A Glorious, Glorious Day

by Cate on July 29, 2005

Weather was in the mid-70s today, a welcome relief from the heat wave we’ve been caught in lately. It’s rumored to be a gorgeous weekend as well, and with two days jam-packed with stuff to do, that will be perfect.

Wasn’t sure if the babysitter was coming tonight (she ended up not being able to), so I hadn’t plan anything for dinner. Didn’t much feel like going out and, of course, with nothing planned to cook, dinner was anybody’s guess. Ended up stopping in at Quiznos, getting a sub for The Husband and Nicholas, and salad for me. With my Ode to Quiznos back in March, it’s no surprise that I like their stuff. I actually haven’t been there in awhile, and not being very hungry tonight, the salad was just right.

Reading Ruby’s blog today, reminded me that I flagged Nigella’s Banana Bread recipe long ago as one I wanted to try. As I type this, it’s baking away in the oven and smells amazing. With Bourbon-plumped raisins, how could you go wrong? As my friend, Gwen, says, “Everything’s better with bourbon!” Only change I made to Nigella’s recipe was to add a smidge of banana extract to amp up the banana intensity just a bit. This recipe was a perfect use of the overly ripe bananas that were on my counter, begging to be used.

Not sure what’s planned for tomorrow … I have been trying to get up to Lowe’s to look for anti-gravity chairs. A friend told me they carry them there, and I’m crossing my fingers they have them. I also need to start looking for a new dishwasher to replace ours. I’m looking at the GE Profile one, but still unsure. Do any of you happen to have it? I’d love some feedback on it. Nicholas’ birthday party is Saturday, and family is coming over Sunday, so there’s bound to be some cooking and baking.

Tune in tomorrow to see what develops. Until then…

Nigella Lawson’s Banana Bread
1/2 cup or more raisins
3 oz (6 TBS) bourbon or rum
1 cup plus 2 TBS all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick or 4 oz)
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
Very ripe bananas, mashed about 3 to 4
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (I used pecans)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon banana extract

An hour or more before you want to make this, put 1/2 cup (or more if you like it) raisins and the bourbon or rum in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and let plump for an hour or more. Drain. When they are ready, preheat oven to 325 F. Butter and flour loaf pan. Put flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and mix to combine. Melt the butter in a large bowl. Add the sugar and beat until blended. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the mashed bananas. Then stir in the walnuts, drained raisins, and vanilla and banana extract.

Add flour mixture 1/3 at a time to combine. Scrape into the loaf pan and bake in the middle of the oven for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, till it tests clean(ish). Cool the pan on a rack and slice to serve.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Joe July 29, 2005 at 3:17 am

69 – lucky! It was 110 again today…. 110 for the rest of the week… I cant even say its a dry heat anymore since its monsoon season.

Enjoy the nice weather!


linda July 29, 2005 at 4:51 am

Where did you find banana extract? I spent one long weekend a year ago hunting for something like that to make peanut butter, banana, chocolate chip cookies


Cookin4Love July 29, 2005 at 5:39 am

I was at another Costco tonight, and they had about 15 of the chairs–down to $50. I wish, wish, wish I had some way to get them to you!


Michelle July 29, 2005 at 1:00 pm

I’ve been lurking on your site for quite a while now. I love your site,have used many of your recipes and have yet to be disappointed by one. I’m delurking to respond to your dishwasher question – I just purchased the GE profile dishwasher (the one with the tall tub and all stainless steel inside) I love love love it (as much as one can love a dishwasher anyway. Good luck & keep the wonderful recipes coming!


Cookin4Love July 29, 2005 at 1:38 pm

About the dishwasher–we have the GE Profile and love it, as well. Ours is the one with the electronic touchpad controls that is visible at the top of the door. If I were doing it again, I’d go ahead and get the one with the stainless steel interior and the hidden controls–I just prefer the look. What I do love, though, is how flexible the Profile is when it comes to loading. It holds a lot, it’s quiet (the ss tub would’ve been even more quiet), and it cleans well. I can recommend it.


Cate July 29, 2005 at 2:26 pm

Joe – ouch – 110? I would be inside with the AC fully cranked from sunup to sundown. ‘Bout time you got a picture up. :)

Linda – I think it was just at the regular grocery store, if I remember correctly. Want me to send you some?

cookin4love – you are killing me! If you happen to get the energy, I would gladly pay shipping + cost on the chairs. :)

Michelle – thanks for the info (and cookin4love) on the dishwasher. I think that’s the way I’m going to go. Glad you delurked, even if just for a minute. :)


Cookin4Love July 29, 2005 at 2:32 pm

Seriously–do you want me to pick them up and ship them to you? I supposed UPS or someone ships things that big, right? They’re boxed–boxes are probably 2.5 x 3.5 feet and about 8 inches deep. Let me know if you want me to do that, and I’ll pick them up today.


Cate July 29, 2005 at 2:36 pm

You know I’m not going to turn down that offer. No pressure – completely up to you. :) I would be forever indebted to you…


Susan July 29, 2005 at 2:37 pm

Hey, for those on the search for cinnamom chips (from comments below) – the Wegmans right next to my work has plenty of bags left over from Christmas. Is there any interest in me getting some for people?



Cookin4Love July 29, 2005 at 2:41 pm

Make you a deal–if you’ll figure out the best shipping method, I’ll pick them up and send them. I’ll be shipping from Phoenix or Scottsdale. I have to go work in my classroom today, but I’ll go by there on my way home. How many did you want?


Cate July 29, 2005 at 2:43 pm

You are AWESOME!! 3 would be wonderful. Send me an e-mail (using link on top right of site) – I don’t think I have your e-mail address.


jtoepfert100 July 29, 2005 at 3:18 pm

Linda – I can get banana extract here no problem. Be happy to send you some – perhaps in exchange for the cookie recipe you mentioned;-)

Oh, I can get cinnamon chips here, as well, for anyone interested. (I’m the friend in TN:-))


Stephanie July 29, 2005 at 4:06 pm

Where in Tennessee? I’m in Knoxville, and I’ve been unable to find them (at least, the last time I tried)./


jtoepfert100 July 29, 2005 at 5:08 pm

They’re all over Memphis – we might be last on the list for exotic ingredients (who knew lentils were exotic) but we’re chock full of baking supplies.:-) I could send you some if you’d like.


Sadaf Trimarchi July 30, 2005 at 1:09 am

This is such a random thing for me to have noticed, and maybe I’m just in a snarky mood – but how can you stand it if your babysitter is so unpredictable about her/his availability? Sorry, I’m sure the person is usually great, or why else would you rely on them. Just seemed like the last kind of stress you’d need to deal with.


Stephanie July 30, 2005 at 2:04 am

jtoepfert100…I would love that! My email address is downthe right side of my blog http://thehappysorceress.blogspot.com

Thanks so much!


Joe July 30, 2005 at 3:00 am

We had a hard time finding the cinnamon chips here in phoenix too. While we were in Portland on a business trip I ran to an albertsons and spotted them finally. I got 12 and have been using them slowly. I think my favorite so far is the easy cinnamon bread from KA. Yum!


Cate July 30, 2005 at 3:10 am

Sadaf – I can be that snarky too. Yes, definitely frustrating. She’s supposed to be babysitting once a week, same day, to make it easier for everyone. Nicholas has a standing date and she has cash she can count on. Unfortunately, you know how summer gets … hopefully things will settle down in September. ;)

Joe – you gotta try the Cinnamon Bars!!


Clare Eats July 30, 2005 at 1:05 pm

You can’t get cinnamon chips in australia at ALL!!!! or peanutbutter chips or butterscotch moresels :(


http://www.usome.com August 28, 2007 at 9:16 am

Enjoy the nice weather!


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