Farmtastic Recipes

Farmtastic Recipe – Sunday Banana Bread

Around the farm on the weekends, we usually have some extra time away from our chores to relax and do the little things that we enjoy.  For me, I love to cook and to bake.  While I often try to bake the things that Cowboy loves most, sometimes I just have to indulge in a just-for-me recipe, and one of my favorite comfort foods is banana bread.

Cowboy is not a lover of bananas.  Not sure if he had some pre-school trauma, but the man cannot stand the smell of them.  However, I buy bananas almost weekly and without fail have a couple that have seen their best days as cereal toppers and snacks.  So I have two options – freeze them for a smoothie or bake them into something scrumptious.

And since it is Sunday, I thought I’d pull out my go-to recipe from a church cookbook.  (P.S. – If you are a lover of comfort food, look no further than a good church cookbook.  They are full of family favorites and are sure to please. I always pick them up at garage sales for just pennies and add them to my cookbook collection.)  

I think the cinnamon and cloves make this banana bread extra special.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.

The Recipe: Sunday Banana Bread

The Source: Harvest Gifts  church cookbook from Saint Ann Catholic Parish in Coppell, Texas (NOTE: The original was called cinnamon-banana bread.) 

Ingredients:

Recipe Photo - Banana Bread Ingredients
Collecting the ingredients to put together this scrumptious treat.
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups bananas, smashed

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a loaf pan and dust with flour.  Set aside.
  2. Cream together sugar and shortening.  Add eggs.
  3. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ground cloves.  Add to wet mixture and mix until well incorporated.

    Recipe Photo - Banana Bread batter coming together
    Adding in my dry ingredients. Truth be told, my KitchenAid mixer makes baking oodles easier. (This one is pistachio green, and I also use vintage pyrex bowls for mixing.)
  4. Add in vanilla and bananas.  Mix until incorporated.  Add in walnuts.
  5. Pour into prepared and bake for 50 minutes to an hour, until golden brown and when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Let cool slightly.  Turn out of pan and slice.  Serve immediately or store in airtight container.

Farmtastic Notes:

  • When baking, I always make sure to crack my eggs into a glass and then add them to the mixture. I learned my lesson the hard way when I dropped shells into a mixer in motion.  Not fun, not fun at all.
  • Cloves are a strong flavor. I often do a little less than 1/4 tsp.  Now if it is full on fall and I’m in the mood, then I’ll add the whole 1/4 tsp.

I’d love to hear what you think of this recipe, so give it a try and share your thoughts.

Farmtastic Recipes

Farmtastic Recipe – Lemonade Cake

To celebrate the end of summer,  I decided to do a little baking with one of Cowboy’s absolute favorite flavors – lemon!  I came across a recipe for lemonade cake in a recent issue of Cooking With Paula Deen.  And let’s be honest, nine times out of 10 her recipes turn out yummy.  Could it possibly be the oodles of butter?  Most definitely, but for the occasional splurge, who says you can’t have a little fun?

Here are my notes on this lemony delight.

The Recipe: Lemonade Cake

The Source: Cooking With Paula Deen Magazine (click here for the official recipe)

Farmtastic Notes:

  • I made the cake exactly as directed with one exception, I only added 1/2 tablespoon of lemon zest.  My lemons were tiny, and it was all I could eek out.  It was still lemony good, so I don’t think I missed anything.
  • For the icing, I added 2 tablespoons of milk to get the consistency I wanted, as well as to take a smidge of the tartness out.
  • The finished product was quickly gobbled up at the farm.  The cake was perfect, slightly dense and super moist.  But the icing was a little sweet for me.  Admittedly, I’m a cake girl, but Cowboy is an icing guy and he gave it a thumbs up.  I think I might try it with a vanilla icing next time.
  • A couple of baking notes:
    • I buttered and floured my cake pan to prep it.  But like my mama taught me, I also cut a piece of wax paper to fit in the bottom of the pan.  This ensure it pops right out, but of course be sure to remove the wax paper!
    • When adding my eggs to the mixer, I crack them into a small mason jar and then add them to the batter.  And yes, I learned this the hard way, as I cracked an egg and all of its eggshell glory into batter once while the paddle attachment was mid mix.  And let’s face it, that just makes quick work of the eggshell, and then your entire batter is crispy, crunchy, ruined.  It’s easiest just to avoid this with a little extra step.

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I’d love to hear what you think of this recipe, so give it a try and share your thoughts.

Farmtastic Recipes

Farmtastic Recipe – Praline Pull-Apart Bread

Spring and summer are when we welcome the most visitors to the farm.  It seems our city friends love to have an escape to the country life, and with wildflowers and sweet tea plentiful around here, we are considering installing a turnstile at the gate.

With that said, I love this recipe for it’s ooey gooey goodness as a dessert, or as a decadent breakfast complete with a cup of steaming coffee or tea.  Here’s to a sugar high!

The Recipe: Praline Pull-Apart Bread

The Source: Southern Living and MyRecipes.com (click for the official recipe)

Farmtastic Notes:

  • I prepared this just like the recipe, including using Rhodes White Dinner Rolls.  (If anyone is brave enough to try another roll, let me know how it goes. I’ve had such good luck, I can’t bring myself to try anything else.)
  • I’ve added more or less pecans, depending on what I know our guests like.  For example, Cowboy’s dad would be happy if I doubled up on the pecans, and Cowboy would prefer I leave them off all together.  How’s a farmgirl to win?
  • This does require chilling for 8 to 18 hours before cooking. I find putting it together the night before to be the perfect solution.  It means for an easy day.
  • This has definitely become a family favorite.  My grams has decided it’s better than birthday cake!
  • Leftovers are yummy for about two days, if you and your guests can keep from gobbling them sooner. I keep them in a glass cake pedestal with  cover.

I’d love to hear what you think of this recipe, so give it a try and share your thoughts.