Chocolate Raspberry Banana Bread

This is my spring spin on banana bread! In preparation of my uncle Andrew’s birthday, I asked what his favorite flavor combo is. I was having a craving¬†to make banana bread and when he said his favorite combo was chocolate raspberry — BOOM! This idea hit me. ūüôā The bread is so moist and absolutely delicious! Simple to prepare¬†and you’ll only have one bowl to clean! Enjoy!

You’ll need:

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

4 mashed ripe bananas

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1 cup fresh raspberries

1. Cream together the butter and sugar. Mix in the mashed bananas and eggs. Add the vanilla and give it one more quick mix.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.

3. Add in to the wet ingredients and mix until well combined.

4. Wash the raspberries and pull them in half. You can cut them if you choose, but I thought pulling them apart was just faster. Gently, fold the raspberries and chocolate chips into the batter.

5. Grease a loaf pan with butter or baking spray. Add your mixture. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Check on it halfway through and if the top is getting too brown for your taste, just place a piece of tin foil over the top of the bread!IMG_2909

I know this will be a true test of patience… but wait until the bread is completely cool before taking out of the pan and slicing!



Pop’s Cornbread (secret family recipe…)

Watch my grandfather teach you how to make his family famous cornbread!

As I have said before, I am very family oriented and am very grateful to have all of my grandparents healthy and happy in their early to mid 80s. ¬†I want to make videos with them to share family recipes not only for the purposes of Chef Stef, but for posterity. I know that one day in the future I will be so happy I made these. ¬†You should do the same! ¬†If you don’t have a video camera, use your phone! ¬†Or, you can buy a little flip video camera on ebay for $30. (They discontinued, but only because phones have good quality videos now so they lost popularity. ¬†But flip videos are actually great cameras. I use a flip for all of my videos! ¬†They are extremely user friendly, point and shoot cameras and it probably weighs half a pound. ¬†You should get one now while they’re so cheap before they’re gone!)

The next issue was, which of the 4 grandparents is going to do it first? ¬†Since it was my birthday on the 18th, I convinced my grandparents who live in Long Island to come the night before. ¬†I kept telling Pop that I wanted him to make me cornbread for my birthday.¬†I subtly mentioned to him that we may make a video.¬†It’s the idea of doing it that stresses him out. ¬†He is 86, afterall.¬†I knew if I had everything set up and pressed record, he would do it. ¬†And he did. He ate that camera up. Some of that he did all on his own. ¬†I started to put his girly apron on to match me and he didn’t object in the least. He’s the original ham. ¬†I got some of my spunk from him. And as you can see by the outtakes, we had a blast doing it. ¬†We laughed the entire morning! ¬†My grandma was there too, in the peanut gallery, cracking up behind the camera. Mom was filming. ¬†I knew I wouldn’t be able to work the camera like I usually do and concentrate on Pop! And she did a great job. (Thanks, mom!)

It really is a very simple recipe.  If you like spicy, my grandfather sometimes dices up a few jalepenos and throws them in the batter!

Here’s your grocery list:

2 cups of flour

1 cup yellow cornmeal (I didn’t mention this in the video because Pop didn’t realize until after, that he usually mixes half cup of course cornmeal and half cup of regular. ¬†It gives it a bit more texture. ¬†But course cornmeal is sometimes difficult to find, so regular works just as well.)

3/4 cup of sugar

2 tablespoons of butter (1 for the recipe, 1 to coat the pan so it doesn’t stick!)

2 eggs

3/4 teaspoon of salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 1/2 cups of milk


Set your oven to 425¬į

In one bowl, beat the 2 eggs and add the sugar. Set aside.

In another bowl, mix all of your dry ingredients. Sift the flour, add the cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Now mix in your milk and melted 1 tablespoon of butter. It’s going to be a bit dry, so don’t worry, that’s correct.

Now, add the egg and sugar mixture. You can see what the consistency should look like of all the ingredients mixed together at 2:32.

At 2:37, we have no idea what Pop was singing…and neither does he! He started singing this random Italian song that we’ve never heard him sing before. We asked what it was and he said he had no idea. ¬†It’s amazing that he sometimes seems like he’s losing his memory, and yet, he will pull a song out of nowhere that he probably hasn’t heard since the 1940s. Crazy.

Take your loaf pan and put the other tablespoon of butter in it. ¬†You can put the pan in the oven to melt the butter, or just melt it the usual way you melt butter. ¬†The goal is to coat the loaf pan so it doesn’t stick! ¬†Taking any cake out of any pan is always scary because if it cracks in half because it’s stuck… well, it’ll taste good but it won’t look very fancy! So always over butter. ¬†A little extra butter in this one instance won’t kill you!

Put your batter in the pan and place in the oven for about 30-40 minutes. ¬†Turn the pan around 20 minutes in. ¬†It may look burned on top, but it’s really okay. ¬†Everyone’s ovens are different. ¬†Ours came out a little darker on the top than it does when it bakes in Pop’s oven. ¬†It didn’t taste any different though. ¬†It was the thinnest layer at the top that was very brown. Around 30 minutes, take it out and stick a toothpick in. ¬†In Pop’s oven it takes 30 minutes, in my oven it took 42 minutes until the toothpick came out clean. ¬†Keep an eye on it! ¬†Be sure to stick the toothpick in the middle, the thickest part, not the ends.

Pop wanted to share with you all where he got the recipe at 3:19. ¬†I didn’t tell him to do that! He said, “Can I tell them where I got it?” The Durgin Park restaurant he’s talking about still exists in a very famous, touristy part of downtown Boston called Faneuil Hall. ¬†I think it’s been around since the 1800s. ¬†Isn’t it funny that back in the day, in the 1940s, my grandfather said, “Your cornbread is great,¬†can I have the recipe?” and they handed it over? I triple dog dare you to ask any restaurant for a recipe now without getting laughed at! Every restaurant is super secretive now. I have one good guess as to why that is. ¬†Because most restaurants no longer use all the real ingredients because it’s expensive. They look for cheaper shortcuts, for fillers. For example, when someone in my family told a waitress that she couldn’t have the bun on her burger for gluten reasons, the waitress proceeded to tell us, “well there is oatmeal IN our burgers…” ¬†AKA, they use oats as a filler because meat is expensive. And wait… oats in a burger?? ¬†1. Who would have thought and 2. Ew?

Start cooking more and eating out less! ¬†At least if you make your own food… you’ll know what’s in it…

Once your cornbread is done, it can be eaten warm or cold, with or without butter. If there is any leftover, store it in tin foil in a drawer or fridge if you plan on keeping it for a few days.

IMG_6612 YUM!

This picture below was taken of Pop and my dad on my birthday in 2011.  Everyone bought me aprons because I was getting serious about starting Chef Stef!  Then life happened, and it took another 2 years to finally get it going.

IMG_0937 Real men wear aprons.

And that’s it! The outtakes are all entertaining, so watch the video til the end if you need a laugh!

Stay tuned for more episodes with my other 3 grandparents! It’s going to take a bit more convincing for them. ¬†But, I’m so sneaky, my plan worked! ¬†I knew if I got just one of them to do it, the rest would get jealous. ¬†They did. ¬†So now they’re all talking about what they’re going to make on my show. ¬†Teeheeheeeee!

Have a FABULOUS, beautiful Fall weekend!

Chef Stef

Butterscotch Bread Pudding

“Oh, a dinner party?…Tonight?…Bring a dessert?…Suuuuure.”

Do you need to make something FAST? ¬†I’ve got just the thing for you! ¬†Watch this video before continuing to read!

I have made an incredible amount of desserts in my relatively short lifetime.  This is by far the most simple, most sinful, most exquisite dessert ever.  Ever.

I’m not sure if it’s because the entire world is addicted to bread, that the vanilla ice cream melted in makes it divine, or that your taste buds usually do not have the pleasure of butterscotch. ¬†Whatever it is, I guarantee every single person at that dinner party will ask you for the recipe.

It’s almost disgusting how simple it is to bake! ¬†And this is all you will have to clean… One bowl. ¬†One fork. ¬†One pan.

I’m also not sure why some people think “Bread pudding? That sounds gross.” I don’t know why it’s called ‘pudding’, but it’s definitely not the consistency of pudding. ¬†Try it before you diss it. ¬†Don’t judge a dessert by its awkward, unfortunate name.

Grocery list:

1 loaf of bread – any bread you’d like. ¬†I think classic white bread tastes best, I wouldn’t try to be healthy and use whole wheat. ¬†But you can try challah, semolina, italian, croissants, whatev. ¬†(No that’s not a bread, just my shortened version of ‘whatever’, because I’m cool like that.) ¬†Shoot for something that doesn’t have a super hard, thick crust and it will be perfect.

1 stick of butter – that’s a half of a cup for people that live in places that don’t sell sticks of butter. ¬†I had no idea until I was in Canada and they only sell blocks of butter!

3 eggs

4 cups of whole milk (seriously, don’t try to skimp on calories for this recipe.)

2 teaspoons of vanilla

2 cups of light brown sugar. ¬†If you’re using a sweeter bread, use less. Use your judgement. ¬†Somewhere between 1 1/2 to 2 cups.

1 cup of butterscotch chips. As you can see in the video, I don’t measure those very accurately… they’re the best part! (If you choose chocolate chips instead, use more like a half of a cup because they are MUCH more overpowering than the butterscotch. Still delish, but when I made it with 1 cup of chocolate, I made a mental note to never use that much again!

Set your oven to 350¬į.

In a BIG bowl, beat 3 eggs. Add in the half cup of melted butter, the vanilla, the brown sugar.  Mix.

Add in the milk. (Yes, that’s me playing some part of some flute piece that I probably learned in high school.)

Add the butterscotch chips.  Mix. Then just rip apart the bread and throw it in.

*Insider info: I took piano lessons for years and wasn’t a fan. ¬†I now regret the decision to quit in 10th grade, however I am proud that I still have a good solid 5 pieces memorized in my arsenal. The piano piece I am playing is C.P.E Bach’s Solfeggietto. ¬†If you are wondering if I played the piano at a slow speed and sped it up like the video, I did not. ¬†The pitch of the piano would have gotten higher if I did. ¬†And in the middle, when it gets faster, I just moved my fingers faster, I didn’t cheat and speed it up! Just wanted to clarify ūüėČ ¬†The funny part is though, I’ve actually never played it that well before, or that well after. ¬†I almost gave up on it because no recording was coming out good enough. ¬†I gave myself another chance. While I was recording the take I ended up using, I was thinking, “Holy crap, is this real life? Just get to the end, get to the end!” And somehow, I did. ¬†It was meant to be!*

When I say butter your pan lightly, I’m referring to stinky baking pans that some people have. ¬†If you have one that’s a good one, you don’t need to butter it. ¬†If you have one that food constantly sticks in, coat the pan with a little butter or baking Pam. (which is just sprayable, fake butter flavored chemicals, so throw that away and buy some butter!)

Put your mixture in the 13×9 pan. ¬†Put in the oven for about 45-60 minutes. ¬†Keep an eye on it because if you didn’t know, every single household’s oven is different and unreliable. You should invest in a little oven thermometer (like $5) and most likely, you’ll discover¬†it’s actually higher or lower than the temperature it says it is!

When it’s slightly brown on top and not too jiggly, take it out!



It will make your house smell amazing. ¬†Definitely a good thing to make for that dinner party so when people come in, they will be overwhelmed with delight! ¬†And even better, if the conversation is lagging, just bring out the bread pudding, you’ll have plenty to talk about! ¬†Including the awesome person and YouTube channel you found this recipe on!!

Best option, eating right after it comes out of the oven.  Plop some vanilla ice cream on top.  Watch it melt.  Savor every bite.

Another just as good option, cut a piece, put it in a (microwavable) bowl, and heat just for 30-40 seconds.  Plop some vanilla ice cream on top.  Watch it melt.  Savor every bite.



If you try it out, let me know!! Post a pic of it on my facebook page!

Happy baking!

Chef Stef