i'm such a fan of banana bread, and the recipe that follows will never disappoint. tonight my little man was helping out with everything from banana mashing to batter tasting. this recipe is definitely one with a stronger "banana" flavor and less of a "spicy" flavor... which is why i love it so much. i've made a number of variations too... coconut macadamia nut, chocolate chip, and orange spice were all winners. tonight was just the basic recipe - sans walnuts.

Cook's Illustrated 3/1998

Greasing and flouring only the bottom of a regular loaf pan causes the bread to cling to the sides and rise higher. If using a nonstick loaf pan, on which the sides are very slick, grease and flour sides as well as the bottom.

Makes one 9-inch loaf

 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 3/4 cup granulated sugar 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon table salt 1 1/4 cups toasted walnuts , chopped coarse (about 1 cup) 3 very ripe bananas , soft, darkly speckled, mashed well (about 1 1/2 cups) 1/4 cup plain yogurt 2 large eggs , beaten lightly 6 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted and cooled 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom only of regular loaf pan, or grease and flour bottom and sides of nonstick 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan; set aside. Combine first five ingredients together in large bowl; set aside.

2. Mix mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla with wooden spoon in medium bowl. Lightly fold banana mixture into dry ingredients with rubber spatula until just combined and batter looks thick and chunky. Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan; bake until loaf is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Anonymous said…
yumm...i'm making cinnamon rolls from a can this morning. no where near as good as banana bread.
Elisa said…
Yea! I love banana bread, too, but never seem to get around to making it. Thanks for sharing your favourite recipe. I'm inspired now to give it a try...
mama mia said…
Dad made this recipe tonite, and it was so full of banana-y goodness...makes a wonderfully large loaf too....put some butter on it and it sho-be-good.
Natalie said…
I finally made this last night, when I should have been working. It was great. Thanks for sharing.

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Dallas Mavericks point guard J.J. Barea standing between two very tall people (from: Picassa user photoasisphoto).

Congrats to the Dallas Mavericks, who beat the Miami Heat tonight in game six to win the NBA championship.

Okay, with that out of the way, just how tall is the busy-footed Maverick point guard J.J. Barea? He's listed as 6-foot on NBA.com, but no one, not even the sports casters, believes that he can possibly be that tall. He looks like a super-fast Hobbit out there. But could that just be relative scaling, with him standing next to a bunch of extremely tall people? People on Yahoo! Answers think so---I know because I've been Google searching "J.J. Barea Height" for the past 15 minutes.

So I decided to find a photo and settle the issue once and for all.

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As I've said before, I use this space to work out the truths in my life. Writing is a valuable way of taking the non-linear jumble of thoughts in my head and linearizing them by putting them down on the page. In short, writing helps me figure things out. However, logical thinking is not the only way of knowing the world. Another way is to recognize, listen to, and trust one's emotions. Yes, emotions are important for figuring things out.
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Last night we were reviewing multiplication tables with Owen. The family fired off doublets of numbers and Owen confidently multiplied away. In the middle of the review Owen stopped and said, "I noticed something. 2 times 2 is 4. If you subtract 1 it's 3. That's equal to taking 2 and adding 1, and then taking 2 and subtracting 1, and multiplying. So 1 times 3 is 2 times 2 minus 1."

I have to admit, that I didn't quite get it at first. I asked him to repeat with another number and he did with six: "6 times 6 is 36. 36 minus 1 is 35. That's the same as 6-1 times 6+1, which is 35."

Ummmmm....wait. Huh? Lemme see...oh. OH! WOW! Owen figured out

x^2 - 1 = (x - 1) (x +1)

So $6 \times 8 = 7 \times 7 - 1 = (7-1) (7+1) = 48$. That's actually pretty handy!

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