Wednesday, November 29

It's just like Betty Crocker, Really, It's Betty Crocker Banana Nut Bread

I picked up some bananas last week and I've been waiting for them to get gooey, so they'd make extra delicious banana nut bread. Let me tell you, I've tried quite a few banana bread recipes in my day and this one I found on Betty Crocker's site is unbelievable.  Check out my muffins:

As I sit here enjoying my little treat, I can't help but give you a little update on the family.  Hubby decided to get the dogs beds.  They're huge, because we have huge dogs. The sad part is that they're beds to date has been an old blanket, so they're not too savvy on this whole bed thing, but Bidi is starting to figure it out. We hope she'll make it, actually on the bed by this weekend.



Banana Bread

1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (3 to 4 medium)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped nuts, if desired

1. Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2x4 1/2x2 1/2 inches, or 1 loaf pan, 9x5x3 inches.
2. Mix sugar and butter in large bowl. Stir in eggs until well blended. Add bananas, buttermilk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt just until moistened. Stir in nuts. Pour into pans.
3. Bake 8-inch loaves about 1 hour, 9-inch loaf about 1 1/4 hours, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans and place top side up on wire rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.


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Monday, November 27

St. Louis via St. Paul via Phoenix all the way to you on the World Wide Web Salad


"You have a salad spinner!" Have you seen these? You wash the lettuce, put it in a bowl with a lid, push the button and it spins the water out. It's amazing.

I was in Minnesota with a friend this summer when her Mom was showing off in the kitchen with her spinner. I don't know what she'll do next....maybe an automatic chopping device.

Out of that salad spinner came an amazing salad.  I actually forgot which restaurant in St. Louis she said she adapted it from, I call it my St. Louis via St. Paul via Phoenix Salad.

St. Louis via St. Paul via Phoenix Salad


3 romain lettuce hearts
1/4 head of iceberg lettuce
10 oz. can of artichoke hearts drained (not pickled)
4 oz. jar of diced pimentos drained (not seasoned)
10 oz. can of hearts of palm drained
1/2 large red onion
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1/3 cup Wishbone Italian, 1/2 cup Wishbone Ceasar Mixed

Wash it, chop it, mix it in and enjoy.

Oh, and one more little tip.  If you mix the salad dressing in the hearts of palm jar, it makes it easy to store.


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Sunday, November 26

Arizona Farmer's Market

 Eat locally.  It's a concept, a philosophy, a movement to be aware of the impact you can have by thinking about what food is available to you locally.  You impact local economy.  You impact the environment. I know I'm not equipped to make a full on switch to only locally grown food, but I get it and when I can, I try to give my patronage to locally owned businesses, including Agri-business.

Impact the environment.  Did you know there's a type of potato that's been genetically engineered to help corporations like McDonalds produce more uniformed french fries? The problem with this science is that the potato, like corn feed chickens, is so full of artificial "hormones" that the original nutritional value is almost null (not like that didn't happen after they're fried in transfat). Here's the kicker.  The water demands to grow these super potatoes is so great, that it's threatening the ground water supplies in the areas where there are massive crops. Isn't that amazing?

Busy lives.  I feel pressed to cook during the week, and cooking during the week can be a chore. That's why I'm happy to find that the Arizona Farmer's Market group is getting organized and making larger efforts to advertise themselves.

They're new site is awesome and it's easy to find dates and locations where communities are hosting events. Check out their new site and find one in your neighborhood. Arizona Farmer's Markets.