Happy Belated Easter! I had the pleasure of hosting my octogenarian Father for his annual Spring visit. It was an opportunity for The Not So Desperate Housewife to transform into the Overachieving Daughter – can anyone else relate? I so enjoyed spoiling my Father! We don’t see him throughout the Winter months as neither of us like to drive the 5 hours on the Trans-Canada Highway through temperamental (and unpredictable) Winter weather conditions.
This 82-year old man is an amazing individual (I’m not just saying that because he’s my Dad), and I can only hope that in another 40 years that I have half as much energy, verve and get up and go as my Dad does. As an added bonus, we had the pleasure of viewing Dad’s Spring 2012 Abstract Painting Collection which he tucked into his minivan. Now with these 43 original pieces of art my next endeavour is to host an Art Show & Giveaway featuring these latest works with 100% of the proceeds benefiting the United Way of Winnipeg. It’s part of my family’s giving back belief system in a charity for which my mother and myself worked for many years. For more information about the Monday, April 30th Art Show at Joe Black Coffee Bar (and to view all the paintings available), please visit www.ColeshawArtGallery.com
But this blog is about food and not art…
For the past 6 days I have spent many, many, maaaannnnyyy hours in the kitchen creating a variety of meals for my husband and Father to celebrate the Easter holiday. We don’t have a lot of traditions or ‘must have’ foods like some families, so the menus were pretty easy to plan as the boys are quite easy to please. Some of the foods that we enjoyed included:
- Cookies: Chocolate Bourbon Balls, Peanut Butter Kisses, and Snickerdoodles
- Lemon Meringue Pie
- Poppy Seed Cake
- Blueberry Muffins
- Plum-Glazed Pork Tenderloin Kebabs
- Hot Wings
- Prime Rib & Yorkshire Pudding
- Sun-dried Tomato Hummus
- Hoisin-Soaked Turkey Meatballs!!!
But by special request my Father asked me to make him some of my Banana Bread pointing to a bunch of overripe bananas on my counter – waste not, want not… And I realized that I’ve taken up the reins from my mother who began using this recipe in the early 80’s (before passing away in 1989), and that it’s become a family favourite over the years.
Unfortunately I didn’t take all the traditional blog photos along the way as the boys had taken the camera on their pilgrimage to the Winnipeg Art Gallery to see the Norman Rockwell exhibit. So a fancier, end-product photo will have to do this time…
Our Family’s Favourite Banana Bread Recipe
Yield: 2 regular loaves, or 10 mini loaves AND 24 mini muffins
2 cups Sugar
1 cup Butter
6 Over-ripe Bananas, mashed (about 3 cups)
4 Eggs, well beaten
2-1/2 cups Flour
2 tablespoons Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Apple Pie Spice
1 cup each of Optional Additions – Golden Raisins, Chopped Walnuts, Chopped Pecans
1. Preheat oven to 350*F
2. With Kitchenaid Mixer, cream butter until light and fluffy, add sugar and beat for about a minute
3. Add mashed bananas and beaten eggs – combine til well mixed
4. Measure dry ingredients into large measuring cup and gradually add it to your wet ingredients
TIP: Do NOT over-mix, or you will end up with bricks for muffins – this is a quick bread, so only combine ingredients until your flour disappears
As for the Optional Additions… I split the batch in half and did the First Batch of Mini Loaves three ways. A half-pan of plain for my husband (he’s picky), then folded in some walnuts for a half pan just for me, and then added raisins to produce some extra-special ones for my Pops. Then with the Second Batch of Mini Muffins, I did a half pan of raisin, and a half pan of raisin-pecan. If you plan it right you can keep this all to just one bowl AND please everyone, while creating many variations on the theme. To identify them later I put an “indicator” (i.e. raisin for the raisin versions) on top of each loaf/muffin before baking.
5. Spray baking pans of your choice with Pam, or lightly greased with butter – I don’t like using muffin liners anymore
6. Add batter to pans until they are 3/4 full
TIP: Once again I pull out my “Martha” medium-sized gelato scoop to use for uniform mini muffins
7. For baking: two regular loaves will take 45 minutes to 1 hour. For mini loaves bake about 22 minutes. For mini muffins bake approximately 13 minutes.
8. Test with a toothpick for doneness before removing from the oven.
9. Cool on wire racks.
TIP: These freeze beautifully! And I prefer to freeze the mini versions on a cookie sheet before placing into a Ziploc bag.
From my Family to yours… I hope that this recipe becomes a favourite that you too bake regularly!