Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Into The Mix

My In-Laws were able to visit over the weekend. We enjoyed some wonderful time with them. While they were here, we went bowling, shopping, watched Thor, took a walking tour of Riverfront park, and played, Rummikub (I think we had equal wins on this one over the last few days), Hand & Foot (Mum & Bevan stomped Dad & I in the first game, but the second two games were ours: overall scores for all 3 games M&B - 31105 D&I - 33750 making it a 2645 point spread, rather close point spread for Hand and Foot), and Jenga (I lost 2 games before we all decided to play something that didn't end so loudly). We also enjoyed some good food while they were here:
  • Winger's Grill & Bar - First time we'd eaten here. I had the blackened chicken alfredo - delicious with a bit of a kick. That atmosphere was nice (once you tuned out the screaming toddler at the next table). The waitress was on top of things (despite her co-worker sticking a bar code tag on her shirt). Doesn't make the top list of places I've eaten, but it's no where near the bottom.
  • P.F. Chang's (my favorite Chinese restaurant) - I love the chicken lettuce wraps (I've found a recipe I plan on trying at home sometime soon). All their food is always delicious. Even tried Wok-Seared Lamb, a dish I hadn't had before. It was delicious. We ordered several dishes to share: Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Crispy Honey Shrimp, Beef With Broccoli, Wok-Seared Lamb, and P.F. Chang's Pork Fried Rice. This dinner was to celebrate both Mother's Day (belated) and Father's Day (early) with my In-Laws. We had a blast.
  • David's Pizza - After walking around Riverfront Park - we stopped in for lunch. David's Pizza was delicious as always.
  • Raclette - This one took place at our home and involves a Raclette plate in the middle of our coffee table, roast potatoes, various dipping sauces, cubed steak, diced brats, shrimp, onion, green/yellow/red pepper, and a Raclette cheese substitute (I still haven't found a local place that sells Raclette cheese). The potatoes are cooked before hand while everything else is cooked/melted on the Raclette plate. It's a fun social dinner and basically works like a main course fondue.
It was a great visit, too short, but lots of fun. I enjoyed the time I was able to spend with them. My Father-In-Law even brought my mixer (a Christmas gift from a few years back) as his carry-on on the plane. I received the mixer as a gift from my Mum & Dad (Mum & Dad = In-Laws, Mom & Dad = my parents) the Christmas before we left Madison. As where and when to move was up in the air at that point, we decided it would be better to leave the mixer at their house and they would get it to us once we settled in. Since I didn't have my own kitchen until about 2 months ago, I hadn't needed the mixer until now. It was like Christmas all over again. I was so excited that I would finally get to use my beautiful red mixer! And I had just the recipe to break it in.

You see, I've had bananas ripening on the counter for a while, and I'm sure my husband will be very happy to see that they have now been used. So I glanced over my cookbooks and decided that the simplest banana bread recipe would probably be in the cookbook that was my absolute favorite to cook from as a child, Alpha-Bakery. Sure enough, there was the easy recipe I remember for Banana Bread.

This cookbook is geared towards kids, but I still love the monkey picture.

All the ingredients minus the eggs that I forgot to pull out for the picture.

I took a picture of each ingredient as I added it (but decided that I didn't really need to overload you by posting all 100ish pictures). Side note: It's amazing how many pictures I can take in a short time when not limited by the 24 picture film that we used to use.

I also realized that I needed to pay better attention to which measuring cup I used, as I realized after adding in the vegetable oil that I had put in 3 1/2 cups instead of 3 1/4 cups. Luckily, I hadn't mixed the ingredients together yet and was able to pull out the 3/4 cup extra I had added.

The batter looks much better in this picture then it did when it was just sugar, eggs, oil, and banana.

Time to start baking.

Now I remember why Mom makes mini-muffins instead of loaves. They cook in half the time. But it was worth it.

Yummy banana bread!


  1. YUM!! That looks amazing! Sounds like you had a great weekend :)