Cooking with Katie


Good morning!!! I don't know about you guys but when the weather turns cool like this, I turn to warmer foods (like spicy veggie chili) & BREAKFAST BAKED GOODS. Okay, okay. You guys know me. It doesn't have to be cold for me to turn to baked goods in the morning... but I sure do appreciate a warm slice of banana bread on a cool fall morning. YUM.

I obsess over banana bread. I think it might be genetic. Or maybe it was a learned behavior. Seriously though, for my entire childhood I lived with Katie & this banana bread -- I was bound to become a banana bread obsessor. What's really cool about this banana bread is that the secret (or not so secret because I just posted it to the internet) ingredient is.... drumroll please....  YOGURT! It makes the bread extremely moist, soft & delicious. 

Here's the rest of our characters:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 t(easpoon) baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 container regular vanilla yogurt (NOT light or greek)
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 3 ripe medium-large bananas, mashed 
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or chocolate chips (or both!!)

Let's get started!

Just for you to note -- we doubled this recipe so Katie could send one loaf home to our littlest sister, Colleen & I could still keep one too :) Anyway, the instructions & recipes are for ONE loaf, but my pictures are from two. Confusing? Sorry, but I really wanted to keep a loaf to myself.

Preheat the oven to 325. 

Grease 9 x 5 x3 loaf pan and dust with flour. 

Combine flour (2 cups), baking soda (1 t) & salt (1/4 t) in a bowl. Set aside.

With a hand mixer, mix egg (one), sugar (1 & 1/4 cup) & vegetable oil (1/2 cup) until well combined. This will be about 2 minutes.

Add the flour mixture you set aside into the egg mixture. 

When blended, add the yogurt (one container), vanilla (1/2 t) & mashed bananas (three). Mix well (but don't over do it!). 

Fold in walnuts (or chocolate chips if your name is Annie). Like I said, we doubled all the ingredients & did one of each.

Pour into pan & top with more walnuts.  Bake 45-60 min or until toothpick comes out clean.        

Are you drooling? I demolished this bread in just a few mornings. Banana bread is my elixir. What other morning baked goods do you indulge during fall?? Tell me. Baked goods are the biggest part of my diet.

XOXO guys! Thanks for reading!!


Today is the first full day of Fall! That means cooler temperatures & warmer foods :) Now, two of my sisters are vegetarians, & the rest of us are basically. SO, for the second Cooking with Katie feature we made a Family Staple: Spicy Veggie Chili. This recipe was adapted ever so slightly from Joy the Baker. Do not be intimidated -- it's very easy! Just a lot of chopping & a lot of veggies (it is vegetable-tarian, after all) (smirk emoji).

You will need: (Seems like a lot but it's mostly veggies) (which, by the way, were pleasantly affordable!)

  • 2 T(ablespoons) olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 zucchini, diced (I just learned zucchini is the same thing as "zucchini squash" while shopping for these).
  • 1 yellow squash, diced
  • 5 smallish cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 or 2 jalapeno pepper(s), seeds removed + diced
  • 1 can of beer (I used Mad Tree's The Great PumpCAN because, why not?!)
  • 3 heaping T steak seasoning (McCormick is best!)
  • 2 heaping T chili powder
  • 1 T cumin
  • 1 t(easpoon) coriander
  • 1/3 c barbecue sauce (Montgomery Inn, because it's Cincinnati)
  • 1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 15-oz can kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1 15-oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 or 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 -2 ears fresh corn kernels..or a cup of frozen

In a large pot over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onions & saute until translucent & slightly browned. (Don't stir them too much or they wont start to brown.) 

Add the peppers & zucchini & cook for 4-5 minutes, until they begin to soften.

Add garlic, jalapeno & all of the spices into the cooking vegetables. 

Side Note: The jalepenos are a big part of the "Spicy" in Vegetartian Chili. To decide if your recipe requires one or two, literally tongue test it. After one second, if your tongue is on fire -- one will be just fine. (I dove for the kitchen faucet moments after this.)

Cook for two minutes. It's going to look pretty thick & kinda goopy...that's normal!

TIme to add the beer! It's very important to taste test, of course :) 

The beer will do something called "deglaze" the pan. Keep the pan hot + scrape all the good stuff off the bottom. 

Once the beer has stopped sizzling, add the barbecue sauce, beans, diced tomatoes, corn & vegetable stock. 

Bring to a low boil & cook for at least 15 minutes. 

Serve with some plain greek yogurt + shredded cheese!

beer bread, of course ;)


Hellllo!!! Welcome to Magical Simplicity's first food post featuring my lovely sister Katie! We are excited to jump into a new series for you. (Don't be fooled though, I am definitely the one benefitting most from this endeavor.) (I get all the left overs.) We thought we'd start you off with a simple recipe: Beer Bread. My family loves bread. I don't mean like. We. Love. Bread.  How much? I didn't know that built-in "bread drawers" weren't standard for all American kitchens until I was in college. What's cool about this recipe is that the beer acts as your yeast - so you don't need to let it rise & it's only six ingredients. Let's get started :)

You will need:

  • 3 cups All-Purpose Flour, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Honey
  • 1 tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 can or bottle of Beer

(Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.) I'm going to include this step because I didn't know how to sift flour (smirk emoji). So, you need one of these tiny little strainers (above). I'm told it's called asieve. Before you measure out your flour you want to shake it through the sieve. Katie says this is what makes the bread fluffy (I've never done this step in the past + can confirm it makes a big difference). So, sift your flour and measure out 3 cups.

Now add the rest of your dry ingredients: 1T baking powder, 2T sugar, 1t salt. Stir to combine.

Add honey (2T) and beer (1 can)(any beer will do, but lagers + ales are best) (I, however, have a true love for Mad Tree's PshycHOPathy that I could not betray).

Stir gently until just combined. Dump into greased loaf pan. 

Bake 45 minutes - 1 hour.

& enjoy! This is the best bread in the land & the perfect side, always. But you know what it goes best with? Vegetarian Chili. Recipe coming next week :) Update:  here it is!