Friday, July 25, 2014

Fashion Friday: Back to Basics

Sometimes I find myself over thinking outfits but you can never go wrong with a nice, solid colored dress. This dress is not only super comfy and cool for the summer heat, I can easily dress it up or down by adding different shoes/belts/accessories. I decided to keep it pretty simple here with just a few accents of black. What is your go-to 'basics' look?

Outfit Details
Dress s/o SIMILAR + Ring + Bow - Forever21
Sandals (old) - Target
Nail polish - elf
Belt - JCPennys (came with another dress)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Quinoa Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins (can also make in bread form)

So yesterday I realized something tragic...I do not own a bread loaf pan :(
I couldn't believe it! I could have sworn I packed one but alas, when life takes away your loaf pan you make muffins!

I'll just have to sneak one away from my mom the next time I visit heh heh (thanks mom).


So whether you decide to make muffins OR bread with this recipe, it's going to be delicious none the less. The cooked quinoa and banana make this cake suuupperrr moist and the chocolate chips makes it just plain out tasty. I decided to use only half a cup whole grain flour so they wouldn't be quite so dense in texture but you are welcome to use a whole cup instead of using AP (it will just make them extra healthy). These were so tasty as an afternoon snack, just pop them in the micro for about 5 seconds and have them with a glass of soy milk and it is so satisfying (hence the reason I only had FOUR muffins left to photograph, I could barely sneak these away from Lewis).

Quinoa Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

makes 1 loaf of bread or 6-7 large muffins, recipe adapted from Savy Naturalista

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup AP flour
1 cup quinoa (cooked)**
1/2 cup sugar
2 large bananas (smashed)
1 cup chocolate chips
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt

**If you're not sure how to properly cook quinoa, click HERE

Directions:

1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F; in small bowl sift dry ingredients and set aside.

2.In a large bowl placed smashed bananas, sugar, eggs and vanilla and mix until creamy. Slowly add dry ingredients and quinoa to the batter and mix.

3.Fold chocolate chips into batter (I put some on top of muffins as well). Place batter into a medium greased loaf pan and place in the oven for 30-45 minutes. Use a toothpick to stick in the center of the bread; if the tooth pick comes out clean the bread is done. Best served warm.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Fruit & Veggie Pops

After all these years I finally got myself popsicle mold! I have never made these frozen treats before and I couldn't think of a more summery recipe than cool refreshing popsicles. You'd be surprised how difficult it is for a gal to find a decent popsicle mold. I went to at least 10 different stores and they were either too expensive or they had those obnoxious anti-drip handles (while very practical not the most visually appealing for photographs). So I finally found a 4 pop mold at Target for only $2!

I had a hard time naming this post just because there are so many ingredients in this recipe. I happen to just throw in whatever fruit I had in the freezer so you are welcome to add your own twist. I find that if you are using veggies (like carrots and spinach) it's always best to disguise them with fruit, bananas work especially well. You also want to make sure you add a creamy element such as yogurt or cream/milk, otherwise your pops will have an icy texture.

Fruit & Veggie Pops

makes 4 pops

3/4 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 small banana (cut and frozen)
1/4 cup carrot juice
handful of fresh spinach
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt (or Greek yogurt)
splash of freshly squeezed orange juice or apple juice

Method: Add all ingredients to blender and pulse until smooth. You may need to add more juice or yogurt to achieve the texture you're looking for.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Banana Bourbon Upside Down Cake

If you ask me, some of the best desserts always contain fruit...and when you add alcohol to the mix that doesn't hurt either..
There's something so thrilling about making an upside down cake (was that a totally chef nerd thing to say?) you wait in anticipation while it's in the oven and then there's that moment before you flip it over to reveal the beautifully aligned fruit with the caramelized sugar juices slowly drizzling down the side. It's a beautiful sight.
The cake itself is super moist and the baked bourbon bananas create a sinfully delicious combo. This cake is best served straight from the oven but it will remain moist for about five days after.


Bananas Bourbon Upside Down Cake

Recipe adapted from Food.com

1 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/4 cup plus 1/2 cup butter
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 TBS bourbon
3 bananas (large, yellow but firm with green tips, sliced diagonally into 1/4-inch pieces)
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
11/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sour cream

Directions:

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place brown sugar, 1/4 cup of the butter and cinnamon in a small saucepan. Heat over medium low heat until butter is melted and mixture is smooth, stirring occasionally. Stir in bourbon and pour into a 9-inch round cake pan.

2.Arrange banana slices in circles over brown sugar mixture.

3.Place remaining 1/2 cup butter and sugar in a large bowl; beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating will after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

4.In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.At low speed, beat in flour mixture in parts alternating with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Spoon and gently spread batter over bananas.

5.Bake 45-55 min or until cake is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 15 minute. Run small knife around edge of cake; carefully invert cake onto serving plate. Serve warm.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Tribal Vibes


I have had this skirt for at least a year and I've probably only wore it once. I was such a big fan of the colors, patterns, and textures of the beads but it is quite a bit shorter than I usually wear. Still, I liked it so much I couldn't pass it up. I paired with my new necklace from Forever21 because it matched those tribal printed details in the skirt.

Outfit Details:
Skirt & necklace - Forever21
Shirt - Aldo
Shoes - JCPennys (old)
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