Buttermilk Banana Bread


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I can't believe I'm posting a recipe that involves baking. It's been way too hot to bake in the last few weeks, but a few weeks ago I did heat up the house to make this banana bread again. I originally made it on Easter for both of our family gatherings, and at both it disappeared in a flash. JR was disappointed it went so quickly and has been requesting it ever since. He describes it as "the best banana bread ever" and "bangin' good".

Whenever I buy bananas we never eat them all so I always have some on hand in the freezer. I freeze them as is with the peels on. When I need them in a recipe, I take them out and place them in a bowl of cold water until they begin to soften (generally less than 10 minutes). Peel, mash, and now they are ready to use!


Here is what you'll need:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3⁄4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup oil
  • 1⁄3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease loaf pan and set aside.

Combine flour and baking soda in a small bowl.

In a large mixing bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Add dry mixture and mix until just combined, being careful not to overmix.

Pour batter into loaf pan. Bake for 60-65 minutes or until a knife or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before cutting.

Source: Adapted from Saveur and What's Cooking Chicago via Carries Sweet Life

How Does My Garden Grow: Early-July


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I don't know how a month managed to fly by since the last time I posted a garden update. Our garden has been producing so much in late June and early July that we jokingly referring to it as our farm. The growing season is about 1/2 over here and JR and I both agree that this is the best garden we've ever had! Not only have we yielded more than ever before, we've also had a lot of success growing new types of vegetables. I won't bore you with any more talk, I'll just get on to what we've harvested in the last month.

First up is greens, lots and lots of greens. We've enjoyed multiple salads with crisp heads of 2 varieties of romaine and bowl after bowl of arugula and spinach. We've had so much that we've shared with family and friends. You may also see a small amount of dill peeking out. The dill bolted a while ago and spinach recently bolted so those were both pulled. I hope to reseed once the summer heat starts to fade.

I've also harvested 2 bowls of both peas (left) and snow peas (right), which I've flash boiled and frozen. It looks like a lot of peas until you shuck them...

This sink-full below is a twice weekly scene in our house. I've lost count of the cucumbers and zucchini we've picked, but I can safely say more than 20 and 12 respectively. We've enjoyed many ourselves, shared with family and neighbors, and I foresee lots of pickle and relish canning in the very near future. Note: I try to pick them smaller than shown here, but they got away from us while we were on vacation.

Here is a sampling of some new items this year, turnips, pattypan squash and radishes. I've used the turnip in soup but we've yet to try the others. Again, we've shared our pickings with family and neighbors and tomorrow's dinner will use up these pattypan shown here (recipe coming soon).

A few things harvested but not pictured are a handful of golden cherry tomatoes which didn't even make it into the house (eaten straight from the vine!), more strawberries, rosemary, scallions, chives, mint and cilantro.

Things we've yet to harvest: black raspberries, buttercup squash, peppers, tomatoes and thyme.

Things which have yet to produce: eggplant, tomatillos, brussel sprouts and spaghetti squash.

Do you have any ideas for cucumbers other than pickles and relish? What have you been enjoying from  your garden or the farmer's market?




Sorry for the sudden silence and lack of posts. I took a much needed vacation and as we were driving I decided to unplug for the week (instead of frantically catching up on blog posts). It was heaven. How could this not be:

I'll be back this week with some recipes to share. Thanks for sticking around!