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Babies, BlogHer and Banana Bars (Recipe: Frosted Banana Bars)

Leah Meets Paula Deen BlogHer 2009 from Kristen Doyle on Vimeo.

The video above is of Paula Deen chatting with Leah during her appearance at BlogHer. Paula was hilarious, genuine and really an overall neat person! Seeing her was definitely one of the many highlights of BlogHer.

I returned from the BlogHer conference in Chicago yesterday and since that return, so many thoughts and ideas have been swimming around in my head. For those of you who are thinking about attending a BlogHer conference sometime in the future (next year is in NYC!) I highly recommend that you do so. Here are some of my random thoughts about the BlogHer 2009 conference.

  • My friend Sandie (from Inn Cuisine) and I were roomies. Sandie and I met through our blogs a couple of years ago and have been fast friends since. It was so nice to get to hang out with her and get to know her better. It has been a very long time since I have laughed as hard as I did (so hard that at one point I spewed water all over our bathroom mirror because she said something hilarious when I was trying to brush my teeth!) Thank you, Sandie, for being such a great friend!
  • As you know, I was so nervous about taking Leah with me to BlogHer. It ended up being great having her there. Granted, I was tired because of lugging her around for four days and we didn’t really go to any of the parties (and there are a LOT of parties happening at BlogHer) but she was one extremely popular little chick! She had to have had her picture taken at least 100 times. I met a lot of really nice people simply because they came up and started talking to me about Leah. If you are thinking about bringing your baby to BlogHer in the future, I personally think it is fine to do. There is a crazy amount of controversy surrounding the topic, but I say to go with your gut… overall, BlogHer is very welcoming to babies. As Paula Deen says above, it is wonderful that BlogHer doesn’t make moms of young babies make a choice.
  • I have to say, in all honesty, I didn’t learn a ton from the sessions I attended, but I did pick up a few very valuable nuggets of info. By and far the best part about attending BlogHer was getting to connect with so many people with like minded interests (you know…those people who don’t look at you like an alien when you say you blog) and meeting people who I have greatly admired for the past few years. I am now happy to say that some very good friends who I first met online are now friends “in real life”. I also met some wonderful ladies who I did not know before the conference. I would pay for that experience time and time again.
  • BlogHer ladies like to party and BlogHer’s love swag. BlogHer had some very generous sponsors this year and we came home with an enormous amount of quality swag. Thank you to all of the sponsors and individuals who provided all the loot. My kids were in heaven going through everything when I got home!

I could go on and on about how great BlogHer was and about how inspirational it was to chat and share ideas with such smart people, but I’m sure you get the drift. As much as I enjoyed my trip to BlogHer, I’m even kind of tired of hearing about it everywhere.  I hope that any of you who haven’t attended a BlogHer conference in the past get to do so in the future!

Now, for those of you who want a great recipe, my Mother-in-Law made these yummy banana bars for the kids while I was gone. I love that this recipe uses only 2 ripe bananas because that seems to be the most common amount of bananas I have when they ripen. Either we gobble them all up, or I’m stuck with two that no one wants to eat.

Frosted Banana Bars

The very best frosted banana bar recipe around!


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed, ripe bananas (about 2 large)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.
  2. Beat in eggs, bananas, and vanilla.
  3. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Add to creamed mixture and mix well.
  5. Pour into a greased 15x10x1 pan.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
  7. For frosting cream butter and cream cheese in a mixing bowl.
  8. Gradually add confectioners' sugar and vanilla.
  9. Beat well.
  10. Spread over bars.
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  1. I am so happy I met you, Kristen. Being with you was like chatting with an old friend. I wish I could have done dinner with all of you foodie bloggers as I am sure you all were such an inspiring bunch to be with.

    You were one of the highlights of BlogHer ’09 for me!

  2. Aw. Leah was adorable. It was so nice to meet you both.

  3. Kristen, it was great to finally meet you! I wish we could have talked a bit more.

    This is my fourth time attending BlogHer and I agree, I didn’t learn a lot this time compared to other years. I think for me it was because most of the sessions I wanted to attend were double-scheduled with other things I also wanted to attend. So frustrating! But I don’t think I would ever miss it if I had a chance to go!

  4. You are welcome! I’m sitting here trying to remember what I said that was so funny. I remember us laughing hysterically, but I cannot think of what I actually said (thank you short term memory). But you know…I owe you a thank you as well—sharing a room with you (AND Leah) made the BlogHer ’09 experience that much more enjoyable for me too. I would gladly be your roommate again…anytime, anywhere.

    I bought a bunch of bananas today for a recipe coming up on Inn Cuisine and will end up having a few left over. Was wondering what to do with them, but it looks like that dilemma has been solved. Perfect timing!

  5. This year I really toyed with the idea of going to BlogHer, but I just couldn’t get the funds together. Maybe next year.

    I love that you brought your baby. I would have done the same thing.

  6. glad you had a fantastic time at Blogher…sounds like so much fun!

  7. Sounds like it was a great time! Wow, I would have never thought to have brought my kid. Weird. Congrats on the swag!

  8. (sorry, I didn’t mean that it was weird that you brought your baby… I just was thinking that the concept of welcoming kids at the conference was a little odd… hope I didn’t offend!!)

  9. Thanks for sharing with us. Now I wished I had gone. Maybe nx year. You mother-in-law is so nice.

  10. anything with sweet banana’s makes me happy!

  11. It was so great to finally meet you in person, Kristen! And it’s no wonder everyone (including Paula) couldn’t get enough of little Leah – she’s an absolute doll. Having the chance to catch up with fun fellow bloggers like you is what made the whole conference worthwhile to me.

  12. Mmm, those bars look fantastic!

  13. Sounds like you had a good time at BlogHer! I wish we would have gotten a chance to meet, although I did sit a couple of rows behind you in one of the sessions and got to stare at your ADORABLE little girl! I had hoped to catch you afterward, but I lost you. Maybe we’ll get to meet next year!
    .-= Karly´s last blog ..I Even Forgot To Turn My Oven On. =-.

  14. That video is fantastic!!! I love Paula Deen:) I’m just getting back into food blogging and need to learn more about BlogHer.
    .-= Q.´s last blog ..Good Stuff Eatery =-.

  15. What a great moment to have captured on video!

    Leah’s such a sweetie. I’m sorry I tried to gobble her during our Photoshop class.

    Well, actually, I’m not that sorry. ;-)

    GREAT to have met you!

  16. I still have a craving for zucchini bars, but your banana cake is very tempting. Thanks for sharing.
    .-= SB’s Bea´s last blog ..Picky Eaters Need Not Apply =-.

  17. I agree- I am so thankful BlogHer gives a choice for bringing babies. If Ivy had been much younger, I probably would have had an easier time with her. But for me, I found the conference and parties too limiting with an older baby.


  18. Kristen,
    I had an absolutely lovely time chatting with you and Leah Friday night. I am so happy to have met you!
    and now I want banana bars. badly.
    xoox steph
    .-= crockpot lady´s last blog ..Sweet Potato Chili (vegan!) Slow Cooker Recipe =-.

  19. If I am repeating myself in any way, I apologize…I’m trying to get to everyone I met at Blogher!! I really enjoyed meeting you at the Paula Deen meet and greet and am so glad you found me when I had your sling!! I was telling everyone I was looking for “Diane with Kristinsdish.com.” Umm…just slightly wrong!
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..OH. MY. GOD. =-.

  20. Sounds like it was a blast. Those banana bars look terrific.
    .-= Melissa´s last blog ..Fruit Tart =-.


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