Category Archives: DIY and Recipes

Mom’s Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I’m pretty much a banana fanatic. I LOVE bananas! You can make me happy with anything banana . . . ice cream, pudding, candy, smoothies, on a toasted sandwich with peanut butter, by itself, and the list goes on. But, nothing makes me more happy than my mom’s chocolate chip banana bread. It’s pretty much heaven in your mouth, or I like to think so. When I moved out of my parents’ house, the first thing I asked for was mom’s banana bread recipe.

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After getting married, the first thing I made from scratch was, of course, mom’s banana bread. That’s when I got my hubby hooked, and it’s been going strong since. You see, we don’t ever EVER go without banana bread in this house. The moment we run out, I’m making more that same day or the following day. Sometimes I will make a grocery store run just to get bananas to make more banana bread. If I can’t afford to get more chocolate chips, I just make it plain.

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Hubby and I each have our own favorite ways to eat it. We both like to toast it in the toaster oven until the edges turn a bit crispy. Then, we top it off with our favorite spreads. Hubby’s is butter and mine is peanut butter. There’s nothing more amazing than banana, chocolate, and peanut butter. Sometimes I even add a little Nutella. Pretty sure my tastebuds start singing the “Hallelujah Chorus” every single time. BUT, absolutely nothing compares to eating it straight from the oven. *sigh* So good!

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So, because I just love mom’s chocolate chip banana bread so much, I figured I just had to share it. It’s not fair to keep it all to myself!

To get started, you are going to need the following: 1/2 cup cooking oil, 1 cup sugar, 2 eggs (beaten), 3 mashed bananas, 2 cups flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 3 Tbsp milk, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/2 cup chocolate chips.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

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In a large bowl, blend together the oil and sugar. (Note: My prep pictures are taken before the sifting, blending, and mixing.)

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Then, add your beaten eggs and mashed bananas and blend together. (Don’t like bananas? Do a cup of your favorite fruit, pureed. I love making peach bread sometimes!)

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Next, add your dry ingredients, the vanilla, and the milk and blend together.

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Finally, stir in your chocolate chips. (You can also do nuts, dates, or whatever else you want in your bread.)

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Pour into your prepared loaf pan. This makes 1 large or 3 mini loafs. (To prepare your pan, coat with oil or crisco and then shake some flour in the pan and get it nice and coated so that the loaf will just slide straight out of the pan.)

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Put your pan in the oven for 1 hour. (You might need to add or subtract 5 minutes, depending on the temperature of your oven. I have to add 5 min.) When it’s done, voila! You have a beautiful loaf of oh-so-tasty banana bread!

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Then, of course, you must indulge in a piece!

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Who can resist that delicious crust?!

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Ready to make your own banana bread? The full recipe is below!

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup cooking oil
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
3 mashed bananas
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In large bowl, beat oil and sugar together.
3. Add eggs and bananas. Beat well.
4. Add sifted dry ingredients, milk, and vanilla. Beat well.
5. Stir in chocolate chips.
6. Pour into greased and floured large loaf pan.
7. Bake for about 1 hour. (Depending on your oven, you might need to add or subtract a few minutes.)
*This batter also fits into 3 mini loaf pans, which you would bake about 40-45 min.*
8. Let the banana bread cool before storing. For best freshness, wrap your loaf in aluminum foil and store in the refrigerator.

*This recipe can also be changed up in many ways. For whole wheat banana bread, use 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup white flour. You can also turn it into something other than banana bread. Instead of bananas, switch them out for 1 cup applesauce or 1 cup mashed/pureed fruit of your choice (i.e. peaches, strawberries, pumpkin, zucchini). The sky’s the limit! If you’re a nut fanatic, add 1/2 cup chopped nuts of your choice.

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DIY Pot/Pan Wall Hangers

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Hubby and I had been wanting to make pot/pan wall hangers for quite some time now, and we finally finished our little project. My wonderful husband had gotten me a very nice stainless steel set of pots and pans, and they were just too nice to let our son play with. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a place to store them without him getting to them. So, we immediately started brainstorming about what to do. We looked up a whole variety of pot/pan hangers, but they were all more than we were willing to pay for. Hence, the decision to make our own. And here’s the finished product . . .

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Nice, huh? I’m not trying to toot our own horns, but I absolutely LOVE how this looks in our dining/kitchen area!
 
In my last post, I promised that I would write a tutorial about this when we finished it, so I will try my best to do that right now. We absolutely love antiques, so most of the stuff we got came from an antique store. Here are the things you’ll need for this project:
  • 1 full-sized outside window shutter (can find them at an antique shop)
  • matching small door knobs for as many things you want to hang (found ours at an antique shop)
  • 1 pack of leather strap shoe string
  • 4 long screws or dry wall screws that hold over 100 lbs each.
  • a drill
  • paint color of your choice
  • a saw
  • course sandpaper
1. Saw the shutter clean in half.
2. Paint each shutter piece with the color of your choice. Do not remove the original paint, because it is prevalent for the weathering part of the shutter. Once the paint has dried, you can put on a second coat if desired.
3. After the paint has dried . . . Using your course sandpaper, make long, quick strokes across the wood until you start seeing the paint underneath show through in random places. You can see what I mean in the picture below:
 
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4. Next, you’re going to add your doorknob hangers. For this, you need to first lay out your pots and pans according to how you want to hang them. This way, you can know exactly where you need to place the knobs so that the pans hang properly. Mark your measurements. (Be sure you are doing this on the flat edge of the shutter and not the rounded edge.) We chose to hang our largest pan on the side with our utensils.
 
5. Our doorknobs had long metal “prongs” coming out the back, so be sure you have doorknobs with something sticking out the back. Using a drill bit that is slightly smaller than the prongs, drill holes where you made your marks.
 
6. Then, very carefully push a knob into each of the drilled holes.
 
7. Now you’re going to hang the shutters. Find wherever you want to hang them on the wall and make sure they are level. Then, using your screws or drywall screws, put one screw on each side of each shutter. (You’ll want to cover the screws with small dabs of the paint you used on the shutters.)
 
8. To hang your pots/pans/utensils, cut off same-size pieces of the leather shoelaces, making sure there will be enough to make a knot and allow the item to hang. Put each leather piece through the holes in your pots/pan/utensils and tie off the ends with a tight knot.
 
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9. Hang your items, and there you go! You have homemade pot and pan wall hangers!
 
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Now, you may be wondering about the box in the middle. That’s something we added for necessity and aesthetic purposes. We used it to cover up our security system touchpad, and it acts as a nice place for us to store our salt and pepper shakers.
 
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I apologize if my “tutorial” was confusing, but that’s the best way I could explain it. Happy building!

*Btw, this entire project only cost us about $30-$35.

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