Dark Chocolate Cranberry Banana Bread


I entered my first recipe contest back in the fall. I somehow found one for recipes using leftover Thanksgiving food, and it was free to enter. There were two winners, one by viewer vote and one by the judges, but sadly I did not win either. It was fun to enter and a way to get my feet wet while stepping out of my comfort zone. I entered an original recipe I thought up just for the contest, and realized I had never come back to post it on the blog once it was done. You may not have cranberry sauce laying around in the end of March to use for this, but it would still be a good idea to pin for later or even give you an excuse to make homemade cranberry sauce one last time before the spring and summer.              

Recreating food using leftovers is a creative way to minimize food waste while hopefully not having to hear whining from small people for having the same food…. again. If I cook dinner one night and reheat it for another night I know they boys most likely will not want any part of the second time. I might get lucky if I can pass off the leftovers for lunch. By recreating and reworking them as I did in this dark chocolate cranberry banana bread, or how I did to chicken in my slow cooker chicken fajitas, those little ones are unaware they are eating something they already had for dinner. Double win!

Dark Chocolate Cranberry Banana Bread
Write a review
  1. 2 cups flour
  2. 1 tsp baking soda
  3. 1/4 tsp salt
  4. 1/2 cup coconut oil
  5. 3/4 cup brown sugar
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 2 bananas
  8. 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  9. 1/2 cup leftover cranberry sauce
  1. Preheat the oven to 350f.
  2. Mix flour, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Mix butter, brown sugar, eggs and banana in another bowl.
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Pour half of the batter into greased loaf pan, and then cover with cranberry sauce. Add the remaining half of the banana bread batter.
  5. Bake for 55-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  6. Enjoy!
Lemons and Laughs http://www.lemonsandlaughs.com/



cherry chocolate cupcakes

Cherry Coca-Cola Cupcakes

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FinalFourPack #CollectiveBias Coca-Cola is a corporate champion of the NCAA.

cherry chocolate cupcakes

I do not know what has gotten into me lately. Normally I am not a big soda drinker, but recently I have been craving some of the sweet bubbly stuff. When I was out shopping at Walmart I noticed the in-store display and promo for Coca-Cola NCAA® Final Four Pack and scooped up a few of each flavor once I saw they were 4 packs (16 cans) for $5 or 2 packs for $3. This special is timed perfectly for March Madness parties and watching the games. My husband and I could polish all three packs off easily, no help needed, but I put a few cans aside for recipes like this batch of Cherry Coca-Cola Cupcakes. Continue reading

S’mores Popcorn Bars

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #KidsChoiceDrink #CollectiveBias

smores popcorn bars

Is your house excited about watching the Kid’s Choice Awards on March 28th? The 8pm view time is a little close to bedtime, but we will let the boys stay up until they pass out. Keith and I are curious how many of the people and groups we voted for online are going to win this year. Of course no awards show would be complete without popcorn or a snack to go with it, and the Kid’s Choice Awards is no exception. My only two concerns that late (and in the family room) are that the drinks not be full of junk to make them bounce off the walls, and that the food not make a giant mess . A trip to Walmart was clearly in order. Continue reading

Homemade Tomato Soup

homemade tomato soup a

My middle child is sick. Backing up, last week my husband had that horrible bug that was going around. Just when my husband was over the stomach virus, my seven year old caught it. Luckily he caught it on a Friday night and was well in time for school Monday. On Sunday, we were out at my in laws’ diner and suddenly Jacob threw up. He did so a few more times throughout the night, and on Monday he was playing it safe and taking things easy food-wise. Graham crackers and water stayed down, and by dinner time I thought he was well enough to attempt soup. Of course we had none on hand, but I had a few cans of tomatoes Tuttorosso had sent recently for review. I pulled out the Tuttorosso Crushed Tomatoes and got to work. Continue reading

Blueberry Scones

blueberry scones

It is March and I am still not used to getting up and having to make breakfast on school days at 7:00am. I am really not a big breakfast person. I would be happy with a piece of fruit, cup of coffee, and then waiting to eat a bigger meal until brunch. Unfortunately I don’t have the patience to homeschool, so Keith has to get up and on the bus. I do not have the luxury of throwing him a banana and waiting until I am more human to feed him breakfast. Fortunately, my husband is a breakfast person an usually makes that meal. I do like to occasionally give him the day (or a few days) off, and bake something the night before that can be easily cut up or portioned out in the morning.  Continue reading

YumEarth Easter Flash Giveaway

yumearth easter flash giveaway

You know what I realized this morning? I had not done a giveaway in awhile. I finished up the Easter goodie shopping this weekend, and thought a nice flash giveaway to help fill your Easter baskets was in order. I spent all last night stuffing YumEarth Sour Beans and Gummy Bears I was sent for review into plastic eggs, but grabbed a few shots of the fun and festive packaging before eating them all  putting the remainder away for later. When I brought the excess upstairs, my husband promptly took off with the leftover Sour Beans and Fruit Snacks before Jacob noticed and started begging for lollipops.. This is why I need to hide the YumEarth packages downstairs until I am done photo ops; my family loves the candy as much as I do. Continue reading

The Paleo Chef: Quick, Flavorful Paleo Meals for Eating Well

The Paleo Chef: Quick, Flavorful Paleo Meals for Eating Well

We used to be pretty strict Paleo eaters. Paul did his Jiu Jitsu and eating clean was very important. The boys and I were on a more modified Paleo; we still ate mostly clean but the children had more “cheats” than an adult would and I ate more “cheats” because I was pregnant. Most of the feel good meals I normally cooked and loved I was able to convert into Paleo-friendly and a little reading taught me how to turn my baked goods Paleo-friendly as well. Then I had Michael, Paul paused Jiu Jitsu, and I started blogging about food full time. I am not saying we jumped totally off the Paleo grid, but we are not even “modified” anymore. I do make most dinners Paleo-friendly but as I am sure you know my desserts stayed decadent. There is no fear of me changing them, but I would like more healthier lunch and breakfast options to make up for the sinful desserts I cannot stop making. Continue reading

Homemade Extracts

Homemade extracts


If you cook or bake like I do then you go through extracts like crazy. I feel as though I am forever running out of the vanilla extract. The real and good stuff is not cheap and more often than I like I have to buy the imitation vanilla to complete a recipe. One big thing on my “homemade” to do list was to make extracts but I kept putting it off. Considering it only takes two ingredients (vodka and the leaves/peel of what type of extract) I am a little embarrassed that it took so long to make. When I found out I was chosen to review Leaf Vodka, I knew exactly what I would use it for: vanilla, mint, orange, and lemon extracts. Continue reading

85 Donut Recipes

85 Donut Recipes

Who doesn’t love donuts? I grew up getting donuts for breakfast every Saturday morning. My mom would run out and buy a dozen or so from the bakery, and we would all sit down and enjoy the sweetness together. Sunday mornings were proper homemade breakfasts, but Saturdays… Saturdays we a little puff of Heaven. Continue reading