Banana Chocolate Chip Bread


It never fails, the transitioning weather from Summer to Fall always gives me the itch to start baking again.  This recipe was given to me by a sweet friend of mine from nursing school.  One day, she showed up to class with this yummy loaf of bread and I stalked her until she emailed me the recipe.  It has become one of my go-to recipes when I want a quick and easy, yet satisfying baked bread.

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

1 cup granulated sugar
4 oz. butter
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup chocolate chips

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together.  Beat in the bananas, eggs, and vanilla.
In a small bowl, combine dry ingredients.  Stir dry ingredients into first mixture just until moistened.  Fold in chocolate chips.
Pour batter into greased and floured 9x5x3 loaf pan and cover with aluminum (make a tent to allow room for rising).
Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and continue baking for 30-40 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

Summer Treat: Fresh Squeezed Lemonade

When I think of summer I think of fresh squeezed lemonade and fresh fruit juices.  It’s been incredibly hot and humid these last few days here in Chicago, and so a few nights ago I made one of my favorite summer drinks, fresh squeezed lemonade.  It’s quick and easy to make and very refreshing for these hot summer nights.  I followed this recipe and liked it very much.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Crazy for Coconut Cupcakes


Tomorrow is my nephew’s (well, actually he’s my husband’s nephew) birthday and since my sister-in-law is bringing him over for lunch tomorrow I decided to whip up some cupcakes for the occasion.  I made these cupcakes for Christmas but with a lemon curd filling.  I didn’t like the lemon curd filling so I decided to forgo that this time around.  The recipe calls for a coconut buttercream which is oh-so delicious!

1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut (plus some extra for garnish)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 large egg plus 1 large egg white

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup coconut milk

Preheat the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line your 12 cupcake pan with liners.

In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and coconut, and set aside.  I like to chop the coconut so its less coarse.  But that’s up to you.

In another bowl, beat together the sugar and butter together until it is light and fluffy.  Add the egg, egg white, and vanilla and beat until combined.


This is what it looks like when it’s all mixed together.

Add the flour mixture and coconut milk in alternating additions mixing just until blended.   Avoid over mixing which will result in tough cupcakes.  So one time you add the flour and blend, then add the about 1/2 of the coconut milk and blend, and then add flour and blend…etc.




Divide the batter evenly in a 12 cup cupcake pan.

Bake for 18-20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once they have cooled a bit, take them out of the pan and transfer to a cooling rack.

Coconut Buttercream

3 large egg whites at room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

pinch of salt

1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces, at room temperature

1/2 tsp coconut extract


In a large heatproof bowl, combine the egg whites and sugar.  Set the bowl over, but not touching, simmering water in a saucepan and heat the mixture, whisking constantly, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is very warm.  Remove the bowl from the saucepan.  Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the egg white mixture until it’s fluffy and holds stiff  peaks.

With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the salt and the butter, a few pieces at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the coconut extract.  Wa la!  You should have yummy coconut buttercream frosting!