Friday Faves

photo-122 {latte art}

Happy Good Friday! What are your plans for the weekend? I’m excited to spend Easter with my nephew/Godson and my new baby niece – the first Easter for both of them (wait until you see their outfits!!). I have some holiday baking to do tomorrow, and I need to find something to wear to mass and brunch on Sunday. What I won’t be doing: watching the Zags play (sob!). Wishing everyone a wonderful sunny weekend – hope this weather holds up! Some fun links and pics:

  • I’m making this for easter brunch, yum!
  • Tips from female entrepreneurs
  • Spring makeup refresher
  • I love a good grammar update (I’m guilty of #14 – I know it’s wrong but I say it anyway)
  • Another yummy Smitten Kitchen easter treat from the B&B archives

photo-120{spring flowers}

photo-119{so many sprinkles}

photo-121{packing up my gbs in my new special tote – comes in handier than you might think}

photo 3-19{easter baskets for the babies}

photo 1-40{Harper’s looks a lot like Coop’s from last year, except in pink and with a couple bows too. Basket and liner from Pottery Barn, Serena & Lily blanket (no longer available in pink, good thing I ordered this one long before she was born!), Hanna Andersson sleeper (similar here), Bunnies by the Bay lovey and rattle, Life Factory bottle, Baby Bling bows (and one I got at a boutique, but similar here), rattle, board books.}

photo-114{And I still had to do one for my favorite little guy – same basket as last year, but this year he has his name on it! Basket, liner (similar here), cup and plate from Pottery Barn, Hanna sleeper, bottle, eggs with puffs (thanks, pinterest!), big “buddy” bunny from Bunnies by the Bay, pull-tab book, wooden toy.}

Coconut Bourbon Banana Bread

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I’m pretty sure that were this a legitimate food blog, the kind with paid advertisements and readership beyond friends and family and the odd instagram or pinterest searcher, I would have posts scheduled months in advance and planned to coincide with seasons and holidays. Instead, I’m realizing as I sit down to post this banana bread that Easter is in three days and I should probably be sharing a delicious brunch recipe. Not that you couldn’t serve this for Easter (because you definitely could), but it’s more of a it’s-raining-outside-and-I-have-rotting-bananas-sitting-on-my-counter-and-I’m-in-a-baking-mood activity than a holiday centerpiece. Luckily for all of you, I have no paid advertisers and am not that organized – so despite my best intentions I end up posting whatever I want, whenever I want. For example, I made this banana bread last fall (as evidenced by my dark red nail polish) and meant to post it back then, but it somehow got buried in my drafts folder. And when I discovered it there last night I decided I might as well just post it today. Though it may be sunny now, we all know the rain will be back soon enough. So even if you don’t make this between now and Sunday morning, bookmark it for the next gray day that coincides with rotting bananas.

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Deb has a “healthy” banana bread recipe on her site, which I’ve made quite a few times since she posted it two and a half years ago. I had been avoiding trying this one for fear I wouldn’t be able to go back – the healthy one is divine while still letting you feel at least a little healthy, so why introduce a richer version that makes no apologies for it’s butter and bourbon?  But with a bottle of Knob Creek calling my name from the pantry one afternoon, I decided to mix things up a little bit. I’m not sorry I did, because this one is really freaking good.  And while I’ll still use the healthy version most of the time, it’s never a bad idea to have something a little more exciting in your repertoire.

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One of my favorite things about Deb, besides the fact that I can always count on her recipes to be delicious, is that she writes them with the goal of using as few dishes as possible.  This is one-bowl banana bread (two, I suppose, if you count the pan or bowl you use to melt the butter): you just mash the bananas in your mixing bowl and then stir the other ingredients in. I added a cup of unsweetened coconut in at the end and I thought it made the bread even more amazing – but if you’re not a coconut fan or don’t have any on hand it would be equally yummy without it. You could also add chocolate chips (with or without the coconut), or crushed pineapple (also with or without the coconut, but probably not with the chocolate), or anything else you can dream up. But whatever you do, don’t leave out the bourbon.

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One year ago: Miraval’s Arugula Salad with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette 
Two years ago: Jamie Oliver’s Eggplant Parmesan

Coconut Bourbon Banana Bread, (adapted) from Smitten Kitchen

3-4 ripe bananas
1/3 cup salted butter, melted
3/4 cup light brown sugar (or up to one cup if you prefer your banana bread extra sweet)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon bourbon (optional but highly recommended)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4-1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup coconut (optional; ideally unsweetened)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and butter (or oil or spray) a 8″x4″ loaf pan. Mash your bananas in a large mixing bowl and stir in the melted butter. Add sugar, then egg, then vanilla and bourbon, and then the spices.  Sprinkle the salt and baking soda over the mixture and stir to combine. Mix in the flour, and then the coconut (if using). Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean (mine always seem to take the full hour if not longer; if you use mini loaf pans start checking them at 40 minutes).

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