Recipe of the Week – Sour Cream Banana Bread

How do you feel about bananas? I know there will be a select few of you who detest this delectable fruit (hey Val!) But I’m among the group of people who think it rates right up there with sliced bread. Sliced banana bread.

You see, I am what some might consider, a bread aficionado. Why? Because I love bread. My thighs, also,unfortunately love bread. All kinds of bread. Bagels, croissants, dinner rolls and baguettes. Sourdough, wheat, oatmeal, zucchini, rye and yes, banana. Given my affection for this carb-heavy food I am extremely discerning when it comes to baking it. I have tried just about every recipe out there for banana bread and think I have finally stumbled across the perfect blend of bread and fruit.

This recipe utilizes another beautiful ingredient…sour cream, lending added moistness to the bread while cutting through the sweetness with its slightly tart taste. This bread is simply awesome.

Make it.

Like, today.

Or don’t.

But don’t blame me whenyou suddenly get a hankering for some bangin’ banana bread at 1:00 in the morning and you have none.

Hmm.

I’m experiencing what feels like a revelation. Perhaps it’s not the actual ‘bread’ that appeals to my thighs…it’s the late night consumption of said ‘bread’ that does the job.

Note to self: encourage love of celery. Or lettuce.

Here’s the recipe.

Sour Cream Banana Bread

  • 1/4 white sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2cups white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 over ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 16 oz. container sour cream
  • 2 tsps. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsps. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 tsps baking soda
  • 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease three8x4inch (standard size) loaf pans.
  2. Combine 1/4 white sugar and 1 tsp. ground cinnamon in a small bowl. Dust mixture into loaf pans evenly.
  3. In a separate bowl cream butter and sugars until smooth. Mix in eggs, bananas, sour cream, vanilla and cinnamon until combined. Mix in salt, baking soda and flour. Pour batter evenly into loaf pans.
  4. Bake for 1 hour, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

I’m thinking about relocating to a bubble.

I was reading this morning about a fairlynew discovery…lead in our faux leather and vinyl handbags. Last year, the Center for Environmental Health conducted research in California stores on many brands of purses only to find that most of those included in the study contained high levels of lead. The majority of the highest levels were found in bags with orange, yellow and green pigments.And much to my dismay, I’ve discovered thata few of my handbags hit the mark and will now have to be disposed of. I guess being fashion-forward (and, well…cheap) carries a high cost.(For a current list of known retailers and brands, visit the CEH website.) Due to the findings of this research,the Center has reached legal agreements with four of the major retailers to eliminate this potential hazard andplans on pursuing agreements with remaining retailers.

Reading this story this morning has got me thinking…has anyone noticed that it is becoming increasingly hard to liveaworry-free life? Thatsomething as relatively simpleand an act I consider as normal as brushing your teeth, to carry a purse, is nowa cause for panic?That thereare consumer watchgroups forming by the second,their mission to protectus from ourselves? Is nothing safe out there anymore?

Let me take a step back. I remember that blissful time as a child when my biggest concern was whether Barbie and Ken should buy a horse or not. Should they upgrade their pool furniture or wait until Ken’s next payday? Perhaps they should ditch the furniture idea and invest in mutual funds? Okay, so maybe I worried a teensy bit. Some personality traits are unavoidable (and kind of disturbing.) But whether it was safe or not for any future Barbie babies to lick the patiochaise lounge never entered my mind.

Fast forward to adulthood, particularly recently, when worrying reaches whole new levels. You can’t goa single day without reading, watching or hearing about some harmful substance which has been unleashed on the unsuspecting consumer. I should know. Because of my apparent genetic propensity for worrying, I’m one of those who likes to remain blissfully unaware. My morningnews is brought to me by Joel McHale and the Daily Soup.I pick up most of my online information from message boards and the Huffington Post. Don’t be impressed just yet. It’s actually the ‘Entertainment’ section that I have bookmarked. Front-door delivery of the New York Times? Negative. My daily read typically consists of magazines with the really important news, like Entertainment Weekly.And if I’m feeling particularly intellectual, Glamour.

Ignorant? No. Tired of inundating myself with negativity? You betcha. And even with my self-inflicted defense against harsh reality I would have to have my head in the sand to not know about the different dangers in our world. And, quite honestly, it scares me.

Lead in our housepaint, mercury in our vaccines, pesticides in our lawns,harmful chemicals in our plastics and cosmetics, pollutants in our air…the list goes on and on. Atfirst thought I’m inclined to do the following: remove all of our housepaint,foregovaccinations, lay down gravel, adopt a glass-only food storage policy and rock the au’natural look (this one sends shivers down my spine),apply a face mask to my children before leaving the houseand…move my entire family into a bubble.Or better yet,perhaps there are vacancies open in the Biosphere in Arizona.

On second thought, I’m not sure my family is entirely ready for life in a bubble. We can hardly handle an extended period together in a hotel room let alone a lifetime of bubble bliss. I could just see the headlines now, “Family of Four Admitted to Insane Asylum…Doctors Blame the Bubble.”

The fact of the matter is, a completely worry-free life is a pipe dream. Sure, there are proactive steps we could (and should) be taking to avoid exposure to some of the more nefarious of threats but it’s impossible and unhealthyto completely shelter ourselves from fully living on this beautiful God-given planet.

Whereas, I will nowbe a more discerning consumer, I suppose I’ll put off the move to the Biosphere and rip up my Bubble-of-the-Month club membership. Life is way too short to view it from the inside of eco-friendly plastic.

Mindy

Slowly but surely…

That’s right. Slowly but surely I am making my way back unto the living. I’ve been down and out for a good 48 hours but currently, I’d say, I’m operating at about 70% capacity which means I’m back to doing laundry, dishes, vacuuming and general cleaning but still feeling crappy enough to be slightly bitter.

Being “out of commission” is unchartered territory for me.With a first-grader in public schoolI catch my fair share of colds and an occasional upset stomach but I typically stillrun on full cylinders and have a firm grasp on the day-to-day duties of running a household.

This time around was slightly different.This cold, or”viril rhinitis” as I like to so eloquently put it, took everything out of me. All of my responsibilities had to go on hold and that was, perhaps, the hardest part of fighting it. The “knowing”. Knowing that for an indefinite amount of time, my laundry would go unwashed, the dishes would go unrinsed, the kids would go unbathed and the floors would go unswept.

And due tothis admittedly unhealthyobsession withthings remaining orderly and my wholehearted attempts at keeping up a “large and in charge” persona,I have historically not been the best patient. Ihave not allowed myself to rest fully for fear that dirty towels and food-caked disheswould take over my house.

But, again,this time around wasa different mamma-jamma. This time I seriouslycould have cared less if my towels walked in from the laundry roomto sit downnext to me on the couch and discuss politics. It honestly wouldn’t have fazed me if my dirty dishes convened together to march around my kitchen in protest. I would have laid on that couch and applauded their demonstration.

At the onset ofmy snotty nose,I made the decision to take some much needed rest and allow life to go on around me. And you know what? It did. Dinner got made, dishes were cleaned up and my kids got bathed.

I realized that when push comes to shove my husband is a worthy house manager. I realized that the sun does not rise and set on a clean house. I realized thatstinky kids are still happy kids.I realized that sometimes a down-and-out cold is a worthyexcuse for a much needed respite. I realized that I do not have to do it all.

(I also realized that combining cough medicine and rum is not a smart decision given my somewhat unsettling hallucinations concerning my politically-minded towels and march-happy dishes.)

So, as I work on gaining back the remaining 30% of my capacity I will do so with a certain peace as I have learned a valuable lesson. I will undoubtedly get sick again and my well-oiled machine willundoubtedly come to a screeching halt but when it does…all will be okay. (Unless my towels do actually sit down to talk to me, then we’re dealing with an entirely different situation.)

P.S. I wanted to say a gracious “Thank You” to you all for my well-wishes! It was certainly most appreciated!!

Happy Wednesday,

Mindy

Still sick…

Yep.

I’m still sick.

Send help.

(And by help I totally mean the Thunder from Down Under. Nothing says a”quick recovery” like gyrating Australian hips clad inSpeedos.)

Save my family from my ever-growing bad mood and save me from my perpetual and unattractive bedhead.

Two days of this crap leaves melonging for the days of my Dolly Parton hair and Tammy Faye Baker makeup. This infirm-induced au’natural junk is for the birds.

P.S. I must add, I think there is nothing more unnerving to achild’s psyche than when their mother is “out of commission.” My poor kids (and husband) don’t know what to do with themselves.

I crawled out of bed this morning to help Jer get Avery off to school and could sense a quiet discomfort from Jer at being guided through the steps of building a lunch and from Avery at watching her father manhandle the Disney princess sandwich holder. I had to scale Jer back a little as it appeared he was building a lunch worthy of a 200-pound lumberjack and not a 50-pound first grader.

And Jack? That little dude has beat feet into my bedroom no less than 50 times to peel back my eyelids and stare into my groggy, sleep-hampered eyeballs. Therapeutic. Really.

P.P.S. I’m totally serious about the Australians.

Until tomorrow,

Mindy

Ugh…I’m sick.

Today’s post is going to be short and sweet, friends.

I have caught what appears to be viril rhinitis…known to the average layperson as the “common cold.” Doesn’t the addition of italics make something appear so much more important? I’ve been attempting to relay this very thing to Jer all day but he isn’t hearing it.

“You’ve got a cold, Mindy. You’ll be fine.”

“But, Jer. It’s viril rhinitis.”

“Yeah. A cold. The common cold.” Shoot. He figured out the italics thing.

Anyway.

I’ve been sitting here all day long sneezing, coughing, wheezing and whining. My family has all decided, wisely, to steer clear of me. Even the little one has learned totake a very wide path around my perch on the couch. He quickly ascertained that getting tooclose to me requireshim to listen to mypathetic whimpering and complaining about the torturous symptoms of a runny nose and itchy throat. And he’s three. You see how bad it is? I’m complaining about my draining sinuses, puss-filled lungs and scratchy throat to a three year-old whose current threshold of comprehension peaks at words like “poop” and “pee’.

In other words…I’m miserable.

So, I am going to drink plenty of fluids (does rum count as a “fluid”?) and get plenty of rest. And you already know how I feel about naps. For the sake of a speedy and healthy recovery, I will take a short break from posting my daily recap of the stimulating details of my life and come back tomorrow with a renewedvitality and vigor.

Happy Monday,

Mindy