Friday, January 29, 2010

Leftovers and Banana Bread

Today was a day of making fridge space after a week of big meals. Which is another way of saying leftovers. But we try not to make leftovers too boring around here. I mean, you can have the same thing without feeling like you are having the same thing, right?

For lunch yesterday we had French Toast. Little miss was surprised when I suggested it, informing me that French Toast is a breakfast food. I told her we could bend the rules on that one, so she said okay. Well I made more than we could eat yesterday, so we had it again today. Only this time, the pieces were cut into French Toast sticks, and covered with peanut butter and honey. See? Totally different. And always a hit, since it is messy finger food. Only a little honey got in her hair...

As for dinner, earlier this week, I made a huge pork shoulder roast in the crock pot. Yum. The only problem with a huge pork roast, though, is the vast quantity of leftovers it generates. And it does get a little old after a couple of meals. So we try not to serve it the same way two meals in a row, to avoid, you know, getting sick of it. So tonight's dinner prep involved a whole bunch of chopping, but other than that, nothing at all complicated. Pork stir-fry, Chinese style. Served over brown rice, it is a complete meal in one pan. We make this with leftover chicken or turkey, too - whatever we happen to have had in a given week. Really easy, super yummy, and generally a crowd pleaser. And it helps get rid of lots of leftover meat.

In other kitchen events today, I needed to do something with these:

I have a banana bread recipe that is good, but thought maybe I would try a new one. So over to foodgawker I clicked, searching for a yummy looking recipe. I narrowed it down to three, then let my ever-ready assistant look at the three pictures and pick which one looked best. She chose this one, and we got to work. I doubled the recipe, since we are heading to my brother and sister-in-law's house for a visit this weekend, so figured I'd make one for us and one to bring along. I also, in case you are curious, replaced 1/4 of the white sugar with brown sugar. Just for a little added depth of flavor. Little miss measured, mixed, whisked, and, of course, helped me mash the bananas.

After pouring half the batter into the first pan, I decided to add some fresh blueberries to the remaining batter for the second loaf. We had 'em in the house, so why not? I have to tell you, these smelled so yummy baking, I couldn't wait to cut into them. I let my helper choose which one to break into for snack time today and which to bring with us this weekend. She chose the blueberry one to try today. After which I decided that I should have made both loaves with blueberries. SO good. This will definitely be breakfast tomorrow. And snack. And afternoon nosh... I don't see this lasting all that long in the house.

Banana Bread
(from Foy Update)

1/4 cup butter (room temperature is best)
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg (room temperature is best)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour (all purpose)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mashed banana (one ripe banana)
1/2 tablespoon buttermilk (you can use sour cream, or you can add a couple of drops of white vinegar or lemon juice to your milk to substitute for buttermilk)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan (9" x 5")
In medium bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add the egg, vanilla and buttermilk and mix until smooth.
In a separate bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients.
Add the dry mixture and the mashed banana to the butter mixture. Add a little at a time and mix after each addition. Mix until ingredients are just incorporated, being careful not to overwork the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes until it tests done.
Remove the bread from the pan immediately and cool on wire rack for at least five minutes before cutting.

You can add nuts, fruit or even chocolate chips to the batter, if you would like.



  1. I love the idea of adding blueberries! I've added leftover Thanksgiving cranberries before and that was pretty tasty. I love any excuse to add in fruit!

  2. Looks delicious! (All of it!) Y'know, banana bread was one of the very first things I started cooking, post-college, when my mom gave me the Betty Crocker cookbook for a graduation present. Mako and I ate a LOT of banana bread in that funny little apartment in Center City, Philadelphia. It really is a delicious recipe. Good old Betty Crocker. :)


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