best banana bread

So happy to have Valerie and Brittany back from Little Sous Chef sharing their best banana bread recipe! We love making this with our kids, there’s so many steps they can do with you – mashing bananas, mixing and more! Check it out:   Best Banana BreadOur Favorite Banana Bread

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 heaping cups mashed bananas (about 5-6 bananas)
½ cup milk
2 teaspoons lemon juice
4 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
cinnamon sugar

Best Banana Bread

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cream butter and sugar.
3. Add eggs and beat.
4. Add mashed bananas, milk and lemon juice. Stir until combined.
5. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, soda, and salt.
6. Gradually add to banana mixture. Stir until just combined.
7. Stir in nuts if using.
8. Divide batter between two well greased bread pans.
9. Generously sprinkle the tops with cinnamon sugar.
10. Bake 50 minutes.Best Banana Bread

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FRYday: Emily

I get today’s Fryday solo today, urged by the girls to share about my 10 year anniversary trip to Europe last week with my main squeeze! If you’d like to see, here are a few highlights!

This trip was in the works for several months and as we got closer we knew we wanted to unplug for the trip. We both work for ourselves in a handful of businesses and being self-employed sometimes means erratic hours, no days off, and always something to be done. So the trip was 100% a vacation from all that. We deleted social media apps, didn’t check emails, and focused on staying present and in the moment and soaking each city up together. I loved this image from the Papal Visit in NYC so much, it was in head each time I wanted to grab my phone. Be the grandma.Woman Not on Phone during Papal VisitSo now that you have the backstory here’s a peek at the trip! We toured London, England, Brugge, Belgium and Paris, France. It was a crazy whirlwind trip and we had to have walked ten miles a day and we missed the boys like crazy – we both cried sporadically all trip long. I know, we’re not normal!

In London we loved the collection at the British Library. Original handwritten manuscripts from some of my favorite authors like Oscar Wilde and Jane Austen, excerpts read by the authors themselves. James Joyce makes Finnegan’s Wake even harder to understand with that accent. 😉 Paul McCartney’s handwritten lyrics, DaVinci’s sketches, handprinted Kurans and Bibles, and a million more amazing texts. We also did the National Gallery which was an awesome collection – I always love the post 1800 works the best and loved being able to catch Van Gogh and Monet and loads more. Walked through Portobello Road market and the 15,000th row of darling houses in Notting Hill.Europe TripWe saw the Curious Incident of the Dog in Night-Time and that was a top 3 highlight of the whole trip. Such beautiful play. We talked about it for hours after while we walked through crazy Chinatown. I got all teary-eyed watching a mime in Coventry Garden, had high tea at the utterly insane and amazing Sketch in Oxford Circus. Saw famous sites at Westminster, Buckingham, parks and churches galore. We loved London, so easy to navigate and none of the language barrier.Europe Trip Next stop was Bruges, Belgium. Such an incredible, surreal city. Without modern cars lining the streets you would think you’d gone back in time. Everything looks ancient, down to the slate sidewalk curbs, and stone streets. Called the “Venice of the North” for its canal system, along house-lined streets with those notched brick facades were all so beautiful. It made me wonder why the States are so hell bent on tearing old out and putting new in. Europe Trip Just when I thought it couldn’t get any cuter, it always did. We saw the Belfry, Church of our Lady, Basilica, Minewater, and every street in between. Our cab driver for the day said the French call it Bruge de Mort because it dies every night at around 7. Sure enough it did, no nightlife at all! Had unbeatable Belgian waffles, I thought I had some pretty good ones here, but nothing can compare. What do they do to that batter, I’ll never know!Europe Trip Paris was our last stop and I felt like I got my fill of London and Bruges, but it broke my heart to leave Paris! We rented their City bikes and rode to our hearts content. We both had the dumbest grins on the whole time. Although at the time looking back, it was death-defying. Buses and bikes share a lane. Cab drivers are lunatics and we had and saw a couple close calls. But it didn’t sway us in the slightest. Europe TripI cried when we drove out of the tunnel and saw the Eiffel Tower, I know how spoiled I am to have had this trip. Although it didn’t go without sacrifice and a ton of effort, I am still a lucky girl. The mixture of architecture and sculpture throughout the city sort of just dazzled me. Where Bruges followed a very set equation for their structures, Paris was all over the map and every influence was beautiful. Europe TripWe bought art on the Seine, ate Crepes, pain au chocolat, baguettes and fruit from the stands. Croque Monsieurs from Village le Monge that were killer. Walked through Tuilieries, past gardens, churches the Grand and Mini Palais. Notre Dame, Arc De Triomphe and every darling arronidisement our legs could take us to. Europe Trip Laughing at all these pictures of me by a body of water. So original, Em!Europe Trip

Alright, now for the what I wore portion!

I carried this beautiful backpack everywhere and it was the MVP.

LONDON: Roll neck sweater old Ann Taylor – I need this, but this has a more similar fit. // Thigh High Boots //  Medium Rinse denim

White blouse // Camel Coat old Zara (similar and similar) // High Rise (self-frayed) // Nikes // Sunnies

BRUGES: Leather Jacket // Sleeveless Knit old H&M – similar here or here. // Black jeans // Sunnies // Boots

Paris: Camel Coat old Zara (similar and similar) // Black Tassel Loafers old Zara (similar) // Scuba top

Black Swing turtleneck // Black jeans // Lips // Boots

High Rise destroyed // Chelsea Rainboots // Mock T-neck sweater (25% off!)

 

fall trail mix

bcp1Fall is here and were are in full-blown seasonal eating mode. Pumpkin, nutmeg, soups and ciders, we’ll take it all!Fall Trail Mix recipe You all already know that our favorite salty sweet treats are Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop popcorn (caramel and cheddar!!), but for this recipe we wanted to give another favorite, Kettle Corn, a Autumnal twist! Here’s how you’ll do it:Fall Trail Mix recipeLike any good trail mix there is a nice balance of flavors, textures, and color. We took Angie’s Boomchikapop Kettle Corn as the base. Angie’s was the first brand we could find on the shelves that used Non-GMO corn, they are the leaders in this delicious healthy popcorn world – check out what else we’ve come to, gratefully, expect from them:

Then you simply stir in handfuls of pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, hazelnuts, and coconut shavings! Fall Trail Mix recipeThe flavor is out of this world and it’s such fun snack to eat with all the different flavors and textures. Healthy too, so sit down in front of your favorite shows and snack away without guilt!

Fall Trail Mix recipe

Thanks to Angie’s, a brand we love and snack on everyday, for working with us on this post!

chocolate turtle cookies

Welcome to Brittany and Valerie, food bloggers over at Little Sous Chef! Today they’ve brought this delicious choclately cookie that you can whip up in no time! Cooking them up in your waffle iron means you get a sweet treat in a fraction of the time of a typical cookie, and when the craving strikes, quick is key!Chocolate Turtle Cookies Chocolate Turtle Cookies

2 Tablespoons butter, melted
⅓ cup cocoa
⅓ cup butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup sugar
1 cup flour

Chocolate Turtle Cookies

Directions:

1. Heat waffle iron to medium.
2. Whisk together 2 Tablespoons melted butter and cocoa.
3. Add ⅓ cup melted butter and whisk together.
4. Add beaten eggs and vanilla. Whisk.
5. Add sugar and flour. Stir until combined.
6. Scoop out cookies and place on heated waffle iron, one scoop per waffle square.
7. Bake 2-4 minutes. Cookies should still be soft. Carefully remove by loosening cookies on each side before lifting up.
8. Place cookies in an airtight container to keep soft.

Yield: about 14 cookiesChocolate Turtle Cookies

Find more on their site and keep up socially on Facebook, and @littlesouschef on Instagram and Pinterest

fall picnic with Annie’s

We’re so happy to be continuing our partnership with Annie’s for the next while! We love their line and love the amazing people who represent the Annie’s family. So each month we’ll be sharing our favorite products and how we enjoy them and share them with others! Today we’re brining the picnic into Fall with their awesome pouch Organic Tomato Soup.Fall Soup!This soup comes ready to heat up but contains no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, no High Fructose Corn Syrup and has a 1/2 cup of vegetables per serving. Perfect for dipping those grilled cheese sandwiches, or dunking a cheddar bunny or two. (Add a little festive spider web too – taken from our Healthy Halloween lunch post a few years ago)
Fall Soup! They have awesome new flavors, check all these organic options out! Filled with bunny pasta which our kids love!Annie's SoupsCurl up with a cozy blanket, a cup of soup and a skewer full of Grilled Cheese bites and you’ve got yourself a perfect little Fall picnic!Fall Soup!