Tag Archives: snack

This Will Change Your Life (and mine) {recipe: starbucks banana walnut bread}

1 Sep

Back in May, exactly one day after Mother’s Day and two days after I had thrown a baby shower for my most wonderful friend, I, myself peed on the magic wand to discover some timely news.

I have not told you all yet, blog readers,  but I, two-years-and-change-into-marriage, what-should-I-do-with-my-life, oh-things-are-so-easy-to-not-have-kids, am pregnant. Yes, sometime in mid-January we are supposed to be having a baby. I am just sure ours will come via stork, clean and wrapped in a nice blanket and not with the traditional arsenal of medical tools awaiting every pregnant woman at the hospital. I am sure.

From starbucks banana bread

That being said, I have the normal pregnancy stuff, nothing that I can really tell you which would be out of the ordinary. But there is one little caveat. The only thing I didn’t expect is probably this craziness of feelings and thoughts and emotions. I am not a huge “feeler.” I would say, in any event I sort of guard myself from becoming too excited that I would be devastated if let down, and I also deny becoming too upset about anything, because what is that going to help, really?

Let me tell you what has changed. Not just my expanding waistline, or the fact that I am a human incubator harboring giant soon-to-be milk factories, or that any time after 2pm, I could slide into unsuspecting narcolepsy, or that I think if I don’t find out this baby’s gender, I can’t feel bad that I don’t feel prepared for this baby because heck, I don’t even know if it is a boy or a girl. Oh, there is more than that.

We shall call it a tornado of emotions. Now, I would not call myself an over-emotional person. Moreover, I think that I don’t get excited enough about things because I fear disappointment, or that I am not greived enough, because I am trying to shield myself from pain and hurt. Until now. Now, there is no filter. No shielding.

So, last Saturday, I was a huge jerk to my loving husband. I then proceeded to cry, uncontrollably, for at least 90 minutes and between sobs said things like, “I am so overwhelmed,” and, “I am just sad.” And Jon would have done anything to help, but all I wanted was for him to “sit there with me” to console me, after I was so rude. Then I got over the overwhelmed part and cried because I was being a horrible wife and how am I supposed to be a good mother if I am already a horrible wife? It went on. He stayed. Consoled. I survived.

Whew. So, I got through it and I am back now, in action, but something inside me thinks that will not be the last time.

Well, a few good things have come out of the last week. We had some friends and their cute baby over for breakfast last Sunday and I made this banana banana bread that is so, so good. I then proceeded to make it three more times within the following week. That’s how good it is.

All that being said, the banana bread will change your life; the banana bread AND the baby will change mine. Can you tell I am nervous?

From starbucks banana bread

I can’t take credit for this recipe. I started with a recipe for Starbuck’s Banana Walnut Bread that they posted on their corporate site. With a few modifications, this is awesome.

Starbucks Banana Walnut Bread

makes one 9×5 in. loaf.

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 1/8 cup sugar

1 egg

1 T. vanilla

2 c. flour

1 t. baking soda

3/4 t. cinnamon

3 very-ripe bananas

1/4 cup buttermilk

1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

Preheat oven to 325 F and grease a 9×5 loaf pan.

Mix together oil and sugar until blended. Add egg and vanilla and stir.

Stir in flour, cinnamon and baking soda.

In a separate bowl, mash bananas until creamy and then stir in  buttermilk.

Add banana mixture to flour mixture andstir to combine.

Stir in half of nuts.

Pour batter into pan and top with remaining nuts.

Bake 45-60 minutes or until wooden toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.

From starbucks banana bread

Beat the Tricky Weather {recipe: best granola}

20 Jan

Did you ever read Sybil? That is what our weather has been like. It’s cold, then hot, then cold again – all in one day. One day it will be cold in the morning and hot in the afternoon, and the next day it will be hot in the morning and cold in the afternoon. What’s a girl to wear? Is the daily question. But really, what’s a girl to cook? Is my eternal mantra, and the weather sometimes jacks up my plans.

No one wants to come over to your house and have soup when it’s 85 outside. And likewise, your ice cream is not as endearing when it’s skimming below freezing outside.

And on top of that, the allergies. I don’t have bad ones, but it seems like most do. The closest I come is our dog, who gets these horrible bumps inside his ears and on his legs and gnaws at his feet so long and intently that you wonder if he will make it to summer with any feet at all. That’s all to say I can’t imagine those ailments manifesting in my own body. Relentless allergies. 

Can you give us a foolproof recipe for unpredictable weather and allergies?

I can.



I have made many a failed batch of granola, but those days are over. This is a forgiving recipe full of hearty nutrients. It will be great for any time of year and any time of day, for that matter. I eat this granola for breakfast, or a snack, or dessert. 

This granola is full of honey. Use local honey to help build up you resistance to allergens!

Go for it and buy organic oats and cereal. You’re already making your own granola, go all-out to make it good for you! If you don’t like something, leave it out! If you love something, add more! That’s the beauty of granola.



3 cups oats 

1 ½ cups nuts, chopped (I used almonds and cashews)

¼ cup flax seeds

½ cup sesame seeds

2 generous cups cereal (I used puffed brown rice cereal and something that was cheerio-type)

2 cups dried fruit, chopped (I used cranberries, cherries and dried apples)

1 cup honey or brown rice syrup

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon butter

¼ cup brown sugar 

¼ cup molasses

2 teaspoons vanilla


Preheat oven to 350. Spread first 4 ingredients on 2 9×13 pans and toast for about 15 minutes, you’ll be able to smell  the toasted nuts. Remove from oven and stir in fruits and cereal.

When the pans cool, grease or butter them.

Meanwhile, heat the honey, salt, sugar, molasses, and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until ingredients are combined. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla.

Pour honey mixture into bowl with oat mixture and stir to combine.

Spread the mixture evenly into pans. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the granola turns golden. It will be soft and and sticky.

Let the granola cool for about 5 minutes, then remove from pan and spread on waxed paper. Let rest until completely cooled.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 10 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.


Original post: https://saltimbocca.wordpress.com/2009/01/20/best-granola

Quick, Easy and Flexible: Hummus

9 Oct

Hummus is like the most popular cheerleader on the squad. She’s flexible, she shows up at every party, everyone likes her, she’s easy…well the hummus is easy, I don’t know about you, cheerleader. I haven’t made hummus before, I don’t know why, I just buy it on occasion if it is on sale and that’s it.

From Hummus

About a month ago, tahini was on sale, so I bought some (you see a trend in my shopping, I know. sale=possibility for purchase. no sale=no possibility) with the intent to make hummus one day, and I have a can of chick peas in the pantry. I don’t know when I bought the chick peas and I couldn’t decode what looked like a possible date on the can, so I am just trusting that cans last a few days short of forever, so I should be good. I think the beauty of hummus is that you can play up whichever ingredient you favor, and run with it. Unlike the peanut butter, you can keep adding more of whichever ingredient you like with no repurcussions. 

From Hummus


1 can chick peas/garbanzo beans (same thing), rinsed and drained

1/3 cup tahini (sesame-seed paste. think: peanut butter but from sesame seeds))

juice of 1 lemon

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1-2 T. olive oil

1 t. salt

chile powder (optional)

extra olive oil (optional)


Blend chick peas in food processor, when blended, add tahini, garlic, and salt. 

Stream in the lemon juice, and olive oil until you reach the consistency you like. 

Sprinkle with chile powder and drizzle with olive oil for presentation.