This recipe holds a very special place in my heart not only because it was given to me by my best friend Meghan O'Donnell (given to her by her Grandmother, who is an amazing woman both in and out of the kitchen), but also because it was the first thing that I ever really baked on my own.
It was back when I was in college and at a time when I was absolutely hopeless in the kitchen. I would set off the smoke alarm trying to heat up a can of soup! Well, one day, I had a bunch of overripe bananas and decided to give this banana bread recipe a try.
Grandma O'Donnell's Banana Bread
3 bananas, mashed (sometimes I sneak in an extra one)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 to 2 cups chocolate chips (optional)
In a large bowl, cream together the bananas, eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla, and salt.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Add to wet ingredients.
Fold in chocolate chips if using.
Bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes for 2 loaf tins, 20-25 minutes for muffins.
Much to my surprise, the end result was absolutely fabulous! I realized that maybe I wasn't a complete dunce in the kitchen after all. That banana bread was the initial spark that began my love affair with baking, cooking good food (and eating it), and building up my recipe box with the best tried and true recipes.
I can now hold my own in the kitchen and have learned a lot from my husband (a former cook), friends, and family members. But I have found that the best way to gain knowledge is by doing.
So my own personal philosophy is this...
Try recipes. Try hundreds... thousands... even millions of recipes. Each recipe will impart new techniques, tips, and tricks to add to your set of skills. If you don't know how to do something called for in a recipe, look it up. Learn, attempt, experiment, and step out of your comfort zone. You will find some fabulous recipes and you will experience a few flops too, but once you've cooked through a large multitude of recipes, you'll have amassed not only a great selection of recipes, but a collection of kitchen knowledge and confidence.
I like to find recipes on cooking shows, in cookbooks (our local library has a great selection), and online. The comments and reviews found on most online recipes are excellent resources as well. Some of these recipes can be found on my Recipe Box page (find the link at the top) and there are many recipes I have yet to share with you, so stay tuned!
And now, this banana bread recipe has become even more special to me. A couple weeks ago, my son Oliver and I made this recipe together. It was his first time helping in the kitchen and he loved it! Since then, baking and cooking together has become one of our favourite family activities...
...and I'm sure it will be for years to come!
Thanks for stopping by and please visit
to see the incredible artwork of my friends
Meghan & Katelyn O'Donnell.