Sunday, June 19, 2022

Going bananas with peanut butter and two slices of bread! by Jenn McKinlay

 First, Happy Father's Day to all who celebrate. Yay, Dads!!! 

Second, congratulations to Bibliophile (Diana) the winner of Mimi Lee Cracks the Code the book giveaway by Jennifer J Chow. Email your address to me at: jennmck at yahoo dot com and I'll forward it to Jennifer. Congrats!!!

And now, today's adventure begins with a postcard. Way back when I was a part-time librarian, working for the city of Phoenix, single, and broke ass poor, I used to make myself peanut butter and banana sandwiches to eat for lunch at work. My dear friend and co-worker Sheila remembered this (either because she hadn't seen anyone eat this since childhood or she'd never seen anyone eat this concoction at all) and when she recently went to Graceland, she felt compelled to mail me this postcard 😀: 


Now, being a lover of Elvis, I knew he was a PB and banana sandwich guy. In fact, when I was laboring to bring Hooligan 2 into the world, it was the 25th anniversary of Elvis's passing and H2 came very close to being named Elvis -- coincidentally Sheila is also H2's godmother. Fear not, Hub made sure that didn't happen. 

Still, on TV all during my labor were, you guessed it, a million recipes for Elvis's PB and banana sandwich. I never felt motivated to try those recipes as I liked my untoasted two slices of bread, spread with peanut butter, and filled with sliced bananas. But when I got this postcard, I thought it was time to give the Elvis Special a try. 

Ingredients: Bread, butter, peanut butter, and bananas!


Cooking: Most important part mashing the bananas and 
peanut butter together! Radical!


Final result: Toasty goodness!



Verdict: Much more filling than my non-cooked PB and banana sandwich and the toasted bread adds a nice crunch and the butter a bit of salt to the sweet. More work than my recipe, which means you actually have to use a pan. Will I make it again? Probably not, unless I become poor because this really is a full belly (and potentially a heart attack) on the cheap. 



All right, foodies, what odd celebrity recipes have you tried? How did it turn out?



60 comments:

  1. Well, I like peanut butter and I like bananas, but I just don’t see myself making this . . . thanks, Jenn, for checking it out for us.
    Other than yummy recipes from celebrity chefs like Bobby Flay, I’ve not been tempted to try any celebrity recipe cooking . . . .

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    1. One would hope celebrity chefs know what they're doing! LOL.

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  2. I am the furthest thing from a foodie. Though I've cooked (and baked bread) for my family for 40 years, meals to me are mostly a chore to plan, shop for, cook, and clean up after — something on the list to cross off. And then do it again the next day! So I've never paid much attention to celebrity foods.

    However, I do recall being inspired by Louise Fitzhugh's HARRIET THE SPY. Harriet was devoted to tomato and mayonnaise sandwiches. As a child in the early 1970s when tomatoes in the grocery store were orange plastic, this struck me as an eccentric choice but I mentally filed away the information, and in adulthood I discovered that Harriet was right.

    No one else in my family likes fresh tomatoes but every year in late summer I will treat myself to fat, thin-skinned tomatoes from the farmer's market, spread my homemade bread with Hellmann's mayonnaise, and enjoy!

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    1. ADK, I heartily agree! Tomato and mayo sandwiches are BLTs without the B and the L, and still tasty, if made with fresh, homegrown tomatoes.

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    2. My favorites, too! When I lived in Virginia and worked at the Seven Corners Mall I used to order tomato sandwiches from the Woolworth lunch counter. Yummy!

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    3. I love tomato sandwiches, too, and with lots of black pepper! I’ve been eating them since childhood!

      DebRo

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    4. Hank Phillippi RyanJune 19, 2022 at 10:15 AM

      Love them!

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    5. Hellmann's for the win!!! No Miracle Whip here :) I love tomatoes with just salt and pepper - but yes, they have to be fresh from the garden.

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    6. As the late, great Guy Clark used to sing, "Only two things that money can't buy, and that's true love and homegrown tomatoes." Don't believe me? https://youtu.be/9tj4wIKMqEE

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  3. Funny you should ask about celebrity recipes. In my reporting days, when I would interview actors and such on the network "junkets," I used to try to make a personal connection, and at the end of the interview, I would ask, "Do you cook?" Most did. I asked about favorite foods, favorite things to cook, and asked if they would send me a recipe. Then I would write a celebrity cook piece for a little magazine that long ago went out of business, but would send me $50 for such an article along with one of the press handout headshots that I would pick up off the table in the back. A couple of times I actually took the shot myself at their house, if I was in L.A. or New York long enough, and there was an invitation to do so.

    So I have Rosemary Clooney's recipe for goulash, Jane Wyatt's recipe for rice pudding, Minnie Pearl's recipe for chess pie, George Takei's mother's recipe for sukiyaki, James MacArthur's secret to his killer chili, recipes for chicken ("I do a lot of things with chicken," she told me) from Doris Roberts. And Les Aspin's (yes, the late Congressman and Secretary of Defense!) secret to buttering tons of corn as it came off the grill. There may be more-- those are what I remember.

    And yes, I tested every recipe to make sure it worked. I was hungry for those $50 checks, and it made some of my grocery purchases deductible.

    I came late to peanut butter and banana sandwiches. I got sick on a peanut butter sandwich when I was in third grade and didn't eat peanut butter again for forty years. I still won't eat grape jelly-- can't be in the same room with it, or any kind of grape candy or juice (though I love real grapes-- once I started to eat them again, after being politically correct-- viva la causa!-- in the days of Cesar Chavez.)

    When I worked at anonymous megabank after the mortgage meltdown of 2007 (we were going through all the mortgage files to make sure all the i's were dotted and the t's were crossed), the only thing that kept us going was to eat at our desks all day. I'd pack a cheese and tomato sandwich and a peanut butter and banana sandwich for lunch, eat instant oatmeal when I first came in in the morning and then eat my sandwiches at hourly intervals before the lunch break). I like peanut butter and banana sandwiches. I also like peanut butter and pepper jelly (try it some time.)

    I also love fresh tomato sandwiches whether with mayo or butter, but on sourdough bread. And I learned to make fried green tomatoes after the movie of the same name. And you haven't lived until you've eaten thickly sliced Vidalia onion on buttered sourdough bread with salt and freshly ground pepper.

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    1. Your post has made me officially starving, Ellen! PB and pepper jelly - I happen to have some and will try that next!

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  4. That sounds delicious, Jenn! This isn't a celebrity recipe, unless you count me as one, which would really, really be stretching the definition. But my delicious peanut butter sandwich of preference has always been peanut butter and lettuce. Never ever jam or jelly. And my sister used to pair her PB with potato chips.

    As for a real celebrity, the only cheesecake I ever make is "Gary Cooper's Housekeeper's Cheesecake via Judy Norsegian" (yes, the Norsegian of Our Bodies, Ourselves fame). A former boyfriend had also dated Judy Norsegian and got it from her. So simple, so rich, so, so good.

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    1. Edith, I imagine the kind of lettuce you use on your PB sandwich matters. Iceberg? I'm thinking arugula would be fabulous.

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    2. Growing up it was iceberg. Now more likely to be romaine or green leaf.

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    3. I remember Mom eating lettuce ( iceberg, of course) and butter sandwiches. But the the butter was probably margarine because that's how we shopped back then.

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    4. Edith, my Catholic high school didn’t have a cafeteria but if you forgot your lunch you could order a sandwich, and you would get whatever the nuns were eating for lunch that day. One of my favorite sandwiches was their peanut butter and lettuce (might have been romaine) sandwich on homemade, thick bread. A couple of the students told me that the peanut butter was homemade, too, and I can believe it. It was the most delicious peanut butter I have ever tasted! You are the only person I have heard of outside of my high school who eats peanut butter and lettuce!

      DebRo

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    5. I've never tried PB and lettuce...hmmm...but you had me at cheesecake.

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    6. I used to enjoy peanut butter, mozzarella, and bean sprouts sandwiches. A little butter on the bread. It was kind of thick, but oh, so yummy.

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  5. JENN: When I want to eat a peanut butter & banana sandwich, I keep it to make it quickly & keep it simple: untoasted bread, natural PB & sliced bananas. Elvis' version is way too decadent for my taste.

    Weirdly, despite owning 130+ cookbooks & 5000+ digital recipes, I really can't think of a recipe from a well-known celebrity that I use. But I have made several dishes from cookbooks/online recipes by celebrity chefs such as Jamie Oliver, Emeril Lagasse & Giada de Laurentiis.

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    1. That's my version, too, Grace. It is definitely healthier!

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  6. Jenn, Irwin eats peanut butter and banana on toasted home baked bread for breakfast every morning. I also eat peanut butter on toast each morning without the banana. We will never try Elvis's recipe that adds 1/3 stick of butter to each sandwich. Although I bake with butter, I really try to prepare somewhat healthy meals. We are each old enough to have seen Elvis perform on Ed Sullivan and remember it;>)

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    1. Judy, for years I used to have a raisin English muffin toasted, with peanut butter for breakfast every day. And a glass of OJ. Good way to start the day, with plant protein!

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    2. I love PB and bacon toast in the morning :) Not healthy but sooooo good.

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  7. Oh, my, a stick of butter for three sandwiches! I've made Elvis's fave, but did not mix the peanut butter and mashed 'nanner, which sounds like a serious misstep. Nor use a 1/4 pound of butter. Still good, but not enough to make me want it every day.

    The only celebrity recipe I can recall using--except for Hallie Ephron's famous chocolate-dipped orange peel--is--don't laugh--Regis Philbin's pork chops. I used to catch a little of his morning show with Kathie Lee Gifford, way back when I had kids to take to school functions in the morning, and one day he described how he made them.

    Brown pork chops on both sides. Remove the chops and keep warm. Deglaze the pan with red wine. Return the chops and further cook on both sides until done. It's really simple, but it elevates the chops to something amazing. I've added my own refinements: saute chopped shallots in the red wine before returning the chops. Or stir into the wine a rosemary-infused artisan mustard before adding the meat. Or both.

    Now I'm wondering if we have pork chops in the freezer for tonight.

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  8. Oh my gosh, did that make me laugh! Even through the shudders that the thought of peanut butter and bananas sends through me. But really! Six slices of bread and a stick of butter! Elvis-sized.

    My biggest celebrity influence is still Alton Brown. In many ways, Good Eats taught me to think about food.

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    1. That is so true! It's so important to think about food - it's origin, how to prepare it, etc. - not just "super size it". LOL.

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  9. When we lived in Atlanta, someone gave me a "best recipes from the best cookbooks" cookbook. A family fav from the Georgia Tech cookbook: Grandma's microwave fudge. A winner every time! I'd really like to meet the grandma who concocted the recipe.

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  10. I wish this platform had a like button for other people's comments. You would all get likes.

    I used a turkey brine recipe from Emeril Lagasse, but I think "celebrity chef" is very different from a celebrity like Elvis.

    I have a clear memory of asserting my independence as a teen by making myself a lettuce sandwich for breakfast, followed by chocolate ice cream. (Sound gross right now to my sleepy old self)

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    1. I'm down with the ice cream for breakfast, one hundred percent!

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  11. I enjoy a peanut butter sandwich but I'm too lazy to slice the banana so I just eat that on the side. Peanut butter must be chunky or crunchy or whatever it is that has the nuts in it. While I like the idea of mashing the banana and peanut butter together I wouldn't even try grilling that thing in butter. That wouldn't be grilling, would it? More like deep frying.

    As for celebrities' recipes, well I have several times made the Irish Soda Bread that Jenn shared here. I think it was here. It is delicious.

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    1. Oh, I love that soda bread!!! Thanks for the reminder. It's been awhile since I made it.

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  12. Jenn, thank you for your service! Because I would never try that--way too much butter. My favorite celebrity recipe is also from Hallie--Hallie Touger's Tomato Soup. Simple, tasty, heartwarming on a rainy or snowy cold day!

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    1. Thx for the vote of confidence, Flora - I *love* that recipe!

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    2. Oh, I love tomato soup. WHy do I feel like we need to cobble together a "Reds Cookbook"?

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  13. Peanut butter and banana on whole wheat bread or toast - yum. Fried in a stick of butter. I can hear my arteries closing just thinking about it! Bet Jenn is on to something in that the sandwich fills empty bellies. Elvis did not grow up wealthy. It must have been comfort food to him.

    Other than celebrity chefs I can't think of a single celebrity recipe. Wait, yes, I can. Katherine Hepburn's Wellesley Fudge Cake Recipe. I first read it in a Gourmet Magazine and it is fabulous!

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  14. Hank Phillippi RyanJune 19, 2022 at 10:23 AM

    Kate White put together the Mystery Writers of America Cookbook which has a lot of actually good recipes—including my heavenly Turkey Tetrazzini, which is perfection, I have to admit. The funniest one is Lee Child’s recipe for coffee. Anyone remember that? I love PB and bananas— on toast OR not, equally good but very different.

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    1. Coffee??? LOL. I think I have that cookbook. I'm going to look for your recipe!

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  15. I can't think of any celebrity recipes I've tried, but in my quest to absorb all things HGTV, I have tried some of the recipes they feature (one per issue) in the back of the magazine. The recipe is kind of an excuse to show you cute kitchen wares. I have had good luck with them, perhaps because HGTV's sister mag is the Food Network Magazine?

    P.S. One of my favorite treats since childhood has been peanut butter topped with a slice of dill pickle. Good on toast, but best on a Saltine. It's the perfect creamy-crisp-crunchy-sweet-sour combo. Only downside is you have to keep telling people you're not pregnant.

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    1. LOLOLOLOLOL!!! I think at my age I can eat PB and pickles without anyone asking.

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  16. JENN: Thank you. I will send you my mailing address with a note. I am trying to remember an odd celebrity recipe. The only thing I can recall off the top of my head is asking for custard after reading Winnie the Pooh when I was six years old.

    The peanut butter and bananas sound yummy. I think it is a healthy snack?

    Happy Father's Day to readers here who are fathers (of human or/and furry pets) or caregivers.

    Diana

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  17. I once started working on a never-finished project with a legendary Boston ice cream chef whose burnt caramel ice cream is sublime - he said he'd tried and tried to make an Elvis-themed ice cream flavor: peanut butter and banana - but finally admitted defeat. I'm a pretty adventurous eater but banana in a sandwich feels like a bridge too far.

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  18. I've talked about our peanut butter and pickle relish sandwiches before but our relish is always sweet, not dill. I've even done peanut butter on crackers, saltines or butter but the pickles, relish or slices, is always sweet. But bananas? Nope, just not happening. Celebrity recipes? Despite all the PBS and Cooking Network/channel shows I've watched, I don't think I've created many of the recipes. I think it's more inspiration than actual finished product.

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    1. I've heard there's a PB, pickle, and bacon sandwich out there but I have yet to try it. Maybe someday...

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  19. When I was growing up we ate peanut butter, banana, and mayo. Sometimes in a sandwich, sometimes just spreading the pb and mayo on the banana. I know it sounds weird but it is so good.

    These days I'm addicted to unsweetened sunflower butter from Trader Joe's. That's what I have on my bakery multi-grain toast every morning. And I do butter my toast!

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    1. And of course Hellman's. No Miracle Whip!

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    2. I can't even wrap my head around this, Debs. But, yes, Hellman's. Always.

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  20. Mom made peanut butter and banana sandwiches, but she sliced the bananas and did not fry the the sandwich. Me, I preferred my own combos like PB and Fritos on bread.

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    1. Okay, you have my attention. Fritos, did you say?

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  21. I haven't had a peanut butter and banana sandwich, but I like both, so I can see myself trying it. However, I don't think it would ever become a favorite. Peanut butter (smooth) and jelly sandwich on white bread, not toasted, is a comfort food for me, but mine has a bit of a twist. I grew up with blackberry jelly, not grape jelly, and I will always prefer blackberry jelly. The problem is that where I grew up, Kroger's carried blackberry jelly in their store brand, and they still do. The Kroger's where I've lived for 45 years carried it for quite some time, but they haven't had it for some years now. The last time I was in my hometown, I bought some there, but that was before Covid, and I've run out. I can use a smooth blackberry jam, no seeds, but I can't wait to get back to my hometown Kroger store and stock up on blackberry jelly.

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    1. I love blackberry jelly. Seedless!

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    2. Oh Jenn, I'm so happy to find another blackberry jelly fan. And, yes, always seedless.

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  22. When I was a kid, I wanted to eat bread and cheese like Heidi so Mom gave me white bread and Velveeta. She had a brownie recipe from Kathryn Hepburn but I haven't made it because she marked another recipe as best brownie. Now I usually make Joanne Fluke's Black Forest brownie recipe. I don't know how people take peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in their lunch. My jelly always runs out when I make them!

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  23. Frozen banana, PB, chocolate milk smoothie is great. Maybe a PB, banana, Nutella sandwiche???

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