When I was in Boise, Idaho to visit my brother, Michael and his future wife, Heather, I had the pleasure of meeting her family and friends. They are truly spectacular people and I felt honored to get to know each of them.
At dinner, I sat next to Heather’s mom, Michelle, and spent a lot of time talking with her. I clicked with her right away. Michelle is a laid-back and mellow soul, with an energizing smile and a calming presence. She has a sharp sense of humor (which she definitely passed on to her daughter) and a sparkle in her eye.
Michelle also has a love for cooking and baking, that we discussed at length over dinner. A few days later, she came to Heather’s baby shower with this drop-dead gorgeous Orange-Banana Bread (that I could NOT stop eating), a recipe that she developed on her own.
Without a doubt, it was the best banana bread I have ever had. Moist, dense and nutty with a classic banana bread richness – yet singing with a cool citrus brightness. I was shocked when Michelle told me the bread was eggless and could be easily adapted to be made gluten-free (just replace the flour with oat flour).
I love meeting new people. I enjoy listening to their stories and hearing them laugh. As much as Facebook, texting and e-mails are swift, easy and convenient, there is nothing like spending time face to face. Getting on a plane is necessary sometimes, to sit around a table with a family and experience the love they have for each other.
The time I spent with Heather’s family and friends was amazing. I’m so thrilled that my brother is marrying a wonderful woman, from such a special family.
I’m so pleased to share this recipe for Michelle’s Orange-Banana Bread (thanks Michelle!).
- 1 c.up sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1½ cup ripe banana
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 orange, grated
- ½ cup yogurt
- 1 cup chopped nuts
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a 9″ loaf pan (or two smaller-sized loaf pans)
- Mix flour, soda and salt in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, mash banana with melted butter. Microwave the mixture briefly, approximately 20-30 seconds.
- In another bowl, combine sugar and grated orange peel. Squeeze juice from orange over sugar and peel. Stir in yogurt and vanilla. Add butter and banana mixture. Mix with wooden spoon until the mixture is just combined.
- Add the flour mixture and stir until incorporated. Stir in nuts.
- Pour into loaf pan. Bake about one hour or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean (check at 45 minutes for doneness). Let cool in pan for 5 minutes – then remove from pan and allow loaf to cool completely on a wire rack.