Chocolate Banana Bread

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If you’re like me at all, you have a collection of overripe bananas in your freezer, destined for bread.  I have a pretty fool-proof (and delicious) recipe for banana bread given to me by my mother, but I wanted to change things up this time around.  And what better way to do that than with chocolate?

I was reminded of a batch of chocolate-banana ice cream I made for my friend Matthew as a Christmas gift.  I asked he and his wife, Sarah, what their favorite flavors of ice cream were, and that is what I gave to them as gifts.  I much prefer giving edible gifts over anything else for holidays and birthdays.  Matthew said he loved the combination of chocolate and banana, and I totally agree.  Why not turn that into a bread?

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The bananas (minus one) are still a little frozen in this photo, my apologies.

I was hoping for a bread that was more dessert-like in texture, and I think this was a success.  It had the dense consistency of pound cake, and the banana flavor was just subtle enough not to be overpowering.   However, I would probably omit the chocolate chips in my next batch of this bread.  I say this only because (as you might know if you read this blog) I don’t prefer overly-sweet dishes.  The chocolate powder was perfect on its own and needed no extra help from the chips.

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All-purpose flour sifted with cocoa powder, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

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Restaurant Review: Railcar Modern American Kitchen

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Photo credit: Ryan Soderlin/ The World-Herald

From time to time, I will write restaurant reviews for the Omaha World-Herald.  I really enjoy doing it; I get to try new restaurants and share my thoughts with readers of the newspaper.

Most recently, I reviewed Railcar Modern American Kitchen.  You can read the review here.  Chef Jared Clarke makes one of the best burgers I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating.  Check them out if you get the chance!


Strawberry and Crème Fraîche Scones with Brown Sugar Crumble

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This last Sunday was the second week of the farmers market here in Omaha and it was a gorgeous day.  Just a week ago, the sky was overcast and there was a biting wind slapping us in the face.  Not a fun trip to the market at all.  The start of the farmers market always gets me excited because it signifies the beginning of strawberry season.  In fact, my strawberries in the garden are starting to flower as I type this…

Now, we didn’t see any this last Sunday, but it’s okay, as I had picked up a container of organic strawberries from Whole Foods.  They were plump and flavorful, and I knew I wanted to make scones with them.  Luckily, one of my favorite websites, The Kitchn, had the same idea!

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These scones were destined for dessert, but of course would be great as a breakfast or brunch item.  You could even substitute different fresh fruits for the strawberries.  I think they would be lovely with fresh blueberries, chopped fresh peaches, or even fresh apricots.

Scones are probably some of the easiest baked goods to make.  If you consider yourself kitchen-challenged, scones are definitely do-able.

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