Banana Nut Bread

 

I love banana nut bread anytime of the year, but it is also great around the holidays! You can give it away or just enjoy it with the thousands of other sweets. I think its the perfect amount of banana, nuts, and the perfect sweetness. Hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients:

  • 1⁄2 cup butter
  • 1 1⁄4 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ripe/overripe bananas, smashed (about 1 cup)
  • 1⁄4 cup milk
  • 2 cups flour **(I prefer to use 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour and 1 cup All-Purpose Flour)**
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1⁄2-1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream butter and sugar. Mix well.
  3. Add the eggs and the vanilla extract. Mix.
  4. Put the flour, salt, and baking soda in a bowl together. Put the smashed bananas and the milk in a separate bowl.
  5. Gradually add the bananas/milk and the flour mixture to your original mixture and mix well. If you want to add any kind of nuts (pecans and/or walnuts work well), you can add them now.
  6. Grease and lightly flour your bread pans. I use two 8in x 4in dark nonstick metal pans. Bake the loaves at 350. Depending on the size of the loaf pan, it should take between 45-60 minutes, but you can check and see if they are fully cooked by inserting a toothpick into the bread and seeing if it comes out clean.

***Note: I add chopped nuts on top of the loaves once I pour the batter in the pans just for a little extra crunch, but this is obviously optional! You can also add a handful of chocolate chips into the batter before baking if you like banana bread and chocolate together!***

Chicken Quinoa Soup

 

Serves: 4-5img_4450
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, cut in half length wise, and then sliced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1½ teaspoons dried thyme
  • 8 cups chicken broth (can use store bought or make your own)
  • ⅔ cups quinoa, rinsed well
  • 2 cups shredded/chopped cooked chicken
  • salt and pepper, to taste

 

For the cooked chicken, I just boiled the chicken in a pot on the stove and chopped it up. You could also bake it, or buy precooked chicken like a rotisserie chicken, it is up to you!

You can also add more/less broth, vegetables, and chicken depending on how you like your soup, but these are some general guidelines for it! Enjoy!

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken broth and quinoa and bring it to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer until the quinoa is cooked, about 15-20 minutes.
  5. Stir in the chicken and allow to cook a few minutes, until the chicken is thoroughly heated.
  6. Enjoy!

Broccoli Tots

fullsizerender-34Had lots of broccoli that needed to be eaten, so we found a recipe for broccoli tots! They are a great way to use broccoli, are much healthier than traditional tater tots, and they are delicious!

(Side note: These can easily be made gluten free by using gluten free breadcrumbs!) 

Here’s what you need:

  • 12 ounces broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper
  • Italian seasoning
  • Optional: 2 tsp Sriracha (for a little extra flavor!)

Here’s how to make them:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Season with salt. Blanch the broccoli in boiling water for about two minutes. Drain and finely chop the cooked broccoli. (you can use a food processor but be careful to not turn the broccoli into a puree if using this).

In a mixing bowl, add broccoli, garlic, cheddar, egg,  bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and seasonings (add more or less depending on how seasoned you want it). Optional: Add hot sauce of choice. Mix well and chill in the refrigerator for 15–20 minutes.

3. Spray a nonstick baking sheet with nonstick spray. Shape the mixture into tot shapes and spread them evenly on the sheet.

4. Bake for 8–9 minutes. Flip and then bake for an additional 8–9 minutes on the other side until golden brown.

Enjoy with dipping sauce of your choice, or plain! I used ketchup, but enjoy them how you would like!

 

Gluten Free Snickerdoodle Cookies

fullsizerender-33These gluten free snickerdoodles are AMAZING! I wouldn’t believe they were gluten free if I didn’t know beforehand. My aunt made these and I stole the recipe because I enjoyed them so much.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups King Arthur Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Mix                                               **Make sure you use the gluten-free BAKING MIX — NOT the gluten-free flour
  • for the topping: 1/4 cup sugar, 1.5 teaspoons cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and have a baking sheet or two handy. No need to grease the sheet. 
  2. In a large bowl mix together the sugar and butter until blended. 
  3. Add the vanilla and eggs, and stir until blended. 
  4. Add the baking mix and stir until evenly blended.
  5. To make the topping: Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl; use more cinnamon for more pronounced cinnamon flavor.
  6. Shape the dough into 1 1/4″ balls.  If the dough is sticky or hard to work with, refrigerate for 30 minutes or so.
  7. Roll the balls of dough in the cinnamon-sugar mixture, then place on the baking sheets.
  8. Bake the cookies for 14 to 16 minutes, or until set. They’ll stay light-colored, only darkening very slightly on the bottom. Cool for 5 minutes on the pan before moving to a rack to cool completely.
  9. Yield: about 30 cookies.