I’ve Moved Blogs

Hello all!

I’ve officially moved my blog over to Squarespace. Luckily, the URL is still the same so you can just continue heading over to Chatterboxnewyork.com for my posts. However, you may need to resubscribe – I don’t want to lose you!

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Thoughts on a Tuesday (and Shave Ice)

You’re reading this post right now and I’m in Oregon! As I write this, it’s the night before I leave and I’m clearing out my camera so, you guessed it, I can take the maximum amount of photos on my trip! Here’s a compilation of pictures I took when my friend Caroline was visiting me a couple weeks ago. We did so many things that weekend including going to the Ace Hotel, several farmer’s markets, and Rosie’s NYC for tacos and their famous watermelon margaritas. Yum.

Also, I finally watched the mid-season finale of Pretty Little Liars and I have so many questions. SO MANY. I asked my sister all my questions and she basically told me to go find an online forum so I could ask my questions without bothering her. SO, if anyone knows of a good one please let me know. The stress is real, people. I hope you’re all having a good Tuesday!

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Wow, after typing out the name of this banana bread, I realize it’s such a mouthful! Even though this recipe has a long name, it’s still worth making, trust me. It was hot this weekend (surprise, surprise) and after my friend went home to Boston, I was on a panel about book publishing at a conference in the financial district. The conference was great, but after schlepping through FiDi in the pounding heat, the last thing I wanted to do was spend the afternoon outside. This is where banana bread comes into play. During the week I make a lot of smoothies either for breakfast, or after working out in the evening, so I keep a lot of fruit (both fresh and frozen) on hand at all times. I think the heat in my apartment made my bananas ripen much quicker than normal so I had to do something with them.

I decided to make a banana bread with brown butter, modified from Joy the Baker’s recipe, and love the results! The banana bread is a lot more dense than other variations I’ve made and the flavor of the brown butter really comes through. I hope you all have some fun weekend plans! I’m heading to Western Massachusetts with my family for an outdoor excursion. 🙂

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

  • 6 ounces unsalted butter, melted and browned to just over 1/2 cup of butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 1/4 cup mashed banana (from about 3 medium bananas)
  • 2 teaspoons molasses
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (or more depending on how chocolately you want your bread to be!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan and set aside.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Butter will begin to foam and crackle as it melts.  When the crackling subsides, the butter will begin to brown.  Swirl the pan as the butter cooks.  When the butter browns and begins to smell nutty, remove the pan from the flame and transfer the butter to a small bowl.  Taking the butter out of the hot saucepan will stop the butter from overcooking and burning.  Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla extract, and coconut milk.  Whisk in the mashed bananas and molasses.  When butter has cooled, add in the browned butter.

Add the wet ingredients, all at once to the dry ingredients.  Fold together, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to reveal any hidden pockets of flour.  Add in chocolate chips and stir.

Pour batter into pan.   Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and allow to rest in the pan for 15 minutes, before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely. Wrap well for 4 days at room temp or freeze!

Coconut Berry & Honey Popsicles

Funny story – I ordered popsicle molds on Amazon almost two months ago and totally forgot about them until they showed up in the mail last week! It’s been HOT the past few weeks in New York so it’s actually perfect timing. I’ve been seeing beautiful pictures of popsicles everywhere lately on Instagram so I wanted to try my own hand in making some. These popsicles, made with fresh blueberries and raspberries are so refreshing, and the tanginess of the berries is offset nicely with the creamy coconut milk. So yummy and I’m looking forward to having one as my after work snack. I hope everyone has a great week!

Coconut Berry & Honey Popsicles

Makes 6 popsicles

-1 can full-fat coconut milk
-1/4 cup + honey
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-2 1/2 cups blueberries and raspberries, rinsed and drained
-pinch salt

In a bowl, combine coconut milk, 1/4 cup honey, salt, and vanilla extract, and whisk to combine.

In a blender, puree berries, then pour through a mesh strainer to remove the seeds. You can use the back of a spoon or spatula to press the berry pulp and seeds against the strainer to help extract all of the liquid. Discard the seeds. Add 1/2 cup of the coconut milk mixture and 1 tablespoon honey to the strained berries mix together well.

Pour alternating layers of the coconut milk mixture and the berry mixture into popsicle molds. Freeze for about 30 minutes, then insert sticks and freeze until firm.

Coney Island

And yet another item is crossed off my summer bucket list! Last Friday I went to Coney Island with my friend, Kate who was visiting from out of town. It was a very interesting experience to say the least. Immediately I was shocked at how huge it was. I had thought that Coney Island was just a couple rides and a beach, but the rides were endless. It was also so packed in the amusement park area, but really empty in an area that was full of semi-outdoor arcades. The rides also seemed really expensive! Isn’t an amusement park ride supposed to be like $2.00? I hate amusement parks so I guess I’m not up to speed on the typical prices. We did check out the two iconic rides though – the Cyclone and the Wonder Wheel and they were kind of cool! It’s crazy how old they each are, yet they are still fully functioning.

Afterwards we went to the original Nathan’s hot dog stand and I got a fried chicken sandwich (don’t worry, Kate got a hot dog). We walked along the boardwalk, looking over the beach and it was kind of nice with the breeze, although I don’t think I could ever imagine going to the beach there because it was so crowded. There is also this area right on the beach that’s sort of like a jungle gym, but there are grown shirtless men all around working out. They were doing pull-ups, and other exercises on the equipment. Apparently it’s called Muscle Beach, which I thought was hilarious. I’m so glad I finally made it out to Coney Island – I can’t say that I’ll be back frequently, but it was awesome experiencing a corner of the city that I never see.

Going off the Grid in Cape Cod

I am already drained from this week and I was on vacation for half of it! That seems to happen though when you miss the first half of week at work. Despite my exhaustion, it was wonderful being able to spend some quality time with my family (minus my brother, sadly) this weekend in Cape Cod. I’ve been going to Cape Cod every summer since I can remember, so it holds a special place in my heart. My parents and I woke up early Friday morning for the three and a half hour drive. My sister would be joining us later in the weekend.

About twenty minutes in I realized that I’d forgotten my phone at home! I freaked out but just asked my sister to bring it with her instead. It ended up being kind of a blessing. Living in a world where we’re all so connected and constantly fiddling with our smart phones, it’s easy to forget that we can manage without them. It was peaceful being able to enjoy the small things for the first couple days, like exploring the beach, reading, smelling the hydrangeas, and doing a lot of baking (I’ll be sharing a lot of new recipes soon!)

The long weekend in Cape Cod was perfect because we were able to do all of our traditions including eating a ton of fresh seafood, making the drive to Welfleet to go to Cahoon Hollow Beach (the most majestic in my opinion), laughing a lot, swimming in the bay and pond, and lighting a lot of sparklers (apparently I am terrible at drawing hearts). We also were able to try new things like paddle-boarding. My dad hilariously fell off a few times and the whole beach died laughing. We also checked out the Sesuit Harbor Cafe in Dennis which was delicious. Did you know that there are two styles of lobster rolls? A cold lobster roll with mayo is Maine style and a warm roll with butter and spices is called Connecticut style. I had no idea! Anyways, my sister and I split a Maine style lobster roll and it was delicious and massive! I have to say that my favorite part was waking up early each morning and going on a long run with my dad. He’s a runner so he motivated me to keep going and I was able to start each day feeling refreshed and spending some quality time with my dad.