Mama’s Banana Bread

 

I swear everytime I think I’ve had just about enough and one more minute of school will cause me to implode, the public school system announces a holiday. It’s only a three-day weekend, and I’m spending it all catching up on work, but the fact that I don’t have to wake up at five and spend six hours in uncomfortable plastic desks is more than enough to make me one happy little camper.

Lazy days stuck at home call for warm scents and comfort food, so that’s just what I’m bringing to you all today with Mama’s Banana Bread. Sweet to a fault and reminiscent of childhood, this bread will leave you more than satisfied (plus, it’ll make good use of those ugly bananas sitting on your counter). The secret to this rustic recipe is the use of the sugared pan and the sour milk. Sounds weird, I know. But it’s worth it, trust me.

So get ready to brush up on your banana-mashing skills and salivate over that perfectly cracked loaf top, and I hope you all enjoy your extra day off! IMG_6856IMG_6863IMG_6857IMG_6867

BAKERS NOTES:

– I used mini pans instead of regular sized because the portion sizes work better for me. I just made sure to check on the bread a little more often during baking to make sure it didn’t burn.

MAMA’S BANANA BREAD

1 cup granulated sugar (plus more for the pan)

1/2 cup salted butter, softened (plus more for the pan)

2 medium tired bananas (brown spotted)

2 large eggs

7 tablespoons sour milk (or 1 teaspoon white vinegar + enough milk to make 7 tablespoons)

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups flour, spooned and leveled

1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts), optional

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease two mini loaf pans with butter and coat it with sugar. ( Do this like you would grease a pan. Grease it first, then add about 2 tablespoons sugar to the pan and move the pan side to side until the bottom and sides are coated with sugar. Do NOT substitute cooking spray for the butter.)

2. Cream butter and sugar with a hand mixer. Set aside.

3. Add bananas, eggs, milk, and baking soda to bowl and blend until smooth.

4. Pour half the banana mixture into the butter mixture with 1 cup of flour. Mix with hand mixer until just incorporated, then add the remaining banana mixture and flour. Mix until just incorporated. Stir in nuts if using them. Pour into prepared pan.

5. Bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs. The edges will be a dark brown and there will be a nice crack down the center.

6. Cool completely before removing loaf from pan, but you can cut slices from the pan after it’s cooled for about 15-20 minutes.

Slightly adapted from Crazy For Crust

Recipe introduction from Sharon Lee

Blueberry Banana Nut Buttermilk Bread

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What time is it?! SUMMERTIME!
After surviving (barely) sophomore year, my goal is to sleep all day and play all night. Beach days, disney dates, and the baking craze are on the way! Unfortunately, the only dates I had this past week was with my SAT II Chemistry Prep book. But, even with dreaded studying, I can always muster together time for baking!
So, blueberry banana nut buttermilk bread. Isn’t that a mouthful? Well you’ll have your mouths full for sure after a nibble of this delectable bread. This was my first time making banana bread AND using a bread pan, and it was an absolute success! I’ve made it 3 times in the past week. Twice for my family and once for my chemistry tutor! (This lady deserves major kudos for helping my poor soul get an A in Honors Chemistry). She liked it so much, she told me she ate half of it fresh out of the oven with coffee on the way to her next student! As for my parents, my dad loves it with margarine and my mom devours it plain. So whether you sip coffee with it, slather it with margarine, or find your own personal pairing, I hope you enjoy this beautiful loaf!

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar(I actually used 3/4 since my parents don’t like things too sweet)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3(1cup) ripe bananas, mashed(overripe is best)
1 cup blueberries
1 cup(or amount desired of nuts of your choice; I used pecans)

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a loaf pan with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in eggs, buttermilk and vanilla until well combined. Beat in bananas until well combined. Gradually add flour mixture to the sugar mixture at low speed, beating just until incorporated.
Add blueberries and gently toss to combine.
Scoop the batter evenly into the loaf pan. Place into oven and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes before inverting the cake onto a wire rack.

Recipe used from http://damndelicious.net/2012/06/23/buttermilk-banana-blueberry-bread/

Bread Quiche

Happy Memorial Day folks! Hope your long weekend is filled with tons of BBQ and the first taste of summer. For those of you who don’t know, I am a most definitely a breakfast person. I love pretty much all breakfast food, from dutch babies to omelets, and I can never relate to people who always skimp out on breakfast, claiming that they refuse to  eat “that early in the morning”. Personally, I can’t think of anything better than rolling out of bed and having a piping hot pile of eggs and carbs waiting for you. But maybe that’s just me. It’s by far my favorite meal of the day, and it gives me that much needed kickstart to get my day going. Bread Quiche

My mom wanted to test out this recipe before she took it to her Bible study luncheon, so I made it over the weekend, and I AM IN LOVE. It strays from the traditional quiche since it lacks a crust, but do not fret my fellow-carb lovers, the bread is IN the quiche itself. It tastes great, and its really easy too! You literally just chop everything up, pour it into a baking pan, and throw it in the oven. It’s a low-maintainence dish, perfect for busier mornings. I highly suggest adding some variety to your morning meals with this quiche, you’ll thank me later.Bread Quiche

 

BREAD QUICHE:

4 cups of whole wheat bread, cubed (please do not use sandwich bread, please. I used a whole grain loaf bread from La Brea Bakery.)

4 eggs, completely whisked together

1/2 of a large tomato, chopped

1/2 of a onion, sauteed

1 1/2 cup of spinach

4 pieces of thickly sliced turkey, chopped

4 ounces of feta cheese, crumbled

1 tablespoon butter

1 1/2 cups milk

salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Lightly grease baking pan to prevent sticking. Put bread cubes into the pan

3. Evenly spread tomato, onion, spinach, and turkey on top of the bread. Sprinkle the feta cheese evenly on top.

4. Pour milk into the eggs and mix well.

5. Pour egg mixture into the pan and make sure most of the food in the pan is immersed in the mixture.

6. Place in oven and leave to cook for 45 minutes. Take out to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

NOTES:

– Spinach can be replaced with cooked broccoli or asparagus

– Feta can be replaced with blue, cheddar, or mozzerella

– Turkey can be switched out for bacon or ham or omitted

 

 

Pistachio and Dried Cherry Biscotti

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, a whole loaf of Pistachio and Dried Cherry Biscotti!

Why is warm two days from Christmas? California I do not understand you...

 

The holidays are whizzing past me right now, and I’m just starting to enjoy the freedom that comes with them. It was so nice to wake up after the sunrise and all that, and even the fact that I’ve been experiencing a stomach bug since yesterday hasn’t dampened my spirits! With school out and everything, I have much more time than usual to spend in the kitchen, which makes me very happy.

I got this recipe a little while back from my aunt, who is an avid baker as well as a crafter (if that’s even a term), and I was so excited to give it a test! With Christmas just around the corner, the red fruit and the green pistachios give the biscotti a festive coloring, making it the perfect recipe to start off this Christmas series.

The hues of the nuts and fruit are so vibrant against the plain dough of the biscotti. Hungry yet?

And not only does the biscotti look good, it tastes good as well. Baked twice to achieve that crispy crunch that one searches for in a biscotti, your company will be clamoring for a second serving. Served with a steaming cup of post-dinner coffee, this biscotti is bound to be the perfect ending to any holiday gathering!

PISTACHIO AND DRIED CHERRY BISCOTTI

2 cups of all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp baking powder’

¼ tsp salt

1 cup dried cherries

2 tbsp no pulp orange juice

4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

2 large eggs, room temperature

½ tsp vanilla extract

¾ cup shelled unsalted pistachios, toasted and chopped coarse

  1. Adjust rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk flour, ½ cup sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.
  3. Microwave cherries and orange juice, covered, in a small bowl for about 45 seconds. Let cool to room temperature, this should take about 30 minutes. (NOTE: if you need to cool the mixture a bit faster, stick it in the fridge for a bit.)
  4. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat butter and remaining sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. (NOTE: I used a hand mixer instead.)
  5. Slowly add eggs and vanilla into butter mixture until incorporated.
  6. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture into butter mixture. Fold in cherries and pistachios, mixing until just evenly incorporated.
  7. Transfer dough to prepared sheet, and with floured hands, form into two 13×2 loaves spaced three inches apart. Bake until light golden brown and just beginning to crack on top, about 30-35 minutes.  (NOTE: The dough will be a bit sticky, so floured hands are necessary. Trust me.)
  8. Take loaves out and allow to cool for 10 minutes before using a serrated knife to cut the loaves in to half-inch thick slices.
  9. To achieve the perfect crunch, lower the oven to 325 degrees. Then take the sliced loaves and stick onto a freshly lined baking sheet and bake for another 10-15 minutes, flipping each slice halfway through the baking.

VARIATIONS:

Instead of dried cherries, I replaced them with dried cranberries and it worked just as well. Pistachios can also be replaced with other nuts if so desired. If you’re looking for a softer biscotti (it’ll end up being more like bread), skip the double baking step.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy this recipe and have a wonderful time over the holidays! Check back tomorrow for another Christmas cookie recipe! Feel free to mention comments, concerns, questions, and cuss words below!

Coffee Can Pumpkin Bread

I’m sure everyone has their own variation of the ‘this person wouldn’t share their recipe because it was a secret’ story, but I’m going to go ahead and share mine anyways because I feel like it.

So every year my mom and her college friends meet together around Christmas time to just catch up with each other and spend some quality time together. Most of them live in Colorado now, so we don’t meet up very often and it’s really fun to see how much everyone changes from year to year. We meet at someone’s house, exchange presents, and of course have dinner together. And every single year, one of my mom’s friends brings this absolutely mouth-watering, scrumptious pumpkin bread. Crispy on the outside, moist on the inside. It was amazing, and the best part was that the loaf would always be ROUND. Like a cylinder. And every single year, my mom would beg for this magical pumpkin bread recipe. This simple plead from my mother would set her friend off on the same old story about how he had to bribe his neighbor for years to get the recipe off of her, and that something earned so difficultly could never be given up so easily. The only hint he gave was that the round shape of the loaf was achieved through the use of a coffee can instead of a loaf pan.

Then, just a couple months ago, my mom thought to herself, ‘ Wait, in this day and age, with the fact that practically everything can be found on the internet now, why wouldn’t there be a recipe for that darn pumpkin bread?’ So she whipped out her handy dandy iPad and searched ‘coffee can pumpkin bread’ on Google. And what do ya know? There it was. A recipe for a pumpkin bread just like the one we would have every year at the get-together! Although it isn’t the original (I doubt we’ll ever get him to spill it), it tastes quite the same to my tastebuds. So here it is! By the way, recipe credits to the Dutch Baker’s Daughter, make sure to go check out her blog as well, I will link it below.

COFFEE CAN PUMPKIN BREAD

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I only had the muffin variations left to photograph… the bread is really popular in my household.

• 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
• 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
• 4 eggs
• 1 (16 oz) can pumpkin
• 1 cup oil
• 1/2 teaspoon cloves
• 4 teaspoons cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon ginger
• 2 teaspoons nutmeg
• 1/4 teaspoon mace
• 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
• 2 teaspoons baking soda
• 2/3 cup water
• 3 1/2 cups flour

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Grease and flour 4 (1 lb) coffee cans (you may substitute 3 foil loaf pans or 6 mini-loaf pans)

3. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until well blended.

4. Divide the batter between the 4 coffee cans.

5. Bake for 1 hour or until the tops of the bread spring back when touched.

6. Allow bread to cool for 10 minutes before removing from cans.

Link to the original recipe source:

http://www.thedutchbakersdaughter.com/2009/11/coffee-can-pumpkin-bread.html

Variation: Use a mini muffin pan instead of coffee cans to make pumpkin muffins! I personally love mini foods, so I prefer this variation. It makes smaller portions and works perfectly as a grab-and-go snack.

These loaves make great holiday gifts, just wrap with cellophane and tie with some ribbon and you’re ready to go!

Hope you enjoyed the recipe! Feel free to comment below on whatever you want, even if its just to criticize my horrible writing skills. Thanks for reading!