Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bananas for Bananas

I have a weakness for food on sale. As an example, bananas. I don't even really EAT bananas but I buy them. I also don't eat peanut butter but I buy it. I have every intention of giving those jars to food shelters. (So at least that's semi-forgivable) But with bananas I buy them with the intention of eating them and then I realize I don't really like eating them unless they are sliced and floating around in my cereal. Sweet not-as-healthy-for-you cereal at that. I'm fond of Golden Grahams. Honey Bunches of Oats. Something sorta sweet but no marshmallows. I can't get behind dried up marshmallows.

Anyway...bananas turn an ugly shade of black and fruit flies invade my home. And only then do I think "hey, maybe I should do something about this."

I made a banana cheesecake, 20something banana bread muffins and only after hours of the oven cranking away was I free of those putrid bananas.

Mind you, I like banana desserts a lot but the sense of obligation to make them kind of makes it less fun.

So after not doing this in um...forever?!? I'm posting a recipe for banana bread. The old standby of using up bananas. I like muffin form because it's less commitmental and I don't have to cut anything and dirty up a knife. This is a modified version of something The Barefoot Contessa makes but I like it because everything is nice round numbers. No, 2 1/4 cup of this and 1/3 cup of that.

Banana Bread with a Crunch
Oven 350F (the old standby...I think almost everything bakes at 350F)
DRY STUFF
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
WET STUFF
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 apple sauce (I happen to have this hanging around, otherwise you can use 1 full cup oil)
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
Mashed up banana goo. I had 3 bananas.
1 tsp vanilla extract
OTHER
1 cup oats
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup walnuts chopped
chocolate chips (optional)

Mix all dry stuff. If you're super ambitious sift it all. It mixes together with less lumps if you take the time to sift. I am lazy so I just mixed by hand (less stuff to clean up later). Mix all your wet goo together and then add it to your dry. The trick to any tender quick breads is NOT mixing the tar out of it. Then gently mix the "other" in. The "other" isn't really standard banana bread stuff persay but it adds a lot of texture and flavor. And it makes me feel healthier to see oats in there. I know sugar laden baked goods aren't healthy but just let me pretend...okay?

Standard Muffins? 20 minutes should do it. Fill only 2/3s of the way up. They WILL lift and the will make a mess of your oven. Loaf pan? give it at least 40 and then check on it. Everyone's oven is different.

On a side note? I don't even really like consuming cheesecake THAT much but my dad does like it when I make some from scratch. Clearly it was a mistake introducing him to the "good stuff." So I made a banana cheesecake for him. I'll bring it over tonight since mom is prepping a b'day meal for me. Since I had the oven going I also made lasagna for dinner yesterday. My husband likes lasagna. I'm happier with normal pasta or raviolis since it takes a lot more assembly to do lasagna. After I finally turned the oven off I thought it was funny that for my birthday I was making things other people liked. I should really have just made food I like. Clearly I have become a softie.