Banana Cream Bread

Good Morning!

Hard to believe the weekend has already come & gone. It went way too quickly. I actually had to work most of the weekend, to play ‘catch up,’ because I wasn’t able to do much during the week. This past week was pretty rough with Gabriella, and I tie it mainly to teething. I feel bad, I really wish I could help her because I know she has to be in pain.

One thing that kind of caught me off guard though is that she is kind of going through a regression. We got over the ‘only Mommy can hold me or be around me’ phase about a month or so ago….or so I thought. It’s baaaaaaaaaaack!

She only wants to be around me, or have me hold her. Most of the time she won’t even go to Craig, well I take that back, she will go to him, but only if she can see me. If I’m out of the room she has a break down. Just to further explain how much the attachment phase has come back, I can’t even take a shower or bath without her. She actually crawled into the shower with me while I had her playing on the floor. The second she saw me, she came right in (the door was open of course- I have my eye on her the entire time) WITH her clothes & diaper on. I just had to laugh! She looked up at me like, ‘oh hey Mom! I just wanted to get cleaned up too.’ Love that little girl & I love how much she makes me laugh.

Aviary Photo_130178659432049396

Sometimes it’s hard though, because I really can’t get any help. I just remind myself that she won’t be this little for long, and it’s actually pretty cute HOW much she wants to be with me. And one of my VERY FAVORITE things is that when she goes to look for me if I am out of the room, is that she heads straight to the kitchen! LOVE that!! She knows how much her Mommy likes to cook.

The other day I had a bunch of super ripe bananas. (YUCK!) I always buy a ton because Gabriella will eat them too- especially in her morning oatmeal. Her favorite breakfast right now is oatmeal with chia seeds, mashed banana and a little bit of YoBaby banana smoothie mixed in. It’s quite tasty, I must say. She has good taste! Smile

I also had one of my very favorite packages arrive in the same day.

IMG_6972

Makes my day when you see this arrive on your porch! Chobani is my very favorite yogurt company, not only for their delicious yogurt, but also because they have one of the VERY BEST customer service teams. I love how they instantly respond to comments on any social media and always want to make the consumers happy! You don’t see that too often these days.

When I opened up the box I happily found a TON of yogurt!

Aviary Photo_130188887729898165

0% Vanilla, 0% Plain & 2% Plain. I really like the new labeling for the vanilla! The plain varieties are PERFECT substitutions for so much like sour cream, heavy cream, oil, butter, mayonnaise, and cream cheese.

Once I saw that I had over ripe bananas and a new shipment of Chobani, my mind got to work & I decided to make quick bread, because that’s what over ripe bananas are best for. Smile

One of my favorite desserts is actually banana pudding, or banana cream pie. NOTHING is better than homemade banana pudding with fresh cream, bananas & vanilla wafers. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. I wanted to re-create that same flavor, but in bread form. That is how this recipe came to be- Banana Cream Bread.

Aviary Photo_130188885282902973

Banana Cream Bread

(adapted from this recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt (I used 0% Chobani)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour  
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 large ripe bananas, mashed (the riper the better)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, divided

Directions:

  • In a large bowl, cream butter, and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add Greek yogurt and vanilla; mix well.
  • Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; stir into creamed mixture just until moistened. Fold in mashed banana and 1/4 cup nuts.
  • Pour into a greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pan. Sprinkle with remaining nuts. Bake at 350° for 65-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Yield: 1 loaf.

Aviary Photo_130188886366826965

Aviary Photo_130188886903863430

The addition of the Greek yogurt gives the bread a nice flavor, and adds in the ‘cream’ flavor without the added calories & fat of REAL cream.

The house had such a nice smell while it was baking, and of course I could barely wait for it to cool before slicing it. So I had to cut a few slices since the first couple crumbled, which meant I had to eat them. Smile

I know that there are THOUSANDS of banana bread recipes, but I guarantee you this one will not leave you disappointed!

I know it’s hard to think about, but tell me your favorite part of Monday.
Mine is that it’s long run day!! I truly enjoy starting the week off with a long run- usually 12-13 miles, just depends on how my legs feel…and if my child will continue to nap Winking smile

If you eat Chobani, what’s your favorite flavor?

Advertisements

Strawberries N’ Cream Bread + Video of Gabriella

So apart for the sleep training & a few nights of crying, Gabriella is at a REALLY fun age! I feel like I say that every time I talk about her age, but seriously it just keeps getting more fun. Her little personality just comes out more & more.

She also started crawling…which of course was HUGE! I caught it on video (I hope it works- if it doesn’t work & you want to see it, try playing it in ‘full screen’ mode), which you can see below. Please don’t fun of my voice- I was sick (very sick!) & of course I was doing baby talk. Winking smile

As you can see her funny crawl is more of a frog hop- she looks hilarious!

Monday night we started baby proofing because the first thing that caught her attention are the outlets and she is UNSTOPPABLE. Even though she ‘hops’ along she can MOVE! My Mom was cracking up when she saw her. She was like ‘well, it’s definitely not a ‘normal’ crawl, but she is crawling!’

We also had to add a baby gate to the front of our TV/ DVD area because she pretty much attacks the DVDs the second we aren’t looking. (which doesn’t happen anymore, this was before we realized HOW mobile she really was)

Aviary Photo_130172667367327297

(Mom: Please note which movie we are watching, Despicable Me, and please notice the part that it is currently on. Winking smile She’s definitely your grandchild because it is actually the only movie she will sit and watch. Not that I can blame her! Smile )

I also love how much Gabriella loves being in the kitchen. She can be incredibly fussy & then I bring her into the kitchen with me while I cook dinner and she LOVES it. I can already tell she is going to be the BEST kitchen helper! I am VERY much looking forward to making Christmas cookies with her this year!!! It makes my heart melt when I think about it.

The other day our afternoon walk plans were ruined. It was POURING outside & there was NO way that we could do anything outdoors. I could tell Gabriella was getting a little antsy, so I figured we would head to the kitchen & figure out something to bake.

I looked through a few recipes & decided on Strawberries N’ Cream bread. It is the perfect summertime bread, full of fresh strawberries & Greek yogurt for the ‘cream.’

IMG_5733

I changed a few things around to make this bread a bit healthier and no one will know the difference between the original recipe & this ‘health-ified’ recipe, I guarantee it Smile

Strawberries N’ ‘Cream’ Bread

(adapted from this recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup Truvia baking blend*
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt (I used 0% Chobani)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

*If you prefer not to use the Truvia baking blend, just use 3/4 cup sugar & omit the 1/4 cup additional sugar.

Directions:

  • In a large bowl, cream butter, Truvia and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg, then egg white. Add Greek yogurt and vanilla; mix well.
  • Combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; stir into creamed mixture just until moistened. Fold in strawberries and 1/4 cup nuts.
  • Pour into a greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pan. Sprinkle with remaining nuts. Bake at 350° for 65-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Yield: 1 loaf.

Aviary Photo_130172676540171220

Not only did I have a very happy baby (happy baby, happy life Winking smile ) while we were baking, but I also ended up with a DELICIOUS quick bread that we could all enjoy! Not only did we enjoy it by the slice, but it’s also good crumbled in yogurt, Chobani of course. Open-mouthed smile 

The best part about this recipe is that you probably have all of the ingredients in your house right now! And you may just want to try this bread out for your July 4th holiday breakfast. Perfect way to start the day.

Any fun plans for tomorrow?? Do share!

We are heading to Jacksonville to see my family & to see some of my friends. I can’t wait!! And of course I can’t wait for Gabriella to see fireworks!! I have a feeling she’s going to love them!

Start of Summer

It’s officially summer in our house. You know the whole ‘opening of the beaches’ usually marks the summer season for many cities around the country? Well, in our house it’s the first Slurpee run.

IMG_5224

(& no, she’s not really drinking it!)

I saw a sign for the new Sprite flavored Slurpee as I was getting gas & KNEW I had to try it; it’s delicious, by the way, and I will back for more…probably today. 😉

IMG_5252

I am a HUGE Slurpee lover. Anything cold is so refreshing in this Florida heat (the heat index is over 100 here), especially Slurpees and Italian Ice, specifically Jeremiah’s Italian ice.

I love how we can have thousands of toys for Gabriella to play with, yet she only wants the most random things. Like the cup above, she played with it for a good 30 minutes. Give the girl a cup with a straw & she is in heaven! I took it away for a second & put it on the ground, to get another picture, and she was DETERMINED to get it.

IMG_5243

Needless to say, I did not get my other picture. She just got her cup back. 🙂

I have been meaning to share a new recipe with you for a while, but just kept forgetting. Today is finally the day!

You guys, I have a new favorite quick bread. And I am a HUGE bread maker. I’m always making quick loaves, at least 3-4 a month. I typically make lots of banana bread, only because we often have brown bananas, which I’m not a fan of. I always try different recipes, using different ingredients, just to see what kind of ‘works.’ (example: subbing Greek yogurt for butter, or apple sauce for oil) I want it to be healthy, without it tasting too healthy, does that make sense?

Anyways, I came across this new recipe while I was searching for recipes to use with blueberries. Once I saw this recipe, I KNEW immediately I had to make it. Not just because I wanted it, but because I knew Craig would love it.

IMG_5098

It combines blueberries with lemon, and he is a HUGE fan of lemon! And I am so ashamed to admit this, but I have always tried to buy lemon zest. I never realized you just use a cheese grater & make the zest yourself. It’s a little embarrassing to admit, only because of how long I have been cooking. But it’s never too late to learn something new, right?? 🙂

Lemon Blueberry Muffin Bread

(recipe found HERE)

Ingredients
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar  (I used Truvia baking blend)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups blueberries (12 oz)
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • ½ cup plain yogurt, regular or low-fat (I used Greek yogurt- Plain 0% Chobani)
Directions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder and salt. Add the blueberries and lemon zest and toss to combine.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the yogurt then the dry ingredients, mixing only until incorporated and being careful not to crush the blueberries.
  4. Scoop batter into your prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting gently onto a plate.

Yield: makes 1 loaf

The ONLY thing I changed was using truvia instead of sugar. Again, original recipe found here.

IMG_5096

IMG_5100

Not only did we EASILY polish this WHOLE loaf off in three days, I am about to make another one. The combination of blueberry and lemon is JUST perfect! I think next time I may add a little more zest, only because we both raved about how we liked the addition of it to the bread.

HIGHLY RECOMMEND making this as soon as you can!! You won’t be disappointed.

Last, but CERTAINLY not least, Happy SEVEN months to our little baby girl! ❤

Favorite kind of quick bread?

Favorite Slurpee flavor? I plan on trying ALL of the flavors this summer! 😉