Tweaked rich banana bread

I made this banana bread, also to rave reviews from Cassie and Brigittie in particular. I admit it turned out very nicely and super moist. No pics fanciness, but here were my deviations from the recipe, for posterity:

  • I doubled it, so quantities adjusted accordingly.
  • I added enough molasses so that it was like using dark brown sugar.
  • I used two big bananas and two tiny ones which I think are a sweeter species.
  • No walnuts, a tad more vanilla than called for, and my usual pinch of xanthan gum with the dry ingredients.
  • Added about 1.5 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp allspice, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, and 1/4 tsp ground cloves.
  • Didn’t quite have enough sour cream, so I supplemented with about 1/3 cup leftover cognac-spiked vanilla-bean-infused sugar-sweetened whipped cream from Thanksgiving. Shut up; it worked great.
  • I wound up needing to bake mine for at least 10 min. longer than she called for.
  • If I did it over I might experiment with cutting back on the sugar. Didn’t seem like it truly needed it all, esp. with the richness of flavor that my other additions contributed. (No offense, dear anonymous Internet Janet! Your recipe was a badass base for my compulsive experimentation.)

New uses for old cognac bottles

Another good DIY trick! I sometimes use Courvoisier to spike sangria, mulled wine and whipping cream, and I almost always buy the mini-bottles since they’re so cheap and I don’t use much. These are one of the few mini-bottled alcohols that still come in glass instead of cheap crappy plastic, and I’ve been compulsively hanging onto my empties for a few months without really knowing why.

Courvoisier minis -- about $6 USDBut I got a great idea — they’re perfect for small batches of fresh salad dressing. (I love making my own dressing at home, but it doesn’t have much of a shelf life so I prefer to make tiny quantities.) I don’t love sticking it in an unslightly Tupperware, because it doesn’t pour smoothly. And I don’t like having my Pyrex measuring cups occupied by dressing, in case I need them for cooking.

VoilĂ  la solution! Mini Courvoisier bottles are tiny and pourable and cute on the table, and I get to re-use something that would otherwise be junk. And now I finally have a reason for having hoarded all the little bottles like some kind of glass-loving treasure freak.

This would be kind of a cheap post without a recipe, though, wouldn’t it? Normally I’m terrible about writing such things down, and this is no exception, so all quantities are completely and totally invented on the spot, but I’m pretty sure they’re not far off. Enjoy!

Honey Mustard Dressing

1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 Tbsp dry white wine
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp milk, kefir or yogurt (depending on how thick you want your dressing to be)
2 tsp honey
splash soy sauce — about 1/2 tsp — optional
1 tsp nutritional/brewer’s yeast — optional
salt, pepper and garlic to taste — optional

Combine, shake vigorously, and enjoy!