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Ciao bella

Welcome to my blog. I like to look for eclectic and chic things. I hope you enjoy reading about my adventures in balancing motherhood, work, and other good things. I hope my ideas are intriguing to you and you subscribe to my newsletter. If you get that reference, we'll be friends. If not, I'm pretty sure we'll be friends too. Have a great day!

Sunday Night Baking: Basic Banana Bread

Sunday Night Baking: Basic Banana Bread

Heads up: I recently joined the Amazon Associate program. If you are so kind as to purchase anything from a link I provide below (this can be anything on Amazon not just what I list), I will get some money back at no extra cost to you. Thank you so much! This has been a wonderful creative outlet and any amount of money is appreciated.

It’s Sunday night, you’re bored, preheat that oven and get to baking!

Confession time: when I think about content for this page I try to think about what I would want to read but I don’t want to try things that aren’t feasible. Like I am not going to try things I would not do myself and I want people to read this and say “I can do that!” So heads up, this is basic but this is also on brand for me. Why? It’s simple, tasty, and can last you all week. Also, it’s my son’s favorite food so here we go.

Celebrate basicness!

When I was a moody teen/lady in my twenties I wanted to be anything but basic. Now that I’m a working mom in my thirties-give me all the basic things. Leggings=best thing ever! Pumpkin spice- rub that all over me. Food Network instead of some gritty drama? Count me in. This isn’t to say I don’t like to add my own flair but if I cared about what every basic b-word did and tried to be the opposite, it would be exhausting. Trust me as an “alternative” lady-it gets exhausting. Also, the basic vs. extra debate pits women against each other. Let’s celebrate each other and our accomplishments. See my essay on Jenny Lewis and accepting who I am in comparison to other women. Let me bake my banana bread in my leggings while watching food competitions on TV!

As someone who is currently paying for daycare for my lovely son, my disposable income is nonexistent. This isn’t to say I don’t spend money on things I don’t need but my spending habits have completely changed. It’s good to have a go to recipe that takes minimal time, costs a minimal amount, and feeds you. Quickbreads are great for breakfast and great for when my son and I get home in afternoon. I’ve adapted this recipe from Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes.

 Photo by Whitney Wright.

Photo by Whitney Wright.

BANANA BREAD

  • 2 to 3 ripe bananas (the kind you are going to throw away or compost)

  • ½ cup melted butter

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ½ cup sugar

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste*

  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour. I dig King Arthur brand.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9.5” x 5” loaf pan.

  2. Get two mixing bowls. One medium and one larger.

  3. In the larger bowl, whisk together the baking soda, salt, and flour. Whisking combines the ingredients better and then you don’t get those chunks of baking soda that can happen when you make quick breads.

  4. In the medium bowl mash the bananas with a potato masher. I prefer using the correct tools and even if you only use the masher for banana bread and Thanksgiving-I find it worth it. Once the bananas are mashed into a paste, cream the butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla bean paste together.

  5. Push the dry ingredients to the sides so there is a little hole where the wet ingredients can go. Pour the wet ingredients in and fold in until the dough is barely mixed in. Don’t stir too much, this can overwork the batter and make the consistency more rubbery.

  6. Pour the mixture into the pan and put into the oven for 55 minutes or until a stick/fork comes out clean from the center.

  7. Flip the bread out of the loaf on a wire rack and let cool for about 30 minutes. Put in an airtight container and it should last about 5 days.

Notes:

Feel free to add 2 teaspoons of cinnamon if you want a little kick.

Feel free to add ¼ cup of flax seed to add some fiber.

Feel free to add chocolate chips. I’ve found if you get baking chocolate and slice it into ½ inch width slices it stays pretty melted in the bread.

*Re-Vanilla Bean Paste. I learned about this in a cooking class. I didn’t know it existed and honestly it’s not inexpensive. However, it’s really nice and adds a lot of flavor. I like to celebrate my yearly raise by getting a fancy spice. I purchased some paste this year.

 Photo by Bruce Mars. Also, feel free to rock out while you are cooking. If Radiance Reflected could be branded it would be a woman rocking out while she was cooking.

Photo by Bruce Mars. Also, feel free to rock out while you are cooking. If Radiance Reflected could be branded it would be a woman rocking out while she was cooking.

Enjoy the fruits of your labor

Put on a mix, pour a glass of your favorite beverage, and kick back. Much love you during the work week. I hope you enjoy this bread as much as I do. Here are some music and book suggestions.If you’ve read any of my cooking posts you know I have to have music in the background while I cook. Here’s a jam from my banana bread culinary adventures.

It’s Wolf Alice Don’t Delete the Kisses! I love this song and it’s ambiance.

Oh and if you are wondering about where that band got that name. It’s from a classic of feminist horror called The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter. It’s dark re-imaginings of fairy tales that are legit scary. The title story is heartbreaking and surprisingly human even though it features vampires.

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