It’s a Good Thing We Don’t Have a Reality Show

Because then you would all see how crazy we are!

Excitedly, I pointed out to the BOY that I couldn’t even remember the last time we went to sleep without setting an alarm as we crawled into bed before 10pm last night.  I was exhausted from my work week and fully aware that a good night’s sleep would be necessary to propel me to the finish line at tomorrow’s 13.1 mile race.  I should also point out that the BOY is sick (which is why he went to bed so early).  He has a stuffed nose, kleenex everywhere, can’t leave the house and I’m drinking tea non stop kind of sick. Ugh!  Apparently this is also the kind of sick that according to the BOY does not require medical intervention (insert eye roll here…)

So this morning when he woke up around 5am because he is sick and couldn’t sleep and came downstairs to discover that his precious, most prized possession La-Z-boy was broken, things got a little out of hand.  There was some hammering, some flipping of the chair, and some more construction.  All of this drove Cooper into  tizzy causing him to come whining loudly and incessantly at my door.  Until I opened the door, where he jumped onto my pillow allowed me to pet him a few times before biting me.  Which got him immediately removed from the room by the BOY who was eager to come share the tales of his morning.  People…I couldn’t make this stuff up if  tried!

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I told the BOY that he needed to feed Cooper (‘but it’s only 6am’…’yes that’s what time I wake up every day and feed him’).  The BOY moved himself and all of his possessions taking over my couch and Cooper was able to scarf down breakfast in one bite.  Feeling calmer, he returned to my room.  After exploring the entire room twice, he finally curled up between my legs where we both fell back asleep.

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Around 8am, when I finally woke up for real, the BOY returned to bed stating that he needed to be woken up at 9:20 so that he could be the first one at the La-Z-boy store when it opened at 10.  I whipped up French Toast for breakfast and brewed a strong pot of tea!

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I don’t know about where you are, but we’ve had a cold spell.  It’s supposed to be 60 degrees this weekend but it’s been much more chilly than that the past few days making it the PERFECT morning to bake my #firstloafoftheseason of Pumpkin Bread.  I found this recipe on Pinterest (in between pinning wedding ideas).  With the BOY asleep and my eager assistant chef busy searching for hidden treats, I got to work.

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This recipe makes 3 big loaves which was perfect…one for us, one for my friend running with me tomorrow, and one for the birthday party I’m going to this afternoon.  I didn’t have enough oil, so I subbed in applesauce.  This recipe is really easy and has lots of spice (my favorite) so perfect for a Saturday morning breakfast.  I popped my bread in the oven, eagerly awaiting the smells of fall, and happily settled onto my couch for a a Law&Order marathon.

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When the BOY woke up, he decided to call the store instead (much smarter idea) but sadly discovered that someone cannot come out to fix his precious chair for another week or so.  It’s going to be an interesting few days.  But at least we’ve got warm tea and pumpkin bread to get us through…

 

Autumn Pumpkin Bread

From Hope in Every Season

Ingredients

1 29oz. can pumpkin puree

1 1/2 c. oil

3 c. sugar

6 eggs

4 3/4 c. flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1 1/2 tsp. cloves

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 and grease 3 loaf pans.  Mix the pumpkin, oil, sugar, and eggs.  Combine the dry ingredients and then stir into the wet mixture.  Pour into pans and bake 45 min. or until done all the way through.

 

Have you made anything with pumpkin yet?

St. Patty’s Soda Bread

I have been planning to make Soda Bread all week long (I even bought buttermilk) and pinned a whole bunch of recipes.  But I had just one of those weeks, you know the type, where the stress levels are high and exhaustion runs rampant.  Instead of baking up loaves of bread Friday night as planned, I postponed it to Saturday morning.  I spent Friday night with a glass of red wine and Cooper’s Hawk dinner.

 

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Saturday morning, we slept in as long as Cooper would let us.  We got invited to celebrate St. Patty’s Day down in the city with my brother and his friends.  They began their morning at 7am, but we slept in and when I finally woke up, I took advantage of the sunshine by going for a run.  My path was frozen so I just ran some laps around the neighborhood.  When I came back, I had big plans to finally make soda bread to bring into the city.  My brother called and said that parking was tough and that he would be okay with store bought soda bread.

 

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So instead of making soda bread, we drove down to the city for a day of fun and green shenanigans.

 

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Needless to say, Sunday morning started like this…

 

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Followed by a trip to Whole Foods for breakfast ingredients.

 

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We had a wonderful breakfast/brunch and then came back to the burbs to have lunch with my best friend.

 

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I had plans (in my head) to make soda bread Sunday night, but instead the BOY and I curled up with Cooper to watch the second Hunger Games Movie.  After a workout in in my neon green tshirt with my trainer in the morning, I came home to celebrate St. Pattys Day with homemade soda bread.

 

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I found a great recipe complete with cinnamon and raisins on Pinterst.  Yum! 

 

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I sprinkled some extra cinnamon and sugar over the top, which made the house smell unbelievable!

 

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It only took 40 minutes for both breads to bake perfectly!  We had a small situation on Saturday that involved Cooper breaking into the store bought soda bread bag for a taste test.

 

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So I had to hide away my cooling bread in the laundry room for safety.

 

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After my own taste test of course!

 

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I am so excited to have soda bread in the house!  I’m thinking about soda bread french toast for breakfast tomorrow (or maybe even dinner tonight)!

 

This recipe is absolutely incredible!

Here are a few other St. Patty’s Day favorites…

Brown Irish Soda Bread

Dark Irish Soda Bread

Soda Bread Scones

Lucky Charm Treats

 

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How did you celebrate St. Patty’s Day?

 

 

 

Cinnamon Raisin Irish Soda Bread

From Bakers Royale

 

Ingredients

5 cups flour

1 cup sugar

4 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup raisins

3 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

*extra cinnamon/sugar to sprinkle over the top

 

Directions

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease baking sheet or use Silpat.

Place flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a bowl and mix to combine. Stir in raisins. Set aside. Beat eggs in a bowl.  Stir in buttermilk, sour cream and vanilla, then add to dry ingredients and stir until well combined.

Divide dough in half. Shape each portion into a ball. Place on prepared baking sheet. Make a deep X on top of each loaf with a knife. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and top is golden brown. Transfer loaves to a wire rack to cool.

2 New Banana Bread Recipes

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So it really is tough to come up with new banana bread recipes that I haven’t shared with you guys.  I swear this blog could be titled the Banana Bread Blog : ) But with a bunch of brown bananas, I was up for the challenge. 

 

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I had motivation too!  We had our last week of tennis lessons at the park district, and I wanted to bring sometime to say thank you to our pro.  I also wanted something to serve to our overnight guests this past weekend.

 

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This first recipe adds in one of banana’s favorite companions.  Chocolate!

 

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With chocolate swirled throughout, it makes a beautiful marbled bread and also a great gift!

 

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I was only sad that I couldn’t dig right in.  It seems wrong to bring a loaf of bread as a gift with a slice missing!

 

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While bread number one was cooling, I got started on making my second loaf.  Since I’m a huge gingerbread fan and still have robust molasses in the pantry, I was excited to use it again.

 

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This bread smells delightful and puffs up beautifully!

 

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I was thankful to be able to slice off a bite to try.

 

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I am a huge fan of this flavor combination!

 

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This bread froze well and I loved eating another slice smothered with almond butter yesterday.

 

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Both breads looked and smelled wonderful!  Perfect to heat up these cool end of winter days!

Here are more recipes from the Banana Bread Blog.

 

What do you do with your brown bananas?

 

 

Marbled Banana Bread

From My San Francisco Kitchen

 

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

¼ cup butter, softened

2 ripe bananas

2 eggs

⅓ cup plain low-fat yogurt (I subbed in sour cream)

½ cup semisweet chocolate chips

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together.

Add sugar and butter to a large bowl and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended.

Add banana, eggs, and yogurt; beat until blended.

Add flour mixture and beat at low speed until just blended.

Melt chocolate chips in a microwave or in a double boiler, stirring until smooth.

Add 1 cup batter to chocolate, stirring until well combined.

Spoon chocolate batter alternately with plain batter into a greased 8½ x 4½-inch loaf pan.

Swirl batters together using a knife.

Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack, then remove from pan and cool 10 minutes before serving.

 

 

 

Banana Gingerbread

From Framed Cooks

 

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

3 medium very ripe bananas, mashed

1 stick butter, softened

1/2 cup molasses

3 eggs

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 375, and grease a loaf pan (or you can use 3 mini pans).

Combine flour, sugar, ginger, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.

Mix in banana, butter and molasses until well blended, about 2 minutes on medium speed.  Stir in eggs until well combined.

Pour into loaf pan and bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool in the pans for about 15 minutes, then continue cooling on wire racks.  When completely cool, gently spoon powdered sugar into a wire mesh strainer, and shake the strainer over the loaves to garnish.

12 Days of Recipes {Day 10-Happy Xmas Eve!}

Wow!  We’re almost to the end of my 12 days of recipes, which means that Christmas is just around the corner.  Like tomorrow around the corner!

 

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Since I am Jewish, my Christmas day doesn’t look like your typical Christmas (can you say Chinese food and a movie?!).  But this doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the smells of the season.

 

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That’s where this recipe comes in handy!  After a half day of work, I baked up a loaf of this incredible smelling bread to bring with me this weekend.  I subbed in molasses for the honey because this bread was such a success!  And got a little lazy on the crust, smothering my bread with just cinnamon and sugar.

 

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I ended up using whole wheat flour, so my bread looks a little more dense.  It still tastes delightful, but if you’re not used to the added fiber, just use all white flour.

 

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The best thing about this recipe…it bakes up two loaves.  One for you and ONE for me : )

 

 

What do you eat Christmas morning?

 

 

Snickerdoodle Pumpkin Bread

Adapted from Bakaholic Mama

 

Ingredients
2 cups all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour (I used whole wheat flour)
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tbs cinnamon
15 oz fresh pumpkin puree
1 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup water

 

TOPPING OPTIONS:

You can use a mix of cinnamon and sugar or this tastier version…

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbs cinnamon

2 tbs vegetable oil

Directions
Pre heat oven to 350.  Grease and flour 2 loaf pans. 
In a large bowl mix flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon. In a separate bowl mix pumpkin, oil, molasses, and water together. Combine the bowls together and don’t over stir.
Pour batter into prepared pans.
In a small bowl using a fork mix all of your topping ingredients together until slightly crumbly. Sprinkle over the tops of each loaf.
Bake for 1 hour  or until a tooth pick is inserted and comes out clean.
Allow loaves to rest for 20 minutes before removing from pans.

12 Days of Recipes {Day 6-My house smelled Amazing}

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Happy Friday!

My morning commutes have been so pretty (even with all of the snow), and I was super excited to catch a bit of the sunrise on my new phone.  In anticipation of the forecasted wintery mix, I thought it would only be appropriate to share a new quick bread recipe that I made last night.

 

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With all of the bread that I make, my house has never smelled so amazing!

 

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The blend of pumpkin and ginger is fantastic!

 

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And this makes the perfect holiday hostess gift!

Bake up!

 

 

Pumpkin Gingerbread

From Simply Recipes

 

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups (200 g) all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup (240 ml) pumpkin purée

1/2 cup (1 stick, or 112 g) butter, melted

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup (120 ml) molasses

2 eggs, beaten

3 Tbsp water

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Prepare a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan (or three smaller pans) with non-stick spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

In another bowl, use a wooden spoon to mix together the pumpkin purée, melted butter, sugar, molasses, eggs, and water.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients stirring until just combined.

Place the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes (40 minutes if baking smaller breads), until a tooth pick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then gently run a knife around the edge of the loaf and invert the loaf to remove it from the pan. Let it cool on a rack for 30 minutes or longer.

Freezes well.

You HAVE to Make a Decision

After weeks of thinking, pinning, and planning, I seriously waited until the very last minute to decide what cookies I wanted to bake.  I’m not typically an indecisive person, but I think after my second week back at full time work, my brain was a bit fried.  When I finally made a list, it was way too long to be accomplished in one day, but it’s good to dream big…right?  The good news is that I kept it simple.

 

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Saturday morning was a white out!  The perfect kind of day to not change out of your pajamas and begin baking cookies immediately.  However, I didn’t have all of my ingredients.   At first, I considered ditching the cookie baking entirely and squeezing some fresh oranges for mimosas!  Followed by a movie marathon (I’m thinking Love Actually).

 

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But I knew I had a long list of cookies to attack.  A quick peak out the front door revealed that the roads were not yet plowed.  I decided it wasn’t worth it to slip and slide along the roads, so I checked my cookie list to see if there was anything I could make this morning.  Luckily, I keep the basics stocked.  I pulled out butter for later and found a recipe that used melted butter to begin.

 

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I found an easy and healthy one.  This cookie recipe was in my binder and I think it came from a magazine (a google search revealed that it is indeed from Cooking Light).  It’s super simple and includes mostly ingredients from your pantry.  I will share it with you this morning in case you are snowed in and looking to warm up your home with some baking.

 

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Baking was slightly challenging with this adorable face popping up near my bowl, in the sink, and next to the butter.

 

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But these cookies came out perfectly!  And I love that they are shaped differently than your typical round cookies.

 

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Since these cookies were super quick and since I still didn’t have soft butter, I decided I would turn my bananas into banana bread.

 

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By the time my bread was ready, the BOY was awake and the streets better plowed.  I convinced him to help me brush off his car, so that I could venture out into the world.  I needed to go to the grocery store and figured since I was heading out, I might as well throw in a yoga class.

 

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The BOY was nice enough to pull my bread out of the oven for me and when I returned home after yoga and the store, I sliced it right up.

 

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This peanut butter bread is one of the best I’ve EVER had!  The flavor is incredible with crunchy ends, and the inside moist and delicious!

Even though I’m not officially snowed it, I’m planning on pretending like it and baking up a storm today!

And in case you’re planning on doing the same, here are two awesome recipes to start with.  Decisions…Decisions…

 

 

How do you like to spend a Snowy Saturday?

 

 

Granola Cookie Wedges

From Cooking Light April 2013

 

Ingredients

1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 tablespoon butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 large egg white

2.25 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/2 cup)

1/2 cup quick-cooking oats

1/4 cup chopped pecans

2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips

Cooking spray

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl; stir until well combined. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Add flour, oats, nuts, and chocolate chips to sugar mixture; stir until just combined.

Scrape the dough into a 9-inch glass pie plate coated with cooking spray, and spread to edges using a spatula. Bake at 350° for 13 minutes or until set. Cool slightly on a wire rack. Cut into 8 wedges.

 

 

Peanut Butter and Banana

Whole Wheat Quick Bread

From Cookin’ Canuck

 

Ingredients

4 medium ripe bananas, well mashed

1/3 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt

1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter

3 tbsp canola oil

1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp granulated sugar

1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp (packed) brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

3 tbsp ground flax seed (flax meal)

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl, with a hand mixer), combine the mashed bananas, Greek yogurt, peanut butter and canola oil. Mix on medium speed until combined.

Add the granulated and brown sugars, and mix again until combined.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, ground flax seed, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture to the banana mixture. Beat until just combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and spread evenly with a rubber spatula.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, approximately 1 hour. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack. Serve.

 

Note: I was going through the motions adding in my ingredients and was about to stir in my flour mixture when I realized I used the white flour that was out and not whole wheat flour.  Oops!

Baking and Breaking Bread

I think I was in denial about my big job change.  I kept saying that I would deal with it in November and then November was here and now my last day has passed and I have a few weeks of fun before diving into my next job.  They say that this new generation will have around 11 jobs in their lifetime.  Ok, I don’t know if anyone really says that, but I did read it on a website.

 

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I’m 7 1/2 years out of grad school and I’ve had 2 jobs, and now just starting my 3rd.  It seems to me that in healthcare, we tend to stay put.  There is so much more than salary that plays a role in job decisions and for those of us in the underpaid pediatric realm, this is even more true.  We do what we do because we really do Love What We Do!

 

 

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Over the past 5 years, I have baked countless breads that I’ve shared with my coworkers or served at classes at my job.  The most of them are probably banana : )

 

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I thought it would be fun to bake up a few loaves of bread for my last day and was excited to find a banana bread recipe that I haven’t tried yet.

 

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The addition of warm apples to sweet banana bread is a MUST!

 

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I know that there are plenty more breads in my future with new coworkers, new friends, and new adventures.  And…I will always remember the past bites with sweet memories!

 

 

Apple Banana Bread

From The Keenan Cookbook

 

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

2 eggs

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

3 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large bananas (mashed)

1 large apple (peeled, cored, chopped)

 

Directions

Mix together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and sugars.

Blend in eggs, oil, applesauce, milk, and vanilla.

Stir in banana and apple.

Pour batter into greased loaf pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until toothpick test comes out clean.

Freezes well.