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I have a problem.

I love me some banana bread.

A lot.

Well, maybe it really isn’t a problem.

I guess I just wanted to get your attention.

Anywho, I keep trying to reinvent Banana bread so that it can be the best version of itself.

I am like a banana bread life coach.

Er. Something.

A while back,  I posted the recipe for Strawberry, Blueberry, Banana Bread. I make this recipe often, and I still love it.

But I was feeling creative this weekend.

So without further ado, I give you the Pineapple, Mango, Coconut, Raspberry, Banana Bread.

You could also call this the “Use whatever fruit ya got in the fridge Banana Bread”.

I think I need to work on my recipe names.

My blogger friend, Geni, made these Pineapple Coconut Muffins that served as a bit of an inspiration for my baking attempt.

Please remember.

I am not a baker.

I do not excel at all things baking. At all.

But I can make a mean banana bread.

So, here is what you’ll need.

Flour, brown sugar, 2 eggs, butter, baking soda, salt, vanilla, 2-3 overripe bananas, 1/2 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut, 1/4 c. of chopped mango, 1/4 c. of chopped pineapple, and 1/4 c. of frozen or fresh strawberries.

Preheat the oven to 350.

Start by mixing one stick of butter with 3/4 c. of brown sugar.

Cream it together.

Don’t add your eggs in at this point, like I did.

I don’t know what I was thinking.

It made for a very strange consistency of batter; however, the bread turned out fine.

You should cream your butter and sugar, and THEN add two eggs.

In a bowl, combine 2 cups of flour, 1 t. baking soda, 1/4 t. salt, 1 t. cinnamon.

Set that aside and peel a very ripe banana.

I don’t know about you.

But this banana looks especially phallic to me.

Its not just me, right?

Plop 2-3 bananas into your mixture.

Add in 1 t. of vanilla.

Please continue to note the strange consistency of my batter due to the adding of the eggs prematurely.

Whoopsie Daisy.

Pull your mixing bowl away from the mixer, and hand mix in your dry ingredients.

Ah, the consistency is looking a bit more palatable now.

Add in your coconut.

And some chopped up pineapple.

And some ripe mango.

Raise your hand if you die for mango.

Yep, me too.

At this point, I was just rooting through my fridge and freezer to determine if any other fruit needed to be a part of this bread.

And I found a pathetic little handful of frozen raspberries.

And I knew they would be the perfect fit.

So, I threw them in.

Gently mix all of those glorious fruits into your batter.

Pop that batter into a buttered and floured cake pan.

Throw it into your oven for 55-65 minutes at 350.

I started checking for doneness with a toothpick at around 55 minutes. Then, I checked in 5 minute increments after that. At exactly 65 minutes, my bread was done to perfection.

I allowed this to cool a bit on the counter.

Then, I sliced off a big ole hunk, and I slathered it with butter. Mmmmm.

Then, I sliced the rest of the bread up and I popped it into baggies for easy grab n’ go breakfasts this week.

I have been enjoying a slice of this tropical goodness everyday this week.

It’s hump day people.

Woop! Woop!

XO,

Leah

 

With each season, I fall in love with cooking all over again.

I mourned the end of grilling season. Because that meant cooler, darker evenings and more than anything no more grilling symbolizes the end of summer.

But then, I remember that things like soup, chili, stews, roasts, and casseroles are now totally cookable. You know, without your facing melting off.

And I find some serious joy in that.

So, in celebration of fall, and in celebration and one of life’s more under-appreciated foods… I give you a butternut squash casserole.

Casseroles can conjure up some not so pleasant memories for me. I, for one, find the old standard tuna-from-a-can with strange-white-sauce casserole a little nauseating. And I’m not big on casseroles that result from a random mixing of all the week’s leftovers. Bleck!

I, as a serious blogger, decided I should do my research and so I looked up the word casserole. See, I’m trying to break out of my narrow casserole stereotypes. I found that casserole simply means a large covered dish used for baking.

Well, then.

I can find new and exciting ways to enjoy that.

Right?

Right.

Here is my first yummy and savory and decidedly non-1980’s casserole.

Butternut Squash with Blue Cheese Casserole

Here is what you’ll need:

1 butternut squash

1/4 of a white or yellow onion

1/4 c. crumbled blue cheese or stilton

1 t. thyme

salt and pepper

1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil

1/4 c. bread crumbs

First, ¬†preheat your oven to 425, and get out a 9″x9″ baking dish and grease the bottom and sides.

Next, prepare your squash by chopping off the top and bottom and then splitting it in half lengthwise.

Use a spoon to scoop out all of the seeds.

Now, peel and chop these guys.

In my humble opinion, peeling a squash is hard. I’ve tried using a knife, and I’ve tried using a vegetable peeler. Neither option really make the job a breeze.

So, prepare yourself for tedious, backbreaking, incredibly difficult work.

Ok, so it’s not that hard.

But it is a little bit of a pain.

Put those chopped up pieces into your baking dish.

Next chop up your onion and add it to the squash.

Then crumble your blue cheese and add it in too.

Now, add exactly 1 t. of thyme.

Please note my precise measuring methods.

Now, add a bit of salt and pepper to taste. I used approximately 1/2 t. of salt, and a 1/4 t. of pepper.

Top it off with a drizzle of the extra virgin olive oil.

Stir it up, little darlin’.

Now for the final touch, sprinkle on your breadcrumbs. I used the Italian seasoned version, but you can use whatever you like.

Pop it into your oven for 35 minutes.

When the time is up, take it out and serve it up with something delicious!

Mmm, boy.

Good stuff.

Happy Fall!

XO,

Leah

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