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Quick Banana Bread from Cake Mix

foxIt has been another busy week. In addition to doctor appointments, shopping, trip to vet, etc, I’ve  been trying to get most things done that require being outside since we are looking for rain through the end of next week.  They are projecting over 5 inches for our area.  Glad we don’t have flooding issues. And, if I wasn’t afraid of hail, just might be a good time to  leave the car out and let Mother Nature ‘wash’ it.

 

As long as we’ve lived here (can’t believe we’re approaching 19 years) there are still some things I see that surprise me. Specifically, saw a beautiful red fox the other day.  He had the most gorgeous tail.   First thought it was a large cat as it was jumping around in the field.  Only thing I can think of it was after a mole or gopher.

minigarden_1He stayed for a while and then disappeared in the tall grass.  Look for him now and then, mainly because he was in the vicinity of the pond where Bear and I like to walk.   Everything is so pretty now with the water lilies blooming – but we’ll have to take care.

 

pond_2016Finally got my tomato plants set out in the mini-garden. Have been looking for some cherry tomato plants but seems they are whisked right off the shelf the minute they hit it.  So. . . . still looking for those.  Also, set out some okra.  David HATES okra, but I love it.  Think that is one of those foods you have to grow up eating.   My mom fixed it fried, with onions and tomatoes, and boiled (my least favorite) – but David won’t let it cross his lips no matter what.  Not even if it’s  in shrimp gumbo!!!!  And he loves shrimp.

 

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Guess we all have certain foods that we won’t touch. For me it’s liver.  Another food David won’t touch is an over-ripe banana.  So when the bananas start getting over-ripe, i.e., black – I have to do something else with them.   If they aren’t too bad I can be sneaky and make him a banana-smoothie and he’ll love that.  bananacake_1However, my go-to recipe is to make banana bread.

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A quick banana bread is to use a yellow cake mix for the base to which I add the following:

 

  • 1/3 cup oil (or butter)
  • 3-4 eggs (depends on size of egg . . 3 large; 4 small)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 1/3 cup chopped nuts (pecans/walnuts)

 

Directions:

  1. Mix together the eggs, water, vanilla, cinnamon and oil using a mixer on medium speed
  2. Add the dry cake mix, mixing on low until moist
  3. By hand mix in the mashed bananas and the chopped nuts
  4. Pout into greased/floured loaf pans
  5. bananacake_2Bake in a 325 degree pre-heated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  6. Cool on racks and remove from pans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

These bread-cakes are so good. You can eat them plain or frost with cream cheese for extra sweetness.  I like them for breakfast since I’m not a big breakfast person.  They also can be frozen (whole or sliced) to enjoy  later.

 

lettuce_fix

Here’s a fix IF you need it. Since we live so far from town making a special trip for one item doesn’t happen.  So when I decided to make a salad the other day, and the green leaf lettuce was limp as a wet wash rag, tried the following.   It worked like a charm.

 

Cut the bottom stem off the lettuce, separated and placed the individual leaves into a large bowl with ice water – enough to cover all the leaves.  Let them sit one-half to two hours.  The small pieces were good to go after 1/2 hour; larger leaves took full two hours.  Regardless, they all came out fresh and crisp.  Make sure to keep ice in the water.  Bet this would work for any limp leafy veggie  . . . spinach, kale, greens ?

bearpond_2016

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We’re planning a trip to College Station-Bryan next week . . . weather permitting. This will be our first ‘outing’ in about 3 years.  Wow, can’t believe it’s been that long.  Would imagine lots has changed but we’ll see how it goes and know that it should be interesting.

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