Banana Bread and Tuna Salad (recipes, and not to be eaten together)

On Sunday morning after our guests left, I had a bit of energy. This was strange considering I had gotten less than seven hours of sleep the night before. So while Brody relaxed and snoozed on the couch, I got to cooking and baking. Note: I crashed on the couch later and napped from 4:00-5:00pm.

I feel so productive when I can get food-related tasks completed over the weekend. It makes my life less stressful when I have a few meals planned, the items purchased, and if possible, some of the prep work done ahead of time.

During my Sunday morning trip to Woodman’s, which is my FAVORITE time to grocery shop, I picked up some goodies for the week. I got the ingredients for Oma’s casserole (Oma being Brody’s great-grandmother), turkey meatballs, and tuna salad. I grabbed a jar of marinara sauce to go with the Costco chicken and mozzarella ravioli in the freezer for an easy, quick dinner one night. Woodman’s also had large bags of slightly over ripe bananas for 99 cents. You know I picked up one of those.

Once I was ready to channel Martha Stewart, the Barefoot Contessa (with Brody as my Jeffery of course), or whoever, I first looked up banana bread recipes. Somewhere during my search, I saw a recipe for ginger banana bread and was immediately intrigued. That search brought up this recipe, and after realizing I had all of the ingredients, including the buttermilk, and didn’t need to leave the house again, I was ready to roll.

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I over-baked the bread by a minute or two (however, nothing like Bridget’s over-baking experience). After thirty minutes, the toothpick was still quite wet, but I think an additional five minutes was too much. It is also possible that because of the lack of oil or butter in this recipe, it’s not going to be a super moist banana bread.

I’ve enjoyed eating a thick slice as an afternoon snack and for breakfast with some sunflower seed butter smeared on top.

As for the rest of those bananas? They were peeled, broken into chunks, and placed a in large ziplock bag for future smoothies.

While the banana bread was baking, I got to work on the tuna salad. Now Brody cannot STAND when I make and peel hard boiled eggs. He gags, makes faces, and tells me he can’t believe I eat such weird food. He behaves similarly when I occasionally eat tuna (and a long list of other foods).

And yet…he loves this tuna salad. It’s his mom’s recipe, so I get it. I also love it, so it’s a win win.
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Tuna Salad

-large can of tuna packed in water (I have not tried using albacore yet – I’m worried it’ll change the flavor)

-three hard boiled eggs

-a few large spoonfuls of (Light) Miracle Whip (not mayo)

-three chunks of pickled watermelon rind, chopped as finely as possible (can be found I believe by the pickles and olives in a grocery store)

-a squirt or two of sweet pickle relish

-1/2 an onion, chopped finely

-1/2 cup of celery, chopped finely

-freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS: Mix is all together and eat.

The relish and watermelon rind add an interesting sweetness to it. I hope you like it as much as Brody and I do! We had it for dinner Sunday night over toasted sesame bread and snacked on the rest of it on Monday after work.

As for Oma’s casserole, I’ll share that one another time.

Questions:

Do you have a go-to banana bread or tuna salad recipe to share?

How much food prep do you do on the weekends? *I often hard boil eggs, but this weekend I also chopped green peppers for Oma’s casserole.

I Got 5 On It

I often have the urge to title my posts after song lyrics or titles. “I Got 5 On It” by Luniz came out in 1995 but I remember hearing it when I was a sophomore in high school, which was 1999. My friends and I listened to inappropriate rap and hip hop songs, and my music still leans in this direction (especially when running). Anyways, upwards and onwards…

1. I love a good deal, and 79 cents for all of these bananas equals one amazing deal.
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During a quick trip to Woodman’s this morning (which may be an oxymoron since the store is gigantic), they had bags of reduced produce. I wonder if they do this every Thursday morning? I should’ve asked. #smoothiesandbananasoftserveforlife

2. Today was my last chance to take the incredible kickboxing class with my favorite instructor ever for the summer. So sad! It was, as always, a great class. I realized two new reasons why I love kickboxing: 1) It feels like dancing to me with choreography to music – it’s been so long since I’ve really danced, and this gives me a similar feeling, and 2) I feel really badass, like I could seriously punch someone out – as a peaceful, nonviolent, non-confrontational person, this is a unique experience. Jab, cross, hook, roar.

3. My best friend, Susan, from high school lives in Iowa but was visiting her family only an hour away from me. After nannying, I drove to see her and her family. It was so nice catching up, and it made me sad how we are not able to see each other more often. Her little boy, Aidan, is two years old and a little spitfire. As with many of my friends, I love how we’re able to pick up where we left off.
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4. Dinner for tonight cooked the whole day, and it felt good to not have to worry or stress about it when I got home after babysitting this afternoon. What’s in the pot?
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Pork and root beer. When cooked, I drain off the liquid, shred it, mix in BBQ sauce, chopped up pickles, jalapeƱos, and banana peppers, and serve it as a sandwich with shredded cheddar cheese.

5. There’s a pretty good chance I’ll be signing up for the Tyranena Beer Run half marathon on Nov. 3. I figured out a ten week training plan yesterday which starts on Monday. To get my butt in gear for running in the morning before school and/or running outside again, I did four miles yesterday morning in my neighborhood. Moose loves when I come home sweaty and tries to lick any available skin.
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This is fine for about ten seconds but then I get grossed out and annoyed that his tongue is hot. In case you’re grossed out, I shower immediately after the Moose “bath”.

Questions:
What’s your easy, go-to slow cooker meal?
Did you run today or have a race coming up? Let’s hear the details!

WIAW Summer Staples #2

Wednesday already? In the summer, I often wish the weeks went by slower, but in a few weeks, I will be changing my tune. At least I have a party to look forward to. Tonight I am hosting a Pampered Chef and Thirty-One party (I’ll have pictures and recipes, including one for a super easy tres leches cake, of it tomorrow) for a friend who recently had a baby.

I’m getting ahead of myself, and instead of the future, we need to talk about the past…specifically yesterday’s eats. A big thank you goes to Jenn over at Peas and Crayons and her creative theme, summer staples.
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Warning: I could not, for the life of me, remember to take pictures before I started eating. At least I remembered, right?

This morning I made it to the dog park immediately upon waking and walked for an hour and fifteen minutes. I ate half a banana before and egg sandwich (sandwich thin, one egg, crumbled bacon, spinach, and a slice of Monterey cheese) and a banana and a half after. Bananas sounded good to me apparently!

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I posted this recipe on Monday, and it makes a great leftover cold salad. All of those tomatoes are from my garden! The hybrid plant I bought combines the grape and Roma tomatoes and it is producing fruit like crazy. For a little sweetness, I finished the meal with about two cups of watermelon.
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Around 4:00pm, I needed a snack, and apparently some sugar. Oops! It would’ve been rude to have served guests a dessert I hadn’t tested. Don’t worry….it’s good. Real good.

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Brody had a meeting, so I was on my own for dinner. It’s been ages since I’d had tuna. I mixed one can of albacore tuna with a tablespoon of light mayo, chopped tomatoes, garlic powder, onion powder, and a little cracked pepper. My sweet tooth (as if I hadn’t had enough sugar already) was satisfied with a fabulously ripe mango, and because I am honest, another small piece of tres leches cake. Yup, it’s still edible. Just checking.

Around 9:30, my stomach started making noises. I probably could’ve gone to bed and been fine but I chose to have the last cup of Corn Chex with a little milk.

As for my summer staples, mangos are definitively in that category. I love mangos and credit them with helping me break my chocolate addiction/habit last summer. Tomatoes are also a staple, especially if I grew them. A fresh tomato slice on a BLT or sliced thick with a little salt – nothing like it. My only complaint is that the acid starts to get to me. Real world problems here.

That’s all she wrote, and ate. Have I made that joke before? If so, I apologize. It’s bad.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Questions:
Do you have a garden? What is doing well this summer? Not so well?
What was the best thing you ate yesterday?
Do you eat a lot of sugar (natural, processed, or both)?