Monday, September 13, 2010

Granny's Banana Bread (with a twist)

I don't like cooked bananas, but one of my favourite things to make is banana bread. The smell is heavenly and it's a great way to use up bananas that are about to go bad cause my kids have gone on a sudden banana strike after I bought 6 of them. (Infuriating!)

Luckily the kiddos and most of my extended family loves banana bread and are only to happy to take it off my hands once it comes out of the oven. Banana bread is one of the smells I always associate with my grandma's house. She always had some on hand. So naturally I use her recipe when I make a loaf. I used to make it exactly as she had it written but over the years I added my own spin on it: a few extra spices, a cinnamon-brown sugar topping and occasionally, chocolate chips if my 4 year old happens to be helping (she wants to put chocolate chips in everything... I taught her well).

This is a great back-to-school lunch box addition. Give it a try and tell me if it's not totally yummy... I dare you!

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Granny's Banana Bread

2 eggs
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 c sugar
2 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3 ripe bananas, mashed
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla

brown sugar topping

1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 c brown sugar
2 tbsp butter, melted


1. Mix together the eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla.
2. In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.
3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.
4. Add the mashed banana and mix to combine.
5. Pour into a greased loaf pan.
6. Melt the butter in the microwave and add to the sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over the top of the batter.
7. Bake at 350˚F for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

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you have to eat it with a little schmeer of buttah!


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Latte

I LUVVVVVV me some Starbucks. Alas, the nearest one is 2 hours away. Yes I live in the middle of nowhere. Recently I heard their Pumpkin Spice Latte had been released for fall (I heart fall!) and I've been stuck in my country town reading about everyone in the city enjoying the yummy, sweet, goodness of the latte. This makes a pregnant lady very jealous!

They say necessity is the mother of invention, and oh man, this is SO necessity! I sent my husband off to the store for canned pumpkin pureé (yes I know I could roast my own pumpkin, but they're not in the stores yet, and besides, I want my latte NOW, not an hour from now!) and some other supplies and I set out to recreate the yummiest fall coffee concoction since pumpkin pie itself. I used my Tassimo to make this but you can certainly use regular drip coffee (made strong) or your own specialty coffee maker (espresso machine).

Even if you pass a Starbucks everyday you should give this a try, maybe on a wet Sunday morning when leaving your house just ain't gonna happen.... like today!

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Pumpkin Spice Latte

1 c half and half (I like to live dangerously, you can use milk if you want)
2 tbsp pumpkin pureé
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 Starbucks Espressso T-Disc or 1/4 c really strong coffee


1. Place the half and half, pumpkin, sugar and spices in a small pot and heat over medium heat until the milk is hot and the pureé has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
2. Pour the cream mixture into a blender (or you can use an immersion blender in the pot) and blend for a minute or two*.
3. In the meantime brew your favourite espresso or coffee.
4. Pour your espresso in to a large mug and add the hot, blended pumpkin/cream mixture.
5. Top with whipped cream and some pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, or freshly ground nutmeg.

* Note: blending isn't 100% necessary, but you may find the cream mixture a little gritty if you don't as pumpkin pureé is fairly fibrous. The blending smooths everything out.

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