THIS IS NOT MY RECIPE: I wanted to make sure you all understood that right away BUT I did make alterations because I used the ingredients and tools I had on hand. Please visit Kitchen Confidante to see the original recipe and amazing website!
WHY THIS RECIPE SATISFIES THE MAD GRINGA STANDARDS:
- It makes 2 loaves, we feed 7 around here so I like recipes that naturally satisfy our quantity requirement.
- No super exotic ingredients so I was able to make it right away.
- There was enough banana in it to actually taste like banana bread.
- It held up superbly to the couple of substitutions I made, proving to be a well balanced recipe, not depending on “exact” standards.
- The crust and crumb were amazing. The top crust was shiny and sweet and cracked as you bit down. The bottom crust was tender, not tough or overcooked.
- The center was moist and not grainy at all, it had a fine crumb and good color too.
- It was easy to slice hot and cooled.
- In the morning after it cooled, it was still as moist and delicious as when it was fresh baked. I’ve noticed that a lot of quick breads only appear moist when they are warm, but lose their moisture and texture the next day. Not this bread!
- It was a personal recommendation from Christy on my Mad Mad me Facebook page.
- When I commented on the recipe owner’s FB wall, they got right back to me with a response, so as far as I see it, this recipe came from a person, not the internet. Call me old fashioned if you must.
You can find the original recipe at Kitchen Confidante and feel free to visit Liren on Facebook as well and let her know you tried her recipe. Her site is FILLED with amazing recipes and photos.
This is the version I made (substituting a couple of things). My alterations are in bold, please visit the original link to get the original recipe.
(Faux) Buttermilk Banana Bread
1 Cup buttermilk (substitute 1 cup milk with juice of one lemon) -I had no buttermilk on hand
3 cups bread flour
1½ tsp baking powder
1½ tsp baking soda
1 Cup brown sugar
1 Cup white sugar
½ cup salted butter
5 – 6 very ripe bananas
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Prepare two loaf pans by buttering and lining with parchment paper (I used stoneware and did not need parchment or butter to prep pans). Sift or whisk flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In a separate bowl, cream sugar and butter. Mix in eggs, one at a time, then add the bananas. Add dry ingredients and buttermilk, alternating until incorporated. Try to end with the dry ingredient addition, and be sure not to over mix. Bake in pans for one hour (I needed to add 25 minutes to get them done all the way) or until toothpick comes out clean.
I have a bunch of yarn that is different weights and colors, so I wanted to create a scrap blanket. I also wanted it to have a lot of texture so that the differences in the yarns would not be so pronounced. I decided to use the Bavarian stitch or Wool Eater (also sometimes called the Catherine Wheel, but it really is slightly different). It’s basically the biggest Granny Square I’ve ever made and it looks so intentional I think I can’t really call it a “scrap” blanket anymore. I’m finally finished with this little lovely and it’s time for the unveiling!
I’ve been asked a lot about how I designed this, I didn’t. It’s a simple, repetitive stitch made completely from partial skeins of yarn. I used these instructions to learn the stitch and I just changed color with each completed round (which is really around twice!) to create the rainbow. I used yarn on hand so the next time I make one it will look different, just as yours will look different too. (My finished product was approximately 44 inches square and weighs 34 ounces. The skeins I mainly used (Caron Simply Soft) are 6 oz skeins. So, I needed just over 5.5 skeins to make this blanket. I’d buy 6 to be on the safe side. I used up partial skeins, that’s how I got so many colors in it. I’m working on a red, white and blue one now.)
BUT, here’s my secret . . . assume you are going to give it to someone you love.
The entire time I was working on this, I pictures my girls wrapped up, pleased as punch that it was their turn to use this blanket for movie night. And I picture my boy, sunk into his bean bag, drenched in this kaleidoscope playing a game or reading a book. It forces me to put more thought into what I am doing, even when I’m using up my scraps. We are more successful when we have others in mind. We are kinder, gentler, nurturing, forgiving, patient, and loving.
My hands could be used for many things and through the years they have aged and will continue to do so. But the work that ruins these boney mitts, will be marked by my love for others.
Avocados are one of the most expensive pieces of produce in the markets these days. Growing up in CA I can remember the good ol’ days of getting 4-5 for $1. But it’s been years since I’ve seen anything close to those prices and now I’m paying between $1-$2 each. A moment of silence please . . .
But I’m not ready to give up this little green alien food just yet. I may not be able to whip up batches of guac for parties of 15 anymore without breaking the bank, but I can still eat my personal fill and stay on budget.
My favorite lunch in avocado, seasoned up and rolled in a tortilla. The avocado has more than enough fat and flavor to make it a substantial meal and 2-3 tortillas satisfies my carb jones, so it’ a perfect, fast, no cook lunch that costs me under $2.
I use Chili Powder, Cumin, Salt and Pepper to season my avocado and if I have cilantro on hand, I throw several leaves on there too, but most of the time, and in the dead of winter, I just used my dried spices and still get an amazing snack that’s worthy enough to call lunch. It may seem that I use Cumin a lot, that’s because I do. I love it and everyone is allowed to have their pet spices. Cumin makes in on my list of Top 5 favorite flavors ever known in the annals of history.
And if you’re really lucky, you’ve whipped up a batch of Mad Gringa Tortillas to an extra dose of foodie goodness.
Since my move to the South, I have not been able to find a decent tortilla. It’s quite possible they exist here and maybe I just don’t know where to look, but since tortillas are the bread of my family, I really needed to do something about this crisis. And before you offer up some “brand name” tortillas for me to try, know this, we lived within 1 mile radius of a dozen of tortillarias and we could buy uncooked tortillas at Costco and whip them up at home, so there is NO precooked, prepackaged brand out there that is going to taste as good as what we were used to in San Diego.
So we move on, we cope and we learn how to do things ourselves. I went hunting all over the internet for tortilla recipes and asked the Mad Fans on Facebook for help.
This is the recipe I tried:
- 4 Cups flour (for the tortillas pictured, I used 2 Cups unbleached all-purpose flour and 2 cups whole wheat flour)
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 Cup lard or oil
- 1 Cup very hot water
Yields 18, 8 inch tortillas
And I have a Kitchen Aid mixer so I was able to whip this together very quickly. Flour, salt and baking powder in the machine, mix it, slowly add you fat (I used veg oil, it’s what I had on hand), until it resembles corn meal, then slowly add the hot water until it seizes into a ball. Let the ball rest for 10-15 minutes, pull off ping pong ball sized pieces and roll out with a pin. I was able to roll these easily and quickly directly on my solid surface counter top and they lifted right up without tearing or sticking.
Get a pan hot (I’d say med-hi worked best for me, too hot and the pan was smoking and the tortillas easily burned, but ALL the recipes said “Very Hot Pan,” and I would disagree on that point) , lay the tortilla in the pan, within 30-45 seconds you will see bubbles forming, when there are quite a few bubbles, flip to the tortilla and cook for another 30 seconds on the other side. Done! We ate them with Mad Gringa Pintos and then again with butter, cinnamon and sugar for desert.
These were very good, I know my tastes and I know I would rather use the lard next time. The substitution of whole wheat makes these tortillas taste a lot like the “wraps” that are so popular for sandwiches and rolling them out into larger pieces would allow you to make them for this purpose as well.
- Add a 2 Tablespoons of sugar and cinnamon to make “dessert” tortillas
- Add spices like chili powder and cumin, or even minced jalepeño or garlic
- and don’t forget that tortillas are great with all sorts of fillings, jelly, butter, cinnamon, sugar and one of my favs, NUTELLA
We’ve all been seeing the hat craze going on and I just love all the critters. There’s just something entertaining about the way we can dress kids and babies up in the most ridiculous accessories and get away with it. They can pull of the ridiculous so well!
I decided to try my hand at making an owl hat for a baby friend of mine and I’m completely excited by the result. I’m in the process of making a little purse to go with it too. Once it’s shipped off to her I will demand that her mother take pics to share here as well.