Back to School We Go

 “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”

Proverbs 22:6

Last week my kiddos all headed back for a new school year. Jake and I now have a 7th grader, a 5th grader, and a 2nd grader. This mom was not mentally prepared to let them go back. Even with everything going on, I still feel like we had an amazing summer together! This was the first summer in some time that we really had a good amount of time together. We fit in a day trip to the beach, a short vacation, and LOTS of trips to the library. We made memories together, and that is all that matters,

I am usually pretty good about making a good back to school breakfast for the first day, but last week was just crazy here. So many things going on, and it just didn’t happen. I’m pretty sure they ate a Pop Tart for the first day back. So, to make it up to them, I decided last night to whip up a batch of banana bread muffins. This is a quick and easy recipe that makes great use of those black or spotted bananas you might have on your kitchen counter. I topped them with a coconut pecan crunch topping to give them a little something extra! I made XL ones and some mini ones. I like a small bite, but I knew the kids would want a large one to keep them full until lunch.

Cream Cheese Banana Bread

  • 3/4 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened ( I use 1/3 less fat)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas ( about 4 medium size bananas)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter and cream cheese on medium spedd with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until blended after each egg.

Combine all dry ingredients ( flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) in a medium bowl. Gradually add dry ingredients to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended. Stiff in bananas, pecans, and vanilla. Spoon batter into muffin tins, or a loaf pan ( will make 2 loaves, 3 batches of mini muffins, and 2 batches of XL muffins)

Bake at 350 degrees for 12 mins. for mini size, 25 mins. for XL, or 1 hour for loaf bans. Cool on wire racks for 10 mins. before removing from pans, then remove from pans and continue to cool.

Coconut Pecan Crunch Topping

  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 cup chopped, toasted pecans
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

While bread is baking, stir together butter, sugars, and milk in a saucepan over medium -high heat. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in coconut, pecans, and vanilla. Remove baked bread from oven, and immediately spread tops with coconut mixture. Preheat broiler. Broil 5 1/2 inches from heat for 2 to 3 minutes ( watch carefully as it can burn easily), until lightly browned. Cool in pans for 20 minutes, and then remove and cool on wire racks.

While our summer is over, we are all excited to be starting fresh again with a new year. I hope everyone is having a great start to the new school year!

Until next time,

Fellowship Foodie

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