Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Posted in: Eats

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread has become one of our family’s favorite breakfast treats.  It’s a great way to use up over-ripe bananas.  I love that applesauce can be substituted for oil.  It makes you feel a little less guilty about the chocolate chips!

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

¼ cup vegetable oil or applesauce

1½ cups + 1 Tablespoon flour

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup mashed banana (about 2 medium bananas)

1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour an 8 ½ inch x 4 ½ inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together 1 ½ cups flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.  Mix in the mashed bananas, eggs, and oil or applesauce.

In a small bowl, sprinkle remaining tablespoon flour over chocolate chips and toss gently to coat.  (Dusting the chocolate chips in flour will help keep them from sinking to the bottom of the loaf during baking.)

Stir chocolate chips into batter.  Do not over mix.  Pour into prepared pan.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 70-80 minutes.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out and cool completely.

Click to download a PDF of my Chocolate Chip Banana Bread recipe. Enjoy!

{Easy} Valentine’s Breakfast Ideas

Posted in: Eats, Entertaining

Easy Valentine's Breakfast Ideas  :: Just Live Life Happy

Since we’re away, I don’t have my regular {Menu Monday} post to share with you today.  Instead, I have some easy Valentine’s breakfast ideas.  Lauren and I served up these goodies to our friends last week.  They are perfect for a Valentine’s morning playdate or just a quite morning at home with the ones you love.

“We’re Bananas for You!”

Serve up some of homemade banana bread or muffins.  My Chocolate Chip Banana Bread is an extra sweet start to the day.  Click here for the recipe.

“We’re Berry Glad We’re Friends!”

How about some simple yogurt parfaits.  Strawberry yogurt topped with blueberries and diced strawberries.

“You’re the Apple of My Eye!”

And, I’ve saved the easiest for last! Apple slices!

A well stocked craft room and five minutes on the computer allowed me to whip up the buffet labels.  Another cute idea for a beverage is “You’re My Cup of Tea.

Come back soon because I’ll be sharing a few more cute Valentine’s ideas as well as my most recent party (a “Snow Sprinkle”) later this week!

This Just P{IN}ned: S’mores French Toast

Posted in: Eats

My obsession with s’more is no secret.  I’m pretty sure I’ve gained an extra five pounds over the past six months because I realized you can make them in the oven.  They’re a legitimate and healthy snack, right? Seriously, I would eat them daily if I could.

Anyhow, when I saw this pin (via on BS in the Kitchen) Pinterest a few weeks ago it was move over pancakes and “HELLO” S’mores French Toast for Saturday morning breakfast! Now I can eat s’more for breakfast too!

S’more French Toast

2 slices white bread

4 graham crackers (crushed)

1/2 Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar (6 rectangles)

4 marshmallows, toasted in oven

2 eggs

1/4 cup milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

Whisk together eggs, cream, and vanilla.  Dip bread into mixture egg mixture, coating both side, and then coat with crushed graham crackers on both sides.

Cook the first side of each piece of French toast as you normally would.  Flip and top cooked sides with toasted marshmallows and chocolate squares while the second sides cook.  Sandwich both pieces together and enjoy the googey s’mores goodness!

It’s not rocket science, but it is yummy! I should also mention that original pinned recipe included adding cinnamon (and nutmeg) to the egg mixture.  I tried this on my first attempt at making this dish and didn’t care for the cinnamon flavor with the chocolate.  I’m not a huge fan or cinnamon to begin with, but if you are you might consider adding a teaspoon or so. Enjoy!

French Toast not your thing? My friend Jen email me this pin for S’more Waffles last weekend.  See? My obsession is no secret, but at least my friend have accepted it as a part of me.


{Top 10} St. Patrick’s Day Treats

Posted in: Eats, Entertaining, Fun

Can you believe it St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner?!? Well, it’s your LUCKY day! Here’s my round-up of the best St. Patrick’s Day treats around.

As LUCK would have it, St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Saturday this year.  Since no one will be rushing off to school or work why not cook up a special St. Patrick’s Day breakfast?  How about some Rainbow Waffles from Angel Street Mom?  I can’t wait to Lauren’s old enough to really enjoy these.

For more grown-up pallets, here’s a Shamrock Quiche from diamonds for dessert.

YUM! I LOVE spinach!

Now, there’s no need to hunt down that leprechan.  You’ll fill like you found a whole pot of gold with these tasty, sweet treats!

First up, Rainbow Pudding from

Lauren LOVES pudding. Heck, we all do, so I may just have to make some of these for us to enjoy!

Next, a fun twist on a classic-Green Velvet Cupcake by Love From the Oven.

I don’t ever remember hearing about this next treat before I moved to the northeast, but I know people around here are just crazy about McDonald’s Shamrock Shake.  You can save yourself a trip to the drive-thru and make your own at home with this recipe from babble.

Chocolate and mint are a classic pair, but forget about Thin Mints and give these home-baked Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies a try. Recipe from Flickr.

I LOVE chocolate covered pretzels, so these next two have my mouth watering.

These M&M and Pretzel Treats are popping up everywhere.  I’ve tried them.  They are delicious and so addicting.  It’s just too easy to pop them in your mouth…before you know it you’ve eaten them all!  The cuties below are from My Little Gems.

Feel like getting really creative with your pretzels?  Then these Shamrock Pretzels from Sun Scholars are for you. How clever!

Need a treat to make and share?  I love the idea and packaging for these Rainbow Twizzlers from it is what it is.

And I’ve save my absolute favorite for last:

I think I first saw this idea on HWTM.  I love the playful simplicity of Lucky Charms served with green milk.  I’ve seen this idea presented in various ways, but I love this beautiful photo is from Thoughtfully Simple best of all.

And of course, don’t forget about this week’s Cookie of the Week, Irish Coffee Blondies!  Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

On the Menu: {Puff Pastry} Pigs-in-a-Blanket

Posted in: Eats, Entertaining

I saved my last brunch recipe to share today.  Not only are my Pigs-in-a-Blanket perfect for breakfast, but I think they’d make a great appetizer or party food too.  Like say for the Super Bowl this weekend…

(Puff Pastry) Pigs-in-a-Blanket

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed

cocktail sausages

1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.  In a small bowl, make egg wash by whisking together egg and 1 Tablespoon of water.  Set aside.

On a lightly floured board, gently roll puff pastry to smooth it out.  Cut it into triangles that are apprimately 1 1/2- 2 inches wide by 4 inches long.  I found this easiest to do a small pizza cutter.  First cut 2 inch by 4 inch rectangles and then cut each rectangle in half diagonally. (Yes, I do keep I ruler in my kitchen drawer for baking.  I’m not the best estimator and I like the reassurance.)

Starting with the wide end, snugly roll cocktail franks in pastry triangles.  Seal the end with a bit of egg wash.  Transfer to prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining triangles.  (I think I ended up with approximately 2 dozen.)

Brush tops with egg wash (or see alternate idea below).  Bake for 30 minutes until puffed and golden.


*Puff pastry can be thawed overnight in the refrigerator or, if you’re in a rush, on the counter in 45 minutes to an hour.  If it gets too warm it can be hard to work with so just put it back into the refrigerator for a bit.

*If you happen to be baking these alongside my mini quiches, you can split the difference and bake them together at 375 for 20 minutes.  Just makes it easier.

*The second time I made these I had a revelation.  Since mustard is the traditional condiment for non-breakfast pigs-in-a-blanket, maybe the poppy seed sauce (which is more of a glaze) from my Ham and Cheese Sliders could stand in for the egg wash and add a little extra flavor.  Well, I tired it and it worked great! (See recipe here.) I’m still working on some type of sweet, breakfasty glaze.  I’m thinking something with maple syrup.  I’ll let you know how it goes…

Whether you make these for breakfast or party food, I hope you give them a try and then let me know what you think.  Have a great weekend and Go Giants!

Oh, and have you check out my other brunch recipe? Please click to see my Mini Quiche and MIni Cinnamon Roll Pop recipes.

xo Aleah


On the {Breakfast} Menu: Cinnamon Roll Pops

Posted in: Eats, Entertaining

I’m back with another recipe from my recent brunch with friends. Today, I want to share my Mini Cinnamon Roll Pops with you.  These little treats were a BIG hit with the kids at the party.  Even better, they’re are so easy to make that I really can’t even give you a “recipe”-it’s pretty much just instructions.

Mini Cinnamon Roll Pops

1 can store-bought cinnamon rolls with icing

non-stick cooking spray

mini muffin pan

lollipop sticks (from baking section of craft store)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and spray holes of muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Roll dough into a long skinny log.  This part isn’t an exact science.  I tried rolling all the dough at once and that didn’t work for me.  (I think it was because my cinnamon rolls had some type of topping on each one.)  I ended up rolling 1-2 individual cinnamon rolls together at a time.

Slice log into coins and place one in each hole of  your muffin pan.  Again, this isn’t an exact science.  Just cut your pieces so that they fit nicely into the pan.  Remember they’re going to puff up and get round on top.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until slightly golden.  Remove and cool slightly in pan.

Here’s the fun part, making the “pops.” When cool enough to handle, remove individual cinnamon rolls. Dip the end of each lollipop stick into the icing and insert it into the cinnamon roll.  The idea is that the icing helps the pop stay on the stick.  Repeat with all cinnamon rolls.

Place remaining icing into a small baggie.  Cut the tiniest bit off the corner to make a simple piping bag.  Add a little icing to each cinnamon roll pop.  If your cinnamon rolls are a little warm still the icing will get melty.  Don’t worry.  I actually liked the way it look and then you don’t have to worry about how precisely you icing them.

Hope you have fun with these! xo Aleah