Can you smell that? It's cream cheese banana nut bread in the oven.

After I made sweet and sour chicken for dinner the other night. I also made banana nut bread for dessert. In fact the recipe made two loaves. I haven't made it in a very long time!!! I think I made once when I was a freshman in high school.

Mom helped me make it and then we took it to some shut ins from church. I remember walking in her house and handing her the loaf of bread. She looked at me and said, "Did you make this? It smells nice!" It was at that moment that I realized the power of food and the act of kindness to people who needed visitors while not being able to get out every day like we do.

I got the recipe from here. It looks like she got it from Southern Living.

There's no greater smell than that of bread, cookies, or a good pie baking in the oven.

When this one was cooking, I could smell it in the living room and I just wanted to go to the oven and just pull a piece out and start eating it.

This is a fool proof recipe. If you do what it says, you can't go wrong. This will definitely be my go to recipe for banana nut bread. The cream cheese really helps add a little extra oomph!!

*I got the pictures from her site as well. The only picture I had was a downward angle of them sitting on the island. These were much prettier.

Cream Cheese Banana Nut Bread - Southern Living

Cream Cheese Banana Nut Bread
***Makes 2 loaves***

3/4 c. butter, softened
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 c. sugar
2 large eggs
3 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 4 medium bananas)
1 cup roughly chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in bananas, pecans, and vanillla. Spoon batter into 2 greased and floured 8x4 inch loafpans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean and sides pull away from pan, shielding with aluminum foil last 15 minutes to prevent browning, if necessary.

(I found that after one hour, my banana bread wasn't completely cooked through.  I ended up baking it for an extra 10-15 minutes.)

Cool bread in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool 30 minutes on wire racks before slicing.

Source: Southern Living magazine

*I like to dump my cakes/ breads out immediately after cooking. Every time I let them sit for a few minutes and then try to dump them out, they stick to the pan and never just fall out like they should.


Asian Delight: Sweet and Sour Chicken

Last night for dinner I made some really good sweet and sour chicken. I normally don't to asian, except for stir-fry because it's easy and not hard to mess up, but this time I decided to try it out.

If you have time to make dinner from scratch it's worth the try. Let me just say this, I get home from work around 2:30-3:00ish and didn't start dinner until about 4:30-5:00ish. We leave for church on Wednesday around 7:10 (services start at 7:30). So, I had plenty of time to cut my chicken, fry it in oil, and then finish it off by baking it in the oven for 30 minutes.

So if I had time to do that, oh and unload the dishwasher and load it back, you can make this meal too. It's was fast, easy, fun, and delicious. Had I had all the stuff to make homemade egg rolls I would have done that too. I think that would have completed the meal. But in reality if I had had some in the freezer I would have just heated them up instead of making some.

I got the recipe here. She got it from Mels Kitchen Cafe (not sure who or where. she didn't have a link on her site). I also pulled the picture from her site since I didn't get a chance to take any of my dinner. But it looked just like this.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Chicken Breading:
3-5 chicken breast
salt and pepper
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup canola oil

Rinse chicken, trim off fat or extras and then cut into 1 inch cubes. season with salt and pepper. Dip chicken into cornstarch and coat all the way and then into eggs. Heat oil in large skillet. Cook chicken until browned. Place in baking dish. 3 chicken breasts can be in a 9x9 but 5 chicken breasts fits better in a 9x13.

3/4 cups white sugar
4 Tablespoons ketchup

1/2 cup white distilled vinegar
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic salt

Whisk until smooth. Then pour evenly over chicken. Turn chicken so the sauce gets on both sides and then put in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. turn chicken and then cook for 15 more minutes.

*On the sauce stage: I ended up putting the chicken in the bowl with the sauce and mixing it in there to make sure it was nicely coated. Then I poured it into my dish.
**I also cut 3 chicken breasts and ended up using a 9x13 to make sure they laid evenly in the dish.

I also cooked rice and put this over it and it turned out to be a nice dish!! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.