Where I’ve been (and a loaded banana bread)

October 2, 2010

Chunky Monkey Banana Bread

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.

  1. Estela @ Weekly Bite

    October 2, 2010 at 8:45 am

    I’ve been wondering what happened to you!

    Congrats!! You’re going to LOVE being a mom :)

  2. the wicked noodle

    October 2, 2010 at 9:13 am

    I absolutely can not wait to try that banana bread! YUM!

  3. The Blue-Eyed Bakers

    October 2, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Congratulations! What exciting news!!! And that bread looks delicious…that little babe must be loving it!

  4. Judy B.

    October 2, 2010 at 9:29 am

    Congratulations – I noted you said “I hope HE likes bananas” – a little boy!

    The picture of your hand on your tummy is beautiful – one day your little boy will look at it in wonder and know he was tucked just under your hand.

    Love banana bread so this one is next on my recipe to fix docket.

  5. Stephanie

    October 2, 2010 at 9:29 am

    Look at you! Darling and congratulations. I’m wishing you a happy journey!

  6. allison [a for aubergine]

    October 2, 2010 at 10:02 am

    HUGE congrats on the “kiddo!” and welcome back. The bread looks divine!

  7. AnnE

    October 2, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    Oh how I’ve missed you! Great to have you back…by the way you look so adorable! Can’t wait to see you in 6 days!

  8. M.

    October 2, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    such great news!!! congratulations!!!

    I missed you, but you’ve got best excuse ever :)

    and the banana bread looks delicious darling.

  9. Danna

    October 2, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Awesome post and awesome pictures! You look soo cute, Carolyn! :)

  10. Katie @ Cozydelicious

    October 2, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Congrats!!! I’m sure he will like bananas – especially if he gets to smell this banana bread cooking. Yum!

  11. kristin

    October 2, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    So good to have you back up and posting. This banana bread looks incredible. I’ve never been tempted to make banana bread, but after reading this post, I’m finding myself trying to figure out a time to do it.

    And it was so good to see your pregnancy shots!! I can’t wait to continue reading after your little one is born to see how he changes your life.

  12. Congratulations! Because whatever you are eating now, he can taste in utero, I would only advise you to keep cooking and eating what you really like… This way, he’ll be a better eater later on in life! Sending you good vibes!

  13. angela

    October 3, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Oh, my how stinkin sweet those pics are! We have missed you guys and am anxious to see you and Kyle and of course the little one : )

  14. fresh365

    October 4, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Congratulations! I hope the next few weeks fly by and you get to meet the little one soon!

  15. Cherine

    October 5, 2010 at 1:16 am

    Congrats! The banana bread looks wonderful!

  16. Kaitlin

    October 5, 2010 at 7:57 am

    Aw, congratulations!

    This bread looks absolutely fabulous. I’ve got it bookmarked :)

  17. Heavenly Housewife

    October 7, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Just stumbled on your blog after visiting Crumpets and cakes, and I think your site is absolutely divine. I want a slice of this banana bread :). I have also bookmarked the almond joys.
    Congrats on your pregnancy!!
    *kisses* HH

  18. Nicole

    October 8, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Loving the sound of this banana bread. Hope the pregnancy is going well and you’re starting to feel better!

  19. Pam

    October 8, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    MAJOR congratulations! You will never regret having a little one! A little tip from someone who has had 6–take those things from the freezer, (or shop specifically for), and make “TV dinners” with them! Just cook double the amount of entire meals a few times a week, and freeze a few whole meals for when baby comes. You will be SO thankful for that extra time of bonding and not worrying about getting dinner on the table, because you can just throw it in the oven. Really, you can’t make too many! Aim for at least 30! You’re welcome! Hugs!

  20. Sara

    October 13, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    horray!!!!! i was waiting to read the news, though you let me in on your secret earlier :) your belly is gorgeous! i can’t imagine how exciting this must be. Do not stress on the posts, we will be here waiting, like good friends. The bread looks amazing, and wish I was close enough to bring you over a pregnancy appealing meal! Best of luck to you all!

  21. Laura

    October 13, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    YUM! On all levels. =)

  22. Beth K

    October 18, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    Kudos! Congrats! Your newborn will eat well! :)

  23. molly

    October 27, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    oh, yipppeeeeeeeee!!!

    not a surprise, of course, but still a thrill, to see it in lights. and my oh my, those last pictures are the best. glad you’re feeling a bit better (and yes, there is NOTHING better than a saltine, at times like these).

    cheers and congrats,


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