Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Easy Does It

Continuing with the rhubarb theme, I made a Jamie Oliver recipe last week with the end of the rhubarb from Green City.

I am a big fan of Jamie Oliver and his food. It's simple, it's easy and it's about eating well and enjoying life.

I cut the recipe in half and made 3 large servings knowing that the non-rhubarb-crazy set wouldn't really care. The fruit was lovely and rosy. Very tart. Very, very, tart.

Once sprinkled with an easy oat topping scented with ginger it was lovely draped with the Bird's Custard I tried for the first time.

Because it was so very simple, it's just a crisp (though J.O. calls it a crumble which sounds cool-er), I almost didn't share it. Then I reconsidered because it doesn't have to be fancy or include specialty ingredients we search high and low to find. I had everything in the pantry and it was a lovely way to finish a simple meal.

Who was it that said, "it's all about eating well and enjoying life"?


Monday, May 30, 2011

How My Garden Grows

I've not shared my garden lately and though the season is starting slowly, I think before we know it everything will be growing strong.

My highlight this year is the shell beans I am growing. This is the first of my little Christmas lima beans. I may only get enough for a pot of soup but it will be worth it. I am also growing black beans and have found an heirloom climbing haricot vert.

Found this great rosemary at Home Depot for $12. While not organic as I usually like to grow this much rosemary for that price - think how many Peach-Rosemary Cocktails I can make!

My cold frame was over flowing with greens when I took this but they are long gone. I am wondering if a bit of screen wire to shade the greens might enable me to grow greens a while longer. The kohlrabi plants I bought from Sweet Home Organics along with 5 baby celeriac I can't wait to eat next fall.

I have also planted carrots, beets, chard and parsnips. I am trying lemon cucumbers for the first time and pickling cucumbers again. There are spaces for (some) Doug's pepper babies when they are ready for the big, bad back yard. I have seven heirloom tomatoes and six basil plants in addition to a nice collection of culinary herbs.

Though I feel like I am in a holding pattern because of our ridiculous spring weather, I have set some goals. I've planted a lot of later season produce to extend the foods available from my own garden. I will use the cold frame in the fall for greens. I will plant the sugar snaps I didn't get planted in March. And finally, and most importantly, I vow to stay on top of amending my soil and feeding my plants - even those in pots.

Will it all happen? Will I get it all done?

I don't know but the best part of spring is the promise of things to come.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Five Stars

Last night the family attended a wonderful show, Dig It: A Musical Tale of Ancient Civilization.

The audience traveled through history all while seated on a bottom-numbing bleacher. Travels through the Egyptian tombs, empires of the east and ancient Greece left us entertained and historically enlightened. The finale, a toga party hosted by Romans was certainly a high point for all.

Elevating the show was fabulous song and dance by a well studied cast. Of the many stars of the show, there were 78, one was stand out.

Ella Downing, playing the part of Romulus, spoke strongly and with emotion. In a drama-follows- life-role, the part demanded she knock her brother Remus on the head with a rock. The execution was flawless. Truly a part she was prepared for and made to play.

While not her first production this grateful fan of the arts is confident we will be seeing more of the many talents of this rising starlet.

This reviewer give Dig It five stars!

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Ultimate Taco Project - Holy Horchata!

It's hard to believe The Ultimate Burger Project of 2009 began almost 2 years ago. The project was based upon building the best burger from scratch - bun, condiments and freshly ground beef. I had really hoped for a follow up project last year but nothing inspired me and then last winter it came to me - tacos. We love Mexican food and experiment with a lot of different types so this is the perfect topic.

My project began months back with hand made corn tortillas. Successful, delicious and pretty straight forward, the perfect place to start. Shortly thereafter, I pursued horchata. Again thinking it would be easy, too I found that it took a bit of research to find the horchata of my dreams.

Many years ago, I was taken to a Mexican joint in the city, off Division if memory serves. I was too young to really appreciate how great the food probably was, but what I do remember was the horchata. It was dipped out of a big rectangular cooler with a cup and poured into the cup I would eventually drink from - gross. It sort of skeeved me out but then I tasted it - I couldn't be rude - it was wonderful. Sweet with a slight cinnamon essence and the perfect cooling refreshment with spicy food. This horchata has been the earmark for all other.

The recipe calls for rice flour or ground raw rice. After a few seconds of grinding in the VitaMix - rice flour. Technically, I wouldn't call what I made flour, it was a bit more coarse than that. After my first experimentation though, I found too finely ground, it wound up as gritty sediment in the glass. Some texture is good, too gritty is icky.

Other ingredients, include milk, sugar, cinnamon sticks and vanilla extract.

I think what gives this rice milk great flavor and body is the cow's milk reduced over low heat by half. Since I tend to be a bit neurotic. I like to mark a skewer before adding the flame so I can see when it's reduced enough by checking the skewer. Clever or crazy?

Water, reduced milk and cinnamon sticks are brought to a boil and allow to set while the cinnamon infuses the mix. Add in the sugar, rice flour and vanilla to the mix and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

It's delicious and just what I was searching for - what are the chances the second recipe would hit the mark? I like to think it comes from many years of recipe reading.

The last time I served horchata one recipe was gone within the hour.

This time I doubled the batch. They all asked why I made so much.

Maybe I should sell some from a cooler....

Mary Sue Milliken & Susan Feniger (remember the Two Hot Tamales?)

1 quart non-fat milk
2 quarts water
4 cinnamon sticks
1/4 cup rice flour or 1/3 cup raw white rice crushed to a powder in a blender
3/4 cup sugar
1 T. vanilla extract

Pour the milk into a wide skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until reduced by half. Strain into a large saucepan and add the water and cinnamon sticks.

Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit 15 minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks and reserve.

Combine the rice flour, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl. Pour the milk mixture and whisk to incorporate well. Refrigerate at least 4 hours. Then pour the liquid into a pitcher, discarding the sediment that has settled on the bottom of the bowl. Serve cold over ice with cinnamon sticks at stirrers.

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Plea For Rhubarb & A Recipe, Too.

I came home from our trip to the city with loads of rhubarb. Rhubarb is a harbinger of spring and when it's available I become obsessed. I do have plants in the garden but they are a bit stunted this year. After June ran laps along the fence with her boyfriend pre-garden protection, it was a little worse for the wear. I want to let it recover until next year so until then, I am accepting donations.

I have a long list of things to try - some old, some new, including a delicious Bundt cake with buttermilk and lemon. I've realized I have a "thing" for Bundt cakes. I make a lot of them. Chocolate and red wine, goat cheese, blueberries and herbs, and olive oil.

The recipe I want to share is from my well-worn (though fairly new) copy of Rustic Fruit Dessert by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson. It's definitely a go-to book when I am in search of ways with seasonal fruits.

It uses the basic techniques of most cakes of this nature. Be sure allow for plenty of time to cream the butter and the sugar. The sharp edges of the sugar crystals cut the butter and create small air pockets, creating a lighter cake. While Bundt cakes are a bit more dense than others, that step is just as important. Don't rush it.

My favorite Bundt tip is to use the back of a spoon to create a channel through the middle of the cake. If you've ever made a Bundt that appears to be levitating over the cake plate, this will ensure that doesn't ever happen again.

A bit of lemon glaze and it's an especially delicious bite of spring.

Perfect for a Memorial Day picnic!

Lemon Buttermilk Rhubarb Cake

2 1/2 cups plus 2 T. all-purpose flour (12.5 oz. + 5/8 oz.)
2 t. baking powder
1 t. fine sea salt
1 cup (8oz.) unsalted butter
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
zest of 1 lemon
3 eggs
1/2 t. lemon oil (I use 1 t. lemon extract)
3/ cup buttermilk
1# rhubarb, trimmed and very thinly sliced (3 cups or 12oz. prepared)

Lemon Glaze
2 cups (8 1/2 oz) sifted confectioners' sugar or more as needed
Juice of 1 lemon
1 T. unsalted butter

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-cu Bundt pan.
To make the cake, sift, the 2 1/2 cups flour, the baking powder and salt together in a bowl. Using a hand held mixer or a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest together on medium-high speed for 3-5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition, then stir in the lemon oil (extract). Stir the flour mixture in three additions alternating with buttermilk in two additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture, scraping down the bowl occasionally. The batter will be very thick.

toss the rhubarb in the 2T. of flour and fold half of the rhubarb into the batter. Pour (I use a trigger ice cream scoop) into the prepared pan and sprinkle remaining rhubarb on top.

Bake for 30 minutes, then rotate the pan and cook an addtional 30 minutes, or until the top of the cake is firm and the center springs back when lightly touched. Cool the cake in its pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes before inverting and removing th epan.

To make the lemon glaze, whisk the confectioner's sugar, lemon juice and butter toghete. The mixture should be thick. It if is not whisk another tablespoon or two of sugar. Spread the glaze over the cake as soon as you remove it from the pan.

Storage: Covered with a cake cover or plastic wrap, the cake will keep at room temperature for 3-4 days.

The Dowing Family - Double Word Score

Max and Henry made this one night last week before bed.

They used Bananagram tiles.

My children are brilliant.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Perfect Baking, No Mistakes

Many years ago, I read when baking, it is wise to dump additional dry ingredients into separate piles on top of the flour. Though it's difficult to discern in the picture the baking soda, powder and salt were all dropped well apart to eliminate any mistakes. If you get distracted when measuring dry ingredients, you may go back to discover you have no clue were you left off. This is the perfect fix for perfect baking every time.

I just wanted you to know.



Friday, May 20, 2011

A Food Circle

The girls in the Yellow Hen House keep our fridge full of these....

So we always have lots and lots of these....

I save them until I have a bagful and bake them until they get really dry and brittle. (Doug has instructed me to tell you they stink while they bake.) Then I run them through the food processor until they are
nicely ground.

Then I can dump them right into the garden. It takes a lot of time for them to decompose whole in the compost pile. When you grind them up they are easy to incorporate, decompose a bit faster and dry, sharp edges are great to keep the cutworms at bay. I mix some in with the girls' flax seed snack, too.

How's that for a food circle?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Happy 16th!

Sixteen years ago today, I married a wonderful man. One who's stuck by me in my craziness, supported me and loved me when really, no one should. We are definitely better and we've been through worse. Poorer is a given and we know richer has to get here sooner or later.

He's a terrific father and never ceases to amaze me with his insight and ability to handle situations that leave me paralyzed.

Always willing to help. He has patiently tried to cast on my knitting when I was 8 month pregnant and forgot. He's embraced my passions and along the way they've become his, too. He puts up with my chickens and even though he truly doesn't like them I know he looks out for them.

He attempts things he didn't need/want to because I needed/wanted him to. Building a cold frame, installing a garden fence and making a Pin-The-Nose-On-The-Pig board for a birthday party.

He lets me fill the house with kids - other than our own - even though I know sometimes he'd rather I not.

Last year he surprised me with a renewal of our vows. A proposal, ring, flowers, champagne and a cake that looked just like the one at our wedding.

Like all marriages we've been through our share of....crap. More than our share of crap. Through it all, I wouldn't change a thing. We are better now than ever.

I hope I am to him all that he is to me.

Happy Anniversary, Doug. I love you.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake - To Go

A few years ago, a recipe for Strawberry Shortcake Cookies was published in a Martha magazine. The description called them "a portable version of a classic dessert." Perfect for a picnic and a creative use for the fresh strawberries coming our way.

Though they are not yet available locally, the organics are starting to hit the stores. The only way to go with strawberries (unless you've picked them yourself) since they are little chemical sponges. Read more about it here. I believe in knowing what's going on with my food - especially where my kids are concerned.

I digress. I gently wipe the strawberries with a damp paper towel rather than running them under water. It's way is easier than drying them and you don't want to put drippy berries in your baked goods. Or in anything for that matter.

These cookies could be described as little strawberry-filled biscuits. Chilled butter is cut into the flour to create a tender crumb. I use my fingers for this but a pastry cutter or two knives work well, too.

Gently fold the berries into the dough. Careful not to smash them and turn the dough pink. It's nice to have a nice bite of berry, too.

Portion with a trigger ice cream scoop since it's a sticky dough. The recipe calls for sanding sugar but I was out so I substituted raw sugar with delicious results.

They are delicate and delicious and unfortunately are best served immediately.

Oh, the sacrifices of strawberry season.

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies
compliments of Martha Stewart

12 oz. strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4" dice (about 2 cups)
1 t. fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup plus 1 T. granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. coarse salt
3 oz. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (6 T.)
2/3 cup heavy cream
sanding sugar, for sprinkling

Pre-heat oven to 3 degrees. Combine strawberries, lemon juice, and 2 T. granulated sugar. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 7 T. granulated sugar in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, or rub in with your fingers, until mixture resemble coarse crumbs. Stir in cream until dough starts to come together, then stir in strawberry mixture.

Using a 1 1/2" ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet, spacing evenly apart. Sprinkle with sanding sugar and bake until golden brown, 24-25 minutes (perhaps it's my oven but I found them to be sufficiently baked much more quickly . Keep an eye on the first batch to check your own timing.) Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool. Cookies are best served immediately, but can be stored in an air tight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.

Yield: about 3 dozen cookies

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Final Lunchbox Countdown...

There are only 20 some days of school left. These final days carry with them the advent of idyllic summer days. Sprinklers, Popsicles, uninterrupted gardening and easy grill meals.
And - no more lunches to pack. The boys make their own lunches so I'm only on the hook for about 40 more. Oh boy!

Given the alternative, hot lunch, I'd gladly pack lunches forever. Lunch from home ensures the "lunchbox rules" are in place - protein, fruit and/or veggie and something crunchy but nothing with orange powder. It's stuff I know they'll eat and I change up the choices a lot. There's always got to be a sweet, too. That's my favorite lunchbox rule!

One of our most favorite things are Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars. I usually have most of the ingredients in the house and bars = no scooping! For a lunchbox recipe like this I use old-fashioned rolled oats (the ones at TJ's are good) rather than my Green City favorite.

They go together really quickly.

Cut in squares and popped into a wax bag they are the best part of any lucky kid's healthy lunch box.

I think even Jamie Oliver would be proud.

Peanut Butter Oat Bars
Williams-Sonoma - with my own little notes

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt (I use generous double the amount of kosher -imparts a sweet salty bite here & there)
8 T. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup chunky peanut butter (Always Skippy for baking)
1 egg, room temperature
1 t. vanilla extract

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8" square baking pan with butter, then line with parchment paper, letting 2 sides hang over.

In a large bowl, using and electric mixer, beat together the butter, brown sugar and peanut butter on medium speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the egg and vanilla and beat well. Turn off the mixer and add the flour-oat mixture. Beat on low speed just until blended.

Using the rubber spatula, scrape the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Bake until the top of the cookie is golden and looks firm, 25-30 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. Life the cookie from the pan, dust with confectioner's sugar if you like to make them cute. Cut into 1"x4" bars or whatever size floats your boat.

Makes 16 bars

Monday, May 16, 2011

No Thought Strawberry Cake

I think in everyone's recipe cache there should be a little baked something you don't even have to think about when you put it together. I have a few to follow the seasons. Yesterday, I baked a strawberry one. Good for dessert, better for breakfast.

Core and slice the berries....

That Jane. She is such a hoot. So nice to talk to her. I better starting thinking about what I'll send with the kids on vacation. That would be stupid, it's like 2 months away.

Where was I? Creaming butter. I am so glad I got this mixer. What a deal. Maybe I should have bought two. What would I do with two? The Kitchen-Aid is great but it's really...Oh, that high pitched hum. Reminds me of home. It meant there would be cake. German Chocolate Cake. I wonder what makes cream cheese so good. I probably don't want to know. I should try to make some.

Forgot to start the laundry. I feel guilty. Doug did most of it -what's left is my job and it's...oh, crap...12:30pm. I should really pick up that taco project. Memorial Day would be good. What else do I have to do for that... Where is June? What time do I have to put the chicken on the stove? If it takes 3 hours and they eat at....3 o'clock - that'll work.

Don't over mix....

Where did I put my black jacket? Could I wear the white one? I need to put something on underneath it that doesn't make me look like a toad. If I go to the chicken meeting with a chef's coat on I'll look stupid. Ooops. I was gonna take a snap before I blobbed the rest of batter on. Oh, well.

Sprinkle brown sugar on the top. Need to buy more brown sugar.

Into the oven. Don't forget - set the timer. Have to email my invoice to Dana.

&(^%! Forgot to set the timer. Okay, now what - laundry - I'll put it away before I have to turn the cake..... Laundry away, room straightened. Make bed after cleaning bathroom. God, I need a backhoe to clean out Hen and Max's room. Just close the door. Timer is beeping. 40 minutes 22 for 18. Do the dishes. Wipe the counters.


Look there's a cake!

Told you it was a cake you didn't have to think about.

I hope your cake works out just like this one but I hope your mind doesn't work just like mine.

For your sake.

Strawberry Coffee Cake
From Coffee Cakes by Lou Siebert Pappas

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
8 T. unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/ milk
2 large eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/ t. salt
3 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
1/ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped almonds or walnuts (I skipped them)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9x13 baking pan.

In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, butter, and granulated, and beat with a wooden spoon or a mixer until light and fluffy. Stir in the milk, eggs, and vanilla and beat thoroughly. IN a medium bow, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir to blend. Add to the cheese mixture and beat until smooth. Spread half the batter in the prepared pan. Scatter the berries evenly over the batter. Dot with remaining batter over the berries. Mix the brown sugar and nuts together and sprinkle evenly over the batter.
Bake for 0 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a cake tester inserted comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature, cut into squares.

Makes 1) 9x13 cake; serves 12

Friday, May 13, 2011

Isn't He Sweet?

Jake took this picture of Henry yesterday. It captures him perfectly. His still baby fine hair and Darth Vadar t-shirt.

For Mother's Day there was a card made to accompany his thumbprint bug flowerpot. Written in his first-grade writing was this....

Dear Mom,

I love you.
I love Star Wars more.
Just kitting.


Isn't he sweet?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

People Make Pie!

Did you know that? Real people make pie with their hands. I don't mean you and me - we know we make pie- I mean other people. There are places you can go and slices of homemade pie are available for sale. Seriously.

We had vehicles with exhaust problems but no one locally wanted to repair the broken part - just the broken part. The whole kit and caboodle was the deal. We don't even need to speak of expense - it was astronomical. As luck would have it, there is a guy, a really nice guy in a town west (quite a bit) of us willing to cut out the bad part and replace only that part. Genius, less wasteful and happily far less expensive.

Rocky drove us to the local restaurant and we settled in with books, notepads and conversation for the 2 hour wait ahead. We each ordered a club sandwich from the attentive waitress with a Minnesotan accent. There is really nothing to say about the squishy, pink tomato club - nothing at all. But toward the end of our visit things started looking up when the pie lady walked through the door. Tall with white hair, wearing polyester pants in a springy pastel, some of the pies were still warm. They were in real pie tins. Dutch Apple, Strawberry-Rhubarb, Lemon Meringue, Coconut Meringue and Cherry.

I brought home a slice of Coconut Meringue because coconut is off limits by all other Downings. The meringue melted in my mouth with a touch of burnt sugar essence. The vanilla custard, with inconsistencies befalling homemade was layered with lots of coconut. The crust which was paper thin crumbled like old paper. I think it was made with lard. It was a lovely pie.

The best part of my midday gluttony was the simple joy of a homemade, small batch pie made by a seasoned pie maker. There still are old ladies wearing polyester pants baking pies.

Some days everything - mufflers and pie included - is right in the world.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

You Must Have...

A slow cooker. I don't care if you are what some call a "gourmet cook" you must have a slow cooker or crock pot in real people vernacular. There are super fancy ones like the All-Clad variety or there are the really affordable type that you can pick up at Kohl's or Aldi. I tend to feel that a crock pot (ahem..slow cooker) is just a crock pot. Fancy bells and whistle or no - they both get dinner on the table on an insanely busy day.

Even the uninitiated cook can make a super meal say with a decent piece of meat and some broth. Crock pots essentially braise so think tough, inexpensive cuts, chicken on the bone.

On this particular day believe I had some onions, a piece of pork shoulder, some of Daddy's fabulous Green sauce and obviously limes and avocados.

I am not sure I remember correctly but think I put this together on a night I had a class and the end result was served on whole wheat tortillas with guac. Perhaps there was rice and fruit. I am sure I remember correctly that you said it was delicious and you were all well fed with real food.

At the end of the day that's super important to me and I just wanted you to know.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Flea Market Finds

Sunday, at the last minute, Max and I went to the Kane County Flea Market. Flea marketing is something I inherited as has Max so I am assured of a willing partner. I've been in search of what is commonly referred to by some, as "other people's junk", I am proud to say since my pre-teens. My interests come and go. Some things are in the collection forever. Others the collection of the year.

The wind was so insidious we decided to hit our favorite buildings and save outdoor hunts for June. I bee-lined to my favorite vendors. Though I didn't buy any I did see some old photos. I love old photos and some of my collection is on my website. Just a select few of many and no, I don't know any of those people.

As I wound my way through the booths, while Max was looking for old LP's I found myself thinking of other people. People near and dear to me. This book made me think of Doug -King of the Fryer.

It was May Day and this creamer made me think of my Grandmother. She made May baskets with my brother and I and loved violets. I moved some violets from her yard to my first home and then again to the yellow house.

The chalk ware dogs made me think of my mother. She loves anything dog related and has a collection of these vintage ones on her sitting room wall.

My Grandfather had a glass paper weight just like these sitting on his desk. The particular fragrance of that room, old wood and paper, still lives in my memory. Carefully taped in the paperweight was a yellowing Instamatic photo of me, my face covered in cottage cheese. I am sitting in the highchair my Grandfather ate meals in and in turn, my uncle, mother, brother and all four of my children.

I came home with some cool stuff that day, most of which would cause people to question my motives. The best finds were thoughts and memories of people I love and that alone was worth five bucks to get in.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Food Snob Seeks Banana Bread

I am not fond of the term foodie. I abhor the thought that local or organic food is elitist. I have four kids and there is nothing elitist about my budget or my grocery list. I recently had a minor (really minor) revelation about the most basic of homemade foods. Banana bread. (I told you it was minor) I've never posted a banana bread recipe and quite honestly have avoided it for blog purposes. Making banana bread for anything "special" is so prosaic. Prosaic is even too fancy a word for banana bread. So really, I am a food snob, aren't I?

But, doesn't everyone have memories of mom's banana bread? Who hasn't made a loaf to save sad fruit from dying a slow death by blackening? Made a loaf as a thoughtful gift for a neighbor? Is it not the "go-to" baked good for moms across America?

In truth, I have made hundreds of loaves of banana bread. I would critique most as just okay but nonetheless, I'd willingly try any recipe. A one shot deal and then off to the next in search of the banana bread to end all banana breads.

It's all about the recipe and finding a good one can be tough. The only one I've truly ever been attached to is my mom's. The only problem with that is I (shamefully?) admit that banana bread isn't worth 2 sticks of butter. Canola oil, let's talk. But butter? I recently discovered the recipe I now turn to when inexpensive breakfast/snack food needs call. Do I have to say it? Williams-Sonoma. Lord you'd think I was a paid spokes person.

Worth trying? Certainly. Worth typing out for this post? No way. You'll find it here.

Sorry, old judgments die hard.