Scrumptious Banana Bread

The other morning when I was at my good friend’s house, she had just pulled banana bread out of the oven (how she makes banana bread while dealing with two kids on a school morning amazes me to no end!). She offered a piece, and although I had already eaten breakfast, I couldn’t say no. And HOLY crap, this was the best banana bread ever. Thankfully, she sent me the recipe and here it is!

 

This is how I bake....6:30 am on a Sunday morning, in my pajamas, totally disheveled, with my little baking partner (my 4 year old), with flour all over myself. But at least I am wearing FEATHERS undies.

This is how I bake….6:30 am on a Sunday morning, in my pajamas, totally disheveled, with my little baking partner (my 4 year old), and flour all over myself. But at least I am wearing FEATHERS undies. (I promise you this photo was not staged — Ken took  a photo of me because he said it looked ridiculous with the hand print).

 

Ingredients:

 

Ingredients. Because we made these at our weekend place vs our apartment, I pre-measured the materials in NYC so that I wouldn't have to lug everything to the country and/or buy new stuff.

Because we made these up in the country, I pre-measured the materials in NYC so that I wouldn’t have to buy new stuff. And let me tell you, it was GENIUS when baking with a kid.

 

* 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour

* 2 teaspoons baking powder

* 1/2 teaspoon salt

* 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda

* 3 medium, very ripe bananas

* 2/3 cup sugar

* 1/3 cup vegetable oil

* 2 large eggs

* 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

* 1/2 cup of broken walnuts

* chocolate chips, peanut butter chips (why not?)

 

Directions:

 

* Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

 

* Grease a loaf pan with butter

 

* In a medium sized bowl, using a wooden spoon, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.

 

"I wanna do it myself"

“I wanna do it myself”

Pat pat pat

Pat pat pat

 

* In a large sized bowl, mash the peeled bananas with a fork.  Add the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla and beat with a wooden spoon until well blended.  Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture.  Stir just until blended.

 

Mashing the bananas

Mashing the bananas

Stirring it all together.

Stirring it all together.

screen-shot-2016-09-25-at-9-09-13-pm

Mixture

Mixture

Add the goodies to the mix.

Add the goodies to the mix.

 

* Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan, spreading it evenly with a wooden spoon.  Put the pan in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  I made it into muffins (small and big) as I couldn’t find our loaf pan. If you make it into muffins, bake it for 25 minutes and just watch the oven closely.

 

Scraping into the muffin tins.

Scraping into the muffin tins.

Scrumptious.

Scrumptious.

Little nugget.

Little nugget.

 

Although these were delicious, somehow (like always) my friend’s banana bread was even better…..that said, I devoured every single one of them. Hope you have a great weekend — Rosh Hashana is this weekend, so Happy New Year (Shana Tova) to those who celebrate!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Clog Master, Take 3

Yes yes, it is true. I now own three pairs of custom made clogs. Not necessarily a hip Upper East Side choice of footwear, but I can’t help myself; they are just too good to be true. I have a normal red pair, a higher heel-ed black pair, and now a crazy nude / fringe / boho one. Now that the Clogmaster has all my measurements, it is super easy to order. You call them, pick out the leather, the wood of the sole, the height, and voila — a custom fit beautiful clog. Check out how they make it here. For those of you who have never seen the Clogmaster to get your correct measurements, they are based in Southern California but make frequent trips to New York and San Francisco to fit customers. Trust me, it is worth it.  Ken even has 2 pairs (but the male clog trend isn’t exactly spreading through New York… yet.)

 

Nude and fringe

Nude and fringe

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Best Pens: International Arrivals

I have a daughter who loves to draw and color, and as a result, I have bought many and many sets of pens, pencils, markers, and paints. For whatever reason, she only uses certain sets (picky about everything in life) and ALL of these sets are from a company called International Arrivals. Now I know not to bother buying any other type of pen. These coloring sets are fun, unique, and great for gifts, too.

 

Our typical breakfast routine....eating while coloring.

Our typical breakfast routine….eating while coloring. And as you can see, she is much more interested in her art than her food.

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Chameleon Cold Brew Coffee

I am a big believer in having quick-easy-access to coffee. Sure, I love my morning hot coffee in the morning (but not if I have to make it — thank you, Babers, for prepping the coffee maker every night). But after my first (of two) cups of coffee, I want something quick and effortless. I am also a coffee snob which makes it that much more difficult. Thanks to Chameleon Cold Brew Coffee, I get everything I want just by opening up my fridge.

 

Big jugs of coffee.

Big jugs of coffee. Actually they are coffee concentrates, so they can be diluted. It depends on how jacked up on coffee you want to be.

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NYC Fall To Do List 2016

So far, Fall has whooped my butt. I feel like I am always behind (like writing the weeks’ blog posts) and I can’t keep up. I know that everything is temporary, but right now, it is like 0 for me vs. 100 for everything else. So why not add on to how behind I am by creating a Fall wish list of activities for me to do :).   Here it is:

 

Start to school has kicked my bootie, but also the kids. This picture is of Toosh in the middle of the morning, who decided she was just going to rest instead of doing anything else. #Jealous

Start to school has kicked my bootie.  Same for the kids. This picture is of Toosh in the middle of the morning.  She decided she was just going to rest instead of doing anything else. #Jealous

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September 2016 Work Out Playlist

One of Ken’s pet peeves is listening to me LISTEN to music to add to my playlists. Yes, it is a lot of stops and starts, but I need to in order to find good workout music! Since I am yet again running the NYC marathon and doing lots of long training runs, I am fired up for my newest running playlist.  Sorry, Babers! And yes, a reminder on why I run.

 

Hiking this summer. Yes, hiking is not running, and there is no ipod or music involved in hiking, but it is the closest photo I have of running.

Hiking this summer. Yes, hiking is not running, and there is no ipod or music involved in hiking, but it is the closest thing I have to a recent running photo

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Food Truck Wedding

My sister got married this weekend in an amazing wedding in Portland, OR (yes, we just relocated the family back from the West Coast the weekend prior… lots of travel!)  It was beautiful, heart warming, emotional, and fun. I am so #blessed (#sorrynotsorry) that I love my family as much as I do — my sisters, brother, and parents (obviously, my husband and kids too)– so much that I just want to be with them all the time (which makes my re-entry to NYC all that much more difficult).  Outside of the event and family, the highlight of the wedding was my sister’s WEDDING FOOD! BEST WEDDING FOOD EVER EVER EVER.  And not just any food, it was FOOD TRUCKS. Yep, food trucks at a wedding. And it was AWESOME. There were three food trucks for the main meal, and one food truck for dessert #Winning.

 

hawaiian

Hawaiian Cuisine? Yes please! This truck was from 808 Grinds and served an assortment of meats, rices, and sides. My favorite dish was the Fried Chicken.

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Park City, Utah

It feels like a million years ago that we were on vacation with our dear friends in Deer Valley / Park City, Utah. In reality, it was just a week ago (another trip to the West Coast this weekend for my sister’s wedding sure makes time confusing). Deer Valley was the perfect ending to a fabulous summer, filled with lots of activities and simple family fun with great friends. Here is a recap of our trip with recommendations.. Deer Valley is a PERFECT summer getaway (particularly at the end of the summer after Utah schools start up… everything was empty which was perfect!)

 

Utah

Utah

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Josie Natori RTW SS 2017 Fashion Presentation

What better way to get back into the New York flow from the summer than by attending the Josie Natori SS2017 presentation.  I am in love. Presented at the Waterfall Mansion on the Upper East Side, the collection is airy, earthy, romantic, feminine, summer-y, and modern. Take a look at the pictures.

 

Rusty earthy colors.

Rusty earthy colors.

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Feathers Leopard Bra

I am so stressed out right now — beyond belief — so here is something to cheer everyone up (including myself): a new FEATHERS leopard bra (color actually called “Exotic Dk Grey Print/Khaki” in the dropdown). Can you stand the cuteness? It might even make me smile and forget about all that has to be done? Check it out! Nothing like a racy – va-va-voom – bra to start out the new school year!

 

Yeehaw, or actually, ROOOOOAR

Yeehaw, or actually, ROOOOOAR

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Around The Web September 2016

Sorry for all the personal posts recently! Seems like there has been a lot of traveling and exploring, and therefore lots of pictures and stories to share with you all. So here is a break from my personal life (thank god, right?) and links to things around the web that I find interesting!

 

My cool kid in the gorgeous state of Oregon.

My cool kid in the gorgeous state of Oregon.

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Napa Weekend

On our final weekend on the West Coast (Best Coast), we went to Napa to celebrate our best friends’ joint 40th birthdays. It seems like there were a lot of California trips this summer (there were), but this one topped them all.  Just like we did 10 years prior for our friends’ wedding, we stayed at The Carneros Inn. Over the weekend, we had an incredible (INCREDIBLE) dinner at Ad Hoc, one of Thomas Keller’s restaurants, brunch at The Fremont Diner, and the party at The Barn at Cornerstone. Not only was it hog heaven food wise, but the weather, the company, and the experiences were all top notch. I already miss the ease of flying from Eugene to San Francisco, and all our West Coast friends….

 

White farm flowers.

White farm flowers.

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Renovation Post #1

Exciting times for our family of four…..we are expanding! NO, NO NO NO, not to a family of five, but to a bigger apartment. We are currently (as of a few weeks ago) combining our apartment with the apartment below us, to give us more space and a forever family home. We are *INCREDIBLY* fortunate to have this dream come true, and we couldn’t be more excited. Thanks to the handful of friends who have looked through the plans, walked through the space, and given advice.  Thank you for being my support system — I wouldn’t be able to do it without you. And of course, main thank you to my Babers for giving us this dream and putting up with my anxiety and fear of being displaced for 6 months…

 

The stairs! Toosh's old room upstairs is now becoming the top landing of the stairs! It's currently a big hole -- but I can totally envision the stairs!

The stairs! Toosh’s old room upstairs is now becoming the top landing of the stairs! It’s currently a big hole — but I can totally envision the stairs!

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Oregon Coast 2016

This past weekend, the kids, parents and I went to the Oregon Coast to escape the hot temperatures of Eugene (in the 100s) and surround ourselves in the beauty of the Oregon Coast. We had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed nature, and family (minus Ken, who was in New York). Take a look at the pictures.

 

The Oregon Coast is always much colder than inland .... which makes sense, but this past weekend it was 30 degrees colder. 30!!!!

The Oregon Coast is always much colder than inland …. which makes sense, but this past weekend it was 30 degrees colder. 30!!!!

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Costalots Glasses

My college best friend, Midge, is a cartoon character.; goofy, cooky, adorable, fun, funny, and colorful. Her look and aesthetic matches perfectly with her bubbly, outgoing personality, and her new glasses match her hipster vibe 100% (Note: she doesn’t just dress like a hipster, she *is* a hipster, I mean, she participates in Trivia every Monday, does things like “1/4 of a marathon on a treadmill race” and has salsa competition parties). Her glasses, Costalots, made by her good friend, Matt Costa, are the perfect accessory to round out her Oakland look. She has both everyday Costalots glasses and sunglasses (she was always the one the past 15 years that wears her sunglasses OVER her everyday glasses — quite the look). Costalots prides itself on quality and simplicity, and are the definition of hip.

 

It's like her bitmoji came alive.....spot on for the most perfect bitmoji EVER to exist.

It’s like her bitmoji came alive…..spot on for the most perfect bitmoji EVER to exist.

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Pamela Gold: Post #2

I am fortunate that I have a lot of teachers in my life; not just academic teachers (many of whom I am still in touch with 30 years later), but running, yoga, spiritual and life teachers as well.  One of the most influential is Pamela Gold. Many of you remember her post from early this summer; she is articulate, intelligent, and brings clarity to things that can be difficult to comprehend (you, your relationship with yourself, and life). Take a look for yourself in the below interview — grab a cup of coffee and read this novel (yes, novel).

 

Beautiful Pamela and her 8 year old son, Jesse.

Beautiful Pamela and her 8 year old son, Jesse.

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Blueberry Hazelnut Crisp

With a flat of blueberries in our house from our local CSA, I went on a hunt to find the best blueberry pie recipe. That said, searching “best blueberry pie” on the internet does not necessarily lead to the best blueberry pie, especially when I add words such as “low sugar” or “healthy.” So instead, I went the old fashioned route and asked a friend for a recipe. Needless to say, this much more experienced baker (read ‘older’) instantly emailed me her go-to-blueberry crisp recipe. So I made it (but of course, with some minor adjustments) and IT IS SO DELICIOUS.

 

The result.

The result.

 

Ingredients for Crumb Crust and Topping:

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My Eugene Summer Routine 2016

I love my summers with my parents in Eugene.  It couldn’t be any different than our routine in New York, and I love the change of pace both for me and for our family.  Not very glamorous or fashionable or social; but very nature-centered, kids focused, with lots of fresh air. Take a look.

 

I wake up very early and do my morning workout before the kids eat breakfast. I just get up, and do it. Then, after the kids are fed and dressed, I take Cruzzie to camp (in the car). From there, Tusia and I start our day of Tusia-Mama Camp (the oh so exciting camp) which means:

 

Trips to the grocery store...who knew that they could be so exciting?

Trips to the grocery store…who knew that they could be so exciting? And who knew I needed to go most days? (Her cousin Nadia is pictured – Toosh is hiding behind the grocery cart).

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Cookbooks – Summer 2016

Everything about my biffle‘s house is blog worthy. It is like walking into a perfectly curated store that carries only the best of the best. Literally, every nook and cranny could be photographed and written about as her taste and style is impeccable (I will take one of each, please). She is also a phenomenal cook who meal plans for her family with healthy, simple, and varied recipes. Here are her top cookbooks of Summer 2016. And perhaps if we have the same cookbooks, then we have the same dinners?

 

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 12.36.39 AM

cookbooks

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Must Watch: Tony Robbins Documentary

If you have an hour and a half of free time, I highly recommend watching the Tony Robbins documentary on Netflix. Urged by a good friend to watch it (exact words: “Urgent”), I watched it immediately and found it riveting, emotional, powerful, inspirational, and curious. A must see. If only more people could be as authentic, sincere, deep, and real.

 

Screen Shot 2016-08-07 at 10.40.01 AM

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How To: Beekeeping

Last month on our California tour, one of our highlights in Sonoma was learning about our friend’s bees. YUP, bees. Kim, is the proud new owner of thousands of bees and can add “beekeeper” to the many prestigious titles on her resume. After taking a class in Marin (with lots of young-professionals-in-Teslas), Kim bought her kit and bees, and is now a bee-keeper. It is fascinating and so interesting, that even though I got stung recently from a yellow jacket (yes, I know, it is different), I am still committed to set up a beekeeping shop in Pound Ridge this Spring (thanks for letting me do this, Babers). Read on!

 

Thanks Kimmers!

Thanks Kimmers!

 

How did you get interested in beekeeping?

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Ice Cream Flower Pots

One of my dearest friends from Ken’s Stanford Business School class, Katie, is someone I have always looked up to. Not only is she brilliant (obviously), fun (best dancer ever), smiley, honest, and real, but she also has the best homemaker skills of anyone I know. Yes –  totally sounds sexist, but when I met her when I was 25 years old, I didn’t know anyone who sewed their own curtains, made their own scalloped potatoes for dinner parties, and hosted lavish, extravagant sit down dinners with all homemade dishes.  So I am thrilled to have Katie guest blog today on “Ice Cream Flower Pots.” Thanks so much, Katie. Love you dearly.

______

 

My mom first made these “ice cream flower pots” for my 10th birthday party which was a joint party with my dear friend Carrie who had a birthday the same week as mine.  We themed the party “Pink and Purple” so all our friends wore everything pink and purple, as did our moms and my older sister who was the “helper”. The party was afternoon backyard games and a BBQ at Carrie’s house, and then a slumber party at my house.  The ten or so girls in attendance are still some of my closest friends, and to this day, everyone remembers the “ice cream flower pots” that thrilled us all when they were revealed as dessert.  They embody the creative and festive flair that my mom was known for bringing to everything she did.  She passed away 6 years ago and I miss her every day, but making treats like this on a lovely summer day for the ones I love makes her feel close in my heart again.

 

Beautiful flowers....but wait, it's a delicious dessert!

Beautiful flowers….but wait, it’s a delicious dessert!

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Gucci Inspired Sweatshirt

Constantly researching fashion blogs, articles, magazines, instagram, and people, I have admired the recent resurgence and hipness of Gucci. So many beautiful, glamorous, and whimsical pieces of late, each one cool and hip in their own way. That said, the BLING BLING price tags have prevented me from buying anything. I love the Gucci’s bombers and sweatshirts, and yet haven’t pulled the trigger due to price. So when I came across a Gucci *inspired* sweatshirt at H&M, it was BLING BLING a true winner. 39.99 dollars. YES PLEASE, thank you, SUCKER.

 

Preppy and fun.

Preppy and fun.

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