Banana Bread

I love a good piece of Banana Bread – don’t you? Well, unless I’m talking to my husband, but I already knew he was a little weird!  This recipe is one of my favorites to make. It always comes out really delicious.

Flour’s Famous Banana Bread

DSC_0979

Ingredients:

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup plus 2 TBS sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup oil

3 1/2 bananas, very ripe, mashed

2 TBS creme fraiche or sour cream

1 tsp vanilla

2/3 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped (optional)

 

Directions:

1. Set oven to 350′. Line the bottom of a loaf pan with parchment paper (or spray with cooking spray)

2. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

3. Beat sugar and eggs with a whisk until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes.  Drizzle in oil. Add mashed bananas, creme fraiche/sour cream, and vanilla.

4. Fold in dry ingredients and nuts.

5. Pour into a lined loaf pan and bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour

 

My Notes:

* This last time I made this recipe I accidentally forgot the sugar until after I poured it into the loaf pan – thankfully I remembered and was able to pour it back into the bowl and mix the sugar in.  Bread turned out great!

* I made one loaf of bread out of the above recipe. It took 1 hr and 40 minutes to fully cook.  I checked it every 10 minutes after the first hour.

* You can make 42 muffins using 1/3 cup of batter in each cup. I used Greek Yogurt instead of Sour Cream and each muffin is 194 calories.

* I don’t care for nuts in my bread, so I leave them out.

* My friend Priscilla just recently told me about this trick, and it WORKS – try it out!  When you take your bread out of the oven take it out of the pan and only let it cool for about 10 minutes. Then wrap tightly in foil – yes, while it’s still hot. Do not put in a ziplock bag.  It will keep the bread moist and delicious – no need for slathering it with butter!

DSC_0978

Make it a GRATE day!

Love,

Christy

Biscuits and Gravy

A few years ago my very good friend Priscilla taught me how to make home made gravy. Once you’ve learned how to make this gravy, you will never go back to buying the packet stuff at the store – let alone be able to eat the packet stuff from the store.  Bonus, it’s super easy!  This past Sunday it was our Small Group’s turn to bring breakfast for our class at church. My husband had been telling me that I really needed to bring my biscuits and gravy – so I decided that this would be a great time to do so.  If it looks like I was cooking for an army…..I was, and I loved every moment of it!

What you will need before you get cooking:

A large skillet or frying pan. I like this 12 inch Skillet.

Depending on what type of pan you have, you will want a good whisk – since I cook with a non-stick skillet I use  a Silicone Whisk  that is PERFECT for gravy – it’s a flat whisk so you’re able to get everything off the bottom of the pan without burning it – LOVE IT!  The silicone will also protect your pan from being scraped up by a regular wire whisk.

Milk or Heavy Whipping Cream

Flour – I use an all purpose flour.

Sausage or Bacon grease ( I prefer Sausage mixed in with my gravy, so that’s usually what I end up using, but bacon grease works just as good)

Pepper

Colander and a bowl that it fits in.

Wooden Spoon

Directions:

1. Start by browning your sausage  – again I LOVE using my Mix n’ Chop to brown my sausage and break it up.  Once it’s done, I place it in a colander with a bowl under it – I let it sit for a few minutes, stir it a few times, and let it sit for maybe another 2-3 minutes. Just enough to get the grease out of the meat.

DSC_0536

2. Pour the grease back into your skillet.  Cook over medium-high heat until the grease starts to bubble.  Add in 1-2 large dinner/soup spoons of flour – and whisk it around until it’s all mixed in with the grease.  I actually like to let this cook out a little bit – I find that the gravy doesn’t have a strong “flour” taste when I do this.  (the following picture is a pretty bad picture of this process….but it sort of works to show you what I mean)

DSC_0537

DSC_0543

People always ask me what medium-high heat looks like. Well on my stove it looks like this (between 7-8) but it could look different on your stove. You will just have to play with it.

DSC_0548

3. Add in your milk – usually around 2-3 cups, it all depends on how many people you’re cooking for. And let’s face it, everyone loves a extra gravy!

DSC_0544

4. STIR, and stir some more.  Don’t quit stirring. You will notice that the milk will start to thicken and a gravy will begin to form. Usually within 5-8 minutes. If it takes longer than 10 minutes you will want to add some more flour – maybe a spoon full, not too much. I usually add some pepper to the gravy at this point – I did 25 turns on my pepper grinder for this pan – you will want to adjust to your tastes. I don’t ever add salt to my gravy. You never know if the sausage is going to be salty or not.  People can always add salt later on if needed.

DSC_0549

5. Once you have your gravy to the right thickness, remove from heat.  I then add in my sausage and stir around – you will notice it becomes more of a “chunky” gravy – so remember this before adding more flour in step 4.  Since I was taking this gravy on the road – I mixed the gravy and sausage in a large bowl – but I usually just do it in my skillet.

DSC_0550

DSC_0551

DSC_0552

So I know you’re asking – what about the biscuits? Well I will let you in on a little secret. Pillsbury makes some amazing biscuits! When making this meal for my husband and I, I usually just use the canned biscuits. But since I was cooking 100+ biscuits I went to Costco and purchased the frozen bagged ones and they were still great.

DSC_0542

DSC_0541

DSC_0540

DSC_0539

BUT if you want a good drop biscuit recipe here you go:

Drop Biscuits:

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tbsp sugar

3 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup shortening

1 cup milk

1. Heat oven to 450′

2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt – this is an important step, don’t skip it! If you skip it you have the chance of eating a bite full of baking powder, and let me tell you – it’s gross!

3. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender – or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions – until mixture looks like fine crumbs.

4. Stir in milk

5. Drop on a greased cookie sheet by spoonful into 12 biscuits about 2 inches apart.  My mom used to drop them into a greased muffin tin as well

6. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet, serve warm.

(Biscuit recipe found in the Betty Crocker Cookbook Bridal Edition)

Make it a GRATE day!

love,

Christy

 

 

Just Another Saturday….

This past weekend ended up being very relaxing…love those!  We started the morning with breakfast on our patio.  I made the most delicious pancakes, home made whipped cream and of course sliced up some beautiful strawberries.

It was my first time making Whipped Cream and had I known it was this easy, I would have never purchased the frozen junk at the store, that of course is filled with a million bazillion bad for you things.

Whipped Cream Topping: 

1 cup Whipping Cream

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1-2 tbsp Powdered Sugar

Directions:

In a large bowl (I used my kitchenaid mixer) whip cream until stiff peaks are just about to form. Beat in Vanilla and Sugar until peaks form. Make sure not to over-beat, cream will then become lumpy and butter-like.

Cook’s Tip: Brian and I thought it needed to be sweeter – so I would start with 1 tbsp of sugar, and add more if you need to. We liked it more around 2 tbsp’s.

DSC_0426

DSC_0427

These gorgeous strawberries were sliced using an egg slicer – have you ever played around with your egg slicer before? I use mine to cut up olives, mushrooms, strawberries, bananas, kiwi and more! I think it’s been used to slice up strawberries more than it has for eggs!

DSC_0428

The pancakes of course were cooked on my lovely griddle that my husband bought me.  Of course I only saw the HUGE spiderweb that was on the bottom corner of it AFTER we were done eating….oh well… we are all supposed to eat so many spiders in our lifetime anyways…right?

DSC_0429

DSC_0430

DSC_0431

I so enjoyed eating outside and chatting with my husband. We rarely get to eat breakfast together, let alone be able to sit and just talk leisurely over breakfast. It was a gorgeous morning here in Texas for it!

DSC_0432

DSC_0433

DSC_0434

DSC_0435

What did you do this weekend? Anything fun?

Make it a GRATE Day!

Love,

Christy