Almond Chocolate Banana Bread {9 WW+ Breakfast}

We always have a bunch of bananas on our countertops. It's just the easiest way to get breakfast on the go when we're running from one activity or another. So sometimes we're left with a few very ripe bananas that no one is willing to eat. And we have to use them up so I am always looking for a good banana bread recipe. I've finally found one that I think I'll stick with for a while.

The best part about this recipe is that it's so light and airy. The bread is not dense at all. I think the cake flour really helps. And it was a total accident that I used cake flour instead of AP or whole wheat flour because we were out of everything else. I am NEVER out of flour. I mean I use it weekly so we're always buying it but I'm glad I was out. The substitution was great! And the addition of a chocolate bar made the bread even more amazing.

I recommend enjoying this banana bread the same day it's baked for the best results. I found that when I placed it in an airtight container for safe keeping that it lost that delicious crunch to the crust of the bread. And I think that the crust was the other reason why I fell in love with this recipe. But if you must, you can store and serve later. I'm sure it'll be gobbled up quickly though!

Inspired By FamilyFun

The Best Banana Bread
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 medium-large very ripe bananas (1 cup mashed)
  • 1/2 cup plain non-fat greek yogurt
  • 1 Hershey's Chocolate Bar with Almonds, broken into small pieces

Heat the oven to 325ยบ. Line a 5- by 9-inch loaf pan, preferably one with a light interior, with enough waxed paper to drape over the long sides. This will make the baked bread a cinch to remove and the pan easy to clean. Set the pan aside

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl. In a large bowl, cream the butter using an electric mixer. Gradually add the sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Next, add the vanilla extract and blend briefly. Set both bowls aside.

Peel the bananas and place them in a separate bowl. Mash them with a fork or a potato masher and measure out 1 cup. Add the sour cream and stir to blend. Set the bowl aside.

Using a wooden spoon, blend a third of the dry mixture into the butter-sugar mixture. Add the rest of the ingredients in this order, stirring well after each addition: half of the banana mixture, half of the remaining dry mixture, the rest of the banana mixture, the rest of the dry mixture. Next, fold in chocolate pieces.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spoon. Bake on the center oven rack until a tester inserted deep into the center of the bread comes out clean, about 70 to 75 minutes.

Transfer the bread to a cooling rack and cool it in the pan for about 20 minutes. Using the waxed paper, lift the bread from the pan and place it on the rack. Pull down the sides of the paper and allow the bread to cool thoroughly before slicing.

10 Servings | 9 WW+ Points

My Daughter's First Photo Contest {Please Vote!}

Ok, friends and family in the blogging world, I need your help! I've entered my youngest, Molly, into a photo contest and would LOVE it if she won. My good friend, Tessa, of Grin & Share It Photography is holding a contest for the cutest summertime photo of your child(ren).

I spent a lot of time trying to come up with the perfect photo. I even staged a few mini-shoots including one beach time fun in our sandbox and one picnic scene in Uncle Andrew's back yard. But the best one out of the bunch was of Miss M "gardening" in our front yard. Her favorite thing to do lately is pull all of our weeds out (and try to eat them) so I thought this not only turned out to be an awesome photo but it also captured what she is really into this summer. No sand and water for her... it's all about the dirt and mud!

Today is the last day to vote and voting ends at 2pm PST so if you could follow the instructions below we'd be very grateful! 

So to vote please go to Grin & Share It Photography's facebook page and like her page. Then go to Molly's photo (#8 - here) and comment on it with your vote (likes don't count). I really appreciate any and all votes for my baby girl!

The other two I was choosing from (click on photo to enlarge):

Banana Freeze {0 WW+ Dessert}

I first heard of this over on the Weight Watchers message board. And when I read it I had to go to Google and find a recipe to make sure it was real. Well... it was! And although the results weren't *exactly* like jumping into a pint of Ben & Jerry's it was pretty darn close. And my son couldn't tell the difference. His bowl was cleaned (and licked) within 5 minutes.

Since it's so easy to make I highly suggest you putting some bananas in the freezer now so you can make this in the afternoon. It's summer! You need a light and cool snack to refresh you and this is just the thing. And you might find that making it is pretty fun and kid/baby friendly too. Next time we make this I'm going to play with mix ins. I could imagine a handful of walnuts or some peanut butter chips would knock this treat out of the park!

Inspired By: The Kitchn

Banana Freeze Ice Cream
  • 3 bananas
Peel bananas and dice into small pieces. Place banana pieces in a ziploc bag or a plate and freeze for 1-2 hours. Place frozen bananas in the blender and turn it on. When the bananas go up the sides of the blender scrape them down back into the bottom and wait for the magic to happen.

Once the bananas resemble soft serve ice cream transfer to a bowl, stick a spoon in and enjoy! If you'd like top with some chocolate syrup 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

I got the idea for this cupcake when I was reading Dorie's Baking from my Home to Yours in search of a great dessert for my family reunion. I was looking in the brownie section at her chipster brownies (great picture here by Brown Eyed Baker) but really didn't want to have to make a couple of batches. So I started thinking of other ways to incorporate these flavors and decided on a cupcake!

This recipe is pretty fun to make and my 2 year old loved helping scoop the cookie dough and place it into each cupcake liner. The best part is that even though I chose to bake from scratch you don't have to! If boxed cake and refridgerated cookie dough are more your style than by all means use that instead and I'm sure you'll end up with the same results. Next time I'm going to make brownie cupcakes!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin tins or line with cupcake wrappers. Place 1 tablespoon of cookie dough in each liner (or use a cookie dough scoop). Add 1/3 cup of cake batter on top of each scoop of cookie dough. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting. Add chocolate chips to the tops of each frosted cupcake and serve!

Serves 24 | No WW+ Info

Pizza Balls {7 WW+ Dinner}

I really love pizza. And no matter what I do I can't stop thinking about it when I'm watching what I eat. So instead of being tempted to order a pizza from my favorite pizza place I try and make it at home more often than not.  So I needed to change things around. Step it up a bit. And I was taken back to a meal that my mom made for us growing up. I had some pizza dough from Trader Joe's in the fridge so I figured I'd try to wing it and hope for the best.

Well my attempt not only turned out good... it turned out better than I remembered! I was so excited to share this meal with Joseph and E and was super happy to find out that their reaction was very pleased. E even asked me to make them again the next day. And he was going to help :) This is now on our monthly rotation as either dinner or lunch and E always helps add the toppings and roll up the pizza dough into balls.

Inspiration: Family meal from my childhood (my mom)

Pizza Balls
  • 1 ball of pizza dough (I used Trader Joe's whole wheat)
  • 1 serving Hormel Pepperoni (14 slices/28g)
  • 1/2 cup Trader Joe's Three Cheese Blend
  • 1/2 cup diced crimini mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 cups spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup marinara sauce, for dipping
Place pizza stone in oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Divide dough into 6 equal pieces and roll out each piece into a 4-5" circle. Place an equal amount of each topping in the middle of the dough circle and bring the edges of the circle up over the toppings. Pinch edges together to form a ball. Repeat with the other circles.

Take pizza stone out of the oven and place pizza balls on stone. Bake for 9-10 minutes or until the pizza balls are golden brown. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving with marinara dipping sauce.

Serves 6 | 7 WW+ Points

Rosemary Corn Muffins {5 WW+ Side}

Chili is something I throw together quite often. I have posted various recipes on this blog and always seem to be changing it up. The one thing I don't do is spice up the side, usually broccoli or a corn muffin or corn cake. So tonight I had some extra time (read: youngest was sleeping and oldest was playing quietly in his room) to whip up some corn bread muffins with just a little oomph in them.

The rosemary just makes these muffins so much more than corn muffins. And while they are pointy, they're worth it. Plus chili usually doesn't add up to too many points when you add as many veggies in as I do. This time I even threw in some mushrooms I had left over. Yum!

Inspiration: Dorie Greenspan's Baking from My Home to Yours

Rosemary Corn Muffins
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup corn meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, finely chopped 
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk 
  • 1 cup baby corn ears

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prep muffin tin with either cooking spray or liners.

Mix dry ingredients together. If you'd like more rosemary flavor, mix rosemary and sugar and rub together with your fingers. Set aside.

Whisk wet ingredients together (leave corn out) and pour into dry ingredients. Whisk or stir together with a spatula. Don't overstir and don't worry about lumps! Once everything is combined fold in the corn.

Fill muffin tin and bake for 15-18 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack and enjoy with a nice bowl of chili!

WFD? Week of 6/5/2011 {Weekly Meal Planning}

Ok, ok... I know I've been a HORRIBLE blogger these past two weeks. But the same excuse I use every time I take a little break really is true! I've been super busy with work, the kids, the house and sticking with my weight loss. So far I'm doing pretty well. I'm down just under 14 pounds and finished my first 5K two weeks ago! How awesome is that? 

And another thing that's been keeping me busy is that I've been working three days a week vs. my normal two. But that's all about to change soon. Without going into too much detail I have had to quit my job to stay home with my kids. My 6 month old has always refused a bottle but now it's getting way too hard to keep her distracted during the day while I'm at work. So I'll have a bit more time to stick with my menu and keep the recipes coming!

Monday -
Chili w/ cornbread 

Tuesday - 7 WW+ Points
Pizza Balls & Salad (made these for lunch on Saturday and they were awesome!)

Wednesday -
Garlic Chicken with maybe a tad less olive oil

Thursday -
Chicken Enchiladas (w/ leftovers from garlic chicken) 

Friday -
Eating Out

Saturday -
Pot Roast via Alton Brown

Sunday -
Tomato Basil Soup & Grilled Cheese Sammies via Peppercorn Press


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...