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Thursday, May 22, 2008

"Bo-nonna bed" (banana bread) toddler style

We were overrun with mushy aging bananas, so I decided to attempt banana bread with the girls. And it was fab! They vigorously stirred, measured, and cracked like tiny little Emerils. The only casualty of the afternoon (an egg on the floor) was my fault, not theirs. Oops... you should have seen the double frowns I got. If they knew how to say "tsk tsk" they would have said it, that's for sure. Cleaning egg off the floor is extremely difficult, by the way, especially when your every move is being scrutinized and narrated. "Mama drop egg on floor." "Mama break egg." "Mama clean up egg." "Mama spill more egg." "Mama get egg on her shoe." And on and on and on... That slippery stuff just oozes everywhere and completely defies efforts to scoop it up. Here are the girls, concentrating on the tasks at hand. Ree has an orange and blue ladybug ponytail holder and Ro has a pink butterfly one (they picked them out at the dollar store). Oh, and I'm the one inhaling bread like I haven't eaten in days, of course: The obligatory fingers in the bowl (happens every time) Trying to control her sister Oops, the only egg dropped on the floor and I'm the one who did it (sigh) Cracking their eggs A little fight over the coveted measuring cups I can't believe their banana bread actually turned out Alright girls, this banana bread ROCKS! In case anyone wants to try it, we used the following kid-proof and kid-approved recipe. I found it online and liked the fact that it used cinnamon and vanilla -- mmmmmmm. The bread is gone already, we attacked it at dinner last night and then polished off the rest for breakfast this morning. Will definitely make this stuff again. Banana Bread 1 3/4 cups flour 3/4 cup sugar 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled 3 ripe large bananas, mashed well (about 1-1/2 cups) 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour (or spray with a non stick vegetable/flour spray) the bottom and sides of a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan. Set aside. In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside. In a medium-sized bowl combine the mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, lightly fold the wet ingredients (banana mixture) into the dry ingredients just until combined and the batter is thick and chunky. (You don't want it smooth. Over-mixing the batter will yield tough, rubbery bread.) Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake until bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove the bread from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature. This bread can be frozen. Makes 1 - 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf. Cooking with our toddlers means that all recipes are just "suggestions." The girls did all of the measuring, so we might have used more or less than the required amount of any given ingredient, the eggs were dumped in without pre-beating, we used salted butter ('cause that's what was in the fridge) and it was hot straight from the microwave, and the bananas weren't so much "mashed well" as squished quite erratically by two-year-olds. Eh, who cares, it tasted great and I only had to duck flying flour once. Or maybe twice. Here are all of the favorite pics from the week, including a closeup of Ree's filthy shirt (sadly this isn't anything special, they get this dirty every single day), cute fireman hats from the firestation open house, and a funny pic of the things they just HAD to bring to the grocery store with them: thumbnails, detail, or slideshow. PS: If anyone's just dying to see what the girls have been eating lately, I've added 4 or 5 more bento pics to our photo set here and also added a permanent link to our bento stuff in the red bar that runs across the top of the site. We're all still having fun with it, so I'll keep adding pics. If you look at the girls' dinners last night, you'll see cherry tomato and olive eyes sitting on a bed of noodles -- well Ree immediately plucked off the eyes, held them up and snipped "People need picks!!" Snort.