Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer Goals Update...

Since my summer has officially started, some of my goals are underway.

 I started scrapbooking the wedding.  So far, I have 5 pages total done.  Let's just say, I have a ways to go.   I have decided to get past my everything-needs-to-be-in-its-place mindset and let the table (and surrounding floor) look like this until the scrapbook is done.  We are gradually starting to have moving-related piles anyway, AND we have 3 bikes in the middle of our apartment... so, what the heck! add the scrapbooking stuff :)
I wanted to try one new recipe per week, which I did, but this picture is not it.  This is just an easy summer meal suggestion - taco salad.  Simple but yummy.  I cook ground beef or turkey, throw the taco seasoning packet on it and throw it in a bowl with lettuce, tomato, and shredded cheese.  You could add black olives too.  Then, I leave ranch and french dressing, salsa and sour cream out for people (or in this case, Ben and I) to add as they (we) please!  Fritos are DELICIOUS - I prefer them to tortilla chips in taco salad.  Takes about 20 minutes start to finish :)
I often purchase bananas, hoping to eat them, and then don't eat them.  Then, I end up making banana bread.  Here's the recipe I use - it's from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.  (I have the "bridal edition" but I'm pretty sure all the recipes are the same.)  I highly suggest owning this cookbook, or some version of it.  I have yet to be disappointed by a recipe in here.

Banana Bread
Prep: 25 min.
Bake: 55 min (or less)
Oven: 350

2 C. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (4-5 medium)
1 C. sugar
1/2 C. cooking oil or melted butter or margarine
1/4 C. chopped walnuts (I omit sometimes; I've also put in chocolate chips instead)
1 recipe Streusel-Nut Topping (optional - I've never done it although it sounds good)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease the bottom and sides of a bread pan (one 9x5x3 pan OR two 7 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 2 pans).  In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.   Make a well in the center of the flour mixture; set aside. 

In a medium bowl combine eggs, banana, sugar, and oil.  Add egg mixture all at once to the flour mixture.  Stir until just moistened (batter should be lumpy).  Fold in walnuts.  (Sometimes I substitute chocolate chips OR omit walnuts entirely.).  Spoon batter into prepared pan(s).  If desired sprinkle, Streusel-Nut topping over the batter in the pans.

Bake 55-60 minutes (one pan) or 40-45 minutes (two small pans) or until wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.  Cover with foil the last 15 minutes to prevent overbrowning IF NEEDED.  Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool completely.

Streusel-Nut Topping: In a small bowl, combine 1/4 C. packed brown sugar and 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour.  Using a pastry blender, cut in 2 Tbsp butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in 1/3 C. chopped walnuts. 

Does anyone else love banana bread and/or taco salad!?