Monday, September 27, 2010

QT with S-I-L’s and banana spice bread.

Friday night, the joy of being a coach’s wife began {sense the sarcasm} as Eugene was gone all evening for a basketball fundraiser. It’s alright though because he’s coaching to provide even more for our family, and it’s a good career move for him, plus I got some great QT with Rita & Heidi, my sista-in-laws on Friday night. :)

Eugene’s sisters came over to visit with my lonely self, and we had such a good time visiting, chatting, laughing, trying on homecoming dresses {Heidi, not me!}, even shedding a few heartfelt tears, and followed the honest talks up with some homemade banana spice bread & lots of laughs. I love those girls & I’m so thankful they view me as their sister. {Big wondrous thing.}


So without further ado, here’s the recipe for Banana Spice Bread. It’s the first time I’ve made it & I used two different recipes as a starting point {hints why I have ingredients in the picture below that I decided not to use}. I had five bananas frozen & ready for some bread makin’, but I didn’t want to typical, every-day banana bread…I wanted something more Fall, filled with lot o’ spices. And this recipe delivered perfectly. Mmm, delicious blend of spices and fruit – great for the Fall season. Oh, and I have to give props to Eugene’s youngest sister, Heidi, who was our professional photographer the whole time: “Work it flour!” and “nice job, show that vanilla!” Oh too funny! {PS prepare yourself for lots of picture = long post.}

Banana Spice Bread
{makes two large loaves}

1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar {next time I will use less here, it was plenty sweet}
1 cup light brown sugar
6 tablespoons of skim milk
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 {or so} very ripe bananas
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups white flour
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
cinnamon & sugar to sprinkle on top


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees & instruct your sou chef to start peeling the bananas {thanks Rita!}. Spray your loaf pans so the pretty bread won’t get stuck.


In your mixing bowl, add the vegetable oil, sugar, brown sugar, milk, & vanilla.







IMG_3220{This is the vanilla Eugene’s parents gave us from Mexico. Mmm.}


In a separate mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients – flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, baking soda, & baking powder.


IMG_3242 IMG_3244

All the while, your poor sou chef’s hands are about to fall off because of all the peeling on the frozen bananas. Oh what love is in her eyes! {To shelter you from the complete violent scene, I cropped myself out of the left side of the picture!}


Ok, still with the dry ingredients…


Mix them up well using a fork.


Finally, with a bit of team work from the sistas, the bananas are peeled & mashed.


Add those to your sugar/oil/milk mixture & turn your mixer on medium until it’s well blended.


Slowly mix your dry ingredients into your batter.


Mix on medium until the dry is fully incorporated.


Oh, and just so I remember the joys of baking in my current kitchen…see the HUGE area I have in our condo. Roomy, isn’t it? {Hey, it works for now & hopefully someday we’ll find a house with a nice spacious place for baking…or at least one where you can get in the fridge and oven at the same time!} :)


Once the batter’s blended, pour it in your bread pans.


And smooth the tops with your spatula.


By this point, the pup was totally uninterested in our baking. And of course, our photographer had to capture the moment.


Now for the special touch…sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on the top of the loaves. {If I had any pecans, I would have added them to the top too.}


Pop ‘em in the oven for 50-60 minutes, and prepare to be entertained by your silly sista-in-law. {Wow.}


Once you can insert a toothpick in the center of the loaf & it comes out clean, the bread’s ready!


Let it cool in the pan for about five minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack  & try to refrain from digging in until they’re cool.


See the cinnamon & sugar topping? :)


Yum, Fall spices!


We could only stare at it so long…delish!


Oh, to finish the weekend recap quickly, Saturday we looked at a big fixer-upper house & had lunch with my parents, then I worked a sweet 16 party where the cake was from this guy…


He’s  The Cake Boss, and this was the cake:


And on Sunday, we went to my Aunt Jane’s for a potluck with my dad’s side of the family. These always equal TONS of food.


Man, can this family cook! :)


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