Our Favorite Rustic Banana Bread

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Here is another recipe people are loving . Our favorite rustic banana bread. This recipe is over 120 years old! It is incredibly simple and produces a really moist heavy bread, perfect with just a little butter.
3 ripe bananas
2 eggs ( beat them like they owe you money)
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt ( I like coarse kosher )
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Oven at 350
Grease your pan of choice
Loaf pan or mini loaf pan, muffin tin you experiment with your favorite. Don’t forget to adjust the cooking time if you choose a smaller pan.
Mash the bananas up really well until they are a snotty slimy mess. Then mix the eggs and bananas together.
I like to combine the dry ingredients together then add the dry mixture to the banana egg mixture. Stir them both together it should make a super thick batter add the walnuts get those little suckers blended in.
If you use the loaf pan bake it for about an hour I start checking the bread with a bamboo skewer at around 45 minutes. When the skewer comes out clean remove the bread and cool slightly, then pop that sweet lump of goodness out of the pan and let it cool on a rack. Or slice off a big hunk of that banana love, smother it in room temp butter and have your way with it.
If you go with a muffin pan you better keep your little behind parked by the oven and start to check the baby breads with the skewer after 20 minutes or so. Pop them out and cool them off if you can resist the temptation.
What we really love about this bread is its simplicity and its history and the fact that it is so tasty. This bread will freeze well for a short time in case you want to make it ahead of time for an event.

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Give this recipe a try!
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Flourless chocolate cake.

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Here is the cake recipe everyone has been asking for. You can’t go wrong with this…. I’ve been told by the ladies over in Eastwick that it is to die for.
Here is what you will need.
8 tablespoons unsalted butter.
16oz semisweet chocolate ( let’s not get all upity you all know that tollhouse chips are amazing… I know you eat them right out of the bag in the middle of the night.
5 large eggs room temp.. Like sat out for hours not “oh I just pulled them out of the fridge they should be fine.
Separate the whites from the yolks into two bowls each big enough to accommodate a hand mixer. That will come in handy later.
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla ( real vanilla extract. This is a pantry must have that is worth splurging on. Good quality is just better.
1/2 teaspoon salt.
1/2 cup cream.
Preheat the oven to 350
1. Use 1 tablespoon of the butter to grease a 12 inch spring form pan. Most recipes call for a 9 inch pan but I have always gone for 12 inches if I can get my hands on it. The bigger pan allows the batter to spread out and the result is a thin dense cake with brownie like edges. Grease it up good like you’re trying to get a dead horse out of the house through a doggie door.
Then dust it with flour. I know the title says flourless chocolate cake.. But I dust the pan with flour. If you are afraid of flour by all means substitute it for something else. It’s your cake, you can mess it up if you want.
2. Melt 8oz of the chocolate and the remaining butter together. I like to use a clear Pyrex bowl over a medium sized pan of boiling water. Use an oven mitt to hold the bowl when you stir so that you don’t get a steam burn.
I like to cut the butter into thin pieces before It goes in just to speed up the process and make myself feel like I know what I’m doing.
4. Quickly drink half a glass of wine.
5. While the chocolate and butter are melting I go ahead and use my hand mixer to beat the eggs, yolks, sugar and vanilla together.
6. Check and stir the chocolate and butter that are busy melting on the stove.
7. Beat the egg whites and salt together to form stiff peaks. I use my hand mixer because it’s out already and I’m a lazy ass. Just remember to clean the beaters well after mixing the yolks and sugar together.. Cause the whites won’t do their thing if you have any yolk floating around in there.
8. By this time you should be ready to down the second half of your glass of wine. The butter and chocolate are going to be crying out for your attention. So get over to that stove and make sure that chocolate and butter are mixed well and smooth as can be.
9. Slowly and carefully Combine the chocolate mixture into the yolk mixture. Small amounts at first so that you don’t start to cook the egg or something ridiculous like that. I use a silicone spatula to blend.
10. When the chocolate and yolk mixtures are well blended you can begin to fold in the fluffy egg whites. I just scrape the mountain of fluff into the bowl with the chocolate and yolk mixture and go for it. Gently folding the chocolate into the egg whites. Don’t beat it, you’re not Discovering the men’s underwear section of the Sears catalog for the first time. You have to be gentle Go easy and the pay off is the whites will retain some of their fluffiness and your batter will be perfection.
11. Pour the mixture into the pan. And pop it into the center rack of the oven. I like to let it bake for 30-35 minutes I find that I like it best when the top forms a crack.
12. Remove the pan sides and place the cake on a cooling rack, I like to leave the bottom of the pan on until the cake is cool. When it’s cool flip that sucker over onto the plate you want it to live on. Remove the pan bottom.

Now it’s time for the ganache. The decadent chocolate layer of heaven that we are going to smear all over the cake.
1. Repeating the double boiling situation that I used earlier I melt the other 8oz of chocolate and 1/2oz cream together. I like to pour the cream over the chocolate right in the beginning and let them get well acquainted. As the chips begin to melt I try to pay more attention to what is on the stove and not what is on the TV. Stir until the cream and chocolate are mixed into smooth creamy amazingness.
2. Pour that bowl full of heaven on top of your cooled cake. I pour it all in the middle and work the ganache to the outer edge of the cake.
You can eat the cake now or… I like to cover it carefully and put it in the fridge for a day or two. The ganache will turn into a fudge like layer that will make your knees weak.
Now what I like to do is serve it with some fruit and whipped cream.
You can be lazy and top it with fresh fruit like ripe raspberries. I love this way just so you know. Or you can make more work for yourself by getting another pan dirty while making some fresh jam.
Cut up fresh strawberries, enough to fill a small sauce pan adding a little water and some sugar and boiling the mixture stirring often until it cooks down to a sweet thick syrup. This can be done ahead of time of course but then you can’t say Hey I just made this jam and make everyone think you are Betty freakin Crocker all of a sudden.
For the whipped cream topping
I like to use heavy whipping cream.. Like a 1/2 cup? Not sure exactly so just wing it. I put in a splash of rose water about half a tablespoon. And a hand full of sugar. It doesn’t have to be precise so just experiment. Less sugar is better as the cake itself is going to be really sweet. All ingredients go into a big mixing bowl, use a hand mixer and beat the hell out of it until it becomes a fluffy cloud of rose scented madness.
If I am serving the cake with the fresh jam, I pool the jam on the plate then top it with the cake and then the whipped cream.
If I go the fresh berry route I like to top the cake slices with the berries and then add the whipped cream.

I’m sure you can do this and trust me it will make all the ladies at your next church potluck hate you for being so damn good in the kitchen.

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The things we love now … Dreaming of a midsummers night

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Doing research for some posts I decided to see if it was possible to get everything a person needed for a vacation home on Ebay including the home itself.
Some people fall in love at first site, the same can sometimes be said about a house. Some houses call out to their future owners like beckoning lovers. Come here they whisper, love me.
I decided to choose from the homes available on Ebay with no concern for the location. Hey, we are dreaming here after all. In dreams location doesn’t matter only emotion.
I picked a house because of a feeling. Because I liked what I saw.
The house I selected for this experiment looks like the perfect place to hide away and spend a summer entertaining friends and family. With the unlimited budget of pure imagination I set to work trying to assemble the perfect getaway.

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Here is where we found our cottage by the lake.
The first thing I see missing from the picture is a boat, summers by the lake mean canoe races or having someone paddle you around while you sip lemonade and read poetry under a parasol. What ever your into, we won’t judge.

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Get your fix for vintage boats here

We love the look of these vintage metal motel chairs and picture a line of them along the lake. You can relax with a tall glass of iced tea and make absolutely no plans at all.

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You must have a fire pit handy when the nights get chilly or you can’t live another minute without a s’more.

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We liked the simple clean lines of this fire pit.

For the porch, cozy furniture is the best choice to encourage long conversations over a bottle or two of wine. We love a modern take on traditional wicker, and this set comes in a bright teal that will make snuggling up and listening to the frogs memorable even on the dreariest of days.

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This porch swing will be a family favorite for sure. We love the idea of hanging two of them on the side porch that faces the water. This is the sort of swing that forces you to take a nap every afternoon.

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Scatter a few of these rugs to keep things from becoming to ordinary. The pattern hints at the traditional Native American textiles that are associated with summer camps with a fresh twist.
The living room fireplace can be a place to gather for a mug of hot cocoa before heading off to bed. We found this antique mantel that would look perfect.

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For a new take on the classic duck decoy we found several of these aluminum decoy molds, displaying a few of them in the living room nods to the lakes resident ducks without being predictable.

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We fell in love with these

Never under estimate the potential for an endless parade of overnight guests. Adding a few daybeds into the plan will make quick work of accommodating last minute tag alongs. They are comforting, cozy and easy.

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For a coffee table we consider this one to be a great choice

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A few easy to move side chairs will make adapting the living room to last minute arrivals a breeze. We liked these for the bold colors and the woven texture.

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To anchor the room we wanted to stay away from traditional so we found this rug and thought it would do the trick.

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A lakeside retreat wouldn’t be complete without a furniturepiece or two made from branches

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We are smitten with these simple light fixtures and think scattering them across the living room ceiling and hooking them to a dimmer would bring the night sky inside.

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For the dining room we want these.

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We are picturing them hanging over this salvaged wood table

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We see it surrounded by company sitting pretty in these.

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We want to honor the mantel we picked for the living room and echo it’s lines but step it up several notches in the dining room with this buffet

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The master bedroom will be a welcome retreat from the rigorous activities associated with vacationing. We want to pick pieces that make us feel like we are in the country but not be cute or precious. We love the look of this quilt
We see it folded across the end of this four poster bed.

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We want this pair of table lampsto give us plenty of light to read by.

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The lamps would look lovely on these trunks turned side tables.

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Stocking the bath with plenty of towels is a must do. We like the look and feel of traditional turkish towels. They look great and dry quickly which comes in handy if you are boycotting laundry duty.

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Roll them up and stash them in plain site where guests can grab them on the way to the pool under this vanity.
Speaking of the pool… This house comes with an above ground pool that would be replaced with something more like this.

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The shape will look fresh surrounded with simple unassuming decking. We would skip the slide and add a few of these.

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With a couple of these.

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When we aren’t feeding the ducks or swimming in the pool an occasional trip to town for supplies in this would make fetching groceries or hauling firewood a pleasure.

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We even like the name painted on the door.

Let us know what you think of our blog in the comments below. Take the time to follow us. Find us over on facebook.

We would love to hear from you and what you think we should do for our next The things we love now post. Loft apartment? Refurbished barn? Converted garage? Let us know!

The things we love now: be unforgettable

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The guys and I love to surround ourselves with objects that have strong personalities. In our quest to always be inspired we are constantly on the hunt for new objects that push our buttons. Recently we discovered that an artist we admire has made his work available on a variety of items that we use everyday. Items that we love to give as gifts. Nick’s work is colorful, bold and absolutely unforgettable. Just our cup of tea. Here are some of the things we can’t get enough of and where we think you should stick them.

A collection of these pillows will wake up your living space and have your friends chattering about you every time you leave the room. Try tossing them on a Victorian inspired fainting sofa and watch the sparks fly.

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http://society6.com/product/fizzox_pillow#25=193&18=126

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http://society6.com/product/snow-white-girl_pillow#25=193&18=126

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http://www.amazon.com/Skyline-Furniture-Tufted-Fainting-Aubergine/dp/B005VY987Q/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1418420127&sr=8-5&keywords=Victorian+chair

Anchor your space with an eye popping pattern that is sure to develop a cult following. We are flipping out over Nick’s recreation of the carpet pattern used in the set decoration for the Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick’s film based on Stephen King’s book The Shining.

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Let’s imagine these shower curtains framing our dining room windows, shall we? Yes indeed we shall. With a few minor alterations these durable curtains can be ready for life outside of the bathroom. A quick trip through the sewing machine can make these ready for your choice of curtain rod.
Nick’s take on the traditional floral pattern is the perfect solution when you are looking to stray from ordinary. If you really want to shake things up a bit. Sit down to an evening meal surrounded by hungry wolves. Those wolves have our mouths watering and would be the talk of any dinner party.

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http://society6.com/product/floral-garen_shower-curtain#35=287

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http://society6.com/product/run-wolf-run_shower-curtain#35=287

Don’t keep it all to yourself, art is best when shared with people you love, so Give Art! Useful gifts are always appreciated but don’t make them mundane. If you are gifting someone a coffee mug, you better make it stand out in the crowd. Simple thoughtful gifts don’t have to be ordinary. Here are a few things we love that kick ass and are sure to be used everyday.

This Clint Eastwood tote bag will turn heads when you whip it out at the grocery store. When they ask if you want paper or plastic.. Tell them that you want it dirty and Harry.

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It is inevitable that someone at the office will try to pretend that your I heart Atlantic City mug is theirs. Don’t give anyone the chance to claim what is yours. Make your go to coffee cup extraordinary, just like you. Pick a mug that says Good Morning, don’t talk to me until this mug is empty. This should do the trick.

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Want to buy some of the things we love?
You can find these things and more here

You can also get your fix and find more about the artist over on his facebook page.

The fainting sofa pictured above is available from our friends over at Amazon

The things we love now :: at home with the artist :: Andy Warhol

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I have been obsessed with Andy Warhol since I was a little kid. His playful images loaded with bright color and graphic punch. Visiting the museum dedicated to this pioneer of pop art in Pittsburg is a must do if you are in the neighborhood. We have imagined what building a room or two around his work might look like. Here are some things that inspire us.

The Warhol images you see in this blog are available online as prints from The Warhol Store

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I think Andy would have been drawn to any of these good looking kitchen must haves. Each of these iconic pieces can be found in a multitude of pop inspired colors. We love to mix and match to keep things interesting.
The items we have found to put our perfect Warhol kitchen together can be yours over at Everything Kitchens

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Marilyn radiates pure sex appeal. She defines stardom. We found a few things over at Target.com . to put together a Warhol inspired guest room. We selected pieces that spoke for themselves but chose items that would let our leading lady steal the show.

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How about a living room with a reason to live. Never ever be afraid to make a statement. Start with the art. We picked Warhol’s cow prints as a starting point. From there we mixed livable textures with more traditional lines to really make those bovines stand out. Adding in some country references with weathered wood, a ticking stripe rug and rustic iron lighting fixtures keeps this room from being to formal. Then we found a signature piece of furniture. The bright yellow bookcase is imaginative and playful company for our cows. Toss in some texture with some pillows and a cozy throw and this living room just became a good place to curl up and read a book. We found the perfect pieces online over at One Kings Lane

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The things we love now

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Filling your home with personality is a must.
Boring people rarely get invited back to parties. Your furniture should stand for the same kind of scrutiny. We love bright or bold pieces and are also drawn to comfort. Think of your furniture as friends and surround yourself with pieces that you really love, pieces that inspire and comfort you.
We found inspiration for a sexy sitting area over at Dot&Bo

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The things we love now.. The objects of our desire

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The guys and I are always on the lookout for unique and interesting objects. Here are some more of the things that we love and where you can get them.
From the folks over at uncommon goods

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Here are some things we love from the Moma online store

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The Metropolitan Museum is always a must visit when we go to New York. Here are a few things that we found in their online shop that make us want to visit there again soon.

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