Sometimes a little something-something can really lift a person’s spirits.
I got my something-something delivered last week – a beautiful Kitchen Aid stand mixer in aqua sky. I am in love!
Many people might not know that I’m quite an excellent cook. I’m a prolific recipe collector and on average I make five new recipes in a seven day period. Thankfully my husband loves trying new foods and enjoys my culinary experiments. There have been very few things I’ve made that he hasn’t liked. I’ve become just a tad addicted to Pinterest and now Mark will ask if what I’m making is a Pinterest recipe. Sometimes – when my laptop is sitting on the kitchen counter as I cook – he doesn’t have to ask.
I also enjoy baking, although I’m not quite as good at baking as I am cooking. At Christmastime I make dozen upon dozen of cookies. In nearly 30 years of marriage I have never had a stand mixer, only a hand-held. When my mom passed away in 1997, I had rather hoped I might inherit her Kitchen Aid, but my dad has never been one to give things away easily. Then, when he re-married, his new wife was set on keeping it. Seventeen years later I was still using a hand-held mixer for all my cooking and baking. Now that I’m over 50, the hand-held mixer has gotten much harder on my hands and arms. When I saw the presentation for Kitchen Aid mixers on QVC recently, I sat mesmerized. It was a fabulous deal – $269 for the mixer, two bowls, four different beaters and the splash shield AND free shipping and five easy payments. Also, they had the color that would perfectly match my vintage/retro kitchen. With on-line ordering, my mixer was on its way in less than 10 minutes! 🙂
Here is a glimpse at my kitchen. I apologize in advance for the glare and reflection.
When the box arrived on my front porch I was like a kid at Christmas. I couldn’t wait to see my new toy! Right away I wanted to bake something and started searching my Pinterest boards for the perfect concoction. Unfortunately, my entire week was busy with work and appointments and other duties, so breaking in my new mixer had to wait – until today.
I chose to make Banana Lemon Loaf – mostly because I had three over-ripe bananas I needed to use up – and also it sounded yummy and not terribly decadent.
Here are the main ingredients for the loaf – sans the eggs which I forgot to put in the picture. Oops. The recipe called for milk and I used almond milk, trying to save a tiny bit of fat and calories.
I was excited to see how the mixer would do mashing the bananas. All these years I’ve been mashing bananas for banana bread with a pastry cutter. Needless to say, the mixer made short work of them and my arm wasn’t tired at all!!
Then it was time to add the sugar and eggs.
The splatter shield is awesome. You can add the flour in a little at a time and it does not go flying all over the place in a cloud.
I love how the bowl reflects my kitchen’s black and white checkerboard floor.
I poured the batter into my lovely vintage 9 x 5 loaf pan and popped it in the oven.
An hour later I had this lovely loaf.
When it was fully cooled I mixed the glaze. Again, the mixer made this so easy, especially with the whip beater.
After it was frosted I had to sample it, of course. I mean, really, I can’t go writing about a recipe if I haven’t fully tasted it. And yes, it was as good as it looks. I was worried the glaze was a bit strong with the lemon flavor when I tasted it by itself, but since the bread does not have a super-strong lemon flavor, when the two are together the glaze was not overpowering.
And, before anyone feels bad for Mark because I got an expensive new toy – he also got a new toy, a new rototiller for the garden. We also purchased a new utility trailer that will enable us to use our canoe this year. We are both excited about that because we really missed fishing last year. The only thing is, his new toy cost a lot more than mine did, so I’m thinking maybe I need to get something else to even things out, hee hee. Perhaps that new camera I’ve been drooling over?? 🙂
Now that I’ve tested out my new Kitchen Aid, I’m anxious to bake something else. This could be very bad for my waistline!
Banana Lemon Loaf
2 – 3 ripe bananas
2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 c sugar
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/2 c milk
Juice of 1 lemon (2 TBL)
Wisk together the flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. Mash bananas. Add sugar and eggs and beat until smooth. Add vegetable oil, milk and lemon juice. Mix until well blended. Add flour mixture a little at a time. Beat until smooth. Transfer to a greased 9 x 5 loaf pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 55 – 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
For glaze: beat 2 c sifted confectioners sugar, 1 TBL unsalted butter and the juice of one lemon until smooth. (I had to add an additional TBL of milk to get the right consistency and this also helped cut some of the strong lemon flavor.) Frost loaf with glaze and enjoy!
Just wanted to add a photo of my little clump of daffodils. Spring has finally arrived for real here in Michigan!