Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Homemade Banana Bread

Does anyone else get a little excited when they see the last couple of bananas from the bunch that’s been sitting on the counter start to turn black? No? Some may see more food that they have to trash because their family didn’t finish eating it, but I choose to see the potential in those sad looking bananas that have lost their bright color…I see a delicious loaf of homemade chocolate chip banana bread. Mmm….

Banana bread is seriously one of the best comfort foods. Most of my personal favorite comfort foods are more savory than sweet, but banana bread is one of the exceptions. There’s just something so cozy about it. That’s weird. Food isn’t supposed to be cozy, but grab a slice of warm banana bread and I just feel like snuggling under a warm, fuzzy blanket while I enjoy it. It may not have pumpkin in it, but it’s perfect for cool weather.

Banana Bread Slice

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 3-4 medium-sized overripe bananas, mashed (about 2 cups)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (or regular if that’s what you have)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Cream butter and brown sugar together.
  4. Mix in eggs, adding them one at a time.
  5. Add mashed bananas and mix until well blended.
  6. Stir in baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and flour one cup at a time. Be careful not to over mix.
  7. Add in mini chocolate chips and give the batter a final stir to incorporate.
  8. Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until browned on top and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Let cool for a few minutes before removing from the pan to slice and enjoy.

    Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

What do you do when someone brings you back a bag of roasted macadamia nuts all the way from Hawaii? Well, I don’t know about you, but after staring at said bag sitting on the pantry shelf for over a month and trying to find the perfect recipe worthy of them…I finally break down and just make a batch of white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.

Just make a batch of cookies…only these are some Ah-mazingly good cookies. I don’t think I could buy another pack of break and bakes after these babies. Do your sweet tooth a favor and whip up a batch of these white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. Cookies are the best medicine. Who’s with me?

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and almond extracts. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually stir into the creamed mixture. Mix in the macadamia nuts and white chocolate. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.

Recipe Source: All Recipes

Classic Macaroni & Cheese

Macaroni & Cheese

What do you do when you find yourself with several unopened blocks of cheese after a party for your three-year-old? Work on perfecting your go-to homemade mac and cheese recipe of course! I think that I’ve finally done it! I’ve created our new favorite macaroni and cheese without processed cheese.

I think that I’ve finally done it! I’ve created our new favorite macaroni and cheese without processed cheese or any products full of mystery ingredients. I’m not usually a fan of cheese sauces that start with a roux, but this one came out smooth, creamy and perfectly cheesy.

This mac and cheese can be made entirely on the stovetop (if you’re in a hurry to get dinner on the table) and is absolutely delicious. I ended up topping the stovetop mac and cheese with a little extra shredded cheddar and panko breadcrumbs and baked it for 25-30 minutes to give it a little crunch and take it to the next level. You guys, I’m in love. Worth every calorie.

Now if only I could convince my picky toddler to eat any macaroni and cheese that doesn’t come in the long, skinny noodles ala Kraft.  Sigh… Crazy kid doesn’t know what he’s missing.

Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz small shell pasta (or pasta of your choice)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • freshly ground black pepper (to taste or as desired)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups freshly grated cheddar cheese*
  • 1/4 cup Italian seasoned panko bread crumbs

*  I strongly recommend shredding the cheese yourself from a block rather than using the pre-shredded cheese due to the coating that is usually present on the bagged shredded cheese.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  3. In medium-sized saucepan, melt butter with minced garlic over medium heat.
  4. Stir in flour, onion powder, and paprika. Cook for 3-5 minutes to form a roux. Add desired amount of salt and pepper.
  5. Slowly add milk, stirring until smooth and bubbly. Bring to a low boil and cook until the sauce begins to thicken.
  6. Stir in cheese in parts until is fully melted and smooth.
  7. Drain pasta. Pour cheese sauce over pasta and stir to combine.
  8. Top with panko bread crumbs.
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes.