Recipe: Absolutely Wonderful Apple Sauce Banana Bread

For Easter desert this year, I decided to make banana bread. Jim and I are trying to be healthier (even though we have had a ton of candy in the past couple days) and I thought this bread would keep us on track, even if we ate the whole loaf.

This bread is so easy to make and is full of flavor! Spread a little butter on a piece and you have yourself a delectable desert!

Absolutely Wonderful Apple Sauce Banana Bread

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Ingredients:

3 ripe bananas

3 cups of flour

1/2 tsp. of cinnamon

1 cup of sugar

1 tsp. of baking soda

1 tsp. of vanilla

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup of naturally sweetened apple sauce (I used Treetop)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

2. Spray bread loaf pan with cooking spray

3. Mash bananas in a medium bowl with potato masher

4. Combine all dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, sugar, baking soda)

5. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients (bananas, vanilla, eggs, and apple sauce)

6. Stir until all of the dry and wet ingredients are combined (do not over stir)

7. Pour into loaf pan

8. Bake for 50-65 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean

9. Cool bread in pan on a cooling rack for 5-10 minutes and then remove from pan and continue to let it cool completely

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Recipe adapted from Kitchen Runway

Movie Review: Hop

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Looking for a cute family movie to watch this Easter? Check out Hop (2011) starring James Marsden (X-Men,) Russel Brand (voice of E.B. the bunny,) and Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory.)

Not only is this movie kiddie friendly, it’s also funny for adults!  Children are now able to see inside of the Easter Bunny’s workshop and see how all of the Easter candy is made; the graphics are pretty spectacular.

Kaley Cuoco was my favorite character in this movie. She always makes me laugh, no matter what she is starring in; she has some funny one liners. James Marsden has a comical singing scene which reminded me of when he starred in Disney’s Enchanted.

Enjoy Hop and HOPPY Easter to all! (like what I did there?)

Kindle Deal: The Host and The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer

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Hey there Stephenie Meyer fans, there is a fantastic Gold Box Deal on Amazon today for the Twilight Saga books (Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn,) The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner (An Eclipse Novella,) and The Host. All of the Twilight books are $2.99. The Eclipse novella and The Host are 1.99. This deal is only available TODAY, March 30.

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I loved all of the Twilight books, but I wasn’t a fan of The Host; I actually didn’t finish it. Even though I didn’t like the book, I am looking forward to seeing the movie; I hope it is better than the first Twilight movie.

Go check out the deal over at Amazon!

Book Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

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Hannah Baker seems like a typical high school teenager, except she isn’t. Hannah commits suicide before being able to graduate and enter the real world. She has reasons for committing suicide and she is determined to let 13 people know how they affected her. Clay Jenson is one of those people. He receives the box of cassette tapes one day after school and is told to listen to all of the tapes carefully, and to follow a map he had received weeks ago, to find out why Hannah chose to end her life. After he listens to the tapes, he is told to pass the tapes onto the next person, if he doesnt, there will be consequences.

Note: There may be a few spoilers in my list, but none of my comments will ruin the book for you.

Thirteen reasons why I loved Thirteen Reasons Why

  1. It’s a page turner, to the max. I was laughing at myself while I was reading it because I couldn’t put it down. My husband told me that I need to stop reading so fast, and here I am reading this book like it’ll disappear by the end of the night.
  2. I love that even though the book has a mostly serious tone, it still made me laugh from time to time. Hannah likes to put jokes in her tapes to keep the listeners on their toes. They may not find the jokes funny, but I do. Continue reading

Want to Travel Across the United States Without Leaving Your House??

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Have you ever wanted to leave your life behind for a bit and travel across country but you couldn’t take off work or you didn’t have the money? I have the perfect solution for you!  This summer, you can  read your way through all 50 states, young adult style; now you can take your trip without leaving the comforts of your own home.

I can’t even put into words how cool I think this idea is. Check out this map, above, over at Epic Reads, The United States of YA. Here you will find one book that is set in each of the 50 states of America.

According to the list, I have been to: Pennsylvania (Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard,)  North Carolina (The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen,) and Oregon (If I Stay by Gayle Forman.) I  have a long journey ahead of me, but I think I can work my way around the country, just give me a bit of time. I know for a fact that Indiana, Washington, Minnesota, and South Carolina are on my to-read list.

Some of the books I have never even heard of, especially the one from New Jersey, my home state, White Cat by Holly Black. It sounds kind of weird, but I’ll give it a shot. It should have been The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick for NJ, but I’ll let it go.

Enjoy your reading adventure! Maybe you’ll find a new book, and state, to love.

How many states have you been to according to this list?

Top Ten Books I Recommend Most

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This is a weekly feature hosted by Broke and the Bookish

I am always trying to spread my love of books to the world. Check out the top ten books I would recommend reading ASAP!

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1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky: I have loved this book since high school (2004.) Not only is the book my favorite, but I also really loved the movie adaption. Charlie makes me cry every-single time I read his story.

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2. Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli: I read this book for the first time in 6th grade. I remember my teacher bringing us butterscotch krimpets  after we finished reading it. My husband was able to get me an autographed copy from Mr. Spinelli. He student taught with his son while he was finishing up his history degree in college. How cool is that? This book is on my reread list for the year.

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3. The Pact by Jodi Picoult: A heart breaking, page turner about two teenagers who love each other so much that they are willing to die for one another. A modern day Romeo and Juliet type story by one of my favorite authors.

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4. Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult: I cried throughout this entire novel. Another one of my favorite books by Jodi Picoult.

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5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: I have said this once and I’ll say it again, I read this series before it went global. I read the first book in the series in my Young Adult Literature class in college and I told all of my family and friends that they had to read it.

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6. The Uglies by Scott Westerfield: A dystopian series that is going to become popular sooner rather than later, I just know it. I have read the first two books and will one day finish the third. The first one is my favorite.

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7. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein: I love dogs more than most. This story is so touching.  A story written in a dog’s perspective is a fantastic idea.

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8. Summer Sisters by Judy Blume: Yes, Judy Blume writes for adults, as well as young adults. I found this book at a book fair and was surprised when I liked it so much. The ending is shocking.

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9. The Queen of Everything by Deb Caletti: This was one of my favorite books during high school. The entire book is full of highlights because I just fell in love with all of the words on the pages.

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10. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen: Love, love, love this book. That is explanation enough.

Recipe: The best ANYTIME SALAD you will ever have

I’m not a huge salad lover, but I have grown to enjoy salads, especially if they include fruit. This is my all-time favorite salad recipe. It’s delicious any time of year and is quick and easy to put together.

Cranberry Pear Salad Recipe

Salad Ingredients

1 large head of lettuce

2 medium pears or 1 large Asian Pear

1 cup of dried cranberries

4 to 6 oz of crumbled blue cheese

3 oz of real bacon bits

Dressing Ingredients

Poppy seed dressing

Balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Directions for Salad:

1. Chop lettuce head up into smaller pieces

salad1

2. Add cranberries, blue cheese, and bacon bits (I left bacon bits on the side because my one friend is a vegetarian)

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3. Peal and cut pear into cubed pieces (I used an Asian pear and it was so sweet!)

4. Toss pear in lemon juice to keep pieces from turning brown and add them to the top of the salad

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Note:  Do not toss salad or all of the ingredients will fall to the bottom

Directions for dressing:

1. Combine 70% poppy seed dressing and 30% balsamic vinaigrette in a bowl or dressing container

2. Mix well by shaking or stirring with a spoon

The original recipe can be found at Espresso and Cream.