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Right out of the oven (just need a cold glass of milk).
Right out of the oven (just need a cold glass of milk).

Despite the fuzzy photograph (I feel like an new camera is in my future), who doesn’t love banana bread?  In our household, we make a weekly visit to Starbucks:  green tea latte for me, a slice of banana bread to split between the kids.  I have to admit when I saw the over-ripe bananas sitting in the fruit bowl I almost tossed them.  I hadn’t done any baking since moving into our new home and there’s no better smell  then that of a homemade cake, cookies or bread baking in your oven. 

And, just in case you didn’t know (or if it come up in conversation tomorrow), February 23rd is National Banana Bread Day.  Who knew?
That being said, here is a recipe I’ve been working on for banana bread.  You’ll notice the addition of chocolate chips (my husband’s strong suggestion) and pecans (I love pecans!).
1/2 Cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 Cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 Cup chopped pecans, toasted
1 stick (1/2 Cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 Cup sugar
1/4 Cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp best quality vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a 9x5x3 inch glass loaf pan.  Add pecans in a single layer to a heavy-bottomed pan and stir constantly for 2-3 minutes over medium heat until toasted, being careful not to burn.  In a medium mixing bowl whisk together first four ingredients.  Set aside.
Beat butter with hand mixer (or in the bowl of a stand mixer) until fluffy.   With mixer running, add both sugars.  Add eggs one at a time to sugar-butter mixture.  Add vanilla and mashed bananas.  Slowly add flour mixture until incorporated.  Fold in chocolate chips and toasted pecans .
Add batter to prepared loaf pan and place on middle rack in pre-heated oven.  Bake for 60 minutes or until wooden tester inserted into center of loaf comes out clean.  Remove from oven and cool in pan on wire rack.  Wait for bread to cool before slicing with serrated knife and serving.
One more thing, if you do have some of those ripe and often-times black bananas sitting on your counter, but don’t have the time to make banana bread, consider placing them (no need to peel) in a freezer bag and into your freezer for later use in banana bread or even a smoothie.  Leaving the skin on gives another layer of protection to the fruit.