Brown Butter Banana Bread from Seriously Delish

Last week Jessica Merchant from How Sweet It Is, my favorite blog ever, came to Boston for a book signing of her brand new cookbook Seriously Delish. I have never bought a book as soon as it came out until this one- I made the Mr order it for me like the week it came out. I’ve been reading through the whole thing cover to cover like a novel, which I’ve also never done before with a cookbook. But there’s a little blurb to read with each recipe and it’s almost like getting a mini blog post on every single page.

Anyway, last week I went to see the writer and had her sign my book! I figured after that I couldn’t wait any longer to make one of the recipes, even if I hadn’t finished reading through the whole thing yet. Deciding what to make was the hard part. Glancing through the pages I had already read, I stopped today on the brown butter banana bread. Today was one of those days where I woke up feeling exhausted already and had a lot of trouble getting motivated. The windows were still open, but it was super windy and had a fall chill to the air. I was in the mood to be cozy and have the house smell nice. Also I didn’t want to have to go to the store to get any ingredients I wouldn’t already have. Banana bread seemed perfect. I had everything I needed and it was a perfect excuse to use up all bananas I keep sticking in the freezer as they turn brown. brown butter banana bread

I ended up only using three bananas. The recipe says to use about four mushy bananas, or about 1 1/4 cup. I had over 1 1/4 cups with only three bananas (I don’t know if this was partly because I was too impatient to let them totally defrost and the iciness added a bit of volume, or what, but it came out perfect). I also added a little extra cinnamon because I was in a cinnamony mood. The bread came out nicely. Not dry at all, very moist, but not overly moist and mushy which sometimes happens to me with banana bread.

All in all, a great success for my first recipe from Seriously Delish. I can’t wait to make another one!

:Brown Butter Banana Bread from Seriously Delish:

INGREDIENTS

1 stick of butter, browned

1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar

1/2 cup canned coconut milk

4 very ripe bananas, mashed- about 1 1/4 cup (I only used 3)

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 2/3 cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (I used 1/2 teaspoon)

ASSEMBLY

1 Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 5×9 inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.

2 In a large bowl, whisk together the browned butter and brown sugar. Once it is combined, stir in the coconut milk, bananas, eggs, and vanilla extract. In a small bowl, whisk together the four, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

3 Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix them with a large spoon until just combined. Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan. Bake the bread for 60 to 65 minutes, rotating the pan once during the cooking time. Remove the bread from the oven and let cool in the loaf pan for 20 minutes, Gently remove the bread and place on a cutting board or counter lined with parchment paper. Let cool completely before cutting. <- Yeah right!

Cheesy Italian Herb Popcorn

Growing up my family never had a microwave. I didn’t notice it was that weird really, as I had never been used to having one and never really thought twice about it until friends would come over and find it shocking that we didn’t have one. The only time I ever missed having a microwave was once I discovered microwave popcorn. It was the biggest treat ever for me when I would go over to my friends’ houses and be able to make microwave popcorn during sleepovers. It’s still one of my favorite treats, although shortly after discovering it, I also discovered how bad it was for you and realized I should not be eating it much. Even once I had my own microwave in college I would only buy microwave popcorn once in a very blue moon.

cheesy italian popcorn

One upside to the whole growing up with no microwave thing, was that I knew how to make stovetop popcorn from a very young age. Yes, we did still eat popcorn when I was young, and for a while I didn’t even realize that there was another kind besides what my family made, which was a whole different genre of popcorn. While stovetop and microwave popcorn are two totally different things, I have always also loved stovetop popcorn too. One of the best parts is that you can customize it so much. Our go to in my family was to pour melted butter over the popcorn and add brewers yeast. Later on, I discovered different options and began playing around with other toppings. One of my current favorites is parmesan cheese with some garlic powder and Italian seasonings. A bit of all my favorite things!

:Cheesy Italian Herb Popcorn:

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup popcorn kernels

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon parmesan cheese shake

1 teaspoon salt, plus additional shake

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

shake of pepper

ASSEMBLY

Place medium pot over medium-high heat and add vegetable oil and popcorn kernels and a shake of salt. Place top on pot and give it a good shake so that the kernels are covered by the oil and distributed along the bottom of the pot. Let sit until popcorn starts popping, giving additional shakes to the pot periodically to mix it all up and keep the kernels moving. Once you can count more than three seconds between pops, turn off the heat and pour popcorn into a large bowl. Add seasonings and mix it in. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Banana Nutella Dessert Smoothie

One of the first purchases we made for our new home when we were buying the house was our nice blender. We seriously bought it right away and it came months before we were even able to start moving into the house. It killed me to see it sitting there in it’s box every single day and not be able to take it out and use it. I think the anticipation of getting to try it out and the deprivation of not getting to use it made me use it even more once I finally could. I really didn’t even make smoothies or anything in a blender that often before, even when I had one. I think part of it was due to the fact that it always seemed like such a pain to hoist it out of its cabinet every time, and also I never had a very nice one so it didn’t work very well anyway. peanut butter banana nutella smoothie

Now our shiny beautiful blender sits right on the counter. It has had prime real estate ever since we first set up the kitchen. And it gets a lot of use! I use the blender almost every day, and sometimes more than once a day. I love a smoothie in the morning (although I usually have it as more of a mid morning snack because I often want something more substantial when I first wake up). And especially in the summer, with all kinds of fresh fruit andberries around, it can make the perfect afternoon pick me up. There are all kinds of different things you can blend up, and while I generally stick to fruit smoothies, I also sometimes blend my iced coffee into a kind of homemade frappuchino, or do a peanut butter banana smoothie if I want something a little more decadent. This peanut butter banana Nutella one tastes like dessert, but it’s only got one scoop of chocolate in it. (And I know plenty of people who don’t even consider Nutella the same as chocolate- it’s a snack! It’s breakfast! It can be anything, apparently). With the peanut butter, banana, and greek yogurt, it’s a snack that will get you through the rest of your day, but with a little extra sweetness that makes you think you just might be drinking a milkshake. And that’s always a treat.

:Peanut Butter Banana Nutella Dessert Smoothie:

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)

1 banana

2 tablespoons peanut butter

1 tablespoon Nutella

1/2 cup milk

1 cup ice

ASSEMBLY

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend on smooth until smooth. Add more ice to make it thicker, if desired.

Healthy Coconut Granola

I have always loved granola but don’t love how expensive it can be at the store or all the added sugars that get put into it, making it less good for you than you think. I never thought about making it myself until the beginning of this summer when I kept seeing recipes for it that looked amazing and even my mother told me she made some homemade granola and it was great. I ended up combining a lot of different recipes I saw and throwing in whatever I thought looked like it would be a good addition, and ended up with a super simple, unique granola that is worth making every week or so to have on hand. It makes a yummy, filling breakfast, or you can have a small bowl or a dry handful for a satisfying snack. I end up having it right before bed when my tummy starts grumbling and nothing else sounds good.

Coconut Granola

I like to make this on a Sunday afternoon while doing chores around the house. It’s super easy to make, but you do have to keep an eye on it in the oven to make sure it doesn’t start to get too brown– it can literally be a matter of seconds when it goes from toasted to burned. Making a jar of this makes it feel like I’ve done something to prepare for the week and I like knowing I have something healthy to eat whenever I’ll need it, no matter what comes up!

:Coconut Granola:

INGREDIENTS

2 1/2 cups Oats

1/2 cups Sliced Almonds

1/2 cups Coconut (shredded, flaked, or combination)

1/4 cups Flax Seeds

1/4 cups Sunflower Seeds

1/4 cups Chia Seeds

1/4 cups Maple Syrup

1/4 cups Coconut Oil

ASSEMBLY

Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix together oats, almonds, flax, sunflower, chia seeds in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl combine maple syrup and coconut oil (if it gets thick, microwave for ten seconds and stir again). Pour syrup mixture over oat mixture and stir to incorporate. Spread onto baking sheet in an even layer and bake for ten minutes. Remove from oven and carefully mix with a wooden spoon so that the pieces that were on top and browning get mixed back in. Spread back out into even layer and bake ten more minutes. Remove from oven again and add coconut, mixing carefully to combine. Spread back out and make for ten more minutes. You may want to mix it up again halfway through this time, depending on the size of your coconut (big flakes that stick out more will burn faster so you will want to stir it after five minutes again). Once it is all looking nice and toasty light brown, remove from oven and let cool. When completely cool, pour into a glass jar to store.