Sweet Potato Chili {shhh, it's vegan}


Friday, January 31, 2014

I assure you those are chunks of Japanese sweet potatoes and not pineapple.

I'll talk about that later.

I feel behind. 

I know no one has everything figured out, but I always feel a little more behind than most.

Is that normal? 

To help put some ease to my worries I started really writing stuff down at the turn of the new year, and, naturally dragged the husband into it.

At the beginning of this month we sat down as a couple and really talked in depth about our goals. Promises we are actually really going to achieve this year; goals mostly centering around our careers (because we need those to kick off in order for so much more to happen) and I feel the fire. 

One of the biggest promises we've made to ourselves, and probably the one we are failing at the most so far, is getting healthier. 

It's been pizza and burgers and whatever is cheap and fast for dinner lately, and I feel like we've received a big fat "F" for effort.

Being healthy is really hard when you're busy. It requires thought and planning and shopping and chopping. 

Since I don't know a single non-busy person on the planet, I assume we all really need to do a better job of taking care of ourselves...

So that being said, here's the first recipe I have to share this year:

Sweet Potato Chili

It's healthy, fast, vegan and fabulous -but please don't call it vegan, because calling things vegan freaks some people out- just call it delicious, and people will never question it. 

This recipe is pure veg, packed with nutrientshas absolutely no oil and freezes well. (The whole freezing well thing has come in handy lately when I'm just too busy to think about dinner.)

 Be-T-Dubs, as much as it does not reflect on this blog space so far, I really do love healthy foods... 

Expect more of that goodness on here.

Anyway, I've rambled enough.

Hey, a chili recipe just in time for the super bowl! Yippee.

 In that case I'd definitely top with bacon.

Uh, I mean no bacon because I'm trying to keep the promise of being healthier.

I guess I'll leave that up to you, regardless - happy ( shhh, it's vegan) chili making. 

petite gooey apple cobblers, for grandpa


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I'm not funny today.

and there really isn't ever a great time to bring this up, but it's feels out of place to go on like nothing's happened... 

My sweet grandpa took a turn for the worse almost exactly two weeks ago. 

When a loved one turns ill, it takes up all the spare space in your brain you reserve for thinking.

I'm blessed with a massive extended family that I adore. {Grandpa was a father to some pretty incredible kids.} We've all been spending time with him these past few weeks and holding his hand or bringing him diet coke or watching football games with him in the hospital. Sometimes we were just in the room with him while he slept listening to weird beeps and nurses talk. 

Giving your time is really the best way to show someone you love them.

When I was little, Grandpa and i used to take little walks outside at night to look at the stars. He would ask and point up, "do you see all of those stars up there robyn? do you know there is a song about stars?"

then he would proceed to hold my hand and sing "twinkle twinkle little star", but sometimes he would mess up the words on purpose and sing "twinkle twinkle little dog" or "twinkle twinkle little log" and I would just laugh and laugh and say, "Too bad bob, you didn't sing the right words!"

Then he would say "Too bad bobyn".

And it stuck.

My whole life, whenever I would say hello or kiss grandpa good bye, it was always accompanied by "too bad bob" and he would say "too bad bobyn."

It was in fact, the way I ended one of the last sweet conversations I ever had with him.

It was our way of saying I love you. 

There are so many more things I want to say in tribute to my grandpa - like how he loved fresh hot rolls with boysenberry jam, the way he ate his corn on the cob, how he loved mince meat pies and fresh buttermilk and rhubarb... and how much he loved his family.

 I spent so much time with him around a dining room table and food.

I loved it when he loved something I made... which was pretty much anything because he was a good grandpa, but this recipe in particular I will always hold dear.

As his health deteriorated, Grandpa lost his appetite and wasn't eating very well, but he ate every last bit of this apple cobbler.

Grandpa is a pie man, and everyone knows the next best thing to pie is cobbler. 

"That was the best cobbler I've ever had sweetheart, thank you."

"I am grateful that you were born. That your love is mine. And that our lives are woven and welded together." - mark twain

I wanted to post this recipe before Thanksgiving so you could share it with your loved ones.  Sorry it's so last minute, but I had to post it for grandpa. Today marks he and my grandmother's 55th anniversary. 

the only mashed potatoes


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I have a confession.

I did not make turkey for you. 

It's been a hell of a week.  

And who am I kidding?

There have been so many others that have spilled their secrets in perfecting the famous bird.
My thanksgiving gift to you (besides these mashed potatoes) are some gathered links, to a few of my favorite resources on how to roast the finest turkey.

Just remember what I said about that bird my friends, bigger does not equal better. {see previous roast chicken post} and, might I add, DO NOT stuff your bird. Stuffing your bird will make your bird dry and your stuffing soggy. Never mind what grandma said, leave the stuffing out of it. {see tips + goods for turkeys at the end of the post}

Confession number 2: I thought I made up the concept of adding cream cheese to your mashed potatoes, but apparently the pioneer woman beat me to it.

really, you along with millions, could just hop on over to her site and be in mashed potato heaven, but because I feel the need to spread goodness all in the name of the potato, here's my version of the best, knock-out-holy-poo-there-must-be-pounds-of-butter-in-these-because-they're-so-good, mashed potatoes.  it's not far off from Ree's version... except, mine's lazier, and slightly more conservative on the butter and cream.... 

Confession number 3: "Conservative on the butter" means one entire stick. (Ree adds 2 sticks. Trust me you wont miss it.)  And why yes I am pro-butter, thanks for asking. It's just a "little" goes a long way in mashed potatoes. 

the promised links:
{tips and goods: turkey} 

Mayo + Turkey, and no I'm not talking about left over turkey made into sandwiches. Amy behind the blog, she wears many hats, sounds genius.

Whole Foods, i love you and your turkey roasting tips {and purchasing the best bird tips} happen to be spot on.

The simplest way to roast a turkey from The Kitchn.

And this carving of the turkey.. oy! 

Happy Thanksgiving. 

Man, I love this holiday. Sending potato love to you and yours.

The Perfect Roast Chicken


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I can't impress you with a beautiful table spread and a fine turkey and all it's fixings right now... but I can impress you with one dang amazing roasted chicken

Who likes turkey over chicken any way? 

Someday, (and I really mean this) I want to host a Thanksgiving where everyone gets their own tiny chicken instead of a huge community turkey on a silver platter in the middle of the table. 

You'd want to come over to my house for that feast wouldn't you? (right?) 

Chicken set aside, the real gift here is the cooking method I'm about to reveal. For you traditional purists out there who insist on serving turkey this Thanksgiving, similar cooking methods can apply - I'll talk turkey later on in the month - but for you out there who are terrified to tackle the big bird, roasting chicken, is a great place to start! 

I'm gonna rock the boat a little bit, and tell you it is possible to serve roasted chicken to a large crowd in place of a large turkey. The secret is, this cooking method works best with smaller birds - so prep your ovens because if you have a large crowd and are following me in my untraditional Thanksgiving ways, you can (yes I've tried this) roast 4 birds at a time, (two birds per oven) you just have to make sure the birds are small (no more than 5 lbs!). 

Most of us tend to over cook turkey (and her cousin, chicken) - don't be ashamed. Turkey is one tough mother bird who needs the flavor coaxed out of her unlike no other. Chicken can be just as flavorless as her friend if we're not careful.

We're gonna calm your woes today.

The biggest difference between cooking a chicken verses a turkey, is going to be the size and weight - turkeys are a much bigger bird. The rule of poultry roasting is this (very scientific conclusion of mine): the bigger the bird the easier it is to have a super dry one.

Thus, I can't emphasize enough, small birds are our friends.

Are you confused? 

Why are we talking chicken when it's the month of turkey? 

Roasting a chicken is really, really good practice for a turkey. 

I'll follow up later this month with perfect roasting turkey tips. 

For now, stick to the chicken


If you're not convinced you should serve perfectly roasted chickens this Thanksgiving... again, we'll talk turkey later, I promise. For now forget to gobble and enjoy the chicken! 

 Here are some tips and tricks to make mouth-watering chicken every time.

Tips and Tricks for Roasting Chicken :

1.Think smaller. Don’t get any bigger than a 4 or 5 pound bird.
2. Buy organic. It makes a difference.
3. Salt it more than you think you should.
4. High cooking temperatures insure a crispy crust and moist mouth-watering bird. Follow my directions on exposing the bird to high heat, and then tenting it with tin-foil to protect the bird from burning. 
5. All you need is butter and getting that butter underneath the skin, guarantees it’s unbelievable flavor and crispness for the skin. 

extended summer granola


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

first i just gotta get it out there - i'm sorry for the hiatus. sometimes a girl works too hard and forgets one of the things she loves most - this blog. so here i am, hoping to never leave you like that ever again. i got some great recipes comin' up, so please know this is no breakup. i'm still here and love you. 

it may seem like a tease to be posting about the perfect summer granola when summer is technically on its way out the door - well for most of you. 

for me, and all my fellow Southern Californian natives, we are suffering through another two months of intense temperatures. there is no such thing as an orange-colored Autumn where i'm from, unless that orange is referring the the big burning ball in the sky. so i have to make-do with an extended summer while my mid-west, east coast, and just about everywhere else friends are celebrating my favorite season. i might cry a little bit while i watch them hold cups of something warm, wear wool sweaters and dance in colored leaves while i'm simultaneously  melting. i fight the jealousy by making extended summer granola

i must admit that being called " so granola" is something i will probably never achieve in this lifetime, but i envy those of you are accused as such. you're so hippie and cool, and care about the earth and animals - so it totally makes sense that someone would refer you to an all natural "cereal" of dried fruits, oats and nuts and call you "granola". ;) i'm always hoping to be like you hippies in some way or another - making granola is the closest i've gotten so far. 

side note: when i was small, i used to think "being so granola" meant they ate granola all the time. 
that works too. 

 this granola comes from the great and powerful Barefoot Contessa, but it's snazzed up a bit with ingredients that remind me of summer, like mangoes, cherries and coconut. (Its a goal of mine to have a granola for every season so, be excited.) 

what i love about homemade granola as opposed to store-bought is the sweetness factor. homemade is just sweet enough, with savory and salty notes from nuts and oats that it's irresistible. store-bought granola is pretty resistible once you've jumped on board the homemade granola train. 

summer granola is incredibly good by the handfuls, with a little yogurt or with some fresh organic milk and fruit. By the handfuls is the most popular choice around these parts.

happy eating. 

vanilla and oatmeal chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

"i'm having a love affair with this ice cream sandwich." - name that t.v show, and who said it.* ;) 

i must admit i used that line at least twice while indulging in one of these oatmeal chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches. not only is the cookie itself homemade (which you saw, from the previous post) but i went crazy and made the vanilla bean ice cream from scratch as well. before you snort in disgust and say "who is this crazy show-off" i just have to add, that i've NEVER EVER before in my life made homemade vanilla ice cream. i mean, come on, it's VANILLA. why make it when i can buy it? 

friends, this vanilla bean rocked my world; and i'm a chocolate person, but this ice cream has me converted. this is what all vanilla's should taste like. deep, rich and unforgettable.  i'm also quite certain it's what made these little frozen treats that much better. as my younger brother last night so adequately put "robyn, these are HEAVEN." 

so, while, you do not need to slave away over the stove top to make your own vanilla to make these bad boys, i highly recommend it. put your outrageous pants on and have a go at it. 

i have a few {tips and tricks} for you to ensure you make the perfect ice cream cookie sandwich: 

1. bake your cookies the same day you're going to freeze them into sandwiches, but make sure they're all the way cool before creating. the chocolate chips can be gooey and shinny, but the cookie shouldn't be super warm. 

2. start making your ice cream 2 days before you want to make the sandwiches, you want the ice cream scoop-able and set when you assemble. 

3. slightly under cooked cookies make the best sandwiches. 

4. try to match the cookies to a partner of the same size to ensure an even ice cream sandwich. i measured my cookie dough balls to be 2 ounces each, and they all came out about even and created the perfect sized sandwich. 

5. one scoop of vanilla should be plenty per ice cream sandwich. the process should be something like this: cookie, scoop of ice cream, cookie, smoosh together, wrap. i wrap each with plastic cling - it seems to work the best - and stick them in the freezer for a few hours until set. 

for oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe, click here. for a knock-your-socks-off chocolate chip cookies without oatmeal recipe, click here

these little babies do not disappoint. hope you have as much fun eating them as my family and i did. they sure are wonderfully messy. be prepared. 

(above pic shot with iphone, using vsco cam)
happy eating. 

* that line is said by "pop-pop" when he's in jail, in the first season of arrested development as michael is trying to talk to him about some serious financial matters. google it. 

oatmeal chocolate chip cookies {and quite frankly the best}


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

first off i just want to thank the few of you that made comments about these cookies via instagram. i mean honestly i was not planning on even sharing the recipe anytime soon because it's been, oh i don't know, 80 plus degrees outside and who in the world feels like a warm chocolate chip cookie in that weather? 

the answer is most of you. 

so hat's off to you my friends, we're all crazy together. 

 papa's birthday was last week, so i thought these cookies would be a great breakfast for him and all his work buddies. picking up birthday doughnuts just aren't as thoughtful as slaving away over cookies in a non-airconditioned kitchen and waking up extra early to bake them fresh, right?

dad's work place is kind of awesome in comparison to your typical office. it's in an old restored home dating "way-back-when" and on top of that fun fact, he & his team, make games. so there's posters of cartoons on the walls, colorful gaming boxes, toys and a ping pong table set up amongst everyone's desks.  ping pong helps spark creative ideas. {psst... and if i may add, papa's company made the game "rocket weasel" and "etch-e-sketch" and their about to release another super fun one for all you phone-game lovers out there. look those apps up if you want, rocket weasel is my fave.} 

i just knew this was the right place where people would appreciate cookies for breakfast. 

these cookies are kind of  teetering on the side of a chewy granola bar, except they're way better than a granola bar....but they have that same kind of "meatiness", if you will - that's what makes them such a strong breakfast contender; the oats really kick-in with a pleasing hearty texture

now, like i said, we're dealing with hot temperatures here, so later this week i'll share my most favorite thing to do with these bad-boys to help cool you down.

 be excited because the cool treat i'm gonna share with you soon, undoubtably has more chocolate than a popsicle, which naturally means they're better than one. (laughing) 

if it's for breakfast or turning them into a frozen treat, these cookies can't be beat.

i rhymed.

happy cookies to you all.

knock-out raspberry lemonade cupcakes


Thursday, June 27, 2013

you know that part in the movie Anchorman where Will Farrell is introducing himself to the gorgeous Christina Applegate at a party and he tries to impress her with irreverent verbiage? uninterested she gets up from her sitting place and starts to walk away. calmly befuddled, he asks, "do you know who i am?"  (she answers no, i don't)
 "i don't know how to put this but, i'm kind of a big deal."

 that above conversation my friends, is this raspberry lemonade cupcake.

at first it's unassuming because even though the frosting is a loud pink , it still looks kind of lumpy and separated. your eyes might roll at the mention of someone telling you how good it is because it really doesn't look like much.  in fact someone might question your baking skills at the sight of this cupcake.

pay no mind, they're about to eat their doubt.

if i could, i'd eat these the same way cookie monster eats cookies. just shove one in right after the other. i'm not saying i'd be proud of it, but i'm saying they're that incredible that i'd actually consider it. in fact, they're SO amazingly delicious that there's a really big part of me that wants to horde the recipe all to myself like a child who's too afraid to give up her binky - but i wont. i don't believe in hoarding and i don't believe in keeping much to myself.

yay for you.

the only thing wrong with this cupcake is the fact that i did not discover it sooner.  i wish i could tell you that i've had these little cakes since my childhood, and how they are a reminder about all those times i set up lemonade stands and sold cups of it to happy strangers for a nickel.

they aren't.

in fact my cousin made them for a family summer pool party (last summer? two summers ago?) and they disappeared faster than an open carton of coffee flavored ice cream and stack of sugar cones; and in my family, that's really saying something. 

i thank her loudly every time i bust these puppies out because without her, i wouldn't have these little knock-out cupcakes. they've changed my tastebuds forever.

you should probably serve them at your next pool party. even though they don't look like much at first, i promise, people won't be able to resist them. kinda the same way Christina couldn't resist Will in Anchorman... 

like i said, they're kind of a big deal.

happy turning lemons into lemonade... cupcakes. 

fresh black berry and peach crumble


Monday, June 10, 2013

i'm a little lost here as what to say because all i want to do is shove this peach and black berry cobbler in my mouth.

for the good of us both, i'll contain myself. 

Father's day is coming up this Sunday and i am always ALWAYS at a loss when it comes to getting a Father's day gift. what i'd really love to do is surprise him with a trip to Lanai or private tour of Pixar given by John Lasseter, but since neither of those things are really do-able this year, i'll have to make do with what i can do. 

and the one i can do is bake fruity goodness, eg: this black berry and peach cobbler. (crumble?!)

 i feel like all dad's are obsessed with something. for my papa, it's fresh berries. it's like father's day is in june on purpose just for him and his berries. make a berry dessert for him, and well, he'll  love you forever. at least that's what i'm hoping. i still feel the need to somehow make up for my disobedient and defiant teenage years.... 

is it a cobbler or a crisp? it's a crumble.

here's the thing about a crumble (cobbler?!). you really can't do any wrong. i know baking is supposed to be exact and not ladee-dah, but seriously, it really doesn't apply to a crumble as much as it does a cake. you simply peel, toss and dump the fruit in your mom's old 9 x 13 pioneer-like dish that you said you hated but now love, and bake. you'll thank yourself going to the trouble of peeling all those peaches when you smell it. oooo, and serve it. all that coveted goo you get as you scoop up bowls-full is purely from the black berry and peach juice giving way to the heat. 

my mouth is watering. 

i'm going to stop talking now and start diving into this black berry and peach crumble. 

if your papa or important man in your life is a fresh fruit and berry fanatic, this tart is for you!
i mean them. 

side note: this dish can be made ahead of time and re-heated. OR dare i say this makes a fantastic breakfast served cold drizzled with a little cream. don't tell anyone i said that. 

happy crumbling.

my favorite spinach detox smoothie


Friday, May 31, 2013

my appetite is one thing that's remained consistant through my teens and now into my late twenties. the only difference here is, i seem to be wearing what i eat more often then it going undetected... and i hate it. i used to be able to exercise and still eat whatever i wanted (double cheeseburgers, cheesecake, cheese fries, cheese sauce...) but now, not so much. the metabolism fights with me on a daily basis... and while i still stare open mouthed at really skinny people who eat whatever they damned well feel like and still don't gain weight, i am, sadly far from one of those people.

enter this smoothie. 

i love eating vegetables, but i love it even more when eating vegetables becomes effortless
this spinach smoothie is just that. 

after pinterest and reading around other food blogs i love - i'm quite convinced everyone and their mom has their own version of a "detox spinach smoothie." so eh, here's mine. 

i don't love this smoothie only because if its "detoxifying qualities". i love it because it force feeds me spinach, blueberries and flax seeds. 

this smoothie is my secret weapon. 

 its my "hey, see, you eat healthy!" check when i've accidentally scarfed a dove bar for lunch. while, i'm not a size 2 (never have been) this smoothie does make me feel like a supermodel of some-sort.

it's confidence in a glass.
it's like my own personal trainer in a cold jar congratulating me on a run {eh hem, walk/jog} well done in the morning.

it's vegan.

i always feel cool when i say i'm eating something vegan. makes me feel like i'm as hip as those hipster vegans that grace my neighborhood local eateries. 

 you can brag to your vegan friends that it's vegan. you can brag to your gluten-free, lactose-intolerant friends that this smoothie doesn't contain any of those mean ingredients that leave them feeling tired and bloated. this spinach smoothie can be everyone's best friend and bring out the supermodel in us all.

one more thing before i go. my grandmother and mother have tried this smoothie, but with a few slight alterations. you see, they HATE peanut butter in their smoothies, it ruins it for them (crazy!)... so below is a little trick for you if you detest that nut-butter i can't live without.

happy blending and detoxifying. {have i mentioned it's chock-ful of antioxidants, omega-3's, fiber and spinach? oh good.}

my favorite spinach detox smoothie 

serves 2 or 1 really thirsty runner 

i tried to go on a juice detox diet once. that was intense balls. the faces that came out of me after drinking really nasty tasting juice was highly entertaining i'm sure. if you ever really want to detox, i suggest a juice cleanse... someday i'll make up my own (albeit better tasting) juice cleanse to save you from making awful faces too.  this smoothie is a lot more face friendly. it's delicious, nutritious and packs about 7 grams of raw fiber from the spinach alone. that's enough to make you feel fab if you ask me. sign me up scotty!   it's by far my favorite go-to breakfast. 

ps. you can totally leave out the honey on this smoothie - but honey actually has some awesome health benefits. {like anti-inflammatory properties.) of course for your vegan friends, leave it out and go with agave. 

special equipment: a blender 

1 1/2 cup organic unsweetened almond milk, plain or vanilla
2 1/2 cups fresh organic baby spinach
1 1/2 frozen banana (about 1 1/4 cup)*
1 cup organic blueberries, frozen 
1 tablespoon honey or raw agave syrup, (i prefer raw honey
1 tablespoon all natural peanut butter, smooth**
1 tablespoon flaxseed

*if you hate bananas, substitute with one more 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, and 1 cup raspberries. it's amazing. trust me. 

**if you can't stand, or are allergic to peanut butter, substitute 2 tablespoons of vanilla yogurt (soy, coconut or regular milk yogurt) and 2 tablespoons of fresh orange juice. this cuts the spinach taste and leaves you with happy tastebuds. 

put all ingredients in the blender in the order you see above. {almond milk, spinach, banana, blueberries, honey, pb and flaxseed.}

hit blend.

you may have to dig with a spoon a little to get the stuff mixed properly. it's worth it.

the frozen banana


Friday, May 24, 2013

yesterday i complained to john about my cheeks. "i think they got bigger over the weekend." i said.

"you're so funny, that's NOT true."

"it is. it's perfectly true. i think i'm reaching chipmunk-storing-nuts-in-her-cheeks-status."

then he burst out laughing.

sometimes i say things and i don't quite think through how they must sound out loud. it's like the little brain to mouth filter on me is broken or in constant repair... like all the time. 

kind of like Tobias on Arrested Development... except maybe never that bad. 
do you watch that show? Arrested Development? it's one of my most favorite of shows and is by far one of the smartest funniest shows ever written for television. AND correct me if i'm wrong, it's the first show to be brought back by fan support (and Ron Howard) almost 10 years after the show first began in 2003. 

if you're not on the Arrested Development fan wagon, get on it. you're in for a hilarious ride. 

today is all about the famous treat that is a beating constant throughout the entire show: 
the frozen banana. 
it's been said that the first frozen banana stand opened in 1940 on balboa island, in orange county... and if you go there today you'll see the place still kickin' it passing out bananas to the locals and tourists alike.  

the frozen banana is exactly as simple as it sounds: a frozen banana dipped in lush chocolate and rolled around in nuts. it's a unique chocolaty treat that leaves people smiling.... as you can tell from my brother zach eating one above. thanks for being my model brother.

anyway, like i said, the show is being brought back after a huge hiatus this Sunday night at midnight (pacific standard time) only on netflix. needless to say, i'm a big fan (so is the husband) so i had to make the delicious frozen banana in honor of the show coming back. if you've never had one before, please treat yourself. they can be entirely dairy free and vegan - all dependent upon which chocolate you choose. 

here i did rich milk chocolate and with salted pecans and a deluxe semi-sweet chocolate with salted peanuts. the semi-sweet and peanuts are a nod to the orignal banana - and the milk chocolate salted pecans is my own little twist. i actually prefer the milk chocolate ones and i'm totally a dark chocolate person but the combo here with the frozen banana is magical. 
i dare you to try a popsicle that tastes better ;) 

so, here it is. the famous frozen banana. i hope you get around to making some this weekend. it's the perfect treat to welcome in summer. and, if things look gloomy, remember just like Pop-pop always said: "there's always money in the banana stand."*

happy frozen banana dipping. 

*you'll know what this means after watching season 1 episodes 1-3. ;) 

dark brown sugar banana bread


Friday, May 17, 2013

i'd never heard of a person who didn't like bananas until i was driving around los angeles with one of my co-worker friends.

she was going on about how much she hates fruit in general (insert really baffled face from me here) but especially bananas.

"but thank goodness bobby hates them too, man if he liked bananas i don't know what i'd do. even if someone is opening a banana in the same room as me, i can smell it and the smell alone...." she made a gagging face that made me laugh.

like i said, i've never heard of such absurdities (no bananas?!) until her. it would be such a lonely world without these peel-able boats of yellow.

ever since her confession i always think of her when i'm making banana bread... or really anything banana... and i may or may not have peeled a banana in front of her on purpose several times. 

this proves what a great friend i am. 

 banana bread is one of those baked goods i feel obligated to make so my spotted dark bananas have a chance to contribute to something good in their short lifetime. it's funny to me, that i care about that little dark banana left too long in the fruit basket.

fruit has feelings.

 i have a thing with banana bread - actually you'll learn this about me with most things - i can be pretty picky. i'm always looking for the best version of something and so far - most "nana" breads i've had have been loaded with nuts and oil. neither of which lend a positive quality to the texture of the bread - at least to me and my insanely particular taste buds.

everyone needs a hobby.

this bread is light and moist with under tones of rich caramel-y banana. the older a banana is, the richer it is. i use the darkest of banana's when making this - bananas that might scare most people. 

it yields a delicious tender crumb without being the least bit oily. whenever i make it it disappears in a matter of seconds. actually, my dad and brother get mad at me whenever i make it and bring it over.  they blame me for feeling fat after polishing off almost the entire loaf. 

it's pretty stinking delicious.

this bread works swimmingly as muffins or with chocolate chips or simply with a smear of soft butter.  i prefer, as you can tell here, to top warm slices with cream cheese, crushed walnuts and teensy drizzle of maple syrup. the tang of the cream cheese with the earthy nuttiness of walnuts: perfection. both flavors along with the sweet caramel crumb of the bread are a little breakfast party in your mouth.

also, the walnut cream cheese solves my nut "problem". i love the idea of nuts in banana bread but have never been satisfied with the outcome. thus, with this lush spread over the top of a slice i'm getting the best of both worlds: the crunch and flavor of the nut without it taking over the taste of my bread.

 it's combination has converted everyone who's tried it - which is a whopping 6 people so feel convinced. 

and just in case you were wondering, no i haven't even tried to serve my old co-worker friend some... but i'm thinking maybe i should. wink.

happy banana peeling.

the freckled pie All rights reserved © Blog Milk - Powered by Blogger