Friday, May 29, 2009

Cranberry Banana Bread

I love baking breads. As a kid, I use to come home from school and my mom had a loaf of bread ready for my sisters and I to eat. I guess you could say this was the beginning of my love of bread. During this last year, I have been experimenting more with bread. I have scoured through cookbooks to find recipes that I think are worth trying. I recently found this Cranberry Banana Bread recipe that I felt was worthy of trying in Mary Gubser's Quick Breads Soups and Stews 196.

4 cups sifted all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups ripe banana (about 4), mashed
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh cranberries
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

1) Preheat oven to 350. Grease 2 bread loaf pans (9x5x3)
2) Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Set aside
3) In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and creamy with an electric mixer.
4) Add the eggs one at a time, eating well after each addition.
5) Stir in the bananas, then slowly add the dry ingredients, beating constantly untl well moistened.
6) Fold in the cranberries and nuts
7) Transfer the batter to the two prepared pans until each pan is about 2/3rds full
8) Bake each loaf 50-55 minutes.
Yield: 2 loaves of delicious bread

Overall, I gave this recipe 4.5 out of 5 stars. The bread was moist and delicious. The recipe was easy to make and fairly fast. The only change I made during the recipe was the cranberry selection. I choose to used dried cranberries instead of the fresh cranberries in the recipe due to the fact that cranberries are not in season. I will definitely make this recipe again.

Monday, May 25, 2009

No Bake Peanut Butter Pie

I went to a party last night to celebrate Memorial Day. (It is one of the very few days that I get off from work this year.) The party was pot luck style. Pot lucks are always fun because I get to try new recipes. For this pot luck I decided to make a No Bake Peanut Butter Pie from that I have been wanting to try for a while. The advantages of this recipe are the are very few components that I had to buy. I had everything in my cupboard except the white chocolate and Cool Whip. In addition, it was super easy to make.

1 cup creamy peanut butter
4 squares BAKER'S White Chocolate
1-1/2 cups cold milk
1 pkg. (4-serving size) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
1 cup thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
1 large banana, thinly sliced
1 HONEY MAID Graham Pie Crust (6 oz.)


1) MICROWAVE peanut butter and chocolate in microwavable bowl on MEDIUM (50%) 2-1/2 minutes; stir until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is well blended.

2) POUR milk into large bowl. Add dry pudding mix. Beat with wire whisk 2 minutes or until well blended. Add peanut butter mixture; beat until well blended. Gently stir in whipped topping.

3) PLACE bananas on bottom of crust; cover with pudding mixture. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Store leftover pie in refrigerator.

The recipe was well received at the Memorial Day Party. Most people were surprised by the banana at the bottom and had good things to say about the recipe. Overall, I would give the recipe a 3.5 out of 5 rating. It was a little too peanut buttery for me if there is such a thing. I really liked the Graham cracker crust. It stuck a little to the pan and next time I make this particular crust I will adjust accordingly. If you decide to make this recipe, it is essential that it is kept in the fridge until just prior to serving because it tastes best cold and cuts best cold.

The Beginning

Howdy! My name is Cristina and I am a medical student in Houston. I love cooking and I created this website to encourage myself to experiment with more recipes and keep a record of my experiments. My goal is to improve my cooking and learn new techniques and recipes. Please don't hesitate to share recipes with me and comment on the recipes I have tried.