Dear Heloise: I've been making the same banana bread recipe for over 40 years. I bake them in metal coffee cans. When they rose to the top, they used to look as though they had a "muffin top." For some reason, the last two and a half years, when they rose in the oven, they would break and fall down the sides of the cans and spill onto the bottom of the oven.
Everyone loves my banana bread, but for the last couple years this has been happening. I've tried different kinds of flour. I know this recipe by heart. Could the flour be getting overprocessed? Help. I'm at my wit's end. --Diane F., Stanton, California
Diane, it's not your flour; it's the cans. First, coffee cans were never designed to withstand the extreme heat of the oven. Perhaps you've noticed that many packaging materials today are lighter and thinner than in the past. This goes for coffee cans as well. In an effort to cut down on excessive packaging, most manufacturers have used less in their packaging to help lighten their environmental footprint and to keep costs down as much as they can. I would suggest you use a loaf pan for baking your banana bread instead of a coffee can. -- Heloise
It's Grilling Time
Dear Heloise: You had a marinade that tasted great with beef, veal or lamb. Unfortunately, my son and his wife were here, and I think they walked off with my recipe for that marinade because they loved it! Would you reprint that recipe for me and other "hardcore grillers" who love to cook outdoors? -- Chuck W., Flatwoods, Kentucky
Chuck, of course I'll reprint that recipe. For marinating beef or lamb, this marinade is perfect. You'll need:
1 cup white or red wine
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 cup salad oil
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon tarragon
1 bay leaf, crushed into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon thyme or marjoram
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and use as you would a commercial marinade.
WARNING: Once you use a marinade, throw it out and don't reuse it. Raw meat has bacteria and could cross-contaminate other foods. Also, according to the USDA, you should never marinade poultry or pork at room temperature. Actually, I would never marinate anything at room temperature. If you enjoy marinating your meats, use a glass or plastic bowl rather than a metal one.
Do you like the thrill of the grill or just adding a new flavor to an old favorite recipe? If you do, then you'll enjoy my pamphlet "Heloise's Seasonings, Sauces and Substitutes." It has ideas and recipes to add flavor to dishes your family and guests will love. To get a copy, just go to Heloise.com, or send $3, along with a stamped, self-addressed, long envelope to: Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Spice up your meals and spice up your life with new ideas for dinner. -- Heloise
King Features Syndicate