I found myself with four ripe bananas on my counter the other day and, was surprised to realized that I actually had all of the other ingredients on hand to make banana bread. It was a miracle! Typically my bananas go into the freezer for smoothies, or are snatched up by one of us running out the door. I think we go through a dozen bananas a week. They don’t stick around long enough for baking.
Upon realizing that I had all of the necessary ingredients to bake I rounded up all of the ingredients, measured them out and placed them out on our kitchen table. I called Oscar into the kitchen and got him to actually “make” the recipe. I’m not the first to do this kind of thing – laying out the pre-measured ingredients for children – has been done by Mother’s, and Mother’s – Mother’s before me. But I still am always surprised at how much easier, and nicer it makes the baking process for me as I’m not worried about finding ingredients etc. I just allow Oscar to go bananas, making his own bread. (Pun most definitely intended) Plus, he was so proud to have made the banana bread all by himself.
This recipe came out of the Looney Spoons Collection Recipe Book and it was a huge success! Even Aubrey, after taking a bite said it was amazing – which is less a reflection on me and more on the recipe itself.
They call for super ripe bananas because in their recipe they don’t have any white sugar, and note that the more ripe the bananas, the sweeter they are. (I had no idea!) So the ripeness was a necessity. I left out the pecans and chocolate chips that the recipe called for (I didn’t have any) and in the end, you really didn’t need the added elements.
I love my cookbooks and as I’m simplifying my life, I’m trying to take time to just try normal things like finding a recipe in a book and trying it out. Simple pleasures. 🙂
I had visions of holiday baking with Oscar this year but as the weeks went by and my stress levels were high, I was feeling doubtful that I would get around to actually breaking out the good ol’ family recipes. Instead of letting a lovely tradition slide, because I was dreading the idea of shopping for ingredients – I cut myself some slack and did what I felt was the one best decision I made with regards to holiday traditions, and I bought pre-made dough. And you want to know something? It was AWESOME. I have recipe books upon recipe books with the best Christmas cookie recipes over the years but as a working-stay-at-home-mom who was doing morning drop offs at school wearing pajamas under her winter coat – I decided to pick my battles this year. Baking, my friends, was not one of them. I bought Pillsbury’s sugar cookie dough in a tube, and Oscar had SO MUCH FUN. Squeeze the tube-o-dough, mix in some flour and you’re done. Seriously. He got to roll it, cut out the cookies and watch them bake in the oven. he thought it was the best, and I felt like the best because I was able to accomplish a holiday love of mine and that is baking with Oscar.
Anyhow, just one of the little things I that I did to survive the season. 😉
Again, nothing uber complicated here – just some inspiration for your holiday gifting this year! I filled mason jars with hot chocolate mix and candy cane, marshmallows and some of the DIY Peppermint Stir Sticks and it makes for a pretty sweet (pun intended) gift.
STEP 1: Hot Chocolate Fill your jar with hot chocolate mix. You can make your own mix, I just went to the Bulk Barn and loaded up on some. I’m picking my battles this season. Making my own hot chocolate isn’t one of them.
STEP 2: Layer in some marshmallows
STEP 3: I’m a sucker for plain red and white candy canes – so opted to just do that colour combo of candy cane. I put a whack load of them in my food processor and used the PULSE function – being careful to not over blend the candy canes – which would result in a really fine dust – which Oscar excitedly called “Christmas dust” and thought it was magical – because it floats up into the air and smells lovely when you open up the food processor after blending. Although the fine dust is lovely to use, you want some “chunks” for presentation in the jar. Layer some on top of the marshmallows.
STEP 4: You can finish off the jar with some red and white candies.