Mission Accomplished…and a recipe.

It’s done!  WAHOO!  I have the kitchen of my dreams.  It’s absolutely beautiful and I am thrilled.  I have always been one of those people that wants ALL the tools on the counter within easy reach, but my new counters and backsplash are so gorgeous that I don’t want to cover them up.  Yes, I am hiding my toys. Well, not all of them.  I don’t have enough cabinets and drawers for that, and no, I am not kidding.  All of the cabinets you see are filled with lovely pretty things and MOST of the drawers are full too.  And now the painting begins, so if you are good with a brush, c’mon over – I have work for you to do!

Ta DA!
Ta DA!

After 3 weeks of non-stop dining out and take out, I have gained 10 lbs.  No, I am not kidding.  And as if I haven’t eaten out enough lately I have 3 events this week that will take me from my kitchen.  A Birthday Dinner for a dear friend.  A Brewer’s Dinner featuring local brewery Joseph James. A fundraiser for MSA.  And Friday?  I am having a Girlz Night IN!  John is out of town, so the gals are coming over to see the new kitchen, have a few cocktails and eat some snacks.  We are doing a Pajama Party theme and I am taste testing boozy punches now.

Yes, I have been cooking!  FINALLY!  I made a commitment to myself to empty out the freezers.  I am working with what I have on hand and adding fresh produce to make it great.  The thing is…I shoved some stuff in there and didn’t label it.  Yeah, I know.  Forty lashes with a wet noodle.  I KNOW better.  That is the first thing they teach you in culinary school.  LABEL AND DATE everything.  Nearly everything was labeled and all were properly wrapped, but the surprises are nearly as exciting as unwrapping a known item.

I’ve even been baking, in the middle of Girl Scout cookie season even!  And I am sending it out to Jack at college.  I can whip out double loaves of Banana Bread in record time and I am sharing the recipe here with you.  My Step Mom, Nettie, always said my recipe was the best (Moment of Truth – I nearly plotzed when she said that because she was a complete BAD ASS in the kitchen). Nettie also said banana bread tastes best after it has been in foil over night. Dad and I disagree.  It should be eaten before it cools completely!  Mine is nearly identical to hers, so I am not sure where she got the idea that mine was better.  The MAIN difference in our recipes is that I bake mine in Pampered Chef Stoneware Loaf pans.  Yes, it works in other pans, but that’s what I use. This recipe doesn’t call for nuts because Hubby doesn’t like them in his banana bread.  I DO like them!  Use about 1 Cup walnuts or pecans or a little more if you are feeling generous.

Banana Bread

3 ½ C All Purpose Flour

1 Tbsp Baking Powder

2 tsp Baking Soda

1 Tsp salt

5 over ripe bananas

2 C sugar

2 eggs

½ C buttermilk

1 C shortening

Grease 2 standard loaf pans, set aside.  Preheat oven to 350.

Whisk together dry ingredients, set aside.

Using an electric mixer, mash bananas until they are almost liquefied.  Add all ingredients, except dry ingredients, in the order listed.  Once well combined, add dry mixture.  Mix only until combined.  If you mix it too much it bakes up tough.

Pour into the loaf pans and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes away clean.

Cool 10 minutes in the pans, and then turn out onto a cooling rack.