I am an alien life form when it comes to bananas.
I like them on one day, and one day only. And that day is the day before you think they are going to turn yellow.
As soon as they’re ripe enough for normal humans to eat, I declare them dead to me. And god help them should they find themselves in my kitchen with even a single speckle of brown. Out they go, in a very “if you want to live in MY house, you have to live by MY rules” kind of way.
And this, my friends, is why I don’t buy bananas. It would be exhausting to have to kick them out every week.
However, the good thing about having roommates is that you don’t all have the same neuroses.
Some of your roommates might be less rigid about letting bananas rot ripen on the counter than you are. (These roommates will also probably make better parents than you will. Accept that.)
And so you might wake up one morning and have some seriously brown bananas sitting on top of your fridge. You might have a compulsion to deep clean the entire kitchen because it has come into contact with a brown banana. Or you might do what any sane(r) person would do and, while your roommate isn’t looking, turn the bananas into banana bread.
No one looks at you strangely when you bake banana bread. But they might if you decide to mop the top of the refrigerator at 6AM. Just saying.
I know lots of people out there. In the blogospheric ether. Are posting Valentine’s Day dessert recipes like it’s next week or something. And you might be looking at this banana bread and thinking that it’s really a plain Jane kind of thing.
Not true. This one time, in high school, my boyfriend-at-the-time and I got into a big fight. Huge fight. It was my fault. All of it. Every last bit. (And that is the first and last time you will ever hear me admit to something like that.) And so to try to make it up to him, I made him banana bread. Two loaves. He ate both of them by the end of the day.
And then he got mad at me for trying to make him fat.
My point is that even regular old banana bread is pretty damn good. And this one is stuffed with cranberries. You know, the ones that you’ve had sitting in your fridge for a month? Yeah. Those.
And it’s topped with amaretto. Yes, that is an Italian liqueur. Yes, Italians are renowned for making food that tastes like love. (And being good in bed.)
Yes. I’m 100% Italian. Just putting it out there.
Banana bread. Make it.
Now, before we get to the recipe and while we’re on the subject of sexual prowess, I need to talk about the Ridiculously Delicious Challenge that I was invited to participate in by MarxFoods.
Step 1 of this challenge is to choose three of twenty ingredients that I would want to win as a prize. And then tell the world what ridiculously delicious thing I would do with them.
As most of you know, I am on a quest for love. And what better way to lure cajole seduce men into my apartment than with a seriously aphrodisiac-rich meal. One that will have them literally begging for more. Both because it tastes so good and because their hormones are even more active than normal. If that’s possible.
So the three ingredients I would choose are: bourbon vanilla beans, pink salmon fillets, and fresh daruma wasabi. All of which, according to Cosmo (and hello what better source could I find!), are some serious aphrodisiacs. Salmon has omega-3s, which amp up sex steroid hormone production. Vanilla stimulates your nerves, which makes sex feel even better. And the wasabi will get your heart pumping so you’ll have blood flow to where you need it. When you need it.
With all of the testosterone stimulation that will be wafting from this apartment. I fully expect that I’ll be engaged by the end of this contest. So…by April. And then my future spouse can come watch me run the Boston marathon. And sit with me in Marathon Village at 4AM in the frigid cold while we wait for the race to start. Yes, I’ve got this all planned out.
- 3-5 bananas, smashed (3 if you want a more bread-like loaf, 5 if you want a dense super insanely moist loaf)
- ⅓ cup melted salted butter
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tbsp amaretto
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup AP flour
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup fresh cranberries (or frozen! unthawed!)
- 3 tbsp amaretto
- 2 tbsp half and half
- 2-3 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350. With a wooden spoon, mash the bananas and butter together in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, vanilla, amaretto, and then the spices. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the batter and mix in. Add the flours and mix. Stir in the cranberries until just incorporated. Pour into a an 8x4-inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on a rack.
- For the glaze, starting out with about 2 cups of powdered sugar in a bowl, mix in the amaretto and half and half until all of the powdered sugar has been incorporated into the liquids. If too thick, add more milk. If too thin, add more powdered sugar. Pour over the top of the banana bread. Try not to lick the spoon. More than five times.