Banana bread

YO YOU GUYS THIS IS THE BEST BANANA BREAD!!!!!! I know, because I’ve made a TON of them, and I am often found to be the person scrunching her nose, saying,”hm, needs more banana.” This banana bread does NOT need more banana. It’s practically banana pudding. In a good way.

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It is plush as hell. You know what’s not plush? My iphone case as my phone went careening onto the sidewalk and smashed into a million pieces. I know, poor me. And I deserved it. Here’s why:

  1. I have been getting A LITTLE SMUG about never having broken a phone in my history of phone ownership. More than a little smug. I needed to have it slapped out of me.
  2. I was flailing my arm with phone in hand as I emphatically called a Prius driver a dummy for bottoming out coming up a hill. Rude.
  3. My phone was in hand because I was playing Pokemon. Enough said.

So yeah it was earned. If it had fallen onto a bed of this banana bread, we wouldn’t be here. But we are here, down a few hundo and with this new headphone dongle that is annoying the crap out of me. But this bread’s best asset is not phone cushioning, it is mouth filling. So cram yours with this, you won’t be disappointed.

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BA’s Best Banana Bread
from Bon Appetit

SERVINGS: MAKES ONE 8½ X 4½” LOAF

INGREDIENTS
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1¼ teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar (I used a tad less, probably 3/4 cup)
⅓ cup mascarpone, plain whole-milk Greek yogurt, or sour cream
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
4 large very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1½ cups)
½ cup chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (optional)
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly coat a 8 ½x4 ½” loaf pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper, leaving a generous overhang on long sides. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat brown sugar, mascarpone, and butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend after each addition and scraping down sides and bottom of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture, and mix until just combined. Add bananas and mix just until combined. Fold in chocolate and/or walnuts, if using. Scrape batter into prepared pan; smooth top. Bake bread until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 60–65 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let bread cool in pan 1 hour. Turn out bread and let cool completely (if you can resist) before slicing.

Miso-garlic-butter chicken

Yes, I AM guilty of saving most recipes I see that prominently feature butter. I am always like, DAMN THAT LOOKS GOOD. Plus butter has that low-temp crisping thing that olive oil doesn’t, so I was hoping for some dope crispy chicken skins that I get to eat all of because husband doesn’t have a good taste for fat.

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However, I did not succeed in making the skin crispy, and the skin is like my favorite ever omg i love it so much. Mostly I am still running regular experiments with my broiler. I can’t tell if I need to have the oven door open for it to work? Or if the flames just peace out after it reaches a certain temp? It’s super confusing, and as a city-dweller without a grill, I use my broiler a lot to approximate that grilled-crispiness.

With some roasted veggies this was one of those fall meals that makes you feel all harvesty, like you’re wearing a plaid shirt and you can identify at least 5 types of squash and you aren’t yet sick of the color orange. Just mix a variety of veggies with olive oil and s&p and throw them in the oven at the same time as the chicken. You should!

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Miso-Garlic-Butter Chicken
from Emily Clifton of Nerds with Knives
Prep Time: 15 mins | Cook Time: 30 mins | Total Time: 45 mins
Serves: 4 to 6 servings

INGREDIENTS
8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs, approximately 2½ to 3 pounds
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup white miso (was mine white? I know not. perhaps it was yellow. does it matter? probs not)
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 inch piece ginger, grated
8 garlic cloves, unpeeled but lightly smashed
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
Black pepper, to taste
2 scallions, finely sliced, for garnish
2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

1) Heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine butter, miso, maple syrup, rice vinegar, ginger and black pepper in a large bowl and mix until well combined.

2) Add chicken to the bowl and massage the miso-butter mixture all over it. Gently lift up the skin of each piece and, using your fingers, rub some miso butter under the skin. Place the chicken in a single layer in a roasting pan or heavy oven-proof skillet, add the garlic cloves and place it in the oven.

3)Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, basting the chicken once or twice, until the skin is golden brown and crisp, and the internal temperature of the meat is 160 to 165 degrees. If the chicken is cooked before it’s brown enough, place it under the broiler for a minute or two. Watch carefully or it can burn.

4) Remove the garlic skins and mash them into the pan drippings. Sprinkle chicken with sesame seeds and scallions and a spoonful or two of the garlic pan sauce.

Kale & sweet potato soup

OH MAN guys, I just got the CRAP knocked out of me by a very terrible cold. I made the mistake of ignoring it for a few days (it started on a Friday night and I was pretty hellbent on not letting it destroy my weekend), and it did not like that one bit. It came back and punched my straight in the face. Right in there.

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Anyway, today is the first day I’m feeling semi-like-a-human, though I am still breathing like a sorry-ass pug.

I made this soup because I also made the mistake of making myself banana bread yesterday (BEING SICK IS SO BORING) and I ate 3 slices of it for “breakfast” and was feeling a bit nutrient-deficient.

It’s good, it’s veggie, it’s awesome when you have spent 2 days on the couch not being able to breathe and/or nursing a burnt tongue dammit tea why are you never the right temperature?!

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Kale & Sweet Potato Soup
serves 4-6

1 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 sweet potato, diced
1 carrot, diced
1/2 cup white wine
1 bunch kale, roughly chopped
2 cups stock
1 cup water
salt and pepper to taste

In a large stock pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium high heat. Add shallot and garlic and cook 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, sweet potato, and carrot and stir. Cook another few minutes. Add the white wine and scrape all the lovely brown bits. Cook a few minutes until liquid reduces slightly. Add stock and water and bring to a boil. Add kale on top and cover for a few minutes. When kale is slightly wilted, uncover and stir. Reduce to low and cover again, cook for 15-20 minutes until sweet potatoes and carrots are tender but not mushy. Salt and pepper to taste.

Pumpkin bread (and a light diatribe)

You ever have the kind of work week where let’s say, hypothetically, you’re a lady, and you work in a mostly-male industry, and sometimes you have semi-idealistic thoughts that you consider to be valid business strategies (hypothetically, that if you focus on making good products instead of constantly optimizing revenue, you’re more likely to draw in NEW users because…you’re making shit that is useful to them), and you are constantly in meetings where (hypothetically) older white men treat you like you’re having a quaint thought, like, that’s nice girl but we men are BUSINESS MEN and we know BUSINESS and if you wanted to be idealistic you should’ve become a teacher, and then you spiral for a while thinking how frustrating the social stigma around teaching is and how it is ALSO treated as this quaint nice thing that (mostly) women do to make the world better but it’s not SERIOUS BUSINESS like all these SERIOUS BUSINESSMEN who are good at like fucking saying the word synergy over and over again???? YOU EVER HAVE THAT KIND OF WORK WEEK READER????????????

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Well I did. In fact, I have had a series of work weeks like that work week. One could say I’ve had that work CAREER. And so I made this pumpkin bread and thought REALLY LONG AND HARD about how even that plays into the stereotype of you being some cute whimsical woman but I don’t even care because this pumpkin bread is baller and one day all those serious businessmen are going to be on their deathbeds and all that time thinking up horrible lingo like synergy just won’t matter anymore and maybe they’ll realize it never did, and at least I created something delicious that people enjoyed and put it out into the world to be shared.

BIG DEEP BREATHS.

But also, make this bread (it is very good and moist and I lowered the sugar slightly and upped the spices slightly which I think was a great idea, humbly), and spend some other time trying to smash the patriarchy.

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Pumpkin Bread
adapted slightly from iamafoodblog who adapted it slightly from Martha Stewart

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch each of cloves and allspice (or more if you’re a spice-lover)
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin puree

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the melted butter with the sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Stir in the pumpkin until smooth. Add the dry ingredients, mixing gently, until smooth.

Pour into the prepared loaf pan, smoothing out the top. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes, checking at the hour mark. Tent with foil if the top starts browning too quickly. Remove from the oven, let cool for 20-­30 minutes, remove from the pan and let cool completely.

I would recommend some salted butter or cream cheese up on this bitch.