Two bananas walk into a bar….

…..and become banana bread! Didn’t see that one coming, did ya?

Lame jokes aside, what do you do when you want banana bread but don’t have enough mushy bananas? You add peanut butter to the recipe of course.  And some chocolate chips, turning the boring old banana bread into a yummylicious dessert. Can’t go wrong with bananas, peanut butter, and chocolate! This recipe is also super easy, so you don’t need to drag out your stand mixer and make a big mess. You just need a bowl, measuring utensils, and a whisk and away you go. Love easy recipes 🙂

Ingredients:

2 cups flour

3/4 tsp baking soda

2 medium bananas, overripe and mashed

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup buttermilk (if you don’t have buttermilk, add 1 tbsp white vinegar to the measured milk and stir, and then let it sit for a few minutes to thicken. Magic!)

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla sugar

1 cup chocolate chips (I used semi sweet, but milk or dark chocolate chips would also work)

Make It:

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease your loaf pan with butter or the handy-dandy cooking spray.

-Stir the baking soda into your measured flour, set aside.

-In a large bowl, whisk together the bananas, sugars, peanut butter, buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. It will be lumpy, and that is okay.

-Add your flour mixture to the wet ingredients, and fold together until incorporated. Again, lumps are okay, just make sure all the flour is mixed in properly. Now, gently stir in the chocolate chips.

-Pour the batter into your loaf pan and smooth the top. Bake for 60-75 mins, until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs. If it seems to be browning too quickly, you can place a piece of foil over the top. If you’d like an added crunch to the top of the bread, sprinkle with 1/4 cup brown sugar about 10 minutes before it comes out of the oven.

-Once baked, let rest in pan about 10 minutes then turn out to cool completely. The bread can be stored at room temperature for up to a week, just make sure to wrap it in plastic wrap. 

And here it is, in all its yummyness!

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Have a sugarrific day!

M xoxo

 

 

Tips-y Tuesday Tip #3

Hello my fine followers! It is Tuesday once again, and that means it is time for another handy tip!

Baby wipes: Not just for babies anymore!

It’s true. If you ask me how to clean anything, I will probably tell you to use a baby wipe. I discovered these glorious little wipes when I had a baby (duh) and 5 years later, I am still using them. We used to buy the fancy Pampers or Huggies brand, but since my baby isn’t a baby anymore, I switched to the Parent’s Choice Walmart brand. They work just as well and are more affordable, which means I am okay with using them around the house. And no harsh chemicals either 🙂

Here are a few ways I use baby wipes in my home: (I’m sure there are many more uses, too!)

-to get rid of pen marks on clothing or furniture

-clean salt/dirt/dust from suede boots

-to wipe the cat’s paws when she gets into a mess

-erase marks on walls

-get rid of food colouring and ink on hands

-as a laundry pre-treatment: rub on stain as soon as it happens, then wash. Good as new!

-a quick swipe is all it takes to keep my purses looking brand new

-sticky car seat? baby wipe to the rescue!

-a quick way to clean up toys and stuffed animals

All hail the mighty baby wipe! 

Until next Tuesday…

M xoxo

 

 

Tips-y Tuesday Tip #2

Hope your Tuesday has been awesome so far! Mine was, and very productive too which is always good.

Today’s tip is something I’ve mentioned before; and honestly can’t stress it enough. Re-purpose your cake/cookie/baking supplies! I always get people asking me how I got my cake or cookies to be such-and-such a shape, and really it is no big secret if you learn how to “build” things in edible forms. Cookie cutters can be used for many different shapes, so really there’s no need to buy out the cookie cutter section at Michaels, although I’m sure they’d love it if you did. Cakes can also be made round or square and then stacked/cut/carved into infinite shapes with a little imagination. And the best part? No two will be alike 🙂

So use your imagination to find new uses for supplies you already have. Your wallet, and your other half (who is being pushed out of the house by a never-ending pile of baking supplies) will thank you!!

Until next Tuesday…

M xoxo

Tips-y Tuesday Tip # 1

Happy Tuesday everyone! As promised, here is today’s tip:

Gritty royal icing: is there a solution??

Yes! Some types of meringue powder have a grittier consistency, so put an end to that pesky gritty icing by tweaking the recipe a bit. Try mixing your meringue powder and water together first until foamy, and then adding the powdered sugar. Beat until stiff and peaky, about 5-10 minutes. Your royal icing should turn out nice and smooth!

Until next Tuesday…

M xoxo

Sweet Valentine’s Cookies

Who loves Valentine’s Day?! …… Hello? Anyone home??

Ok, so there are not that many people out there who love Valentine’s Day. As kids it was exciting to get little cards and candy from friends at school, but as adults, we know it’s just another day for the stores to make money. Sure, there can be a romantic side to it, but that has been overshadowed by the commercialism. Pretty much like every other holiday. Sigh…

Anywhoo, personally I don’t care too much for Valentine’s Day, aside from the chocolate.  I have to pretend to get a little excited for the benefit of my little one, but really I think we should love each other all the time not just one day out of the year. Of course though, since we make cookies for every other holiday, it is necessary to have Valentine’s Day cookies too. Any excuse to cover things in pink icing is a good excuse in my books 🙂

I decided to go with the usual shapes that my little one would recognize, like hearts and lips. I also wanted to add some writing to the cookies, to help her with spelling and letters. I got an adorable set of square scalloped cutters in different sizes and thought the largest one would be perfect for little “cards” and “envelopes”.

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I used my chocolate sugar cookie recipe, because we love chocolate. Here are the lovely cut-outs below, ready to be baked!

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For the decorating, I used 25-second royal icing, so that I could outline and flood all in one step. I personally like how the cookies turn out and it is easier to use the bottles for both instead of using piping bags as well. The colours used were red, light pink, white, and bright blue. I wanted to add another pop of colour to all the reds and pinks that you usually see for Valentine’s Day, and the blue seemed to do the trick.

The lips and hearts were simple to outline and flood, but I wanted to show you a little trick for the scalloped squares. Instead of outlining each little scallop, I put a dot of icing on each one, and then connected them with a line of icing. Kind of like connect-the-dots for cookies 🙂 Much easier and less messy this way.

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Once the outlines were done,  I just filled in the middle, which would be the “paper” the message would be written on. I let that dry for about an hour, and then used the blue icing to write on the messages and add details to the envelopes. I kept the messages simple so that the little squirt could read them, and I think they turned out sweet.

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Once the hearts and lips were outlined and filled, I added some heart sprinkles to the lips and some details to the hearts. No stencils or anything, I just wanted to keep these simple and fun.

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And here they are, all together and looking fabulous!

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What a great way to celebrate love; with yummy cookies!

Have a sugarrific day!

M xoxo

Tips-y Tuesdays!

Ugh, who else is sick of winter? Nothing like a Canadian winter to induce the blahs. I am tired of the snow, slush, and mess outside and having to wash everything endlessly because it is all so dirty. Yuck! Too many layers, static-filled hair and frozen fingertips….where are you Spring?!

Ok, enough complaining! I wanted to introduce a new feature to my blog called “Tips-y Tuesdays”. I know what you’re thinking, Tuesday is way too early in the week to start drinking. Although we deserve a drink for surviving the dreaded Monday! Especially when it involves fighting the weather…..grrr….

Anyway,  this new feature  won’t be about drinking (or the weather) at all. Instead, I will focus on tips that have to do with cake decorating, baking, and a mom’s life in general.  I will write about different things I’ve learned along the way, tips that work for me,  and also include some product reviews. Hopefully it will be interesting and inspiring!

If you’d like to see a specific topic or product review, or have another suggestion for a future post, please feel free to drop me a line. I would love to hear from you!

Until next Tuesday…

M xoxo