Category Archives: ASM Entertains


Sweet Hospitality + Banana Nut Bread recipe

Preparing something in advance of someone’s impending arrival is such a nice thought. It lets that person know that they were thought of, that you are excited to see them and host them, and is a genuine way to show Christlike hospitality.

I really and truly believe that.

Food connects us. Food connects us to memories. And food connects us to new memories being made.

Plus, can you think of a better way to say “welcome to my home” than the smell of freshly baked goods?!?

Beats the pants off a candle or potpourri any day of the week.

Or maybe, you know someone in your life that needs some encouragement? That needs to feel cared for and loved by their community? Nothing says “I love you!” or “I’m thinking of you!” quite like fresh baked goods from your home.

It’s the ultimate in comfort.

So, here we go, let’s bake some banana bread…

Classic Banana Nut Bread Recipe 


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 4-5 ripe bananas peeled & mashed
  • 1.5 cups chopped pecans (walnuts would be great too)


1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter two loaf pans. (I grease pretty generously. No sense in baking bread if you can’t get it out of the pan!)

2. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This should take couple minutes.


3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each. Add the vanilla, buttermilk and bananas.


Mix until thoroughly combined.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.


5. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.


Add chopped pecans and fold in gently until all ingredients are mixed.


{Like all good Southern women, I have a plethora of pecans in my freezer. Just chop ’em up and throw ’em in!}

6. Divide batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Bake for approximately 1 hour. In my oven, these took exactly 55 minutes.



7.  Remove from oven and turn loaves out onto cooling rack immediately.


Let cool completely, slice, and top with all manner of deliciousness.


Also known as sweet butter or maybe even some cream cheese.

It’s a heavenly combination.

But, don’t just take my word for it….



Goat Cheese Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates

Man, oh man, oh man!  If that title didn’t suck you right in, the taste of these amazing, hand-held, sweet & savory appetizers certainly will!

And with the Holidays rolling around and lots of perfectly goo excuses for getting together, I am sharing one of my all-time favorite appetizer recipes with you… again!

SO incredibly delicious and so stinking easy.

All you need are 3 simple ingredients:

  • Pitted Medjool Dates*
  • Softened Goat Cheese
  • Bacon

*Note on the dates- I do believe that Medjool or Persian dates are larger and chewier than California dates, and I think they have more flavor and produce a tastier appetizer. Also, look for already split and pitted dates for easier assembly.

So, here we go! Just a few minutes and a little bit of prep away from cheesy, sweet, bacon wrapped bliss!

Goat Cheese Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates 

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Line a rimmed baking sheet or flat cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil for even-easier clean-up!

Stuff the opening of each pitted date with softened goat cheese, press lightly with your fingers to “close”, and then wrap each date in 1/2 slice of bacon.

You can choose to secure these little bundles with a toothpick, or like I do, just place them seam side down on the baking sheet, and as the bacon bakes and crisps, they will form a seal.

It’s okay if the bacon stretches just a bit and tears, it will all bake deliciously together in the oven!

Place the dates in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the bacon is crisp. Allow to rest on the baking sheet or baking pan for an additional 10-15 minutes before placing them on a serving plate. They will be very, very hot otherwise and the cheese in the center is gooey and molten.

They are also excellent served at room temperature, but I must admit, I can’t get enough when they are still warm from the oven.

The flavor combination is unlike anything! Salty, sweet, chewy, and of course- the BACON! I promise you will not able to eat just one.

And, the good news is, you can make as many as you need- ideal for small, intimate dinner parties, tailgates, cocktail parties, and even for a fancy family holiday.

For even easier entertaining, just assemble, arrange on the baking sheet, wrap with plastic wrap,  and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days ahead of your party.  Approximately an hour before guests arrive, bake as directed and allow to cool slightly. Then, when guests arrive, they are perfect for serving!


I know you are going to love this one…

And when you make them, and I am convinced that you should, would you please invite me over?!?