Monday, September 22, 2014

Classic Banana Bread

Well I think it's about time I had a classic banana bread recipe on the blog. Scrolling through my past posts I realized I only had one banana bread option over the past year and a half! With the start of my favourite season, and the cool, fall air outside, it seemed like the perfect day to make banana bread. I've made this recipe so many times, and it never fails. It's moist, perfectly dense, with just a hint of sweetness. 


Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
3 medium size bananas, mashed

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 F and lightly grease a loaf pan. Cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs on at a time. Mix in mashed bananas until combined. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Gradually add the flour mixture to the banana mixture, until just moistened. Pour the batter into your loaf pan and bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

What I'm Into: August 2014

This summer has been insanely good. I can't believe it's already September. After a summer working for LiNK and adventuring all over Los Angeles, August was well spent with a week in San Francisco, some time at the cottage, and lots of movie watching. After seeing the idea on my friend Christie's blog, here is what I've been into for the month of August.



Books I Read:

Blankets by Craig Thompson-  I think I must have already read it before but have no idea when. Anywho, it's a coming of age type story starting with two young brothers, following a romance, and exploring faith - and I liked it.

Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick - After hearing this book mentioned time and time again at the LiNK office, I finally got around to reading it. It shares the stories of the lives of six North Koreans over fifteen years, each of them with very different experiences. A powerful book that gives great insight to life in North Korea.

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway - This was my first read by Hemingway and I really enjoyed it. It's the story of an old man on a great fishing journey, as a he battles the environment around him. 

Movies I Watched:

Guardians of the Galaxy - I really love Chris Pratt. He's seriously the best. This move is action packed and full of space adventure and fun, with an awesome soundtrack. It's different than most other super hero movies I've seen - in a good way!

Chef - This movie follows a chef as he ventures out of the fancy restaurant kitchen and into a food truck. It shows you an honest glimpse into the life of a chef and makes you want every food from every city in America.

Obvious Child - I really enjoyed this movie! It's about a 26 year old aspiring stand up comic and follows her struggles with romance and life. It's a romantic comedy without perfect people and is just so pleasant to watch.

Boyhood - This was awesome. Filmed over the course of 12 years, it follows the story of a boy named Mason through ages 5 to 18. Boyhood is beautiful! Everyone grows up and the world changes right before your eyes. Loved it.

TV Shows I'm Into:

Breaking Bad - Way late on this one but I finally finished Breaking Bad! And I loved it. I am usually not one to follow serious type shows, but Breaking Bad really got to me. It's great writing, acting and way too much purple.

New Girl - After being compared to Jess Day so many times I decided to finally give New Girl a chance. It's fluffy enough that I don't feel like my brain is melting, but also funny enough that I don't feel embarrassed watching it (re: my old MTV reality habit). Also, Zooey Deschanel has perfect hair and clothes so there's that.

Music I Jammed To

Beyonce - I went to the On the Run Tour and whooey it was the best. Beyonce doesn't even seem like a real person. She was never out of breath, her hair was always wind blown, and she was always looking so fierce. Jay-Z also oozed with coolness every time he stepped on stage, and I couldn't help but obey when he told me to bounce. 

Fun Stuff I Did:

Wine Tasting at Castello di Amorosa - While in San Francisco, we hopped over to Napa Valley for a wine tour and it started at this awesome castle! It was a beautiful setting to pretend I knew things about wine, and the tasting was so much fun. I definitely recommend going - we also had the best, most hilarious tour guide, Victoria, so if you check it out request her!

Cottaging - Even though I'm missing the dry heat of California, nothing beats a weekend at the cottage. All summer long I've been dying to jump in the lake and finally the itch has been scratched! Reading, BBQ, relaxing by the water - all add up to some great weekends back home. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Peach Berry Cobbler

Last week Mom and I headed out to pick some blueberries. Originally we were just going to pick a few, not enough for jam but enough to snack on and maybe some to freeze. Oh man, we ended up with about 4 litres. There were also so many raspberries! We just couldn't stop picking. So now we have a freezer full of berries and I'm making everything and anything I can with them. Since peach season is also coming to a close I decided to throw them into this cobbler as well. 


Ingredients

2 cups raspberries
2 cups blueberries
3 large peaches, pitted and cubed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
4 teaspoon baking powder
5 tablespoon sugar
5 tablespoon butter, cold and cubed
1 cup 2% milk

2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 F and lightly grease a glass baking dish or cast iron pan. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the fruit with the lemon juice and vanilla. In a separate bowl stir together the flour, sugar and cinnamon. Combine the fruit and flour mixture until the fruit is lightly coated. Pour into your pan and set aside.

In a large bowl stir together the flour, baking powder and sugar. Using two knives or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into this flour mixture until it forms into a crumbly, sand like mixture. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk. Mix together just until moist and mostly holding together. Break the dough into small, lightly flattened balls and place onto the fruit. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool before serving. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Hey! I'm back again! I know this summer hasn't been the best for blogging, but I really enjoyed my time working for LiNK and don't regret missing out on posts one bit. Now that I'm back in Canada, I'm hoping to get back into baking. You know how my baking mood usually strikes at the strangest of times. Well this week I had arrived home from the cottage late afternoon and seriously felt the need to whip up something sweet. I quickly decided on chocolate chip zucchini bread, seeing as I had never made it before and I already had most of the ingredients in my kitchen. This bread is incredibly moist, with a hint of sweetness from the chocolate. It's perfect for a quick breakfast or a mid-afternoon snack. 



Ingredients 
(Adapted from A Beautiful Mess)

1 1/4 cup grated zucchini (appx. 1 zucchini)
2 eggs
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325 F and lightly grease one loaf pan. Finely grate the zucchini. Combine the zucchini, eggs, white sugar, brown sugar, melted butter and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the zucchini mixture, until just combined. Gently stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly before serving.