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Please excuse the lack of photos in some of my older posts as I am trying to slowly go back through and add the photos that were accidentally deleted

June 19, 2014

Classic Banana Bread

Banana bread!!!!!!









































We made this delicious banana bread for PJ's mom on mother's day. It turned out super delicious, though a bit dense. I think I may have over-stirred the batter. So the results were a flatter, heavier, more dense banana bread that was still so good. I approved, PJ approved, family approved, and mama-in-law approved! 


Classic Banana Bread  
from Inspired Taste

* Yields: 1 loaf
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 medium bananas (overripe and brown)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, toasted and chopped, optional (we didn't use)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5-inch (or 9 x 5 inch) loaf pan. Place the loaf pan on an insulated baking sheet or on two regular baking sheets stacked on top of the other.

For the batter, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together, set aside.

Mash bananas in a medium bowl. Whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla into the bananas until blended. With a large rubber spatula, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, stirring gently until they disappear and the batter is smooth. Stir in nuts, if using.
  
Pour batter into the loaf pan and smooth the top. Bake 55 to 75 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean (if you use a 9x5 inch loaf pan, begin checking for doneness 5-10 minutes earlier). After 30 minutes in the oven, check the bread for color. If it looks like it is browning too quickly, loosely cover with aluminum foil. 

When the bread is done, transfer it to a wire rack to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and place right side up on the rack. Cool completely.

For Storing: Wrap the bread tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature overnight or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.



Printable Recipe




Pictures were taken on my camera phone, hence the blurriness in them. This banana bread was still the bomb.com (do people still say that? apparently I do). 

Morale of the story. Banana bread makes all things better. Dare I even venture to say it's good for you? It has bananas in it, I mean come on! Ok Ok I'm pushing it. It is, however, good for the soul. True story.

Linking up here.
Peace, and bacon grease!



June 16, 2014

Broiled Goat Cheese Arugula Salad with Grapes and Candied Pecans

Sometimes you are lucky to come across something that will forever be in a part of your life. 

 




























































This salad is one of those things for me.

I was so lucky to have Debra's blog (oh, don't forget her cat Eliot!), Eliot's Eats, for this month's Secret Recipe Club. Lots of good recipes along with tales about her garden, travel and adventure, and even some non-food crafts. I inspire to be like her! 


 
























































Her Creamsicle Strawberry Pops sound like the perfect summer treat! Also eyeing her Jalapeno Relish and these Dulce de Leche White Chocolate Cookies. Ahh, so much goodness! But that Baked Goat Cheese Salad really caught my eye, and seemed like the perfect lunch for me when I was all by myself one Sunday afternoon. The perfect solo lunch. By the time I got around to making it though, it was almost dinner time, so I put it in the fridge, saved it for dinner, and let PJ have half.

So glad I did. He loved it! So much. He wants to put it on our regular menu and said it was one of the best salads he's had in awhile. I agree. 



Broiled Goat Cheese Arugula Salad with Grapes and Candied Pecans
adapted from Eliot's Eats

For broiled goat cheese:
  • 1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, minced
  • olive oil
  • 3 rounds of garlic goat cheese log (cut in 1/2 inch slices)
  • sea salt + freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For salad:  
  • arugula
  • 1/4 cup red seedless grapes, halved
  • 1/8 cup honey roasted pecan pieces
  • balsamic dressing 
Preheat oven to broil. 

Mix together Panko bread crumbs and minced thyme.  Generously coat a plate with olive oil. 


Dip each side of the goat cheese round in the olive oil and then coat with bread crumb mixture.   

Place goat cheese slices in a metal baking dish and season with salt and pepper.
Broil for 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown. Let cool to warm before serving. 

Assemble salad with arugula, grapes, and pecan pieces. Top with broiled goat cheese slices and dressing and serve. 


Printable Recipe


 






















































Can you imagine all the perfect flavors and textures? Peppery arugula, sweet grapes bursting with juicy flavor, crunchy and sweet candied pecans, crunchy tart broiled goat cheese all topped with a sweet balsamic dressing. I used Private Selection's White Balsamic & Honey Dressing. Like I said, so good. 

I may or may not have made another salad that night.  
 

Check out my past Secret Recipe Club posts!





Linking up here.

Peace, and bacon grease!



 

June 11, 2014

Obsessions + Confessions

Hey you!

I love love love writing these obsessions + confessions posts. No photo editing or finding the right words to say about a recipe or restaurant. It's all about what I'm currently loving and stuff that's going on in my life (though hardly exciting), and if I can't find time to edit photos, I can always find time to share my current obsessions + confessions.

SUMMMMMMMMMMMMER!!!!!! .... is almost here. But pretty much, right? The weather has been amazing (except for this week, yucky rain!) and I've been grilling up a storm. I've got a whole summer bucket list going on (think festivals, grilling, farmers markets, vacations, kayaking, s'mores-making, and more). I love bucket lists, what can I say?? Really just lists in general. I have so many lists in my life right now. With hardly anything crossed off  :) I can seriously make a list for anything. Dare me. Anyways, on to my obsessions + confessions. 


I can't even! Ice cream cone-shaped s'mores!

Homemade Strawberries & Creme Frappuccino, you know, like from Starbucks. I'm so happy I found you. 

Like I said, summer is upon us!! Whole Fruit Popsicles!

Can I have this Grilled Lobster with Sriracha Butter everyday this summer??

To go with all those grilled sliders? How about some Everything Slider Buns

Annnnd since it's basically summer, of course I'm dreaming of beaches and islands. Ok this Hawaiian Hula Pork Fajitas with Pineapple Slaw + Coconut Rice is close enough.

I love Amy Schumer

This girl's got moves. Chunky adorable cuteness!




RIP to the great, inspiration, powerful Maya Angelou. She was always such a role model for me, I loved writing and poetry growing up. I cherish some of her books and quotes to this day. 




And since I'm on the topic of poetry - this touched my soul.

Ok one more soul-touching moment. Inspirational, real, poignant, tear-jerking. (Disclaimer: I do cry at the drop of a dime though). Speeches like this should happen more often at graduations, maybe teens will listen!

What else have I been up to, you ask? Well, the usual. Work, internship, and FOOD. Like these cupcakes I've been eating from Gigi's Cupcakes


I'm also trying to plan a FOODIE VACATION!! I love the beach, but I always want to try so many restaurants around the country, so this summer we're going to hit up some places I've heard about that I want to try! We're going to stop at a restaurant in Tennessee, and then another in Atlanta. Then we'll probably see a few touristy places, stay in a hotel in Atlanta, and then be on our way back home. Any hotels, restaurants, bakeries etc you recommend? We'll be staying either near the Decatur, downtown Atlanta, or Buckhead area. 

Well that's all for now. Recipes and restaurant reviews coming soon!


Peace, and bacon grease!