Tuesday, January 7

Weekday Supper post: well, no, it's not supper this week, but banana bread recipe instead!

From snowy Michigan...
Weekday supper post:
no supper, instead, let's make banana bread!
Today we are sharing Grandma Kate's
famous no-fail recipe 
using ripe bananas with brown spots 
is the secret to making moist bread.
While these are fine, Kate likes them a little bit more ripe.
While visiting family in Michigan this week, we experienced an epic snowstorm, and our flights were delayed back to New York City.  What to do after sledding, hiking and experiencing the beauties of a Midwestern winter?   Well, make banana bread with grandma of course.  Kate's banana bread is infamous in the family, and the kids love to eat it warm and straight from the oven topped with pecans and a bit of butter.  She has been making the same recipe for 30 years and showed me the frayed Lutheran Brotherhood cookbook she originally took the recipe from, then tweaked it a bit to make it her own.  We made it together today and now I have it in my files as well.  It's crispy on the outside and warm and moist on the inside. It bakes for 1 hour and took us about 10 minutes to put together. 
we start with roasted unsalted pecans, which is probably the most unusual ingredient in the recipe.
probably no need to run to the grocery store, and that is great since we were snowed in.  Whenever she notices over-riped bananas in her basket, 
Grandma Kate reaches for the ingredients for the bread, 
which can be found in the cupboard/ refrigerator year-round: 
flour, sugar, vanilla, vegetable oil, eggs, baking soda, baking powder & milk.
The hardest part of this recipe is mixing the sugar and vegetable oil for a full five minutes 
until it is a grainy consistency

Here is the the just-right texture of the batter before pouring it into the loaf pan.
After layering pecans this is ready to pop into the oven.  Remember to fill the pan only 2/3 
of the way because it will rise quite a bit.

I like it when the nuts get a little bit dark brown and toasty but if you don't want them that color, turn down the oven the last 10 minutes to 325 degrees.
Kate's easy banana bread recipe

Starting with this great recipe, Kate adapted it a bit -- substitutes mixed nuts for whole pecans and instead of mixing it into the batter, she lines them on top.  Add 1 1/2 tsp vanilla rather than 1/2 teaspoon for richer flavor.  She sometimes adds 3 1/2 TB milk rather than 3 TB for a bit more moistness but it really depends on the consistency, and you have to "eye ball" it.  Make sure the batter is easy to stir and not too stiff to determine how much milk to add. 
4 easy steps:
1). grease a loaf pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2). mash three, ripe bananas with a fork in a bowl.  Set aside.
3). in another large bowl mix the sugar and oil together with an electric mixer for a full five minutes until grainy.  Then add the eggs, the vanilla and bananas and mix again thoroughly with the mixture.  After sifting the dry ingredients together, add them to the wet mixture and combine well with the electric mixture.  
4). fill loaf pan, line the top with pecans, and bake for 1 hour.  
Happy Nesting
XO Tamara