Thursday, December 24, 2009

'Nana Bread

You know how everyone thinks their mom's banana bread is the best? Well, my mom's banana bread recipe really IS the best. I started veganizing the recipe in college, in my vegetarian-but-poor-so-eating-mostly-vegan days.

We're attending a few Xmas Eve parties tonight, so I made these to bring. We also made a massive green bean casserole to bring to Kevin's mom's tomorrow. We liked it so much at Thanksgiving that it was worth repeating back home in Maryland.

This banana bread is easy as pie if you have a food processor; just throw in all the ingredients, processing intermittently. Without further adieu, my Christmas gift to anyone who happens to be reading this... my mom's banana bread recipe:

Banana Bread

  • 3-4 very ripe Bananas (3 if large, 4 if small)
  • 1 cup sugar, less if you desire
  • 1 egg replacer (I used Ener-G, but flax has worked fine in the past)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1.5 cups flour (WW pastry works too, just double the baking soda)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, optional
  1. Preheat well ahead of time to 325F.
  2. Grease a loaf pan.
  3. Demolish the bananas using your chosen method.
  4. Mix in each of the following ingredients in order listed.
  5. Scoops batter into loaf pan.
  6. Bake for 1 hr. If top becomes too dark during baking, cover with aluminum foil tent.
  7. Check for done-ness with a sharp object, like a skewer. Done when comes out clean.
Hint: I find that quick breads bake better in metal pans. They conduct heat better than materials like glass, so you get a more even distribution of heat. The Kitchn recently published a post with other quick bread tips. Sound advice.

Bare bones

Every time I leave town, they destroy my house just a little bit more. The plaster came off the wall while I was in Fort Myers. The contractor claims to still be sore from all the hard work, which makes me glad I paid him to do it instead of attempting it myself!

In the mean time, Baltimore had the biggest snowfall since 1966. Friday night was spent at the birth center, just in case. It was a good thing, too, since I had two moms come in. I left Saturday morning in the intermission of the snowfall. The rest of the weekend was mainly spent by the fireplace (we finally got it working!) and playing in the snow.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


It's been 3 or 4 years since I've traveled home to Fort Myers, Florida, for Thanksgiving. This year, I booked a week off from work so I could fly home and spend time with my mom. Kevin came too, and we celebrated his birthday while we were there.

Because all three of us (Mom, Kevin, me) are vegan, we did a totally Vegan Thanksgiving. (OK, my brother did make a turkey for himself, but we was totally down with all-vegan sides and dessert.)

Here's the menu:

Green Bean Casserole from PPK, per K's request.
Cornbread dressing, made with PPK cornbread and and my Grammy's recipe.
Homemade cranberry-orange relish
Sweet potato casserole
Mushroom gravy, from V'con.
Pumpkin pie, hybrid recipe from VegWeb and the Libby's can.
Apple Crisp, PPK again.
So Delicious Coconut Milk Vanilla ice cream to top it all off!

It was just the four of us for dinner, but several of my mom's neighbors joined us for dessert and coffee. Everyone seemed to enjoy the vegan desserts, which made me happy!

For Kevin's birthday we went to Pizza Fusion, which has vegan pizza options. I was skeptical of the soy cheese, since the much-applauded vegan pizza at Brick Oven Pizza here in Bmore doesn't really float my boat. Pizza Fusion's soy cheese (which I think is Follow Your Heart mozzarella, after internet researching,) is SO yummy. It behaved more like cheese, and I actually liked it. I made some vegan brownies from scratch since I didn't think PF would have vegan desserts, but to my surprise they actually DID have vegan brownies on the menu. I'll be damned! But I think my brownies, made with Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder, were probably better. Plus, we had Mint Chocolate chip coconut milk ice cream to go on top!

On K's birthday, he was kind enough to shoot some photos of the fam, per Mom's request. They turned out well, and now she'll finally have some non-high school era photos framed in the house.

After Kevin flew back, Mom and I had some time to putz around, shop, drink wine on the porch, etc. On my last night in town I made YumYum's vegan alfredo and we dined on the porch. I tried to enjoy my last moments of warm Florida weather before flying back to Baltimore! Now that I'm back, it's frigid and even snowed yesterday. Oh well. Florida will always be there to revisit, whenever I manage to get time off again.