Swirly Nutella Banana Bread

Everyone needs a classic banana bread recipe in their life. This is fact.

Me? I like chocolate. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good healthy banana bread too. I just prefer chocolate over oats. Don’t judge. You know you do too.

This banana bread is lovely. NUTELLAAAAAA. Whoops, minor side track there….this bread is tasty, pretty, and perfect. Let’s get swirlin’ shall we?

To begin, pre-heat your oven and spray your pan. Then, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.

Mash your banana.

In a separate large bowl, beat sugar and butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until well blended.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add banana, yogurt and vanilla; beat until blended.

Add flour mixture. Nom nom.

Beat at low speed just until flour is incorporated. Don’t over mix! This is important.

Spoon Nutella into a medium dish and soften in the microwave for about 10 or 15 seconds.

Add 1 cup of the banana bread batter to the Nutella. Spoon some into your mouth…whatever.

Stir until blended well.

Spoon a bit of plain batter into prepared pan.

Then spoon Nutella batter on top. Alternate Nutella batter with plain banana bread batter into the same pan. This is getting good.

Swirl batters together with a knife at the end. I just shoved my knife in at the end of the pan and worked my way to the other end. I did this once.

Bake 60 to 70 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool for at least 15 minutes in the pan, and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Swirly Nutella Banana Bread
Recipe taken from Recipe Girl
Yields 1 loaf – about 12 slices.

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
3 large size bananas, very ripe and mashed
1/3 cup plain low fat yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup Nutella (chocolate-hazelnut spread)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 8×4-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.

3. In a separate large bowl, beat sugar and butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, yogurt and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until flour is incorporated (don’t over mix).

4. Spoon Nutella into a medium dish and soften in the microwave for about 15 seconds. Add 1 cup of the banana bread batter to the Nutella and stir until blended well. Spoon Nutella batter alternately with plain banana bread batter into the prepared pan. Swirl batters together with a knife.

5. Bake 60 to 70 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Check the oven at 45 minutes to check the top of the bread for browning. If it’s browning too quickly, cover lightly with foil for the remainder of the baking. Cool for at least 15 minutes in the pan, and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

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25 Recipes for The First Day of Fall

Happy First Day of Fall! My favorite season. Hello cute sweaters, boots, and tights. Also, hellooooo comfort food! I have compiled a few of my favorite recipes from my blog and others for you to enjoy. Happy cooking everyone!

Great Fall Appetizers:
Try my favorite hot spinach artichoke dip for any football gatherings you have coming up…orrrr just for couch munching. The latter appeals more to me.

Also try these dandies…
Wicked Good Tortilla Dip
Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Breakfasts and Bready Things:
This Zucchini Sweet Potato Bread is my favorite thing right now. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner right here.

Or try any of these:
Cinnamon Roll Pancakes by Recipe Girl
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls by The Girl Who Ate Everything
Apple Sauce by Family Fresh Cooking
Cinnamon Sugar Glazed Donuts by Taste and Tell
My Chunky Chocolate Banana Bread

Cookies:
These apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies are lovely. The spice makes my chai tea jealous.

These are some dandies of mine too:
Chewy n’ Thick Ginger Drops
My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

Delightful Fall Desserts:
This Butterscotch Pie is the most popular post on my blog AND my personal favorite recipe on here. Go figure!

These make me swoon with happiness as well…
Pumpkin Cream Oreo Tarts by Lauren’s Latest
Hawiian Carrot Cake with Coconut Icing
Classic Rice Pudding
Pecan Pie Bars
Apple Dumplings
Pure Canadian Butter Tarts
Lemon Meringue Pie

Drinks:
Grown Up Pumpkin Pie Milkshakes by How Sweet It Is
Apple Pie in a Glass by How Sweet It Is

Mains Meals:
Macaroni and Cheese by The Pioneer Woman
Creamy Carrot and Jalapeno Soup by Cookin’ Canuck
Potato and Cheddar Pierogies

Hope you like some of these! And again, Happy Fall everyone!

Blueberry-Lime Muffins

I have a problem with muffins. They always look so tasty in coffee shops. They have big, sugary, tops and are all perfectly matched and the same size. I want to try each kind all at once, compare them, bath in a bucket of batter…man, they look inviting. Sooooo their lure makes me cave inevitably. I buy a muffin and am then disappointed. There is rarely any taste! Seriously, what it up with this?! Same goes for packaged grocery store muffins. They look so yummy, but then are usually bland and boring.

Luckily, there are tons of other bloggers out there who love muffins too! I have about 50 muffin recipes bookmarked and wanted to try this one since I had some fresh blueberries on hand. Also this muffin recipe combines blueberries and limes. Yes. Please.

I know you want these too. So, in a small bowl, combine sugar and lime zest. Mix with clean fingertips until sugar is moistened and fragrant. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together flours, salt and baking soda. Set aside.

In large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until thoroughly incorporated. Continue beating while slowly pouring in the oil. Add in vanilla.

Stir half of the dry ingredients into egg mixture.

Add half the yogurt.

Add the rest of the flour and yogurt and mix together.

Gently fold in blueberries.

Scoop batter into muffin pan and top with a sprinkling of coarse sugar.

Bake in preheated oven for 20-22 minutes.

Blueberry-Lime Muffins
Recipe adapted from My Baking Addiction
Yield | 12 muffins

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
zest of two limes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plain greek yogurt or sour cream (I used greek yogurt)
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (I used fresh ones)
coarse sugar, optional

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray or line with paper muffin liners.
2. In a small bowl, combine sugar and lime zest. Mix with clean fingertips until sugar is moistened and fragrant. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, stir together flours, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
4. In large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until thoroughly incorporated. Continue beating while slowly pouring in the oil. Add in vanilla.
5. Stir dry ingredients into egg mixture alternately with yogurt. Gently fold in blueberries. Scoop batter into muffin pan and if desired, top with a sprinkling of coarse sugar.
6. Bake in preheated oven for 20-22 minutes.

Potato and Cheese Pierogies

Potato meets cheese meets butter meets gooey dough. Pierogies. Be still, my beating heart.

I officially drove home my very own car today! My boyfriend P- and I are in the process of buying it from his parents. As much as I like to take, and will continue to take, public transport, it will be nice to have a car to pick up groceries or get somewhere in the winter when it’s -30 degrees Celsius (-22 degrees F).

I live in Ottawa and although it’s beautiful, it can be really cold in the winter. Waiting for my connecting bus can be a big pain, and I’m glad that I now have the option to choose whether or not I will always drive in winter wait in the freezing cold.

The cool thing about living in Ottawa is that there is a lot of culture. Downtown the streets are full of different cuisine’s and I always have difficulty deciding first what kind of food I feel like, and then have to decide which restaurant to go to! One place near my apartment is particularly special. It’s Polish and the only foods on the menu are homemade pierogies and sausages. Since I was in Switzerland this summer and couldn’t just have pierogies whenever I wanted, I made them! I found a good recipe on allrecipes, adapted it, and made it! Trust me, this recipe is well worth the work.

To make the dough: Combine flour and salt. Add beaten eggs and water. Mix the dough until it becomes elastic and can be shaped into a ball. Add more flour if it is too sticky. Wrap ball of dough in plastic and set in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

To make the filling: Cut potatoes into cubes.

Boil until soft. Mash with grated cheese, chives. Salt and pepper to taste. Let cool to room temperature.

To fill pierogies: Generously flour a cutting board and form the dough into a long roll. Add flour to the board and your hands as needed.

Form 24 balls of dough from roll.

Flatten a dough ball with your hand and make it large enough to place a heaping teaspoon (or more) or potato filling in center.

Fold dumpling in half, and seal edges by crimping the sides together with a fork.

Set on a floured surface and repeat until finished.

To cook pierogies: Melt 1 Tbsp. of butter on a large skillet. Sauté onions until browned, set aside. Boil a large pot of salted water. On another burner, add 1 tsp. of butter on a skillet and heat on medium high heat. Add pierogies to the boiled water, 4-5 at a time but don’t overcrowd the pot. Boil for a few minutes until they float up, use a slotted spoon to lift them out onto a plate. Place drained pierogies onto the skillet and cook both sides until golden. Set on a plate and repeat process until finished. Top pierogies with sautéed onions and serve with sour cream.

For those meat eaters out there, you can add some ham or bacon to the frying action too. Whatever suits your fancy.

Cheese and Potato Pierogies
makes 24
Adapted from allrecipes

Ingredients:
Dough Ingredients
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup water

Potato and Cheese Filling
1 lb. russet potatoes
3 oz. grated cheddar cheese
salt/pepper
1 Tbsp. dried chives

Other Ingredients:
1 onion, sliced thinly
butter (for sautéing)
flour (kneading and rolling dough)
bacon or ham (optional)

Directions:
1) To make the dough: Combine flour and salt. Add beaten eggs and water. Mix the dough until it becomes elastic and can be molded into a ball. Add more flour if it is too sticky. Wrap ball of dough in plastic and set in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

2) To make the filling: Cut potatoes into cubes. Boil until soft. Mash with grated cheese, chives. Salt and pepper to taste. Let cool to room temperature.

3) To fill pierogies: Generously flour a cutting board and form the dough into a long roll. Add flour to the board and your hands as needed. Form 24 balls of dough from roll. Flatten a dough ball with your hand and make it large enough to place a heaping teaspoon (or more) or potato filling in center. Fold dumpling in half, and seal edges by crimping the sides together with a fork. Set on a floured surface and repeat until finished.

4) Melt 1 Tbsp. of butter on a large skillet. Sauté onions until browned, set aside.

5) To cook pierogies: Boil a large pot of salted water. On another burner, add 1 tsp. of butter on a skillet and heat on medium high heat. Add pierogies to the boiled water, 4-5 at a time but don’t overcrowd the pot. Boil for a few minutes until they float up, use a slotted spoon to lift them out onto a plate. Place drained pierogies onto the skillet and cook both sides until golden. Set on a plate and repeat process until finished. Top pierogies with sautéed onions and serve with sour cream.

Classic Rice Pudding

I’m a town-y. I grew up in this cute little town in Ontario, Canada, where my soccer team played right along the river, weekends were spent on the beach, and we would go for rollerblades or bike rides in the evening. Being a teenager was easy, fun, and I hardly had any real worries besides thinking my mother was going to ruin my life…but what teenage girl doesn’t think that?! I genuinely thought that my friends and I would just be able to drink Coca-cola and be happy in this little place forever. Parent free!

Of course I grew up. University came, and I was exposed to the big city. The big, complicated city. I now had bills and boys to deal with and things were annoyingly different. I now missed my family, the same family who I thought was so obnoxious earlier! I missed simple.

This is how I think of this rice pudding. It’s like home. Plain, pretty, and simple. It makes me happy, and is not too complicated to on the palate or to make! Let’s get cookin’ shall we? In a heavy 4-quart pot, combine the milk and cream.

Bring the mixture just to a boil over medium-high heat (small bubbles will appear around the edge of the pan), stirring frequently.

Stir the rice, sugar, raisins, and butter together.

Add to cream mixture. Bring the mixture to a boil again, then reduce the heat. Cover and simmer, stirring frequently, until the rice is tender, about 1 hour.

Beat the eggs in a bowl until light. Add cinnamon.

Temper the eggs by combining 1/4 cup of the cooked rice mixture with the eggs, stirring quickly.

Add the egg-rice mixture back into the pot and incorporate with the rest of the rice. Stir constantly over low heat until the pudding thickens, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Serve nice and hot right out of the pot, or keep covered and cool before serving. Spoon the pudding into dessert dishes and sprinkle with additional cinnamon.

The pudding will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days. I prefer it cold :)

Classic Rice Pudding
Recipe slightly adapted from Daydreamer Desserts
Serves: 12-14

Ingredients:
7 cups whole milk
2 cup heavy cream or soy cream (I used this)
1 1/3 cups long grain rice
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, for garnish

Directions:
In a heavy 4-quart pot, combine the milk and heavy cream. Bring the mixture just to a boil over medium-high heat (small bubbles will appear around the edge of the pan), stirring frequently.

Stir in the rice, sugar, raisins, and butter. Bring the mixture to a boil again, then reduce the heat. Cover and simmer, stirring frequently, until the rice is tender, about 1 hour. Beat the eggs in a bowl until light.

Temper the eggs by combining 1/4 cup of the cooked rice mixture with the eggs, stirring quickly. Add the egg-rice mixture back into the pot and incorporate with the rest of the rice. Stir constantly over low heat until the pudding thickens, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Serve nice and hot right out of the pot, or keep covered and cool before serving. I personally like it cold!

Spoon the pudding into dessert dishes and sprinkle with cinnamon.

The pudding will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days.