Loaves and Dishes

Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Loaf

I have two current obsessions: making loaves of quick bread and buying unique or pretty dishes to add to my collection.

One obsession makes my family happy. The other gets me into trouble because we’re running out of cupboard space to put all of the dishes.

Dishes

A few favourite dishes: tea cup from Greece; square plate from Mexico; beloved platter from Grandma; lovely new blue bowl and a saucer bought on honeymoon in Florence.

There are just so many reasons to make a loaf of quick bread: it’s a great way to use up ripe bananas; it packs up nicely as a school or work snack; they make great gifts; and you can mix up all the ingredients and pop it into the oven in five to ten minutes. Although I think my favourite reason is the way the house smells when you’re baking a loaf—it takes you right back to childhood.

With any luck, the loaves will keep my husband in a sugar coma long enough that he’ll stay out of our overflowing cupboards and won’t discover all the new dishes I’ve bought recently. Although I think it’s too late—my friend Nancy was commenting on the weekend about all the new dishes she’s noticed in my recent posts.

Okay then, I guess my best bet is to win him over with the cost savings of the Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf. The girls absolutely love the version that you get at Starbucks—but a family visit to Starbucks these days comes close to setting you back as much as your monthly iPhone bill if everyone splurges on a drink and a snack. That was the incentive for coming up with this version of Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf, as I’d much rather spend my spare money on dishes save money to pay down our mortgage.

Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf

If that doesn’t work, there’s always Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread. My oldest daughter started requesting a new version of banana bread . . . she was getting sick of my Butterscotch Chip Wholewheat Banana Bread. That lead to thinking that I needed to try the coconut oil that I’ve been reading about all over the blogsphere in my recipe. Have you tried baking with it yet?

If not, you really should. I reckon that it’s better for you than broccoli—and it tastes a lot better too. According to Dr. Oz, it can help our bodies resist illness-causing viruses and bacteria; boost thyroid function helping to increase metabolism, energy and endurance; increase digestion and help to absorb fat-soluble vitamins; and help fight off yeast, fungus and candida.

I’m meeting my friend Eva tomorrow after work to go shopping at Tap Phong Trading Company in Chinatown. It’s a great place to buy dishes and cooking utensils at great prices. Do you think I need to bake another loaf this week?

Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Loaf

Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Loaf

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (measured solid)
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350° and grease 9 ½“ x 5 ½“ loaf pan
  • Mix dry ingredients (flours, salt, sugar and baking soda) in small bowl and set aside.
  • Mix wet ingredients (bananas, egg, melted coconut oil and vanilla) in large bowl. Add in the dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips and shredded coconut until incorporated.
  • Pour batter into greased loaf pan.
  • Bake for 45 – 55 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf

Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup oil
  • ½ cup sour cream 
  • ½ cup milk (I use 1%)
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup poppy seeds

Drizzle

  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp milk

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350° and grease 9 ½“ x 5 ½“ loaf pan
  • Mix dry ingredients (flour, salt, sugar, baking soda and baking powder) in small bowl and set aside.
  • Mix wet ingredients (oil, sour cream, milk, eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla) in large bowl. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. Add poppy seeds.
  • Pour batter into greased loaf pan.
  • Bake for 50 – 60 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Allow loaf to cool completely. Mix drizzle ingredients in small bowl and spoon glaze over bread.

The Banana Bread Switch Up

You are in desperate need of a coffee. You head to the cupboard to grab some filters—but they are not there. You can feel the panic rising as you look in another cupboard, then another. Finally, success…there they are right next to the Cheese Whiz. That’s funny, you didn’t put them there. You breathe a sigh of relief as the coffee brews. Now, just grab a mug and…what the hell, where are the mugs?

I’m sure that this is the scenario (or one very similar) that played out many years ago for my mom. I had just started my first full-time professional job (the one where I met Eva of Kitchen Inspirations) and I had moved in with mom so that I could get my financial feet on the ground. First thing I did was completely rearrange her kitchen.

Need I point out that she wasn’t impressed? Mom was particularly upset when she discovered that several of the items she needed hadn’t just been “relocated”—they’d been thrown in the garbage. I’d like to blame it on my youth—the verve of my adventurous twenties—but I can’t.

I’m just that way. I like to switch things up. You know, make them my own. I know that I’m destined to get what’s coming to me one day soon, as I have two very spirited and strong-willed ponytails.

But until then, I continue to switch things up—particularly with my mom’s recipes. This time, it’s her much-loved banana bread recipe. (It has quite a following with the after-church social crowd at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church.) Although, this time I don’t think she will be mad at me—I didn’t throw anything out.

Mom’s Original Banana Bread

  • 1-½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Directions

  1. Mix dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking soda) in small bowl and set aside.
  2. Mix wet ingredients (bananas, sugar, egg, butter and vanilla) in large bowl. Add dry ingredients and mix well.
  3. Pour batter into greased loaf pan.
  4. Bake at 350° for 45 – 50 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

#1 Switch Up: Whole Wheat Butterscotch Banana Bread

  1. Replace 1-½  cups all purpose flour with ¾ cup of all purpose flour and ¾ whole wheat flour.
  2. Add ½ cup butterscotch chips after completing step 2 in directions for Mom’s Original Banana Bread and mix well.
  3. Follow steps 3 and 4 of same directions.

#2 Switch Up: Marbled Chocolate and Peanut Butter Banana Bread

  1. Prepare Mom’s Original Banana Bread batter.
  2. Divide batter in half, placing second half in a new bowl.
  3. Add 2 tbsps of peanut butter to first half of batter and mix well.
  4. Add  2-½  tbsps cocoa powder to second half of batter and mix well
  5. Pour chocolate batter in half of greased loaf pan.
  6. Then, pour peanut butter batter in other half of greased pan.
  7. Using a knife or skewer, pull and swirl chocolate batter through peanut butter batter until you are happy with the marbled effect.
  8. Bake at 350° for 45 – 50 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.