings
2 loafs
Banana Bread Recipe made with Coconut Oil
Print Recipe
Servings
2 loafs
Servings
2 loafs
Ingredients
Servings: loafs
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour bundt pan and set aside.
  2. Beat sugar and eggs until creamy. Mix in coconut oil. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon , and allspice.. then add to creamed mixture. Mix in bananas and then walnuts. Pour into prepared bundt pan.
  3. Bake @ 350 for about one hour. Turn out of pan when cool.
Recipe Notes

Two loaf pans can be substituted for the bundt pan

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15Feb/16

Inspirational Quotes

Similar to painting and creating your own unique artwork, I enjoy using my own photos and adding favorite inspirational quotes.  It’s fun to create your own, unique images.  You can adjust the text, font, style to whatever desired.  You may have certain memories or feelings attached to a certain photograph that either take you back or inspire positive thoughts..  whatever types of photographs you choose, it’s great to be creative and make it your own.
A couple personal creations –
Inspirational Quote – Peace
more peace pic, inspirational quote

A sunrise photo taken while in Florida, on my way to the airport …along with a favorite quote.

 I have always enjoyed sunrise and sunset photography along with other scenic nature images. They work great for almost all kinds of inspirational quotes.

 

Cahoon Hollow Beach in Wellfleet

Cahoon Hollow Beach in Wellfleet, Cape Cod

Beaches always inspire me, so a favorite place to experiment with different photography for me.  It’s where I feel the most content and at peace.

Some favorite Inspirational quotes from others: 

As you can see from the quote below, the words don’t always need an image, they can just be created on a blank background and kept simple, but for some quotes, an image can help to provide more of a feeling that you’re trying to inspire. It is best to capture moments that you wish to retain or to reflect back on or maybe moments that help to motivate. It is fun to be creative and make your own or to just find and share what others have created.

Inspirational quotesbrightest starsInspirational quotesInspirational Quote

11Feb/16

Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies

Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies

 

Heart-shaped sugar cookies are a perfect treat for Valentine’s Day …This recipe has been in our family for years and it’s always an enjoyable family activity for us.  It can, of course, be used for other holidays, events, or for just making any other creation that you have a cookie cutter for …but for now, it’s all about Valentine’s Day, so we are using various size hearts. 

There are several variations that can be used with this recipe: 

  • You can adjust the size and thickness of the cookie for your preference.
  • Additional milk can be added to the icing to make it a more thin, glaze-like icing, but adding less milk will produce a more thick frosting.
  • Use various colors for the icing.
  • Keep some icing white -without adding food color.
  • Add some cocoa to white (uncolored) icing to frost some of them chocolate.
  • Use various sprinkles or decorations.
  • Use a decorator icing bag with small pointed tip to add a message or any text to the cookie… or create other designs on the cookies with various tips.

If you can think of any other variations, please mention in the comments or if you make these, please share a picture ! 

Happy Valentine’s Day! Enjoy! :)

 

 

Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies
Print Recipe
Servings
3 1/2 dozen (aprox)
Servings
3 1/2 dozen (aprox)
Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies
Print Recipe
Servings
3 1/2 dozen (aprox)
Servings
3 1/2 dozen (aprox)
Ingredients
Cookie dough
Icing
Decorations
Servings: dozen (aprox)
Instructions
To prepare cookie dough...
  1. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together - set aside. Cream together Crisco, sugar, and remaining ingredients. Once all combined, gather enough dough to form a ball (about baseball size) and then pat it flat
  2. Flour your board and rolling pin (sprinkle a small amount of sugar over flour on the board!). Roll out dough to approximately 1/4 inch thick. Cut out cookies using heart-shaped cookie cutters and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  3. Bake at 350 for approximately 7-9 minutes. If you see the base of the cookie starting to brown, you should remove them from the oven.
To prepare icing...
  1. Mix all ingredients except milk and food coloring... slowly add milk until desired consistency, then add a couple drops of food coloring or more to get the shade of pink or red you like.
Frost and Decorate...
  1. Frost each cookie and decorate (quickly, before frosting sets!) with sprinkles
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03Feb/16

Chocolate Peanut Butter Footballs

Still haven’t figured out what to bring to that Super Bowl party? How about scrumptious chocolate and peanut butter – shaped like footballs???  These are a favorite at my house and a perfect festive touch for the big game. 

It’s a good idea to pick up some strawberries while you’re at it because there is always some extra melted chocolate just waiting for a strawberry to be dipped!

Please comment and let me know what you think. Please share your photos … of these or any of your favorite Super Bowl themed foods…

 

football pic1

Chocolate Peanut Butter Footballs
Print Recipe
Servings
15-20 footballs
Servings
15-20 footballs
Chocolate Peanut Butter Footballs
Print Recipe
Servings
15-20 footballs
Servings
15-20 footballs
Ingredients
Peanut butter mixture
Chocolate dip coating
Icing
Servings: footballs
Instructions
  1. In a medium size mixing bowl, mix together peanut butter and butter. Stir in powdered sugar. Once well combined, (mixture should hold together well) shape into a ball and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for approximately 20 minutes. While refrigerating, line a tray or cookie sheet with waxed paper.
  2. Now you're ready to create small footballs .... roll into 1 inch balls and then shape into oblong (football!) shape. Place on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for approximately 15 more minutes.
  3. In a medium nonstick sauce pan, melt chocolate chips and shortening over low heat, stirring frequently, until smooth (a double boiler may be used, but not necessary). Using a spoon, dip the balls into the melted chocolate, one at a time ...allow excess to drip back into saucepan. Place on waxed paper-lined tray or cookie sheet. Carefully cover and refrigerate to set up.
  4. Once chocolate sets up, use decorator white icing to draw lines to create footballs... depending on your preference (or the decorating tube), you can add just a few lines or several.
Recipe Notes

There are several options for the line decorating... use your favorite white icing, or melted white chocolate, etc. ~ with decorator bag and small pointed tip

Also, these can be simplified and just rolled into balls and dipped in chocolate (used for any occasion) or partially dipped to form buck eyes, etc.

.... whatever your preference, it's your creation ~ Enjoy! :)

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