I love Banana Bread (I love Banana Bread batter even more). I got this recipe from an old boss about 12 years ago. It doesn’t use vegetable/corn/canola oil (just butter or coconut oil), it’s always moist and super yummy. The perfect loaf.
I didn’t have any butter when I was preparing to make it, so I thought maybe I could substitute for coconut oil. I’ve not yet ventured out into substituting cooking oil in my baking items, but I had no issues. I quickly did an internet search to see if I needed to modify the amount of coconut oil vs. the amount of butter called for in the recipe. Some of the instructions I found said to use 2/3 of the amount…so instead of using 1/3 cup called for in the recipe, I used 1/4 cup. Is it exactly 2/3? Probably not…but it was close enough.
I thought for sure you would be able to taste the coconut oil, at least in the batter, but nope. It was fantastic and didn’t taste any different. The banana bread loaf baked up just as perfect as always.
Banana Bread is a great way to use up those brown bananas that didn’t get eaten. I always throw them in the freezer to use in smoothies or bread later.
Makes 1 loaf
1 c. sugar
1/3 c. margarine or butter, soft (or 1/4 c. coconut oil)
1 1/2 c. mashed bananas (usually 3-4 bananas)
1/3 c. watr
1 2/3 c flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. baking powder
Mix sugar and margarine. Add eggs, mix. Add bananas and water, mix. Add remaining ingredients and mix until moist. Bake at 350 for about an hour (335 if using a dark pan).
I use a stone loaf pan, so I don’t worry about spraying it, but if you’re using a standard loaf pan, spray or butter the pan before putting in the banana bread batter.
Mash the bananas
Sugar & Coconut Oil
Mix the sugar & coconut oil. Make sure your oil is slightly soft
Add bananas & water
Add the rest of the dry ingredients
Pour into loaf pan
A couple years ago, I stumbled across this recipe for Peanut Sesame Noodles at the Smitten Kitchen. I can’t recall exactly what I was looking for, or how I came across her blog but I’m sure glad I did! This is a fantastic, fairly easy meal that can be changed up every time you make it. The basis of it is a yummy peanut sauce, you can choose the veggies and add tofu, chicken, or other meats as your heart desires. It can be eaten warm, or cold right out of the fridge. It also makes a great light snack.
I like more sauce, so I generally make 1 1/2 times or double the recipe amount. Really, I just measure the amount out by the recipe, and add more….of whatever I feel like. There’s really no rhyme or reason to my method, and it always turns out good.
On to the recipe….I have modified it with the ingredients I use most.
Servings: Makes 6 side-dish or 4 vegetarian main-course servings.
For peanut dressing
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup warm water
1 tablespoon chopped/grated peeled fresh ginger
1 medium garlic clove, chopped/pressed
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons Asian toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes or a splash of the hot sauce or chili paste of your choice
Puree dressing ingredients in a blender until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Heat skillet/pan over medium with approx 1-2T Olive Oil, and cook vegetables below (you can always add different veggies according to what’s in your fridge. Sugar snap peas, green beans, carrots, squash, cauliflower, etc)
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/8-inch-thick strips
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/8-inch-thick strip
2 c brocolli
Half of a seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
1 can water chestnuts
3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted (I always forget these)
Cook noodles in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until tender. Drain in a colander, then rinse well under cold water.
After veggies are a bit soft, add the noodles, then the sauce. Mix well, heat for a few minutes on medium. Enjoy!
Fresh Veggies, ginger & garlic
No fancy blenders here, folks. The Magic Bullet does a perfect job for this type of blending!
Frozen veggies. This is Kirkland Stir-Fry Blend from Costco. (I picked out the baby corn and mushrooms)
Added fresh veggies
Add noodles & sauce
Stir well and cook for a few minutes. Enjoy!
I wasn’t sure what type of bush this is, so I did a Google search, and it looks like it’s a Red Osier Dogwood. I really love it. I love that the branches stay red during the wintertime, and offer some color among the drab browns that usually accompany the season. It’s spring now though, and the leaves are starting to bloom. The red still provides a stunning background against the new green growth. I love shooting macro images, and I really love my Tokina 100mm macro lens.
A couple weeks ago, one of my kiddos came home from the store with an old-school Sprite bottle. You know, the real glass kind. It was a beautiful emerald green, and had some neat bubble texture on it. I challenged myself to come up with 15 different images using just the bottle. I’m really quite pleased with the results of my challenge.
Here are my favorites, all taken with the Tokina 100mm 2.8 macro lens
And the whole collage.
Recently, I had the opportunity to photograph a beautiful girl in one of my favorite places. The desert outside of Kuna. I love the relative flatness of the area, combined with the gorgeous Owyhees to the Southwest. I really wanted to capture the beautiful colors of the sky at sunset. She wore the perfect outfit, too! The whole shoot went well! She’s lovely, and a natural in front of the camera.