Festive Fruit Flag

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Fruit Flag with title

For the 4th of July I was looking for something festive to make/do for our guests that were coming over. I decided to make the Fruit Flag I saw on Pinterest since it looked pretty easy and like it wouldn’t take too long. This flag was definitely super easy to put together…and who doesn’t love fruit?! I used strawberries, bananas, and blueberries, but you could really use any fruit that brings out the red, white, and blue in the flag. I paired the flag with the Fluffy Fruit Dip and had a delicious and refreshing treat. I also discovered that bananas in the fruit dip is a whole lot of deliciousness!

Happy creating!
Heather

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Banana Bread

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Finished Bread with title

We had some very ripe bananas so what to do? Make banana bread, of course! I found a recipe on food.com that was claiming to be the Best Banana Bread and decided to give this recipe a try.

To make the bread you will need…

1/2 cup butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
4 bananas, finely crushed
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a loaf pan.
2. Cream the butter and sugar together.
3. Add eggs and bananas and combine all ingredients well.
4. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt and add to the mixture.
5. Add vanilla.

Mixture with words

6. Pour mixture into prepared pan.
7. Put in the oven and bake for 60 minutes.

In Oven with words

8. Cool completely. Keeps really well refrigerated.

Finished Bread with words

I was worried that putting the bread in the refrigerator would make it dry out, but the bread stayed moist and delicious over several days! This truly is a delicious banana bread recipe- the best, though? I’m not sure…I’ll have to try out a few more recipes!

Baking love,
Heather

S’mores Cookie Crumble Bars

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Cookie with Ingredients and words

Today I was craving marshmallow creme, but I didn’t really want to open the jar without having something to bake, in fear that I would eat the entire jar in one sitting. I had found a recipe on Pinterest for S’mores Cookie Crumble Bars linked from the Food Network website. I decided this would be the perfect recipe to try!

To make the bars you will need…

Ingredients
1 cup store-bought graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
One 4.4-ounce bar milk chocolate broken into pieces (I used Ghirardelli)
1 cup marshmallow creme

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square baking dish with aluminum foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the ends of the pan for lifting out the finished bars. Spray with cooking spray if you wish- I was worried the aluminum foil would stick to the bars.

Stir together the ground grahams, flour, sugar and salt in a small bowl.

Dry Ingredients

Cream the butter, egg, and vanilla in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until creamy and combined; do not beat a great amount of air into the mixture.

Creamed Ingredients

Add the graham mixture and continue to beat on low speed until just combined and large crumbles form.

Mixed

Place about two-thirds of the mixture in the prepared pan and firmly press down (this was easiest done with my hands). Reserve a few pieces of the chocolate for garnish (I set aside two squares), and then scatter the rest of the chocolate pieces over the base. Drop spoonfuls of the marshmallow creme over the chocolate, stretching the creme so it covers more of the base (this is easier if you spray the spoon/spatula with cooking spray, otherwise the marshmallow creme sticks). Drop the remaining cookie batter in small clusters over the chocolate and creme so the creme is mostly covered.

Ready for Oven

Bake until the dough is golden brown and the cookie in the center of the pan feels firm, about 40 minutes.

Out of Oven

The marshmallow creme will puff through the crumble and brown, and it will deflate as it cools. Cool in the pan at least 15 minutes.

Using the foil overhang, lift the crumble bars out of the pan. Melt the reserved pieces of chocolate in the microwave in 30-second intervals until smooth, and then drizzle over the cookies.

Chocolate Topped

Cut into squares.

Finished Cookie

Serve warm or at room temperature.

With Ingredients

This was the perfect way for me to get my marshmallow creme fix (I saved a big spoonful to eat…deliciousness!) and the S’mores Bars were pretty good too! I do wish these had a bit more chocolate and marshmallow creme because there was a lot of cookie compared to the other ingredients. I only ate an end piece so perhaps I’ll have to try one of the middle pieces too, just to make sure….

Baking love,
Heather

Overnight Baked French Toast Casserole

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Baked French Toast

Over Memorial Day weekend we had some friends and their kids come to visit. I figured I’d make breakfast each morning for all of us and one of the things I LOVE to make is Overnight French Toast. I don’t think I’ve made the same french toast recipe twice because I’ve either thought it was too sweet, too sticky, or not sweet enough…just call me Goldilocks when it comes to overnight french toast. However, my search for a delicious french toast recipe may have just come to an end…

While on Pinterest (because I’m obsessed), I found Paula Deen’s Baked French Toast Casserole with Maple Syrup recipe. I thought I’d give it a try, and I certainly was not disappointed in this recipe! This buttery, delicious, sweet goodness had the perfect amount of bread, eggs, and pecan topping to balance everything out. I noticed that some people said they thought it was too buttery, but I, personally, loved the buttery goodness in the topping!

Anyway, to make this yummy breakfast dish you will need…

Ingredients
1 loaf French bread- mine was a day old and the perfect for this dish!
8 large eggs
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup milk- I used vanilla soy milk which I think added to the flavor
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash salt
Maple Syrup
Praline Topping: (I made this in the morning)
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well.

Directions
Slice French bread into enough slices to cover the bottom of a 9 by 13-inch buttered baking dish, 1-inch each. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. (I had plenty to cover all the bread and for it to be soaking the mixture that was left on the bottom of the pan.) Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread.

Before Oven

Bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Serve with maple syrup.

Baked

I served the french toast with bacon and fresh fruit- it was a delicious breakfast all around!

Baking love,
Heather