Sunday, July 28, 2013

Bananas Foster French Toast

Bananas Foster French Toast.
Tell me that doesn't sound amazing. Hello Sunday morning!

I love to make pancakes or french toast on the weekends, and this recipe is no exception.
I actually was laying in bed this morning scrolling through Instagram, thrilling, I know, and saw a post of this same recipe at a restaurant.  I immediately needed to eat this. Now often times when this thought occurs, which it does most times I scroll through all the social media food photos!, uh, easier said than done, and I settle for way less.  But not this time! I actually had one overly ripe banana, milk, and one egg.  Amazeballs, decadent french toast for one coming right up!! Booyah.

Bananas foster is traditionally a (bomb) dessert of bananas, cooked in a caramel type sauce, where dark rum is added, and flambeed, read: lit on fire, then served over vanilla ice cream.
Basically, instead of over ice cream, we are serving this over french toast and calling it breakfast, instead of dessert. I say, if you still add the vanilla ice cream back in, it still qualifies as breakfast.
Why? 1. french toast is involved. breakfast food.  2. you are eating it in the morning, and therefore it is breakfast. No questions asked.

This recipe makes 2 pieces of french toast and a truckload of sauce. aka, the perfect amount for this one person.
Adjust accordingly.


French Toast:
2 pieces of sturdy bread (soft, Wonderbread don't make for good french toast, y'all)
1 egg
1/4c milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract (optional - I add it to everything. yum.)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 Tbsp butter or coconut oil (for cooking pan)

Bananas Foster Sauce:
1 ripe banana, sliced on a diagonal (it's just prettier that way, do it.)
2 Tbsp butter
1.5 Tbsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon
**Now here, if you have it, you can add 1/8c pure maple syrup or honey**
**Also, here feel free to add 1oz of dark rum. Woot woot!!**  (Disclaimer, I am not to be held liable for any first time flambe incidents.)

Like I said...I was improvising on this recipe with what I had. Which is apparently no rum or am I surviving?! That's no way to live!! 


Whisk egg and milk together. Add vanilla, almond extract, and cinnamon.

Heat griddle to medium low and coat with butter.
Soak both sides of bread in egg mixture (you all know how to make french toast, right??) until saturated, but not falling apart.

Place in pan and cook both sides until golden brown.

For the sauce, while the french toast is cooking, melt butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Once melted, add brown sugar and cinnamon. Stir; once bubbling a bit, place bananas in a single layer into the sauce.  

Cook for several minutes, stirring a couple times gently, until the sauce thickens and coats softened bananas.

Place french toast on serving plate, and top with warm bananas foster sauce.

To go crazy, add whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or possibly some vanilla Greek yogurt would be awesome.

Happy Weekend Brunching.

So There.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Single Life - A Peek Inside My Dating World

This one goes out to all my single ladies...

Online Dating.

So, I joined awhile tired of paying for shitty dates, quit, and switched to the free, and strangely similar caliber, OK Cupid and Plenty of Fish.

As long as you weed out the "Looking For: Nothing Serious"  (aka hook up, aka I'm too old for that shit! No!) men, I have found no real differences in the free versus paid sites. Joy.
Thus far, none of my dating attempts have proven very successful, although my married co-workers are quite amused at the gems I find on these sites that are too good not to be shared.

You're welcome, ladies.

You think you'll log on, create a profile, and think it's going to be all:

...but instead it's mostly: this photo I took of myself in a bathroom.

Extra points if I can obviously tell it is a public restroom, the answer is, no.  I will NOT ACCEPT.

Why guys think this is a selling point, I don't know.  Were you at the urinal checking your OK Cupid matches, and thought, now would be a really great time to update my profile photo? The benefits of confirming your percent body fat, wildly are outnumbered by the creep and douche factors.

I have decided my steadfast reasoning for turning down the bathroom ab 'selfie' guys.

They must just have NO friends.  Seriously. Think about it. Have you not been tagged in, or uploaded, one single photo on Facebook in the last five years that you could use for your profile photo instead??
No? Then there has to be something wrong with you. Right??
I mean, no family Christmas photo?  No corporate photo on Linkedin you could use?
I'm out.  I can't...

Story Time.

One of the first dates I went on after signing up from OK Cupid was with this guy...we'll call him Stewart. 

After some witty email banter (and they ALL have witty email banter...), and a phone call to confirm a real date, I saved this guy's number in my phone as: Stewart OK Cupid Tall Golfs Sushi Long Beach.  
Because let's be serious. If you are emailing with a few guys, and then set dates with a couple of those in the same week (stay with me here...), you tend to mix up the guys!! #SerialDatingProblems.  So of course I leave notes for myself to glance at right before I get out of my car for the date! Duh.

Anyway, so Stewart seemed promising.  Date #1 we met for dinner.  He was decent looking, seemed far, so good.  He wore a nice plaid button down shirt and had cool sunglasses. Though, he did wear weird baggy jeans, where I was like: is this dude awkward and chubby or just wearing bad pants?

(remember these pants for later.)  We sat down to eat and got along great.  Thinking back, I was trying to impress HIM also, so I was focused on paying attention to him and remembering what he had already told me in our emails, etc. We'll call that a slight distraction, but overall I called the date a success!

Cut to our Second Date.

Second date, he picks me up and now I notice he has a crazy hunch back, terrible posture!!!  He also is wearing the same jeans as last time, where now I can tell he is totally chubby and has a huge ass, (I'm talking BIG. and emphasized by his awkward 'mom' jeans.); plus he has let some facial hair grow, which is red, and he kept stroking it on his chin the whole night.  

AND he is wearing a too small, sleeves too short, crew neck sweatshirt top that is all faded and pilly and stretched out.  Clearly not dressed to impress, and I was over here in a cute dress, tights and boots, and just was like ew, this guy is a mess!!

Did he have only 1 remotely decent shirt, and he wore it on date 1??

The final straw? Sausage fingers.  Chubby butt makes for chubby hands. How did I not notice the sausage fingers on Date #1?!

The plan was a nice dinner, then a live improv show. He already bought tickets, I couldn't bail now. UGH. Well, at least I thought it was going to be a nice dinner. Nope.  We pull up at some back alley sushi place, in a strip mall, sandwiched between a tire shop and auto parts store. I feared food poisoning. Then, hoped for it, because it'd mean I could go home!

Then, he just kept saying stupid stuff and I felt way older than him, which I wasn't,  he said "kids freak him out", red flag!, and "yeah i just always do the bare minimum at work...", a real, mature winner, blah blah.....needless to say he got more and more unattractive, inside and out, to me all evening.
UGH. The date went on and on for hours, and since he was my ride, it is possible I may have texted a nearby friend a May Day! May Day! come get me!!!....yeah that happened. No luck. 

And there you have it. How it is possible to have a wonderful time on a first date, and then have the second date totally turn a 180, including the guy's actual appearance!, is beyond me.  But I am living proof.  It happened, and it wasn't pretty.

But, if being single is good for nothing else, it sure makes for some good stories to tell later!

Now, hurry up and find me this man, please:

Great. thanks.


So There.

This post is Linked Up over at One to Nothin' where the adorable MacKensie, along with Erin from Two Thirds Hazel, are rounding up the best (worst) dating stories! 

One to Nothin

Monday, July 15, 2013

Salted Caramel Brownies with Coconut Whipped Cream

So, salted caramel everything has been quite the trend, and for good reason. The crunchy bits of rock salt combined with super sweet and buttery caramel is really amazing.

But did you know you could make caramel without cream or butter?  Allow me to introduce you to vegan caramel sauce, made with the ever so popular and versatile coconut milk.

...and while we are at it, coconut milk whipped cream, too!!

I made some brownies (from a box, womp, womp...), and then topped them with this homemade and vegan salted caramel sauce.

Vegan Salted Caramel Sauce
Adapted from Eff Yeah, It's Vegan (Amazing name for a blog, by the way!)

+ 1 can full fat coconut milk (preferably one that has been in the fridge for several hours, or overnight is best.  
   Do not shake up the contents)

+ 3/4 cup brown sugar  (dark if you have it, but light works fine, too)

+ 1 tsp vanilla extract

+ 1tsp sea salt  (pink himalayan salt is THE best - read more here to find out why...and then buy some!)
   (Even regular grocery stores are carrying it now, in a grinder. Trader Joe's also has one)

Separate the thicker cream on the top from the coconut water on the bottom in a can of full fat coconut milk.  It helps to put the unopened can in the fridge for several hours prior, to help separate the two.

Add to cream to a small saucepan set to medium-low heat, and whisk in the brown sugar.
Cook on medium-low for 20-25 minutes, stirring very often. It should be boiling, but not so much that it boils up and over the pan.

When it turns into a thick, caramel sauce, remove from heat, and stir in vanilla and salt.
Pour into a heatproof container to cool and thicken.

To serve, you can either pour the caramel sauce over the entire pan of freshly baked brownies, poking holes in the brownies, so the sauce seeps in.
Or, cut and plate brownies, and top each square with a large spoonful of caramel sauce.

Now, we have the coconut whipped cream!

Coconut Whipped Cream
*I might double this recipe to serve with a whole pan of brownies

+ 1 can of full fat coconut milk (one that has been in the fridge for several hours, or overnight is 
       best.  Do not shake up the contents)
+ 1 Tbsp organic, pure maple syrup
+ 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Carefully scoop out the coconut cream that has floated to the top of the chilled can.
Scoop into a chilled glass or metal bowl, and whip for 1.5 - 2 minutes until thick and creamy.
Add maple syrup and vanilla and beat until incorporated.
Best served right away. You can refrigerate leftovers, but it does turn to more of a solid, so just give it another whip around the mixing bowl before serving leftovers.

I am living up this salted caramel trend, for sure!
So There.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Yogurtland Giveaway & New Flavors!

This post is sponsored

With the temperatures rising, there is only one dessert I crave...frozen yogurt! And Yogurtland is the best!
I usually get a little something like this:

So obsessed with mochi these days. If you have never tried the white gumdrop-looking mochi balls, you should!

OK, so, Starting Monday, July 8th, Yogurtland is launching a bunch of new amazing-sounding flavors.
And, this whole week, at select stores, they are hosting launch parties with Looney Tunes character appearances, prizes, and free yogurt!

Check Yogurtland's Twitter or Facebook page for all locations, or comment with your location below and I will find out for you! Garden Grove, Costa Mesa, and Mission Viejo to name a few, in Southern CA.

Here are all the details!
...I can't WAIT to try the carrot cake flavor!! OMG, yum.

This summer, Bugs, Daffy, Road Runner, Tweety, Marvin and Taz are coming to life in a most delicious way at Yogurtland.

From July 8 – Sept. 15, Yogurtland will introduce six, delicious new frozen yogurt and sorbet flavors and toppings inspired by the zany Looney Tunes characters, their personalities and favorite snacks and treats.

Each character will have their own collectible spoon and cup, and Yogurtland is offering a new line of co-branded merchandise including notepads, pencils, key chains and melamine bowls, while supplies last.
The promotion kicks off July 8 with character appearances, prizes and free yogurt parties at select Yogurtland locations. 

The flavors include:
• Yogurtland’s new Carrot Cake frozen yogurt blends real carrots, hand-selected spices and cream cheese frosting for a taste that will have fans saying, “What’s up, Doc!” Bugs Bunny would be the first in line to fill his cup with shredded carrots, Yogurtland’s first vegetable topping.

• Inspired by Daffy Duck, Decadent Dark Chocolate Orange frozen yogurt blends premium cocoa with a light natural orange finish for a flavor that’s so decadent it’s deth-picable! Top it off with dark chocolate, orange-covered cranberries. 

• The best thing since the illudium Q-36 space modulator, Kosmic Fruit Kaboom Sorbet is out-of-this world delicious with pineapple, lime, banana and a secret ingredient – spinach. Need more Kaboom? Top if off with Pop Rocks for an added explosion of flavor. (59-cents per individual packet)

• On the delicate side, Lemon Cream Cookie frozen yogurt is a tasty “tweat” even Tweety Bird would “twy.” Made with real cookies and lemon, this flavor will make putty tats jealous.
• Inspired by Road Runner, Cactus Berry Tart combines real cactus pear with Northwest marion blackberries, blueberries, and red raspberries for a light tart taste guaranteed to cool down even the hottest day in the desert. “Beep! Beep!”

• Taz would chew his way through anything to get to Yogurtland’s Devil’s Food Cake frozen yogurt. Top it off this untamed chocolate deliciousness with shaved curls of dark chocolate that will leave taste buds swirling.

And as if you weren't going to go to Yogurtland already to try these flavors for yourself, I am giving away a $10 Yogurtland Gift Card to one of my readers this week!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was given a $20 gift card compensation for my post about Yogurtland's new products and launch party, and a $10 gift card for the winner of this Giveaway.

So There.