Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Allison: Banana Bread and More

What a fun week full of Mother's Day ideas!  For this week's theme of "Teacher Appreciation", I'm taking it from a different vantage point.  I taught a fifth-grade class for two years before we started our family.  I've been the teacher being appreciated, and it's so fun!  I'm not going to lie.  Besides motherhood, teaching is one of the hardest things I've ever tackled.  Teachers put so much time, energy and love into every day.  I got completely spoiled by my students and their parents on a regular basis.  Those little (and sometimes big) gestures made my day and often made all the hard work a little easier, knowing someone was aware of my efforts.

That being said, I have a couple of ideas to make your child's teacher feel the appreciation that you feel for them and their daily efforts.  First off, I think it's important to remember that not every gesture of appreciation has to be time-consuming or expensive.  It doesn't even have to be given on a day that every other student will be honoring their teacher.  If your child is having a particularly tough week at school, chances are their teacher is also feeling the strain (times 30).  The times when I felt most special were usually those occasions when I received a little something completely out of the blue, for no reason.  I have multiple memories of a sweet note and little treat left quietly on my desk.  Those always made me smile.

With that in mind, I thought I'd share my favorite banana bread recipe that is sure to add a sweet surprise to any teacher's day.  I originally found the recipe here, on allrecipe.com.  Of course I made changes (which I do to most recipes I find there).  The modified ingredients are in bold print:

  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I don't add walnuts, because they're gross)
  • 2 medium bananas, mashed

I found that reducing the sugar didn't change the sweetness too much, and adding sour cream just made them even more moist (my husband HATES that word).  And just as I'm a lazy crafter, I'm also a lazy baker. Who can wait 60 minutes for banana bread to get out of the oven??  I can't.  Instead I make this recipe into muffins, baking them for 23-25 minutes (yielding between 12 and 15 muffins).  I LOVE banana bread, and this recipe makes even me feel like a good baker.  Plus, it's passed the 18-month-old challenge because "I" loves them too.

As a teacher, I loved receiving gifts that could become part of my classroom decor.  I've seen these crayon monograms before, and would have loved to have had one in my classroom.  I found this one here.  I think they're so fun, and don't look too hard to make.

Next, I loved gifts that were not only personal, but useful.  I read everyday to my students and loved when my students would make me bookmarks.  I thought this bookmark from one of my favorite blogs, In Between Laundry, would be fun and easy for your children to make.  Besides, wouldn't we rather that they do the work for THEIR teacher??

This last idea might work better for a birthday, but I still had to include it because it's so stinking cute.  As a teacher, I spent a lot of my own money on things for my classroom.  I love this school supply cake!  It's fun and would be a great way to add to your child's classroom supply.

Well, there you have it.  No crafting from me this week, but I will take a second to show off another project that got finished this weekend.  This blog has really inspired me to finish a few projects that have been sitting in my craft space, collecting dust.  I started this quilt when I was still pregnant with my daughter, and just finished it.  Ridiculous!  It was a lot of work.

I'm really happy with how it turned out, and now just need to figure out what to do with it.  Heaven forbid I keep one of my own quilts.  Hope everyone has a great week and don't forget to make sure those teachers in your life feel appreciated!



  1. Mmm....banana bread! It might be my favorite bread in the whole world! And sour cream? Awesome idea!

  2. Yummm! I LOVE banana bread. I'm going to have to try that recipe. I agree...there was nothing better than when one of my cute little kindergartners would bring me a yummy treat. Great idea. Also...gorgeous quilt. Seriously soooo talented!