Monday, April 4, 2011

Sunday Night Cooking Madness

On a recent Sunday evening, I had some downtime and got antsy after being low-energy all day.

So I made some granola bars for my husband. These are similar to my roller derby granola bars, but have sunflower seeds instead of coconut and chocolate chips instead of dried fruit.

And I microwaved a spaghetti squash that needed to be used. Then I shredded some mozzarella that was starting to mold (cutting off the moldy bits first) and mixed in the remnants of a jar of pizza sauce. This would make great leftovers later in the week.

And I made this banana bread. More on that soon.

And I portioned out Greek yogurt and strawberries for the next two mornings. And I made up some pumpkin oatmeal to be eaten later.

I know that I get stressed out easily, so mid-week I don't really like to take time to cook. When I get home from work, I want to heat up leftovers and eat them in front of the TV. Having all these leftovers on hand make that easier, as well as making it so I can sleep in without having to make breakfast in the mornings. With late-evening derby practices, this works well for me.

But the banana bread. Because I don't even have any recipes to contribute now, I'll at least tell you how I make banana bread, should you be so interested. I do have a recipe that I use often, and Grant eats my banana bread when I use it. When I make this for myself, he doesn't. More for me!

First, let your bananas age until they look practically rotten. Seriously. Especially organic bananas look disgusting before they're ready to be made into bread. Then smush them.

Add some melted butter, about two tablespoons. An egg. A spoonful of whatever kind of plain or vanilla yogurt you've got on hand. Some whole-wheat flour. Maybe some oats (I didn't use it this time). Some of whatever peanut butter needs to be used up (this time I used crunchy natural PB). Definitely some baking soda and baking powder. Maybe a little salt. Always a little vanilla. For sweetness, some honey, sugar or brown sugar (this time I used brown sugar). Finally, some chocolate chips to be naughty. Bake at 350ish until it's done.

If you're adventurous enough to try making a recipe-less banana bread, I always love how this turns out with peanut butter, chocolate chips and yogurt in it. For anyone who has a pretty good grasp on how different ingredients behave in a recipe, this is a fun experiment or challenge.

Who else cooks this way? Do you?


Anita M. said...

I love making sauces and soups off the top of my head, but I don't think I would try baking without a recipe! The results would likely be disastrous! The stove and I have a comfortable relationship, but the oven and I...not so much :)

Lisa said...

This sounds great but I need proportions! I've never done bread before! Do you have any guestimates on measurements besides 'some' so I can try this? I'm always having to throw out spoiled bananas so it would be nice to have a use for them.

Unknown said...

I’ll post a real recipe someday, but here are some guidelines for my banana bread:

3 mashed bananas (as old as possible)
1/2 stick butter (or margarine), melted in the microwave
2 cups flour (wheat/wheat/both)
1 cup sugar (could use as little as 1/4 cup, or substitute brown sugar or honey—I LIKE HONEY!)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt (could omit)
1 tsp vanilla (I never omit on purpose!)
1 egg (can omit if using yogurt)

Could add:
1/2 cup peanut butter (any kind)
1/4 cup yogurt (any kind)
1/2+ cup chocolate chips (any kind)
1/2+ cup oats (regular or quick-cooking, but decrease the flour a little)

Your batter should be kind of thick but still sticky. Bake at 350 degrees until the middle isn’t gooey.

I will say, this doesn’t ALWAYS turn out tasty. But 90% of the time that I make up my own banana bread based on whatever I feel like, it’s delicious enough that I eat it by myself within a few days. I find myself eating it for breakfast, snacks, dessert, everything. If it’s a little dry, I’ll microwave slices with a little butter, and if it’s not sweet enough, add a little honey or sugar on top.