BANANA CAKE

Banana Cake

Because I love you all so much, I thought I would share one of my all-time favorite recipes. Anytime I volunteer (or am volunteered) to bring a dessert somewhere, this is my go-to. It makes a great cake or cupcakes, and it always gets rave reviews. So, you’re welcome. Really. You can make it and thank me later.

CAKE INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 c. bananas, mashed, ripe
2 t. lemon juice
3 c. flour
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
3/4 c. butter, softened
2 1/8 c. sugar
3 large eggs
2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. buttermilk

FROSTING
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
1 t. vanilla
3 1/2 c. powdered sugar

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 275.

2. In a small bowl, mash 3-4 bananas and add lemon juice. Set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt.

4. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy

5. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Then, stir in vanilla.

6. Add flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk (milk, flour, milk, flour, milk, flour). If you don’t have buttermilk, simply add 1 t. of lemon juice to regular milk.

7. Add banana mixture.

8. For a 9×13 pan: butter pan and pour in cake batter. Bake for approximately 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean

For 3 9-inch pans, line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper. (The cake sticks REALLY bad to the pans, which makes stacking a 3-layer cake difficult). Bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

This recipe also makes amazing cupcakes. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

9. Remove pans from oven and place directly in the freezer for 20-45 minutes. 20 minutes for cupcakes, 30 minutes for 9-inch round pans, and 45 minutes for 9×13 pan.

FROSTING:
1. Cream butter and cream cheese until smooth.

2. Add vanilla.

3. Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, and beat on a low speed until combined. Mix on high speed until combined.

4. Spread frosting on cooled cake.

**When I make a 3-layer cake or “fancy” cupcakes (where I use a piping bag to frost them) I will either double or make 1.5x the frosting recipe.

 

ERICE

Erice, BITS OF PRETTY

While we were staying in Sicily, visiting Erice was one of our favorite things to do. I mean, there is a bakery there with nutella-filled donuts and cannoli that is out of this world. So even if Erice wasn’t an amazing ancient city on top of a hill, we would have gone back again and again just for the desserts.

While the crazy windy roads we had to take to get there weren’t ideal for this pregnant lady, it was well worth the drive to see these amazing views. I’ll let the photos do the rest of the talking

Erice, BITS OF PRETTY

Erice, BITS OF PRETTY Erice, BITS OF PRETTY

Erice, BITS OF PRETTY

Erice, BITS OF PRETTY

Erice, BITS OF PRETTY Erice, BITS OF PRETTY

Erice, BITS OF PRETTY

Erice, BITS OF PRETTY

Erice, BITS OF PRETTY Erice, BITS OF PRETTY

Erice, BITS OF PRETTY Erice, BITS OF PRETTY

Erice, BITS OF PRETTY

Erice, BITS OF PRETTY

QUOTABLE EDITION NO.1

DIETER F. UCHTDORF QUOTE

Last semester, for the first time in my college career, i got straight A’s. As the semester was coming to a close, I should have been really excited and proud, but I wasn’t. Instead I told myself, “It’s no big deal. . . people get straight A’s all the time.” I was actually more embarrassed by how easy it was for me to get straight A’s, which showed just how little effort I had put into all of my previous semesters.

On one of the last days of classes, one of my TA’s gave each of us a chocolate truffle with the above quote attached to it. I started to cry (literally, in the middle of class) as I realized that my Heavenly Father was proud of me, even if I wasn’t proud of myself. And that it is never too late to start trying to be better.

You can read or listen to the rest of Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s amazing address HERE.

CUSTONACI

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Remember how I was doing really well at blogging for a little while? Well then my husband had two weeks off from filming, which meant we were really busy having fun until he got sick in Florence and I got sick in London. But not to worry, I have a few photos from our adventures that I will be sharing here on the blog over the next few days.

A few weeks ago, while Spence was still filming in Italy, he had the genius idea that we should walk into town and do a little exploring (in case you couldn’t read my sarcasm, it’s there). He told me it would be about a mile walk into town (and then a mile back, naturally). I don’t know if it’s just me, but pregnancy seems to make everything about 10 times more difficult. So a mile somehow felt more like 10 miles each way. And carrying an extra 10 pounds around your midsection feels more like 100 extra pounds. And there’s nothing like being a tired pregnant woman with aching feet to make your husband feel especially guilty.

After our adventure to Custonaci, anytime Spencer asked if I wanted to take a walk somewhere, I suggested that he take our friend Sam (another actor on the project). Sam isn’t pregnant and/or cranky, and is, therefore, a much better walking companion than I am. Thank goodness for Sam.

But BEFORE my feet started aching, we enjoyed some beautiful scenery and gelato served to us by the nicest old man in Italy. Mind you, he didn’t speak a word of English, but it seemed like he was pretty nice.

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BABY OBERAN AT WEEK No. 17

Bits of pretty pregnancy

(This post is a few days late. I hit the 18 week mark tomorrow. What??? How is this happening so fast? Almost halfway there!)

Dear tiny human,

So, I should warn you, I’m kind of already failing as a mom. I mean, I’m almost halfway done growing you and I still haven’t purchased any of those pregnancy books they tell me I’m supposed to: like “Your Pregnancy Week by Week” or “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.” I did watch the movie and downloaded the app to my phone, so that’s basically the same thing, right? The apps are kind of stupid though. (You’re not allowed to say the word stupid, by the way). Last week they told me you were the size of an avocado, and this week they say your as big as a turnip. I don’t eat lots of turnips (who does?) but aren’t they smaller than avocados? My other app tells me that you’re as big as a sweet potato. I don’t know if these app makers have ever been inside a produce department, but there is definitely no universal size to the sweet potato. So I just try to figure out about how long five inches with my fingers then compare it to the size of my belly and try to imagine you hanging out in there.

I haven’t been able to feel you move just quite yet. Your Auntie Kristin told me her secret for feeling her babies when they are even smaller than you, but I haven’t gotten it to work. I’m sure you’ll be kicking and jabbing me in the ribs in no time, so I’m trying not to get too impatient about it.

You probably know this already, but you are going to have a lot of cousins your age (you might even be hanging out with a few of them up there in heaven!). Your cousin Layla was born in February, you have two more cousins coming this month, and another cousin due just five weeks after you. I loved having so many cousins my age, and I’m sure you will too. Try not to brag about being the smartest, coolest, and best looking one. (I kid).

We love you and think you’re the best fetus around.

xoxo.
Mom