recipe || greek yogurt banana bread


Fall is coming. There's a crispness in the air, the tone of blue in the sky is changing, the days are growing a bit shorter, my orange clove candle is constantly lit, that cozy feeling that solely belongs to fall is starting to make its presence known. I wore a sweater and jeans today and we had the only the screen doors shut so that the cool air could breeze through our house. So, naturally, I had to express my joy over these ever-increasing signs of fall by whipping up some sort of baked good in the kitchen.  

Greek Yogurt Banana Bread

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 1/4 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup banana pulp mashed (about 3 ripe bananas)

1/4 cup plain nonfat greek yogurt

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup nuts

for chocolate chip banana bread

reduce sugar to 1 cup

add 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time and mix well. Add vanilla extract, banana pulp, and greek yogurt, mixing well after each ingredient. 

In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt to combine. Gradually add flour to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined on low speed. Mix in nuts until well combined.

Pour batter evenly into 4 well greased mini loaf pans and bake for 32-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. 

for chocolate chip banana bread

After the dry ingredients are added to the wet ingredients, fold in chocolate chips.

original recipe source

notes:

*I didn't add nuts this time around.

*I forgot to reduce the sugar, but it still tasted great. ;)

*I baked it in two regular size loaf pans, and for the full 35 minutes. 

recipe || pw's summer stir-fry


Hi, friends! My goodness, I've missed you all and this little space. The longer I was away the more I realized how much I enjoy blogging. It's my creative therapy, my little piece of something. I treasure being able to share life with you all on here; to share my heart and soul, my learnings and growings, my darling ones, my bits of creative endeavors, my love for food, books, home, and the everyday adventures of life. I was just telling J yesterday how writing is such a therapeutic thing for me. It is easier for me to express myself in writing than talking, and I've been so grateful for this outlet to be able to get my thoughts out and, in that, have the opportunity to walk alongside lovelies like you all in all the seasons of life and learning. I'm so grateful for the friendships I've gained, for the mutual encouragement that has taken place, for the shared interests, and for the Lord reminding me, in a different and wonderfully sweet way, that He has kindly given us to one another to walk through this life with. Friendship is really beautiful, don't you think? 

So, today is August 18th, you guys. This fact makes me feel two things:

1. Oh, my gracious, time flies! It's August 18th! I mean, we are almost done with 2015. Blows my mind. 

2. It's almost fallllllllllll!!!! *said in my most sing-song voice. Fall, fall, fall. I adore everything about that glorious season! No other season will ever top it for me. Though I love the others for various reasons, fall will always and forever hold the largest piece of my heart in the season category. Sweaters, scarves, soups, pumpkins, crunchy leaves, that perfect crisp air, baking, coziness, the 500 other reasons to love fall....I'm getting giddy. 

Now, since I am trying to not get too ahead of myself ;), and since I've been seeking to practice soaking up each day and each season (even the super humid ones), I am sharing with you a perfect summer dish to cook up one evening as summer starts to come to a close.


Pioneer Woman's Summer Stir-fry

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 lbs. jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails on

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 large zucchini, diced

2 ears of corn, kernels removed

3/4 cup red grape tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise

3/4 cup yellow grape tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise

salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

12 to 18 fresh basil leaves, cut in chiffonade

juice of 1 lemon

rice or pasta, for serving (optional)

Directions

Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and garlic, then sauté until the shrimp are opaque, about 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp to a plate. Increase the heat to high, add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil, and throw in zucchini. Stir it around for about 45 seconds, then scoot the zucchini to the edges of the pan. Throw in the corn and cook it for a minute, then push it to the edge of the pan. Throw in the grape tomatoes, stir them around for a minutes, then sprinkle on some salt and pepper. Then throw the shrimp back in and stir everything around for about 45 seconds, or until it's all combined and hot. Then pour it onto a big platter and sprinkle on the fresh basil and squeeze the lemon all over the top. 

*Original Source: The Pioneer Woman Cookbook: Food from my Frontier

*A couple notes:

-- We made jasmine rice alongside our stir-fry and it was a perfect combination. 

-- We also sliced up a jalapeño and threw it in with only a few seeds added as I am a wimp in the heat department. We threw it in when we threw in the tomatoes. 

-- Also, we only used 1 lb. of shrimp. Since it is just the two of us and good shrimp can get a little pricey I just went with 1 lb., and it was perfect for us!

Enjoy it, my friends!

recipe || easy beef and broccoli


J and I always get a kick out of the ingredient list in Asian recipes. It's about 20 different ingredients that you throw into a bowl, whisk around, and from which comes a fabulous, salty, slightly sweet, often-with-a-kick-added-in, sauce. And I've never really had one of those 20-ingredient-sauce lists disappoint, except for those ill-fated ketchup pad thai noodles whose memory will forever, sadly, be burned into my senses. 

This recipe, thankfully, was not of the ketchup-noodle persuasion, but of the successful "we shall make it again" grouping of recipes. This was one of those dinners after which J told me he was already excited for his leftovers for lunch the next day. ;) He's the very best human to cook for, by the way. 

Easy Beef & Broccoli

2/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce

1/2 cup chicken stock

1/4 cup honey

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon Sriracha, or more, to taste

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound flank steak, thinly sliced across the grain

1 head broccoli, cut into florets

 

Directions

In a medium bowl, whisk together soy sauce, chicken stock, honey, vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, sesame oil, cornstarch, Sriracha, ginger, red pepper flakes and 1/4 cup water; set aside. 

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add steak and cook, flipping once, until browned, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in broccoli and soy sauce mixture until tender and slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes. 

Serve immediately.

*Recipe via Pinterest