Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy Fat Tuesday!

Is that a saying? I'm not really sure, but to all you out there going crazy for Mardi Gras have fun!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

I love to bake! I'm pretty sure the reason Jeff gained as much weight as I did during my pregnancy was because all I did was bake for 9 months :D. After little William arrived, I ran out of the time and the energy to continue baking all the time; plus I wanted to shed my baby weight as fast as possible. Recently however I have been making baked goodies here and there because it is always nice to have something sweet every now and then.

With my attempt at eating healthy, there is a surplus of fruits and veggies around the house and every now and then some of then get forgotten about. This time it was the bananas and they ended up looking like this:
Very Ripe Bananas

I wasn't 100% sure what to do with the mushy bananas; I contemplated cursing then throwing them away. But I came to my senses and decided to make banana bread.

After cutting out the extra mushy parts, I went on to making banana bread. (A note about recipes: Most of the time I search the internet for awesome recipes, but this time I just took the recipe right off of the King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour bag. I must say it turned out delicious!)

Thus far I have made this banana bread twice and it has been delicious. The first time I made the bread I followed the recipe and used vegetable oil, but the second time I started to make it I didn't have enough vegetable oil. So I used the trusty internet and discovered that applesauce can be a substitute for oil in baked goods. (I've heard this before but had never tried it). Well I finally tried it, and the banana bread turned out just as tasty if not better than the first time.
Delicious Banana Bread!

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

  • 2 cups very ripe bananas, mashed (I used 3 large ones)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or applesauce)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts ( I didn't have walnuts so I used pecans)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar + 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1) Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Add oil, sugar, eggs, milk, and vanilla and stir to combine.
2) Mix in the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and chopped walnuts. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to thoroughly combine ingredients.
Transfer the batter into the prepared pan. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the batter.
3) Bake in preheated oven for about 60 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then tip out of the pan and transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Yield: One loaf, about 16 slices.

And that is it! Super simple and super fast. I hope y'all enjoy this banana bread as much as Jeff and I do!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valentines Day Pretzel Buttons

Today I made my very first Pinterest project! I just recently became a member of Pinterest and I love it. They other day while browsing around what my friends have pinned I found this adorable idea to make little pretzel snacks with Hugs and m&ms. Hugs happen to be my favorite type of Hershey Kisses so I absolutely wanted to try the project. The greatest part about this project is that it takes less than 30 minutes!

First you want to start with square pretzels, Hershey Kisses ( I used Hugs, but you can use whatever suits your fancy), and plain chocolate M&Ms.
Pretzels, Hugs, and M&Ms
Preheat your oven to 200°F.Next thing that you want to do is line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick mat (You will notice I did not do this because I didn't have either available :( ). Once you do that, you can spread out the pretzels in a single layer.
Pretzels ready for the Hugs.
Next, you're going to place an unwrapped Hershey Kiss onto the center of each of the pretzels. (This is the most tedious part because you have to unwrap each of the Kisses, but don't worry it's totally worth it).
Now you're going to put the cookie sheet in the oven for 4-5 minutes. You don't want to melt the chocolates, you just want them to get shiny and soft enough so that you can push an M&M into the center of each of the kisses. I put mine in for 5 minutes but should have taken them out closer to 4 minutes because mine melted a little too much.
William making funny faces while we wait for the oven.
Once you pull them out of the oven, press 1 M&M into the center of each of the kisses. When you finish putting all the M&Ms on top of the kisses, pop the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for a few minutes to harden the chocolate.
After a couple of minutes you're done and ready to start munching!!

All done!
I definitely recommend making these for Valentines Day or just because! These would be great wrapped up in little baggies as favors for friends or classmates. Once you have one, you're just going to want to keep eating more and more of them. Hopefully they actually last at our house until Valentines Day.
Source: Pinterest via g*rated