Banana Bread fail

Girls, if you haven’t already heard, the best way to get to a man’s heart is through his stomach. That is a piece of advice you should not take lightly.

I especially love this piece of advice because I love to bake, and due to my apprenticeship of the wonderful bakers in my family, I feel quite confident of my own baking skills. Therefore, I’ve been in the business of employing this proverb for a few years now.

Over winter break, for very necessary reasons, I made one of my guy friends a loaf of banana bread. Actually, I made two loaves, one for him, and one for my family.

I was very proud of this banana bread. The loaf for my family was disappearing quickly, and I myself was pleased with its flavor and texture–let’s just say I felt rather confident when I handed the treat over to my friend.

Between that time and this past weekend, he never spoke to me of the banana bread. So I was thinking, Like, geez, thanks for saying nothing about the bread I made you!

Actually, I was more worried that he didn’t like it. That he HATED it…that he would never eat anything I ever made AGAIN.

Okay, so those were my dramatic thoughts; I knew for sure that he liked my peanut brittle, so not all could be lost.

Anyhow, this past weekend, I finally decided to ask him if he liked the banana bread–carefully adding that if it wasn’t to his taste, he could tell me so that I might “do better next time.”

He began telling me that he had never eaten banana bread with a topping on it…

Confused, I told him the banana bread I had made only had walnuts on top, not the sugary crumbles he spoke of.

Then it hit me. I had given him THE WRONG BREAD. Somehow I hadn’t noticed that the loaf I had grabbed out of the freezer was a coffee cake my mom had made, a stark contrast to what my banana-bread-craving friend had been expecting when he took his first bite.

That advice I gave earlier? Yeah, I pretty much did the exact opposite.

Epic fail.

My friend was rather relieved to find out that what he had eaten was definitely not banana bread:

“Good…cuz I was gonna say…that banana bread sucked.”

Advertisements

Shred, White, and Blueberry muffins

Yes, I did just combine an Attack Attack! song with a muffin.

But, really, I just needed a title, and it doesn’t make sense if you know that this blog is about a recipe in which I didn’t make muffins, but I made bread. And I wasn’t listening to Attack Attack! while I was making it either, I was listening to Audio Adrenaline and House of Heroes. So all of such is beside the point. Here’s the story:

For my roommate’s birthday, I decided to make her blueberry muffins.

They were, you know, a’ight. One of my guy friends ate about 6 of them before we even left the kitchen. Coulda’ been a little sweeter, though (I used a not-as-bad-for-you sort of recipe).

In two days, I was freaking out because the buttermilk I had spent my precious college-student-funds on was about to expire. Waste not.

I knew I had most of the ingredients needed to make another batch of the muffins, but I didn’t have quite enough blueberries left in the fridge to make a double recipe. And I wanted to make them a little sexier, anyways.

So after buying some 19-cent bananas at Target (dimes ARE useful currency, actually!)…

 

…and pilfering some walnuts from the dining hall…

…I concocted a new recipe, and…

I think the Muffin Man is jealous of me now.

1. The blueberries, banana pieces, and walnuts worked together as deliciously as a love triangle.

2. I used a brownie pan because I didn’t have enough muffin cups left. So it turned out as a sweet-lookin’-loaf that, due to the oven I was using and my lack of tin foil, was a bit gooey except around the sides. To some people, gooeyness is not appreciated, but in my culture, we celebrate gooeyness with thanksgiving.

3. This recipe is as hearty and healthy as it is wonderful, due to the angelic gifts of whole-wheat pastry flour, applesauce, and oatmeal, as you will notice in the recipe.

4. This baked good is best enjoyed in a warm state, and is complimented well with a little spread of peanut butter. Makes me wish I still had some of this stuff in the fridge…

Now that you are dying to know how to make this new amazing breakfast food, I suppose I better give you the recipe…

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Set aside:
1 cup of blueberries (drained if previously frozen)
2 medium bananas, split into thirds and cut into pieces
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
*These are the general measurements I would use. If you happen to like more blueberries and less walnuts or more bananas and less blueberries, you are free to augment the recipe according to your personal fruit-and-nut desires :)

Mix in a large bowl:
2 1/2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour
2 1/2 cups of old-fashioned oatmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix together in a medium bowl:
1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
4 tablespoons oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Make a well in the dry ingredients and stir in the wet ingredients until the dry is wet (you don’t want to over-stir). Note: there is a scientific reason why you MUST pour the wet mixture onto the dry mixture like so; I’m sure there’s some interesting chemical formula that explains this all, but all I know is that it WORKS BETTER than the other way around (the guy that ate 6 muffins tried it the other way, and the batter was harder to mix and not quite the same…I almost made him swallow the mixing spoon. Okay, not really…).

Anyhow, after the dry and wet ingredients have been married, fold in the blueberries, banana pieces, and walnuts. Then, pour into a greased pan (I used a 9 x 8 pan, but you can use whatever depending on how thick you want your loaf, etc.).

As I’ve only baked these once, I don’t know exactly how long to cook them. The muffin recipe I had used said to bake the muffins for 16-18 minutes, but since I used a pan, the baking took at least half an hour, and the middle was still a bit gooey (as aforementioned)…My advice would be to bake for 30 minutes, check to see how brown the edges are, and adjust the time accordingly. And always err on the side of too-gooey.