As always, I hope you’re all doing well, especially as it seems things are finally starting to slow down a bit. At least in Boston the weather has finally started to warm up as well, making May my favorite month of quarantine so far. Last week I finished classes, so although I still have a few papers and projects due this week, for the most part I’m done with my junior year. That being said, I’m starting to find a lot more time on my hands, and theres only so many workouts I can do, and so many Netflix episodes I can watch in one day.
Growing up I’ve always enjoyed cooking and baking, but that has really taken a turn these past few months. At least once or twice a week I’ve been trying new recipes, from meals to desserts to drinks. While some have been amazing and I’ll definitely be remaking them, others haven’t been so great. So, I want to share my favorite (and least favorite) recipes with you all so you can try some out for yourself if you have the time, or even try to improve/alter the ones I didn’t like so much to make them better! I know this isn’t my usual topic of content, but then again, nothing is normal right now, so I might as well take advantage of it.
Banana-Oat-Peanut Butter Cookies
- 2 ripe bananas
- 2 cups oatmeal
- 2 eggs
- 1/8-1/4 cup chocolate chips (to taste)
- 3 tbsp hemp seeds
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2-3 tbsp peanut butter (to taste)
- Cook at 350º for 15-18 minutes
I saw this recipe on Margot Lee’s Instagram story, and they looked amazing. I tried them myself and I really liked them, but I definitely think there’s room for improvement. The basic flavor of the cookies I really liked, but I think I would like them a bit sweeter and a bit moister. If I tried them again, I would probably add some honey to the batter, maybe some more chocolate chips (or add peanut butter chips or white chocolate chips), or even more banana. Overall, though, I would recommend these and I’ll be making them again!
Vegan Banana Pancakes
I followed this recipe, and this was by far one of my favorites. We made this for breakfast on Easter Sunday, and I usually am not a big pancake person, but these were amazing. I put extra bananas and maple syrup on top, and they were delicious. Highly recommend, and I will be remaking these – I wouldn’t change a thing!
Veggie Hash Brown Breakfast
We also made this dish on Easter, and although they took a while to prepare and cook, they were definitely worth it. I found the recipe here, and again, I probably wouldn’t change anything about it (unless you prefer different veggies, or something easy to change like that). I used vegan butter instead of real butter, but other than that I followed the recipe as it instructs. I think you could definitely play around with the spices and proportions based on your taste preferences, but otherwise I think the flavor was perfect!
Banana Oatmeal Loaf
- 1-2 ripe bananas
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 1 egg
- 2 cups oatmeal
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
- Bake at 350º for about 15 minutes
- Drizzle peanut butter on top
This was a recipe I found on Tik Tok (and I can’t find the video link anymore), and although the idea seemed good and the outcome wasn’t horrible, I probably wouldn’t make it again. There really was not much flavor, the loaf was pretty dry, and there wasn’t a good time to eat it (it’s not quite a breakfast, but not really a dessert either). It didn’t taste bad, but I think if I were to make it again, I would add some honey or more banana to sweeten it, and maybe chocolate chips to make it more of a dessert. If you’re able to play around with this one and it turns out better, let me know what you recommend!
Quiche Breakfast Cups
This was our third (and final) dish on Easter, and I followed this recipe. The concept was great, and I’ve seen these before, but I think they could’ve been a lot better. We made two versions – spinach/mushroom/feta, and bacon/egg/cheese. The first issue was that the hash brown crust tended to stick to the pan, so when taking them out, they fell apart pretty easily. It also seemed like the didn’t cook entirely through, so the center was a bit runny. However, the flavor was great and I think by playing around with the temperature and cook time, these problems could be fixed!
So far, I think this has been my favorite recipe. My family has always made orange cake, so with a few extra oranges lying around, I decided to try a variation of this dessert, and it turned out great. I followed this recipe, and the cookies ended up tasting just like the orange cake I’m used to! I wouldn’t change anything about the recipe, and would definitely make these again.
In a large pitcher, combine:
- Cut up fruit of your choice – I used: 1 red apple, 1 green apple, 1 orange, 1/2 container blueberries
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 1/2 cups orange juice
- 1 cup brandy
- Fill the rest of the pitcher with any red table wine
- Let chill overnight, serve with sparkling water on top
Now that the weather’s been nicer, my friends and I have been trying some different summer drink recipes. I grew to love sangria well studying abroad in Spain last semester, so I wanted to try to make my own. It was hard to find a simple enough recipe that still had a lot of flavor to it, so I combined a few different ones I found, and it ended up tasting great! I would definitely recommend this for summer dinners or parties in the future!
Frozen Strawberry-Lime Cocktails
- 2 shots of vodka
- 1 hard seltzer, lime flavored
- 1 tbsp pink lemonade powder
- Handful of frozen strawberries
- Handful of ice
- Blend until frozen consistency, makes 2 drinks
This was another combination of a few recipes I saw that turned out great! There are so many ways to alter this to fit your preferences as well, so I think just the simple idea of a frozen fruity cocktail is great for the summer. Let me know if you come up with any good variations of this!
Cocoa Banana Latte
- 1/2 ripe banana
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- Blend until mixed, then add 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee and stir
This recipe I got from Kenzie Burke’s Instagram, and the idea seemed like something I would love, but it ended up tasting kind of bland. I might try this again with different proportions or flavors, but if you’ve made something similar, let me know how it turned out. I think if it were thicker, maybe by adding ice, it would taste better, but something about the banana flavor in a coffee drink tasted funny.
Whipped Iced Latte
- 2 tbsp instant coffee
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp very hot water
- Hand or electric whisk until light brown and frothy
- Pour over glass of ice and your choice of milk
This is another favorite, and I’ve been making it almost every day since I tried it. This recipe has been trending on Tik Tok as well, and definitely for good reason! I use brown sugar (and a little bit less than 2 tbsp), but you can also use white, and for the milk I combine almond milk with a splash of coconut-almond milk vanilla creamer. This is such a nice change from hot coffee, especially now that it’s getting closer to summer! It’s a super quick and easy recipe, and I would highly recommend this to any coffee drinkers.
These are my top 10 so far, but I will definitely be trying out lots more recipes in the next few weeks! If any of you are able to try these, let me know how they turn out, and if you have any other suggestions, please leave a comment below! Once I finish all of my school work, I will be much more active with my posts, so stay tuned for exciting content coming up!