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.

I Made Pumpkin Bread Instead

Yup…that means I didn’t go to yoga this morning.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE yoga, especially at my studio.  But my body is exhausted (and still sore) and their Hot Yoga class is REALLY hard!  And the Yin style classes are at 8am or 6pm, neither which worked into my schedule today, so I…well, made pumpkin bread instead!

 

We didn’t set an alarm this morning, but Cooper’s internal breakfast alarm can be counted on.  At least he waited until after 7am today!  The BOY and I took our time getting moving, but Cooper missed the slow Sunday start memo and was bouncing around waiting for food.  It may sound like I am talking about a dog here, but he is just a bouncy and continuously hungry kitten.

 

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Maybe they won’t see me here and I can spring into the water when it turns on…

 

So you may have noticed that I am yet to make anything pumpkin this fall!  Or maybe you haven’t noticed, but it’s true, and with the end of October approaching, it is time for that to change.  I went straight to my Everything Pumpkin board on Pinterest and started making the first bread recipe that I saw (not surprisingly, there is more than one pumpkin bread recipe on the board).

 

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Meanwhile, I made myself a Green Smoothie.  In an attempt to assess my current eating habits, I’ve been keeping track of what I’ve been eating this past week.  One obvious note…there are not nearly enough veggies in my diet.  So I picked up some spinach at Costco yesterday because that is easy to mix with everything.

 

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I started with my typical smoothie base of spinach, banana, and almond milk.  I added in some Chia seeds and then went looking for something to build in some flavor.  I had no frozen fruit, but did find the ginormous bag of cranberries that I also bought at Costco yesterday.  I rinsed them off and threw in about a cup.  Then 2 handfuls of ice cubes.

 

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I went in for a taste test and my smoothie was AWESOME!  I couldn’t believe how good it was.  In retrospect I should have added some cucumber as well, but I didn’t notice I had any until after I was half way done.  As you can tell, veggies just haven’t been on my radar recently.  I scrambled up some eggies to go with my smoothie and waited patiently for the bread while the house filled with the smells of the season.  I tried to get the BOY talking about this week’s meal plan, but we didn’t get much further than tonight’s dinner.

 

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We let the bread cool, only enough to remove it from the pan, before slicing off an end.

 

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This pumpkin bread is scrumptious!  I love how the crust is crunchy and sweet while the inside stays moist and full of flavor!  You should definitely add it to your pumpkin board and probably your Sunday as well!

 

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The Best Pumpkin Bread Recipe Ever by Recipe Girl

 

 

Just in case you are looking to spend your Sunday making pumpkin bread instead,

here are a few other recipes to try…

Pumpkin Banana Bread

Paleo Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Pear Bread

Maple Pumpkin Spice Bread

Pumpkin Molasses Muffins

 

All of which pair well with a refreshing green smoothie!

 

 

Spinach and Cranberry Smoothie

 

Ingredients

1 cup almond milk

1 large heap of spinach

1 banana, sliced

2 Tbsp ground flax or chia

1 cup cranberries (fresh or frozen)

Ice

 

Directions

Combine milk, spinach, and banana in your blender and chop until spinach is broken down and everything begins to mix together.  Add flax or chia and cranberries and mix on high until well combined.  Add in ice and blend until desired consistency is reached.  Enjoy!

 

 

Did you make anything pumpkin yet?

What ideas should I add to my Pinterest Pumpkin board?

So Many Pumpkin Recipes…

Slowly but surely I am making my way through catching up on blogs.  The BOY is making his way through Breaking Bad.  We are very behind!

One theme I noticed in blogland this week…the arrival of Pumpkin!

 

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Although there is no shortage of pumpkin recipes on Luv What You Do, I haven’t busted out the pumpkin yet this fall.  It appears that I am behind on this too because everyone else is sharing some incredible looking recipes.  I can’t wait to catch up!

 

 

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls from Sally’s Baking Addiction

 

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Spice Muffins from Eat, Live, Run

 

Browned Butter Pumpkin Blondies from Cookies&Cups

 

Pumpkin Spice Ginger Walnut Muffins from Daily Garnish

 

Low Fat Pumpkin Bread from Eat Good 4 Life

 

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Soft Vegan Pumpkin Bread with Brown Sugar Streusel Crust from Averie Cooks

 

Grain Free Pumpkin Tart from My Whole Food Life

 

Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Pumpkin Hummus from Pinch of Yum

 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies from Two Peas & Their Pod

 

Pumpkin Scotchies from The Girl Who Ate Everything

 

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dip from A Night Owl

 

 

 

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All I can say is…So Little Time!

 

What are you excited to make this fall?

I Baked!!!

You know that used to happen around here, right?

 

It’s been awhile. I could give you a list of excuses, but I thought instead, I’d give you a new Door County inspired Banana Bread Recipe!

 

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I picked up this recipe at one of the olive oil stores on our recent trip.  I also picked up a large packet of dried cherries, which was perfect for this recipe.  Although…I think fresh cherries would be splendid as well.

 

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The BOY and I ate dinner out back last night on our new patio furniture, and I missed the beep of the timer.  The bread hadn’t burned, but I yanked it out quickly.

 

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It still had a doughy look, but was perfectly cooked.

 

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Slightly crispy on the outside and warm and delightful on the inside!

 

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I grabbed one slice as an after dinner snack and saved the rest for breakfast!

 

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I must admit that this isn’t my favorite banana bread recipe***. I much prefer a Classic Banana Bread or this One Bowl Banana Bread recipe.  Which I will happily add cherries and walnuts (and maybe dark chocolate chips) to next time!

 

 

Cherry Banana Bread

From Fat Louie’s Olive Oil Co, Door County, WI

 

Ingredients

1 1/4 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1/2 tsp sat

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup olive oil

2 eggs

3 mashed, overripe bananas

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup dried cherries

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a large loaf pan.

Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Add bananas, eggs, and olive oil, mix until just combined.  Fold in walnuts and cherries.

Pour batter into loaf pan.  Bake in oven for 45-40 minutes or until middle is set.

Remove and cool 5 minutes.  Remove from pan and let cool completely on on wire rack.

 

 

***Note: as I was typing up this recipe, it occurred to me that I may not have added the baking soda.  Ooops!  That explains A LOT about the texture of this bread, and also it’s look.

 

 

Do you ever forget to add ingredients to your recipes?

I once made oatmeal cookies without eggs.  They were still edible!!!

There’s always some Bananas…

Before leaving town, I always try to finish the food that we have left in the house.  Often, I will plan meals around what we have or pack snack bags of veggies or fruit for the plane.  Although this time it is just me heading out, I know the BOY doesn’t eat bananas and therefore, I needed to turn these perfectly ripe bananas into something delicious!

 

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Since we also had some berries, I knew Banana Strawberry Bread was the way to go!

 

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I searched online through a whole bunch of recipes before landing at Joy the Baker.

 

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Her original recipe is made with browned butter.  For time sake, I completely skipped the brown butter step, but I point this out because it will definitely add to your bread.

 

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All of my loaves baked up beautifully!  And I couldn’t wait to slice off a corner for dinner.  My thought is to save the rest for the long plane ride ahead : )

 

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If there’s anything left!

 

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Also on the agenda…catching up on some DVR before my trip.  Hooray for new summer shoes and the next season of Major Crimes!

 

Love the banana/strawberry combo?

Here is another great summer bread recipe!

 

 

Banana Strawberry Bread

Inspired by Joy the Baker

makes 1 9×5-inch loaf (but I made 3 mini loaves)

 

Ingredients

1/2 cup of butter, melted

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup soy milk

3 medium bananas, mashed

1/2 cup diced strawberries

 

Directions

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla extract, and milk.  Whisk in the mashed bananas.  When butter has cooled, whisk in the butter.

Add the wet ingredients, all at once to the dry ingredients.  Fold together until just mixed.  Fold in the diced strawberries and do not overstir!

Spoon batter into prepared pan and top with thinly sliced strawberries.   Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.  (40-45 minutes for mini loaves).  Remove from the oven and allow to rest in the pan for 15 minutes, before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Note: Freezes well!

Five For Friday V

1. I am so excited for this weekend’s camping trip!  After a raiding my parent’s house and a trip to Costco, I needed help unloading my car with all of our supplies.

 

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2. My new summer schedule officially begins on Monday.  This week was a busy but easy transition.  One day I even got to eat my lunch outside at Starbucks, which was such a huge treat for the girl who never gets to leave the office during the day!

 

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3. I have been having a tough time sleeping this week.  This seems to happen around life changes (ie when I was moving back from Memphis).  However, last night I think I fell asleep before my head hit the pillow and although up earlier than I would have liked this morning, I finally felt well rested. 

 

 

4.  I am in charge of breakfast for the camping trip.  I am bringing eggs and spinach and made Paleo Banana-Walnut Bread that I can’t wait to dig into and Date Bars.

 

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5.  After two trials last weekend, I created an awesome Nutella Puppy Chow.  It’s doesn’t have the strongest Nutella flavor, but the combo of peanut butter and Nutella is addicting. However, I need to go finish packing, so the recipe will just have to wait!

 

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Hope you have a great weekend! I will be enjoying my first

Friday off camping in Wisconsin with these girls!

Chocolate Chip Pound Cake (Cake Mix Recipe)

When I went searching the internet for a simple Chocolate Chip Pound Cake recipe, I kept coming across the same easy recipe on a few different sites.  I figured if everyone was making it, it should be pretty good.

 

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I had a time crunch on Saturday, so this was the perfect recipe to pull together quickly.

 

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Although it’s a long bake time, that gave me plenty of time to clean and make Puppy Chow.

 

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I made this the night before, but since this recipe uses a cake mix, you could easily pull it together in the morning.

 

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Sunday morning, I was eager to try a slice.

 

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The cake looked inviting, and the center was slightly undercooked, just the way I like it

 

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Although I think that made from scratch is better, this is one fantastic easy morning breakfast cake!

 

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It’s the perfect recipe to save for your next breakfast guests…like a Girls Sleepover!

 

 

What is your favorite pound cake???

Share your recipes!

 

 

Easy Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

From All Recipes.com

 

Ingredients

1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix

1 (39 g) package instant chocolate vanilla pudding mix

1/2 cup white sugar

3/4 cup water

3/4 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs, beaten

1 cup sour cream/Greek yogurt

1/2 cup milk chocolate chips + More! (I used a little under 1 cup)

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan.

In a medium bowl, stir together the cake mix, instant pudding and sugar. Add the water, oil, eggs, and sour cream, mix until well blended. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips. Pour into the prepared Bundt pan.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes in the preheated oven. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before cutting and serving.