Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My, has she changed

For once, not Emi. Me.

Back before Miss Emi joined our household I used to consider myself a pretty decent cook. No delusions of grandeur (okay, well, only a little) but I could host a dinner party for 8-10 as well as an intimate dinner for four, and actually enjoy it.

But my oh my, has my kitchen changed. Or rather, my time in there has. Quick and easy meals are now more the norm and baking has slid to all all-time low. However, for whatever reason, I had two very dead bananas sitting on the counter this morning. So, of course, banana bread came to mind. I thought if I found a simple recipe I could probably pull it off. I gathered all my ingredients and then Miss Emi. She had not had breakfast yet, so I installed her in her high chair (strapped her in ... she thinks standing up is a riot, Mama thinks it causes heart failure). I chopped up a couple of strawberries (this could be why the bananas went bad, come to think of it), set out a small dish of O's and a sippy of milk. All favorites, so I thought I was golden. Ah, there is the mind of a sleep-deprived mom of a toddler.

In reading the directions, I knew I didn't have plain yogurt in the house (blech!) but I did have some lemon. Hmmm, okay that could work! I only had about a half a teaspoon of vanilla, but I did have some rum extract so add a tiny (very, it goes a long way!) splash of that to the vanilla might add a bit of oomph, especially with that extra lemon from the yogurt. So, I had a plan!

Reminder: Toddler in high chair.

So Emi is happily munching on strawberries, Mama is mixing the first couple of steps. I get to adding the yogurt and guess who decided she HAD to have it? Yep, Miss Emi. I had just decided that a 6 oz container of yogurt would do for the 1/3 cup they asked for. Little extra but hey, no biggie. Good thing, Emi ended up eating about a third of the container. She would have wanted more, but by then I was chopping up the bananas. Now by this time she'd had quite a few strawberries, but she had to have bananas too. I thought, being all mushy she'd have no interest. HA! So, instead of the three the recipe called for, I have about one and three-quarters (I only started out with two, but close enough). I also didn't want to take the time to get out the food processor, I knew I was already on borrowed time as it was. So I just chopped up the bananas and tossed them into my mixture. Then, found the potato masher and went to town (I was pretty impressed with the stroke of brilliance, if I do say so myself ... which I do!).

I was able to toss the rest of this together and get it in the oven, and it's now baking and smells divine. Who knows, this may end up being a new family favorite. Mainly because if it tastes as good as it smells, it may actually end up being made more often than our ultimate fav ... but much more time intensive banana bread.

I will have to report later how it turns out. If I cut into this while Jeff is at work, there will be big trouble in this house! :)

P.S. Oh, and the new season of TNFNS starts next Sunday, the DvR is already set!

Classic Banana Bread (Cooking Light)

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
¼ cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1½ cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.

Place sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, yogurt, and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Spoon batter into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

Yield: 1 loaf, 14 servings (serving size: 1 slice)

Nutritional Information: CALORIES 187(21% from fat); FAT 4.3g (sat 2.4g,mono 1.2g,poly 0.3g); PROTEIN 3.3g; CHOLESTEROL 40mg; CALCIUM 20mg; SODIUM 198mg; FIBER 1.1g; IRON 1mg; CARBOHYDRATE 34.4g

Cooking Light, SEPTEMBER 2003

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