I’m going to put it out there. I have stress in my life right now. I have a lot of projects due, upcoming projects, a lot of social obligations, upcoming social obligations… just a whole lot of stuff hanging over my head. I want the stress hovercraft to skedaddle already. Scooch! Begone! When this happens and doesn’t resolve itself with some wine, I tend to get a little experimental in the kitchen. Most of the time I try to play with healthy stuff. Lately I’ve been kind of naughty because of said stress. I’m eating out more, exercising less… you know the drill. It’s February in New York. It’s snowing. My pants feel tight. Need I say more? Meh!
It’s Sunday AM. I went to my anonymous friend’s (a.k.a. Private Dancer) pole dancing show last night and I’m tired. She did very well for her first troupe performance. I’d like to say I am hung over but apparently wine and Hendrick’s Gin aren’t offered at every watering hole. Okay, admittedly Hendrick’s is as high-maintenance as St. Germain, but I was craving it after seeing a pic of a friend’s cucumber martini on Facebook yesterday. The only wine offered was a White Zinfandel. Don’t get me started on how I feel about White Zinfandel (friends don’t let friends drink White Zinfandel).
So I’ve decided to take some tasty banana bread and make French toast out if it. I love French toast. Actually, I love all things French. I love French things so much that I’m even teaching myself French with one of those Rosetta Stone doo-dads. More on that another time…. Very few breakfast carbs can provide the level of pleasure that French toast gives me. In order to do this properly, you’ll need to make some banana bread, buy one, or tell a friend to make you a loaf in exchange for this tasty brunch. Or sexual favors. No, on second thought, please don’t offer that for a loaf banana bread. That would be kind of sad, like this incident: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/01/sexual-favors-chicken-mcnuggets.html . As a side note, if anyone wants to tell me how to attach links by bolding words, drop a comment below. I’m sure it’s super easy but I can’t figure it out. Help me be fancy like you.
You will probably want to make this bread a day ahead.
Lady Sensory’s Banana Nut Bread:
- 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (Saigon Cinnamon, if you have it)
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (freshly grated, if you have it)
- 3 medium very ripe bananas, peeled
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch metal loaf pan with butter or cooking spray. In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and baking soda. In separate bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Add the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla and beat until well blended. Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture, a little at a time, and after the mixture is just blended, stir in the nuts. Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan, spreading the top evenly. Bake in the oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean (a few crumbs may cling), about 45-50 minutes. Let the bread cool in the pan for about 20 minutes. Run a knife along the edge of the bread to loosen the it from the sides of the pan. Flip pan on its side, slide the bread out and let it cool (about another 15 20 minutes before cutting).
Lady Sensory’s Gone Nutty-Bananas French Toast (Hey, I could have said Batsh*t Crazy French Toast, but who would want to eat that?)
This serves 2. If you want to do the whole loaf and serve 4-5, you can double the egg & cream mixture.
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup of half & half (milk is also fine)
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- sprinkle of Saigon Cinnamon
- maple syrup (optional)
- walnuts, lightly toasted (optional)
- sliced bananas (optional)
- 4 slices of banana bread (about 3/4 inch thick)
- 1 tbsp butter
Let the banana bread slices sit out overnight, wrapped in a paper towel (this is why I said to make the bread the day before). If the bread is a little dry/stale, it seems to cook better as French toast. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and cream (or milk), add the vanilla & mix in. Pour into a shallow dish – a 13 x 9 baking pan is fine (especially if you are cooking for more people). Place the bread in the mixture. It’s going to sit for about 10-15 minutes (you will want to flip the bread so both sides are well-egged). Heat a cast iron skillet on medium low and toast the walnuts for 3-5 minutes. Remove the nuts and set aside. Put the tablespoon of butter in the skillet, allow to melt and cover the bottom. Now if your skillet is well-seasoned, you might be able to opt out of butter, but considering we are dealing with eggs, I wanted less of a mess and butter just makes everything better! Remove the slices from the egg mixture and allow to drip off and then place in the skillet. Sprinkle cinnamon on top. Allow to brown – about 5 minutes, flip, sprinkle cinnamon and brown again for 5 minutes. Serve with walnuts, sliced bananas & maple syrup. Shove your face with rich, banana French toast goodness. Go ahead and make the Cookie Monster sound, “Nom nom nom nom nom!” You can get super creative with toppings. I think tart fruits would be fun – mango, pineapple or strawberries. You could give your glycemic index a wild and crazy ride and slap some Nutella on this. I only had bananas and nuts because well, that’s my state of mind and what I had in the kitchen. I told you it was snowing. Blech!