Chunky Monkey Banana Bread

What do you do when you have two week old bananas in your kitchen? Make banana bread of course!

This is our favourite recipe for Banana Bread. We got it from our Newlywed Kitchen Cookbook.

In this recipe, we used a special ingredient, which renders many baked goods incomparably moist!

{Sour Cream – mmm… mmm… good}

{It was quick and easy to prepare}

{Be sure to put a little extra for nibbling after you’ve put into the mixture – hehe}

{I bought this cute mini rectangular muffin pan especially for my banana bread baking. I also made the brown paper holder myself. Will be sure to share, how to, in another post}

Chunky Monkey Banana Bread

What you need:

2 c. flour

¾ tsp salt

½ tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

¾ c. light brown sugar

¾ c. granulated sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 ½ c. (about three large) mashed overripe bananas

1 c. full-fat sour cream

2 large eggs

½ c. chopped walnuts

½ c. semisweet chocolate chips

How to make: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and line a 9-by-5 loaf pan with parchment paper cut to fit the bottom of the pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.
  3. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar for 3 to 4 minutes, until the butter mixture becomes light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, bananas, sour cream and eggs.
  4. Stir in the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon, then stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 60 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the loaf comes out clean. Let the loaf cool for 10 minutes in the pan before carefully turning it out onto a wire rack, discarding the parchment paper. When baking in muffin tins,  just pour mixture into muffin holders and bake for 30 – 40 mins or until toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.

{Bon Appétit}

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Aunty Lorraine’s Carrot Cake

Today I’m sharing a carrot cake recipe. I got it from my friend, Lorraine. She’s an exceptionally good cook and her carrot cake is the best I have ever had. Its soft, not too sweet and simply perfect.

{Fresh out the oven}

{Cooled and ready for frosting}

{Bon Apitoie}

Aunty Lorraine’s Carrot Cake

Ingredients

1 ½ c. flour

1 c. sugar

3 eggs

1 ½ tsp baking soda

1 ½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 c. corn oil

2 c. grated carrots

½ tsp salt

½ c. walnut (optional)

Method

  1. Put oil & sugar in mixing bowl and beat for 5 mins.
  2. Add eggs and beat one at a time.
  3. Sift all dry ingredients together and add.
  4. Add carrots & walnuts.
  5. Bake at 325 degrees for 50-60 mins. (20 mins for cupcakes – makes approx. 24)

I got the cream cheese frosting recipe from Cannella Vita. I really like this one because the cream cheese flavour isn’t very pungent like others I’ve had. I think all the ingredients are blended perfectly to create a really sweet but mild flavour. Try it! It’s my favourite! (On a side note, I halved the frosting ingredients and still had a little left over after frosting my cupcakes.)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 cup of shortening
  • 1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter @ room temp
  • 1 8oz bar cream cheese @ room temp
  • 1 Tbs. white vanilla extract
  • 2 lbs ( 8 cups) powder sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

Cream together shortening, butter and cream cheese until nice and smooth. Add vanilla into mixture and combine. Sift together sugar and salt, and slowly add to shortening, butter & cheese mixture. Make sure that all sugar is incorporated. Enjoy!

Twice-Baked Potatoes

I think its prime time I started sharing some recipes with you folk. All that talk and no recipes in a week? How shameful. I won’t give you any fancy excuses but please sit back, relax and try not to droll on your computers 😛

Remember these bad boys?

{I love twice baked potatoes! When I was a child, I would sit at the kitchen table and look at my mom as she prepared them. I remember I was always in a hurry to eat them and wish they didn’t take so long to cook.}

{Canoe Tatoes}

{Out of the oven and ready for eatin’}

{We had ours with shrimp kebabs}

Twice-Baked Potatoes

Ingredients

10 small potatoes
1 1/2 c. Mozzarella cheese
2/3 c.  Green onion (Chive), diced
1/2 c. Sour cream
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. garlic, ground
1 tsp. cayenne, ground
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
extra virgin olive oil for finishing

Preheat oven to 400°.

Thoroughly wash and dry the potatoes. Poke the tops of each potato several times with a fork and place on a baking sheet. Bake until tender to fork’s touch. It took me about 1 hour & 20 mins at 400° to get my potatoes baked to the right consistency. Your potatoes may require more or less time depending on many factors. Just be sure that, you bake the potatoes to a fork-tender consistency on the inside before moving forward with the twice-baking part.

As soon as potatoes are ready, remove them from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle. Once cooled, carve out the tops of each potato canoe-style, then carefully remove the insides to a bowl. (I mashed mine a bit before adding the other ingredients to help get rid of the chunks). After all of the potatoes have been hollowed out, add the sour cream, melted butter, black pepper, salt, garlic, and cayenne and mix together. Fold in the shredded cheese and diced onion.

Scoop the filling mixture back into the hollowed shells, packing each shell generously with the filling. The potatoes will likely be stuffed and overflowing – that’s a good thing. Place the refilled shells onto a rimmed baking sheet and finish each with a pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake for another 20-25 minutes or until the tops begin to turn golden. Remove baked potatoes and serve immediately.

YIELD:  10 very stuffed potatoes

This recipe was adapted from Scarletta bakes.

The Newlywed Kitchen

Marriage… has been fun so far. One of the things we enjoy most is cooking. Before we were married, Robert and I did cook alone/with family and each other. Interestingly enough, I disliked cooking when I was a teen. I couldn’t stand being in the kitchen at all. I hated the heat from the stove, the mess that would be made and the dishes to do after. Urgh! It was just too much work. I think what also contributed was that I was learning. My mom was my teacher and she wanted things done her way and perfect… typical… lol.

As I got older and was more comfortable in the kitchen, I soon realised that I did enjoy cooking but doing it by myself. I liked having all the space to myself. Getting to put what I wanted in the dish and experimenting. Tasting my masterpiece when it was done and feeling satisfied that my family/friends enjoyed it too 🙂

When Rob and I started dating one of the first things we learnt about each other was that we enjoyed cooking. The first dish we made together was a Beef & Broccoli Stew. Easy and delicious. The more we cooked the better we got at it. I’m not saying we’re pros but most things we cook, we and others enjoy… and want seconds… and thirds, lol. I also realized that I love having Rob’s company while in the kitchen. It was different to my mom’s. It’s still very pleasing to cook on my own,  but if Rob’s the company, I gladly welcome it.

Oh boy. I got carried away in my story telling and almost forgot the point of this post. The Newlywed Kitchen. Simply put, sharing some of our favourite recipes with you. But first… a little photo tour of our kitchen. The kitchen is one of my favourite rooms of our new apartment. The colours are so warm and welcoming, its roomy and comfortable and its where the food is. What’s there not to like?

Do enjoy the snap shots below 🙂

{Our time teller}

{The Fridge, some cupboards and storage baskets}

{I’m jar-sitting for a friend… seriously… lol}

{Our handy-dandy toaster}

{The very vintage kettle was a present from my granny}

{Rob bought the cutest little grill & he would be using it everyday if I gave him his way…}

{I decorated the kitchen in autumn colours. Shopping for items was a lot of fun}

{I got this cute little tea set from a close friend’s mom. Isn’t it adorable?}

{Must haves for the husband}

{Another must have for the home}

{Our Plantains and Avocados look ready for eating!}

{I plan to make twice baked potatoes with these bad boys… and yes, I will share the recipe with you!}

What did the Triangle say to the Circle?

“You’re so pointless!” – Lol.

That’s the funniest I will ever be. Today I was inspired to photograph circular things around my home.

{May 15th Challenge: Round}

{The door knob. Probably the most common round object in homes today}

{Another cute pair of my sister, Latoya’s shoes. I really like the buckles and holes}

{Mom’s dresser. Her face powder drew me in}

{An apple pie scented candle. Latoya bought it for herself but mom decided to use it to decorate her coffee table}

{Advanced Simplicity}

{He lives in our living room, near our tv…}

{Pink liquid anyone? I love me some strawberry-kiwi}

{The red pearl. Latoya and I love stopper earrings}

{Face scrubber thingy. I really love the colour}

{I enjoy baking. It makes me happy. Especially the eating part}

{You can give Smuckers as a gift? Really?}

{Forgotten bottles in a case}

Bananaberry Muffins

Last Saturday was my fiancé’s birthday. I planned a nice mellow day for the both of us. I made him breakfast and dinner. We went out to lunch and I took him on a fun little outing at some part during the day. I will post photos on some other aspects of his day later this week. Below are the Bananberry Muffins I made him for breakfast. He really liked them. I did too but I think there is much improvement for me to make in the future.

{April 28th Challenge: Stuck}

{Stuck as in the berries are stuck in the muffins}

{My two favourite fruits}

{Mashing the bananas}

{Mixing the wet and dry ingredients}

{It was very hard not to eat all the strawberries as I cubed them – lol}

{Adding the berries to the batter}

{Ready for the oven!}

{My audience of one}

{Viola! Breakfast is served! This was my helping. I eat like a bird}

Here is the recipe for those willing to try it.

Yummy Bananaberry Muffins

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
2 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (or two medium-sized bananas)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup fresh blueberries/strawberries (rinse and pat dry)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line tray with muffin cup papers.
Sift flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together with a wire whisk.
Add butter, eggs, bananas and vanilla.
Mix on low until just combined.
Fold in berries. Reserve some to place on the tops.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Serve while still warm with butter.

Makes 12-15 {large} muffins.