Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

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This recipe was nothing short of perfectly delicious. It is the perfect breakfast to savor that sweet tooth craving you desire. It was so soft and moist it reminded me of pound cake, but better! It’s also really easy to make, although it takes a little bit of time to bake and cool before you can actually eat it. My suggestion to you is that you do NOT grease the pan with any of those baking sprays! They are not only very VERY bad for you, but they stink, they make your food taste bad, and they burn the outside of everything you make with it! I’ve used it 3 times times and it never fails, so never again. I used butter and it still burned but just a little bit, where you could barely taste it. Next time I will use butter AND flour to perfect my baking skills and my food. (:

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  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt (I left this out and used salted butter instead)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup of melted butter (I would not microwave it! Just boil a pot of water, stick the butter in a glass measuring cup and set it in the hot water until butter is melted. It will take no more than 5 minutes and its healthier because microwaves radiate your food!)
  • 3 mashed bananas
  • 1/2 cup of chocolate chips (I used 3/4 of a cup, because well..extra chocolate!)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Take a bowl and whisk together 2 cups flour, 1 tsp baking soda (and 1/4 salt if you used this instead of salted butter).
  3. In another bowl whisk together 2 eggs, 2/3 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 1/4 cup melted butter and the 3 mashed bananas. *You don’t have to use a whisk, actually using a whisk would be more difficult to clean and the clumps will get stuck in between the metal pieces. A fork will do just fine. Gradually add the flour mixture. Fold in 1/2 cup chocolate chips.
  4. Grease 9.5 x 5.5 in. loaf pan with butter and flour (not too much, just enough to cover the bottom and sides) and pour in your mixture. Bake 50-60 until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Bread will be golden brown.
  5. Remove from oven, cool in pan for about 30 minutes. Remove from pan, place on cooling rack and cool completely before slicing. *I leave my bread in the pan to save dish washing and let it cool completely over night so it’s ready to eat in the morning. I usually cook bread the night before just for this reason.
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Slow Cooked Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

I’ve had this mean craving for chicken enchiladas lately, so I made some for dinner last night! I would go on and on about how freakin’ delicious it was, but I will leave you readers with the recipe so you can just try them yourself! ;D
NOTE: If you plan to make this for dinner, you have to prep the day before by taking the chicken out if it’s frozen so you can start cooking it when you wake up in the morning. Also, this recipe is enough to serve 3 people twice, or 6, depending on how much everyone will eat. It only makes 3 extra-large enchiladas that you can cut in half, which is what I did.
One more thing! You could just cook the chicken in the pan with the sauce, but I recommend putting it in the crock pot because it makes the chicken so tender, it falls right off the bone. This makes it easier to shred. (:

2013-03-14_15-47-01_927 2013-03-14_16-22-05_100 2013-03-14_16-33-53_462 2013-03-14_16-35-50_40 2013-03-14_17-48-15_739Ingredients:

  • 10” Flour Tortillas
  • Pack of 4 chicken breasts (Sorry, idk the weight just the package I bought. I recommend boneless&skinless, unless you want to spend extra time pulling that stuff off!)
  • 1 10oz. can Enchilada Sauce
  • Handful of Black Olives (optional)
  • 1½ cup shredded cheese of your choice (I used Mexican Blend)
  • 2 tbsp. Sour Cream
  • 2 tbsp. Softened/Whipped Cream Cheese
  • 1 tbsp. Cilantro
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • ½ Large Onion

Directions:

  1. Cook the chicken in a crock pot filled with the entire can of enchilada sauce, sautéed garlic, onion and cilantro. Cook on the low setting that says 8 hours. (It will not take an entire 8 hours to cook)
  2. About 6 hours later, take the chicken out leaving the juices in the crock-pot, and put your chicken in a large plate where you will have plenty of room to pull it apart using 2 forks. Before you start shredding, preheat your oven to 350°F.
  3. After your chicken is shredded, get a separate bowl and mix together the sour cream, cream cheese, and ½ cup of shredded cheese. I also added diced black olives but you can leave them out or replace them with jalapeños if you like your enchiladas spicy. Once mixed add your chicken.
  4. In a 10” by 12” baking dish, pour a ¼ cup of the enchilada sauce from the crock-pot, just enough to cover the bottom so your tortillas don’t burn.
  5. On a flour tortilla, fill it with a generous amount of your cheesy chicken mixture, roll it up, and place it flap side down into your baking dish. Repeat until mixture is finished.
  6. Pour the rest of the enchilada sauce on top of your enchiladas. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and top with remaining cup of shredded cheese. Bake for 5 more minutes to melt the cheese. Remove from oven, let cool, and serve.
  7. You can add anything you like on top: sour cream, guacamole, pieces of cilantro for looks and zesty taste, tomatoes, chiles, more olives, whatever you like! Serve with a side of rice and beans to have the full authentic Mexican Enchilada dinner! My mom made her special made Brazilian style white rice that I stove-top steamed. I made homemade re-fried beans using a can of Goya black beans with a tbsp of butter and 2 tsp of flour to make it thick.

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BTW this is my own personal recipe that I made up using bits and pieces of other peoples recipe, souped it up to my liking! I hope you enjoy it. (:

Related Articles:
http://cookingandcraftingonabudget.wordpress.com/2013/01/19/chicken-enchiladas/ http://www.allthecooks.com/cream-cheese-chicken-enchiladas.html http://www.allthecooks.com/miles-of-cheesy-chicken-enchiladas-casserole.html

My First Cake Made From Scratch

While skimming through my WordPress reader, I came across this delicious looking cake that I bookmarked in my dessert recipes folder because it looked amazing. The recipe tells you how to make it from scratch using ingredients that I already had in my kitchen. So I pinned it, printed out the recipe, and decided that I was going to make dessert tonight. It is definitely not something I can handle eating every day because it uses so much sugar, but for those sugar rush cravings I have, this is the perfect fix. And just so you know, the batter was so delicious I swear I could’ve ate it by itself! This is by far better than anything you could ever buy prepackaged.

Where you can find the recipe: http://theweekly52.wordpress.com/2013/03/02/white-cake-success/

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Nesting Projects

Well, since I need to start relaxing for my last 3 weeks of pregnancy, I figured I would get on Pinterest and find some inspiring ideas to occupy my time. I found quite a few amazing project ideas that I’m going to work on for the next couple of weeks while I wait on the rest of Natalia’s nursery decorations to come in the mail before I finish her bedroom!

Untitled#1. Cord Labels – I definitely need to organize my cables because I have so many that I have NO IDEA which is which! So this will be an easy organization project that will save me a lot of time and frustration. I have plenty of bread bag clips that I’ve been collecting since I pinned this, so I have enough to get started! I might decide to make mine extra cute and color them with a hot pink sharpie! ;D

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#2. Toiletry Travel Case – Since I went to Gainesville over the weekend and me and my baby’s father are hours apart, this is the perfect travel case for me to make so I can bring it with me! I can foresee myself traveling a lot in the mere future, so this is definitely a must have for me. I already have cute colorful towels, sewing supplies and ribbon, so there’s no additional shopping I need to do to make this project. (:

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#3. Scarf Organizer – I absolutely LOVE this idea. I’ve seen quite a few of these on Pinterest, but this one is by far the cutest one I’ve seen. I want to make one JUST like but in Pink or Turquoise! I can get the shower rings at the Dollar Tree and the pretty ribbon at Walmart. I already have bright colored paint to paint polka dots and the white hanger. So this will be an easy project to organize my scarves. Then once I hang them I will have an extra drawer of space in my closet to add other stuff, like all the additional craft supplies that I have!

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#4. Duct Taped Clipboard – This is a simple 5 minute project that I want to make. I just need a clipboard! (Dollar Tree) I have the duct tape, But I also want to add a pretty pink ribbon at the top just to give it my personal girly touch! Then I can hang it on my wall so it will be an easy grab and go kind of thing and also add decoration to my plain walls. ❤

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#5. Decorative Storage Tins – Another cute idea I came across that will be easy to make! I like the cheetah print and the black, but I might change it up. I’m not too sure exactly what colors or patterns I want to use, nor what to use them for, but I will figure it out once I start making them. So far, I’m thinking of decorating them with the theme of Natalia’s room and putting them in there for storage and decoration. I could put all my baby-related samples in them, or coupons, maybe even hair bows (although I would rather hang them on the wall). The idea will come to me! I don’t have popcorn tins, but I do have empty coffee tins that I could use.

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#6. Oatmeal Can Headband Holder – This idea is very similar to the one prior. I kind of like this one a little better, so I might just blend the two ideas together! I like the fact that you can wrap headbands around this and still be able to open it up to throw in the clips, hair ties and other hair accessories.

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#7. Baby Room Door Muff – Awesome idea! I love how cute and purposeful this is. It’s also very easy to make and I have all the materials needed to make it, so this is definitely on the project list!

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#8. Convenient Bib Hanger – This is so perfect and what a great place for them to be! Very convenient baby bib organization. All I need is a large stick-on hanger that I can get very cheap pretty much anywhere. *Added to the grocery list. (;

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#9. Maternity Photo Idea – I plan to take some professional maternity photos with my baby’s father’s uncle for free and this would be the perfect idea for it. Especially if it is an all black and white photo with the color splash ribbon. This is more of an idea/plan than a project, but it’s definitely on the to-do list!

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#10. Healthy Carbonated Beverage – Last but not least an easy delicious beverage recipe to satisfy my sweet tooth and still get the nutrients I need. This delicious blended fruit soda blend will be on my list of drinks to try before I have this baby. (:

So these are my top ten nesting ideas & projects that I want to do while I wait for Natalia’s arrival. I will start my shopping tomorrow afternoon and my next post will look exactly like this one, except they will consist of all MY personal project photos. ♥

Brazilian Dessert <3

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This is my mom’s famous Brazilian Brigadeiro’s Recipe. It has been a traditional dessert custom from my mom’s side of the family in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They are TOO DIE FOR. It only takes 4 simple ingredients and about an hour and a half to make. They are fattening but worth every calorie, I promise. (;

2013-02-25_18-27-05_899 2013-02-25_18-33-21_315 2013-02-25_18-47-23_630 2013-02-25_20-34-43_715Ingredients:

  • 2 cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 stick butter (1/2 stick per can)
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder (or chocolate syrup)
  • Lots of sprinkles!
  • Candy/small cupcake wrappers

NOTE: This makes approximately 100 candies depending on the size you make them.

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine butter, condensed milk and cocoa poweder or syrup. Cook over medium heat for about 20-25 minutes, turning the heat down to medium-low heat after about ten minutes or whenever the sauce starts to bubble vigorously.
  2. Stir consistently, the entire time, no breaks! To make sure you evenly cook the sauce mixture until it becomes a very thick paste. I suggest using a ceramic pot because then the mixture wont stick. But if you don’t have a ceramic pot, a regular one works just fine.
  3. After the sauce becomes a thick paste, remove from heat and let cool down for about 30-45 minutes. DO NOT cool in refrigerator. Let it cool down naturally.
  4. Now this step will take two people, one to make the balls and one to add the sprinkles. But this is totally capable of being a one man job. Just follow directions carefully! Separate all the candy wrappers and have them ready to insert the candies once they are sprinkled. You can set them on a large platter or plate, whatever you have that works.
  5. In a very large shallow bowl, pour all the sprinkles in it. Cover your hands with softened butter so you will be able to roll the mixture into balls. You can use and kind of greaser but butter works the best because its what you used to cook the candies with, so it wont change the flavor.
  6. After you butter your hands, use a small spoon to get a good amount of the dulce de leche mixture (that will fit in the candy wrapper) and roll it into a ball, then place it in the bowl of sprinkles. If you are doing this by yourself, do not start messing with the sprinkles until you have placed all of the candies in there, otherwise you will just make a big huge mess!
  7. Once you’ve finished rolling all the candies, cover them entirely with the sprinkles and place them in their designated wrapper. Then you’re done! I suggest putting them in the refrigerator for about 20-30 minutes to make them a little hard because they taste better in my opinion. Or if you just can’t wait then go ahead and eat them because they taste good regardless! (:

Mamãe Feliz Aniversário!

028265be3055dd9598b5ec7e5c4d53Today is my mom’s Birthday. She had some wonderful things to wake up to this morning! First, there was a beautifully hand-made card made by her 1st daughter, meeeee. Then, when she opened it there was a VERY nice surprise in it (now she can go get her nails done!). Lastly, she was greeted with a delicious red velvet cake saying “Happy Birthday Mom” that I bought for her because one, it’s her birthday, and two she has been saying how she has been craving something sweet, and frankly so have I.

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She LOVED all her gifts and thanked me telling me how happy she was that I was in her life and she feels like the roles are switched, she’s the daughter and I’m the mom, lol! That woman is too funny. I enjoyed every single part about making this birthday special for my mom because she hasn’t had a special birthday in a long time. I even got all dressed up and pretty, curled my hair and did my make-up real nice to celebrate her big day. She appreciated everything I did for her. Tonight we are going to make brigadeiro’s, a delicious Brazilian candy made of dulce de leche and sprinkles, which is both of our favorite desserts. This will be her birthday activity that we get to spend time doing together. I will post about these on another time so I can add pictures and the recipe along with it. I love my mom with all my heart and I am really glad that I was able to do all these things for her to keep a big smile on her face. (:

Me & My Beautiful Mother (:

A Most Recent Picture of My Mother & I.
From My Baby Shower ❤

Macaroni & Cheese From Scratch

This is my all-time favorite dish in the entire word. I could eat this stuff any time of the day every day forever. It was love at first taste, and it has been ever since I was a tot. I got this recipe originally from my baby’s daddy’s aunt when I first tried it at one of their family get togethers for the Holidays. I LOVED her macaroni & cheese so much I went back for seconds. YES – in front of everybody! I had to get her recipe. So I did, and then I looked online at a few other homemade macaroni&cheese recipes to see how other people made it. I took a little of this recipe, a little of that one and through it together with the recipe I got from his aunt. So I guess you could call this my own recipe, but those are just my notes to you guys on where the idea originated from. For my dish I used twice the ingredients so I could make twice as much and have PLENTY of leftovers for lunch. This is one of those dishes that are great as leftovers for these days that I’m so big and pregnant, the last thing I want to do is stand in the kitchen making dinner every night.

IMG_20130208_190354Ingredients:

  • 1 (8 oz.) package macaroni
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 tbsp. corn starch
  • 1 tsp. salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease 2 qt. baking dish.
  2. Cook macaroni in salted boiling water as directed.
  3. Whisk eggs (first), then add milk and corn starch. Mix until well blended.
  4. Add butter and cheese to macaroni. Stir until well combined.
  5. Add milk mixture, gradually.
  6. Spoon into greased baking dish after everything is mixed well.
  7. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese on top.
  8. Bake for 30-40 minutes until milk is evaporated and top is golden brown.