I muddled two banana bread loaves before I hit perfection.
I blame the recipes, both ripped from the women’s lifestyle magazines to which my mother and I subscribe (don’t judge me, they’re awesome). Both loaves were dense and dry, more suitable for home insulation than human consumption. I even tried to salvage one loaf by cutting it into pieces and re-baking them as banana nut bread croutons. It was bad. Real bad.
A link to the following recipe appeared in my timeline, and it sounded like perfection. Bananas? My favorite fruit. Nutella? My favorite chocolate-y spread. The option to make banana bread muffins instead of a loaf? Count me in.
The muffins were fantastic. I prefer the muffins to a loaf because of a shorter baking time and the portability of a muffin. The Nutella adds a new flavor to a traditional recipe along with keeping the muffins moist. I recommend eating them slightly warm so the Nutella is still a little gooey.
In the process, I’ve discovered a few similarities between exceptionally good restaurants in Louisville.
There’s nowhere to park and/or there’s a wait.
The hosts and hostesses don’t wear a uniform and/or they have at least one visible tattoo.
The dishes have catchy names.
If a place has two out of three, some good food is probably coming your way. But when a restaurant has all three … prepare for a foodgasm.
This coveted trifecta was present during a trip to Wild Eggs, a breakfast, brunch and lunch restaurant with several locations throughout Louisville.
My roommates and I had to stalk a woman in a minivan to find a parking spot in the small lot at the Dutchmans Lane locations. The friendly hostess had some impressive ink running up and down her arms. And when we were seated after just a five-minute wait, I squealed when I looked at the menu and saw dishes with names like Batman and Reuben ($11.99) and Sweet Home Apple Bourbon crepes ($9.99).
The signs all pointed to some good eatin’. And let me tell you, good eatin’ was had by all.
Before I could even put away my orange Pumpkin Fairy tutu, retailers had dragged out the trees, bows and candy canes.
But what about Thanksgiving? Where are all the pilgrim hats? The horn things filled with food? For goodness’ sake, where are the turkeys shaped like hands?
I’ve baked pumpkin spice muffins twice this past week to get myself and others into the Thanksgiving spirit. As Rob put it, the muffins “smell like autumn.” I hope you can also use this easy recipe to spread some Thanksgiving love.
Pumpkin spice muffins
Recipe adapted from my friend Sally Scherer, who got her version from All Recipes
One 15- or 16-ounce can of pumpkin (I prefer Libby’s)
One box of spice cake mix
One 6-ounce bag of dried cranberries, such as Craisins
Dump the spice cake mix and can of pumpkin into a mixing bowl.
Blend the cake mix and pumpkin until it looks like this:
Pour in the bag of dried cranberries and mix them in with the batter.
Lick the beaters (if you used a mixer) or spatula. Seriously. It’s imperative and delicious.
Spray two muffin pans with nonstick spray or fill with cupcake liners. Fill two-thirds of each cups with batter.