Banana Bread with Olive Oil Glaze

Monday, February 20, 2017

I woke up this morning to the happy warble of a Carolina Wren perched high in the tree outside my window. It's cheery song got me out of bed to pull back the curtains on a sky turning pink with the sunrise. The promise of spring-like temperatures kept me from crawling back under the covers.

A few minutes later, coffee in hand, I stepped onto the back porch. Just as I suspected, the daffodils and crocuses had started to bloom, their bright heads bobbing slightly in the breeze. I gathered a few to bring indoors, placing them in a vase on the kitchen table.  Their cheery presence comforted me, reminding me of new life in a new season.

Because we ARE in a new season. My husband and I are officially empty-nesters since our son moved out a month ago. We're getting used to the quietness. The empty rooms. A house that suddenly seems bigger than necessary. And the realization that for the first time since our oldest child was born in 1989, it's just the two of us.

I'm figuring out this season, slowly.  I'm learning to put my phone down and talk more with my husband. We're learning how to go on adventures together. I'm looking around for other people to bless.  I'm being deliberate and intentional with my days. More than ever. And I know I'll ease into this new phase eventually. I might even join a gym. (gasp!)

So here's a recipe that reminds me of when the kids were young. It's a classic for any season, and one of the best recipes I've found for banana bread, from a book I discovered last year, thanks to Deborah Balint and her cookbook club.

Banana Bread with Olive Oil Glaze

Bread recipe by Ruth Reichl in "My Kitchen Year"


8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 ripe bananas
3/4 cup Vanilla yogurt
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Grease two medium size loaf pans (or one large).

In the bowl of a stand mixer, blend the butter and sugars. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

Sift together dry ingredients and add slowly to the mixture, alternating with the yogurt.

Divide between two loaf pans and bake for approximately 45 minutes, until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Olive Oil Glaze
(adapted from The Lemon Apron)

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon mild-flavored olive oil
1 - 2 tablespoons hot water

Mix together the powdered sugar and olive oil. Add hot water (a little at a time, 2 tablespoons maximum) until it reaches a spreadable consistency. Smooth over loaves while they are still slightly warm.

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