Old Take on Banana Bread

Yup, that is delicious banana bread on a scratched up plate. Told ya long ago I don’t stage my food items. ūüėā¬† Although, soon those charming 50s countertops won’t be featured in this blog anymore – more on that later!

This recipe has been the most delicious normal-recipe I’ve experimented with – it’s classic banana bread with a wonderful twist. Normally, messing with something as tried and true as banana bread would be off limits, but I was too intrigued with this Joy of Cooking version from my 1975 edition.¬† I absolutely love older editions of this cookbook, as some of the more interesting baking and cooking methods and recipes get lost to newer editions.

What’s so different? Nothing earth-shattering: swapping butter for cooking oil, adding chopped dried apricots, and chopped pistachios.¬† These add-ins were a delightful surprise are sure to become a mainstay in this house.

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I used 2 eggs and 1-1/4 cups of banana pulp, for denseness and moisture.  The recipe gives a range, depending on how you like your banana bread.  Understanding the science behind your ingredients will make you a better baker, and this is one reason why I really enjoy using the Joy of Cooking, as it reads much like a cooking text-book.  I also really love the blog Kitchn, and this basic entry on eggs illustrates why this blog is great.

My six-year-old daughter told me to leave out the ‘stachios next time, though.¬† Funny, she loves pistachios on their own, but mixing foods together is still a no-no to her.

In other news, the light snow we got yesterday is nearly gone, and I have found green grass in some corners of my yard!¬† I am someone who loves snow, and appreciated yesterday’s beautiful snow fall through my windows, but am also understanding that most of my peers are just simply done with winter at this point in March.

I’m off to ready Easter things for next weekend and finish up some of the last of my grad homework.¬† There is a light at the end of the tunnel now!

Quick Banana Bread – from Joy of Cooking, 1975 edition.

Have all ingredients at about 70ňö.
Heat oven to 350ňö.
Combine:
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/4 teaspoons double-acting baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt
Blend until creamy:
1/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind

Beat in:
1 to 2 beaten eggs
1 to 1-1/4 cups ripe banana pulp
Add the dry ingredients in about 3 parts to the sugar mixture.  Beat the batter after each addition until smooth.
Fold in:
1/2 cup chopped pistachios 
1/4 cup finely chopped dried apricots
Place the batter in a greased loaf pan.  Bake the bread at about 1 hour or until done.  Cool before slicing.

6 months and a New Year!

Oh Happy New Year to you! ¬†I admit, I was in bed last night by 9:30 and it was GLORIOUS! ¬†My littlest one, who is now 6 months(!!), was in bed by 6:30 and then up again at 9:30 and after the second time up, I took my cue to get to bed. ¬†It was worth it – he made it for an almost 6 hour stretch of sleep. ¬†I tell ya, I don’t know what I will do when I finally sleep through the night again. ¬†After five and a half hours of sleep I feel I could conquer the world!

xmas.treeChristmas came and went and now I sit here facing a new year chock full of milestones for both kids, events with family and friends, and always new opportunities. ¬†Of all the posed and practiced shots from the holidays, this is my favorite. ¬†Older sis, desperately trying to prevent younger brother from grabbing ornaments off the tree, all the while telling him to, “Look at mommy!” ¬†Meanwhile, my hubby¬†is just off camera, laughing, and holding Q up.

Oh what a Christmas it was, indeed. ¬†Seeing the wonders of Christmas through a child’s eyes is truly magical. ¬†Now that there are two of them, it is twice as magical. ¬†Read on for a much overdue update on our family, or just skim/skip and look at annoyingly cute photos of my clan. ¬†Whatever suits your mood.

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One of the highlights of the past 6 months was watching Greta spoon feed her brother some of his first solids (listen to me, I know! ¬†I sound ridiculous, or I guess like a nursing mother appreciating sweet relief!). ¬†I stood by making sure she didn’t push the spoon in far enough to gag him! ¬†Solids have made all the difference in his attitude during the day – not so frantic and very eager for mealtime. ¬†I just hope it wears off on sister and some friendly competition kicks in and kills the toddler picky eating.

jumpingThis kid cracks me up Рsuch a charmer and loves to jump and move.  He is itching to crawl.

IMG_4178This break he has been working hard on sitting on his own.  The dog, cats, and sister are all incentives for him.

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Meanwhile, toddler sister’s artistic side is blossoming. ¬†I love watching her color, draw, and sticker away. ¬†Her creative side really shines by her love of patterns in the dressing of herself.

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I discovered a new quick bread over break Рpeanut butter and jelly banana bread.  It is from Better Homes & Gardens and definitely my new go-to banana bread recipe.

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So, as we embark into 2015, I reflect back on 2014 and its ups and downs.  I have made a few resolutions for myself, and they are for myself.  I spend 95% of my day doing things for others Рwhether at work teaching or at home with the kids, animals, and never-ending laundry.  A few things I resolve to do this year:

1. Read more (silently, not aloud to children). ¬† I do plenty of reading to my own two kids, as well as my students. ¬†I want to read more fiction, best-sellers, non-fiction…you name it! ¬†I have been on a short kick reading eBooks, but want to get back into physical books.

2. ¬†Make weekly time for creating. ¬†Let’s face it, having kids takes up all your time. Oh do I miss my own hobbies. ¬†However, I don’t want to miss the amazing things happening so quickly in their lives. ¬†So, I figure, weekly is not overdoing it by any means at all. ¬†Hopefully, as I begin to sleep more, I can carve more than weekly time for creating. ¬†This one is an important resolution, as I have finally figured out that I need to create like some need to go on runs.

3. Spend more time appreciating my dog and two cats.¬†2/3 of my animal friends are elderly and facing some health issues. ¬†Sometimes, I admit, I let it get to me. ¬†I caught my toddler using her foot to roughly move a cat out of her way the other day and saying in a far too familiar way – “Move, move!” ¬†Time to slow down, appreciate the furry members of our family, and model loving and endearing behavior for my children.

There you have it, my resolutions for 2015.  What goals have you set for yourself?