Chocolate Spice Banana Bread

img_5068Fall is officially here and although I am ready to jump all over every pumpkin recipe, I know I have a lot of time for that.  I am loving the weather starting to change (just slightly here in Dallas) and the idea of fun fall flavors.  

Since banana bread is a family favorite and one of the easiest recipes to make, I decided to add chocolate and spices to welcome the new season.  

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Chocolate Spice Banana Bread
Yields 1
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  2. 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  3. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  4. 2 tsp cinnamon
  5. 1 tsp ginger
  6. 1 cup light brown sugar
  7. 1/2 tsp salt
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  10. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  11. 1 cup banana, mashed
  12. 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. sift dry ingredients into a mixing bowl
  2. whisk in eggs, oil, extract and mashed bananas until fully combined
  3. gently stir in chocolate chips
  4. pour into greased loaf pan
  5. bake at 350 degrees F for 45-55 minutes
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/

Quick Breads

IMG_4624Any recipe with the name bread in it can seem intimidating but if you are in the mood to be adventurous with flavors and impress your family and friends, try a quick bread. Quick breads are just what they seem, two mixtures coming together, dry ingredients and liquid ingredients and sometimes adding an acidic element like yogurt, buttermilk or sour cream. There is no yeast, no waiting with time but so much wonderful flavor. Quick breads with coffee in the morning, served with fresh whipped cream and berries in the evening or flavored with cheese and herbs for a dinner side dish makes for a very versatile recipe and one that is used most out of my recipe box.IMG_4600IMG_4648IMG_4677

Blueberry Oatmeal Loaf
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Oatmeal Topping
  1. 1/2 Cup Oatmeal
  2. 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
  3. 2 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
  4. 2 Tbsp Light Brown Sugar
  5. 1 tsp Cinnamon
  6. 5 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, Melted
  7. 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Blueberry Loaf
  1. 1 Large Orange, Zest and Juiced
  2. 2/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
  3. 1/2 Cup Whole Milk
  4. 2 Eggs
  5. 2 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
  6. 1 Cup Light Brown Sugar
  7. 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
  8. 1/4 tsp Salt
  9. 1 Cup Fresh Blueberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x5 loaf pan
  2. Prepare the oatmeal topping
  3. Combine oatmeal, flour, both sugar and cinnamon
  4. Slowly add in melted butter and vanilla extract while stirring to cream a crumble; Set aside
  5. Zest and juice orange to measure 1/3 cup and whisk together with oil, milk and eggs
  6. Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt together
  7. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and whisk until combined
  8. Fold in the blueberries
  9. Pour Batter into prepared loaf pan and sprinkle with oatmeal topping
  10. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
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Raspberry Lemon Loaf
Yields 1
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Ingredients
  1. 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  2. 1 tsp Baking Powder
  3. 1 tsp Baking Soda
  4. 1/2 tsp Salt
  5. 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, Softened
  6. 1 Cup Sugar
  7. Zest of 1 Lemon
  8. 2 Eggs
  9. 3 Tbsp Yogurt, Plain
  10. 1 Cup Fresh Raspberries, Crushed
  11. *Lemon Glaze (see below)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 9x5 inch loaf pan
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt
  3. In a mixing bowl, attached with paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest until fluffy
  4. Beat in eggs and scrape down sides after each egg
  5. Mix in flour and yogurt until fully combined
  6. Remove the bowl from mixer and fold in the crushed raspberries
  7. Spread the batter into the prepared loaf pan
  8. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until center comes out clean
  9. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 30 minutes
  10. Once the bread is cooled, remove from the pan make the *lemon glaze and drizzle over the top of the raspberry loaf
  11. Serve or store in an airtight container
Notes
  1. *Lemon Glaze
  2. 1 Cups Powdered Sugar
  3. 2-3 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
  4. Place powdered sugar in a medium bowl and stir in lemon juice
  5. Glaze should be thick but able to be drizzled over bread
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
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Cream Cheese Coffee Crumb Loaf
Yields 1
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Crumb Topping
  1. 3/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
  2. 1/3 Cup Light Brown Sugar
  3. 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  4. 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
  5. 1/4 tsp Salt
  6. 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, Cubed
Cream Cheese Filling
  1. 4 ounce Cream Cheese
  2. 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  3. 1 Egg
Coffee Cake
  1. 8 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  2. 3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  3. 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  4. 1 Egg
  5. 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  6. 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
  7. 1/2 tsp Salt
  8. 2/3 Cup Whole Milk
Crumb Topping
  1. Whisk together the flour, light brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt
  2. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until it is fully combined and large crumbles of dough form
  3. Refrigerate until ready to use
Cream Cheese Filling
  1. In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until completely smooth
  2. Add the egg and continue beating until fluffy
  3. Refrigerate until ready to use
Coffee Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 9x5 loaf pan
  2. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy
  3. Add the egg and beat until smooth
  4. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and slowly incorporate the flour mixture in with the butter alternating with milk
  5. Beat until fully combined
  6. Spread half the batter into prepared loaf pan and then spread the cream cheese mixture in the middle finishing with the rest of the cake batter
  7. Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the batter
  8. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
  9. Allow the bread to cool completely before removing it from the loaf pan
  10. Enjoy or store in an air tight container
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
 Ink Foods Signature

 

Double Chocolate Banana Muffins

muffin 3With summer in full swing, I have tried to stay creative with our breakfast options!  As well as being the most important part of the day, it always navigates the attitude; happy, tired, silly, or grumpy.   I can promise you…these  Double Chocolate Banana Muffins made for one happy morning!!!  muffin 1IMG_4364

Double Chocolate Banana Muffins
Yields 12
Rich chocolate banana muffins for the perfect morning pick me up!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
  2. 1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
  3. 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  4. 3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  5. 1/2 tsp Salt
  6. 2 Eggs
  7. 3/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
  8. 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  9. 1 Cup Banana, Mashed (approx. 2 Bananas)
  10. 1 Cup Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare muffin pans with butter or paper liners
  2. Sift flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda into a mixing bowl
  3. In another mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla extract
  4. Slowly add egg mixture into dry ingredients and whisk until fully combined
  5. Fold in mashed bananas and chocolate chips to the batter until fully combined
  6. Scoop batter into prepared muffin tins
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean
  8. Serve immediately or store in air tight container
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/

Easter Bread…A slice of an international tradition

IMG_6437A sweet bread full of tradition and lives through many cultures is one that has been passed down from generation to generation in my family. Italian Easter bread is a rich, eggy bread with a pop of citrus flavor, eggs (dyed or whited) braided into the dough, a sweet sugar glaze, and the best part…covered in rainbow sprinkles.

A tradition that my great grandmother started and has been shared and enjoyed by many is one of my favorite Easter morning memories. Every year this sweet brioche like bread would stay on our counter and throughout the weekend would be sliced and buttered until the whole thing was gone. Although is it typically made for the Easter holiday, I tend to crave it all year long.

Throughout many years of sharing our family’s Easter Bread, I quickly learned that it is not only an Italian tradition, but one spans many other cultures.

Italian Easter bread (Pane di Pasqua) 
The wreath symbolizes the crown of thorns, and the eggs represents birth and life.

Greek Easter Bread (Tsoureki)
This is very similar to the Italian tradition.  Three strands of bread symbolize the holy trinity, and red dyed eggs represent the blood of Christ.

British Easter Bread (Hot Cross Buns)
These are spiced sweet buns made with currents or raisins and enjoyed on Good Friday. 
The cross represents the Crucifixion of Christ.

Croatian Easter Bread, Pinca
Round loaf with a cross cut into the surface of the bread symbolizing the Crucifixion.  It is flavored with raisins, rum and citrus zest.

Spanish Easter Bread, Mona de Pascua
-Mona de Pascua means “gift of Easter”and is very similar to the Italian tradition as well, but is typically made with quail eggs, olive oil instead of butter and accented with flavors of orange zest and rosewater.

I hope you enjoy this special recipe from my Nanny’s kitchen to yours!

Nanny's Easter Bread
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Dough
  1. 4 cups all purpose flour
  2. ¼ cup granulated sugar
  3. ½ cup vegetable shortening
  4. ½ cup whole milk
  5. 1 envelope active dry yeast (2 ¼ tsp)
  6. 4 eggs
  7. 1 orange, zest and juice
  8. ½ tsp salt
  9. ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  10. 4 eggs (for decoration)
Glaze
  1. 2 cups powdered sugar
  2. ¼ cup whole milk
  3. Sprinkles for garnish
Dough
  1. Place flour and sugar in a large mixing bowl with dough hook attachment and add shortening until a course crumb forms. Heat milk in a saucepan until warm to the touch (110 degrees F) and add yeast.
  2. Combine eggs, orange zest and juice, vanilla extract and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk until combined. Slowly add yeast mixture to the flour mixture and knead until it comes together (it will be dry at this point). Add egg mixture a little at a time until fully combined.
  3. Knead the dough in the mixer or by hand until dough is soft and elastic. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise until doubled in size (approximately 1 hour).
  4. Divide dough into two pieces and roll each piece into 24-inch-long pieces. Twist the two pieces together. Form the rope into a 12” round circle, pinching the ends together to seal, and nestle 4 eggs into the dough. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size (approx 45 minutes).
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F; once the bread is ready, bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown on top. Allow the bread to cool completely before glazing and adding sprinkles.
Glaze
  1. Whisk together powdered sugar and milk, adding more of either ingredient to achieve the desired consistency. Use a pastry brush to glaze the top of the Easter Bread.
  2. Before the glaze dries, garnish the bread with rainbow sprinkles
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
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Waffles…Morning, Noon or Night!

waffles 1As young as I can remember and now raising my own family, I find it very important that we all sit down to eat, rather than grabbing and going. As our lives are getting busier and busier with early morning school routine and all the extracurricular activities it is becoming harder to insure that all our meals are enjoyed at the table. Menu planning, prepping and stocking the fridge and freezer is the best way I know how to to quickly get everyone fed with whole, natural and nutritious ingredients.

Although I would love to have a three course meal ready on all occasions, that is not likely at this stage in our life and I am totally fine with that. Breakfast for dinner, dinner for lunch, or an array of appetizers for any meal is what you might find in my kitchen, but the girls are happy and we are fed!

Breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert, waffles are a favorite in my family. There is something so comforting about a homemade waffles, whether you are enjoying them alone or garnishing them with eggs, bacon, prosciutto, roasted bananas, chocolate or anything other toppings of your choice. The crisp outside and soft doughy center makes for a perfect meal. Two of my go to waffle combinations is thinly sliced prosciutto and shaved gruyere cheese for a savory twist and on the sweeter side, roasted bananas topped with a butterscotch syrup.waffles 2

The beauty of waffles is that they can be found all over the world. These perfectly shaped treats are on restaurant menus of all cuisines. From steakhouses, southern to American fine dining, waffles are sure to make you feel like a kid again.waffles 3

Classic Waffle
Yields 10
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Ingredients
  1. 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  2. 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
  3. 1/2 tsp Salt
  4. 4 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
  5. 1 1/2 Cups Whole Milk
  6. 2 Eggs, Separated
  7. 1/2 Cup Butter, Melted
Instructions
  1. Preheat the waffle iron
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl
  3. In a separate bowl whisk egg yolks and milk and whisk into dry ingredients
  4. Pour the melted butter into flour mixture and mix until fully combined
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks and slowly add in granulated sugar
  6. Gently fold egg whites into batter just until combined, do not over mix or the batter will deflate
  7. Scoop the desired amount of batter onto a greased and warmed waffle iron and cook until golden brown (use according to the manufacture of your iron)
  8. Remove waffle when ready and serve immediately or freeze the extra waffles!
Notes
  1. Prosciutto & Gruyere Waffle
  2. Make the classic waffle recipe
  3. Whisk in 1/2 cup shredded gruyere cheese into the waffle batter
  4. Scoop the batter into waffle iron until golden brown
  5. Remove waffle from the iron and garnish with thinly sliced prosciutto, shredded gruyere and chopped chives
  6. Serve immediately!
  7. Roasted Banana & Caramel Waffles
  8. Heat oven to 350 degrees F
  9. Slice bananas into 1/2” thick banana rounds and place on a foil lined sheet pan
  10. Sprinkle the bananas with granulated sugar and roast for 10-15 minutes or until bananas are soft and sugar is bubbling.
  11. While the bananas are roasting, make the classic waffle recipe
  12. Whisk in 1/2 cup chopped pecans into waffle batter
  13. Scoop batter into waffle iron until golden brown
  14. Remove waffle from the iron and garnish with roasted bananas, toasted pecan pieces and caramel sauce of your choice
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
Some of my favorite waffles around Dallas:

Nick and Sam’s Steakhouse
Brioche Waffle on Fois Gras
Jalapeño Cheddar Waffle on a Southern Fried Quail Egg with Molasses Syrup

Hatties
Buttermilk Fried Chicken over a Belgium Waffle with Red Pepper Flake Syrup

Del Frisco’s Grill
Red Velvet Belgium Waffle with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese

Double Dose Bakery
www.doubledosebakery.com
100% Grain Free and Gluten Free Frozen Waffles shipped to your door!

Favorite Waffle Irons
Breville No Mess Classic Round Waffle Maker

All Clad Belgian Waffle Maker

Ink Foods Signature

Pear + Almond Tart

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With only a few days away from your Thanksgiving feast, I am sharing an all time favorite tart recipe that will be the perfect ending to your holiday.  Pears and almond are two flavors that I long for all year.  The key ingredient to this tart is Frangipane; almond cream, sugar, butter and eggs…you will want to use it in every dessert that you make, it’s that good!  

Here’s what you need:
my favorite flakey pie dough
frangipane (recipe below)
bosc pears
sliced almonds  

I hope your Thanksgiving week is filled with family, food and fun…we have a lot to be thankful for! IMG_4783IMG_4802

Pear Almond Tart
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Ingredients
  1. 1 recipe Pie Dough
  2. 1 recipe Frangipane
  3. 2 Bosc Pears
  4. 1/4 cup Sliced Amonds
Frangipane
  1. 1/2 cup Almond Paste
  2. 1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
  3. 3 Tbsp Butter, unsalted
  4. 2 Tbsp Cake Flour
  5. 1 Eggs
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Roll out pie dough into 9" round or rectangle tart pan, refrigerate until ready to use
  3. Prepare frangipane and spread a very thin layer on the bottom of the chilled unbaked tart shell
  4. Peal pears, cut them in half and remove seeds using a melon baller
  5. Slice each pear half into thin slices keeping the half together and place on top of the frangipane
  6. Sprinkle the area around the pears with sliced almonds
  7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-40 minutes or until frangipane is light golden in color and baked through
  8. Serve warm
Frangipane
  1. 1. Cream almond paste and sugar together in a mixer with paddle attachment
  2. 2. Add butter and cream together until fully combined
  3. 3. Add cake flour and then add egg
  4. 4. Mix until there are no lumps and all ingredients have come together
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
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Nanny’s Sour Cream Coffee Crumb Cake

sour cream coffee cake 1As I sit here and share this recipe with you, I want you to know how special this one is.  If you know or don’t know, “Ink” stands for In Nanny’s Kitchen and my nanny was the wonderful baker in our family.  I have a full book loaded with recipes, some that I have made and many that I have not gotten to yet, but will very soon!  This coffee crumb cake recipe is not just any crumb cake, it is full of wonderful memories for my mom and my aunts that were raised eating this weekly.  As I comb through the pages of my Nanny’s recipe book, I watched my mom and my aunt laugh at all the fun they had and great memories of their mom baking.  I hope you enjoy this as much as I have!!!

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September is national breakfast month and I couldn’t be happier knowing that I have an excuse to indulge in breakfast for every meal if I wish. With so many options for breakfast, the key to my success is easy and satisfying for the whole family. Sour Cream Coffee Cake is an old family classic, baked straight from my “Nanny’s” kitchen. This recipe has a rich buttery flavor, filled with a cinnamon sugar swirl and will pair well with a soothing cup of tea or coffee to give your day a boost.

Nanny's Sour Cream Coffee Cake
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Ingredients
  1. Cake
  2. 2 Cups Granulated Sugar
  3. 1Cup Butter, Unsalted
  4. 4 Eggs
  5. 4 Cups All Purpose Flour
  6. 2 tsp Baking Powder
  7. 2 tsp Baking Soda
  8. 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  9. 2 Cups Sour Cream
  10. Filling and Topping
  11. 2 tsp Cinnamon
  12. ½ Cup Granulated Sugar
  13. 1 Cup Pecans, Chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Cream sugar and butter until smooth
  3. Add eggs and vanilla extract until combined
  4. Sift dry ingredients together and add to the egg mixture alternating with sour cream
  5. Pour ½ of the batter into a 9x13 greased pan
  6. Sprinkle half of the filling mixture to cover the first layer
  7. Add the remaining batter to the pan and sprinkle the remaining filling mixture over the top of the cake
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean
Adapted from My Nanny's Recipe Book
Adapted from My Nanny's Recipe Book
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
sour cream coffee cake

Recipe featured in The Advocate Magazine, September 2015
Photography by Megan Weaver 

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Dried Fruit and Nut Granola Bars + Back to School Pantry Must-Have

granola 4It is hard to believe that summer break is coming to an end. With so many obligations to worry about as we approach the start of a new school year, it’s important to focus on our home and pantry. Stocking up on simple pantry staples will keep your meals healthy, balanced and quick.

Oats
Homemade granola bars are one of the many recipes for which oats will come in handy. Mixed with assorted dried fruit, coconut and chocolate chips you will have a quick on-the-go breakfast or snack.

Whole grain pasta
One of the most versatile dry ingredients is great for busy day dinners and left over lunches. Garnish with fresh pesto, cheese, homemade tomato sauce or fresh veggies.

Nut butters and spreads
Easy to spread on pancakes, tortillas, or apple and banana slices for a satisfying snack or the perfect addition to any smoothie.

Honey
A great substitute for sugar and sweeteners, honey is also the perfect ingredient to start your morning routine. Squeeze half a lemon and 1 tbsp honey into hot water, for a caffeine-free boost. It might even kick your coffee cravings.

Dried fruit and nut granola bars are one of my favorites and can be made with a variety of ingredients that you have in your pantry!  granola6granola 3

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Dried Fruit and Nut Granola Bars
Yields 12
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Ingredients
  1. 2-1/2 cups old fashion rolled oats
  2. 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  3. 1/3 cup honey
  4. 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  5. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  7. 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  8. 1/4 cup dried pineapple, chopped
  9. 1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
Instructions
  1. Combine oats and slivered almonds on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees or until lightly toasted.
  2. Combine butter, honey, brown sugar and vanilla extract in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until butter and sugar are melted.
  3. Pour butter mixture over the toasted almonds and oats; add all the dried fruit.
  4. Spread mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and spread evenly.
  5. Refrigerate until firm and ready to be cut.
  6. Cut granola into 12 bars and store in airtight container or wrap individually.
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/

 Recipe featured in Advocate Magazine
Photography by Megan Weaver 

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