banana bread
There are so many things that I love to do with one hour of my time.
Some choices benefit me.
Some choices benefit my family, and some benefit a whole bunch of people.
My choice of an hour benefited all three categories, and it even included a horse.
Quick breads and muffins are not only a
fantastically frugal option in feeding our family,
but they also create the “Welcome Home” atmosphere I am trying to instill by tantalizing most of our senses.
It warms my heart to have the kids open the door and exclaim,
“Oh mom, it smells so good in here.”
Smells have a way of transcending time, don’t they?
I bet all of us can close our eyes, remember a favorite recipe that was prepared in your home growing up and that smell triggers a specific feelings, even to this day.
As usual, I quadrupled the recipe.
Doing this takes an additional 30 seconds, but reaps hours of added pleasure.
Banana breads freezes wonderfully, and having some on hand gives you the opportunity to share with others…for no other reason that “just because.”
I made two regular banana bread loaves, and then for the last two, I sprinkled chocolate chips on one, and mixed the last of my frozen strawberries into the other.

Pull out some of those specialized pans that you have hiding in the back of your cabinet.
Don’t wait for special occasions – your family is that occasion.
You can see the recipe for
this EASY and QUICK delight in this past post.

In under an hour, I had four delicious quick breads waiting to be devoured.
Make sure you set the timer nice and loud. Don’t go take a bath (ha) or run an errand or go feed the neighbor’s horse who came to the fence for his daily snack.
I got side tracked in the middle of my baking time by this beauty and when I came back in the house my breads were a little.. hmm… “golden.”

And as a parent, I recommend you put some guidelines on the distribution of these delights.

You can be guaranteed there were some consequences when I saw my son’s “little piece.”
“But mom, I told you I was just grabbing a little piece of the chocolate banana bread. You told me that was fine. ”
Bedlam, I tell you….sheer bedlam. 🙂

Frugal buying tip: I never pass up bananas when they have been marked down anywhere between $.19-.29/lb
Typically, they have gotten just a bit ripe, but they will be perfect for baking.

Quick and Easy Banana bread:

8T (1 stick) butter, at room temp
3/4 cup Sugar
2 eggs
1 cup (all purpose) flour
1 cup (whole wheat) flour
1 t. Baking soda
1/2 t salt
3 Large bananas (mashed)
1 t. vanilla (I have added almond extract for a variation in flavor)
1/2 C. pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped –(optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (grease bread pan)
2. Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3. Sift all purpose flour, baking soda & salt together, stir in whole wheat flour & add to creamed mixture, mixing well. (I don’t sift the flour, but I know “officially” you should for lighter bread).
4. Fold in bananas, vanilla and nuts (fold…as in dump & mix 🙂
5. Pour mixture into pan, bake 50-60 min. or til cake tester comes out clean – cool in pan 10 min., then in rack. (or if you’re in my house…hide the rack in some dark secluded cabinet as it cools)
Makes one loaf.

Enjoy some more bulk baking posts: