Saturday, February 4, 2012

Asking for help

On occasion, we have had a cleaning service come to do the hard stuff/major cleaning. I always felt ridiculously guilty and indulgent, like I should be able to do it all. After juggling full time work/ responding to emails 24/7, trying to be a great mom, an attentive wife, and still maintaining my identity (and sanity), I finally realized that it was time to get some regular help with the cleaning. Once a month was not going to cut it, but every other week seemed a bit...excessive. So I've settled on every 3 weeks. Yesterday, they came to clean. All day, I kept thinking about how great the weekend would be because I wouldn't be trying to find a few hours to clean the apartment. And so far, life is great. It meant I got to make a banana peanut butter bread which I have been dreaming about for the past few days.

I have this tendency to do things half assed/rushed. You know how you can freeze bananas that are over ripe and use them to bake? When I learned about it, I got excited. I HATE bananas, but love banana baked goods. LPR loves bananas, but hates any banana that smacks of over-ripeness. So, I just started throwing on-the-verge bananas in the freezer. Which is really really stupid. Because you end up with this:
And then you have to defrost them and peel them. Which sucks. This week, I kept thinking about getting rid of these damn bananas so I could start over with PEELED bananas in the freezer.  Also, the last time my parents came to visit, apparently my dad opened our freezer and said to my mom "You know they have brown bananas in here?!"

I started thinking about banana bread, which I know is easy to make eggless (banana is super moist and binding so it takes on that responsibility normally tasked to eggs) But then I thought about adding peanut butter, because YUM.

I checked out the PPK recipe and the Joy the Baker recipe, and settled on Joy's recipe, with some adjustments. Cause that's how I roll.  I cut the sugar down (bananas and peanut butter are already pretty sweet) and didn't double the salt. You could totally make this recipe vegan-I would sub the butter for coconut oil or canola oil, and the milk for soy, almond or rice milk. Also, I have no idea if rice milk would work, so maybe just soy or almond.

I really liked this. Max really liked the batter but has not reached a verdict on the baked product. Stay tuned....

While I'm thinking about it, I know the "Shit ___ Say" videos are super overdone, but I wanted to share this "Shit Crunchy Mamas Say" (or as they so delicately call it, "Sh*t Crunchy Mamas Say"). I have never thought of myself as crunchy/granola/whatever, but maybe I am more than I realize. Coconut Oil....Coconut Oil....

Anyway, back to the recipe:

Max "helped" with this-I held him while I stirred everything together, which he thought was amazing, and he loved when I sprayed the Pam on the pans (Pam on the Pans....huh) and even imitated the sound. I am not so secretly hoping this kid loves to cook

Peanut Butter Banana Bread/ Muffins

Adapted from Joy the Baker. This is a double recipe from her's, and made 1 9 x 5 loaf, 24 mini muffins, and some tastes of batter from Max.

3 cups mashed ripe banana
1/2 cup milk
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
5 tablespoons butter, melted
4 tablespoons flax meal mixed with 12 tablespoons (3/4 cup) water (this is used as an egg substitute)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan/ muffin pans. (or spray them with Pam) Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon and ground allspice.

In a medium bowl, whisk together mashed bananas, milk, peanut butter and melted butter. Whisk in flax meal mixture and sugars. Blend mixture until no sugar lumps remain. Give nearest child as
much batter as they want, because it's egg free!

Pour the wet mixture into the larger bowl with the dry ingredients. Fold together with a spatula until no more flour bits remain. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake muffins for 20ish minutes and loaf for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

According to Joy, this bread lasts, well wrapped at room temperature, for up to 4 days. It is also great to store, well wrapped, in the freezer. I froze the muffins, since I like to have a collection of muffins to give to Max whenever. Also,  mini muffins in the hand of a baby look like a regular sized muffin in the hand of an adult. Chew on that.

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