Griddled Banana Bread with Maple Syrup

Griddled Banana Bread (3)

Here’s an adaptation from a recipe in Country Living, perfect for these first few cozy mornings that feel like fall. For a more classic taste, use cinnamon instead of the nutmeg and cloves.

Griddled Banana Bread (1)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance butter, softened
  • 2 Ener-G eggs
  • 1/3 cup vanilla non-dairy yogurt
  • 3 mashed ripe bananas
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the brown sugar and butter; beat for about 2 minutes at medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the Ener-g eggs, followed by the vanilla yogurt, bananas, and vanilla extract, beating after each addition.
  3. Slowly add the flour mixture, beating at slow speed until just combined. Spoon the batter into a greased 9×5-inch loaf pan.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 65 minutes. Cool completely, then transfer to a cutting board (or refrigerate overnight).
  5. Cut the loaf into 1/2-inch thick slices. Melt additional Earth Balance butter to taste in the bottom of a skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Add the banana bread slices in batches, cooking for about 3 minutes on each side.
  6. Serve with warm maple syrup!

The kids helped prepare this as a birthday breakfast-in-bed surprise; it’s definitely a recipe with a special occasion feel to it.

Griddled Banana Bread (4)

Leafy Green Pumpkins

Fern Pumpkins (4)

When you think of pumpkins and fall d├ęcor, the color orange likely comes to mind. But this beautiful, more subtly-shaded pumpkin decoration feels just right as summer gives way to fall, when the world is still mostly green and hasn’t yet turned to autumn’s vivid oranges, yellows, and reds.

Travis has been very into ferns lately, so as soon as I spotted this front-porch pumpkin idea in Country Living, I knew he’d love it, too. First up was a fern hunt! We did a family nature walk and were careful to take only a few fern tips here and there, leaving most of nature undisturbed.

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What a beautiful fern glen we stumbled upon!

Make the next stop your local farm or farmer’s market, because the best background for these ferns will be white, not a standard orange. Fun fact: these pumpkins are called Snowball or Ghost Pumpkins.

Fern Pumpkins (1)

All we needed to do was glue down the ferns with clear tacky glue, applying a few strips to each. A green Hubbard squash added height and fit the color palette perfectly, to complete the ensemble.

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How do you decorate your porch in early fall? Please share in the comments!

Fern Pumpkins (2)

Sandwich Roll-Ups

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One of the biggest changes for Veronika this fall is that she now eats lunch at school. We love these rolled sandwiches for two reasons. A) kids can help put them together, which lets them take ownership of packed lunches and B) they’re just the right size for small hands!

To start, trim the crusts from whole wheat bread, then use a rolling pin to flatten out and stretch each piece slightly. Veronika loves this part!

Sandwich Roll Up (1)

Next, spread the bread with a sticky spread of choice. We tried both lemon hummus and vegan cream cheese, both of which were declared yummy.

Sandwich Roll Up (2)

Top with your filling of choice. We made a veggie version with shredded carrots and chopped baby spinach on the first day…

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…and filled them with tofurkey, vegan cheese, and olives on the second.

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Thanks to Veronika’s latest issue of High Five magazine for suggestion this perfect lunch treat.