Banana Nut Bread

 

You know how when you get married, you not only get this awesome spouse, but you also get some bonuses? For example, your husband might teach you how to play guitar, or you might get a wife who already has season tickets to Braves games. You know what I’m talking about.

Well, when I married Daniel, I got a huge bonus.

MawMaw and PawPaw.

When I married Daniel, I was blessed to gain these two as grandparents. They treat me as if I have always been their granddaughter, and it warms my heart more than I could ever explain. They are everything you expect from awesome grandparents…They are adorable, they have incredible stories, and they spoil us rotten.

They most recently spoiled us by mailing this box of goodness to our front doorstep:

Pecans, oh yummy pecans.

This treat inspired me to make Banana Nut Bread, and oh was it delicious!

To make 2 loaves of Banana Nut Bread, preheat oven to 325 degress, and grease two bread pans.

Mix 4 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, 1.5 teaspoons baking soda, 1.5 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon nutmeg in a large bowl.

Mix ingredients together well, and then set aside.

Next, add 8 sliced bananas to a blender. Blend until it has the consistency of a thick batter.

Pour the banana batter into a large bowl. Add 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup oil, 4 tablespoons maple syrup, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 1 cup of almond milk. If you have never used almond milk before, don’t be scared of it. It is an incredible product, and you should definitely try it out!

Mix all of the wet ingredients together.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients.

Fold in 2 cups chopped pecans. (Thank you MawMaw and PawPaw!)

Your batter should look like this:

 

Pour batter into two bread pans. Sprinkle more chopped pecans on the top of the loaves.

Bake at 325 for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, cover the loaves with foil to prevent the top of the bread from burning. Then bake for an additional 30 minutes, or until a fork inserted comes out clean.

Let cool completely, then slice and enjoy!

Wise Women

Well, here they are…

Image

My mother (the hot blonde) and my mother in-law (the stunning brunette).

You will be hearing lots about these two.

My mother, Johnnie Kay, is for sure the nicest human being on the planet. Ever. For real.

I will be sharing ideas from her because she is incredibly thoughtful, while being organized and efficient. She makes  her friends and family feel loved on a daily basis, including lighting candles for people while she prays for them. “I think God can see my prayers better,” she says. With her prayer success rate, she may be onto something…

My mother in-law, Suse, is the master entertainer and chef. Tasting her bread pudding is the closest you can get to heaven on this earth. This woman will throw a Sunday lunch that puts most wedding receptions to shame. We have lots to learn from her.

That leads me today’s post. Suse has some non-negotiables when it comes to cooking and entertaining, and I am going to share some with you today.

1) Use good paper napkins or real napkins.

Never, ever, ever, ever, ever (get the picture?) use paper towels as napkins when serving.

Image

cocktail napkins we received at a wedding shower…perfect for football parties!

2) Grate your own cheese.

This was a new concept to me, but Suse has shown me the gift of self-grated cheese. The consistency and flavor is significantly better than pre-grated cheese.

Grate your own cheese. Just do it.

3) Use real utensils and plates.

Fresh out of college, my friends and I were hosting a bridal shower on a very tight budget. I asked Suse how we could have a nice event without spending too much money.

“Use real utensils and plates.”

Image

stored in mason jars for that Southern touch

It’s true. Not eating off paper plates with plastic utensils does make a difference. It adds a certain “fancy factor”.

Many thanks to Johnnie Kay and Suse for all the domestic advice they have given me and continue to give me. I hope you will enjoy their wisdom as much as I have.