Nutella Banana Bread

Sometimes I’ll buy extra bananas just to let them ripen a little to long and turn them into moist banana bread.  It’s perfect for breakfast, snacks or dessert.  I’ve recently started taking my Grandma’s classic recipe and turning it into something a little extra special by adding spoonfuls of Nutella.  Gram never got to try this version of her recipe, but I’m certain she would approve of my Nutella banana bread! <3

nutella banana bread from alyssa and carla

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Crispy Cinnamon Granola (in Yogurt Parfaits!)

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CrispyComeback #CollectiveBiasCrispy Cinnamon Granola (in Yogurt Parfaits!) | Alyssa & CarlaM&M’s® Crispy are back in stores and I’m still not over it.  I can’t believe that I had never tried them before and I’m so glad that there were enough fans out there to cover for me and make sure that these tasty little treats returned to the store shelves!

Since the crispy rice centers are so crunchy, they practically asked me to include them in a batch of spicy cinnamon granola.  The granola is so yummy on its own, but create the whole yogurt parfait for a knockout treat.  I’m pretty sure you’re going to become a fan.

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Weekly Love Letter For Friday, April 10th

Our regular readers may have noticed that we’ve been slightly less active on the blog lately.  Our cookbook deadline is approaching, and we’ve been furiously working on writing, recipe testing, shooting photos, editing and re-editing!  It’s been a really fun experience so far, but it’s quite time consuming.  Stick with us and we’ll be more consistent on the blog very soon!

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“I know the topic of chiropractors can elicit pretty strong responses, both for and against, but I’m not sure what I’d do without ours!  We have a really wonderful one here who attempts to correct years of bad posture and sorts out all of our aches and pains after long flights and hours of desk work.  l’ve really been making him work as we approach our book deadline and I spend way too much time at my makeshift desk (the dining room table and chair), which is probably the opposite of ergonomically designed!).”

*Gnocchi recipes everywhere!  I really want to try this one and this one.  And this less-traditional one.

*A balloon centerpiece is such a fantastic party idea. 

*I’ve been bit by the travel bug hard, and all of these travel guides aren’t helping!  2 weeks until French Polynesia…

“Ok, so, I’ve HEARD people say that you should stay away from all airports in the Chicago area, but I’ve never EXPERIENCED the reason until last night.  Coming back from a (very, very delicious) work trip was less than awesome.  I’m not the most nervous flier, but I’m certainly no pro.  When Alyssa tells me again that she loves lightening I’m really going to have to investigate further.  You know what’s better than scary weather?  SUNSHINE.

And in case you’re headed to Chicago soon, I can tell you all about Girl & The Goat, The Purple Pig, Xoco (one of Alyssa’s faves!), and Farmhouse!”

* A sweet article on the joy of catching others in a vulnerable and unaware moment.  I’ve been pondering this very thing since I was a teenager and an English teacher gave voice to the feeling.  Love it.

* Last weekend I hosted my family (sort of) for Easter dinner.  (“Sort of” refers to the fact that my mom and oldest sister brought ALL the food and my mom cleaned the ENTIRE kitchen even though we have a dishwasher and it was probably cleaner when they left than when they arrived- she’s in so much trouble.)  We served the kids an iced tea blend of hibiscus and chamomile sweetened with a bit of honey since we’ve heard it might have some calming properties.  Not sure if it actually made a difference, but the day was a total success and the tea was delicious.  This is my favorite organic version if you want to try it.

Vegan.  Mayan.  Drinking.  Chocolate.  Says it all.

One year ago: Apple pie bites using wonton wrappers.  Change up the filling and use some of these early berries that are showing up in the markets!

DIY Chalkboard Countdown Magnet

diy magnetic chalkboard countdown square at

Yes!  That’s right!  The hubby and I going to French Polynesia!  We’ll be there for almost TWO WEEKS.  We’re island hopping from Tahiti, then to its sister island of Mo’orea, and on to Bora Bora for a few nights in one of those overwater bungalows.  We’re both so excited, that we wake up each morning and count down the days.  It made me think that we need to count down to more things! Birthdays, holidays, trips and visitors.

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Cookbook: Clean Slate

Cookbook: Clean Slate | Alyssa & Carla

 I’ve never met a store I didn’t like.  And bookstores are no exception.  The cookbook aisle of a bookstore?  Ding ding ding!  Well, now you’ve lost me for several hours.  Come back to help me with my bulging bag?

As a total Martha Stewart fan (did you SEE that woman at the Justin Beiber roast?  MY GOODNESS.), I have been super excited to get my hands on this new cookbook– by the editors of Martha Stewart Living– which claims to be more than “just” a cookbook.  The concept is the creation of a whole guide, a map that propels you toward healthier eating with information about what kind of foods to keep around the house, the ingredients you should be looking for and simple menus for detoxing.

Cookbook: Clean Slate | Alyssa & CarlaI might be showing my California here, but this book resonated with me in the simplest way: it reminded me of the foods that I already keep on hand and the types of recipes I cook for dinner every night.  I love, love, loved the first part of this book (Part 1: Reset) which outlined the Golden Rules of Eating and included info about super foods and meal plans using the recipes included in later parts of the guide.

Cookbook: Clean Slate | Alyssa & Carla

 If you’re looking for a healthy-eating plan, I totally recommend picking this one up as a great starting point.  The recipes are simple and accessible, the photos are lovely and tone is friendly, energetic and calm all at the same time.  And yes, desserts are included, in case you’re wondering.

Cookbook: Clean Slate | Alyssa & CarlaIf you’re wondering what my favorite recipes from the book have been so far, I really loved the Swiss Chard Salad with Poached Egg and the Broccoli and Brown Rice Salad with Pumpkin Seeds.  Next up?  The Almond Crusted Chicken Breast with Spinach.  (Told you.  This is healthy food done right, not scary.)

Cookbook: Clean Slate | Alyssa & Carla

 I received Clean Slate from Blogging for Books for this review.  Thanks for reading!  :)

5 Tips for Stress Free Party Planning

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

With fun outdoor celebrations right around the corner (think Easter, graduations, outdoor BBQs and cookouts, and weddings), we wanted to take a little time to discuss some of our favorite tips for stress free party planning!  Alyssa is a fantastic hostess, so we put our heads together and came up with some great tips for a successful event in partnership with SNICKERS® and their #WhenImHungry campaign!

(Aw, thanks, Carla! I just have lots of practice and come from a big family that gets together often! xo, A)

5 Tips for Stress Free Party Planning | Alyssa & Carla

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Dark Chocolate Irish Coffee

Dark Chocolate Irish Coffee | Alyssa & CarlaIrish coffee isn’t something we drink every day, so it’s meant to be a bit indulgent. We’ve gone a step further and replaced the standard sugar with an even better substitute: dark chocolate syrup. It helps take some of the edge off.

If you didn’t think you liked Irish coffee before, this version might change your mind. So when you need some help powering through a long day of St. Patrick’s Day revelry, try this Dark Chocolate Irish Coffee for a caffeinated, chocolaty, boozy treat.

Dark Chocolate Irish Coffee
Makes 1 drink

1.5 oz Irish whiskey
1.5 oz Bailey’s Irish Cream
1 tablespoon dark chocolate syrup
1 cup hot coffee
Whipped cream

optional garnish: chocolate shavings

Pour coffee into a heatproof cup. Add the dark chocolate syrup and stir to dissolve. Add the whiskey and Bailey’s. Top with a generous dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle on some chocolate shavings.

Dark Chocolate Irish Coffee | Alyssa & Carla


*** Last year we were lucky enough to be selected to create a few cocktail recipes for a fellow blog.  Since they were never run here on A&C, we thought we’d repost them for you to try!  Hope you enjoy these tasty recipes! ***

Update for RSS Feed Readers and Subscribers!

Hi A&C Readers!  This is a quick service announcement, we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming shortly.  :)

We recently noticed  that our feed reader was pushing correctly to various feed readers, but we’d been missing the feed which  delivers to our email subscribers! We’re so sorry for the oversight.  It should be fixed and delivering to your inbox as usual.

In the meantime, you have missed some posts over the past couple weeks.  Here’s an easy list to get you back on track!

Mexican Chocolate Milkshakes (with M&M’s® Crispy Topping!)
Weekly Love Letter for Friday, March 6th
Japanese Spinach with Sesame Dressing (Hourensou no goma-ae)
Candied Kumquats (and Vanilla Bean Kumquat Syrup!)
Creamy Chipotle Shrimp Tacos
Weekly Love Letter for Friday, Feb 20th
4 DIY Beauty Products to #BendTheRules with HP x360
One Pot Pasta– Linguine with Lemony Mushroom & Onion Sauce

Thanks, as always, for reading and commenting and listening.  We’re super grateful for all of you.

xo, Alyssa & Carla

Mexican Chocolate Milkshakes (with M&M’s® Crispy Topping!)

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

I’m a girl who likes candy.  Like, in a major way.  I don’t even discriminate: bring me the fruity kind, the chocolate-y kind, the nutty kind, the crispy kind.  I’m equal opportunity. You know what’s even better than candy?  Dessert *with* candy.  A two-for-one, if you will.  

Mexican Chocolate Milkshakes | Alyssa & Carla

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