The Only Banana Bread Recipe You’ll Ever Need

Banana Bread Slices 2 You know that dish (or dishes) that takes you back to your childhood. I mean, the minute you see the recipe, get a whiff of its familiar scent, or take that first bite, you are instantly transported back to eight years old and life suddenly gets just a little bit simpler? I have several of these dishes, of course, but this banana bread is one of my favorites....

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Rosemary Olive Loaf

Rosemary Olive Bread_aerial I’ll be the first to admit that I have a slight obsession with small appliances – toasters, coffee pots, ice cream makers, blenders, food processors, slow cookers, and mixers. I even have a Keurig in addition to my coffee pot. Some of these stay out consistently – coffee pot, blender, toaster – while others come out as a craving hits. Normally this time of year, I crave homemade strawberry ice cream and cantaloupe sorbet. But, with the gloomy and rainy weather, I have had a consistent hankering for carbs, namely bread. We're talking good bread, not that white stuff they sell at the store and serve at all-night diners that has been stripped down of all nutrients and flavor. Part of what makes great bread so great is the smell. It’s irresistible. When my home is filled with the smell of freshly baking bread, it is like a big hug to my olfactory system. So, I figured, why not kill two birds with one stone? In came the bread machine from the garage (urge to use bread machine, check) to satisfy my need for the sweet aromas of homemade bread (not to mention a indulgence in the preservative-free freshness of the loaf). I filled it up, turned it on, and six hours later had the most delicious rosemary kalamata olive loaf you can imagine. Toasted with a little butter the next morning made for the perfect (if not most nutritionally balanced) breakfast. I’ve had my bread machine for nearly eight years now and have worn out the recipe book that came with it testing all the different provided ideas. At first I was wary to stray from the recipes and instructions included in the provided manual, but I have tried modifying the recipes to suit my tastes with much success. I’ve even taken other bread recipe ingredients, ignored the instructions, put them in my trusty bread machine, and ended up with a delicious end results (though I’m not sure if this is recommended). Rosemary Olive Bread_bites taken Rosemary Olive Bread_close up of olives in bread Rosemary Olive Bread_slice and olives 2 Rosemary Olive Bread_bites taken 2  

5 Things: April 24th

We used to sit down to dinner every night as a family and chat. This was before the time of smart phones and tablets (Blackberries were the cool tech of the moment). Every evening each of us would take turns saying what our favorite 5 Things of the day were. It could be anything from playing outside at recess to science class to an awesome team meeting at work. There were only three rules 1) all 5 things had to be positive, 2) you couldn’t copy what someone else said unless you elaborated and made it personal, and 3) no repeats from the previous night. It was really fun and usually resulted in some great conversation and ideas for things to do during the upcoming weekend. Somehow over the last ten years or so we let this tradition go and I miss it. So, in honor of this tradition and in hopes of bringing it back, every Friday I will share my 5 Things from the previous seven days. Please feel free to share yours with me – or just with those closest to you. Enjoy!
  1. I reconnected and had an awesome lunch (Cow's End) and conversation with an old friend / colleague who I haven’t seen or talked to in nearly 10 years. Bonus: I walked away from lunch with a whole bunch of awesome knowledge I didn’t know I didn’t know.
  2. Impromptu alfresco spaghetti and meatball dinner with friends. There is no better way to cap off hump day than with a delicious home cooked meal, a glass of wine, catching up with a good friend, and watching our little men get into all kinds of mischief.
  3. My little man’s first official soccer practice! There was way too much cuteness in one place – and my sister came to partake in the fun. If you live in LA and want to get in on the fun, check out Learn to Kick by Tiny Pros.
  4. Fresh, homemade rosemary olive French loaf. Seriously, the way my home smelled all day was fantastic. This will definitely be appearing on the blog soon!
  5. The long held belief that I was looked over when my parents were handing out the artistic gene has been confirmed. My attempt at an Elmo cupcake says it all (image at the end). But, the important part is that they taste like slices of heaven and the kids at his daycare all agreed. Now I just need to whip up a batch to take to his family b-day party tomorrow. Phew!
Rosemary Olive Bread_aerial

Seriously delicious rosemary olive french loaf.

Aiden Soccer_hurt eye

He collided with one of the other kids at soccer and ended up with a bit of a shiner. The red on the chin is lipstick from mommy's kiss that we couldn't get off.

Elmo

Man did this look way better in my head. I think I'll stick with abstract art.

Cupcakes_close up2

Obviously, I left the rest of these divine cupcakes in their beautiful and delicious state. Phew!