Sour Cream Banana Bread

Sometimes that going back to the basics is just what I need. There's something amazingly comforting to me about a slice of good old banana bread, plain and unadulterated. My mom used to make it all the time growing up, and it was always a favorite. She never seemed to stick to the recipe and ended up adding way more bananas then it called for. This meant she always had to bake it for way longer than the recipe said, and even then it didn't seem to quite cook through. But that was okay with everyone, we all love the slightly gooey top part of undercooked banana bread, yum!

I had a little bit of sour cream left over a little while back and was looking around for some way to use it up. I can never let things like this go bad, it seems like such a waste, and it gives me an excuse to bake. What a problem, I HAD TO bake something! I found this banana bread and it was the perfect way to use up the little bit of sour cream I had left - only 1/4 cup needed. Other than this, the recipe is pretty basic; butter, flour, sugar, eggs. It turned out a simple, yet wonderful bread that used up my sour cream, as well as some of my super ripe bananas. Broiled in the oven until the edges are just crispy and then smeared with a little peanut butter, topped with some cinnamon sugar, breakfast is served, and it is oh so delicious. 

Like I said, nothing fancy about this bread, but this doesn't make it boring. If you're looking for something to jazz it up a bit you could try adding some nuts, or chocolate or even dried fruit, whatever you want. That's the best part of baking, taking a recipe and making it your own. I chose this recipe to use up some sour cream, but I have no doubt you could also replace the sour cream with some yogurt and it would be just as delicious, and a little bit more healthy! So whatever you want to do, just try it, it's worth it!

Sour Cream Banana Bread
Adapted from Fork vs Spoon
Ingredients

  • 2 cups All - Purpose Flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1+ ½ cups of mashed bananas (about 2 to 3 large over ripe bananas)
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extractα

Directions
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2inch loaf pan or line loaf pan with parchment paper. Set side.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, combine mashed bananas, sour cream, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla. With a sturdy rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir to combine.

Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and lightly combine, folding the wet into the dry. Continue to mix until everything is just combined, don't overmix. The batter will be thick and chunky. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

Place loaf pan in preheated oven and let bake for 55 to 65 minutes until golden brown and tester comes out clean with few crumbs attached.

Remove from oven and let cool 5 to 10 minutes before removing from pan and transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Blueberry Cobbler Bars

October is here, fall has officially begun, the weather is getting colder by the day, the trees are finally changing color, and I even pulled out my winter jacket to go to the farmers market yesterday morning! Fall recipes are everywhere, and pumpkin is the main topic on seemingly every food blog. Before I jump on the band wagon with some more fall-ish recipes, I have one more more summery bar that I just had to share. I saw these blueberry cobbler bars a few months ago, and knew I had to get them made while blueberries were still around. A sweet, buttery crust covered in a sour cream custard and tons of fresh blueberries, finished off with more buttery crumbles. It's a quick and easy recipe, full of freshness and reminiscent of summer. If you have any summer blueberries floating around your freezer that just want to be used, this is the perfect opportunity. 

With the butter crust and topping, and sour cream in the custard filling, these bars are quite rich so you don't need to cut them very big at all. But cut into cute little bite size squares these bars are a fun and delicious snack to bring you back to those mid July days full of fresh berries and fresh flavors. 

Blueberry Cobbler Bars

From 

Tidy Mom

Ingredients

Crust & Topping

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, chilled

Filling

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 6 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8-oz fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained

Directions

For crust/topping:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×9 or 8x8 inch baking pan with parchment & give a light spritz with cooking spray. Set aside. 

Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes, and add to the flour mixture. Using a fork for pastry cutter, cut the butter in until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Remove 3/4 cup of the mixture to use as the topping & set aside. Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of prepared pan, and bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool for 10-15 minutes.

For filling:

Whisk the eggs in another medium bowl. Add the granulated and brown sugar, sour cream, flour, salt, and vanilla extracts. Whisk well. Gently fold in the berries and pour the mixture over the crust. Sprinkle the remaining flour mixture evenly over the filling. Bake 45-55 minutes. Cool for at least 1 hour before cutting & serving

Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar Pecan Streusel

Pumpkin season is here again for the year, and I'm loving it! Fall baking is my absolute favorite, especially fall baking with pumpkin. I really do love all things pumpkin, as long as they're not over spiced. It's a pet peeve of mine when people tell me they don't like pumpkin, because it is so too spicy for them. I like to tell them that pumpkin actually has no spices, it's just a squash, they just don't like what is often put with the pumpkin. I think it's very hard to dislike pumpkin on it's own, it doesn't have much flavor, especially when baked into something sweet and buttery and delicious. Something like this absolutely fantastic coffee cake. Trust me, this one is a keeper.

A moist, delicate pumpkin cake topped with a hearty amount of brown sugar and pecan streusel, and finished with a simple icing. This is one of the best new things I've baked recently, I just loved it, and will probably make it again before the fall is over!

Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar Pecan Streusel
From Williams Sonoma
Ingredients:
For the streusel:

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted (see note below)

For the batter:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp. whole milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat an oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan or a 9-inch cake pan with 3-inch sides.

To make the streusel, in a bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Toss in the butter and, using 2 table knives or a pastry cutter, cut it into the dry ingredients until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Alternatively, whir the ingredients in a food processor. Stir in the pecans. Set aside.

To make the batter, in a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat together the butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until well combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the pumpkin puree and sour cream and mix with the spatula. Stir in the flour mixture. The batter will be quite thick.

Spread half of the batter in the prepared pan. Sprinkle half of the streusel over the batter. Dollop the remaining batter over the streusel and spread the thick batter as best you can. Top with the remaining streusel. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for about 15 minutes. Remove the sides from the pan and slide the cake onto the rack.

To make the glaze, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla. Drizzle over the top of the cake. Cut into thick wedges and serve. Makes one 9-inch coffee cake

Baker’s note: To toast pecans, preheat an oven to 325°F. Spread the nuts out on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, stirring often, until fragrant and lightly toasted, about 10 minutes.

Beef Stroganoff

Cold weather always leaves me craving something hearty and warm for dinner. As I was perusing some recipes last week this Beef Stroganoff recipe called out my name and begged me to make it. Chunks of beef simmered with onions and mushrooms in broth and brandy, finished off with sour cream and served with egg noodles. It sounded like the perfect thing to satisfy my craving for something warm and delicious, and it was. Not only was it delicious, but this recipe is quite simple, not too many ingredients, and everything cooks in one skillet, even the noodles. I love only having to get one pan dirty!

Simple ingredients, simple recipe, outstanding results. This is a wonderful winter meal that I can definitely make again. All you need to do is cut up some meat into chunks, and brown them in a skillet. Remove the beef, add mushrooms and onions and cook until they release all of their liquid. Then you just add the broth and brandy, return the meat to the skillet and let it simmer for half and hour or so. Add in the noodles at the end and continue cooking until they are cooked through. Remove the skillet from the heat, add the sour cream, and dig in, yum!

This dish made me happy and warm as I ate it, the flavors are so nice. I ate my leftovers the next day at lunch and thought it was almost better the next day. The flavors had had a chance to sit and meld together, so if it seems like too big of a recipe for you or your family, have no fear, it reheats beautifully!

Ingredients shot

Cut the beef up

and brown it up

Then throw in the mushrooms

and onions

Add in the stock, brandy and beef

Finally it's time for the noodles

and sour cream

Mmmm...

Skillet Beef Stroganoff
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen
Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds sirloin tips, pounded and cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 10 ounces white mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1/3 cup brandy
  • 6 ounces egg noodles (about 4 cups)
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

Directions
Pat beef dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a 12-inch skillet until hot. Add half of the beef and cook until well browned on both sides, 6-8 minutes total. Transfer beef to a bowl and repeat with the remaining meat. 

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the now empty skillet. Add mushrooms and onions and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook until the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste, and then gradually stir in the broth and brandy, then return the beef and any accumulated juices to the skillet. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook over low heat until the beef is nice and tender, about 30-35 minutes. 

Stir the noodles into the skillet, cover and cook for about 10-12 minutes, or until the noodles are tender, stirring occasionally. Take the skillet off the heat and add the sour cream and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and serve.