Banana (no nut) Bread

I believe the unseasonably warm Seattle weather earlier this month caused my bananas to ripen faster than I would have liked. (I made this recipe in early June) What’s to be done with ripe bananas other than make banana bread? However, I didn’t have nuts on hand, and most recipes I saw were for banana nut bread.

But then I found this recipe from my alma mater, The State News. I was interested to see the recipe was attached to an article about banana bread being a healthier snacking alternative. Really? Healthier than what? With butterbutterbutter? It wasn’t like this was a Cooking Light banana bread recipe… Healthier than Twinkies and Sour Patch Kids, perhaps. You can read the comments below the story if you want a more biting, condescending version of my critique.

I figured I’d give the recipe a whirl, even if the health information wasn’t exactly correct and even if the recipe was snagged from the Food Network.

Banana Bread

1 cup of sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted, room-temperature butter
2 large eggs
3 ripe bananas
1 tablespoon of milk
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

The oven should be preheated at 325 degrees and a 9×5×3-inch loaf pan needs to be buttered.

The sugar and butter need to be creamed together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Each egg then needs to be added one at a time and beaten into the mix as they are added.

1. In a separate bowl, the bananas need to be mashed with a fork. Then, mix in the milk and cinnamon. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

2. Stir and combined the banana mix to the creamed mixture, then add the dry ingredients, mixing until the flour disappears.

3. Once everything is mixed together, pour the batter into the pan and bake for one hour. Use a toothpick to determine if it’s cooked entirely. Poke the bread in the center with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, then it is finished. Allow the bread to cool for 15 minutes before removing bread from the pan and slicing.

Notes:

  • I’m still interested in if you think it “counts” as a newspaper recipe when the newspaper snags the recipe from another source. For more of my musings on this topic, read this earlier post.
  • I didn’t get any pictures of the bread. Whoops. But it looked like pretty much every other loaf of banana bread that has ever been baked in the history of humankind, so you’re not really missing out.
  • I thought the bread was rather bland when I ate it the morning after I made it, but Toby really loved it and was sad that I took half the bread as a thank-you gift to a school that let us observe their reading classes.
Teacher Resource Room at Adelaide Elementary -- we hope you enjoyed the bread!

Teacher Resource Room at Adelaide Elementary -- we hope you enjoyed the bread!

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Published in: on June 29, 2009 at 5:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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AJC for Jamie G.

I have a new food reporting obsession. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s recipe finder.

On many sites, I’ve had a difficult time searching through recipe archives. My queries for “chicken” wind up netting either zero hits or 23946732875. Even ProQuest fails me at times.

So it was a welcome change to discover the AJC’s food page. I admit, I was skeptical of the newspaper’s site at first — the home page was so crammed with advertisements that I thought I hit one of those error pages, where you misspell a word in the URL, so scam artists design a site that looks similar but is just all links and ads.

The food site itself is divided into several categories that seemed pretty intuitive to me:
• What are you bringing? (recipes suitable to bring to a potluck or work function, they seem to serve more people than an average recipe without being restaurant-sized batches)
• Sunday Dinner (more involved meals designed “for when you have more time”
• Fit to Eat (healthy, obviously)
• 5:30 Dinner Challenge (30-minute meals)

Bottom line: AJC: UR DOIN IT RIGHT.

The Journal-Constitution is also doing it right because they’ve hired the talented Jamie Gumbrecht from the Lexington Herald-Leader, where she worked as a pop culture reporter. And although it’s silly that she’s moving away from Seattle instead of closer, I can’t help but be happy for her.
Jamie and Shannon
Jamie and me in 2003.

Just for Jamie, I stepped out of my comfort zone again this week with another cooking-but-it’s-sort-of-baking recipe. I attempted broccoli corn bread, and then in a flash of inspiration (and because the site was so freaking easy to navigate), I also tried the peanut butter and jelly cupcakes.

A note to food page designers: I loved being able to rate the recipes, as well as see how many people rated them. Toby was highly skeptical of the corn bread, but I pointed out that 16 people gave it 4 stars.

However, it would have been helpful to know when the recipe was posted and how long the recipes stay posted on the site. I assumed that because 16 people had a chance to try the corn bread, it wasn’t just posted super-recently, but as our Detroit News adventure taught me, I don’t expect it to stay online terribly long.

This meal was served with my mom’s fantastic chili recipe, which is not from a newspaper, but is delicious nonetheless. And I should mention that *I* made this entire meal, so you know it’s simple.

Broccoli Corn Bread

2 (8 1/2-ounce) boxes Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup finely chopped onion (1 medium)
1 (10-ounce) box frozen chopped broccoli, thawed, excess water squeezed out

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking pan.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine corn muffin mix, butter, eggs, cottage cheese, onion and broccoli.

3. Spread in baking pan and bake until cake tester comes out clean and edges are lightly browned, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Chili and Corn Bread

Notes and Modifications
• Don’t be afraid to overcook this one a bit. It’s extremely moist, so it’s nice to have a crunchier crust.
• Toby’s cousin Alex joined us for dinner. Alex likes corn bread!!

And for dessert, Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes

1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 cups warm milk (or water)
1 box yellow cake mix
3 eggs
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup strawberry jam

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

2. In a large bowl, combine the peanut butter and warm milk or water with an electric mixer until well-blended. Add the cake mix, eggs and vegetable oil. Beat 2 minutes, until smooth.

3. Spoon the batter into the lined cups. Drop a teaspoon of jam on top and in the middle of the batter in each cup. Press down on the jam slightly with the back of the teaspoon.

4. Bake 20-25 minutes, until the centers are firm. (Do not underbake.) Cool in pan for at least 5 minutes before removing

Nutrition information per cupcake: 199 calories (percent of calories from fat, 44), 5 grams protein, 24 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 10 grams fat (2 grams saturated), 25 milligrams cholesterol, 209 milligrams sodium.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes

Notes and modifications
• Let’s be frank. (And slightly not safe for work.) If you put too much batter in the cupcake cup, the batter doesn’t completely surround the jelly and you wind up with cupcakes that look a bit like this. I mention this on a practical note, in case you don’t want lady-bits cupcakes at your next office party. If, on the other hand, that suits your purposes, I highly recommend them.
• The recipe insists you need paper muffin tin liners, but you don’t. I thought the jelly might seep through the bottom if you didn’t use them, but that wasn’t a problem.
• We used Pillsbury yellow cake mix because it was on sale, and it worked just fine.

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