BRUNCH WITH FRIENDS

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A few weeks ago I had some friends over for a nice Spring Brunch. We dined, we caught up. It was lovely.
Banana Bread (Adapted from Joy the Baker)
Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, plus 2 TBSP
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp plain yogurt or unsweetened applesauce
1 beaten egg
2 egg whites
3 large bananas
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1 TBSP butter
Preparation:
1. In a saucepan over MEDIUM heat, add butter. Slice bananas and add to saucepan. Cover with 2 TBSP brown sugar. Cook until bananas are slightly mushy and caramelized. Transfer to bowl to cool and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a loaf pan and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, stir together all dry ingredients, including oats, excluding chocolate chips. Mix well.
4. In banana bowl, add yogurt/applesauce and whole egg. Mix well.
5. Add the wet to the dry and mix.
6. In another bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the whites into the batter in three additions. Add chocolate chips as well.
7. Pour matter into loaf pan. Cook for 40-45 minutes.
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A friend from work was going back home, so I made her cupcakes (Oreo and banana).
Oreo Cupcakes (Adapted from Baker Girl)
Cupcakes
Ingredients:
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/3 cup cocoa
3/4 cup hot, strong brewed coffee
3/4 cup flour (I used whole wheat, but then again I use that for everything)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
6 TBSP unsweetened applesauce
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Put chocolate and cocoa in a large bowl and pour the coffee over it. Whisk until smooth and let cool in refrigerator until cooled, 20 to 30 minutes.
3. Whisk flour, sugar and baking soda in a bowl. Set aside.
4. Whisk applesauce, eggs and vanilla into the chocolate mixture. Add flour and whisk until smooth.
5. Divide between muffin tins filling 3/4 full. Bake until set, 17 to 20 minutes. Allow to cool in pans.

Frosting
Ingredients:
2 cups whipping cream
2 1/2 TBSP stevia extract
1 tsp vanilla
6 Oreos, crushed
Oreos to top the cupcakes

Preparation:
1. In a bowl fitted with electric mixer, combine whipping cream, stevia and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Fold in Oreo crumbs. Chill before serving.

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Last, but certainly not least, my little brother has been growing a playoff beard. THANKFULLY, after last nights game he had to shave it off and wanted some photo evidence of it's existence (why I don't know - I swear it looks like this most of the time). He looks like he's about twelve now. It's all very funny. Gee, I hope he never sees that I posted this. I'll be in trouble!

Tomorrow I am off to Washington for Sasquatch music festival! I am super stoked despite the nearly twelve hour drive I'm about to partake in.
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