Friday, November 21, 2014

Taking Stock // Part 2

Taking Stock

Making : haven't been very crafty lately.

Cooking : Fridays I don't cook! but I cooked chiles rellenos yesterday!

Drinking : coffee as always.

Reading: just finished reading a monster calls. also currently working on the catcher in the rye.

Wanting: a back massage. 

Listening: Serial Podcast! So good.

Wishing: For more hours to the day...

Enjoying: cool weather and weekends with the family.

Wondering: where we'll go out for dinner tonight.

Hoping: for time to move slower.

Marveling: at just about everything around me right now.

Needing: to cherish the little moments more.

Smelling: mint.

Wearing: shiny black leggings, long black sweater and leopard print boots.

Thinking: about Thanksgiving!

Feeling: happy, it's the weekend!


XOXO
Lidia

Monday, November 17, 2014

Best Banana Bread


Hi. Today I want to talk about banana bread. Specifically this banana bread: Julia's best banana bread.  

I had been searching for a perfect banana bread recipe for a while and I finally found it! I have tried so many different recipes and it's safe to say that this is the one I will be baking for my future grandchildren. I sometimes picture my future self as a grandma, is that weird? I want to be that grandma. The one that bakes, knits and does grandma things with you. I never had that, my moms mom passed away a little after I was born. My dads mom passed away a little over a year ago but she wasn't very close to us.

This bread is perfectly moist, beautifully speckled with banana and full of rich banana flavor. The only thing I changed In this recipe is the amount of sugar, I used half a cup less because bananas are very sweet already and I sprinkled some sugar on top so it would get a nice caramelized crust on top.

I found this recipe via Bon Appetit's website, apparently it was featured in one of their issues last year. This recipe is from Julia's banana bread tree house in Hawaii. Now, if I ever go to Hawaii, I'll make sure to stop by and try the real deal.

Julia's Best Banana Bread
slightly adapted from here.
makes one loaf.

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups of flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup of sugar + 2 teaspoons 
1 cup of very ripe mashed bananas 
3/4 cup of veggie oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your loaf pan either by buttering or using parchment paper.

Whisk flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk eggs, 1 cup of sugar, mashed bananas and oil in a large bowl until smooth. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until combined. Pour into loaf pan and sprinkle the two teaspoons of sugar on top.

Bake for 60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes and enjoy! And trust me you will enjoy!

P.S. some people just can't have banana bread without nuts, if that's you, stir in 1/2 a cup of walnuts or pecans into batter before pouring in mold.

P.P.S. If you're wondering why that little gap/dent at the top of my banana bread slice. Maximiliano just couldn't wait until after the picture.



XOXO
Lidia





Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Lately // Fall


{ early october, pumpkin patch visit } 


{ stealing mommy's chocolate }


{ testing banana bread recipes }


{ daily bubbles }



{ weekday library trips }


{ morning reads and hot chocolate }


{ churro cupcakes }

    

{ Maximiliano's very first pony ride }



{ first thing he wanted to do in the morning }


{ framing Maxi's art to hang on the wall }


{ weekend things }


XOXO
Lidia 


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Butternut Squash & Red Pepper Soup


I've been obsessing over butternut squash soup ever since I first tried Boudin's butternut squash soup. I don't know if any of you have ever tried it but it is to die for! It has all the right spices, just the right texture and it is topped with these spiced walnuts and cranberries. The. Best. Soup. Ever. I used to get it 2-3 times a week with half of a chicken pesto sandwich (also amazing!), when I was working.

I've been trying to find a copy cat recipe so I can recreate it, this fall in the warmth of my kitchen but I've had no luck so far... So I made this butternut squash + red pepper soup by combining a few different recipes. It is super yummy and creamy and makes your stomach warm and happy during these cool and dark fall days. Also it is super fast and easy, what will take you the longest is probably cutting and peeling the butternut squash but it is definitely worth it OR you can buy it already peeled and diced.

I will not give up tough and I will be back with a copy cat recipe for Boudin's soup no matter how long it takes!


Butternut Squash & Red Pepper Soup
servings: 6

Ingredients:

1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
garlic cloves, smashed and peeled (as much as you want)
5 cups of water
2 tablespoons of chicken bullion
1 tablespoon sugar
2 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup of heavy cream

Place all ingredients in a soup pot except for the cream cheese and heavy cream. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 40 minutes. Turn off and let cool for about 10 minutes.

Puree soup and the two ounces of cream cheese in blender until smooth, making sure you leave the hole in the lid open. It will take about three batches. Return to pot and stir in the heavy cream, bring to a simmer and turn off.

You can add croutons like I did, eat with a side of sour dough or a sandwich of your choice.

XOXO
Lidia







Monday, November 3, 2014

Halloween Weekend





Hi! Hope you guys had a great Halloween! Our Halloween Friday was spent reading in bed, watching Halloween learning videos + sing alongs and handing out candy in the evening. Maximiliano was spider man this year and we didn't go all out on his costume because he's 2 and is living up to those famous terrible twos indeed, he pretty much spent a lot of the time we were out there handing candy... in the garden. Digging up dirt and throwing rocks (luckily not at people). He woudl not stay still for a picture and also didn't leave his mask on for more than a minute. Although he did enjoy seeing other spiderman, batman and superheros of all kinds. Especially putting treats in their bags. 

We had plans of taking him trick or treating around the block so he could get a little (more) of his energy out but instead he decided to go to bed. My husband and I then went to a friends Halloween party for a bit and it was great hanging out with adults! Unfortunately I haven't done much of that lately and it is so needed. This year left me thinking that next Halloween we will probably take him out trick or treating first and then hand out candy later. Maximiliano is so active and has so much energy that I think he would really enjoy it much more! Unfortunately I got a cold from being out Friday night, it was a bit cooler than expected. Luckily it's not so bad and some tea and rest should do.


XOXO
Lidia