Tag Archives: work

Banana Nut Bread

28 Jun

A couple nights ago Karl requested that I use the ripe bananas we had sitting on the counter to make a banana bread for him to take to work and share with his coworkers.  I have made other banana breads before, but none of the recipes were that good.  I looked around online, but when it came down to it I just decided to use the recipe in my pink Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook.  The recipe was simple, and I made up some of their recipe for streusel topping and put that on top.  I popped that thing in the oven and tried to be patient while it baked.  It turned out really pretty, but I would recommend putting some wax paper in the bottom of the loaf pan before pouring in the batter so that the bread is easy to just pull out instead of flipping it over (you lose a little of the streusel when you do that).  It was torture to smell this wonderful bread baking and not be able to try a piece!  That always makes me nervous too.  I really like to try what I bake before I send it to work.  I don’t want people thinking I can’t cook!  Luckily I have an amazinghusband, and when he came home to see me for lunch (it was my day off), he brought me my own piece!

The beautiful slice Karl brought home for me!

Now, I don’t want to sound like I’m always tooting my own horn, but this was seriously the best banana nut bread I’ve ever eaten!  Even Karl proclaimed it the best!  It was dense, super moist, and full of flavor.  And the streusel on top added a perfect touch of sweet with a little crunch.  Here’s the recipe if you’d like to try it for yourself:

Banana Nut Bread

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 cups massed ripe bananas (4-5 medium)

1 cup sugar

1/2 melted butter

1/4 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)

Mmmm.... mashed bananas!

  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Grease your loaf pan (and I would recommend placing wax paper over the sides so that you can easily remove the loaf from the pan after baking).
  2. In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  Make a well in the flower mixture then set it aside.
  3. In a smaller bowl combine the eggs, banana, sugar, and butter.
  4. Add the egg mixture all at once to the flour mixture and stir until just moistened (the batter should be lumpy)
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  If desired, sprinkle a streusel topping (see recipe below) over the batter and press into the batter a little bit.
  6. Bake for 55-60 minutes (for a 9x5x3-inch pan) or 40-45 minutes (for a 7.5×3.5×2-inch pan) or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  If necessary cover loosely with foil the last 15 minutes of baking to prevent overbrowning (this really helped keep the top golden brown and kept the inside from being gooey).  Also, I found that 55 minutes in my oven was perfect
  7. Coil in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes then remove from the pan and cool completely on the rack.  When it is cool wrap and store it over night before slicing.
  8. Slice and enjoy!

Streusel Topping

In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup packed brown sugar and 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour.  Using a pastry blender, cut in 2 tbsp butter (I actually used 4 – the more butter the better!) until the mixture resembles course crumbs.

Mixing up the streusel


23 Jun

Here is the post I meant to put up last night…

I’m so excited to be writing my first blog post!  I am hoping to write a post every day or so.  Today was pretty much my usual day.  Get up, eat breakfast (cereal today because I forgot to get my overnight oats ready last night) and head to work.  I am in a Technical Writing Class this week which is surprisingly interesting!  I am hoping that I am learning some new techniques to improve my writing skills.  One of the toughest skills he has been trying to drill into our heads this week is what he calls “slopping”.  He says that when you want to write something you should sit down at the computer and just type for 6-8 minutes without stopping to think about what your next sentence should be or going back to correct mistakes.  After that 6-8 minutes you can go back and make whatever tweaks you might want to make.  Stopping distracts you from your original thoughts and makes writing more difficult.  Sounds like a simple concept, but it is actually much harder to sit and continuously type without correcting your errors.  I am also enjoying the class because he gives out books when you say something intelligent or ask him a question that helps him teach the class.  For my prize I picked out the book The Help, which I hear they are turning into a movie.  Hopefully I can finish the book before the movie comes out.

After work we came home and I made a quick dinner while Karl did a little picking up around the house.  Tonight’s dinner was a simple veggie stir fry of onions, bell pepper, broccoli, carrots, cucumber, and chickpeas  served with quinoa.  Karl and I just tried quinoa about two weeks ago, and we are in love!  Before we would’ve served the stir fry over spaghetti or brown rice, but I like knowing that we are eating a much healthier grain and getting some protein as well.  Most of the time we would make a stir fry sauce from scratch, but since I was trying to get things done quickly I used a light amount of store bought sauce.  Stir fry is such a simple dish, but it is definitely one of my favorite ways to get in so many veggies!  I love the beautiful assortment of colors on the plate.

stir fry heating up in the pan

the stir fry heating up in the pan

plated and ready to eat!

Thirty minutes later we were out the door on the way to the gym.  One of my favorite classes to take is Les Mills Body Combat which our gym offers on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday nights.  The Monday/Wednesday instructor is just amazing.  I love that she knows me by name and tonight, since I hadn’t been to the gym in awhile, she  asked me where I had been.  It’s really good for me to have someone other than Karl who holds me accountable for my workouts!  She is something like 3 months pregnant and still going strong.  I’m not sure what I’m going to do when she has to take a maternity leave!

After the gym we headed to the store to stock up on a few of the necessities, including one of my favorite fruits of the summer, watermelon!  Eating a big bowl of watermelon is definitely a good way to hydrate after a tough workout.

When we got home I decided to try out a new recipe for some hummus.  I’m always excited to use our new food processor which we received as a wedding gift about 2 months ago, and I feel like I hear people talking about eating hummus quite a bit.  I’d actually never tried it and was excited to make a healthy dip that we could eat even with veggies.  I used a recipe for “Classic Hummus”.   Here’s what the recipe looked like:

1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas

2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. ground cumin

1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper (I added about 1/2 tsp. because we like things a little spicy)

1/4 tsp. salt

Olive Oil

Making the hummus is very simple!  First, drain the chickpeas, reserving 1/3 cup of the liquid.  Throw the chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, crushed red pepper, and salt into the food processor and process until it starts to get smooth.

everything thrown in the food processor

Then drizzle in the reserved chickpea liquid and continue to process until you see a smooth consistency.  After I had added all of the chickpea liquid, I still wasn’t happy with the consistency – it was a little gritty still.  So, I decided to try drizzling in some olive oil while continuing to process the hummus.  I probably added about 2 more tablespoons oil when it started to look right.

the gritty in-between stage

Then it was time to try it.  And, I was very unimpressed!  I’m not sure if it is the strong chickpea flavor or the seasonings, but I do not like it at all.  I’m wondering if there is a different recipe out there that I might like better.  If you have a better recipe, please share it with me!  I’ve also seen some black bean hummus recipes, and, since I am a bigger fan of black beans, I think I will try that sometime in the near future as well.  I’m going to throw the hummus in the fridge and see if I like it any better when its cold.

Well, that’s it for today.  Time for some much needed sleep!