Moosewood Banana Bread

When life hands you those 2 or 3 overripe bananas, either make a smoothie or banana bread. If you can't do this immediately, freeze the bananas, but harken to me: PEEL THEM FIRST. Trying to unpeel a thawed frozen banana is not fun and rarely successful.

This banana bread recipe comes from The Moosewood Cookbook. It's actually their carrot cake recipe but they are thoughtful enough to give the banana variation on the facing page. One quirky part of it is that you soak the 2 cups of pureed banana in 1 cup of strong coffee. And being that today was our annual Easter Egg Hunt, guess what we happened to have lying around but the quarter-full Box O' Joe.

So not only did I have the ripe bananas, I had a cup of coffee. I am so good.  I rock. Mush up those bananas, pour the coffee over. Set the bowl aside and get busy measuring dry ingredients, humming happily to myself. I love it when these things just work out. I'm so smug. Coffee and bananas. You gotta pity those poor unfortunates who just don't have their shit tog—.... I have no flour.


No flour? Impossible. There's always flour. Flour is just one of those things that's always around, how could there be no flour? Commence the hilarious ballet of denial, looking in every conceivable and inconceivable cabinet in the kitchen, muttering to myself (in various four-letter words) that this is just impossible. After my triumph of glory of coffee and bananas, I'm going to blow it on flour?!?

I have no flour.

Thank God for my next-door neighbor who keeps me in eggs, and now keeps me in flour as well. The kids were up playing with hers, and she sent them home with 4 cups of flour in a ziplock, thus saving the bread.

Moosewood Banana Bread

This makes 2 loaf pans, or 1 9X13 baking dish, or some variation thereof if, like me, you think you have 2 loaf pans but you only have one (I'm an idiot). You could also cut the recipe in half.

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • grated zest of 1 orange
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups pureed banana soaked in 1 cup black coffee.
  • Optional:  1 cup fresh or dried blueberries
  • Optional:  2 tbsp poppyseeds

Preheat oven to 350. Spray baking pans with Pam.

Sift together salt, flour, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg and cinnamon. Set aside.

Beat together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla and orange zest.

With mixer on lowest setting, add half the dry ingredients. Then add banana-coffee mixture. Then add rest of dry ingredients and poppyseeds (if using).

If using blueberries, stir in by hand.

Spread batter evenly in pans. Bake anywhere from 45 to 55 minutes (a cake pan will take less time, a loaf pan more). A tester inserted in the center should come out clean.

Cool 10 minutes in the pan, then remove and let cool completely.

Beans on Toast

So being in need of comfort, I wanted to see if everything Uma said about baked beans on toast was true.

I had this awesome multi-grain boule which I toasted up. I followed Uma's recommendations used Heinz Vegetarian beans and topped with bits of cheddar cheese.

So was all Uma said true?

In two words: um, yes.

YES!! Holy cow, this was delicious! The one 8-oz can of beans on one long oval of toast made the perfect size lunch for me. I might even have this for breakfast. My friend Julia, whose mother is British, says her Mum would make this with a fried egg on top. Something definitely worth considering.



What do you call this:

Last July we were out at our friends' house in Montauk, and my friend Amy was making breakfast: a piece of bread with a circle cut out in the middle, down on the griddle and an egg cracked into the hole. 

When I was growing up, this was called "egg in a frame." I wondered what other people called it. So, as is my wont, I went on to Facebook and put up my status:

Well the commentary started flying in and it turned into a very fun conversation about this breakfast dish.

This morning I wanted to make egg in a frame for breakfast and I was remembering that Facebook post and wishing I could get back to it. In fact I was wishing I could somehow export ALL of my Facebook history because there's a lot of material in there that would be extremely useful on this blog.

Long story short, my friend Gregg showed me how it could be done. For which he will not only get my cornbread, but the dish formerly known as "egg in a frame" will hereby and forevermore be known as "GrEggs."

After filtering out the snark and smartass from the comment thread, and compiling the data, here's how else the dish is known: