hello august (plus muffins)
Sorry for the lag in posts this week. I have had several things queued up to post about, but time was running short for the first half of the week. My plan had been to get a few of them written up and published when things calmed down towards the end of the week but, erm.. life had other plans?
(insert horribly cute picture here)
On Friday, 10 minutes after I arrived at work, I received an email from my brother informing me that my baby sister had given birth to her baby boy at 4:30 pm on November 11, 2010.
I don’t know if anyone is ever entirely prepared and ready for news like this to come, but in our case this was a pretty big shock as he arrived 5.5 weeks earlier than the 12/18 due date we had all been planning for. Despite being pretty early, he came out healthy and well-developed at 5.5 lbs and 48 cm long. I’ve been in contact with my sister and family, but haven’t seen a picture yet. That would be one of the downsides to living half a world away.
I’m really glad that my indecision on dates meant that Eric and I hadn’t already purchased plane tickets for our trip home in late December/early January. We have spent the last few days looking at the possibility of moving the trip up to the end of this month instead.
So for now I am going to leave you with the recipe for the muffins I baked last weekend, and get back to thinking non-stop about the latest addition to my family, trip planning, and willing my family members to remember to mail me a picture.
Banana bread is one of my favorite things to bake, and I’ve been making it somewhat regularly for a long time. Sometime over the last 4-5 years I switched to using a muffin pan with my usual recipe for ease in portioning, storage, and portability.
The recipe I use started off as Tyler Florence’s Banana Bread, but I’ve tweaked and adapted it over time to make it healthier and lower the amount of sugar, etc.
Banana Bread or Muffins
240 g whole wheat pastry flour
25 g flax seed, ground
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
350 g over-ripe bananas (about 4)
100 g raw sugar
75 g butter or coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
**Note: Make sure to use over-ripe bananas as they will be sweeter and yield a better texture and crumb than perfectly ripe bananas. Frozen and defrosted bananas are my favorite, but we were running low the day I made these, so I went with the spotty bananas on our counter. I usually use butter when I make these muffins, but decided to go with coconut oil as that is what I had on hand this time.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), and grease and flour a loaf pan or muffin tins.
Mash two bananas roughly with a fork and set aside. Add the remaining bananas and sugar to a medium mixing bowl and beat for 3 minutes on high to form a banana cream.
Add the melted butter, eggs, and vanilla extract to the banana and sugar mixture and mix well, then sift in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Gently fold the mashed bananas in by hand and pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan or muffin tins. You can also top them with walnuts, but I usually leave all or half of them plain, as Eric is not a huge fan of nuts.
Bake for 45 minutes if using the loaf pan, or about 18-20 m if using the muffin tin, until the banana bread is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
Makes 1 large loaf, 2 small loaves, or 16 muffins.