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.

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!