Thursday, March 24, 2011

Banana Bread


I love breads of all kinds. I love hearty peasant breads. I love sweet dessert breads. My favorite of the dessert breads is banana bread. I love the way it smells when it's cooking. I love how it tastes warm from the oven. I love how it tastes chilled. It's good with butter on it. It's good with nothing on it. Banana bread is just good.

2 C all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp baking power
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 beaten eggs
1-1/2 - 2 C mashed, over-ripe bananas (about 5 medium)
1 C sugar
1/2 C melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of one standard loaf pan or two medium loaf pans.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Make a well in the center of flour mixture.

In a separate bowl, combine eggs, bananas, sugar, and butter.

Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture.

Stir just until moistened. The batter should be lumpy.

Pour or spoon into pan or pans.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes. If necessary, cover loosely with foil for last 15 minutes to prevent over-browning.

Cool in pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely. Wrap and store overnight before slicing.

One Crazy Girl's notes: We like to eat some while it's still warm. The butter melts so beautiful when it is still a bit hot. You can also add nuts before baking.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mom's No-Fail Pie Crust

My mom makes the best pie crust. The secret? Lard. I know, I know. Lard is evil. Not really. It's just gotten a bad rap from the shortening people.


2-1/2 C flour
-1 C lard (full cup if using shortening)
1 tsp salt
1 egg
1/4 C milk
1 Tbl vinegar

Combine flour and salt. With a pastry cutter, cut in lard/shortening.

In a small bowl, beat egg, milk, and vinegar.

Add to flour mixture all at once.

Mix with a fork. Form into a ball. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

When you are ready to roll out the crust, cover the surface lightly with flour. Be sure to put flour on your rolling pin as well. Divide your crust in half for deep-dish or thirds for standard size. Form portion into a ball and place on surface. Carefully roll from center of ball out at all angles until about 1/4 inch thick.

Carefully place in pie dish and press gently into place. Add filling.

Place dabs of butter on top of filling.

If using a double crust, roll out and place top crust on pie, crimp edges, and put several small slits in top.

You can use the remaining crust for turnovers or small pies. We went with blueberry turnovers.

Easy Pie Crust on FoodistaEasy Pie Crust

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Printable versions of recipes

I've had people asking me for printable versions of these recipes. It took a little searching, but I've found out how to do it. So, at the end of each recipe post, I'll be adding a link called "Printable version". I'll be adding these as quickly as I can, but they aren't all there yet. Have patience with me, and I'll get them on as soon as possible.

Note: All new recipes will include a link to a printable version as well.

Mashed Potatoes with Carrots

A dear friend of mine made this for a dinner party one time, and I've loved it ever since. It's easy, and it gets the kids more of their veggies. Plus, it makes the potatoes look really neat.

6-8 potatoes, chopped but not pealed
3-4 large carrots, chopped
Butter to taste

Cut up your vegetables. Put them in a pot and cover with water.

Boil until tender. Drain. Add butter and milk, and mash to preferred consistency.

Serve with gravy, sour cream, or whatever your family likes on their potatoes.

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