Fudgy Banana Bread

Hi!

Fudgy Banana BreadCall it the dining hall blues, but every time I return to school after a trip home, I wish for a kitchen in which I can whip up my own meals. I’m grateful, of course, for the convenience and variety of my meal plan selections, but after a long day of classes and activities, my heart sometimes longs for a serving of homemade mac-and-cheese or a chocolate chip cookie fresh from the oven. I suppose my cravings speak to the power of comfort food and its ability to transport and soothe simultaneously.

For a prime example of such dishes, one can do no better than a loaf of banana bread — except, perhaps, by adding a bit of chocolate! When I saw this rich rendition of the household favorite, I knew instantly that I’d need to make it for myself. The recipe delivered: the bread is decadent, fudgy, and flavorful. It’s, in short, comfort food at its finest, a recipe that could easily make a sweet surprise for a friend. With all this said, it’s no wonder that today, as my sister recently informed me, is National Banana Bread Day. A dessert this beloved deserves a holiday to itself.

As always, some kitchen notes to keep in mind. First, you can keep this in the fridge (my family simply heats up slices in the microwave), but I find it best enjoyed the day it’s made. Second, you’re free to skip the sliced banana on top if you fear too sunken of a bread, but I love the look – and taste! – of it. And finally, I haven’t tried this with chocolate chips, but I imagine it would be an utter delightIf you’re feeling adventurous and try it out, I’d love to hear how it goes.

Fudgy Banana BreadFudgy Banana Bread Adapted from Alison Roman’s Dining In (via A Cup of Jo)

ingredients

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, separated
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (alternatively, use 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup all-purpose flour)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 5 ripe bananas, four mashed and one sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup full-fat sour cream

to make

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray or grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan, then sprinkle the pan with 1/4 cup granulated sugar so it is coated. Tap out excess sugar.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla for 3-5 minutes. Mixture will be light.
  4. Add the egg, and beat two minutes more.
  5. Slowly stir in the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Mix in the mashed bananas and sour cream by hand.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan. Place the banana halves, cut side up, on top. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar on top.
  7. Bake for 90-100 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (save for a few moist crumbs).
  8. Let cool before slicing, and enjoy!

Have a lovely Friday!
Bella

Banana Apple Bread

Hello!

Banana Apple BreadI’m a morning person. Friends of mine relish their chances to sleep in, but myself? I love to wake up early. Although I enjoy and am generally positive at any point in the day, I’ve found mornings are when I’m most productive and creative, due to in part, my typical wake-up routine: a brief yoga sequence, making my bed {do you agree that unmade beds are the worst?}, and eating breakfast. Having control of my schedule is a luxury, of course, but I couldn’t start my day without sitting down to eat and reading the news.

I suppose my strict breakfast eating habit is supported by my love of baking, as it’s rare that there isn’t a batch of muffins or a loaf of quick bread sitting in my family’s fridge. Cereal is my staple, but when the mid-week slump hits, a baked good is a sure way to brighten my day {it’s all in moderation, friends}. The following recipe takes advantage of apple season, combining the autumnal fruit with bananas and peanut butter. It seems like an unusual pairing, especially with the addition of chocolate chips, but it surprisingly works; the bread is delicious, inventive, and welcoming all at once. Bake a loaf for this week, and bake another to freeze for later use. You’ll be grateful to have it ready when you’ve eaten it all by Sunday.

I’ll keep your secret, though – we morning people have to stick together :)

Banana Apple BreadBanana Apple Bread Adapted from Averie Cooks

ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup Greek or plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas {from 2-3 bananas}
  • 1 cup grated apples, skin removed if desired {I used one large Gala apple!}
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips

to make

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the egg, brown sugar, oil, sugar, yogurt, peanut butter, and vanilla.
  3. Mix in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, taking care not to overmix.
  4. Fold in the bananas, apples, and chocolate chips.
  5. Grease a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan. Pour and spread the batter into the pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.
  6. Bake for one hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The top should be a golden brown.
  7. Let bread cool for ten minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy! {Bread can be wrapped and kept in freezer for up to six months.}

Have a lovely Tuesday!
Bella

Psst. Looking for your daily book review? I know, I can’t get enough of book blogging either. No worries, I have you covered – I shared another post at Lit Up Review last week!

Cheese and Sausage Quiche

Hi!

Cheese and Sausage QuicheAfter eating through a delicious spread of breakfast slab pie, chocolate chip bread, and fresh fruit on Easter, I’ve determined there’s no better meal than brunch. Can you ever go wrong with home-cooked breakfast dishes, no matter the time of day?! Even the most casual of brunches, however, require a bit of prep; my go-to recipe is a simple quiche, complete with seasonal vegetables that complement the buttery crust. Most quiche recipes share a similar foundation, but the fun comes with the “mix-ins,” like the sausage, red peppers, and cheese here. It’s tasty {I wouldn’t share it otherwise}, but it’s healthy too. If you’re anything like me, low-calorie dishes are welcome in the presence of mini Cadbury eggs :) Save this recipe for your next brunch, prep for a week’s worth of breakfasts, or bring it to a casual gathering of friends – it’s fit for any occasion!

Cheese and Sausage Quiche Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup milk {I used skim.}
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2/3 cup shredded cheese {cheddar, mozzarella, you choose!}
  • 2 cooked sausage links {I used chicken sausage.}
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1 clove roasted garlic, chopped
  • 1 prepared 9-inch pie crust
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

to make

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, milk, salt, pepper, and cheese until combined.
  3. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the sausage to the pan and break apart with a wooden spoon until it starts to brown, about five minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Once the sausage has cooled, combine it, the red pepper, the yellow onion, and the garlic with the egg mixture. Set aside.
  5. Place the pie crust in a nine-inch pie dish. Pour the egg mixture into the crust, and sprinkle with the grated Parmesan cheese.
  6. Bake the quiche for thirty-five to forty-five minutes, or until the filling is set. Let it cool in the dish before removing to cool completely on the wire rack. Enjoy!

Have a terrific day!
Bella