Thursday, June 23, 2011

Homemade Goodness

This just in: I love to cook.  I've always loved to bake, but cooking is a different story.  Historically I've thought of it as a hassle/giant inconvenience (a bowl of cereal is just so darn easy).  But the more time I spend in the kitchen, the more I enjoy the whole process.  Just this week, I even (gasp!) experimented and combined/put my own twist on a couple of Mexican lasagna recipes!  And even more amazing than that, I actually found the whole process relaxing.  See Mom, I told you I'd grow up someday!

Here are a few of my favorite recipes that I tried last month:

  1. CROUTONS: I had no idea they were so easy!  
  2. SPINACH & RICOTTA TACOS: These are so simple, healthy and unexpectedly delicious.  At least for me.  When I found the recipe, they sounded interesting but I wasn't convinced that I'd love 'em.  Turns out I do.  Enough to cook them twice in one week.  
  3. SOUR CREAM COFFEE CAKE: A-mazing.  As is Elizabeth's blog.  You should check it out.  And then promptly make this coffee cake.  Trust.  

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

13 Inches Later


I have always wanted to donate my hair, and on Saturday morning I finally crossed it off my to-do list.  I've been within inches a couple of times, but lost patience, and ended up talking myself out of it.  I have incredibly thin/unfortunately fine hair, so I know my 13 inch ponytail won't go far, but I'm also working thinking more positively, and would like to believe that every little bit helps.  Either way, I'm glad I finally did it.  And I'm happy with my tiny ponytail. :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Banana Bread

There is a very small sliver of time in the life cycle of a banana when I actually enjoy eating it. Let's just say, once there are spots, it's all over. But I also hate to waste food, so I try to only buy three or four at a time, and only if I know I'm going to eat them every morning (which of course, largely depends on my current cereal selection). So yes, when you see that lonely banana at the grocery store next to it's friends that are all hanging out in groups of six or seven, and think to yourself, who would do that and why didn't they just take the last one in the bunch? That's me. I do that. I just really don't want to take more than I need.

So, you thought I was going to talk about banana bread, right? Not just my shopping habits? Ok, well, I'm getting there. So long story short, even though I try to be mindful of purchasing only the amount of bananas that will be eaten right away, I still sometimes end up with ones that look like this...

And I always have the best of intentions with baking banana bread. I often think I don't even need to put the bananas into the freezer, "since I'm just going to make the bread tomorrow." But then tomorrow turns into a few months down the road, and all of a sudden I have quite the collection of brown bananas squeezed in between the Fudgcicles and frozen veggies in my freezer (to be fair the picture above is a group effort and combines my stash with my roommate's). 

There were a couple factors that led to the actual baking process this time around...1) our freezer was getting really full, and 2) my tub of yogurt was about to expire. If you couldn't already tell, I have a lot to learn about meal planning. So, I found this recipe online, and out came this:

By far, my favorite banana bread recipe. I've tried ones with more whole wheat flour and they just turn out too dry. But this one was just the right amount of doughy deliciousness. Though I do recommend adding a little extra banana.

I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as I did!

(Also, I said banana ten times in this post. Twelve if you count the title and the previous sentence. And that's after editing out a few.) :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

My Last Weekend Away in May

Yes, I meant for that to rhyme.

For someone who loves to-do lists but also loves to do nothing, being out of town for three out of four weekends in a month was a bit much for me. But at the same time, absolutely a hundred percent worth it (see here, here and here).

This trip was nice because it also included Michael. With our crazy schedules, we really only get to see each other on weekends, and I was gone for two of the weekends before this trip, so you do the math.

We made the trek across the state for a friend's wedding, but the added bonus of the weekend was hanging out with Michael's brother and sister-in-law, who also call Spokane home.

(non-wedding) Highlights:

- Stocking up on caffeine and Sun Chips (our go-to road trip snack) before heading across the length of I-90 in Washington
- Eating at Huckleberry's. This was very nostalgic for me, as our soccer bus would always stop here on our way out of town from Whitworth games. Also, Michael ordered some apple juice from their juice bar and wow, literally the best apple juice I've ever had.
- Accidentally discovering Cliff Drive on our way to Huckleberry's. Beautiful views of the not always beautiful Spokane.
- Brunch at Chaps. Apparently it was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Super cute, and decorated with tons of antique and vintage items. And most importantly, it was delicious. My blueberry muffin french toast was phenomenal. Josh and Greta, thank you so much for introducing us! (tons of pictures below)
- Dreaming up future road trip plans on our drive home.
- Finding treasures at the Thorp Fruit & Antique Mall.