I have done gone and did it again.
ok, ok, ok…the improper English and the horrid grammar is pretty par for me and my blog. Or is it my blog and I? I don’t know. I have never known. No matter the amount of teaching done by countless English teachers in my education or the hours spent
banging my head against the kitchen table studying grammar, very little if any ( and I stress the words any and little) actually sank in and can be recalled.
Trust me, I have tried. Like, really tried. I like proper grammar…or, I like the idea of proper grammar…because I wouldn’t recognize it in broad daylight, that I know for sure, yo.
But besides absolutely bad grammar and the improper use of verbs and the creating of new words…
I have made banana bread…again.
I tried eating and thus, adoring banana bread…again.
I took one bite (that was heavily/heavenly slathered with peanut butter) and I simply could not muster another…again.
I left it on my favorite green saucer, wishing it were pumpkin bread or cranberry walnut, or pistachio pound…really anything besides banana.
It was Saturday morning, coffee was brewing, Jeff Corwin was on TV chasing sting rays in the Caribbean (I don’t have Cable), there was a definite chill in the air…
All fine scenarios in which to enjoy freshly baked bread…
I so wanted to like it.
But I just couldn’t.
I had oatmeal with cranberries and maple syrup instead. It was ok.
However, don’t go thinking this banana bread isn’t the bomb diggity, because while I didn’t enjoy it, it was devoured one thick slice after another all weekend long and come Sunday evening, as the last light of the weekend was starting to dim… one lonely chocolate chipped studded slice remained.
So, I suppose this bread would be considered a victory in the kitchen…just a failure of my taste buds and olfactory senses. Why does it have to smell so banana-ey
Like I have mentioned here before…I like bananas. Just not banana things.
And bananas slathered in peanut butter = the best after school/work snack ever. So it only makes sense that peanut butter should/would end up in a loaf of banana bread from time to time…And then why leave out chocolate in this shindig of a banana party… (I even tried digging just chocolate chips out of the bread, leaving empty chocolate coated craters behind – I am that person, I can not be trusted - and they even tasted like bananas…ACK!)
So…next up…well, there is this coconut rum browned butter banana bread in the oven as I type…Not sure why there are sooo many bananas in my freezer….
Can’t say I never gave banana bread a chance…
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 medium very ripe bananas, mashed
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- ½ cup granulated white sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup buttermilk, well shaken
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a loaf pan (9x5in) with parchment paper or butter all sides, set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together mashed bananas, peanut butter, both sugars, buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract.
- Add the wet ingredients, all at once to the dry ingredients. Fold together, scraping the bottom of the bowl to pop any pockets of flour.
- Fold in chocolate chips. Be careful not to over mix.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and sprinkle a few chocolate chips on top of batter. Place in preheated oven and bake until golden brown and a toothpick, when inserted to middle, comes out with just a few moist crumbs clinging to toothpick – about 60 to 75 minutes. (if top begins to darken beyond golden, tent with tinfoil).
- Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack.
- Store at room temperature wrapped in plastic wrap.
Recipe Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
I don’t like banana things. I like bananas…I take that back, I love actual, real life, peel and eat, yellow … and let’s be clear on the yellow…darkish yellow, not the new yellow that leads one to believe it was green just moments ago… they must be, ya know, perfectly ripe bananas. I just detest banana things. What does banana things include? I am so very glad you asked…you didn’t? Oh! Well…too bad.
Banana chips or dried bananas – ya know, those thin slices of hardened fruit (errr dried) that are found primarily in trail mixes that inevitably result in the almonds, walnuts, cranberries, raisins, M&M’s (or chocolate buttons if you aren’t careful), and heaven knows what else they have thought to cram into trail mixes these days, taste like bananas. Gross. Gawdawful.
Banana flavored Runts (or any banana ‘flavored’ candy). Who eats this stuff? It doesn’t even remotely taste like a banana. Have the creators of the infamous banana ‘flavor’ actually consumed a banana in their life? I think not. Banana flavored Laffy Taffy – NO! 1) It doesn’t taste like bananas and 2) Laffy Taffy never fails to numb my lips, resulting in me drooling on myself. Fact.
Banana Splits. Bananas DO NOT belong in my ice cream. Brownies, cookies, nuts, cherries, strawberries…yes, go right ahead – join the ice cream party…but bananas, please stay at home, you are not welcome. And speaking of ice cream, banana flavored popsicles…who enjoys these so-called treats? Probably you…and I have now offended you, but I can’t be sorry because it is disgusting.
And have you seen on Pinterest these two ingredient banana cookies and banana frozen ‘yogurt’ or would it be ice cream? First, these are labeled as ‘healthy’…well, yes, bananas are healthy, or healthier than say a bag of potato chips or Oreos, however – they are chock full of sugar and eating a tray of banana cookies – which is inevitably what will happen when something is labeled healthy and is also a cookie…you will undoubtedly eat a dozen of them and still crave the damn chocolate chip cookie that you were trying to avoid in the first place, which would have been a wiser choice (because you would have only eaten 1, ha!) plus, it wouldn’t have tasted like a banana. Which leads me to the second point…why would you want a banana flavored cookie…just eat a banana or a cookie. No need to mash the two together. ACK!
Banana bread/muffins/cakes/pancakes/waffles….No where near my cup of tea (or coffee – we are talking about me here…). Banana nut muffins are my morning nemesis. Mark this down…it is THE ONE sweet good that I will turn down given the chance ( not counting the banana cookies mentioned above)…. How come when heat is applied to a banana, all of its heavenly goodness is removed? Banana foster – no, just give me the pound cake and butter/sugar/caramel goodness and perhaps swap the bananas for peaches or apples. Or plums. Why bananas? Peach foster, please.
There are slight exceptions to the rule…a plain old banana can be fancied up with a dollop of peanut butter or sliced and covered in chocolate hard shell sauce and frozen. And I think the chocolate bit needs emphasized…the bananas must be sliced and never placed whole on a stick, frozen, and dipped in chocolate, and then eaten in public. No one, and I mean NO ONE can pull off eating a chocolate covered banana on a stick in public. NO ONE! Maybe my head is in the gutter…it normally is…but come on!
Get the point? I greatly dislike bananas unless it is just a banana…so why do I continue to bake banana bread? Because I am bonkers and think that if I stuff more things into banana bread that I will actually enjoy it (next up, peanut butter banana bread?!?)…and honestly, this chocolate banana bread came pretty damn close and so did this chocolate banana zucchini bread…I think the common link here is the chocolate.
This go around, I stuffed cherries, chocolate (that was sea salted), and walnuts along side the bananas…Think Cherry Garcia Ice Cream, but with the addition of banana and well, bread. I don’t know. But I do know my older brother would have eaten the whole loaf given the chance, since cherry cordial ice cream is his favorite and he actually likes bananas in his ice cream or he likes bananas in his bread. What?!? All I know, he eats what I bake and well he didn’t get any….but he would have liked it. Those that were lucky enough to have this stuffed into their bags as they were leaving my house ( you don’t leave without a doggy bag made from my freezer) texted me as they arrived home, that the this bread was delicious and the chocolate made it nice and rich.
I’ll have to take their word for it.
- 1+1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
- ½ Cup Quick Cooking Oats
- ¾ Teaspoon Baking Soda
- ¾ Teaspoon Baking Powder
- ¾ Teaspoon Salt
- ¾ Cup Light Brown Sugar, tightly packed
- 2 Eggs
- ⅓ Cup 2% Greek Yogurt
- ½ Cup Unsalted Butter, Melted and cooled
- 1 Cup Mashed Bananas (about 3 overly ripe bananas)
- ½ Teaspoon Almond Extract
- 1 Cup Pitted Cherries
- ½ Cup Toasted Walnuts (or pecans), roughly chopped
- 4 ounce dark chocolate bar, roughly chopped (or about ½ cup chocolate chips)
- Preheat oven to 350F and place rack in the middle of the oven. Grease and flour a 9×5 loaf pan and set aside. (i also use parchment paper and let a little bit hang over the edges for easy removal)
- In a small bowl, toss together cherries and almond extract. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and brown sugar. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl using a wooden spoon, mix together melted butter and bananas. Blend in eggs and yogurt. Mix until everything is well combined.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
- Fold in cherries (with any juice in bowl), toasted walnuts, and chocolate to batter.
- Pour batter (it’ll be thick, so I use the term ‘pour’, lightly) into prepared loaf pan and place in preheated oven and bake until toothpick, when inserted near the middle comes out nearly clean with a few crumbs attached – about 50-60 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool on rack for about 20 minutes before inverting on wire rack and letting cool completely.
And here we go again. I haven’t posted much in the month of January. I blame Disney and Tim Riggins.
Ok, fine, just Tim Riggins.
I am not bragging, but I just finished the entire series of Friday Night Lights (thank you Netflix) in 1 week…and I am rounding up to 7 days, because it may have been closer to 6. 5 years of TV in a week. Yikes.
For one week, I worked, ran, and watched FNL (friday night lights). In that order. I watched fake football instead of the real games. I missed the entire Australian Open. Congrats, Djokovic. News? You mean the world was still spinning this past week? World news doesn’t really make it all the way to the make believe town of Dillon, Texas. Sorry.
I am pretty sure I went to work last Monday with a Texas drawl from my weekend binder. I said y’all at least twice. And I fell in LOVE with Connie Britton’s hair. Seriously.
And oh, did you know that 3/4th of the cast from FNL (I just acronymed a TV show…sigh) has been on Grey’s Anatomy? Coach Taylor was part of the bomb squad and was blown to smitherings. Landry had a disfigured face and ended up dying on the table, whomp whomp.. Jess had a brain tumor and Dr McDreamy saved her life. Smash is now a lowly intern. And Saracan was a soldier who opted to have his leg amputated. I am just hoping and a wishing that Tim Riggins will wander onto the set…
I was able to whip up a batch of cookies during this period of time – mainly because I promised/owed a co-worker cookies and I couldn’t procrastinate any longer – Texas football or no Texas football…cookies full of pistachios and coconut needed to be pumped out of my kitchen. Good thing I can see the TV from my kitchen
- 2+1/4 Cup of All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- 1 Cup Light Brown Sugar, tightly packed
- 1 Box (3.4 ounce) Pistachio Pudding (not the sugar free version)
- 2 Eggs
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 Cup Sweetened Shredded Coconut
- 1 Cup Chocolate Chips
- ½ Cup Pistachios, shelled and roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar.
- Beat in pistachio pudding mix, eggs, and vanilla. Mix until combined.
- With mixer on low, slowly add dry ingredients and mix until combined.
- Fold in coconut, chocolate chips, and chopped pistachios.
- Drop by rounded tablespoonful onto prepared baking sheet (parchment paper lined or UNgreased) and bake for 8-10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
The week following a vacation is generally just a melancholic blur of work and laundry and grocery shopping and laundry and healthier eating and memories of warmth and sunshine. This goes for vacations lasting the usual 7 days or those extending towards two weeks and/or particularly those cut short at 3 or 4 days, the so-called long weekends.
This week was that week. Where nothing truly gets done, but one in which I feel exhausted and sleep deprived and a tad bloated and all sorts of hungry…hungry for butter and sugar and ice cream. Not carrot sticks and tuna salad. Ugh…so easy to fall out of a good habit and quite the struggle to jump back in.
Disney was great. The race was great. The weather was great. The food was great. The company was great. And the ears…I became slightly obsessed.
I look good as Mickey.
Any pistachio lovers out there? What a qui-dinky-dink. Me too.
Not long ago, I was able to pick you/we pistachio eaters out of a crowd. Those red fingers were a dead give away. Anyone know why they dyed them red? I am fully aware that a quick Google search ‘why were pistachios dyed red?’ would return multiple pages providing me with an adequate answer (and probably a correct one), but sometimes and quite often, I still like to ask questions. Similar to how I still like buying real books and compact discs. Old school livin’.
I will text and or ask questions when I can readily answer the same questions using my magic phone or the handy dandy computer I always find myself in front of. Personal Googles is what I like to call them. Each question directed to the person in my life that would be able to answer it best and most quickly. Why is the sky blue? How do I get a grease stain out of my favorite sweatshirt? Where does the wax go when candles are burned? Is there a trick to keeping your cat out of a Christmas tree? I ask game scores when I have an ESPN app made specifically for scores when you are on the go, or at work, or at a wedding. Same for the weather. I am always asking about the weather…but this may be because I stink something awful at small talk.
So my question today…red pistachios. Why red? and then also, why are they no longer dyed red? (besides the fact that we no longer prefer to ingest copious amounts of red dye #40) So many questions…also, why are they so darn addictive? Abby Sciuto was right, have you ever just eaten one pistachio? I think not. Which means, and I apologize in advance, you will probably not be able to eat just one slice of this cake. I have already eaten two slices and wondering how long I must wait before I eat a third.
This cake may become my ultimate nemesis. Self proclaimed pistachio addict and a life long lover of pound cake. Yep, I am doomed. Doomed I tell you! I beg of you to bake this…risk the doomed-ness. Totally worth it. Promise.
Shell your pistachios. Ha! Please buy them shelled, it’ll take you all day otherwise. It is worth the extra cost. Your thumbs will thank you. You will leave some whole, some roughly chopped, and others will be ground into a paste….
Ground pistachios, pistachio paste. Guess what? Pistachio paste does not look like I had imagined. What happened to the green? Where did all the brownish-yellow come from?
Cream cheese and butter need to be creamed. Martha was onto something here. I don’t think I will ever make a pound cake with just butter ever again.
Add the pistachio paste into the mix. We are gonna hide its ugliness among cream cheese and butter.
Where it will discolor your cream cheese and butter mixture and you will realize that your cake will not be green, but a light brown. I now understand why Jell-O adds green food coloring to their pistachio pudding. Light brown pudding that is not chocolate = not appetizing. At all. Or ever.
Eggs, vanilla, sugar, flour, salt, mini chocolate chips, and more pistachios are heading to this shindig.
Mini chocolate chips and the chopped pistachios get folded in last.
I should have left more in the bowl. This batter is delicious. Head in bowl, licking out the last bit delicious I however by no means suggest you should eat raw eggs.
A drizzle of a sweet glaze and a handful of chopped pistachios finishes this cake off.
I am thinking this cake would knock off the socks of relatives and co-workers for the upcoming holidays. Plus, it can be made ahead and frozen. Conquering the holidays is all about prep work. It’ll make you look like a rock-star.
- 1+1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Cup Pistachios, shelled and divided
- 10 Tablespoons Butter, room temperature
- 3 Ounces Cream Cheese, room temperature
- 1+1/2 Cups White Granulated Sugar
- 3 Large Eggs, room temperature
- 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- ½ Cup Mini Chocolate Chips
- 2 Tablespoons Butter, melted
- 1 Cup Confectioner’s Sugar
- 1-2 Tablespoons Milk
- pinch of salt
- ½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- ¼ Cup Pistachios, roughly Chopped
- Preheat oven to 325F. Line a loaf pan (8½ by 4½inch) with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Place ½ Cup shelled pistachios into a food processor and process until a paste forms (about 3 minutes). Roughly chop the remaining ½ Cup shelled pistachios. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and cream cheese. Add pistachio paste and cream until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
- Beat in sugar and remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add room temperature eggs, one at a time, mixing each egg into the mixture before adding the next. Add vanilla.
- With mixture on low, add flour and salt, mix until just combined.
- Fold in roughly chopped pistachios and mini chocolate chips.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and place in preheated oven. Bake for 80-90 minutes until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean (with a few crumbs attached) when inserted into the middle of the cake.
- Place on wired rack and let cool. Remove from pan after 15 to 20 minutes and let cool completely on wire rack.
- Once cool, drizzle cake with icing and sprinkle with chopped pistachios.
- To make icing: Whisk together all ingredients until smooth. Use enough milk until desired consistency is reached ( I used 2 tablespoons of milk this go around).
Adapted from Martha Stewart.