Quest for the Best Banana Bread: Final Showdown

It’s finally time! Thirteen recipes and nearly a year later, here we are at our final banana bread showdown. As many of you know we began our quest for the best banana bread last spring. It all started with the Big Bird banana bread years ago that I would make with my dad. Then for years without any banana bread at all, we were introduced to Doree’s banana bread and became convinced it was the best. And so the quest was born…

We certainly didn’t come close to touching the millions of banana bread recipes out there, but we did try a variety of often vastly different loaves on this journey. Starting with our Peanut Butter banana bread, we baked 13 loaves and saved several slices of each wrapped up carefully in our freezer. Just before leaving for our trip, we pulled out the slices to thaw, and you should have seen the kids bursting with excitement at the site of all the bags strewn across the table.

Miss A, who was crowned my sous chef when it came to banana breads, was eager to get the taste test underway.  Continue reading

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Last But Not Least – Quest for the Best Banana Bread

This is it! Our very last banana bread recipe for our quest, and it’s a special one. There were two things that prompted our search for the best banana bread, which started in early 2011. The first was our friend Doree’s recipe. We knew it was amazing and were quite sure it was the best ever, so we wanted to put it to the test. The second was today’s recipe – Big Bird’s Banana Bread – which I used to make with my dad when I was a little one.

And so while the kids are still adjusting to the time change here in Hawaii (we’ve been up since 3:45 a.m. this morning), here’s a recipe that’s close to my heart. Big Bird’s Banana Bread is a recipe from The Sesame Street Library books that came out in 1977. These books were a favorite of mine as a child, but were ruined in a flood many years ago. Fortunately, when Mr. N was born I was able to find the complete set on eBay. Since then, I’ve been waiting for the day my kids would be old enough to make their very own Big Bird Banana Bread.  Continue reading

Quest for the Best Banana Bread – Mom Knows Best

Tonight we continue on our quest for the best banana bread, which is actually nearing an end. In fact after today, we have only one last recipe (and it’s a special one) before the final taste test. I can’t even tell you how excited the kids are about lining up all the pieces of different banana breads for the final taste test. We don’t even know how many there are anymore, but they’re talking about it nearly every day. You would think it was Christmas again with their levels of anticipation.

But before we get to that special recipe and our final taste test, we had to try one more banana bread. It sounded too good to pass up. It comes to us from Dawn (actually Dawn’s mom) at First Look, Then Cook. If you don’t know Dawn, all of her recipes are delectable, but it’s her desserts that WOW me each and every time. She even makes me drool over chocolate (and folks that know me, know that’s saying something). Dawn has several delicious banana related desserts on her blog, but she swears by her mom’s recipe for banana bread, and how can you go wrong with a recipe from mom?!  Continue reading

Quest for the Best Banana Bread and a Chopped Challenge

We just wrapped up our Christmas parties yesterday, after a celebration with my family. As is tradition, we had a meal of all appetizers. Every family brings their favorite appetizers to share with everyone else and we spend the entire day just grazing. It’s an understatement to say that I’m full today. So before we get to our quest and our challenge, here are a few other blogger recipes we enjoyed once more.

First up is this delicious (and super easy) Baba Ghanoush recipe from Charles at Five Euro Food. I enjoy this one for lunch quite a bit too.

We also made some Candied Cranberries that we saw over at A Spicy Perspective. Miss A and I really enjoyed these – most of the cranberries were sweet, but every now and then one would give a surprisingly tart burst of flavor. A very fun flavor experience, plus they were just pretty. Continue reading

Taking the Quest for the Best Banana Bread to New Elevations

The countdown is on folks! Only a few more recipes before we’re opening up the freezer, thawing the banana bread slices and having ourselves a banana bread feast all the while we determine which is our favorite recipe. Perhaps it will be this one? Only time will tell.

This next recipe wasn’t originally going to be in the mix, but we ran across it while surfing around one day, and it was enough different than all the others that we had to give it a try. We found it over at a blog called Inside the Kaganoff Kitchen and it’s called Mountain Sky Banana Bread. So what was so special about this bread that it was calling our name? Cream cheese. Yum! Continue reading

Going Against the Grain – Quest for the Best Banana Bread (And Giveaway!)

Up until now we’ve kept our banana breads on this quest pretty traditional, using all-purpose flours, white and brown sugars and even excluded nuts. Today, however, we’re going against the grain by going with the grain! Whole grain that is. Kelly over at Inspired Edibles was gracious enough to put together a recipe on our behalf that is entirely composed of whole grains and raw sugars. In case you didn’t know – Kelly is awesome (and so is her banana bread)!

Now, you can bet Miss A was excited to make this new recipe, especially when I told her that it had oatmeal in it. She loves oatmeal. So she and I gathered our dry ingredients including whole wheat flour, ground flaxseed, whole grain oatmeal, ground allspice, walnuts (just for you Kelly), baking powder, baking soda and turbinado sugar. 

Continue reading