Saturday, November 14, 2015

"Organizing ahead of time makes the work more enjoyable. Chefs cut up the onions and have the ingredients lined up ahead of time and have them ready to go. When everything is organized you can clean as you go and it makes everything so much easier and fun." ~ Anne Burrell

I certainly have become more organized as I've gotten older. I have a long way to go, but retirement has offered me the gift of time and mind-space to "get my act together" in some regards! I have always been a "get as much done ahead of time as you can" person, but it is certainly easier with a more open schedule. 

Such is the case in preparing for our upcoming Thanksgiving gathering. For the past couple for years, my family has all gathered at a rental in Saratoga. It has been a great spot, but it has had its drawbacks, and our numbers continue to swell.  This year we have a new rental, also outside of Albany. We will see how it goes, but the most important thing is that we are together. We will sorely miss some who are not able to come this year, and delight in those who are able to join us for the first time. We really do not know what awaits us in terms of the kitchen this year. As a result, we are all encouraged to do as much ahead of time as is practical. 

My doubled recipe made three medium-sized loaves.
I have signed up to bring some breakfast items, and have baked, and frozen some loaves of cranberry nut bread and banana nut bread.  The cranberry bread is one that I did last year, and it was delicious. Once again I used fresh cranberries that we got while on the Cape. This is a new banana bread recipe for me, and I think it is delicious as well! I have included both recipes below. Both freeze up wonderfully.

Banana Bread (I added nuts)

Sweet Breads
Prep 10 minutes ∙ Cook 1 hour ∙ Makes one loaf ∙ Source


  • 2-3 very ripe bananas, peeled
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup of sugar (can easily use 3/4 cup, or drop it down to 1/2 cup if you want it less sweet)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour


Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C), and butter a 4x8-inch loaf pan.
In a mixing bowl, mash the ripe bananas with a fork until smooth. Stir the melted butter into the mashed bananas.
Mix in the baking soda and salt. Stir in the sugar, beaten egg, and vanilla extract. Mix in the flour.
Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes (check at 50 minutes) at 350°F (175°C), or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and cool completely on a rack. Remove the banana bread from the pan. Slice and serve. (A bread knife helps to make slices that aren't crumbly.)

Walnut Cranberry Pound Cake Recipe

Sweet Breads
Prep 15 min ∙ Cook 1 hr 5 min ∙ Makes 12 servings ∙ Source


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • GLAZE:
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons 2% milk


1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the sour cream, syrup, orange peel and vanilla; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture until blended. Fold in cranberries and walnuts.
2. Transfer to a greased and floured 10-in. tube pan. Bake at 350° for 65-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
3. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Combine the confectioners' sugar, syrup and butter until smooth; add enough milk to achieve desired consistency. Drizzle over cake. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Walnut Cranberry Pound Cake in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2005, p148

Nutritional Info

1 slice equals 534 calories, 25 g fat (12 g saturated fat), 136 mg cholesterol, 294 mg sodium, 71 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 8 g protein.

1 comment:

  1. You ARE organized! My family also does a rental for TG. We had stopped going for a while because the travel had been too much when we were working. But we are going this year and are so looking forward to it.