October 2, 2010
I really and truly have not forgotten about you. Scout’s honor.
While I have every intention of finding my way back to this fun space on a more regular basis, at the moment I’m a bit indisposed. Aside from the fact that my appetite and desire to cook has waned a bit (and at times, a lot) over the past few months, I’ve also chosen to spare you from notes about the gourmet delicacies emerging from our kitchen. I can’t imagine you’d have found my saltine, spicy pickle relish and sharp cheddar cheese tea sandwiches all too appetizing. I’m also a tad reluctant to divulge a recent interest (er, obsession) with Cheetos, french fries and meat (roasts, steaks, meatballs, the whole nine).
And if you still haven’t caught my drift, about six months back a little something of a blue line, or double blue line, or exclamation point, or smiley face or some other nondescript abstract symbol appeared one Monday saying “wake up, kiddos, you’re, uh, havin’ a kiddo”, and indicated we had about nine months to fuss over names and nursery colors and colleges (teasing – kind of – and not before we stared at each other blankly for about three weeks, hoping the other would have a rational response to “well, what do we now?”). This puts us a mere thirteen weeks away from adding diapers and wipes and extra bold coffee, red wine and feta cheese to the top of the shopping list. I can’t promise two to three recipes/posts per week in the coming months (er, years) as I did so ambitiously following this blog’s launch, but I hope to drop by weekly at minimum. For my sanity’s sake, at least.
Now, on to the food. I must be nesting because I have a mad desire to make everything spotless STAT(!). (Exhibit A: While I haven’t a clue if the ducts in our house really need cleaned, I’m insistent that they must be before the wee one arrives. Kyle’s a bit perturbed.) For some reason, our freezer has been a source of major anxiety. How such a small, sequestered space can cause so much angst is beyond me. It’s full to the brim with random remnants like chicken carcasses and soup bones, cherry mojito mix (sigh, missed those this summer), and bags of frozen produce, all of which scream out in unison when I open the door. Do something about this, will you! (Perhaps subconsciously I have grand plans to cook and freeze meals for four months from now when the evening dinner question will go something like, Which do you fancy tonight? Oatmeal or buttered toast?) So I’ve started clearing it out. Using up what I can and pitching what I seriously should just pitch (ahem, random single turkey sausage link?). I have enough frozen bananas for a dozen loaves of banana bread and fifty jars of baby food. Hope he likes bananas.
Chunky Monkey Banana Bread
- 1 1/4 cup overripe mashed banana (about 2 large)
- 1/2 cup plain lowfat greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup nonfat milk
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup whole oats
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 T baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped ripe banana
- 1/2 cup chunky natural peanut or almond butter, microwaved for 30 seconds or until spreadable
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, combine first eight ingredients (mashed banana through vanilla) and mix well. In a separate bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder and salt. Gradually stir dry ingredients into banana mixture, being sure not to over mix. Fold in chocolate chips and chopped banana.
Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Drizzle over the nut butter, spreading in an even layer to edges. Top with remaining batter.
Bake in preheated oven for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow banana bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pan and transfer bread to a cooling rack.