Banana Nut Crunch Smoothie Recipe
Thanks so much to Blendtec for providing me with the BlendTec Designer 725 Blender and Twister Jar — and for providing one for a lucky reader to win! All thoughts and opinions are my own, as always.
I’ve been drinking this banana nut smoothie from a little restaurant here in Raleigh like it’s going out of style, but I think I like the idea of it more than I like the taste. Honestly, my reaction when I took my first sip was, "Eh. I could do better." It tasted like banana, but when I think of "banana nut," I think of the deep, rich flavor of banana nut bread — not the sweet, raw flavor of fresh bananas.
Fast forward to me lying in bed with a fiery porcupine of a tonsil in my throat, unable to swallow, much less speak. I've battled my ornery tonsils (especially the left one, that jerk) for decades. Whenever my left tonsil swells up to the size of a small vehicle, I know I'm in for a solid week of unsolid foods.
Strawberry Sour Cream Kuchen
Six years ago I sat down at my computer and wrote my first post on Willow Bird Baking. Since then, I've grown as a blogger in many ways, but perhaps most significantly in my photography. Great photographs seem simple and attainable — surely we can all position a dishtowel and plate of food on a table? — but are surprisingly elusive. The good news is that there are a few simple tricks that can dramatically improve your photos.
one of my first photos (left) versus today's photos
Here are 5 of the most important things you can do to improve your photography:
Buttery Almond Pastry Braid
I made you another pastry braid, because I can't help myself. But before we get to that, how about some wedding talk? My wedding was over a year ago, but it only just occurred to me that I could share how I threw together an inexpensive wedding.
Have you noticed that just adding the word "wedding" to any product increases the price exponentially? Wedding plates are more expensive than regular plates. Wedding shoes are more expensive than regular shoes. Wedding venues are more expensive than regular venues. My friend was drowning in her own wedding costs recently and threatening to throw herself off a (scenic, perfect for weddings!) cliff. When she asked for advice, I decided to put together a little outline of how I managed to have a crazy cheap (less than $1,000) wedding.
Almond Coconut Pastry Braid
Even though I teach middle school, I forget how critically embarrassed middle school kids can be. I don't even mean how embarrassed they can be when something embarrassing happens. I mean just their every day basal level of embarrassment. If the general population is on ground level, they're up on the 25th floor of Embarrassment Tower. And probably hiding in a closet.
I'm sure there are some kids who don't struggle with this, but there are plenty who do. Even the ones who are outwardly thriving will privately acknowledge the ways social anxiety affects their choices. It's normal and thankfully it fades away by college, where you realize that singing "Hakuna Matata" while dancing around the student union in your duck pajamas won't make your friends look at you funny -- perhaps because they're in their Ninja Turtle pajamas and singing Pumbaa's part. But in middle school, every kid is watching the dude next to him, trying to decide what's normal.