Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Milkshake

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This dessert hits the spot and makes me feel like I’m cheating on my diet! It’s a great fake-out dessert because the frozen bananas create a thick, ice cream-like consistency. Even my husband and kids enjoy this – that’s a win for clean eating! 😉 I have made this at least five times in the last two weeks, actually, I could go for one of these right now 😉 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Milkshake – adapted from Detoxinista

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • ¾ cup milk (or non-dairy milk)
  • 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 7 ice cubes (about 2 handfuls)

Directions – 
Throw all of the ingredients into a high-powered blender, and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into two glasses and serve immediately!

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Brown Sugar Banana Bread

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I love the library! I have borrowed many cookbooks lately, Back in the Day Bakery is one that I would buy. There are so many recipes in it that look and sound amazing. The first recipe I tried was chocolate chip cookies which baked up really thin and flat, but the flavor was one of the best I have tried. I will have to make those again, and hopefully work out the kinks so I can bake a batch worthy of photographing…

Anyway, onto the bread – it bakes up with a dense crumb, but it’s not at all tough or chewy. I didn’t have any mace on hand (who does?), but I replaced it for freshly grated nutmeg instead. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Brown Sugar Banana Bread – from The Back in the Day Bakery

  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground mace (I used nutmeg instead)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 pecans, toasted and chopped (I omitted)
  • 1 1/2 cups well mashed, very ripe bananas (about 3)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 TBSP unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 TBSP dark brown sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Directions –

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, light brown sugar, baking soda, salt, mace, cinnamon and pecans; set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix the mashed bananas, sour cream, eggs, butter and vanilla with a sturdy wooden spoon. Gently fold the banana mixture into the flour mixture until just combined.

Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan, spreading it evenly with a spatula. If using, sprinkle the dark brown sugar on top of the loaf. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool the bread in the loaf pan for 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Wrapped in parchment, the bread will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Hungry for More?

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Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

20120613_124736Blueberry Banana Bread

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Banana Bread 2

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Coco-Nana Bread

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His All-Time Favorite

Orange Glazed Chicken Thighs and Coconut Rice

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Quick Post: It doesn’t look like much, but my family enjoyed it. I really loved the coconut rice – it doesn’t taste like coconut, but the coconut milk makes the rice rich and creamy. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Orange Glazed Chicken Thighs – adapted from The Stay at Home Chef

  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 1 cup orange juice (about 4 oranges)
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
 Directions –
1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 9×13 pan with non stick cooking spray. If you want to be fancy, line the bottom of the pan with orange slices (optional).
2. In a small saucepan, combine the orange juice, orange zest, rice vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 5 minutes.
3. Place your chicken thighs skin-side up in the prepared baking dish. Pour half of the glaze over the chicken thighs.
4. Cook in the oven for about 30 minutes. Take the remaining glaze and pour it over the chicken.
5. Cook for an additional 15-20 minutes. The skin will get nice and crisp and browned.

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Coconut Rice –

  • 1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
  • 1 can of unsweetened coconut milk, plus enough water to make 2 cups
  • 1 cup water
  • salt to taste (optional)

Directions –

In a medium saucepan, add water and coconut milk and rice. Cover and bring to a boil, then add salt – stir to dissolve, reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking until all the liquid has been absorbed, about 15-18 minutes.

 

Salad with Maple-Dijon Dressing

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It’s a new year and I tend to get inspired to eat a little healthier. This is a really simple, light but flavorful salad with lots of textures and flavors. Use whatever you have to make it interesting, because salads can be so bland and boring. I listed goat cheese in the ingredients even though I didn’t have any, but it would have been a nice tangy, creamy addition. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Maple-Dijon Dressing – adapted from The Six o’clock Scramble

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. herbes de Provence

Salad –

  • grilled chicken, chopped
  • apple, sliced
  • tomatoes
  • almonds, chopped
  • crumbled goat cheese

Directions –

Place all dressing ingredients into a lidded jar and shake well to combine.  Spoon over your salad greens and toss.

Apple Crumble Pie II

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Instead of my preffered pumpkin pie, I decided to make something that we could all enjoy since my husband doesn’t like pumpkin anything. This reminds me of when we were dating and we would often go to Marie Callender’s to have their Dutch apple pie.

Verdict: Yum! I used Fuji and Gala apples for this and the crust recipe below was flaky, buttery and crisp where it needed to be. I have another disk of pie dough in my fridge that I can’t wait to use for more of this pie. 🙂 Follow the link for a video tutorial if you’re a visual learner like me – I rarely read through directions cause I’m lazy like that 😉 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Apple Crumble Pie – adapted from Let’s Dish Recipes

  • Prepared crust for single crust pie
  • 5-6 apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup white sugar (*I think I’ll use less next time*)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter

Directions –

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, toss peeled and sliced apples with lemon juice.
  3. Mix together white sugar, cornstarch, 3 tablespoons flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Sprinkle over apples and toss to coat.
  4. Spread apple mixture evenly in unbaked pie shell.
  5. Using a pastry cutter (or your hands), mix together 1/2 cup flour, brown sugar and the butter until evenly distributed and crumbly in texture. Sprinkle over apples.
  6. Bake for about 1 hour, until apples are tender and topping is golden brown.

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**Flaky Pie Crust – adapted from Inspired Taste

  • 2 1/2 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, optional
  • 1 cup (227 grams) very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (2 sticks)
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons ice water
Directions –
1. Add 1 1/2 cups flour, salt and sugar (optional) to a food processor. Pulse 2 to 3 times until combined.

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2. Scatter butter cubes over flour and process until a dough or paste begins to form, about 15 seconds. (There should be no uncoated flour).

3. Scrape bowl, redistribute the flour-butter mixture then add remaining 1 cup of flour. Pulse 4 to 5 times until flour is evenly distributed. (Dough should look broken up and a little crumbly).

4. Transfer to a medium bowl then sprinkle 6 tablespoons of ice water over mixture. Using a rubber spatula, press the dough into itself. The crumbs should begin to form larger clusters. If you pinch some of the dough and it holds together, it’s ready. If the dough falls apart, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of extra water and continue to press until dough comes together.

5. Remove dough from bowl and place in a mound on a clean surface. Work the dough just enough to form a ball. Cut ball in half then form each half into discs. Wrap each disc with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months (just thaw it overnight in the fridge before using).

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Quick Post: The kids love it and I thought the flavor was just okay; but once I tried a piece straight from the fridge it was so much better…weird, but I’m okay with that 😉 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Pumpkin Bars – adapted from Deliciously Yum

  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups pumpkin
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour (250 grams)
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Frosting –
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Directions –
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a stand mixer, beat 4 eggs. Add oil, sugar, and pumpkin and mix together.
Next, mix in baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and flour. Make sure all ingredients are well combined and no lumps remain.
Pour into ungreased 11″ x 17″ jelly roll pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. Let the bars cool completely.

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Meanwhile, blend together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Spread frosting evenly over the bars and put into fridge for 30 minutes.

Citrus Brined Roasted Chicken

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Do you need a special meal for Thanksgiving, but not enough people around to warrant roasting an entire turkey? There is nothing wrong with that, and I have been in that position before. While it’s not the best scenario celebrating the holidays without extended family, making a special meal is sometimes better than going out. Our first Thanksgiving away from family was the worst on record, and I never want to experience that again. We lived in a tiny city in Texas and the only place open that day was a buffet – yuck! We had no choice because I didn’t cook back then like I do now…live and learn, right?

Roast chicken is made even better with a tad more effort; and I can’t get over how much better chicken tastes once it has been brined! My husband took a bite and was confused because of the orange flavor, because he wasn’t expecting it. It was so juicy and flavorful that I’m not sure I’ll be able to skip brining next time. I have tried one other recipe before, but I concocted this recipe myself after searching around for ratios of water to salt to weight. Citrus and chicken make a winning combination, and the idea went from there. Thanks for reading, enjoy! 🙂

Citrus Brined Roast Chicken – a Mom-Makes original

  • 3-4 lb. whole chicken
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar or honey
  • 4 quarts water
  • 1/2 lemon – juiced and zested (*save the other half for roasting*)
  • 1/2 orange – juiced and zested (*save the other half for roasting*)
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed

Directions –

Heat 2 quarts of water in a small pot. Once the water simmers, add your salt and sugar – stir until dissolved. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, rinse your chicken and remove anything inside the cavity (giblets, liver, ect).  Place your chicken in a large lidded container (mine holds 6 quarts of liquid) or a heavy-duty plastic bag. Add the citrus, garlic, spices and herbs. Pour the cold water and then the dissolved salt/sugar mixture. Cover and refrigerate of 8 hours or overnight.

*About an hour before roasting, take the chicken out of the brine and pat it dry with paper towels. Set it on a sheet pan and place it uncovered in the refrigerator so the skin can dry out a little.

**Citrus and Herb Butter –

  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • heavy pinch of kosher salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp of fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1/2 Tbsp lemon and orange zest
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Directions –

Place butter in a small bowl.  Using a fork, mash until softened.  Add salt and pepper and mash to incorporate.  Add olive oil, zest and rosemary and stir to combine.

Roasting Directions –

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the other half of lemon and orange in the cavity, and garlic or shallot if you have it. Truss chicken and coat generously with the citrus butter. Add salt and pepper to taste and place in roasting pan or a foil lined sheet pan; insert probe thermometer into the thickest part of one of the breasts. Roast the chicken until the thermometer reads 155-160 degrees, (about 70-75 minutes with my convection roast setting). Once the desired temperature is reached, loosely cover with foil and let rest for 15-20 minutes. Carve, serve and enjoy!

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Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

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Just some random thoughts about these pumpkin cinnamon rolls:

I searched and searched for what seemed to be the perfect pumpkin cinnamon roll recipe. It wasn’t easy, but I’m hoping that these are good!

This dough was a pain in the butt to work with because it’s so soft, but I kept my self from adding too much flour.

I made some minor tweaks to this recipe, mostly just the amounts of spices in the filling.

Next time I will add a little more spice into the dough.

I used two 10″ cake pans for this batch and one is patiently waiting in the freezer now.

The pumpkin flavor was very subtle, so even those who don’t like pumpkin might enjoy these.

I thought the flavor was great, not too sweet, nice texture, color, smell.

My kids loved them and my friend and I polished off half of these ourselves 😉

Thanks for stopping by!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls – adapted from The Busty Baker via Inspired by Charm

For the Dough:

  • 1 package yeast
  • ½ cup warm water
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 egg
  • 4 to 5 cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling (*I needed at least 1/2 cup more*)

Filling:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

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Maple Cream Cheese Frosting –

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temp
  • 4 TBSP unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 TBSP maple syrup (more to taste)
  • 2 TBSP milk (more if you want a thinner frosting)
  • a pinch of salt

Directions –

1. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, dissolve yeast in warm water, about 5 minutes; set aside.
2. While yeast is dissolving, heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until bubbles start to form around the edges and milk is warm to the touch; set aside to cool slightly.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine milk, granulated sugar, melted butter, pumpkin puree, salt, spices, and egg. Whisk together until well combined. Fit mixer with dough hook attachment. With mixer on low, add 2 cups of flour, mixing until combined. Add yeast mixture, mixing until incorporated. Add 2 remaining cups of flour and mix until combined. Raise mixer speed to medium and knead 5 minutes, until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, but is still slightly sticky to the touch. Add additional flour, 2 tablespoons at a time, if necessary to reach right consistency.
4. Spray a large bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer the dough to the bowl and turn to coat with the cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap and allow dough to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 to 1 ½ hours.
5. While dough is rising, make filling: In a small bowl, mix together granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice until well combined; set aside. Spray a 9×13 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
6. When dough has doubled in size, pull edges away from the sides of the bowl to deflate. (Or go ahead and punch it down. You know you want to.) Divide dough in half; setting half aside, covered in plastic wrap to keep from drying out. On a floured work surface, roll the other half of the dough out into a 12X8 inch rectangle. Spread 4 tablespoons of butter over the dough in an even layer. Sprinkle half of the filling mixture evenly over the butter.
7. Starting with the 12-inch side, roll dough up, pinching the edge to seal. Using a serrated knife, cut roll into six 2 inch pieces. Place pieces, cut side down into prepared baking pan, leaving about ¾-inch of room in between each piece. Repeat with remaining half of dough.* Allow dough to rise in pan in a warm place until doubled in size once more, about 45 minutes more.
8. Preheat oven to 350F. Once the rolls have doubled in size, bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before icing.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

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Quick Post – My daughter’s exact words: “It’s amazing!” I thought that was sweet of her, but why would a 7-year-old not like chocolate for breakfast? 😉 I took a taste and it’s very banana-y, so if you appreciate straight banana bread with out spices and fancy ingredients, this is a winner. I modified this slightly, but provided a link so you can see the original recipe. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread – adapted from Cannella Vita

  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (219 grams)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 sugar
  • 1/2 brown sugar
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large)
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil (* I used grapeseed oil*)
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
Directions – 
Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk eggs, sugar, bananas, and oil in a large bowl until smooth. Add dry ingredients to banana mixture and stir just until combined. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top.

Bake until a tester inserted into the center of bread comes out clean, 60-70 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let bread cool in pan for 15 minutes. Run a knife around inside of pan to release the bread. Turn out onto rack and let cool completely.

Apple Crisp II

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Quick Post: I served this with vanilla ice cream and my new favorite – salted caramel! Next time I think I will use a variety of apples to change-up the flavor and textures because the Granny Smith apples became mushier than I would have liked. Thanks for reading, enjoy 🙂

Apple Crisp – adapted from Martha Stewart

  • 3/4 cup AP flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 TBSP sugar
  • 1 stick butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 1 cup Old Fashioned oats
  • 3 pounds apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • lemon zest, optional
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions –

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, salt, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Cut butter into flour, using a pastry blender or two knives, until mixture is the texture of coarse meal. Add oats, and use your hands to toss and squeeze mixture until large, moist clumps form. Transfer to freezer to chill while you prepare apples.

In another large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice, cinnamon, and remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Transfer to a shallow 2-quart baking dish, and sprinkle with topping mixture. Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake until golden and bubbling, 55 to 65 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.