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Posts Tagged ‘delicious’

When I was a kid back in Farmington, Michigan, I copied this recipe from a cookbook in the school library. The book was called “Cook-In” as far as my records indicate. I have looked for that cookbook high and low my whole life and even now, with the internet, to no avail.

We moved from Michigan to Ohio when I was in the middle of 4th Grade, so that is a lot of years that I’ve made this bread because, now, as you know, I’m in the 107th Grade. God am I smart!

Here’s the recipe:

2C flour (I use half white, half whole wheat, to make it a bit more wholesome)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 C unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 C sugar (I use less–3/4 C)
2 large eggs, well beaten
1 C ripe, mashed bananas (2-3)
1/2 C crunchy peanut butter (I use more–3/4 C+)

Remove butter and eggs from fridge 1 hour before using
Grease a 9″x 5″x 4″ loaf pan
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar, adding sugar gradually. Add egg and blend well. Add bananas and peanut butter.
Add dry ingredients to wet in 2 or 3 mixes.
Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake appx 45 minutes (it is such a moist bread that it will take more like an hour, my pets). Test for doneness until toothpick comes out dry from the center of loaf.

EAT WITH BUTTER, WARM, IF YOU KNOW WHAT’S GOOD FOR YOU! DEELICIOUS! But it is very crumbly so exhibit caution when toasting in a traditional toaster…

Note: I never make a single batch of this, but rather double or triple the recipe so I can freeze it for future munchin’ (remember I don’t care much for baking, so I like to maximize my labor if I bake at all). Makes a great breakfast bread.

Other info:

I am not a fan of a traditional banana nut bread. I don’t like an overwhelming banana flavor. I also don’t like walnuts (though they are very good for you) and walnuts are the nuts one finds in most banana breads.

The other recipe I make is from Molly Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook. The ORIGINAL edition is the one I love. Her banana nut bread recipe is CRAZY! It has everything in it but heroin–strong brewed coffee, grated orange rind, sesame seeds to line the baking pans. I also make it with half whole wheat/half white flour and you’d think an old hippie like Katzen would have that in her book, but she doesn’t. I use almonds as the nuts for that bread and I don’t add in evil overpowering nutmeg, but you could, ’cause it’s as expensive as heroin.

Molly Katzen’s recipe makes an amazing banana nut bread and does not taste overwhelmingly like bananas.

Now? GO BAKE!

I like how the banana up there is sort of reclining and showing itself off. Not really phallic, but sexy nonetheless.

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Last week, I mentioned not only my love for arugula, but also my love for it with a fine, homemade vinaigrette.

I have been making my own dressings for a long, long time, just like you. About 2 years ago, I sampled this version on a friend’s spring arugula and I have not made another type of dressing since. Call it sad, call it funny, call me dull, call me silly, but every time I have the slightest inkling of making another vinaigrette, I default to this instead.

This recipe came to me from the great Lara Radysh. As usual, I’ve tweaked it to be a wee bit twinkly.

Lara Radysh’s Balsamic Vinaigrette (with a few meanderings into twinkly-dom)

2 TBSP prepared mustard

1/2 tsp tamari

3 cloves fresh, crushed garlic

3/4 C balsamic vinegar

2 tsp real maple syrup (no fake crap!)

1 1/2 C extra virgin olive oil (hereafter referred to as evoo)

1/2 tsp sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

Look, I know you’re smart. You can stop right here and just do what you will with the above ingredients. You’ve made dressing before.

On the other hand, here you are, so let’s do it twinkly-style:

You already know about using all good and fresh ingredients, right? Your fats (oils) should be organic, but maybe I’ll post on that later. I’ve switched to organic evoo in the last couple of years and for the most part I stick with that. I am not wealthy, so I don’t go crazy with the evoo, but I do get organic whenever it’s on sale. I really stock up, as you can imagine, because we go through the stuff like mad. You can even find organic evoo at Marshall’s, but it’s not vetted like the American brands, so I don’t know. Maybe it’s not really organically grown. Just don’t put too many fats with pesticides in your body because fat likes to hold on to chemicals.

I try to use the balsamic vinegar that was taste-tested as the best by Cook’s Illustrated. I know that makes me seem like I’m snooty and maybe even more silly than before, but that’s their job, so why not take advantage of it? It’s not even a snooty brand, just Monari Federzoni Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. The price of balsamic has sky-rocketed in the last couple of years (like everything else), so again, I buy huge quantities of this stuff when it’s on sale (a buck or more savings per bottle! not bad). We go through it like piss through a racehorse.

As far as the mustard: use whatever you like best. It should be really yummy. We always have some in the fridge, whatever was on sale. Hubby uses a lot of it, but I don’t touch the stuff. Except in this recipe. I like a stone-ground or a dijon the best, but I’ll use anything but French’s, honey mustard, or spicy.

Now, my doves, even though the ingredients up there are all measured out, the only thing I actually measure is the balsamic and the evoo. I use a lot of dashes and smidgens and tiny pours. You can do the same. Play with it. For instance, you don’t have to use any maple syrup; salt, either. You do have to use the garlic, that’s one thing. It’s not the same AT ALL without that. Or the tamari. You have to use a few shakes of tamari.

Another thing–use a large, glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. The jar I use is an old fluff jar. I don’t even use fluff, but I think I pinched the jar accidentally at a potluck. Who even eats fluff? When I was a kid, my neighbor’s mom would make him sandwiches with fluff and peanut butter. Look, I know it’s a “thing,” but I’ve never eaten one or made one for my kids and I never will. But this fluff jar is great. Don’t use a plastic jar, okay? And make sure your jar can hold this quantity BEFORE you start pouring. Yes, that should have been Step One. Oops.

Put the ingredients in the above order into your jar and turn on some really good dance music. Shake your booty and shake the jar in equal amounts until everything is a saucy mix. Okay, I know that’s silly, but do it anyway. Keep the vinaigrette refrigerated; remove about a 1/2 hour before using (evoo congeals in the cold).

That’s it. You are done. Except that the original recipe calls for “any herbs you have around.” While I appreciate this instruction, and you are welcome to it, I never put any herbs in my dressing. We don’t use it up too quickly, after all. Maybe it lasts 2-3 days, maybe a week, depending on how many salads we eat. I don’t like soggy herbs.

But you know what I love, don’t you? If you’ve been following along here at all, you know I love my herb garden. I love to put any number of different fresh herbs right in with the greens before tossing with the vinaigrette.

I will tell you that my favorite herb, fresh out of my front garden bed, is tarragon. This year, the tarragon is out-of-this-world, the best it’s ever been. It’s huge and full and green and delicious, enough to make me think I may secretly be French. I add a few chopped chives sometimes and also lemon thyme. Those are my favorites. Not much for other herbs in a salad. But sometimes I add some nasturtium leaves and petals. But always put the flower petals on after you toss the salad, right? Yes. Pansies and violets are fun. You can use violet leaves in the spring, they are quite good for you. Don’t forget the arugula if it’s in season. That’s where this all came from. Arugula that’s not local and in-season does not compare, my pets. Fresh arugula too is “out-of-this-world.” Maybe that’s why they call it rocket.

Now I’m gonna use a stock photo of the tarragon because it’s late and it’s the new moon and dark in the garden. Tarragon is in the artemesia family, full of mystery and medicine, ruled by Diana (the moon, again). Did you know that if you look up an herb like tarragon on Google images, you’ll find all kinds of amazing recipes? I am salivating already.

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