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BabyCakes NYC: Banana [chocolate chip] Bread

January 13, 2010

That’s it. I’m quitting my job and becoming a baker. Alright, likely I may be throwing the towel in to soon, I’m just ridiculously excited about this amazing banana bread recipe from Babycakes NYC (thank you Miss Lauren for my cookbook)! I will put money down that all you non-vegan, meat-eating foodies can’t tell this apart from the real deal (Reminder: real deal = sugar + eggs + butter + flour = + 5lbs). Between the bold flavor and the moist texture, you may be tempted to inhale the entire loaf (husband, guilty).

I knew someday I would live up to my maiden name, Baker.

NOTE: For the best results, I recommend you read the directions below and watch the video before you begin baking.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups gluten-free all-purpose baking flour (Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum (what is this?)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, plus more for the pan
  • 2/3 cup agave nectar
  • 2/3 cup rice milk
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

*Coconut oil is solid at room temperature and needs to melted in a saucepan before combining with the other wet ingredients. Be sure to let the oil cool before mixing.

Directions

Preheat oven 325 degrees (F). Lightly grease 7 x 4 x 3-inch loaf pan with oil.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt, and cinnamon. Add 1/2 cup oil and agave nectar, rice milk, and vanilla to the dry ingredients. Stir until the batter is smooth. Using a plastic spatula, gently fold in the bananas [& chocolate chips if you choose] until they are evenly distributed throughout the batter.

Fill the prepared pan halfway with batter. Bake the banana bread on the center rack for 35 minutes, rotating the pan 180 degrees after 20 minutes. The finished loaf will bounce back slightly when pressed and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean.

Let the banana bread stand in the pan for 20 minutes. Gently run a knife around the edge of the cake, cover the top of the pan with a cutting board, and invert the loaf on to the board. Carefully lift the pan away and re-invert the bread on to another cutting board. Either cut and serve warm or wait until completely cooled before storing. Cover the uncut banana bread with plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Makes 10 slices

DIY Shoe Bag

January 11, 2010
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Whether or not you can afford designer shoes that already come in their own fancy bag, they certainly aren’t as charming as the ones I spotted on Twig & Thistle (another favorite blogger of mine). This DIY shoe bag from Betz White would be the perfect [& inexpensive] gift for bridesmaids or perhaps your traveling shoe-loving girlfriend. Face it, shoes are essential to every woman’s outfit that it’s only necessary they have their own stylish tote.

Step by step tutorial, here.

New [style] Resolutions

January 6, 2010

Let’s be serious. Is this year really any different that the last five years when you made the same [typical] resolution to “lose weight” or “go to the gym every day”? Face it, your mother has the same resolution and it’s also a consistent intention of yours in both Spring and Summer. Right? While we always aim to be healthier and slimmer, let’s have a little more fun with our New Years Resolution this year and focus on the our style, which btw is just as important as being slim and fit.

“I will wear things that hug the body I’ve worked hard for”

I know what you’re thinking. Yes, if I had a body like that I’d wear tighter clothes too, but you get the point.

“I won’t dress scrubby on Sunday”

“I’ll take one big fashion risk”

“I’ll look pulled together and polished for work”

Apparently you’re more productive when you dress the part

“I’ll resist wearing a T-shirt and boxers to bed every night”

Fine, but only if I can crank the heat up. RIP Lululemon sweats and my old [stained] college sweatshirt

“I’ll stop being a wuss about wearing color”

“I’ll look hot at the gym”

I’m not recommending you wear this jacket, but again, you get the point.

Source: Women’s Health

My cheap luxury

December 29, 2009

Prosecco

Whether you’re hosting an event on New Years Eve or have been assigned to bring the cocktails, check out the 5 different drink recipes using Prosecco. I’m personally a fan, it’s usually less expensive, but feel free to swap out with champagne. Cheers!

1. Apricot Fizz

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp chilled apricot nectar or peach papaya mango juice
  • 1/2 cup chilled Prosecco
  • lime slices for garnish

Directions: Poor the apricot nectar in a champagne flute and top with Prosecco. Garnish with lime slices if desired.

2. Prosecco Blush

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup chilled sparkling grapefruit juice or pink grapefruit juice
  • 1/3 cup chilled Prosecco
  • 1 2-inch long strip of grapefruit zest for garnish

Directions: Pour grapefruit soda in a champagne flute and top with Prosecco. Garnish with zest.

3. Berry Sparkler

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries or blackberries
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup chilled Prosecco

Directions: Mash raspberries and sugar together with a fork. Spoon mixture into a champagne glass and top with Prosecco.

4. Pomegranate Cocktails

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle of Prosecco
  • 4 cups of Pomegranate juice
  • 1 tsp of shaved ginger

Directions: Combine all the ingredients into a glass jug and let it sit for about 20-30 minutes before you serve. Slice up some ginger lengthwise and it let marinate in the jug.

5. Prosecco Royale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tsp of crème de cassis
  • Chilled Prosecco

Directions: Pour 1/2 tsp of crème de cassis into 6 tall champagne flutes and top up with chilled Prosecco (1 bottle will serve 6)

Reminder: Don’t drink and drive. Call a cab. Happy [almost] New Year!

Thanks to That’s Fit, FoodNetwork, Delicious for the recipes!

Happy New Year, to me?

December 28, 2009

I die. (Translation: I love)

Thank you Rachel Zoe for introducing me to my new love, Sequintial.

Merry Merry Recovery

December 27, 2009
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Recovering from the Holidays? I am. Cheers.

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!

Reindeer Chow

December 23, 2009

Don’t forget about the Reindeer…(Hurry! Santa’s on his way & you don’t want him forgetting that little blue box, do you now?)

Reindeer Chow (a.k.a Puppy Chow) Recipe

Ingredients

  • 5 cups of Chex cereal
  • 1 cup Peanut butter
  • 12 oz package of semi-sweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 box of confectioner’s sugar

Directions

  1. Melt chocolate in microwave 1 minute at a time until melted
  2. Add peanut butter to melted chocolate and mix well
  3. In a large bowl (with a snap on lid), add melted chocolate and peanut butter to top of cereal and mix well
  4. Add confectioner’s sugar and cover bowl with lid. Shake well to coat thoroughly

No lid? Use a ziplock bag and shake well.

Just because this recipe is a kid favorite, doesn’t mean you can’t you can’t snack on or serve to your guests, it’s a universal favorite. Need a healthy version since your metabolism isn’t as fast as a 6-year-old? Health tip: Using the same recipe from above, don’t use the full box of confectioner’s sugar,  exchange corn Chex with wheat Chex and use natural peanut butter. Keep the chocolate, it’s good for your mental health. Holiday Holidays!

Thank you Bakerella for sharing the recipe!