Overripe bananas + (nearly) overripe strawberries + an upcoming project launch at the office = reason enough to make Strawberry Banana Bread. I’d had my eye on a recipe for a month or so, and had all of the ingredients readily available. I knew I also wanted to surprise my team with a breakfast treat to kick off a big project launch. (Last time around, I made these Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins for my team.) One hour later, my kitchen smelled like a delicious berry-filled brunch occasion. And yes, by this point it was past 10 pm, but we had to try the spoils, so we had breakfast for dessert. (For a strawberry banana flavored fix at any time of day, my family also loves these Pure Organic Strawberry Banana Fruit Bars.)
My favorite part about this bread is the strawberry topping. Next time I make a loaf, my plan is to add more of the strawberry mixture and swirl it into the batter itself so that you get a bit of berry (and banana) with every bite. :)
- All-purpose flour – 2 cups, 1 Tablespoon
- Baking soda – 3/4 teaspoon
- Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
- Cinnamon – 1 teaspoon
- Sugar – 1 cup (I used a vanilla bourbon sugar we had in our spice cabinet)
- Butter – 1/4 cup, softened
- Eggs – 2
- Bananas – 3, mashed
- Vanilla yogurt – 1/3 cup
- Vanilla extract – 2 teaspoons
- Almond extract – 1/2 teaspoon
- Strawberries – 10-12, hulled
- Sugar – 1 teaspoon
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a loaf pan. (I used a 9×5 inch pan.)
2. To make the strawberry topping, use a food processor or blender to pulse the strawberries and sugar until smooth.
3. Mix flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. Cream sugar and butter in a large bowl using a mixer. Slowly beat in the eggs and then add in mashed bananas, yogurt, vanilla extract and almond extract. Once blended, mix in the dry ingredients, too.
4. Transfer batter into loaf pan. Add dollops of strawberry topping and swirl mixture into batter using a butter knife.
5. Bake for approx. 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
This recipe was adapted from Happy Food, Healthy Life
I had a chance to become reacquainted with my kitchen over the holidays. I took a break from throwing together the usual dinners, and helped prep a meal of steak filets. (I left the cooking to a more seasoned expert.) On another night, I tried a new recipe for smoked chicken with roasted red peppers. The key ingredient there? Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Yum.
I also spent a bit of time baking. Wanting to use some of the leftover cranberries from the garland-making festivities at my holiday party, I found a recipe for Cranberry Coffee Cake. The dates and brown sugar really add an extra kick of sweetness to the cranberry topping. It’s an upside down cake, and when flipped, it didn’t look like the prettiest creation. It did serve as a delish breakfast for the week. It also reminded me that I want to spend more time baking (and cooking!) when I’m not off traveling. I’ve already made plans to host two dinner parties this year. Huzzah!
- Cooking oil
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup pitted dates, chopped
- 2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped
- 1 teaspoon orange rind, grated
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use cooking spray to coat 9-inch baking pan and then dust pan with approximately 1 tablespoon of flour.
2. In a small bowl, mix together cranberries, walnuts, dates and orange rind.
3. Melt 2 tablespoons butter and stir in brown sugar, orange juice and cinnamon, mixing frequently for 3 minutes.
4. Pour brown sugar mixture into pan and cover it with cranberry mixture.
5. In a medium size bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, use a mixer to blend butter and granulated sugar. Add in vanilla and egg.
6. Alternate stirring in flour mixture and buttermilk into granulated sugar mixture. Be sure to start and end with flour mixture. Once blended, pour combined mixture into pan atop cranberries.
7. Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife along edges of pan and once cooled, invert cake onto a serving plate.
8. To create glaze, whisk together powdered sugar, butter and orange juice. Use whisk to drizzle glaze atop coffee cake.
This recipe is from Cooking Light: Comfort Food
This holiday season, my friend and I decided to host a holiday crafts party. We gathered a small group of friends together and spent the evening noshing on snacks, sipping on wine and assembling button wreaths, holiday cards, popcorn garlands and more. A friend created the stash of berry cute Santa hats pictured above.
Sadly, I got so carried away by all of the festive fun that I neglected to take a ton of photos of our creations…our ourselves! I suppose that’s OK on some other level though, because I fully enjoyed the event.
My favorite craft activity of the evening = the Cork Reindeer Christmas Ornaments.
The Cork Reindeer kit came with almost everything needed, and they were fairly easy to assemble. The hardest step was attaching the head to the body, which we did by using a nail to create small holes in the corks to insert the wooden stick, aka its neck. We used a mini glue gun for the rest of the project. I ended up gifting some of these lil guys as wine bottle ornaments, and attached a few as accessories to small gifts for colleagues. Seriously adorable, no?
Last year, I made marshmallow reindeer, and sat at a desk station near an inflatable reindeer named “I’m Rein Burgundy?” Perhaps I’ll have to find another reindeer item to fixate on next year. :-P
I hope your holiday season is merry and bright. Many cheers to the new year!
Sindy Libby Keahbone and Hannah Keahbone
Oklahoma City, OK
[photo snapped at the National Museum of the American Indian, For a Love of his People: The Photography of Horace Poolaw exhibit]
“Reportedly, Hannah was a rebel. Traditional artist Vanessa Jennings remembered that she defied temperance laws and wore makeup. ‘She was bold and beautiful. The rules for women and their physical appearance at this time [where] harshly regulated by the field matrons at the Anadarko Indian Agency. You were supposed to be dressed like a super-modest white woman and NO makeup.’ Despite the agency, twentieth-century Kiowa mothers and daughters negotiated the terms of female identity among themselves.”
A quick meal at a spot in Soho made us stop to say, “this looks like autumn on a table!”