Archive of ‘Loaf’ category

Teacher, Teacher give me the news…

So I guess this is real life now.

A friend of mine from school was just hired THIS morning to a school district! We just finished classes on Friday! How crazy. I know I’m finished, and I have my teaching certificate but I still can’t believe that I can now apply for positions and TOC jobs. I still have to get my resume together and updated, and fill out a ton of forms and do paperwork but it’s feeling more surreal now.

I still have to take a couple courses this summer for my second degree, aBachelor of Education, but I could still be a TOC until the end of June since I’m only taking classes two days a week. Eek! No longer a student, I am now the Teacher!

Thankfully I have two weeks off before classes begin again, and there is a lot happening in those two weeks (aside from paperwork). This weekend is packed! Friday night we’re celebrating my Nonna’s 75th birthday with a great big italian dinner and dancing at a restaurant in Vancouver. Saturday I’m super excited to be making ‘Gender Reveal’ cupcakes for a baby shower, and Sunday is our House Warming with both our families. This week will be full of organizing, some painting, getting the house in tip top shape to show it off!

And on top of that, I have also decided to play baseball again this year! A friend of mine from school needed more girls for a Senior B Rep team, and asked if I wanted to join. I haven’t played in a couple years but I got pulled in! So there’s a practice and a game this week, and weekend which I might have to miss due to all our events! But I love being busy, and being home for two weeks after teaching full time in a practicum and classes would make me stir crazy.

We celebrated all day and night Friday after our last class of PDP, and then Saturday morning I woke up and had to drop off a few dozen cookies, banana bread and cupcakes to my elementary school’s bake sale to raise money for a new playground.

Caramelizing the bananas before adding them adds a rich deep flavour compared to regular banana bread. Great for school, bake sale’s or an afternoon snack.

Even better with a smear of Trader Joe’s Cocoa Almond Spread (Like Nutella, slightly healthier…sorta.)

Caramelized Banana Bread

Other Banana Bread Recipes Here and Here

  • 2-3 well ripened bananas
  • 1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup butter melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • crushed Walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray loaf pan with cooking spray.

  1. Whisk together thoroughly the flour, baking soda, and baking powder in bowl.
  2. In small pot on medium heat, add the butter, sugar and bananas. Mash with fork. Heat until sugar and banana are caramelized – about 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  3. Gradually beat in eggs one at a time.
  4. Fold in the banana mixture to the flour mixture, add walnuts (optional)
  5. Spread evenly in pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 50-60 minutes.
  6. Let cool in the pan on a rack for 5-10 minutes before un-molding to cool completely on the rack.

In for the long haul

Last week was the first week back to classes since the break. I have to admit it was a little rough getting out of bed to the sound of an alarm instead of the sweet sound of “I can get up whenever I want to,” especially on those days when Adam had to get up for work and I knew I could lay in bed much longer. Now the time difference between getting up in the morning is a mere hour. I only get one whole hour longer than Adam in the morning (yes – boohoo for me.) It especially sucks on the days when Adam wakes me up when he gets up and I can’t fall back to sleep. Once I’m up, i’m usually up – unless I am realllyyyy tired.

Since moving in it has been really nice that we have more than one bathroom. Our old condo had a ‘cheater’ bathroom so it was connected to the bedroom, and it was our only bathroom. The kitchen was also right there… so the buffer zone of sounds wasn’t quite as far as I would like when it came to Adam getting ready in the morning and banging around in the kitchen – i.e. grinding his coffee beans. But now – Oh the joys of living in a house with stairs again! This means that Adam’s morning routine is a whole floor or two below me, and he uses the other bathrooms instead of having to wake me up =) I call that a win-win situation.

On another note, I was lucky enough to go to the Lady GaGa concert in box seats with a friend from school. That lady is one crazy performer – lots of crazy outfits and she can seriously sing and play musical instruments. Overall it was an awesome performance.

And now we’re back to school again. This week I start my long practicum. Four months! From the middle of January to the middle of April I will be fully immersed in Grade 2. As excited as I am to begin, I am not so excited to lose my glorious mornings of sleeping in. Especially since it’s getting quite cold outside, the mornings can be pretty frosty. I like to wake up when the sun is beaming outside, not when it is still hidden beneath the layer of darkness enveloping our house. Since I was off for a week longer than Adam, he had to return to work on the 2nd, I thought I had better bake him something to nibble on in the dark morning hours, or on the way to work, or while he was at work. We also had a very sad looking bunch of overripe bananas laying out on the counter that were just crying out to be baked into a loaf. So, here it is.

It’s my usual banana bread recipe, but this time I subbed butter for vegetable oil, and added some sour cream for good measure. I also cut down the sugar, which you don’t even notice. Since the bananas were so ripe they are already pretty sweet. But, if your bananas aren’t overly ripe you probably won’t miss the extra sugar either.

May I also suggest if you’re having this for breakfast, or perhaps a snack, it is glorious with a little almond butter smeared on top.

Banana Bread

  • 3 well ripened bananas, cut in half
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tbs. sour cream
  • dash of cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk together thoroughly the flour, baking soda, and baking powder in bowl.
  3. In bowl, using a hand mixer (or stand) beat sugar, butter, banana and sour cream. Add in eggs one at a time.
  4. Spread evenly in pan. sprinkle top with more pumpkin seeds. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 50-60 minutes.
  5. Once finished, turn oven off and leave door open half way. Leave loaf in oven for another 10-20 mins to ensure centre is baked through.

‘Tis The Season

‘Tis the Season for…

Stress?

Sickness – cold/flu?

Finals?

Baking?

Miracles?

The Christmas season is a time when many things seem to occur like clock work. Everybody gets sick at the same time, every student is stressing over finals and end projects, and in the midst of it all we are all hoping and praying for a miracle during this holly jolly season of ‘anything is possible’

I can say this past week I have been beyond stressed. Adam and I are now officially moved into our new house as of Saturday night, after many back and forth trips, that also included returning our couch that was deemed too small for the space. Adam’s brother in law has been quite sick the past two weeks and still struggling with a flu type sickness, and last week began what I dub the week of no eating and no sleeping. I am officially finished this semester of the PDP teaching program and passed my final and practicum, and this last week was a wind-down week of bringing together the loose ends and preparing to gear up for the long practicum beginning in January. Now, it wasn’t exactly a stressful week in terms of school but in terms of my personal life it was quite a difficult week.

They say moving is one of the hardest, most stressful thing you can go through in life.

As I googled “moving is stressful” the top site hits were:

Moving house is one of the most stressful experiences you’ll have” – Where one man said he had moved 26 times and finds it hard to believe it is stressful – an answer to which one man replied “Is your house a caravan?” Well noted.

As well as “Moving is the third most stressful event in life, following death and divorce.” This I can agree with because I have already experienced two of the three (no divorce here). Funny how life goes, as this week as we were moving in I also had a shockingly stressful week because of a terrible loss in my extended family. While I still believe Miracles may happen, this season our family was not afforded a Miracle. I won’t go into the details, but just want to remind everyone what this Season is truly about – Family and Friends and gathering together to celebrate in whichever way this may be for you and yours.

Embrace the joy of being with Family and Friends as often as possible. Don’t let the small things get to you (as my mom and Adam are constant reminders to me.) I am terrible at thinking of every small thing at once and turning it into a large thing to focus on.

‘Tis the Season for miracles if you are lucky enough to experience one.

I am constantly reminded how many days there are until Christmas through e-mail reminders, and how many short days there are left to buy presents. Just a reminder that presents aren’t everything. Just being Present in your families life is a large enough gift.

I also missed out on my last day for the semester with my PDP family and our get together, for which I optimistically baked this loaf for. Baking and cooking are a huge stress reliever for me. I think due to the whole not eating/not sleeping properly last week my stomach has taken quite a beating with the stress and is now taking it out on me. It’s been in knots, quivering, and nauseous the past few days and kept me at home. I made some chicken soup with rice for dinner, and enjoyed a bowl for breakfast as well. Instead of sharing this loaf with my school family, I’ll share it with Adam and his co-workers this week.

Lainey did her job as a therapy dog (her original purpose), and kept me company while I wasn’t feeling well

Cranberry Orange Loaf

Recipe adapted from: Just a Taste
and
Joy of Baking

Ingredients:

1 large egg, well beaten
3/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup fresh cranberries, rinsed and thoroughly dried
1 Tablespoon turbinado sugar (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan with butter or cooking spray.

In a small bowl, combine the beaten egg with the orange juice and vanilla extract.

In stand mixer with paddle attachment, mix together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda. Add the pieces of butter to the flour, blending the ingredients together until butter/flour resemble pea sized pieces.

Add wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and then stir in the cranberries. Pour the batter (will be thick) into the prepared loaf pan and sprinkle the top with the Turbinado sugar (optional).

Bake the bread for 50 or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, may add additional 10 mins to cooking if needed.

Let the bread cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

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