Archives for April 2012

This is Bananas.

Seriously, I have become the ultimate banana bread baker. In my family, bananas are a touch and go subject. I will buy a big bunch of 4 or 5 bananas at the grocery store, betting that 100% of them will turn into banana bread two days later! Oh, but if seester is in town, I get two more bunches…that girl can put away some bananas. 
So, I was planning on making some banana bread yesterday when I got a call from my Mom. She started asking me questions like, “Have you made anything today,” and “Are you going to make anything?” I asked her if she knew who I was and then told her to get to the point. She then proceeded to tell me that she needed something to take for her work shin-dig that is going on today. So, I happily agreed to make my newest banana bread recipe for her! 
When I say newest, I mean that I have been making this stuff for a couple of weeks, yet have failed to post the recipe because it usually gets eaten before I can snap pics! That is just how good it is. 

I’d like to call this Chocolate Macaroon Banana Bread
Because we all know that chocolate and coconut cannot live without one another…
at least in my world.
It’s got toasted coconut baked right into it
and you know I just had to go and drizzle a coconut glaze over the top.
 A frosted mountain of chocolate-y, coco-nutty, heaven.
Now, who wants to make me a margarita? All of this coconut talk has me on the beach in Hawaii with all those cabana boys.
Be Right Back.
P.S. Today I am guest posting over at Espresso and Cream for No Fat Talk Tuesday! Head on over and check it out!
Chocolate Macaroon Banana Bread (GF):
Ingredients:
3 c. almond flour
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
3 ripe bananas, mashed
3 eggs
1 T. pure vanilla extract
1/4 c. agave nectar (or honey)
1/4 c. melted coconut oil
1 c. unsweetened, shredded coconut
1 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 T. coconut milk
Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×11 loaf pan with cooking spray.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the coconut evenly over the entire baking sheet, bake for 2-3 minutes, or until lightly golden. Immediately transfer to a small bowl to cool.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt using a whisk.
4. Mix in the mashed bananas, eggs, vanilla extract, agave nectar, and coconut oil using a spatula.
5. Fold in the toasted coconut, then pour the batter into the prepared pan.
6. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.
7. While the bread is baking, make the glaze.
8. In a small mixing bowl, combine the powdered sugar and coconut milk, mixing until the powdered sugar is dissolved.
9. Allow the bread to cool completely before removing it from the pan. Place on a baking sheet line with parchment paper and cover the bread with the glaze.
Makes 10-12 slices.
MANGIA!!!

Secret Recipe Club

Happy Monday y’all!
It’s totally time for another Secret Recipe Club reveal. Score! This month I was lucky to have received Danielle’s blog, Delicious Existence. Now, Danielle is a Holistic Health and Wellness Coach and a Lifestyle Motivator who has a passion for living a balanced lifestyle and coaching others to do the same! Danielle also embraces a clean style of eating, so processed foods are out the question. Instead, she sticks to raw foods, mainly fruit, veggies, and seeds. I was so excited to finally read about a foodie who follows a raw diet. Even though I am not on a raw diet, I have eaten raw meals on several occasions, and I absolutely loved it. I fully plan on creating raw meals in the future, when I have all the tools to do it. For now, I will just stalk Danielle’s blog for delicious raw, vegan, and vegetarian recipes.
 Obviously, the number one recipe that spoke to me were Danielle’s Vegan Peanut Butter Cups. We all know how I love anything with the word “peanut” or “butter” in it, and together, well…you know what happens. Now, I didn’t have nutritional yeast on hand, so, I had to tweak the original recipe a little bit. However, they are still vegan, and, gluten-free might I add, so celiacs can rejoice! Oh, oh…and I quadrupled the recipe because my mini-muffin pan is on the fritz! Also, because a jar of strawberry preserves was staring me down in the refrigerator, I had to add that into the mix. Can you blame me? 
Paint the insides of large muffin liners with melted chocolate…you can use a pastry brush for this.

Oh, then after all the freezing and such, add a layer of the peanut butter mixture.

Oh, oh! Then a layer of the strawberry preserves.

BAM! Vegan Chocolate PB and J cups.

Please hold for one moment, as I am still in a sugar coma.
Big thanks to Danielle for the recipe!

Vegan PB and J Cups (GF):

Ingredients:
2 (8 oz. packages) of semi-sweet Bakers Chocolate
2 t. peanut oil
2 c. smooth peanut butter (don’t get a peanut butter that you have to stir, makes for a drippy mess!)
1 t. confectioners sugar
1 t. agave nectar
1 t. pure vanilla extract
1 jar of strawberry preserves (I used Bonne Maman), at room temperature

Instructions:
1. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate according to package instructions (I melted it in three 30-second intervals, and 2 10-second intervals).  Add the peanut oil in to thin the chocolate out. Set aside.
2. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
3. Using a pastry brush, brush each paper liner with melted chocolate, making sure to cover the entire liner, bottom and sides. Place in the freezer to firm the chocolate, for 15-20 minutes.
4. In a large mixing bowl, mix the peanut butter, confectioners sugar, agave, and vanilla together. Place the bowl in the refrigerator to cool for about 12 minutes.
5. Once both the chocolate and the peanut butter are done cooling, spoon 2 heaping teaspoons of peanut butter into the chocolate covered liners. Freeze again for about 10 minutes.
6. Now, spoon 2 heaping teaspoons of strawberry jam over the peanut butter layer.
7. Cover the jam with the remaining chocolate.
8. Freeze the finished cups for about 30 minutes.
9. Take them out of the refrigerator and carefully peel the liners off of the cups.
10. Serve at room temperature, or store the refrigerator or freezer.

Makes about 12 large peanut butter cups (or 24 mini-cups).

MANGIA!!!

My Life According To…

Happy Earth Day!!!
Today I honored Mother Earth by drinking coffee from my pretty, new, reusable green coffee cup

ooo and using my reusable grocery bags…love those.
So, yes, today I channeled my inner tree-hugger.
 Earlier this week, Mother Nature brought some storms to these here parts.

Fortunately, for me, this meant a bunch of yummy baking.
Life lesson: put fruit in a cookie…it will make you feel healthier. 
Another life lesson: the simplest cookie that you make can be the BEST cookie that you make, and one that everyone loves.
Almond Butter works wonders…put it in a cookie…or just eat it off a spoon.
 Oh, oh…more sweets. 
Don’t mess with my peanut butter.
 First thing that comes to mind with rain: Banana Bread
 Add some orange zest, and a sweet glaze…you can thank me later. 
I love nautical stripes…secret: I stole this dress from my mom. It is unbelievably comfortable.
 Oh, and that jean jacket, it is Abercrombie and Fitch vintage, circa 1992. I have had it since I was a freshmen in college. I took a trip to Santa Monica, Ca with my aunt and I visited the two story A and F at the promenade there. I remember calling my dad to negotiate the price with him. The only question he asked me was: “Will you wear it.” My response was “I will wear it forever.” I stayed true to my word, no? My fave part about the jacket is the tag sewn inside, which reads “You are beautiful.”
Side note: I worked at A and F for a summer during my high school years. I still have a phobia of loud music, teenagers throwing clothes into odd corners of the room, and fragrance that smells of b.o.
My new obsession, sparkly nails, mix-matched nails, bright nails…do it. All three.
HOW DID YOU CELEBRATE EARTH DAY?
MANGIA!!!

Friday Things.

Happy Friday all!

Cheers to the freaking weekend (yes, I did just quote a Rihanna song)! 
Let’s talk about what I’m loving right now. 
Okay, seriously loving getting my butt kicked, I mean, toning up with the Tone It Up girls for summer. 
I signed up for their free Bikini Series, so I am getting daily emails with fun, toning, workouts.
I would be a pro at this if I could just kick my sweet tooth.
Not. going. to. happen.
I am just going to blame it on the fact that I live in a food blogging world. 
I mean, seriously, Joy?
I cannot tell you how much I want my waffle iron back. It’s in storage and as soon as I get it back, I plan on making a TON of waffles. 
Who is coming over for brunch on Sunday?
Oh, oh and Jessica
you are no help either
geez…blueberries + bacon…what a freaking genius!
Enough about how I can’t control my food emotions!
Let’s talk about babies.
No, I am not pregnant, nor will I be any time soon.
However, I am loving all of these food bloggers who are making their big baby announcements
like Lisa
adorable.
Oh, oh and Camille
who is expecting a little lady soon.
That baby is going to be quite the fashionista, and with the rate I am going, she will most likely be planning my wedding. Haha!
Anyway, it’s definitely baby fever in the blogging world. Congrats to all of the soon to be mommas!
Love it.
Whenever I get pregnant, expect me to blow-up the blogging world.
Fun Fact: I bought a cheese board yesterday
because I am just such a fan of cheese
even though my stomach goes into shock if I eat too much.
Cheese boards just make me feel more Italian…or is it French?
Eh, who cares. More European.
It will most likely be used for blog decoration.
However, I would love to throw myself a cheese and wine party.
Any takers?
MANGIA!!!

Blue.

Blue. It’s definitely not my favorite color. My hair is brown, so blue colors drown me out and make me feel a little blue at the same time. Being this corny is definitely an art form. However, I will make an exception for nautical blues and teal and oh, oh, navy. Yes. 
The number one person that looks good in blue in my seester. She has this great blonde hair and crystal blue eyes that are absolutely perfect for wearing blue. Seriously, whenever I am shopping and come across something blue, I think to myself, “This would look great on seester,” then I buy it. Why am I talking about fashion, when I should be talking about food? 
Another thing that reminds me of my seester is blueberries. She loves them. As a kid she was always eating blueberry muffins and now she is a crazed fan of the blueberry Larabars. It actually took me a while to become a fan of blueberries. In the past couple of months we have become closer friends, however, I still can’t eat them without half a cup of sugar sprinkled on top. They just aren’t sweet enough for me, and we all know that my sweet tooth is insanely out of control. So, to fix this problem between me and the blueberry, I put them into a….wait for it…
cookie batter
and added some chocolate chips and toasted coconut.
It’s totally breakfast food, because, you know…it has fruit in it. 
 
And who ever said chocolate isn’t a breakfast food isn’t my bff. 
Now we can all look totally fab eating blue, yummy, cookies. 
Who is bringing over the milk?
Q: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WAY TO EAT BLUEBERRIES?
Blueberry Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies:
Ingredients:
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1/4 t. ground cloves
1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 c. packed dark brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 t. pure vanilla extract
1 c. unsweetened, shredded coconut
2 (6 oz.) containers of fresh blueberries (about 2 cups)
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Spread the coconut evenly over one of the baking sheets and bake for 5-6 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Immediately transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until smooth.
5. Turn the mixer off, scrape down the sides of the bowl using a spatula, then add the eggs, one at a time, beating until the mixture is light and fluffy.
6. Add the vanilla and beat again.
7. Add the toasted coconut and beat again.
8. Carefully fold in the blueberries using and spatula. Once the blueberries are folded in, carefully fold in the chocolate chips.
9. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the batter for 4 hours.
10. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 
11. Use an ice cream scooper to make golf-ball sized dough balls. Place the dough on the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies about 1-inch apart. About 6 balls of dough per cookie sheet.
12. Bake for 14-15 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown.
13. Allow the cookies to cool for 3 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack. Allow cookies to cool completely.
Makes 2 dozen cookies.
MANGIA!!!