Thank you everyone for the sweet birthday wishes and comments this weekend!  It is always fun to share the celebration (and of course the recipes) with ya’ll!


I have been waiting all summer for this 4 day weekend as I transition from Fridays off back to Mondays off, and it worked out so well to have it be the weekend of my birthday.  It gives me an entire day to relax, recoup, and recharge after a crazy busy summer and an exciting weekend.  Although the BOY and I mostly laid low yesterday, it was nice to catch up on some sleep last night!


I woke up this morning with (insert sigh of relief here)…

Ahhhhh, an entire day to myself!  First up, Chai tea in my new tea press!



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It turned out incredible!  I’m so excited to have this fancy new toy (I bought it on sale at Sur La Table yesterday) for hot and premade iced tea.  It complimented my breakfast which consisted of a spinach egg with toast and Door County jam.




First up on today’s list…







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Then, I was off for my morning bike ride.  One can never have too many pairs of socks with colorful bikes on them!




Since my toe is feeling so much better, I tried to get into my spin shoes, but it was just too painful, so I was back on my hybrid again today.  In a few weeks, my mom and I are doing a (modified) Century Ride.  The game plan is ride ~60 miles, and I have not been getting in any long (more than 25 mile) rides.  So today, I headed out for a long ride!


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I wasn’t exactly sure how far I would ride, but I hit the trail first…then headed up north.  I hit some serious construction early on, and had to fend for myself along the busy roads.  But I made my way to the quiet streets lined with barns, farm animals, and huge homes.  It was beautiful!  I even saw this funny sign that says Farm Machinery Crossing.  Have you ever seen such a thing?




Despite the construction, I found my way back home.  I was feeling great until I hit mile 30 and  got a wicked side cramp, which never happens to me while I’m biking.  I finished the last 5 miles, but had to slow down a bit.  When I got home, my legs were sore, but it felt great to get in a long and scenic ride this morning.




After a super quick shower, I was ready for a late lunch.  We have tons of Fiesta leftovers that I was able to turn into a fresh colorful salad, with a veggie burger for some added protein.





I think this might be my new favorite plate!!!






And this might be the best salad that I’ve ever made!  It was so tasty that it didn’t need any dressing!




The only thing that could top it…an amazing dessert involving THESE (but we’ll get to that!).




First, I should show you a few of my accomplishments besides laundry, dishes, and getting a new phone from AT&T.


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Ok, now on to the yummy part of the post…

While I was nibbling on these dark chocolate covered raisins from Trader Joe’s last week, I came to the conclusion that they would taste unbelievable in banana bread.  I HAD to test my theory.  I even picked up some overripe bananas at the store for just this reason.




If you’ve been reading LWYD for a while, then you have probably seen a fair share of banana bread recipes.  I have a bunch of them in my recipe binder and have found even more online.  For today’s bread, I went with Mom’s Banana Bread from Cooking Light.  Can you believe that I’ve had this recipe in my binder since 1996?!

I followed the banana bread recipe exactly.


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But only stirred the flour mixture briefly…




Before dumping in the majority of the dark chocolate covered raisins.


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I folded in the raisins until everything was just combined and then poured the dough into 4 prepared mini loaf pans.




I was worried that the raisins would sink to the bottom, but when I pulled the bread out of the oven 40 minutes later, it looked PERFECT!




I let the bread cool slightly and then immediately sliced off a piece to try…




The banana flavor in the bread was incredible, and the bread was full of warm, gooey dark chocolaty covered sweet raisins, that made my mouth very happy!




As strange as it may sound, banana bread and dark chocolate covered raisins make the perfect couple!




You should give it a try!!!  I recommend making the mini loafs to share with your friends!

Then sit back and say…Ahhhhh!


Here is my long list of favorite Banana Bread Recipes:

Classic Banana Bread

Clean Banana Bread

Flour’s Famous Banana Bread

One Bowl Banana Bread Walnut Bread

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Rum Coconut Banana Bread

Strawberry Banana Bread



On another note, I spent some time this weekend updating my Being Me (had to change my age and all), Eating Well, and Staying Active pages.  Next on my list is the Recipe Page.


And because Monday can never have enough randomness, I have to share the exciting news…

Mariano’s in Schaumburg (less than 2 miles from my house) opens tomorrow!  The BOY and I are already planning a trip there tomorrow night!


I hope you had a great Monday!  What did you do???



Dark Chocolate Covered Raisin Banana Bread

From Mom’s Banana Bread in Cooking Light

November 1996





1 cup sugar

1/4 cup light butter, softened

1 2/3 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)

1/4 cup skim milk

1/4 cup low-fat sour cream

2 large egg whites

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 container of Trader Joe’s dark chocolate covered raisins

Cooking spray



Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine sugar and butter in a bowl; beat at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended. Add banana, milk, sour cream, and egg whites; beat well, and set aside.

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt; stir well. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture, beating until just blended.  Fold in chocolate covered raisins

Spoon batter into 4 (5 x 2 1/2-inch) miniature loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pans. Let cool completely on wire racks.

Note: To make one 9-inch loaf, spoon batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray; bake at 350º for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Yield: 1 loaf, 20 servings (serving size: 1 slice).

6 thoughts on “Ahhhhh

  1. Happy belated Birthday! Sounds like you had a perfect weekend-
    I really enjoy reading your blog.


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