Strawberry Banana Overnight Oats

This year has already gotten off to a great start. I’m much busier than I was last year, but since I’m no longer a freshman, I have a year under my belt and have a general idea of what to expect for this year. Probably the biggest differences are in the living situations. I’m living in a single in a suite on campus, and some of my friends have an apartment about 15 minutes away. I don’t see them quite as frequently as when they lived literally in the dorm next to mine, but that’s also because we just all have more homework. So far, it’s been a great balance, and I’m hoping that will continue even in the chilly winter bound to come sooner rather than later.

I’m not the only person who likes to cook but lives in a dorm, so there’s a lot of recipes out there that I can make in my cozy dorm room. I have a mini fridge/freezer in my room, but the lounge has a microwave and a toaster. My friends in the apartment do have an oven, so I’ll try to make some stuff over there, but for the most part these are going to be my quickie recipes that I make for myself in my cozy single.

Breakfast is hands down my favorite meal of the day, and always has been. Aside from the food being undeniably the best out of any meal, I’ve realized that by sitting down and eating ~real food~ (not energy bars) for just gets my day started on the right foot. Overnight oats are not a new thing in the blogosphere, so I think I’m a little late jumping on the bandwagon. I don’t really measure what I put in (I just eyeball it based upon how hungry I think I’m going to be), but I’ll give you guys estimates. I made this batch with banana kefir, which was really delicious. It’s creamier than almond milk, but gives you the tang of the yogurt without getting too thick. Topped with fresh strawberries (which are quite a delicacy here), it’s the perfect way to start the week on the right track!

Strawberry Banana Overnight Oats

Overnight Oats


  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup banana kefir
  • 1-2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Fresh strawberries


  1. In a jar or mug, mix together the oats, kefir, chia seeds, agave, and cinnamon until well combined. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Top with fresh berries.

They’re oat-a this world! (If you can think of better oatmeal puns, please let me know!)

-Rayna 🙂


Brown Butter Bourbon Banana Bread

This week could not be any more insane. This craziness always happens during the spring, but as you can probably imagine, during my junior year, it’s even more insane. In this week alone, I have a final that lasts for 2 days, a physics test on one of those days, a paper due Friday, journal entries due Wednesday, a graded math sheet due tomorrow, and I hope there’s no more. Needless to say, it’s one of the more stressful weeks of the year.
But, there is some great news to go along with it! This weekend I was honored to qualify for the Regional Championships, and I was able to travel to Boston in the Super Team meet. It was an awesome experience. Afterwards, I was able to meet my brother and a few of his friends at college so we could have lunch and walk around, and it was just a great weekend. Even if I’m feeling the repercussions now, it was totally worth it.
Now that I’ve babbled enough, banana bread time. If you haven’t experienced the magical ingredient that is brown butter, I can’t beg you enough to try it. I promise it’s not as intimidating as it seems, and it tastes oh so good. And, this bread not only uses mashed bananas, but it uses caramelized bananas, which not only give a nice textural contrast to the bread, but give it a burnt sugar/caramel flavor, which was just out of this world. It will certainly help you get through this week!


Brown Butter Bourbon Pecan Banana Bread
Makes one 9-inch loaf


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2/3 cup toasted, chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 350º.  Grease the bottom only of a standard size loaf pan with butter or nonstick cooking spray.  Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium-sized bowl.  Set aside.
  2. Melt butter over medium heat in a small heavy bottomed pot. Cook until it begins to brown, but not burn; it will smell nutty and fragrant. Remove from heat, and let cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Peel and dice one banana. Mash the remaining bananas in a small bowl; set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon of brown sugar in a small skillet over medium heat until it begins to melt and turn golden. Add diced banana pieces and saute until well coated and caramelized. Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Beat eggs on medium speed in a stand mixer.  Add brown sugar and beat until foamy and combined. Add mashed very ripe banana, cooled browned butter, vanilla and bourbon; beat until mixed welll. Scrape down sides of bowl again with rubber spatula.
  5. On low speed, pour in 1/3 of the flour mixture.  Increase mixer speed to medium and mix until just blended.  Pour in 1/3 of buttermilk and beat until just blended.  Repeat this process with remaining flour and buttermilk. fold in pecans and caramelized banana pieces. Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

From: In Jennie’s Kitchen

I hope this bread can help you (and me) get through this week!




Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

Good morning everyone! I hope you all had a nice day off for presidents day that was filled with lots of delicious food. I spent my weekend out in the Show-Me State, or St. Louis, Missouri for a gymnastics meet. Even though I was only gone for a few days, it was an awesome trip. I got to spend lots of time with my teammates and it was just an awesome bonding experience.

While we had a few days off due to Nemo, I used my time wisely. That is, I baked lots and lots of loaves of bread. I already explained to you my fear of yeast and how I stood up to it a few days ago, but before I get to more yeast breads I have to tell you about this banana bread.

You know you’ve made a good bread when you have 5+ loaves and baked goods in the house and this is the only one that got completely eaten in less than 2 days. Yeah, it’s that good. What makes this banana bread different is the layer of cinnamon sugar between the 2 layers of sweet banana goodness, and when baked, it turned into a caramel-y counterpart that completed this wonderfully moist bread.

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread- from Sally’s Baking Addiction


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2  tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 and 1/2 cups mashed very ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
  • 1/3 cup vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)


  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon



  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.  In a separate large bowl, beat the brown sugar and butter with a stand or handheld mixer on medium speed until well blended – about 1 minute. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With a wooden spoon, stir in the mashed banana, yogurt, and vanilla.  Slowly add in the dry ingredients. Do NOT overmix.  Batter will be thick.
  3. Spoon half of the batter into prepared loaf pan.  Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar swirl ingredients.  Top with remaining batter. Bake for 40-45  minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Remove from pan and cool completely on the wire rack.

Browned Butter Banana Bundt Cake

Happy Monday everyone! I can’t believe that I only have a few days until I’m officially a junior! I feel like I was walking into my high school for the first time just last week, and now I’m actually an upperclassman! I certainly have my fair share of things to do on my plate this year, but I’m very excited all the same. One of the things I’m really looking forward to is my MSM schedule, which is packed. In addition to the 4 required classes, I’m also taking a class on music of the 20th century, which should be very interesting. I’ve taken classes in music history before, but this will be my first time focusing on the 20th century! Maybe I’m just a nerd, but I’m really excited.

Awhile ago when I made these blondies, I developed a love for browned butter. The nuttiness of it is addicting and I just had to have more. So when Deanna came over, it was only appropriate that we make a cake with browned butter in it. Grab some overripe bananas and you’re all set with a spectacularly moist cake that makes a great breakfast, snack or dessert. Drizzle it with some melted peanut butter to make a pretty presentation, or make a peanut butter and honey sandwich for lunch…oh my the possibilities are endless.I’m looking forward to seeing this in my lunchbox!

Browned Butter Banana Bundt Cake from The Cake Duchess


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 6 oz. butter (3/4 cup or 1 1/2 sticks)
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups banana puree
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or sour cream)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour your bundt pan (regular 12 cup bundt pan). I personally prefer to use baking spray for bundt pans.In  large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. To Brown the Butter: In medium-low heat, melt the butter. Rise the heat to medium and cook until the butter gently boils. Cook until the butter starts to brown and it develops a dark color. Carefully pour the browned butter into a bowl to cool for ten minutes.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy using the paddle attachment (you could also beat it with a hand mixer). Beat in the eggs one by one, waiting until each has been incorporated to add the next. Beat in vanilla extract and mashed bananas. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mix and beat on low speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to incorporate. Add in the sour cream and beat until incorporated followed by the remaining flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to incorporate. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and the top springs back when lightly pressed. Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

A perfect way to start off my school year!

-Rayna 🙂

Banana Chocolate Chip Coconut Muffins

This week has involved TONS of baking- the best kind of week. Despite the fact that I try to post on a regular basis about what’s going on in my kitchen, I frequently don’t actually get a chance to bake every week, especially since my Saturdays are spent at the Manhattan School of Music most of the time. I actually baked for my English class this week, and the post on the pound cake that I made is coming soon. First up is these muffins.

Over Memorial Day weekend, my mother had some of her culinary school buddies come up and enjoy the lovely, 90 degree weather with us. In my last post, I talked about how I had made some muffins before my mom’s friends came up, and we had some very ripe bananas that were begging to be made into a delicious muffin. The coconut and the chocolate chips just make this muffin irresistible, and you won’t regret these being a part of your breakfast. 🙂

Something that I’ve realized is vital in the world of food blogging is taking great pictures of food, so hopefully, with the help of my mom’s Nikon D90, I’ll be able to take photos that will leave you drooling. 🙂

Banana Chocolate Chip Coconut Muffins- From Technicolor Kitchen

Makes 12 muffins


  • 280 grams all purpose flour (2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 150 grams sugar (3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup dark or semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and prepare 12 muffin tins.
  2. Sift the flour and the baking powder in a medium bowl. In a stand mixer, combine the canola oil and the sugar. Add in the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla extract. Once combined, add the mashed bananas. Add in the dry ingredients in multiple additions until just combined.
  3. Remove the batter from the stand mixer and fold in the coconut and the chocolate chips until evenly dispersed. Using an ice cream scooper or a spoon, fill up the muffin tins 2/3 of the way up. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out cleanly.

Such a simple muffin that guarantees lots of smiles. 🙂

-Rayna 🙂

Banana Crumb Muffins

Muffins are the best food ever. They’re not as sweet as cake, more versatile than cookies, and the perfect breakfast/lunch/dinner/dessert/snack treat in the world. Mini, regular sized, or as-big-as-your-face, there’s no such thing as a bad homemade muffin. So when these bananas started to get to the end of their life, I just had to use them! So I bring you these muffins.

They start out like most other muffins, with a batter (duh). And then they’re topped with crumb. Since the muffin top is clearly the best part of the muffin, why not just make it better with buttery-sugary-cinnamony goodness? I wish I could get all of you some of these muffins, but I can’t. I ate them all. 😉

Banana Crumb Muffins- Modified from All Recipes

Makes 12 Muffins


  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter (or more 😉 )


  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees and grease (or line) 12 muffin tins.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the bananas, sugar, egg, vanilla extract, and melted butter. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined.
  4. In a small bowl, mid the flour, cinnamon, and butter. Mix until it resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle on top of the muffins.
  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean

Did you say something? Sorry, I was too busy enjoying these muffins. 😉

-Rayna 🙂

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Cookies

Sometimes, I just need to take a break. Stop reading my United States History textbook and listening to Beethoven, and just relax for a second. Not something I’m very good at.

Viola is really starting to kick into gear, starting with my orchestra auditions yesterday. So, our conductor assigned us a section that the viola section had to learn, and then go into a small room with the door closed and a screen (It was a blind audition, we couldn’t see the judges). Pretty nerve-racking if you ask me. When I got home from the city carrying my viola on my back, I was ready to plop in bed and go to sleep forever and ever. Well, Mr. APUSH textbook doesn’t think so. So after the chapter of outlining was safely saved on my computer, I FINALLY had time to bake. At the bright and early time of…9:30 at night. Still have PLENTY of time to bake! When I saw this recipe on Carrots ‘n’ Cake, they just sounded too good to be true. One of my favorite breakfast items now transformed into a cookie? Holy yum.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Cookies- From Carrots ‘n’ Cake

Makes 16 large cookies


  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease 2 cookie trays.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and use a tablespoon to portion cookies onto the baking sheets.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until cookies start to brown

How easy is that? The perfect cookie to top off a not-so-relaxing day.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, my AP United States History Textbook and I have a date.

-Rayna 🙂

(P.S.) Sorry for the lack of pictures this week, due to the holiday earlier in the week, my mom burned out my battery in my camera while taking pictures of her food. Pictures to come next time! 🙂

Banana Muffins

I’m not monkeying around here, these are some awesome muffins 🙂 They’re even pretty good for you! Now I’m the kinda girl that could have fruit for dessert and call it a day, but these count as fruit, right? In my world they are 🙂

My soon-to-be-chef mom is helping me with getting recipes from cookbooks that she loves, so I was happy to make these from a cookbook classic, the Joy of Cooking. There’s nothing wrong with going back to the basics, and these muffins are just a little bite of happiness, added to your day. 🙂

Banana Muffins- Makes 12

From The Joy of Cooking


  • 2 large ripe bananas (about a cup mashed)
  • 2 tablespoons fat free greek yogurt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 10 tablespoons applesauce (you can use butter if you want ;D)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray (or paper line) 12 muffin tins
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the cake flour, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the bananas and the greek yogurt until combined. Then add the eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and applesauce until combined.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet in 2-3 batches until fully combined. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

*Note* If you don’t have cake flour, the proportion is 1 cup cake flour=1 cup-2 tablespoons all purpose flour.


-Rayna 🙂

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Muffins

Once peanut butter makes its appearance in a recipe, my eyes are immediately drawn. So when scrolling through Annie’s Eats I knew these had to be made. So my friend J came over and we baked. It’s what friends are for, right? 🙂 Anyhoo, these scrumptious little muffins joined me on the 2 1/2 hour plane ride and 1 1/2 bus ride to Tennessee, which turned out to be a very handy dandy thing to have around come lunchtime. These are great for breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, dessert…well everytime! Filling and delicious, yum!

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Muffins: Thanks to Annie’s Eats

Makes about 18 muffins


  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons applesauce
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 bananas)
  • 6 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup low fat buttermilk


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 18 muffin tins.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, oats, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, Mix together the applesauce, brown sugar, eggs, mashed bananas, creamy peanut butter, and buttermilk until smooth.
  4. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in 2 parts, making sure to fully incorporate the dry ingredients.
  5. Divide the batter between the tins and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 5-10 minutes.

Did I mention YUM?

If not, YUM. 🙂

-Rayna 🙂