Favorite Banana Bread

Northwest Pearls: Banana Bread
Northwest Pearls: Banana Bread
Northwest Pearls: Banana Bread
Northwest Pearls: Banana Bread

My mom has been making amazing banana bread for as long as I can remember. I wanted to share her recipe, but alas, that's not allowed. So here's a picture of my banana bread made from my mother's secret recipe, with a link to a banana bread recipe from Crazy for Crust that looks good, and another from Betty Crocker.

Do you have a treat you like to make?

Huckleberry Pie at Priest Lake

Northwest Pearls: Huckleberry PieI've always loved huckleberries. We've always had bushes of them growing in our yard or neighborhood so it blew my mind when my best friend thought that they were something "from Dr. Seuss." Then I had two other friends think that they were just a flavor. They didn't realize they were a real thing. That being said, I love huckleberry flavored things. Ice cream especially. We bought huckleberry ice cream at Priest Lake and it was amazing. And while at that store, we picked up a huckleberry pie for later. It was pretty good. And so pretty. I can't imagine how many huckleberries it took to make this though.

I'd for sure go get ice cream there again and probably the pie too!

What's one of your favorite flavors?

Baked Kale Chips

Northwest Pearls: Baked Kale Chips
Northwest Pearls: Baked Kale Chips

I had some leftover kale from a recipe and I didn't want it to go to waste so I decided to bake some kale chips.

There are tons of recipes online, but I just washed and cut the leaves, tossed them with some olive oil, spread them out onto a greased cookie sheet, and sprinkled them with some coarse sea salt.

Then I put them into the oven at about 350 degrees until the edges were brown but not burnt. About 10-15 minutes but I'd closely watch them to make sure they don't burn.

Also, as you'd expect, the kale gets way smaller once it's been baked so if you're wanting a lot of chips, you'll need a lot of kale. I filled up one large cookie sheet with the kale and ended up with about 2-3 servings of chips.

I probably wouldn't make this again; kale is fine, I just don't love it.

What's a healthy snack you'd recommend?

Northwest Pearls: Baked Kale Chips
Northwest Pearls: Baked Kale Chips

Yummy Make-At-Home Scones

Northwest Pearls: Fair Scones Living in Western Washington, we've always gone to the Washington State Fair, formerly known as the Puyallup Fair. It has attractions, rides, food, vendors, animals, and more.

My favorite part of the fair though is the Fair Scones. These wonderful scones can be purchased and eaten there, or you can buy a mix to take home and make.

I believe that this boxed mix is actually from Costco (I may be wrong about that), but nonetheless, it is the same product and tastes so good!

Northwest Pearls: Fair Scones

Northwest Pearls: Fair Scones

Northwest Pearls: Fair Scones

Northwest Pearls: Fair Scones

I love to break the scones open and add some yummy jam to them.

What's a treat you like?

Apple Rose Treats

The other treat I made for the bake sale was Apple Roses. I found this recipe and decided to make them. It was a mistake.

The treats were amazing, but the amount of time I put into them was not worth it for a simple fundraiser. I wouldn't make these treats again unless it was for a pretty fancy dinner party. It took me about 3 hours and 45 minutes to make 16 treats.

I did learn some things though. If I make these again I will use our mandoline slicer, and I will have plenty of lemon juice on hand.

I needed more apple preserves than the original recipe called for, and more water and lemon juice to soak the lemons in. I also found that I should have simmered the apples in warm water right away and not tried just soaking them. Even when increasing the ingredients to make triple I still needed way more of the preserves and water. But the treats turned out wonderful and apparently had the mothers fighting over them.

Before going into the oven:

Northwest Pearls: Apple Roses

After coming out of the oven:

Northwest Pearls: Apple Roses

Northwest Pearls: Apple Roses

Northwest Pearls: Apple Roses

Ready to eat:

Northwest Pearls: Apple Roses

Northwest Pearls: Apple Roses

The treats were a ton of work, but I like how they turned out, not too sweet, and very pretty.

Have you tried making apple roses?

Cranberry Treats

In order to help out my mom, I took over her task of making treats for a bake sale. Because it's December, she wanted to make the treats holiday themed so I made cranberry-blueberry muffins, cranberry citrus bread, and cranberry citrus muffins. She wanted me to use red and green cupcake baking cups, but  I couldn't find red so I went with blue and green for the Seahawks, as well as some pretty brown cups. All of the treats below are the cranberry-citrus kind, made with this recipe. We deviated from the recipe by making the treats gluten-free and by using grated grapefruit and grated orange rind. Northwest Pearls: Cranberry Treats

The bread before it was put into the oven.

Northwest Pearls: Cranberry Treats

The finished muffins.

Northwest Pearls: Cranberry Treats

I also made some Apple Roses, which I'll show you in another upcoming blog post. Those apparently had people arguing over who would get them. I'm pretty proud of how they turned out. I saved a few treats for myself and have been enjoying them.

Is there anything you enjoy baking?

Zucchini Bread

Northwest Pearls: Zucchini Bread In my mother's recipe box, there's a 3x5 notecard with a recipe for Zucchini Bread typed out on it.

My sister thinks it's coffee cake, she wouldn't have tried it if we'd told her it was Zucchini Bread.

It's more of a cake than a bread, a ridiculous amount of sugar goes into the recipe, but it's delicious. I've been eating it for breakfast.

The recipe calls for:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup of oil
  • 1 3 cups of sugar
  • 2 cups of peeled and grated zucchini
  • 3 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 3 cups of sifted flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of chopped nuts
  • 1/2 cup of combined raisins, currants, and dates (optional, my mom substitutes these for chocolate chips.)

First you beat the eggs until foamy. Then add oil, sugar, zucchini, and vanilla. Mix well. Then add the flour, salt, soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nuts, and raisins, currants, and dates. Pour batter into two greased/buttered loaf pans.

Bate at 325 degrees for 1 hour.

Recipe makes two loaves.

Northwest Pearls: Zucchini Bread

Let me know if you try it and what you think!

Football Treats

My best friend made up some fancy treats for her game-watching party this Sunday. Aren't the treats cool? They were pretty yummy too. Northwest Pearls: Football Cupcakes

She made up two platters of these guys.

Northwest Pearls: Seahawks Player Cookies

Hard to tell what team we were rooting for huh? I'm not a big fan of football, but it was fun to watch the commercials and hang out with everyone.

Here's Marshawn Lynch with a skittle. There were a few personalized players.

Northwest Pearls: Marshawn Lynch Cookie Man

Did you watch the game this weekend? What did you think?

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookie Recipe My mom has this old chocolate chip cookie recipe that my family and a lot of my friends have loved.

Not sure exactly how many cookies this makes, but it about fills a gallon plastic bag with cookie dough. At least 48 cookies. (We usually freeze half the batch so it's been a while since we've made the entire batch at once.)

Here it is:

  • 4 sticks of butter (the sticks are supposed to be 1/2 cup each, so in total, 2 cups of butter)
  • 2 cups of brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 cups of flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 2-3 cups of chocolate chips depending on how chocolately you want it

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees, the rack should be in the middle of the oven. Take the butter, brown sugar, sugar, vanilla extract, and eggs and mix them together for four minutes in your mixer on a high setting.

Then add in the flour, salt, and baking soda and mix it all in. When that's done you add in the chocolate chips. (Or you could add in nuts, or whatever your heart desires. Just add it last.)

Then place chunks, say an inch to an inch and a half in diameter, of the cookie dough onto a non-stick baking sheet and bake for 9-12 minutes at 375 degrees. Take them out of the oven when they are slightly golden.

And eat! (Once they're cool.)

Let me know how they turn out!