Sunday, June 30, 2013

My husband ate it all....

Hope you all had a splendid weekend!

Mine was husband-less and rainy.. Friday was lookin' promising and was about to dust the cob webs off my bike, and next thing ya' know, it comes pourin' down.  Until next time little bikey.....

I did get the house cleaned and tidied, so it wasn't completely unproductive weekend... just for the poor pups who have been itchin' to go on a walk but the weather has been rainin' on our parade plans!...  but the week ahead is lookin' swell, especially since I'll have the hubby to help (walking both dogs by yourself is quite a challenge....)

Now.... onto the food.... It's no mystery to those who know us that my Alex has a mighty large sweet tooth.  When he does the grocery shopping, it usually ends something like....

Alex: I bought some ice cream, BUT I got your favorite flavor!... I bought it for you!

Me: Oh, thanks hunny!  (I really do appreciate the thought, but know from experience his sweet tooth had a say in this purchase...)

Me (1-3 days later grabbing it from the freezer when my 'rare-once-per-week' sweet tooth rolls around): "Hunny... how much ice cream have you had?!

Alex: Well... not THAT much really... I just thought you didn't really want it that much.....

Me looking down at said ice cream carton with barely one scoop left...

(Pause, crickets)
........Commence his incessant apologies.....

End scene.

Since I was 16, I've always cooked (thanks to the beloved Food Network Channel and my amazingly step-dad/chef!).... Entrees, appetizers, breakfasts, casseroles, etc.. Now baking.... well, not so much.  It was and always has been very foreign to me..... Basically, let's just put it out there... I just plain stink at it!  Considering I have a husband with a sweet tooth larger than Mount Everest, I came to terms and was almost grateful for this until the very memorable day I was introduced to Pinterest in January 2011.

Now all of the sudden, I found myself immersed in bulges of droolingly, good-looking baking recipes I was determined to conquer!... After many failed attempts (not enough sugar, too much flour, over-baked... and did I mention I loathe our oven!).. until NOW!

I did it my friends thanks to a Friday Favorites find, and since it was more healthy than not, I didn't feel tooooo bad that it was eaten (within 5 days I mean, 3 days) with my servings being a the one and only "test bite" when it first came out of the oven thanks to my sneaky husband. Let's hope he doesn't get used TOO used to this now!

Apple Banana Bread
Serves 1 loaf
Slightly adapted from The Keenan Cookbook

In the line up folks!
- 2 very ripened bananas, mashed
- 1 large apple (whichever you like), peeled, cut around the core and then diced
- 1 3/4 cup flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extra
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup applesauce
(I had sweetened on hand, thus added less of the regular and brown sugar)
- 3 Tablespoons milk, I used skim

Coach's Orders!

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Peel, core and chop up a large apple of your likin'!

2. In a small bowl, mash the banas however ya' like, I just used a regular ol' fork to do the trick (will depend on how ripe/mushy your bananas are).

3. In a separate bowl, add dry ingredients: sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, flour, salt, & cinnamon and mix together.

4. To the mix, incorporate the wet ingredients: eggs, applesauce, milk, vanilla extra & oil.  Stir to combine all together until it has to the consistency like the picture on the right.

5. Add chopped apples and mashed bananas stir them into the batter.  If you like bigger chunks of apples, chop em' bigger, or if you like the flava' minus the chunks, dice those babies up smaller.

6. Add mixture into a 9" greased loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes-60 minutes, stirring half way in between to evenly brown on all sides.

Best hour of your bakin' life my friends... the house smells of cinnamon, Alex asking how much time is left, my nose keeping me checkin' on it every 2 minutes hoping it's done so I can dig in!

Test that baby out by using a toothpick or a knife and dive straight down into the middle/thickest part of the loaf and remove... If it comes out gooey, that baby needs some more time, but if it's clean, take er' out and chow down let cool down.

Once cooled, remove from baking pan and slice er' up while still deliciously warm on the inside... I think some lightly sprinkled powdered sugar on sugar would really make this perfect!

 The apples were perfectly cooked, oozing with cinnamon and sugary goodness but still added a slight crunch that really put this bread over the top! Couldn't have turned out betta' my friends, and truly, even if you're a die-hard traditional banana bread lova', try this baby out!

SO versatile.  I'm pretty sure Alex ate it so quickly because it acts as an a) Perfectly light & hearty breakfast, b) Light & sweet dessert, c) Snack for the road on our way to visit my in-laws 

Try this baby out ASAP and it'd also be a great potluck dish to bring or a gift during the Fall season (hence the apples!).... I'm tellin' ya', no losing with this WINNER!

Alright my friends, I'm off to continue ruminating on the dozens of recipes I have in my indecisive head to make for hubby's "Welcome Home" dinner tomorrow evening... My appetite is totally run by the weather (and since it's a dinner for him, something he'd like of course!) so I better check the forecast and remove any meals involving long noodles, Asian flavored, mushrooms or bland pasta sauces!)...

... But really, who wants to eat a pipin' hot panini on a 90+ degree day vs. something light and refreshing?! Not this lady! Stay tuned for what I decide on :)

Have a great week & I'll be rollin' out some 4th of July recipes I'm considering... Supposed to be perfectly warm & sunny round here, thanking the weather Gods!

..... and yes, I'm already on the beginning of Season 7 of Gilmore Girls for the zillionth time .....


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