Orange White Chocolate Banana Muffins

Orange White Chocolate Banana Muffins

Hello Everyone! And hello Fall! Where did Summer go? Is it just me, or did it seem to fly by? I feel like it was just the beginning of June, and now here we are with temperatures starting to dip down a bit, and leaves already beginning to turn! Oh well. Goodbye shorts and tank tops, and hello warm layers, and pumpkin spiced everything!

Today I'm sharing a little recipe I whipped up for fun, not expecting it to turn out half as good as it did. I am the queen of banana bread, and I am always looking for ways to take it up a notch (usually with a dash of something boozy). Searching through my liquor cabinet while on the phone with my hubby, I asked what he thought might be good, listing a few items we had on hand, and he thought Cointreau would be a tasty addition. I went with it, and tossed in some white chocolate chips, thinking that it might taste something like a cross between banana bread and an orange creamsicle. The result...amazingness!!! So, I'm breaking my dry spell to share this awesome and easy recipe with you!

Orange White Chocolate Banana Muffins

Orange White Chocolate Banana Muffins


1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

2 cups flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/3 tsp salt

1/4 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

1 Tbs orange liqueur

Zest of 1 small orange

3 over ripened bananas, mashed (the darker, the better)

1 cup white chocolate chips (add more if you like)

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 325F.

In a large bowl, cream the butter. Next, add the sugar, brown sugar, and eggs. In a separate bowl, combine flour, soda, and salt. Slowly add dry mixture to wet, mixing just to combine. Add remaining ingredients, milk, vanilla, orange liqueur, orange zest, mashed bananas, and finish by stirring in chocolate chips. Careful not to over mix.  Pour into well greased muffin tin. I filled mine up to get these big yummy muffins. Bake for 30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean from the center of muffins. So easy! Makes 12 large muffins.

These muffins are so moist and delicious, you won't be able to get enough of them!

Orange White Chocolate Banana Bread

Flowers, Friends, and Fully Recharged

The last couple of weeks have seemingly been leading me down this path of inspiration. The Art of the Flower exhibit at the VMFA seemed to get things off to a running start. I paid several visits to this collection, and felt myself moved and utterly inspired to create. You may remember reading about it in one of my previous posts. I returned to the museum this week to walk the galleries with my friend Victoria of Our Wander Life, who talked about our visit on her post How I Got My Groove Back at the VMFA. I mirror her sentiments about being moved by the beauty of some pieces, and having my creative spirit re energized. Something about being surrounded by art and beauty, fuels that deeply rooted drive I have to express myself in an inspired artistic way. I think it is always good to find something that can boost that energy when it starts to get low. So happy to have a friend and place I can do that with! Here are a couple of shots Victoria got of me during our visit to the museum.

I also recently learned about a group here in Richmond called the Children's Home Society; dedicated to finding forever homes for at risk children in foster care. I subject I have been passionate about for many years, and one that few people are educated on. This group not only works to place children in loving homes, but also to provide a continual support system for these families. Some of the statistics I learned were absolutely heartbreaking, and have me wanting to learn more about how I can help. Learn more at their website. This also reminded me of one of my absolute favorite books, White Oleander by Janet Fitch; the narrative of a young girl who is struggling to find her identity after being thrust into foster care, after her mother is arrested for murdering her lover. I immediately went out and bought another copy and dove in. For me, wanting to read this over and over again, is like a craving for a that rich, decadent dessert you have at a restaurant you can only afford to go to once a year. You gorge yourself; savoring every indulgent bite, knowing you'll pay for it later, and remember the taste long after it's gone. If you haven't read it, you should do so immediately! I also now understand why people join book clubs! You want someone to talk about it with when you're done reading!

To get away, and relax, Keith and I spent the last two weekends at Virginia Beach, watching the water and soaking up some Vitamin D! It was really quite nice. Absolutely nothing to do, but enjoy ourselves. Last weekend, we had an unexpected surprise in that MOCA was having their 60th annual Boardwalk Art Show. Despite the heat, over 250 artists had tents set up, displaying their creative wares. Browsing the booths, and stumbled upon the gorgeous photography of Laura DeNardo, who is based in Baltimore, Maryland. Not only does she have an incredible eye for captivating imagery, but she actually makes her own prints in a dark room! An art I had the privilege to learn in high school, and hold in high regards, as well as a dying art. I had to pick up a couple of prints and do my part support such a special talent. Seemingly stuck on the floral kick, I grabbed these two flower prints, and found some pretty blue frames to hang them in. Take a look at her fantastic photos on her website and see if there is anything that captures your eye!

Here's hoping my inspiration train keeps on track and keeps bringing you fresh ideas! Have a great weekend guys!