Tag Archives: walnuts

Chocolate Chip and Walnut Banana Bread

Saturday started with bright warm sunshine.

It shone a steady stream of light through the windows.

These days call for crackling wood stove fires.

And freshly baked bread.

Chocolate Chip and Walnut Banana Bread

  • Servings: makes 1 loaf
  • Print

  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a loaf pan with butter.

Combine mashed bananas, melted butter, sugar and eggs in a medium sized bowl. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Mix ingredients until fully incorporated. Fold in the  walnuts and chocolate chips, (leaving out a handful of each to sprinkle over the top).  Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle the remaining nuts and chocolate chips over the top.

Bake for 50-55minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Enjoy your weekend!

xo Jodi





Pumpkin Walnut Loaf with Chocolate Chips


October is upon us, which means pumpkin.


We collect our ingredients in the sun strewn kitchen on this beautiful Sunday morning.


Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and all spice speckled flour is incorporated into creamed butter and sugar.


Alternate with pumpkin puree until mixture is smooth and orange in color.


Chopped walnuts and a healthy dose of chocolate chips are folded into the batter before it is placed into the loaf pan.


More walnuts are sprinkled over top before it is placed into the warm oven.


While the loaf is baking, we mix cinnamon and nutmeg into confectioners’ sugar and milk for a decadent glaze.


Pumpkin Walnut Loaf with Chocolate Chips

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped


  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a loaf pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time until incorporated. In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Add flour and pumpkin, alternately beginning and ending with flour until smooth. Fold in chocolate chips and 3/4 cup walnuts.

Bake for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack.

Combine glaze ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the top of the baked loaf.

Slice and enjoy!





Maple Walnuts


I set out to make a snack that would be healthy but still a bit decadent. What I came away with was a memory of my great-grandmother, Grammy Pray.

My dad’s father’s mother lived in a little house across the driveway from my grandparents. Us grandkids would go over and visit with her, while she sat in her chair and peeled apples for a pie or threw her legs up with joy as she reminisced about skiing down a big mountain when she was just a girl.

She was a spry, happy lady and she lived to the age of 96. I remember trying to keep my little brother from playing with the white lace doilies she kept on the side tables next to the couch.

Grammy Pray told great stories of her youth and she always wore a smile on her face. She was so proud of her only son, my grandpa. She talked about her memories of him as a little boy, always with a gleam in her eye.


I started the morning with a recipe for maple covered walnuts.


It’s not much of a recipe, really.


Toss a cup and a half of whole walnuts with 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup and a pinch of salt.


Bake at 325 degrees F for 10-15 minutes.

The kitchen was filled with scent of walnuts and maple syrup baking. That scent reminded me of Grammy Pray and the house I so often visited while I was a little girl and I’m so glad it did.

We miss you Grammy Pray!


Myrtle I. Pray

BRISTOL – Myrtle I. Pray, 96 of Beech Street, died Friday Jan. 28, 2005 at the Mt. Ridge Center in Franklin.

She was born in Boston, Mass., the daughter of Frank and Florence (Whiteway) Hinds. Prior to retirement Mrs. Pray had worked at The New Hampton School and the Laconia State School.

Mrs. Pray had been a long time resident of both Gilmanton and Bristol. In January of 2004, Mrs. Pray was awarded the Boston Post Cane as the oldest resident of Bristol. Mrs. Pray was an accomplished pianist and organist. She had played with a six-piece band at the Gilmanton Iron Works Town Hall, and had served as organist at the Baptist Church in Hill. In her spare time Mrs. Pray enjoyed the Lawrence Welk Show as well as Everybody Loves Raymond.

She was the wife of the late Norman C. Pray. Family members include one son and daughter-in-law Donald & Ruth Hislop of Gilmanton; one step daughter Myla Jacquith of Alexandria; two brothers Raymond Hinds of Tilton, Frank Hinds of Iowa; one sister Dottie MacDonald of Cape Cod, Mass.; four grandchildren; Betty Hughes, Michael Hislop, David Hislop, and Susan Ward; 10 great grandchildren, one great great grandchild. She was predeceased by one brother George Hinds and one sister Edith Hinds.




Banana and Walnut Waffles


It’s winter here in Connecticut. There’s not a lot of snow but it has been pretty darn cold.

An overly ripe banana on the counter is the perfect opportunity to make waffles.

Drizzled with pure maple syrup, these waffles will make you forget all about your nose hairs freezing when you step outside.


Chopped walnuts give the waffles a nice crunch and added protein.


Banana and Walnut Waffles

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 mashed ripe banana
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 firm banana and a handful of chopped walnuts (optional for serving)

Heat waffle iron.

Beat eggs in a medium bowl. Add mashed banana, oil and milk and beat until fully combined.

Add flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt to banana mixture and stir until incorporated.

Scoop batter onto the center of the hot waffle iron. (I used 1/2 cup for my waffle iron). Close lid and let cook according to your waffle iron instructions.

Serve with sliced banana and chopped walnuts. Drizzle with pure maple syrup and enjoy!


Apple Butterscotch Cake



I am a lucky girl. I don’t use an alarm clock to wake up in the morning. The reason? My beagle Marcy wakes me. She comes running into my bedroom just as Thomas is shutting the door to his car. He is on his way to work and I am snuggled under the warm heavy covers, breathing in the scent of lilies. Ethan picked out the plant for Easter last week. Thomas has placed the plant on my bedside table.

Marcy’s trimmed nails click on the hardwood floor with impatience. She whines and grunts. She jumps up and puts her front paws on the side of the bed. Her whole body is swaying back and forth rhythmically as she wags her tail. Her big brown eyes plead with me to get up.

I give her head a pat, pull the covers back and plant my feet on the cold floor. I walk to the bathroom, flip the light switch and unscrew my contact lens case. I place them gingerly onto my sleepy eye balls and shuffle down the stairs to the back door. Marcy bounces down after me.

The birds are singing, persuading the sun to rise. It’s a bit chilly this morning. Marcy does her business and then races me up the stairs. She always wins.

Now I have almost an hour before Ethan opens the door to his room, rubs his eyes, yawns and says, “morning!”

I should be exercising but I’d rather bake.


The morning light shines through the kitchen windows, illuminating the ingredients for this sure-to-be-delicious cake.


The wet ingredients are whisked in the stand mixer, while the dry ingredients standby.


Two apples are peeled, cored and diced. Coring apples always makes me think of my Grandpa. The diced apples and chopped walnuts are folded into the batter.


The batter goes into the greased loaf pan and bakes for about 50 minutes.


The butterscotch icing is made while the cake is bubbling and browning in the oven. Once the cake has cooled on a wire rack, the icing is poured over top. It drips down the sides and coats the spiced, apple and walnut flecked cake in butterscotchy goodness.


Apple Butterscotch Cake

recipe adapted from Cake Simple

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups diced peeled apples
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • Butterscotch icing

Preheat the oven to 325F. Grease a loaf pan. Whisk flour, spices, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl until combined. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the canola oil with the sugars on medium-low speed until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in the vanilla. Slowly add flour mixture to oil mixture on low speed until blended. Fold in apples and walnuts by hand. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for about 50 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Drizzle the cooled cake with butterscotch icing.

Butterscotch Icing

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar

Combine brown sugar with milk, butter and salt in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low, stirring until sugar and salt have dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and let cool completely. Whisk in confectioners sugar until icing is smooth.


Maple Walnut Muffins


Early spring in New England is for tapping. Sap buckets dot the surrounding woodland forests, collecting the precious nectar of the sugar maples. The drip of sweet sugar water can be heard while walking over the crunchy fallen leaves of last season.


Of course we all enjoy pure maple syrup poured over our pancakes, but have you ever tasted a muffin that is sweetened only by the boiled down stored carbohydrates of the magnificent sugar maple?


Pure maple syrup and toasted walnuts are the stars of these muffins. Toasting takes only a few minutes. Your nose will know when they are ready.


The muffins are baked for the typical 20 minute period.

If you want to make these muffins really sing, add a touch of maple icing and more walnuts, of the finely chopped variety.

IMG_1376Make someone’s day. Bake these muffins and give some away.


The sugar maple that stored his sweet energy resides in the background of this picture. Close to a hundred feet tall, it shades the house in the summer and provides us with sap, the product of photosynthesis from the previous summer.

Maple Walnut Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and rough chopped

Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin tin with paper cups. Whisk the flour, powder and salt in a bowl. Cream the softened butter with the maple syrup for about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add the flour mixture (in three increments) alternately with the milk (in two increments) beginning and ending with flour. Fold in the walnuts.

Fill muffins cups 3/4 full. Makes 12 muffins. Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.



Maple Icing

  • 11/2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • pinch of salt

Combine first three ingredients in a saucepan and heat until melted. Remove from heat and whisk in sugar and salt. Let cool before drizzling over tops of cooled muffins. Sprinkle with a handful of finely chopped walnuts.



Browned Butter Banana Bread


Joy the Baker’s Browned Butter Chocolate Chip cookies are the inspiration for this hearty, full bodied quick bread. Browned butter has got to be my new best friend. It’s nutty and rich and smells like home. I figured it would take the traditional banana bread to a whole new level and I was right.

The usual suspects are here: flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Mashed bananas, coarsely chopped walnuts and a healthy dose of chocolate chips are also in attendance.


Browning butter is simply boiling the water out and browning the remaining fat solids. It’s just what this banana bread was yearning for.


Walnuts and chocolate chips are always on hand here at our house. They’re like a mother’s kiss; they make everything better.


The mixture is scooped into a greased loaf pan and baked for about an hour at 350 degrees.


When it’s color of caramel and studded with gooey chocolate chips and crunchy chopped nuts, this banana bread is ready to devour.


Cut into generous slices and enjoy with a glass of almond milk or a cup of steaming black coffee.

Browned Butter Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips and Walnuts

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan. Place butter in a pan on medium high heat. Melt and brown the butter until it has stopped bubbling and has a brown color and nutty smell. Set aside. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a medium bowl. In a small bowl combine bananas, eggs and cooled browned butter. Pour into bowl with dry ingredients and mix until incorporated. Fold in walnuts and chocolate chips. Scoop into the loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool on a wire rack for a few minutes then remove from pan and let cool completely. Slice and enjoy :)





Coconut Granola


The best part of granola is its versatility. Shredded coconut, chopped walnuts and dates comprise this version.


Coconut Granola

  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 cup chopped nuts of your choice
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup chopped dried fruit of your choice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a 9 inch baking dish.

Combine oats, nuts, fruit, coconut, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.


In a saucepan combine butter, honey or syrup, and brown sugar until melted and bubbly. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla. Pour into oat mixture and mix until all oats are fully coated. Pour into the greased dish and bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring half way through.


The granola will turn golden brown and become very fragrant.

Store in an airtight container. Enjoy with cold milk or stir into your morning yogurt. Sprinkle on your ice cream or simple munch on a handful at a time.


Energy Bites


Human beings get the energy they require from the food they consume.

These little bites contain protein, carbohydrates and fat. These macronutrients are what the body needs for fuel, growth, tissue repair, vitamin absorption, immune function and proper organ function, among many other things.

These bites are simple to make and delicious to eat.

Energy Bites

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips


Everything is measured and then mixed in a large bowl.

IMG_1172Stir well until all of the oats are coated.


Take a small amount into your clean palm and push and roll into a bite size ball.


Bring a few along with you to work or school or while snowshoeing or on a long car ride or on a long walk with your dog or bring some to your yoga class or to karaoke or snack on them while you’re watching your favorite show or while you’re in the kitchen making dinner…you get the idea.

Cranberry Nut Pancakes

Cranberry Nut Pancakes

Bags of fresh cranberries have made their way into the grocery stores here in Connecticut.

That means Cranberry Crumb Skillet Cake

cranberry crumb skillet cake

and Orange Cranberry Muffins

Orange Cranberry Muffins

will be in the oven warming the house and these Cranberry Nut Pancakes will be warming our bellies.


Cranberries have long been known to benefit the digestive tract. They also have anti-inflammatory qualities.  They outrank nearly every fruit and vegetable for their disease fighting antioxidants. They also have vitamin c and fiber. Cranberries are good and good for you.


In one bowl, whisk together:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

In another bowl, whisk together:

  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Pour the liquid into the dry and mix until combined.

Wash your fresh cranberries and chop your choice of nuts. These will be sprinkled onto your batter as you drop it into your greased skillet.


Try these with an orange zested and juiced. A great combination for any time of day.