A busy holiday weekend means I don't go all gourmet every night. I did manage to make some banana bread (Better Homes and Gardens recipe). We also got the chance to pick berries at Kruger's Farm on Saturday for Trey's cousin's daughter's 5th birthday (SO FUN!). Then we've been eating out - Lucca's with family Saturday night, friend's BBQ for the 4th and family beach fun Monday. Last night was kickball, so we ate at Sapphire Hotel for a late night snack.
First off, banana bread. Apparently, my Mom ate a lot of banana bread when she was pregnant with me and therefore that is why I also love banana bread. Trey also loves banana bread (I wonder if his Mom ate a lot of it when she was pregnant with him?) and he's been surreptitiously buying bananas and purposefully not eating them so I will make it. He got his wish on Friday night, though I made him do most of the work.
I'm not a very adventurous baker, I usually stick to the Better Homes and Gardens recipes for cookies and breads. It's easy, good and exactly what I expect when I want to eat banana bread.
Banana Bread (from Better Homes and Gardens):
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg2 eggs, beaten
1-1/2 cups mashed banana (5 medium)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cooking oil or melted butter or margarine
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of one 9x5x3-inch or two 7-1/2x3-1/2x2-inch loaf pans; set aside. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside.
In a medium bowl combine eggs, banana, sugar, and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy). Fold in nuts. Spoon batter into prepared pan(s).
Bake for 55 to 60 minutes for 9x5x3-inch pan or 40 to 45 minutes for 7-1/2x3-1/2x2-inch pans or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean (if necessary, cover loosely with foil the last 15 minutes of baking to prevent overbrowning). Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack. Wrap and store overnight before slicing.
I LOVE strawberries. I love them fresh off the vine, on my cereal, for a snack or with yogurt. Picking them fresh off the farm takes it to a whole level. I highly recommed Kruger's farm for berry picking. Right now, they have U-pick strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. They also have a great little indoor market where you can pick up any fresh produce your heart desires. Also, there are piglets. Sold yet?
I haven't done anything with the strawberries, yet, except just eat them straight up. If you have a great recipe that calls for fresh strawberries, please post it in the comments. I need ideas!
Sapphire Hotel is one of those places (much like Por Que No?) that is SO close to our house that even though it's not amazing food, it's good enough and they do a good job with our to-go orders so we keep going back. There are at least two things that I get every single time. The bacon-wrapped dates and the artichoke and arugula dip. The dates are like butter. Delish. The arugula dip has a nice layer of browned cheddar on top that is amazing. Usually I also get the Antipasti platter (cured meats, cheeses, pickled veggies, bread), but we weren't that hungry last night so we tried something new - the panzanella salad. Yum! It's basically just a nice salad (with balsamic dressing in this case) with focaccia slices and fresh mozzarella. In fact, last night we decided that maybe the mozzarella was even house-made it tasted so fresh. It kinda makes me want to try making mozzarella. Maybe soon.
I'm sure I'll make something delicious tonight for Girls' Night - so keep posted. In the meantime, bon appetit!