Greetings from Rochester, NY!!

I have finally moved - officially started the never-ending process of settling in! So this weekend, I was talking to S and giving her all my updates and she asked me, "Have you baked yet?" I smiled - she was right on! Baking is one of those little milestones in the moving process. Makes me feel I'm home. So this weekend's highlight was a modified version of Banana Oat Muffins (original recipe by Karen Rescinti on http://bread.allrecipes.com/az/BananaOatMuffins.asp).

Knowing me, the mods (in IRB parlance) should not be surprising!! When have I ever followed instructions to the T! But improv makes everything better, no ;-) Anyhoo, instead of muffins, I baked mine in a springform pan lined with aluminum foil. Kindly adjust! I prefer baked goods that are square or rectangular (one of my many symptoms :-) Also, I have a really good cookie sheet, loaf pan and springform pans. Prepare to be shocked - I don't have a glass 9 x 13 inch pan !!! ... yet. So springform pan it was. However, what with the metal and the foil and all, I think the finished product was slightly overdone. Nice and golden brown on top but darker on the bottom. Still, nothing disastrous. Tthe moral of the story is: adjust baking time when fooling round with the pan!

Other changes include: 1. Used whole wheat flour (Btw I am now a dedicated Wegman's shopper! Welcome to Rochester! 2. Substituted vanilla yogurt for the milk. 3. Chucked a handful of chocolate chips into the batter. Nothing good ever comes of holding back on chocolate, so don't be shy :-)

The net result is a moist bread, gently flavored and perfect for breakfast or snacking. It is not cloyingly sweet nor does it go overboard with the banana flavor. If you'd like it sweeter, top with honey. Delicous! Perfect accompaniment to coffee for an afternoon pick-me-up. Ate a slice with my oatmeal and chai this am, it felt like I was home.

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