Peanut Butter Banana Cupcakes

Wow…it has been a full year since I’ve last blogged. Ha! As I wrote that, I spoke it out loud and it sounded like “It has been a year since my last confession.” I’m not Catholic so I’m not quite sure how that whole thing works but like many of us I am an expert via many hours of TV and movie watching ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, I’m not going to bore you with why I have been absent. Nothing major happened…my last post was about Blue Apron and I still use them about once a month or every other month. I’m going to start posting again but probably not monthly as I used to.

This idea of combining peanut butter and banana came about because I had leftover baking ingredients in my fridge from when my good friend came over and made cupcakes for her boyfriend’s surprise party. Her cupcakes were a combination of chocolate, rum, peanut butter and some other ingredients that I won’t give away because it is her personal recipe. It was so delicious and she told me that adding peanut butter to the batter makes the cupcakes super moist. So with the leftover peanut butter, milk, eggs, etc, I decided to give these a go!

Ingredients: yellow cake mix, 3 tblsp peanut butter, 1 cup milk/almond milk, 3 eggs, 2 bananas, 1/3 c. butter, buttercream frosting (from can)

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I basically followed the directions on the box and added the peanut butter and bananas.

1. Preheat oven to 350. Melt the butter in a bowl to soften, add milk and eggs. Then mix in the peanut butter.

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2. Peel the bananas and mash with a fork in separate bowl. Add the cake mix and mashed bananas to the liquid mixture.

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3.Mix until smooth…this is where I regret not investing in an electric mixer. Now that I am baking more often, I should at least look into buying the electric hand mixer. My friend who came over had one and it elevated the entire baking experience for me. The picture above is me struggling to get the batter smooth using my weak arm strength.

4. After the batter is smooth, use an ice cream scoop or spoon to put it into the cupcake pan. I had cupcake liners. This recipe makes 24 cupcakes and my cupcake pan holds 12 so I put the leftover batter in a cake pan.

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5. Put in the oven and bake for about 20 min

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6. Wait a few minutes for them to cool before frosting with the buttercream.

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The taste of the peanut butter is pretty faint but it definitely makes these cupcakes so moist and the banana/yellow cake combo is heavenly.

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Since it has banana, I assumed it can be eaten in the morning for breakfast. I mean what are muffins?? What I’m trying to say is that I have eaten this cupcake after each meal: breakfast, lunch, and dinner…Probably not good to have 3 cupcakes a day but whatever ๐Ÿ™‚

Simple Oreo Brownies

Today’s post is a quick and simple way to add something extra to your brownies, for all those Valentine’s Day chocolate lovers. Brownies from a box are pretty awesome especially the Ghirardelli brownie mix. What I am about to share is one of the best kept secrets when it comes to brownies. Ok, I’m exaggerating..It only feels like a secret to me because I never heard or thought to try it before.

All you have to do is make brownies using the instructions on the box or from scratch if you prefer. Pour half the batter in a baking pan and then put a layer of Oreos. Cover the layer with the rest of the batter.

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I crushed up a few Oreos and sprinkled them on top before putting it in the oven.

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You can useย Oreos or Reeses or York peppermint patties or any of your favorite cookies!

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Sooo good! And even better with ice cream.ย You’re welcome for this life hack ๐Ÿ˜‰

Almond Slice Dessert

Happy Holidays my fellow foodies! I hope you are able to take some time to enjoy family, friends, and of course food!

I got the idea of this simple dessert from a cookbook but I’ve modified it slightly, see below:

Ingredients: 2 c. whole almonds, 2 eggs, 1 tblsp soy milk, 1 c. sugar, 1/2 c. butter

Grind the almonds in a food processor or I’m sure you can buy ground almonds somewhere if you really wanted to.

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In a bowl, mix the ground almonds and sugar together. Melt the butter and pour it over the dry ingredients. Mix it all together really well.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and milk together. Then, combine it with the almond mixture.

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Preheat oven to 340. Grease a bread pan and pour the mixture inside. Bake for about 45 min. Check with a knife to see if it comes out clean.

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Have you ever had baklava? It tastes almost like that sweet nutty taste minus the pastry part. It’s soo good and you can have it cold or hot. I prefer hot with a scoop of ice cream. I’ve also had it for breakfast with some hot tea (see below).

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Last year my holiday song of 2014 was Santa Tell Me from Ariana Grande. This year my favorite holiday song of 2015 is….Sleigh Ride by the Pentatonix! I have so much respect for a cappella music and they are one of the best out there right now..the way they blend and how each song is arranged is simply amazing.

I know it came out last year but I still love everything about this Christmas album.

Thank you for reading and following my tiny little blog this year! Have a happy holidays and happy new year, 2016 will be the best one yet!

Banana Nut Cranberry Bread

Today’s recipe is a fairly simple banana nut bread with the wonderful addition of dried cranberries. I will add dried cranberries to pretty much anything including but not limited to: salads, oatmeal, cereal, muffins, yogurt, and ice cream. See my Nutella Craisin Muffin recipe..which reminds me that I should make that again really soon.

Banana Nut Cranberry Bread: 1 banana, 1 c. flour, 1 c. cane sugar, crushed walnuts, 1/2 c. dried cranberries, 1 tblsp. baking powder, dash of salt, 1 egg, 1/2 c. soy milk, 2 tblsp. melted butter

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Preheat oven to 375. Mix all the dry ingredients together: flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, dried cranberries, and walnuts. In another bowl mix the egg, melted butter, soymilk, and smashed banana together.

Put both mixtures together in one bowl and mix well. Then, add the batter to a greased bread pan and bake for 45-60 min or until crust is golden brown.

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It was delicious, the sweetness of the banana and cranberry almost made it a dessert ๐Ÿ™‚

In unrelated news, I got an Edible Arrangement for V-day; and with all this sweet fruit in my life, I am on cloud nine!

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Pineapple Peach Smoothie

Guess what I got myself for Christmas yall? A Nutribullet! I’ve been eyeing it for a while now especially since I’ve been trying to incorporate more fruits in my diet. I got it on sale for like $65 online and it’s usually around $100. The blender I have now was a gift from my wedding, and it’s not exactly high quality..it takes entirely too long to blend anything…it’s like the blades are made out of plastic instead of metal or something.

Anyways, I’ve been having smoothies and slushies almost every day. The Nutribullet is perfect for me because the single-serve cup makes it so easy to go straight from blending to slurpping and so easy to clean too.

My favorite blend that I am sharing with you today has the following simple ingredients: frozen pineapple chunks, frozen peach slices, Silk soy milk, a few ice cubes, and a dash of sugar (optional)

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I had some left over soymilk “juice boxes” lol so I put the entire juice box in the cup. The vanilla flavored one adds to the awesomeness of this drink. I put about 5 pineapple cubes, 2 or 3 peach slices, and 3 or 4 ice cubes. I add a small spoonful of cane sugar, but if you don’t want the drink to be too sweet then you don’t have to add it.

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Isn’t she pretty? I should be on a Nutribullet infomercial. It works so fast and takes up minimal countertop space. It’s so easy to set up, and as long as the top is screwed in tight there is no leakage.

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Mmmm, so refreshing and almost like an ice cream. It also kind tastes like a pina colada minus the colada. You can also substitute the soymilk with almond milk. I’ve stocked up on a variety of frozen fruits and have been trying different combinations.

Fresh fruits work well too, but I always feel pressure when buying loads of fresh fruits. I feel obligated to use them before they go bad, and I don’t like that kind of pressure and commitment…The same goes for getting a ton of fresh vegetables. I only buy what I know for a fact I am going to use in a specific recipe within the week. I guess that tells you a little bit about what kind of person I am. ๐Ÿ™‚

Pumpkin Bread with Sunflower Seeds

The holidays always put me in a baking mood so I’ve decided to attempt the classic fall dish that involves pumpkin of course! I’ve seen plenty of pumpkin breads with walnuts but I wanted sunflower seeds because I just love the added flavor.

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Ingredients: 2 c. flour, 1 c. sugar, 1 can of pumpkin puree, 2 eggs, 1/2 c. melted butter, 1 tsp ginger, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1 tbs cinnamon, 1 tbs baking powder, a pinch of salt and a pinch of black pepper, 1/2 c. sunflower seed kernels (or more if you want)

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Preheat oven 350 and mix all dry ingredients together (flour, sugar, baking powder, spices/seasonings). In a separate bowl, melt the better and wait for it to cool before adding the eggs. Mix all of the wet ingredients together in that second bowl (pumpkin, butter, eggs).

Combine the pumpkin mix with the dry ingredients and make sure it’s all blended well together. After that, mix in the sunflower seeds.

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Pour the mixture into a greased bread pan and sprinkle some sunflower seeds on top. Bake for about 45-55 min.

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Sorry for the poor lighting and bad cutting of the bread but it turned out amazing! I’m so glad I went with the sunflower seeds, it was perfect. All of the spices just made it so delicious.

Last year my holiday song for 2013 was Underneath the Tree by Kelly Clarkson and I still rock out to that one but now my favorite holiday song of 2014 is…..Santa Tell Me by Ariana Grande! I love her voice and this song is the perfect “I don’t want to be alone on Christmas” song lol.

And as a bonus, my favorite CLASSIC holiday song of 2014 is Baby its Cold Outside with Michael Buble and Idina Menzel..Two of my favorite voices on one song and the most adorable video!

How cute are those kids?!

Happy Holidays everyone! Enjoy the family, friends, and the food!

 

Blueberry Scones that turned into a Cake and Fun Fall Activities

I’ve actually been trying to make scones for a really long time. It’s one of my favorite baked goods so I decided to finally try it (especially since I conveniently had all the necessary ingredients). However, as I was putting the ingredients together I realized too late that the frozen berries I was going to use were supposed to be drained. When I added them to the mixture, the berry juices made the dough more of a batter and it became a cake. So there’s that..but I’m not complaining because it is well-known that I love cake. Also included in this post are some pictures of my fun fall adventures..now that I live in the Northeast I am now in to things like “apple picking” ๐Ÿ™‚

Blueberry Cake-ish Recipe: 2 c. flour, 2 tbs sugar, 1 tbs baking powder, frozen berries (I will try to use fresh ones next time), 1 tsp salt, 1 c. almond milk, 1 egg, 5 tbs butter/margarine

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Stir all dry ingredients together and then mix in the butter. I put the frozen berries in a bowl and put them in the microwave for a little bit. Then add the egg, milk, and berries to the mixture. Pour into greased baking dish and sprinkle sugar on top. Preheat oven 400 and bake for about 20-30 min.

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It was great but I’ll try to actually make a scone next time ๐Ÿ˜‰

Now for my fun fall adventures..first I went to a local farm and got to go through a corn maze, sip hot apple cider, and actually pick apples from the tree.

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It was such a gorgeous day..there were soo many different kinds of apple trees to pick from too!

I’m so excited about the upcoming holidays minus the winter “vortex” or whatever they are going to call the crazy weather that’s coming up. I’ve already started jammin to my Christmas playlists and my next post will be my annual Christmas/holiday post where I will reveal my favorite Christmas song of the year!