LoadedBananaBreadThis is actually banana bread loaf #3. I wanted to make a 100% whole wheat version but it didn’t compare the lightness and moistness of using plain old all purpose flour, so I’m only sharing loaf #3 with you!

The last while I’ve been feeling a little frayed around the edges. I work three or four different shifts in each work week, my internal clock has no freaking clue what’s going on, and I’m bloody well done with this snowy minus 20 degree winter weather we’re still having in mid-February! Maybe it’s cabin fever that’s killin’ me. I just want to get outside in my flip flops and go for a walk, get some fresh air! On an even more #firstworldproblems note, I’d like to add: the fact that my kitchen is shrinking. I seem to always have a pile of dishes taking up half of it no matter how strictly I apply my clean-as-you-go rules. One small counter which fits a cutting board, one that fits a paper towel dispenser and super skinny espresso machine, and one that’s consumed by my microwave. That’s it! I’m seriously considering the use of side tables (aka: cardboard boxes and sheets, right Mum?) in extending the kitchen outwards into the bedroom (bachelor suite glory!). It’ll be half kitchen and half sleeping area. Imagine: dishes piled up waiting to be washed, on the end of the bed. At least that’s how it feels some days.

Bonus of the week: my cheap baking stone find. I’ve been looking for something to help me advance in my ‘home baking’ endeavours, and an oven that doesn’t heat evenly or nicely is a hindrance. A baking stone helps even out the heat for items such as bread, cakes, pizzas etc. All of the rectangular stones I could find online were $40 and upwards. If you live in Toronto I highly suggest hitting up Tap Phong Trading Co in China Town on Spadina, for all your kitchen and home essentials in general. Here you’re able to find all your needs (plus about a hundred wants) for 25-50% less than regular retail. Baking stone: $20.00. Baskets for proofing bread: $1.50: far cheaper than their $30.00 banneton counterpart, and just as useful.

Bonus of last week: The best latte I’ve ever had (location disclosed at end of rant). Anyone that knows me knows that I am addicted to lattes. Not just coffee or caffeine in general, but lattes specifically. For the first year that I lived in Florida, and was living large and debt free- I splurged on Starbucks on a daily basis. Let me tell you: this is a thousand dollar per year habit, and that’s not including my days off. Now I have a Nespresso machine and pay less than a dollar per latte, for a cup of joe far better than any Starbucks can offer. Their high end machines are over my budget but the lower end models range from $200.00 to $250.00 and pods of tasty goodness are about 60 cents a piece, coming in sleeves of ten pods each.

$30.00 @ Nespresso= 4 weeks of lattes at home.

$30.00 @ Starbucks= 6 lattes.

Sold yet?

So anyways… on my days off I still like to try little cafes and coffee shops around the city, because these places mirror my own vibe (or so I like to think) and I really enjoy lingering around with a book or my journal. Or iPhone. Or all three 😉 So last week I finally went to Dark Horse Espresso and had the best latte ever. I don’t know what beans they’re using but it was the perfect acidity, sweetness, and punch. Just perfect. Highly recommend it. And just so fittingly their punch line is ‘Improving Toronto’s coffee scene, one latte at a time”. True words.

So there you have it. If you’ve followed this far I guess you deserve the recipe for my loaded banana bread.

“I understand the big food companies are developing a tearless onion. I think they can do it — after all, they’ve already given us tasteless bread.”

– Robert Orben


Fully Loaded Banana Bread: 1 large loaf.

3                        eggs
1/2 cup             vegetable oil
1/2 cup             sugar
1/2 cup             honey
2                        bananas, mashed
1/2                    apple, diced
1                        orange, zest and juice
1 TB                  vanilla extract
1+3/4 cup         all purpose flour
1+1/2 tsp         baking soda
3/4 tsp              salt
pinch                 cinnamon
handful             pumpkin seeds

-Preheat oven to 350-360F.

-In a large bowl whisk together all the wet ingredients including the fruit and sugar.

-Mix together all the dry ingredients (separately), and then stir them into the wet ingredients with a spatula until just combined and no lumps of dry flour remain. Don’t over mix.

-Pour into a greased loaf pan lined with a small piece of parchment paper, and bake until golden brown on the top and bottom. You want a skewer to come out clean after you’ve poked it through the centre of the loaf.  Mine took a good 45 mins.

-Allow the loaf to sit in the pan for 5-7 mins before removing it and placing it on a wire rack to cool for 30 mins.

Posted by:Ashley

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