Hannah Cross, Author at HomemadeBanana
All Posts By

Hannah Cross


Quick Pickled Brussels Sprouts + Watermelon Rinds

quick-pickled-watermelon-rinds-brussels-sprouts-3I’m the kind of girl who piles more sauerkraut on her ballpark hotdog than the bun can hold. I’ve never met a jar of kosher dills I didn’t like. I have an insatiable taste for the briny goodness that is the caper. That is to say, I love pickles.

Until a couple weeks ago, my love for all things preserved was limited to the store bought. But then, after relieving a watermelon of its juicy innards, I felt the usual pang of guilt while throwing away the rind. So I did what any respectable Southern girl would do: I decided to pickle it. After that, the salty part of my palate sort of took over and I’m not responsible for what happened next. You’ll just have to read about it. Hint: it has everything to do with Brussels sprouts.

N.B. These quick pickles are intended to be eaten within 24hrs to 10 days. These are not meant to be kept for long periods of time because the jars haven’t been properly sterilized for long-term storage!


quick-pickled-watermelon-rinds-brussels-sprouts-2Spicy Pickled Watermelon Rind
*adapted from David Chang’s Momofuku recipe

• 1 quart watermelon rind (including ½-inch of red flesh left on the rind), cut into pieces about 1-inch square (~2 pounds; approximately half of the rind from a seedless-sized watermelon)
• 1 cup cider vinegar
• ½ cup water
• 1 cup sugar
• 2½ teaspoons table salt or 3¾ teaspoons Kosher salt (Kosher salt has more volume by weight*)
• ½ tsp turmeric
• ½ tsp mustard seed
• ¼ tsp celery seed
• 1 habanero, finely chopped

1. Trim the rind of ½ a seedless-sized watermelon of all the dark green, leaving about ½” red on each rind. Cut to about 1” cubes.

2. Combine everything except the habanero and watermelon in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.

3. Add watermelon rinds to pickling liquid and bring back to a boil. Simmer for one minute and turn off heat.

4. Let cool then fill two mason jars with rinds and liquid. Top with ½ a habanero per jar.

Pickled Brussels Sprouts

• 1-1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
• 1-1/4 cup water
• 1 Tbsp sea/pickling salt
• 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
• 4 chiles de árbol
• 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
• ½ tsp black peppercorns
• 1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed, cut in thirds

1. Cut brussels sprouts into thirds and let soak in lightly salted water for about 15 minutes.

2. Thinly slice 6 cloves of garlic and set aside.

3. Stir together vinegar, water and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil.

4. While the pickling liquid is heating up, add ¼ tsp of mustard seed and black peppercorns to each mason jar. Then, add in the Brussels sprouts. Finally, add one or two dried chiles de árbol to each jar, depending on your preferred spice level.

5. Once the liquid is boiling, pour it over the Brussels sprouts and let cool. Once cool, top with lids and refrigerate.

quick-pickled-watermelon-rinds-brussels-sprouts-7 *the kind of salt you use matters! Here’s a handy conversion chart.

Clothing, Style

Romping Around

lemon-romper-7lemon-romper-5lemon-romper-3lemon-romper-2 lemon-romper-6 lemon-romper-1Romper: June & Hudson // Hat: Target // Shoes: Target (old, similar) // Sunglasses: Karen Walker // Bag: Neiman Marcus (old, similar) //  Necklace: Julie Vos

If a guy wants to prove to you that he “knows about fashion,” he’ll likely bring up one of two garments: the muumuu or the romper. One, of course, comes from traditional Hawaiian dress and has achieved legendary Man Repeller status due to it’s delightful ability to completely hide any sense of feminine shape, and the other has humble origins as early 20th century kids’ wear. Co-opted by midcentury women who wanted the freedom to move around (shocking!) and get a sweet suntan, the romper entered the annals of women’s prêt-à-porter in the 1930s and has been weaving its way in and out of popularity since.

I, for one, am immensely glad that the romper is enjoying a renaissance of late because like the ladies of yesteryear, I enjoy the mixing of the feminine and practical, allowing me to dash around town in a flurry of errand running without having to worry about flashing the guy behind me in the grocery aisle. Real talk. Extra points if the romper in question boasts a colorful print (check), waist-slimming princess seams (check) and pairs perfectly with my very favorite Panama hat. Now if someone could just design a romper that allows me to refrain from getting completely naked every time I need to use a public bathroom, I will be one very happy lady.

Food, Travel

Iowa Wine Tasting

purple-dress-wine-tasting-3purple-dress-wine-tasting-5purple-dress-wine-tasting-2purple-dress-wine-tasting-4purple-dress-wine-tasting-6purple-dress-wine-tasting-1Dress: Soprano (similar here) // Shoes: J.Crew Factory // Sunglasses: Karen Walker // Bag: Coach (sold out, also love this one) // Bracelet: Julie Vos

Over the last year—and especially this summer—one of the many things I’ve missed about living in San Francisco is being in close proximity to Napa. Being able to hop in the car, drive over the Golden Gate bridge and find yourself in the middle of some of the world’s best vineyards (and tasting rooms) evokes a singular kind of joy. So when Max surprised me with an afternoon spent sipping and snacking at a local vineyard, I was immediately enchanted.

No matter the place, there’s something so relaxing about buying a bottle of crisp, chilled white wine, ordering a little too much cheese and charcuterie (hello smoked duck and ostrich sausage) and sitting on a patio overlooking a vineyard. I can’t wait to go back for a glass of rosé and some prosciutto and goat cheese-stuffed dates with apple-bourbon glaze.


Lemon Stripe Dress

lemon-stripes-milly-dress-1lemon-stripes-milly-dress-5lemon-stripes-milly-dress-3lemon-stripes-milly-dress-6lemon-stripes-milly-dress-2lemon-stripes-milly-dress-4lemon-stripes-milly-dress-9 lemon-stripes-milly-dress-7Dress: MILLY for DesigNation // Earrings: H&M // Sunglasses: DITTO // Bag: Forever 21 (old, similar) // Shoes: Target // Watch: Michael Kors (sold out, similar) // Bracelet: Julie Vos // Rings: ASOS (old, similar)

Up until about a month ago, I hadn’t been to a Kohl’s in probably ten years. And then, I happened upon a bit about the MILLY for DesigNation collaboration in InStyle and decided to pop into the local Kohl’s on my way home from work, just to see what they had.

Since I was a few weeks late for the launch, only a few pieces remained on the racks, but I was able to score the striped version of this t-shirt and this beautiful lemon sheath dress (there was only one left, and it was my size)! Besides the beautiful print, I love the way that the princess-seamed construction and thick neoprene fabric nip and tuck in all the right places, creating a svelte silhouette. I’m also on a big yellow kick as of late, so I love that I can wear my huge beaded tassel earrings to perfectly round out this sunny summer look.


DIY Simple Tassel Necklace


Lately, I’ve added all things yellow to the list of things I love. Sunflowers, lemonade, pineapples, sweet corn—I can’t get enough of it. Besides craving beautiful foods to brighten up my plate, I’ve also been wanting to incorporate more yellow into my wardrobe. But since I have very fair skin, it’s tricky for me to find a shade that doesn’t wash me out.

That’s where this deliciously bright tassel necklace comes in. I can pair it with a fresh all-white look or throw it on with my favorite gray t-shirt and boyfriend jeans for an instant dose of sunny color. Even better? It hardly took any time to make (gotta love those instant gratification DIYs).


For this project, you’ll need the following:
• end caps (I used one that I had leftover from this project)
• seed beads
• beading thread and needle
• E6000 or super glue
• a small piece of fabric or felt
• a necklace chain of your choice


1. String a bunch of seed beads onto a length of beading thread, looping the beginning and end of the thread back through some of the beads to finish each end (same technique used here). Make each string twice as long as you want your tassel to be.

2. Make enough strings of beads so that, when folded in half, they make a good-sized tassel. The amount of strings you’ll need will depend on the size of your end cap, but I needed about 10 strings for this one.

3. Next, use a length of beading thread to tie your strings together in the middle, thus creating a tassel. Make sure each string is hanging evenly so your tassel looks even.


4. Use your end cap to trace a circle on a scrap piece of felt or fabric. Cut out the circle and sew the string you used to tie your tassel together to the round piece of fabric. This is how we will connect our tassel to our end cap.

5. Apply a small amount of E6000 to the inside of your end cap, then insert the piece of felt with the tassel attached to it into the end cap. Press down on the fabric with a toothpick to ensure a snug fit. Let dry.

6. Now, all that’s left to do is thread your tassel onto a chain of your choice and get styling!