Thursday, July 27, 2023

How to Make Box Banana Bread Mix Better

 


I love to take simple ingredients or a simple recipe and add a little something to make it better.  I have been doing this with boxed bread mixes for years and it makes them taste fresh and delicious.  It’s really just a dump and bake recipe with the only real effort required is cracking eggs and measuring oil and water.  It’s a great use of a mashed overripe banana too.  

This time I added fresh blueberries, but you could use frozen as well.  You could also add chocolate chips instead of fruit or chopped nuts, like pecans or walnuts.  

Anytime you take something in a box and add freshness, it is a win, plus you haven’t spent very much time at all in the kitchen.






Box Bread Mix Made Better

1 box banana bread mix

1 cup water

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

1 mashed overripe banana

1 1/2 cups blueberries, folded in last (coat with flour to keep from sinking)

Mix all ingredients together except for blueberries.  Fold the blueberries in gently.  Pour into loaf  pan (or 3 small loaf pans) sprayed generously with baking spray. Bake 45-55 minutes at 375 degrees.  Test for doneness with a toothpick. Cool slightly and remove from pan.

Enjoy!


Tuesday, July 18, 2023

What I Am Watching - Outlander

 


I have a love, hate relationship with the Outlander television series.  For the most part, I love seeing the books I have read over and over come to life.  The scenery, the costumes and the actors in the roles are pretty much perfect.  The problem comes for me in the deviation from the books.  I am not a script writer, but it seems the changes, especially when it comes to characterization, change the story too much and have me mumbling at the tv while watching.

Many times though, they do get it right and so far, this season (season 7) has me enthralled.  The writers have done a masterful job in moving the story forward, introducing new and important characters and staying true to the books.  If you know the story, there are even seamless transitions between 1981 and 1776.  The use of the letters written in the past and saved for 200 years for Bree and Roger in the future keep the family connected and make history and the American Revolution come alive.

I was talking to my sister about the current season and we both agree there is an emotional component that shines through and has been missing in some of the previous seasons.  I find the episodes fly by and I am enthralled and even moved to tears at times.  We both also agreed that based on the season so far, we have hope that the rest of this season and the final season 8 will include all the great moments in the books and finish things with us not wanting it to end.  

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Crushed Pineapple Muffins

 


Not only because I live in Florida, but tropical flavors are my favorite.  Give me all the key lime, mango and pineapple in food, desserts and cocktails and I am happy.  At my favorite restaurant in Key West, I always order the pineapple pancakes and these are very similar.

These muffins are very easy and quick to make in the morning and perfect for a summer weekend breakfast treat.  You could add all kinds of extras like banana, coconut and nuts to give them a little texture, but I kept it simple this time.  

Serve with fresh tropical fruit for a cheerful breakfast that will make you feel like you are on vacation.

Recipe here


Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Birthday and July 4th

 

I have always thought it pretty fun to have a birthday during a holiday weekend and this year, we kicked off 4th of July weekend with a fun Friday night including champagne on a balcony overlooking Sarasota Bay, birthday balloons, dinner and a birthday dessert at a lovely Italian restaurant in downtown Sarasota.

With a couple neighbors (friends), we do a regular dinner club where we trade houses, plus go out on a loose rotation.  Since the various schedules happened to fall open on my birthday; lucky me.  I felt really loved the whole night and it is always a treat to try new places in downtown Sarasota.  It’s fun to get away from our beachy vibe, dress up a bit and wander the sidewalks of a beautiful, vibrant main street.  

Our tradition on the 4th of July is low key lately after many years of lake days with big groups.  We swam a bit, barbecued burgers and I made my traditional Mom ‘s Macaroni Salad.  We ended the night on the beach, where the gulf breeze felt great as we waited for sunset, dark and the beautiful fireworks.  What a great way to end a long birthday weekend with fireworks over the Gulf of Mexico.  After all the turmoil in bigger cities this past year, I was feeling especially patriotic and thankful  to see that small town America is holding on to what America means.












Michigan ➡️ Florida
family, books, gardening, palm trees, the beach, golf, up north, msu football, detroit tigers, walking with my dog, trying new recipes, musicals, BBC, martinis, yoga, lilly

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