Banana bread has long been a favorite of mine. My grandma Barbara used to make it with me all the time (when I was very little she’d let me mash the bananas and that was the coolest thing ever). The smell of it baking in the house is unbeatable. I can’t wait til it’s cooled to eat it - I always cut into it within a few minutes and eat at least a few slices right away.
This recipe is a standard for me - I adapted it from a number of recipes with twice or three times as much sugar and butter. I wouldn’t reduce those items anymore, personally, but I guess it could be done! But why, it’s already bread!
Banana Nut Bread
3 ripe bananas (the riper, the moister the bread!)
1 1/2 cups flour
2 oz. butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Cooking spray for the baking dish
Preheat oven to 375°F
Sift flour and baking soda together and reserve.
In another bowl, stir sugar, eggs, vanilla, and butter until well incorporated. Add flour, and stir until smooth.
Mash bananas with a fork and stir into batter. Then add nuts and stir well.
Coat a loaf pan with spray (or other baking dish if you don’t have a loaf pan) and pour in batter. Bake for about 45 minutes. The banana bread is cooked when the tip of a knife comes out clean and dry (although it will come out wet if you’ve stabbed a banana!).
Let cool off for about ten minutes and then remove from baking dish.
This jam is great on french toast and waffles - ask my little guy, Ryan! It’s his favorite condiment after ketchup! I don’t prepare mine for shelving because it doesn’t last that long around here, and honestly it just seems like a project that I don’t have time for. This recipe is super quick and it’s fun, really. It will last for about two weeks in the fridge.
No-pectin small-batch Strawberry Jam
3 cups sliced strawberries
1 cup sugar
2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice (depending on your taste)
Put a small plate in the freezer. You’ll use this to test the thickness of the jam.
Put all the ingredients in a large, wide saucepan over medium heat. You want to ensure maximum water loss from the strawberries in as little time as necessary, and the wide pan helps with this. Stirring slowly, bring the strawberries to a boil (mine usually take about 8-10 minutes to boil). After they’ve been boiling for 2 or so minutes, test the liquid part by putting a small spoonful on the cold plate. This will show you the thickness after it has cooled. If it’s thick enough for your taste, take it off the heat now. I let mine go for a total of about 15 minutes on the heat (boiling for about 5-7 minutes).
Put the jam into a large glass container (I use old peanut butter jars) and close tightly!
Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!
It’s a very far cry from your grandma’s bread and jam.
This was part of my mother’s day brunch last year, and how lucky am I - hubby’s making it again this year. It was that good. Sounds a bit daunting to make, but I hear it was really easy. Finding the brioche was the most difficult part.
Brioche Toast with Roasted and Mashed Honey Sweetened Berries
(Credit goes to Michael Chiarello)
Makes 4 servings
4 (1-inch) thick slices brioche
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 pints mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)
½ cup honey
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Heat a large grill pan and toast the brioche slices, turning once. Spread each toasted slice with butter and set aside.
Toss the berries in a bowl with the honey, lemon juice and salt. Put them onto a sheet pan and roast for 5 minutes. Mash the cooked berries with a fork until spreading consistency. Spoon the warm berries over the brioche toast or let cool to room temperature. Berry mixture can be refrigerated for 1 week.