Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Children's Book and Banana-Nut Bread

Goodness me. I feel like it's been ages since my last post. I worked incessantly last week until Columbus Day brought me a day of relief. I feel refreshed after the much needed extended weekend.

For this post, I thought I'd tell you about a children's book I found at the library, and a recipe for Banana-Nut Bread.

I decided it was time to start loading up on children's books since fall quietly crept into our little city like a thief in the night. I predict rainy days in our future giving way to tons of snuggle time with the girls and good books. {I better get cracking on knitting that blanket I've been working on for the last two months.}

The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting enraptured me the moment I set eyes on the vintage cover. The illustrations by Michael Hague are superb. Along with the illustrations, the delicious dialogue between Dr. Dolittle and the animals had the girls completely tickled. In the story, Dr. Dolittle gets embrangled with pirates, there are voyages across oceans and a chase through the jungles of Africa. Every chapter left the girls hanging on the edge of their seats. They couldn't wait to hear about what was going to happen next.

When I initially brought this book home, I had my older daughter in mind, but as I began reading, I noticed that my 3 year old suddenly had an interest in the story too. It isn't often that I find a chapter book that appeal to both girls. If you get a chance, you should check it out.

Now I have a recipe to share with you.

Banana-Nut Bread

Alex was once again by my side measuring, stirring and tasting.

This is such an easy recipe that produces a moist dessert like bread. If you've got overripe bananas crowding your fruit bowl, you should really put them out of their misery and make this bread.


3 Cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
2 Cups sugar
1 1/3 Cups vegetable oil
2 tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups ripe banana (about 3 medium)
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (which I left out because I think it's gross, but that's just me).
1 cup walnuts or pecans, toasted and finely chopped
1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans with cooking spray; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, and vegetable oil on medium-low speed unitl combined. Beat in the flour mixture. Add the vanilla, banana, coconut, nuts and buttermilk, and beat just to combine.

Divide batter evenly between prepared pans; smooth with an offset spatula. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Remove loaves from pans and let cool completely. Bread can be kept at room temperature, wrapped well in plastic, for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 3 months.
Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, New York


  1. did you really write "goodness me"?

  2. Doctor Dolittle is a fantastic story. The movie disappointed me so much as a kid. Thanks for reminding me of the book.

  3. I was scanning amazon looking for new books for my children and your post inspired me to get a couple Dr. Dolittle's - thanks.

  4. Michael Hague is one of my favorite illustrators. I have a huge collection of signed books that he's illustrated. I can stare at the illustrations for hours. Plus, he's from my home town of Colorado Springs! -Heather Weinert