Category Archives: Snacks

Banana Bread

Banana bread is wonderfully delicious and easy to whip up, especially if you keep extra ripe bananas frozen in your freezer. This last time, I forgot to take my bananas out early, so I “speed defrosted” them by sticking the frozen bananas on top of the preheating stove. By the time I got everything else together, they were good and soft.

My grandmum always seems to have a loaf around her house. Whenever we’d visit there would be bread sitting on the table, or if we were really lucky, a loaf for each of us to take home. Her bread was always wonderfully moist. She swears her secret is adding a tablespoon of water to the recipe. So, every time I make a loaf, I think of her. I used to make her recipe, but I began to tweak it as it calls for vegetable shortening and three sources of sodium (baking soda, baking powder, salt).

I made one loaf of banana bread about a week ago, with only a few tweaks to my grandmother’s recipe (butter instead of crisco, no water added, less sugar) and it didn’t turn out so hot. It was slightly burnt (even though the recipe said 50-60 minutes) at 50 minutes of cooking and tasted “meh.”  Plus, it was better on the “health” factor but still rather low with all that sodium. Banana bread’s hard to mess up so long as it isn’t brick-quality over burnt so I still ate it, but I figured I could do better. After consulting Simply Recipes banana bread recipe, I came to a happy (and delicious) medium between her recipe and my grandmother’s, which is detailed below.

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted or softened to room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt (less than 1/2 tsp)
  • 1/2 cups walnuts (optional, but very yummy)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mash the bananas with the butter and sugar.
  3. Mix in the eggs and vanilla.
  4. Mix the flour, baking soda and salt together separately.
  5. Add the flour mixture into the sugary eggy banana butter mush and stir with a spoon until just combined.
  6. Fold in nuts if you’re including them.
  7. Pour into a loaf pan that you’ve sprayed with vegetable oil. These can also easily be muffins, but baking time will be severely reduced.
  8. Bake the banana bread for 45 to 60 minutes. Test with a toothpick at 45 minutes to see if its done (mine was and looked beautiful!).

Enjoy.

 

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Filed under Bakery, Breakfast, Snacks, Sweets

Microwave Popcorn

Presto! Blammo! Alakazam!

Why did no one ever tell me microwaving your own popcorn was so simple a toddler could do it? I always imagined that good money was made selling microwave popcorn bags because there was some fancy high science going on inside them. I mean, they say “this side up” on them, which implies there’s something darn tooting special happening up in that bag.

Making your own microwave popcorn has to be one of the easiest things in the world of easy. I’m not talking about taking one of those little individually wrapped bags out of its plastic, unfolding it, and hitting the popcorn button. I’m talking about pouring your own popcorn into a bag and setting it in the microwave and hitting “nuke it.”

My curiosity and poverty got the better of me one day ($1.99 for six single serving bags these days at Trader Joes’ WHAT) and I hit the trusty google to investigate the matter. I discovered a plethora of sites advising me that it was possible and offering all kinds of suggestions. Some of which seemed to still involve too much work and alchemy (Alton Brown and others get way too complicated and oil it up in the bag and then stick staples or tape on it).

Here’s the low down:

  1. You stick 1/4 cup (or less) of pop corn kernels in a paper lunch bag (you know the kind- cheap, sold in bundles of like 50-also good for making puppets out of).
  2. Fold it over (little pleats) like 4 times. Sit it on there wide bottom down or on its side (doesn’t matter, may fall over on its own).
  3. Cook for like 1 minute 30 seconds (stand nearby to learn your microwave’s time-could be a little more or a little less).
  4. Pour out your amazing popcorn.
  5. Jazz it up as you feel. I like to melt a little real butter into mine and a teensy tiny dash of salt and garlic powder. Savingslifestyle.com recommends olive oil and sea salt.

That’s it! For $1.99 for my bag of popping corn I’m going to get about 20 bags of microwave popcorn out of the deal. Plus my stuff will be healthier by boodles. Feel free to unhealthy your own batch as ye will. Any other good suggestions on flavor combos would be appreciated in comments.

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Filed under Snacks