This no oil or butter banana bread recipe has been a favorite with both my coworkers and neighbors. All natural apple sauce is used to create this very easy, chocolatey, moist banana bread. I created this recipe while on maternity leave and now it’s my go to recipe. The brown sugar and cinnamon really adds depth to the bread. Derrick thinks that I purposely let bananas get super ripe just to make banana bread. There may some truth to that…
The best part of summer is the bounty of delicious, sweet and juicy fruits! I love the berries, grapes, pears, watermelon and peaches during this time of year. The price of fruit is pretty inexpensive when they’re in season, for example, I bought 6 pounds of Bartlett pears for $4.99. I was able to make over 60 oz of jam with that and will be able to savor the flavors of summer later this year. Not to mention, jars of jam make great gifts! Pear and vanilla go so well together creating a jam that is fragrant and sweet. The little specks of vanilla is gorgeously dispersed throughout the jam which packs a lot of flavor.
This pear and vanilla bean jam is great on toast, mixed into Greek yogurt and even warmed up and drizzled over vanilla ice cream. I’ve also have enjoyed it straight out of the jar with a spoon. It’s pretty darn good!
August 17th is National Can-It-Forward Day! This year’s event will be broadcasting from Union Square Greenmarket in New York City from 10:00am to 2:00pm EST. Food Network’s Ted Allen will be sharing his expertise at the event. Can-It-Forward Day is really an opportunity to learn how to preserve fresh foods and share canning knowledge with each other. To participate you can either watch online, host a canning party, or join the event in person. Additional giveaways from Ball brand will be offered on August 17th to those to tune in. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter at #canitforward. All recipes that are demonstrated will also be available on Fresh Preserving.
To celebrate National Can-It-Forward Day we’re giving away The Ball Canning Discovery Kit, The Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving and a case of Ball brand canning jars. These are the perfect items to get you started with canning. I have to admit, the whole thought of canning seemed overwhelming to me. I’m very happy to say that I tried it for the first time last weekend and it was a lot easier than I had thought it would be. I made pear & vanilla bean jam and it was so simple and fast, especially using the Ball FreshTech Automatic Jam and Jelly maker. It took all the guess work out of making jam. I’m excited to share that recipe with you later this week! In the meantime, good luck with the giveway! I can’t wait for you to try making your own jams and jellies! I think they make such wonderful gifts and a great way to preserve a little bit of summer.
We have been M.I.A for quite some time now, but we have a few good reasons. Last year was a whirlwind for us. We found out that we were expecting a little baby boy, we bought a new home and we put our home on the market. We finally moved into our new home at the beginning of March and started unpacking and preparing for Brandon’s arrival, but we didn’t get much done because Brandon decided to come 3 weeks early. We weren’t ready… but then again is any one ever really ready?
While pregnant, many people often asked if I had any cravings. I think they were hoping to hear something bizarre such as anchovies, ice cream and a drizzle of pickle juice. I was sad to disappoint because the two things that I craved were actually pretty “normal” in my book. Early in my pregnancy, before I even knew I was pregnant, I craved two things: green chile tamales and chocolate chip cookies. I spent days searching for green chile tamales and baked chocolate chip cookies weekly. During my first trimester I craved a lot of fruit: apples, oranges, mangoes, Asian pears, berries, persimmons and bananas. I was especially drawn to orange colored fruits such as persimmons and mangoes. I guess I needed vitamin A. During my third trimester Derrick and I had a green smoothie daily for breakfast which usually consisted of kale, apple, carrot, Greek yogurt, chia seeds and pineapple. I know… pretty boring cravings, huh?
Cilantro lime rice is simple one pot dish that is full of robust flavors. Sauteed onions, garlic and ginger adds an aromatic and savory touch to the rice. The rice is then lightly toasted in butter, cooked in chicken broth and infused with lime zest to add flavor and a refreshing twist. The rice is then fluffed with chopped cilantro and fresh lime juice to brighten up the dish. It’s a decadent way to dress up rice and wonderful served with sauteed shrimp.
Smart & Final and Proctor and Gamble (P&G) have teamed up together for a great promotion. Purchase $25 of P&G products at your local Smart & Final store and receive a T-Fal Caldero (valued at 39.99) from celebrity chef Ingrid Hoffmann’s Simply Delicioso line and some of her recipes by mail. This promotion is valid from 2/13/13 to 2/19/13. Visit the Smart & Final Social Circular to learn more about the promotion. I’ve used the caldero pot a few times now and I love it. It’s a 5.5 quart pot which is a great size and versatile. It can be used for cooking one pot meals, pastas, roasts and soups.
Let’s Stay in Touch (email updates):
- Chocolate Wine Sangria with ChocolatRouge
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Butter Cookies
- Easy Bacon Chicken Mac & Cheese
- Korean BBQ Short Ribs #CampbellSauces
- Winder Farms Review and Giveaway
- Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
- Pear and Vanilla Bean Jam
- Can It Forward Day 2013 & Giveaway
- Pregnancy Cravings – Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Cilantro Lime Rice
- Roasted Tomato Soup inspired by Panera Bread
- Oreo Cookie Balls
- Holiday Granola and Silpat & Nutmeg Mill Giveaway
- Taylor Thursday & Zuke’s Lil Links Giveaway
- Taylor Thursday and Pumpkin Bars
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