Tag Archives: Banana bread

If You Can Keep It, by Eric Metaxas – Listen Up!

Happy-4th-of-July-Independence-Day-300x169Hello friends!  Can you believe it is July?  My head is still stuck in April and I honestly can’t believe May and June have flown by.  It was my intention to give you a super new recipe for the 4th of July but I changed my mind yesterday.  (For my readers from around the world, you may not be doing any celebrating this weekend, but in the USA we are celebrating Independence Day!  Independence Day, or more commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday to commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on 4 July 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.)

Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yesterday I spent a good bit of time in the kitchen.  My good friend and neighbor Kathy is moving (boo-hoo) and I wanted to feed lunch to her moving crew.  Hearty ham, turkey, and cheese sandwiches were in order for the hungry bunch but I wanted to add a touch of homemade. I did this with a batch of fresh-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip bars (recipe coming) and  our favorite Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting!

slice banana bread upclose

I didn’t use up all my old bananas with the Banana Bars and so I added two loaves of Brown Sugar Banana Bread to the morning activities! (If you’ve never used this recipe for banana bread – you must! It is wonderful.)

KC Bread

Now you are going to really understand what happens in my kitchen sometimes, when I tell you today was my turn to bring 5 loaves of fresh bread for visitors to our church — and so I had my kitchen work cut out for me!

I have several pastors that I listen to regularly, and so it has long been my habit to play their current online sermons or recordings when working in the kitchen.  A friend had told me that Eric Metaxas spoke at World Outreach Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee on Father’s Day weekend.  I generally listen to the sermons from WOC and so I eagerly went searching to see if his recording was there.
It was!

Eric Metaxas  is an American author, speaker, and radio host. He is Eric Metaxasbest known for two biographies, Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery about William Wilberforce and Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy about Dietrich Bonhoeffer.   My husband, sous-chef dish-washing mom and I met him when he was in middle Tennessee after writing Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy.  (Which is excellent, highly recommended reading!)

I tell you all this to say when I listened to his presentation about his recently released book If You Can Keep It – The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty, I couldn’t help to think what a timely and appropriate message for our Independence Day weekend!

Click HERE —  I have attached the link so you can listen also!  I promise it is worth the time! But wait there’s more! Click to continue reading

Brown Sugar Banana Bread

slice banana bread upclose
Do you have a favorite banana bread recipe?  I don’t. At least I didn’t until recently.  I’ve made a lot of banana bread through the years.  Mostly crumbly, sometimes overly dense, occasionally dry, and always leaving me wishing I just hadn’t bothered.

Then my friend Opal called asking me if I have a recipe for banana bread — made with sour cream and brown sugar.  What?  I’ve never even seen a banana bread recipe with those ingredients.  Opal says it is the only recipe she has used for years and years.  Unfortunately, the recipe got away from her in a cookbook she gave to her granddaughter as she was leaving for Africa!

sliced banana bread
I Googled and read through dozens of recipes looking for just the right combination of ingredients that included the sour cream and brown sugar. By the time I passed this recipe on to Opal I was already on my way to the kitchen!

Black Bananas
But first, I had to retrieve these bananas from the freezer.  Many months ago (embarrassingly long ago) I put these in the freezer for a few days until I had time to do something with them.  Now I had the recipe … but I had no idea if the bananas were still good.  Turns out — you can put bananas in the freezer, leave them for a long time, thaw them out and squeeze them into your banana bread recipe!

3 loaves banana bread
First thing you may notice about my three loaves of banana bread … they are each a different size. Same size pans but my ability to split up the batter equally left something to be desired!

Banana bread sliced
I used Turbinado Sugar for the little sprinkling on top. Definitely a good idea as it left the top slightly crisp.  We slathered on some leftover Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Spread and ate it for dessert one evening.  Out of this world!  For me the decision to keep a recipe often times boils down to one thing.  In this case the Chief  took one bite and said, “wow!  this is the best banana bread you have ever made!”  That’s the one thing. 🙂

Banana bread is wonderful toasted and it can even be sliced thick and used for french toast.  Thanks to Opal for telling me about “brown sugar and sour cream” in banana bread!

Happy Baking!

Thanksgiving and Prayer

15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.       Ephesians 1:15-23

Opal’s Brown Sugar Banana Bread
Prep time
Total time
Moist, rich, scrumptious!
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium well-ripened bananas)
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • *Additional brown sugar or Turbinado Sugar for top of batter
  1. Mix together butter, oil, sugars and eggs.
  2. Add mashed bananas, sour cream and vanilla, stirring well.
  3. Mix in flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring until it is well blended.
  4. Pour into 1 greased large loaf pan or 3 greased small pans (7" x 3½").
  5. Sprinkle additional brown sugar generously over top of the batter.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees; large loaf for about an hour, small loaves for about 45 minutes. Test bread to make sure it is done in the middle.
  7. Allow bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edges, tap the pan carefully on the counter to release the bread from the bottom of the pan, then invert pan over a wire rack and let the bread fall onto the rack to finish cooling.
  8. Butter up and enjoy!
Other favorite ingredients may be added according to your taste: miniature chocolate chips, toffee bits, shredded coconut, chopped pecans, chopped walnuts, chopped macadamia nuts.

Weekend RoundUP July 13 and Summer In The South


I love wearing blue jeans.  I adore the look, the feel, and that they change shape with me during the day 🙂 Actually, blue, black, gray, khaki, you name the color I just love wearing jeans.  The older the better.  Slipping into a soft, worn pair of jeans gives me a comfort that lasts throughout the day.  Between the heat, the humidity, and my inner child playing with fire, I put away my beloved blue jeans about the end of March and they hang idle in my closet until October.  Except for yesterday.  Middle of July means middle of summer. Half-way between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  And right here smack dab in the middle of the summer heat and humidity we receive a gift of cool temperatures and rain.  Yesterday our high was about 75 degrees and we had a gentle rain throughout the day that sprinkled us with about an inch of much-needed rain.  I pulled on a sweet pair of blue jeans and a tee-shirt and all the world felt at peace as I listened to the gentle song of the rain from my front porch.
As drought has plagued us this entire spring and summer, my Chief Culinary Consultant and main-man gardener has watered the vegetable garden every day for over a month! Watering is something we most generally don’t need to do in this part of the south.  It certainly adds another layer to growing a garden.  I thank you Lord for this little reprieve that has quenched my thirst for rain in body and spirit. Continue reading Weekend RoundUP July 13 and Summer In The South