Can I tell you something about me? This has exactly nothing to do with bananas or butter or bread. Feel free to roll your eyes and skip ahead, if necessary.
I used to be a worrier. Like… a professional worrier. I would worry like it was my job to worry, like I was getting paid mad/crazy/rich person dollars to worry. I wasn’t. I was broke. That fact, in itself, made me worry.
I thought that worry would save me from every possible pain in the world. I thought worry would prepare me for bad things, disappointing things, and crazy unforeseeable things. If I worried about it… it either wouldn’t happen or I’d be prepared for it.
Well… let me tell you: worry is no preparation. It took me years.. YEARS, people…. years, to figure out that worry is just wasted energy.
Let’s be real. I still worry about things. It’s human nature. We have big brains… I’m pretty sure a small portion of them are built to worry.
I worry about earthquakes in the middle of the night when I’m wearing no bra, my ugliest possible t-shirt, and the most embarrassing pair of panties a girl has ever owned. What if there’s an earthquake, and my house falls down, and I have to retreat to my neighbors house in this hideous outfit? Those thoughts usually lead me to find a reasonable pair of pajama pants and I slip on a sports bra. See? Worrier.
But I’m changed my expectations. Instead of worry about the worst, I try to expect the best.
Seriously… what would my day look like if I expected great things instead of disastrous things? I’ll tell you… it’s looks a heck of a lot better. It feels better too. I can drink more coffee without completely spazzing out. Less worry frees me up to jump around in the world, and be silly, and thankful, and wear mint green nail polish, and write pen pal letters, and tell people I love them.
I still worry about earthquakes. Those are scary. But I also expect and welcome not just the good… but the great.
(What? Wait… I’m not talking about trashy reality television? No. I know. It’s weird.)
Do you remember when the strawberry/banana combo really hit its stride? I think it was some time in the mid 90′s… in the Snapple era, that the strawberry/banana craze really got going. I blame smoothies.
But… well, there’s something undeniably good going on here.
Let’s not fight it.
Wait. Remember the Snapple lady? That whole thing was always weird, right?
Let’s get down to the real deal. Bread.
This is banana bread. This is banana bread made exactly 17.845 times more delicious with the addition of browned butter and finely diced strawberries.
Brown butter adds depth, nuttiness, and downright deliciousness. The strawberries help this banana bread feel pretty and celebrate the season. The bread is much more banana flavored than strawberry flavored, but the bits of strawberry add sweet little surprise strawberry flavor bits. I especially love how the strawberries on top get roasted during baking. Slice them super thin so they don’t weigh down the rise of the bread or get too watery.
Sweet bread. It’s comforting, simple, and delicious. If you wanted to slather a warm slice with butter or cream cheese… we’ll, I’d consider you a friend.
I can’t cook without these shoes. It’s just a thing I have.
And in completely unrelated news… these sunglasses look uh-mazing on Alison. Major.
Brown Butter Banana Strawberry Bread
makes 1 9×5-inch loaf
inspired by The Amateur Gourmet
6 ounces unsalted butter, melted and browned to just over 1/2 cup of butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup plain yogurt (any fat content) or buttermilk
1 1/4 cup mashed banana (from about 3 medium bananas)
1/2 cup diced strawberries plus 1 strawberry very thinly sliced, for topping
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan and set aside.
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Butter will begin to foam and crackle as it melts. When the crackling subsides, the butter will begin to brown. Swirl the pan as the butter cooks. When the butter browns and begins to smell nutty, remove the pan from the flame and transfer the butter to a small bowl. Taking the butter out of the hot saucepan will stop the butter from overcooking and burning. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla extract, and yogurt or buttermilk. Whisk in the mashed bananas. When butter has cooled, whisk in the browned butter.
Add the wet ingredients, all at once to the dry ingredients. Fold together, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to reveal any hidden pockets of flour. Fold in the diced strawberries. Fold together ingredients, but try not to over stir.
Spoon batter into prepared pan and top with thinly sliced strawberries. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to rest in the pan for 15 minutes, before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Bread will last 4 days, well wrapped at room temperature. This loaf also freezes well.