Saturday, April 30, 2011

Banana Bread

The recipe I use for banana bread has been around awhile.  I made it the first time in school during a home economics class.  We've tried a number of other recipes over the years but this one is our favorite.  A couple of years ago my mom sent me the original mimeographed recipe from high school.  It obviously has drips and smears on it from years of use.  Mom laminated it, drips and all, to keep it from getting any worse. 
First you will need to collect your ingredients.  You will need flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, eggs, butter or margarine, vanilla, milk, lemon juice and bananas.  I will share the exact ingredients at the end of this post.
One of the ingredients listed is sour milk.  I do this first, measuring my milk into the measuring cup and adding a few drops of lemon juice.  You will also need 3 mixing bowls.  One for wet ingredients, one for dry ingredients and one for mashing bananas.

The largest bowl gets the butter, eggs, sugar and vanilla.  Blend them thoroughly.  I used a hand mixer for this tonight because I was working on a triple batch of banana bread. Most of the time I just mix it up by hand.
Next measure out your dry ingredients.  Flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  The actual recipe calls for a lot of sifting.  I don't do that.  I have wondered over the years if all the extra steps in this recipe were to teach us all the techniques back in high school. 

Then mash your bananas in the 3rd bowl with a bit of lemon juice to keep them from browning.  Normally I mash bananas with a fork but since I had the mixer out already I used it tonight.  This calls for 2 bananas for each recipe.  We like extra so I add an extra banana to each batch.
Now you will dump your measuring cup of sour milk into the large mixing bowl and mix it into the wet ingredients.

When you add the sour milk your batter will get kind of a lumpy look like it is separating.  This is ok.

The next step is to alternate adding your bananas and flour mixture to the batter and only stirring as much as you need to.  You don't want to over beat.  I'm not super careful with this.  I usually add 1/2 the bananas and then 1/2 the flour and repeat.
When your batter is all mixed up, pour into greased loaf pans.  I fill about 2/3 full.  Bake at 350 degrees until done and lightly browned.

This is the end result.  Yummy!

Banana Bread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2 cups sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup sour milk (add a few drops lemon juice to fresh milk to make it sour.)

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

2 bananas

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 

In a separate bowl mix butter, sugar, egg and vanilla.  Beat until well mixed.  Add milk and mix.

Mash bananas well and have them ready to add to the butter sugar mixture alternating with the flour. Stir only as much as necessary.

Pour mixture into a well greased pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.  Remove from pan while still warm.  Bread can be frozen to be served at a future date.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Easter 2011

Easter Eggs Everywhere!

Anxiously Awaiting for the Eggs to be Hidden!

Superhero Myles!

Princess Bailey

Princess Anna!

Andy's dad and brother hid his eggs in HARD places!

 The teenage cousins hanging out.

 Going through their Easter Eggs!

 Family :)

 Posing with their capes on.  This wasn't so easy because it was windy and they were blowing everywhere!

It was a fun day.  I always wish all of the cousins could be here. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Closer and Closer......

I really don't know what to make of this owl!  Scott is out in the back yard mowing the lawn and the owl is not only out there but in a lower to the ground tree!  I am amazed at the pictures he's letting me get.

Another Encounter....

Zoe (my little rat terrier) was barking like crazy a little while ago.  I looked out the patio door and there was our owl friend again.  I am surprised at how unafraid he is of us.  I took my first pictures from inside the house and decided to walk outside.  He just sat there watching me while I shot pictures and walked towards him. 

I shared the first pictures with my neighbor and he expressed concern about the owl.  He indicated that a large owl will sometime scoop up and take off with a small animal.  Miz Zoe is only 15 lbs.  Truth is, I hadn't expected to see the owl out during the daytime.  Zoe is in the house mostly at night.  I figured an owl would be sleeping during the day.  Not sure if I should be concerned or not.  What do you all think?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

An Unusual Encounter.....

You may remember I blogged in March about the owl that was hanging around our house. I was hoping he would stay around and scare away the birds that were hanging out over my clothesline.   Katy has started calling him Hootie.  Not only are the birds not afraid of him, I've seen the smaller birds swoop down and ruffle his feathers.  Literally!  I was able to get a couple of pictures of him. 

I'm amazed at how big he is!

He seems to move around often but lately we've been seeing him up in the palm tree a lot.

I tried to get a close up so you can see.  When taking this picture, we discovered that there were actually 2 owls up there!  They are not very easy to see but I marked the picture so you could get an idea of where they were.  The day we took these pictures, they were up in the palm tree watching Becky and I plant flowers.  It was a wierd feeling to have those big eyes watching us.  We could see his eyes from down on the ground and it is a very tall tree!

THEN.....a funny thing happened.  Becky was the only one home.  She heard a knocking on the patio door.  She got up to investigate.  This is what she saw......

Not only was he there but he stayed and allowed her to take pictures.

She said each time the flash would go off, Hootie's wings would spread. 
Becky ended up covering the doggie door.  She was afraid he might actually come in. 
It's been interesting getting know Hootie.  :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Easter.....The Preview

I love Easter!  It's the one family get together that I always host.  :) Every year I try and come up with some fun new ideas.  Here is a preview of some of the things I have done this year.

Signs to hang all over the yard!

Easter eggs filled and loaded into color coordinated bags.  Each child has a color so we can hide them according to their ages.

"Peep"er Dolls printed and ready for our 2 youngest girls.  I thought it would be fun for our moms, grandmas and aunts to help cut them out while we visit.  You can find these to print yourself here.
Target centerpieces put together and ready to go for the outside tables. Extra eggs waiting for me to go to the bank and get a stack of dollar bills to fill them.  I love this tradition.  It started when my girls were young.  One suggestion.....Never send your husband to the bank to get these dollar bills.  (He's better off to not know what you spend on Easter.  Tee hee.)

Enough marshmallow shooters for every kid and some of the adults to have one.  Instructions for these are here.

Chip clip favors for the grown ups to take home.
Jewel eggs to be filled with a little CA$H for the teenagers.  They hide the eggs for the little ones for me.  Kind of a bummer to get too old to hunt for eggs.  I like to do something for the bigger ones too.  :)

Well there you have it.  Next on my list is to make my grocery list and get my house cleaned up.  I'm looking forward to Sunday!  How about you?  What kind of fun things are you doing for Easter?