101 in 1001, food

Banana Bread Recipe

One of my 101 Things in 1001 Days goals is to try a new recipe every month. I was thinking gourmet dinner recipes, but the idea of working in the kitchen in summer isn’t appealling, so I used our two leftover mushy bananas to make a loaf of banana bread from scratch using this recipe, with a few modifications.

bananaingred

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 peeled ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Bit of salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C), and butter a loaf pan (I used butter-flavored cooking spray).

2. Mash the ripe bananas with a fork and stir in the melted butter.

3. Mix in the baking soda and salt. Stir in the sugar, beaten egg, and vanilla extract. Mix in the flour.

4. Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour at 350°F (175°C), or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

5. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for a few minutes. Remove the banana bread from the pan and let cool completely before serving.

bananabread

The bread turned out beautifully. It was a little dark on the bottom half, which you can see in the picture. As noted, I used butter-flavored cooking spray instead of real butter to coat the pan, so that might have made a difference? I also baked it for 50 minutes and my oven is pretty fickle, so if I do this recipe again I will probably bake it for a shorter period and check it. It wasn’t burnt though, and still tasted really good. Next time I will probably use a tad more sugar and definitely add another banana – it was a little dry, but I only had two bananas to use so I made do!

I really recommend this recipe if you want to make banana bread from scratch. I’ve loaded up slices with a ton of butter (so healthy, right? But so delish!) as a late night snack, or after-work snack, or… just because!

home life

Using What We Have

It seems like a simple solution, but it took awhile for me to think of it.

Use what we have.

I’ve always stocked up on things. Keep extra toilet paper in the cabinet. Extra toothpaste in the medicine cabinet, right next to the extra toothbrushes, because of course you can never buy just one toothbrush, right? (Oh trust me, we will talk about toothbrushes.)

When I lived in a 450 sq ft apartment, I stopped stocking up on everything. (Except toilet paper. ALWAYS have extra toilet paper.) I didn’t have much room for storage, so I started living smarter. I bought groceries weekly, because I didn’t have a standard fridge in my small kitchen. I kept just one of everything I needed on hand, and when I ran out, I added it to the list and picked it up on my weekly store visit.

It’s pretty easy to live this way when you’re single. You know what you use, what you need, and you can drop by the store on your way home from work to grab one thing.

When you have a family, though, it’s harder. You have multiple people using things, and you might not even get to it until it’s already rolled up with every drop squeezed out (I’m looking at you, toothpaste). At the risk of sounding like a martyr, it’s usually women who keep stock of household goods. Sometimes another member of the household will alert me that we’re low on something. “Add it to the list,” I say, because I don’t want to have to remember one more thing, even if I just need to remember it long enough to add to the list myself. If you notice it, say it out loud, fine – but it’s your responsibility to add it to the list.

The downside of this is that I am the one who buys the goods, and I am the one who puts them away, and I am the one who restocks them from our supply. It’s not that no one else knows where I store stuff – I show and tell them – it’s just that… I do it. So sometimes a product is added to the shopping list, when actually we have two more in the storage basket in the bathroom. Which means we just buy more at the store.

This most often happens in the kitchen, but that will have to be its own separate post. Our kitchen problem is one I’m already trying to solve, so I’ll have a lot to say on that.

The point is, we have stuff. We have plenty of stuff. And even though we’re technically out of toothpaste right now, we have those little travel tubes that work just fine. Yes, they were stored away for when we travel, but let’s be honest – that hasn’t happened in quite some time, so they next time we’re packing, we can just pick up some tubes if we need them. Better yet, we’ll just take our own big ol’ tube and save the hassle and the waste.

I have been using all my old shampoos and body sprays. When I was younger, I frequented Bath and Body Works and would always fall for the “Buy 2, Get 1” body sprays. So many scents, so much left over. It takes a long time to use a bottle of body spray. But I’m using them now, and it’s something I don’t have to buy, and it makes me feel productive to be using them up. We’re doing that all over the house with various products. It’s a small step, for sure, but it’s something we can do while we make big changes, too.