Recent Kitchen Experiments.

I kept seeing mentions of banana bread pop up everywhere last week, so when I got up Sunday morning, it seemed like the obvious thing to make for breakfast was banana bread.  My go-to recipe for banana bread is from my 1980-something Betty Crocker cookbook. I don’t alter it much, with the exception of subbing in some whole wheat flour for all-purpose and excluding nuts. I am just not a fan of nuts in my banana bread and thankfully, no one else is here either.  To be honest, the only time we like nuts in our baked goods are pecan pie and grandma’s fruitcake muffins.

Anyway, I digress. I’d seen a few recipes out there for chocolate chip banana bread, which is an add-in I’m okay with, but I had this idea to add blueberries to the bread this go-round.  I can’t say where the inspiration came from – the need to empty the freezers maybe, so I grabbed a cup of frozen blueberries and added away.

One of the things I like about the banana bread recipe I use is that it results in a moist loaf. I just cannot abide a dry loaf of banana bread. What’s the point really? This recipe calls for 3-4 bananas, so I always go with at least four and I tend to use frozen ones. You know when you buy a bunch of bananas and they’re green and then all of a sudden there’s like one or two left and they are sort of black and mushy and you know they’re perfect for banana bread, but those are the only ones you have? I toss those in the freezer until I have enough to make a batch of bread or the time and inclination.   This does tend to add moisture to the batter, which gets offset slightly by the addition of whole wheat flour. Adding frozen blueberries seemed to add a bit more moisture though. And the blueberries all sunk to the bottom – I read somewhere recently how to fix that – coat the berries in flour before adding them to your batter? At any rate, I’m not sharing that recipe because while it tasted phenomenal, the recipe is not in any shape to be shared.  But do try throwing some blueberries into your next batch of banana bread. It’s quite nice.

For dinner that evening, I was inspired to do a little something different to the traditional nachos I like to make for the Superbowl. I’d seen somewhere in a list of fair foods, tater tot nachos. I love tater tots – my friend Mollie and I have an ongoing discussion about whether or not they are a true vegetable (I think they are) – and I love nachos. Why not combine them? Tots are basically potatoes and potatoes pair nicely with cheese, which is an essential part of nachos. The resulting tachos might not look pretty, but man oh man, were they good.

I baked the tots, then dumped them in a baking dish (on a layer of parchment paper for easier clean up). I topped them with a layer of cheese (queso), a mix of seasoned onions, pinto beans and corn, more cheese (cheddar and jack), another layer of tots, cheese, beans mix, cheese and popped the whole thing in the oven for just a few minutes – long enough for the cheese to melt. Served with a sprinkle of grated cheese, guac, sour cream and pickled jalepenos, they were oh-so-good. They might not be the nachos we eat on a regular basis, but they were definitely a nice mix-it-up version. You should definitely try those sometime too.

6 thoughts on “Recent Kitchen Experiments.

  1. pattisj says:

    I have a few blueberries in the freezer, this just might be the perfect opportunity to use them. I love my old Betty Crocker cookbook–it’s well-loved pages are falling out (thanks to a plastic holder I used to put it in to protect the pages from food stains). I grind the nuts, they add moisture and I don’t have to hear anyone complaining about them! LOL (I LOVE nuts).

  2. suzicate says:

    We were sort of on the same wavelength Sunday. I was up your way at my moms and made banana cupcakes! I think blueberry banana bread would be better than chocolate chip banana bread even though I’m a chocoholic.

  3. Patience says:

    The tater tot nachos sound delicious! I rarely make banana bread, because I dislike bananas, although Jon and my kids like it. I use my grandmother’s recipe and I always use the minimum number of bananas called for in the recipe, which does result in a dry loaf with only a hint of banana flavor. Sometimes I combine pumpkin and banana, which works well.

    • Becky says:

      I have a different recipe for pumpkin bread that calls for cloves, which my husband thinks is genius and adores. No way could I mix the two up. It would be anarchy over here.

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