Sunday, February 23, 2014

Breaking Loose and Banana Bread

My resolution for this year was to be more spontaneous, and I think I have been doing a pretty good job with that so far.  In the past two months I started dating again, went to a trampoline park, ice skating, and bowling.  I am hosting spontaneous girls' nights and meeting with friends on the fly.  It's kind of nice to not have to plan every minute of my life all the time.

This morning after a terrific night of bowling and a movie, I woke up early to clean the kitchen, and noticed I had overly ripe bananas.  I could either throw them out, or make banana bread- the banana bread option won hands down, of course.  I am pretty busy with school and the internship hunt right now, so I don't have a lot of time.  But this morning, I decided I was just going to whip up a loaf and that was that.  I really like this new version of myself, the "go-with-the-flow-and-carpe-diem" version.  It is fun and exciting, and now apparently delicious.

If you had asked me on New Years Day if I thought I would be this happy two months later, I would have thought you were crazy.  It's a pretty cool feeling, and I think I'm going to stick with it for a while.

Brown Sugar Topped Banana Bread
Recipe adapted from The Better Homes and Gardens New Baking Book
Yield: 1 large loaf

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large over-ripe bananas, mashed
1 large nearly ripe banana, mashed
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 Tbs dark brown sugar

1. In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (except sugar).
2. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients and sugar.
3. Make a well in the dry ingredients, then stir the wet ingredients in just until combined.  DO NOT over-stir, because you will get crumbly bread with tunnels.
4. Pour batter into a well-greased bread pan.
5. Sprinkle brown sugar over the top of the batter and swirl in with a toothpick.
6. Bake at 350°F for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
7. Cool in pan on wire rack for 1 hour, and then loosen from sides and allow to finish cooling completely on the wire rack.

This bread tends to get darker on the top because of the brown sugar, but I promise it isn't burned.  It is still moist and flavorful and delicious.  My roommate hates nuts, but otherwise I would have put some chopped pecans in.

It is especially delicious served warm with either butter or cream cheese, and a good cup of coffee.

Here is to spontaneity and being happy.

Love and cookies,

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