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Saturday, October 24, 2015

What The Internet Showed Me

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Happy Saturday! Or, as we say in our house.... "Happy Caturday!!!!" This has been a longggg week and I'm oh so happy that it's the weekend. My M-F job is spent working at one of the largest healthcare systems in Virginia and this past Tuesday we had a conference with over 200 people in attendance. Needless to say, we were very pleased that it all went well and that it's now past us!! I had planned to take a road-trip to Manteo, NC today, but I think sticking close to home is a better idea! Maybe next weekend:)

The internet of course had some pretty great things to share this week. Here's what I saw....


  • "Chewie, we're home" Probably the best three words I've heard since I was a young girl of 11 seeing The Empire Strikes Back with her Dad! I seriously don't know how I'm gonna make it another 2 months....the anticipation is real folks! Enjoy this super-cut of ALL the trailers put together!

  • Adele. Ohhhhhh Adele. You make us wait what....4 years?? Just long enough for our brains to get saturated with Taylor Swift, One Direction, Nicki Minaj and then you swoop in with this. Well, hello to you too. SO incredibly glad you're back :)

  • And if you want 11 seconds of funny.....watch THIS :)

  • Meg Fee has an e-book!!! And it's ahhhhhmazing! You've heard me talk about Meg before, her life in NYC, her struggles & joys....all of it speaks to me in such a profound way. And her writing has helped me to find my voice here on the blog. Definitely download her new e-book, you won't be sorry.

  • I dunno about you...but hangry is a real deal in my life! Now....we have scientific reasoning to back up our foul, nasty moods:)

  • Drizzle & Drip posted a yummy pumpkin and apple cake recipe yesterday that I think I'm going to add to the dessert table on Thanksgiving. I was originally planning two pies (1 apple, 1 Pecan) but I think the pecan is going to be replaced with this cake! It look delicious!!!

  • Finally...in honor of the week leading up to Halloween I give you......the most obnoxious neighbors on the planet! Can you IMAGINE living next door to this house?! It's entertaining to say the least...but you know Macklemore would get old real fast when played on a loop:/

Have a fabulous weekend lovies <3
Jenn





Monday, October 19, 2015

Apple, Banana Bread For A Cold Fall Morning....

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I swear the bananas were whispering to me everyday, telling me that my window of opportunity for banana bread was closing in. Then they started to show the tell-tale signs that, yes indeed....time was almost up! So much so that they were not pretty enough to make it into the pictures here:) So banana bread it was this past Saturday afternoon. And as I was prepping I thought adding an apple might be a nice companion to the bananas so I chopped one up, dredged it in butter, cinnamon and sugar and into the batter it went. Deeeee-lish!
Do you realize that Thanksgiving is just a little over a month away? I was looking at the calendar today and the reality of it hit me and I will admit I had a moment of panic. Why you ask? Because I'm in charge of the pies this year and I really want to hit them out of the park! I'm going to do a traditional {with a twist} apple pie with a lattice work top and then I think I'll try my hand at a pecan pie. I had a dream the other night of my pecan pie having various sized leaves covering the top. Edible leaves that is. I have these leaf cookie cutters and thought I would either put them all across the top or maybe around the end of the pie. I haven't decided yet but I promise it's gonna be spectacular!
Meanwhile, enjoy this apple, banana bread with some warm butter slathered over it and a hot cup of coffee! That's my plan tomorrow morning:)













Ingredients

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 & ¼ cups brown sugar, divided
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Medium apple - Diced
  • 2 tbs butter - melted
  • Cinnamon & Sugar to taste
  • ⅓ cup Greek yogurt (I use banana flavor, but plain or vanilla would work)
  • 2 cups mashed banana (about 3-4 small/medium bananas)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cinnamon, divided
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Slivered almonds
  • Pinch salt

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Either spray a 9" square baking pan with cooking spray or line it with parchment paper (i prefer parchment paper) and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the butter and ¾ cup of the brown sugar until blended. Whisk in the eggs, yogurt, banana and vanilla until combined. Lastly, add 1 tsp cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, baking soda, salt and pudding mix, careful not to over mix. Your batter may be thick and clumpy, but that's okay. Over mixing will lead to tough bread!
  3. In a separate bowl mix your diced apples with 2 tbsp melted butter and enough Cinnamon and sugar to coat. Fold the apples into the banana bread batter.
  4. Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the remaining brown sugar and cinnamon with a spoon until combined. Liberally sprinkle the mixture on top of the banana bread, patting it down if necessary.Add slivered almonds to the top if you want.
  5. Bake the bread for 30 minutes, then tent the bread with foil (which helps prevent the crust from burning and top + sides from cooking too quickly) very loosely. Continue baking for an additional 30 minutes.
  6. Allow the bread to cool completely before cutting into slices

Enjoy!!!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Keeping it simple for fall....

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I told myself I wasn't going to decorate for Halloween this year. But then....I changed my mind:) It's a gorgeous Saturday here in Ghent, the sun is shining, the temps are cool and everyone is feeling lazy. Sunbeams are in demand around here today and although it's definitely chillier, iced coffee is still being enjoyed!

Do you decorate for this holiday? What is your favorite holiday? I usually stay subtle for this one. Letting my true festive self (ie: Xmas freak-flag) wait until Christmas to go crazy! So, the steps are adorned with some of our little mice friends, my crystal ball is out, the pumpkins are scattered and the windows are wide open:)















What fun things are you up to this weekend?
Whatever you're doing, I hope it brings you joy!
Stay Blessed,
Jenn
<3


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

So glad....

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Sunday, October 4, 2015

Chocolate, bourbon bundt cake....oh yeah!!!

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Ahhhhh, beautiful October! Have I mentioned my love for the month of October? It really is my favorite month out of the year. But you already know this, right?!

Today we are having some pretty crappy weather, with a lot of flooding in my neighborhood:/ Luckily my street is somewhat elevated and we are safe and dry...but at either end of the street it becomes a lake when the tide comes in. So, what better time to bake a chocolate, bourbon bundt cake than on a windy, rainy Sunday? This recipe comes from Epicurious.com and it's so moist and delicious. The amount of bourbon is just enough to give you a hint of that boozy taste, but not overwhelming like a rum cake that is saturated! 

You can either eat this with a sprinkling of powdered sugar or opt for a chocolate glaze for that extra punch of sugar! I will admit, this was today's breakfast with a large cup of coffee. Indulgent? Yes! But sometimes, that's the beauty of being an adult.....you can have boozy cake for breakfast:)

Recipe:
Chocolate, Bourbon Bundt Cake

  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus 3 tablespoons for dusting the baking pan
  • 1½ cups brewed coffee (I substituted 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder and 1½ cups of water)
  • ½ cup Bourbon
  • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Preparation:

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 325°F. Butter bundt pan well, then dust with 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, knocking out excess.
Heat coffee, whiskey, butter, and remaining cup cocoa powder in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, whisking, until butter is melted. Remove from heat, then add sugar and whisk until dissolved, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and cool 5 minutes.
While chocolate mixture cools, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together eggs and vanilla in a small bowl, then whisk into cooled chocolate mixture until combined well. Add flour mixture and whisk until just combined (batter will be thin and bubbly). Pour batter into bundt pan and bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes.
Cool cake completely in pan on a rack, about 2 hours. Loosen cake from pan using tip of a dinner knife, then invert rack over pan and turn cake out onto rack.
Enjoy!!!!!


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Life Lately {via instagram}

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:: murray being murray :: sunflare & Grayson :: beautiful skies :: lazy, black kitties :: tuna lettuce wraps :: gargantuan grapes :: healthy smoothies to start the day :: playing soccer with a rogue grape :: catnip highs ::

Life lately has been pretty good. Looking forward to what October has in store for us!
Happy Thursday everyone:)
Jenn