Monday, November 23, 2009

Banana Bread and Cranberry Sauce Night!

And the cooking marathon continued tonight!  I managed to get the banana bread baked and the cranberry sauce cooked after squeezing in a Vet appointment for my little senior girl, Sarie.  She's estimated to be 19 years old and has been my heart since the first day I saw her five and a half years ago!  She's been sneezing and coughing for the last few days so I was concerned.  The good news is her Vet thinks it is just allergies!  Phew!  So home I came to get busy with Turkey Day preparations!

I started with the banana bread so that it would have time to cool before I went to bed.  I used a different recipe than I've used for the last gazillion years!  On top of that I used some bananas that I had put in the freezer when they were overripe.  So tomorrow a taste test is definitely in order.  To late at this point to find overripe bananas so I sure hope its okay!

Banana Bread

Recipe Adapted From Betty Crocker
Rich buttermilk, crunchy nuts and flavorful, ripe bananas make this banana bread tops.
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Total Time:3 hours 25 min
  • Makes 2 loaves (24 slices each)


    • 1 ¼ cups sugar
    • ½ cup butter or margarine, softened
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 ½ cups mashed very ripe bananas (3 to 4 medium)
    • ½ cup buttermilk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 2 ½ cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup chopped nuts, if desired


    Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2x4 1/2x2 1/2 inches, or 1 loaf pan, 9x5x3 inches.

    Mix sugar and butter in large bowl. Stir in eggs until well blended. Add bananas, buttermilk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt just until moistened. Stir in nuts. Pour into pans.

    Bake 8-inch loaves about 1 hour, 9-inch loaf about 1 1/4 hours, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans and place top side up on wire rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.

    Make the Most of This Recipe With Tips From The Betty Crocker® Kitchens

    Variation Mini Banana Breads make great gifts! To make, grease bottoms only of 10 miniature loaf pans, 4 1/2x2 3/4x1 1/4 inches. Divide batter among pans (about 1/2 cup each). Bake 30 to 35 minutes.

    Stir 1/2 cup chocolate, peanut butter or butterscotch chips into the batter for mouthwatering flavor combinations.

    Rise to the occasion! If using self-rising flour, there is no need to add baking soda and salt.

    No buttermilk on hand? In an emergency, you can mix 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice or white vinegar and enough milk to make 1/2 cup. Or substitute 1/2 cup plain yogurt.

    Banana Bread

    See Banana Bread on Key Ingredient.

    And then I moved on to the cranberry sauce. 

    After much searching for a cranberry sauce recipe I settled on this one from the Food Network.  I wanted to have orange zest in the sauce but I wasn't sure about the other ingredients as I didn't want to spoil the dish for my oldest son.  He loves cranberry sauce!

    I didn't add everything the recipe called for and I modified the parts that I did use.  I just needed it for some ideas and for the proportions for the sugar and water.

    I ended up zesting the orange and then peeling the orange as you would for a fruit cup.  Then I chopped up the juicy remains and put that in towards the end of cooking.  I did not add the pineapple or the nuts.  I may add the nuts before serving time after I consult with my son.  He will be coming by Wednesday night to help me so if he doesn't care for this dish I have two more bags of cranberries in the fridge for another recipe!  Once Turkey Day is safely behind me those bags will find a new home in the freezer for the winter!

    Cranberry Sauce

    Recipe courtesy Norma Jean Harden
    Spoonbread Catering

  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Inactive Prep Time:1 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Level: Easy
  • Serves: Approximately 2 pints


    • 1 pound (4 cups) fresh cranberries
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 whole orange, unpeeled, seeds removed, and chopped fine
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained
    • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
    • Sprinkle ground cinnamon


    Wash cranberries and set aside.
    Bring sugar and water to a boil. Add cranberries, oranges, and cloves. Simmer over a high flame, stirring frequently, until berries pop open. Add crushed pineapple, walnuts, and cinnamon, and blend. Cool and serve.

    Cranberry Sauce

    See Cranberry Sauce on Key Ingredient.

    Tuesday night's adventures will include Sweet Potato Casserole, Sage Stuffing, the beginnings of my gravy creation, and maybe a test Pumpkin Pie!  I am considering switching to a butter crust or a partial butter crust to get away from the hydrogenated fat in shortening.  Let's see how much I get done when I drag my bones home from work tonight!  I may be a bit too ambitious...

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    1. Your little Sarie is the cutest dog ever! I use the same banana bread recipe and it is by far my favorite! Sounds like you got a great start on Thanksgiving. I'm also trying to do as many dishes as possible before the actual day. Helps with the chaos and keeps you from having so many dirty dishes on the actual day!

    2. Good luck with all your Thanksgiving prep. I'm sure everything will turn out wonderfully. I use a pie crust that has half butter and it turns out perfect every time. Happy Thanksgiving!