Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Home made banana bread

Today I was looking for something to snack on, when I saw the bananas in the freezer. They'd been there for a week or two, since the bf's rents went on a weekend vacation and gave them to us so they wouldn't go bad. We already had bananas, so for whatever reason my boyfriend put them in the freezer.

When I saw them, I remembered that my aunt always saves her brown bananas to make banana bread! So I went on the search for a recipe. I found two. One that was extremely simple, but didn't have all of the ingredients I thought is should have (no cinnamon? Whaa?). Another that was a tad complicated, but had the right ingredients.

So what did I do? I cobbled them together of course. It can also be easily made non-animal for my veg*n friends here.

On to the recipe:
- 3 RIPENED bananas
- 1/3c melted butter (can be swapped for vegetable shortening)
- 1/2c packed brown sugar
- 1/2c sugar
- 1 egg (I've read that you can swap this for bananas or apple sauce in baking)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2c flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat your oven to 350degrees F. Mash the bananas, mix your wets, add the sugars, then add the dry ingredients slowly, mixing a little bit at a time. Grease a loaf pan, pour the batter, shake to distribute and then slap it in the oven for 40 mins (give or take depending on your oven, it should be brown and solid when done.) Then let it cool and dig in.

Normally anything I make from scratch gets a picture taken, but I was doing 20 things at once. We had it for dessert and my boyfriend's mom texted me to say that it was the best banana bread ever! So, it seems that it was a success. I certainly loved it, and I hope you all will too!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Florida Livin'

Hey Blogreaders!!I haven't posted in quite some time and life has been busy. I have some exciting new changes to let you all in on. I have moved from just outside of Boston, MA to a town in Northeast Florida! The boyfriend's Mom and stepdad live here (along with his two little brothers) and everything just happened to fall into place. Shortly after a December visit, the person who lived in the guest house of his 'rent's place moved out. A little while after that, the bf got a job offer here making more than he was making back home, with guaranteed hours. It was a no-brainer. We packed up, said our goodbyes and headed South.

We now live in a large and beautiful studio with a giant backyard. Florida is a huge change, seeing as I'd lived in one city up north for my entire life. Hell, I'd never even been on a plane until last December!

Anyway, this blog is going to need a name change, since I am no longer in Beantown. There will be more Florida adventures and pictures to come!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Name Change

Hey Followers!

Just letting everyone know, I've decided to change the name of this blog from The Vanilla Bean to Vanilla in Beantown. I just thought it was a little bit more original and accurate, since I'm Vanilla and I'm in Beantown (Boston). That's it for today, but don't worry, more blogs coming soon!

Monday, June 21, 2010

It's Been Almost a Year....

Hey everyone!

I have seriously let this blog down in the past year and that upsets me. So in the coming months I'm going to be working harder on it. There are a few entries that are backlogged and need to be posted, as well as a few I'd love to write. I'm also thinking a custom background design is in order, to give it some personality.

I'm aching to write a tutorial on starting a freshwater community, but I want to wait until I set up my next one so I can take pictures and whatnot. So that probably won't be anytime soon. When I eventually start working on my saltwater pico, I'm going to make that into a series of posts since there's not too much out there about smaller saltwater set-ups.

One thing that's also been seriously neglected is horror reviews. I promise I will make up for that as soon as possible! The first one will probably be The Poughkeepsie Tapes, so look forward to it!

I'm also going to be going through past posts and fixing any mistakes as well as adding pictures where appropriate. If anyone has any tips on where to get/how to make a custom background scheme for blogs, please let me know in the comments!


Yummy Gummies (and easy too!)

And I've been slacking, as always. Well, here is a quick recipe entry for something sweet to snack on this summer!

1 6 oz box of Jell-O (or knock off) mix
1 cup of water
Powdered Sugar or Corn Starch

Measuring cup
1 small pot
Mold of some sort
A spoon


In your small pot, boil 1 cup of water (does not need to be exact). When it's boiling, slowing mix in your jello. Keep stirring and boiling until it gets rather thick. The thicker it is, the more chewy your gummies will be. When it gets to the right consistency, turn off the heat. Slowly pour the mixture into your molds, and put it in the fridge or freezer. I used a silicone mold and forgot to grease it up first, but they came out fine. Had to use my fingers to dig them out in one piece though.


There are probably lots of ways to store them, and my favorite would be a ziplock. Since I'm out of those, I used an old cream cheese container. If you don't want them to stick together, dust with powdered sugar or corn starch. I'm keeping mine in the refrigerator, but depending on how thick yours are, you may be able to get away with storage in a cool room.


To make them more gummy like, use 1 1/2 cups of water, as well as 2 teaspoons of knox gelatin. If you're vegan, use pectin instead.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Homemade Nachos

Greetings bloglovers! Sorry for posting one post a month and then skipping August! I'm a bad writer! I've been neglecting this poor blog, so today I decided to write a quick post about nachos.

All of us wish we could have delicious, warm, cheesy nachos at our beck and call. Well now we can! Because it's easy! All you need are these simple ingredients:

1 Bag of tortilla chips
1 bag of shredded cheese (mexican blend is best!)
1 baking sheet
1 oven preheated to 350 degrees

Spread your chips on a baking sheet to make a single layer. Sprinkle cheese on the chips. Make sure to cover every last bit of chip. Put the baking sheet in your already preheated oven and keep an eye on them. It'll happen rather quick. Once the cheese starts to melt and you see a little bit of golden brown cheese somewhere (just a little!) it's time to pull them. Let them cool a little, then dig in. Personally, I don't let them cool, but I though if I told you to just dig in, you might burn yourselves and try to sue me. Not fun!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Bento Fever!

I've been dabbling bentos lately. I really love http://lunchinabox.net/ for ideas and tips. I learned that you can premake rice balls and freeze them, so I've been making batches of star (squeeze the rice into a star cookie cutter!) shaped rice "balls" and freezing all of those in a plastic bag (sans the individual wrapping as Biggie suggests- I get along just fine without it and not doing that saves plastic!)

The great thing about these, is that they're easy to make, you control what you eat, you don't have much waste left over from them because most of the materials can be reusable.

Since I've been stuck in my house since April, I finally got to use everything I've learned last Saturday at my first training session at the aquarium. I don't have any pictures because I was in a hurry, but this week I'll try to take some.

Someday I wanna spring for "real" bento gear, but what I have is more than adequate. My box is a cheap tupperware with a cover that has a rubber band seal and a tab on each side that goes down to lock the box. I got it for $1 at my local dollar store. I also have chopsticks, that I am not proud of. You see, I went to the store to buy a pack of chopsticks. My brother already had the red ones, so I grabbed the white ones that way we wouldn't mix them up. I opened up the package to use them one day, and they did not feel like plastic. They were smooth and almost earthy. I looked at the package and almost cried. They're made of ivory. I really thought that for $2/12 pack they would be just plastic.

I usually carry my whole set up in a small (about the size of a dictionary) cloth tote bag that I got for free online somewhere or another. If there's something that needs to be insulted, I use a foil/Styrofoam envelope that was the wrapper of a pack of mochi I got at my local Asian food mart. I had to save it because it's a perfect insulator.

I packed 2 of my star shaped rice balls, a cupcake cup full of sliced up grilled chicken, another cupcake cup full of fresh strawberries, and filled any gaps with fresh cherries and those little fruit jello cups (saved the cups to reuse for making my own jello)from Asian markets. The result was great. It was enough to keep me going for the remaining 4 or so hours of training, and this is a really on your feet job, so I'm surprised so little filled me up. I also got a compliment on my arrangement during lunchtime! I did not expect that.