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Quick and Easy Banana Walnut Muffins - The perfect healthy breakfast








Hello my lovelies, 

Did you guys have an action packed awesome summer? Or a relaxing and slow paced one? Which ever it was I hope it was everything you wanted it to be :)



I had a fairly busy summer myself, I worked a full time 9-5 'grown up' job, I volunteered, and I took a summer course, and tried to squeeze in some time for friends to catch up on movies (pretty sure I saw every movie that was out in theatres this summer) and summer memories. :) Oh! And I also got a brand spankin' new macbook pro :D *fan girl squeal* 






I also had some not so great moments. In July I got rear-ended in a car accident that gave me some really bad whiplash :( This resulted in far too many visits to the chiropractor's office - but on the bright side I am slowly but surely going back to my 100% self :)



All of this to say I have had a very very busy summer. Thats why when my parents informed me of their plans for a last minute road trip I was excited (albeit a bit weary of the long drive) to get out of Ottawa for a bit. We drove all the way down to Waterloo to the welcoming home of some old family friends. While there, the Mrs. of the house taught me how to make these delicious banana nut muffins. Whats super great about them is you can use up any bananas that may be going a bit too brown. 

What makes it even better? Its super easy to toss together (a few minutes) and uses only one bowl and comes together fast with a whisk. Same amount of time that it would take to make pancake batter you can have this yummy treat :) I personally loved the taste especially when you consider the simplicity of it. And with back to School/Work season back upon us this make it the perfect healthy treat. Make in the morning (or afternoon) and have a quick, easy, nutritious breakfast on the go. 




Quick and Easy Breakfast Banana Muffins

Ingredients

* 3 Bananas
* 2 eggs
* 2 cups of flour
* 1 cup of sugar
* 1/3 cup of oil
* 1/2 cup of milk
* 1 tsp of baking soda
* 1 tsp of baking powder

Toppings/Fillings:

- throw in a handful of chocolate chips or walnuts or anything else you want and mix in to the batter. We opted to crush up some walnuts and toss them on as toppings. 


Instructions:

1) Mash up the bananas in your bowl with a spoon or fork (or whatever else you like)

2) Throw in the rest of the ingredients and mix (yup! that easy!) Scoop into paper lined muffin/cupcake tins and bake at 350* until a toothpick comes out clean. (Usually 10 to 15 min depending on your oven temperatures) 
















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Classic Birthday Cake - Because it's not every day you turn 21!




Wow. Last update: November 16th. That’s like…what… a bajillion years ago? Ok maybe its more like 7 months but it feels like a bajillion years. And yes bajillion years is really a thing. Google it. 


 

So Yes I have been gone for a while. As I mentioned in my last post I had been having a bit of an ‘early life crisis’ and freaking out about everything and anything. I would love to say that I have had life all figured out since then and that I again have another amazing diabolical plan for my future! :D but the truth is, I don’t. Funny part? I don’t even care! It seems like I have had a completely different change of attitude about things since I last posted which in a way makes me happy…it means I’ve grown as a person…I’ve matured. :) Well, at least that’s what Dr. Phil says. Anyways, I’ve come to figure out that life isn’t necessarily about having the perfect plans and reaching those perfect dreams and that not only is it ok to have little ‘hiccups’ and mistakes along the way…its actually an amazing thing.

A blessing in disguise. Because life would be so boring if everything went the way it should. Now I know some (like myself) prefer things to go as planned (I mean who doesn’t?) but sometimes when they don’t, it forces you to re-evaluate life and see what it is you truly want from it. And if you find you still want the same things as you did before? Well the questioning of your hopes and dreams (and the inevitable delays and mistakes along the way) will make it so that when you end up wherever it is your path takes you…you’ll appreciate your accomplishments that much more! :) 




Hehe, wow. That was actually kind of deep. I was not expecting to go into all of that but I guess I needed to say it.:D I would also like to thank all of my readers who emailed me about my hiatus and their loving and encouraging emails urging me to come back….it means more to me than you know!! :D I love you guys. *mwah*



So, aside from all the soul searching, what have I been up to? Well, I have been super busy with school, work, finding a summer job, landing that summer job(yes!) and some family stuff to boot. Oh, and also, I celebrated another birthday :) 




this is actually an ‘old’ cake. I made it for my birthday which was way back on March 6th. I had been super busy with life things around that time and enjoyed a lovely dinner with a few close friends and had a few different cakes with different groups of friends to celebrate! However I felt like I should make myself a cake too….not only because it would give me the chance to do something I love and had not had the time to do in a long time, but also because….hey…its not every day you turn 21 ;)

 

I was originally planning on going all fancy…pink swirl frosting? 2 layered fondant cake? Triple chocolate mousse? But then I decided to go with an old-fashioned staple for birthday cakes. Yellow cake with chocolate frosting. And some pretty sprinkles for good measure :)







I really loved the cake…the texture was heavy but moist…the perfect birthday cake. It paired quite nicely with this sour cream chocolate frosting….the tangy ness gave it a certain…je ne sais quoi…. Definitely a perfect ‘traditional’ birthday cake !





So, that’s about that on my end of things! How have you guys been? Celebrate any birthdays? Oh! And very important before I forget – 21 feels like a bit of a milestone birthday for me so I was wondering for all of you who have passed it…any advice for this sweet toothed girl? Any and all will be appreciated whether you are 25 or 45 35 ;)




Best Yellow Layer Cake

(SOURCE
Yield: Two 9-inch round, 2-inch tall cake layers, and, in theory, 22 to 24 cupcakes, two 8-inch squares or a 9×13 single-layer cake

* 4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (480 grams) cake flour (not self-rising)
* 2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1 teaspoon (5 grams) table salt
* 2 sticks (1 cup, 1/2 pound or 225 grams) unsalted butter, softened
* 2 cups (400 grams) sugar
* 2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
* 4 large eggs, at room temperature
* 2 cups buttermilk (475 ml), well-shaken

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans and line with circles of parchment paper, then butter parchment. (Alternately, you can use a cooking spray, either with just butter or butter and flour to speed this process up.)

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined (mixture will look curdled). Add flour mixture in three batches, mixing until each addition is just Incorporated.

Spread batter evenly in cake pan, then rap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles. (I like to drop mine a few times from two inches up, making a great big noisy fuss.) Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge of pan. Invert onto rack and discard parchment, then cool completely, about 1 hour.

Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting

(source)
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
Melt chocolate and the butter together. Let cool and blend in the sour cream, vanilla, and salt. Gradually add the confectioner's sugar until the frosting is of spreading consistency, beat well. 






P.S. I made a video! It was a spur of the moment with my iphone thing :p


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Quick and Easy One Bowl Chocolate Cake and my Early-life crisis





Its been a while hasn’t it? I’ve missed you guys very much :) I apologize for the delay the past few months have been quite….hectic. I’ve been going through quite a few things in my personal life that have left me without much time or desire (gasp!) to bake and blog. But that’s all going to change now. Hopefully.


To make a big story short, my biggest problem right now is that I do not know what to do. For those of you who know me well you will know that I am the kind of girl who thinks 5, 6, 8 and 10 steps ahead. I like to have a plan. Having a plan makes me happy. And as such, I have always made and modified and perfected my ‘life plan’. Many have laughed at me, others were puzzled at this teenage girl whose got her life planned and goals set for age 30 age 40 and beyond (when many adults still do not have it figured out).




So what is this plan? Well, I’ve had it planned out since 9th grade so I can tell you quite clearly. Step 1 : Obtain really good grades in high school in order to go to  university and get scholarships (check!) Step 2: Get a 4 years degree (in law and Politics) and work your ass off to get high grades and a ‘competitive’ record. (check!) Step 3: Apply to Law School, Step 4: Go to Law School, Step 5: Get a prestigious job in one of the best Law Firms in Bay Street Toronto (Canada’s equivalent to the big shot law firms in Manhattan NYC) I could go on and on and on about how this plan I have planned oh so well, but there would be no point. I have come to the conclusion that I will NOT be pursing this path anymore!





Early this summer I ended up having not a mid-life crisis, but an ‘early-life crisis’. I’m not sure I could fully explain the thought process (and believe me there was a lot of it!) but I realized that I no longer had a desire to become a lawyer! The optimistic side of me says that perhaps it’s a good thing I realized this before going to law school, going $150,000 in debt, and THEN realize I did not like it. But I cant help feeling very sad and a bit scared about all this. It is a very scary thing to go from having a plan only to have it go down the drain. Especially considering the fact that I am in my last year in my undergraduate degree, I am so very very very close to law school and all of my dreams, but now I feel I no longer want it? So what do I want? I have no idea. And for someone who NEEDS to have a plan….this is a very scary time.




Well perhaps to say that I have ‘no idea’ is unfair…I have quite a few ideas… (that’s the problem) and the reason I am stumped. The biggest issue is that the ‘options’ are very varied – from policy analyst to diplomat to getting a MBA or maybe even medical school? Thankfully because of my efforts the past 4 years I have a good enough GPA to have options. Unfortunately options can sometimes be frustrating! :p



When you are feeling the blues as I am and are not sure at all of your future, you know what helps? Chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. And cake too. But what’s even better than chocolate cake? EASY one bowl chocolate cake. Because the last thing you want to do when having an early life crisis is to worry about washing the dishes. I found this cake to be super decadent and I decided to sprinkle on some pomegranate for decoration, but oh my god….it improved the flavor so much more! It added an excellent contrast : nice cool sour crunch with fudgy chocolate cake.





One Bowl Chocolate Cake

* 150g unsalted butter

* 220g brown sugar

* 100g good quality dark chocolate
* 
50g Dutch-processed cocoa
* 
160ml milk

* 3 large eggs, room temperature

* 170g plain flour

* 1.5 tsp baking powder

* 1/2 tsp baking soda

* 1/2 tsp salt (skip this if using salted butter)


Method


Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease and line a 20-21cm square tin. (I used a 9 inch round)

In a large pot or mixing bowl over simmering water, add the butter, sugar, chocolate, cocoa and milk. When butter and chocolate has melted, remove from heat and whisk to combine. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Add the eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk to combine. Sift over the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt then gently stir to mix.
Scrape batter into tin and bake for 45-55 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Cool in tin for 5 minutes then turn out and cool completely on a wire rack. Cake will keep for a few days in an airtight container (a quick zap in the microwave will get it all warm, melty and soft again).

Chocolate Fudge Frosting
(source)


Ingredients


* 100g good quality dark chocolate

* 50g unsalted butter, softened and at room temperature

* 150g icing sugar, sifted

* Pinch of salt
* 
1-2 Tbl of milk (I ended up using 3)


Method


In a bowl over simmering water, melt chocolate then remove from heat. Beat in softened butter (make sure it is room temp. Cold butter is bad news in this case). Sift over icing sugar and salt then beat until combined. Add enough milk until it is a spreadable consistency.


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Random Fun Stuff

Song of the week: Glee Season 2!!

Watching: Criminal Minds season 6 (man! its mind blowing)

Inspirational Quote:

"Life isn't about finding yourself, it's about creating yourself"

Random Foodie Fact:

"The world's first chocolate candy was produced in 1828 by Dutch chocolate-maker Conrad J. Van Houten."

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