It’s the beginning of berry season! Oh how lovely it is to swap out my bags of frozen berries for fresh berries.
To celebrate berry season, I’ve made my favourite banana bread and stuffed it full of fresh strawberries and blueberries. This Berry Banana Bread is kept moist with my secret ingredient (pssst – sour cream!!), and each mouthful is bursting with berries.
To be fair, it’s not berry season in my backyard yet – for that, we’ve got another month or two to go – and by “backyard” I mean my potted veggie garden on my rooftop deck 😉 . It’s been an unseasonably cool Spring here in the Pacific Northwest, so my strawberry and raspberry plants only have buds so far!
Have you ever stopped to consider how many perfect pairings there are with peanut butter?
- Peanut butter and banana
- Peanut butter and chocolate
- Peanut butter and jam
- Peanut butter and honey
- Peanut butter and celery and raisins
Peanut butter, you poly-amorous little minx! 😉
Let’s consider the first perfect pairing: peanut butter and banana. Peanut butter is one of my absolute Favourite Foods. Right up there with avocados, chocolate chips, and pie. I like to eat spoonfuls of peanut butter straight from the jar. You too?
Then you’ll definitely be with me in loving this Peanut Butter Banana Bread.
Blueberry Brunch Cake is packed with juicy blueberries, a hint of lemon zest, and generously sprinkled with a crumbly brown sugar oat topping. Perfect for a brunch party!
I have a couple of friends in my life whom I have known since I was 8 years old. We grew up together attending the same elementary school and living blocks away from each other. We went from kids who loved playing “house” to teenagers who were obsessed with clothes and boys.
As high school hit, our paths diverged as we went to different schools and found new friendships, but we all kept tabs on each other; there always seemed to be one common friend who kept in touch with all of us.
And as we left high school and started college and university and jobs, we reunited in various ways and at various times, and, as young adults with semi-serious boyfriends, living in our first apartments, studying toward degrees, working part-time jobs, we all became friends again.
Fast forward ten years and we are now in stable jobs, working on a Masters degree, married, homeowners, living in different cities, and/or with kids in tow – all of us in very different phases of life.
We met up last weekend, driving out of town to our homeowner friend’s home, where she welcomed us with a roaring fireplace and homemade baking.
And even though we hadn’t seen each other since my wedding last August and for many months prior to that, we fell back into a comfortable rhythm, laughing and sharing together.
I have a confession – I don’t like Pumpkin Spice Lattes. And I don’t like pumpkin pie.
I will tolerate eating one slice of pumpkin pie per year on Thanksgiving – and only because every year, J needs his pumpkin pie and strongly encourages me to bake one 😉 The pumpkin pie recipe that I make is light, fluffy, and heavily spiced – more importantly, J loves it, and I tolerate it.
This Pumpkin Spice Loaf has very similar flavours – heavily spiced and uses 1 full cup of pumpkin puree. J gave it his seal of approval – and for me, I much prefer a warm slice of Pumpkin Spice Loaf slathered with melty butter over pumpkin pie or a PSL any day. 😉
I’m back on the blog! And all of a sudden it’s October!!
Lots has happened in this month hiatus I took from the blog (and thank you for your patience as I disappeared) – I got married and then went to Europe on honeymoon! That’s right, I’m a wife!
Stay with me as I digress from speaking about these Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins for a moment…
These Gluten-Free Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Muffins have pockets of bursty sweet blueberries enclosed in a moist, lemony fresh muffin.
Do you know one of my favourite things about summer? THE FRUIT.
I have a summer fruit addiction. I could consume my weight in fruit every day. My happiest moment this past week was finding a company who will ship me fresh stone fruits from the Okanagan (best fruit growing region out here on the west coast) straight to my door – today I received 10lbs of apricots! Mmmmm… now to decide what to do with them all.
I also just bought a giant box of blueberries from the market last weekend and have been devouring them all week – truly, there are only a handful left. I knew I had to whip up some blueberry muffins – because there’s nothing better than pockets of bursty sweet blueberries enclosed in a moist, lemony fresh muffin.
81 days until our wedding!
J and I just got back from a weekend away finishing the last wedding planning details – we are getting married in the Okanagan – a 4 hour drive away from where we live, so we wont be going up again until it’s time to get hitched! I had my hair trial appointment, we scouted a rehearsal dinner venue, and bought all of the wine we’ll serve. Mmmm… Okanagan wine…
Needless to say, we spent many hours in the car this weekend, and whenever we are on a road trip there’s always one must have – snacks. J’s non-negotiable car snack are Wine Gum candies, but I like to be a bit healthier and usually pack a bag of mixed nuts and whatever baked goods we have on hand. I stashed a few of these Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins in my purse and kept the hangriness away.
There’s nothing worse than being in the middle of nowhere and not being able to get a snack. Or having to pee.
Rhubarb!!! Since rhubarb season is fairly short, I have to make sure I use it in as many recipes as possible! After I made Strawberry Rhubarb Jam, I just couldn’t get enough – so today I’m sharing Banana Rhubarb Mini Muffins. Which would probably be pretty delightful topped with a slather of the Jam, if you ask me 😉 There’s no such thing as rhubarb overload in my books!
Soo, confession: I ate half of this Whole Wheat Apple Spice Bread loaf before I took the photographs for this blog post. Whoops. I can never resist a warm, moist, spiced loaf that’s calling my name… Forgive me – this loaf is irresistible!
Apple cinnamon is one of my favorite flavor combinations ever (I lovelovelove apple pie) – so Apple Spice Bread was a no brainer for me. It’s quick to throw together, and using all whole wheat flour ups the healthy-factor for breakfast!
SO YUMMY IN MY TUMMY.
I normally make regular ol’ Cinnamon Rolls, but this time I decided to put a Valentine’s Day spin on my go-to recipe and use strawberry jam as the filling – because all things pink and red are Valentine’s Day festive, right?!
These Strawberry Sticky Buns are like soft fluffy pillows rolled together with gooey strawberry jam, and then drizzled with a tangy lemon glaze.
Sunday was our 1 year anniversary of being engaged! The countdown to the wedding begins! We love to celebrate the little things around here – it’s always a good excuse to open up a nice bottle of wine! 😉
To celebrate, we went for a walk on the beach where J proposed, and then came home and made a delicious dinner together – cooking in the kitchen with him is one of our favourite things to do together. We made beef tenderloin (!), garlic mashed potatoes, and roasted brussels sprouts. For dessert I whipped up one of my famous apple crisps using the recipe that’s been passed down through my family.
As I was sprinkling the crumble topping on top of the sliced apples I wondered if I could turn it into a muffin topping. Streusel-topped muffins? Yes please!
Okay, I have to be honest with you and tell you that I was never allowed to eat Pop Tarts as a kid. “Too much sugar!” my mom would say, shaking her head. I also wasn’t allowed sugary cereals for breakfast – if sugar was the first ingredient in the ingredients list, it was banned from my childhood breakfast table. (Way to go, mom! My adult self thanks you!)
Now that I’m an adult (how did that happen?!) I shop for my own groceries and can buy breakfast pastries galore – but considering that Pop Tarts have 456,264,196 unpronounceable ingredients in them, I’d rather make my own!
Banana bread. Have you ever met someone who doesn’t like banana bread? Seriously. It is the best. Sometimes I let bananas “accidentally” get too brown in our fruit bowl and then I “have” to bake them into banana bread. We are banana bread obsessed in this house.
I love experimenting with different flavours of banana bread, like my latest Bourbon Banana Bread. This time, wanting to eat healthier for the new year, I upped the healthy-factor and baked a 100% whole wheat banana bread.
These Quick Orange Date Blender Muffins are my absolute go-to muffin recipe. They are so simple to throw together – the orange (with peel on!) and orange juice get mixed in your blender, then blended with the egg and butter. The few dry ingredients are mixed in a large bowl, the wet ingredients are added and quickly stirred, and BANG you have muffins!
Dates add a pleasing sweetness to the tangy orange – if you don’t have dates on hand, then I’ve made this recipe many times with dried cranberries instead.
What’s a scuffin, you ask? Well, scone + muffin = scuffin!
A scuffin is essentially a scone baked in a muffin pan, therefore retaining its crumbly texture, and often they are fruit or jam filled. Scuffins were invented in San Francisco, of course, the birthplace of Toast, and numerous other food trends.
Bourbon for breakfast?!
Yes, I will, thank you! I promise that bourbon banana bread won’t make you drunk before noon, but the added bourbon imparts a wonderful subtle butterscotch flavour, recreating a classic recipe for the autumn season.