Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Banana Bread

There were no more excuses today. Vacations were over, all the laundry was done - it was time to clean the house. It needed it. It had been a while since I'd last cleaned. I had every intention of cleaning before we left for our cruise, but being sidelined in a walking boot threw me a curve I wasn't fully expecting. So cleaning had to wait and resting and staying off my foot took top priority. 

After going to the doctor for a follow up, I was cleared to not wear my boot and should only wear it if I'm having a lot of pain. So I knew cleaning the house would be the first thing I needed to do. Wishing I had a hazmat suit to wear (I seriously would wear one while I clean - if anyone has one send it my way), I donned my rubber gloves and off I went. 

When I got to the kitchen all I could smell was the bananas. I took one look at them and saw that they were turning brown and slightly smooshy. I knew BP and his dad weren't going to eat them, I knew this was my time to make Banana Bread. 

If you are a fan of the Quickbread mixes, trust me you need to stop. In about the same amount of time using a boxed mix, you can have a from scratch batter. And once you do this you will never make a box mix again. Plus the smell of it baking is just intoxicating.  I love fall scents in the house - and yes it's still summer and in the 90's here in Northern Virginia, but part of me can't wait for fall baking. 

BP came home and saw the loaves cooling and his eyes lit up. I knew he was excited. I cut him a piece and he was hooked. Later his dad had a piece and he said the bread was a winner.  Let's just say this makes two loaves and both are staying inside this house. :) 

Banana Bread
Makes two 9x5" loaves

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3 eggs 
2 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
2 tbsp vanilla extract 
4 medium ripe bananas, mashed up (if you want to mix things up, leave some chunks of banana while mashing to add a little something extra to the bread)
1 1/4 cups chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray loaf pans with cooking spray and set aside. 

2.  In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking sida and salt. Set aside.

3.  In the bowl of an electric mixer or large bowl with handheld mixer, beat eggs, sugar and vegetable oil together until combined. Slowly add in flour mixture; mix until combined. Add vanilla, bananas, milk and nuts and mix until combined. 

4. Divide batter evenly between prepared loaf pans. Bake, rotating halfway through, 60-65 minutes. Check to see if they are fully baked by sticking a cake tester or toothpick halfway through the middle of the loaf.  Let cool for 20 minutes, remove from pans and let cool completely. 

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