Cozy Foods

Today marks my 7th snow day of 2015. I am not even going to talk about the lack of spring break days or my later then normal exit from the school year to Summer break.

With the Winter weather comes this want to hibernate. Cozy up with a book/blog/magazine, or for me, NCE (National Counseling Exam) study materials and some tea. I also find this time of the year all I want is #allthecarbs. Every (weekday) morning starts out the same. Coffee with almond milk and a hot off the stove bowl of old fashioned oats (made with almond milk) with a tbsp of PB and a thinly sliced banana. I had been making my oats in the microwave because I was always in a rush in the morning. Now, I have learned that I need to take my time in the morning. So, cooking my oats on the stove and savoring that coffee before I face a hectic day is vital to keep me energized and in good spirits all day long.

About 1 month ago I started a new job as a middle school counselor at the school I was teaching at. I still have to pinch myself sometimes when I realize that I have finally accomplished my career goal of becoming a counselor after starting my graduate program in January 2012. I am truly loving the job, their are many busy days of  wondering when the bell rings at 3pm “where the hell did the last 7 hours go?” but in the end I feel forever grateful that I am able to work in this capacity, helping these students at such a vital (and quite interesting) age.

Today I made a recipe from Minimalist Baker. This is one I will be taking home to Doylestown this weekend to share with my parents.

Butternut Squash Banana Bread

Adapted from Minimalist Baker

This is one of those blogs that I fell upon after following their instagram account. Their pictures of food are breathtaking (can food pictures be “breathtaking”? I think so). They put together simple, healthy, and unique recipes. Many of their recipes are vegan and gluten free. I adapted this one since I am not vegan or GF.

Ingredients: 3 large ripe bananas, 1 egg, 3 Tbsp vegetable or coconut oil (I used vegetable oil but would like to try coconut next time), 1/3 cup sugar, 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, 2 Tbsp honey, 3 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, dash nutmeg, 3/4 cup almond or dairy milk, 3/4 cup all purpose flour, 1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour, 1 1/4 cup oats, 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp butternut squash (roast in oven at 400 degrees for 13 minutes then pulse in food processor with water until smooth).

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 and spray a loaf pan with nonstick spray. Mash bananas in a large bowl until smooth and creamy. Then add the egg and all ingredients up through the milk and whisk until well combined (I used Kitchen Aid whisk attachment). Next add in pastry flour, regular flour and oats and stir. Pour half of the batter into the loaf pan. Then scoop butternut squash puree into the remaining batter and stir. Add it to the loaf pan and use a spoon or knife to gently swirl. Bake for 1 hour – 1 hour 15 minutes, or until golden brown and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. (Mine took 1 hour and 10 minutes). Let set in pan for 5-10 minutes, then gently move to a wire rack and let cool completely.

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Enjoy your snow day.

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xoxo.