Thursday, July 24, 2008

a tribute to paula deen, shakespeare, and the king of rock n' roll

Oh my. So the other day, I was getting my daily dose of Food Network and who was on but Paula Deen, Butter Queen. And what was she concocting this time? Desserts with bananas! Being the huge banana fan that I am, I was sucked into her show. And when I thought it couldn't get better...low and behold, it did.

Yes, my friends, she brought out the peanut butter. And the bread. And the cinnamon. And the honey. And the butter. Because, you know, peanut butter just isn't enough. :)

So during high school, peanut butter and bananas were a Miracle Food for me. I ran a lot a lot back in the day, and a banana dipped in creamy peanut butter just settled oh-so-well on race day. I was even a tad superstitious, in fact, with my delicious treat. Yes, if I did not eat a banana, dry Go Lean Crunch cereal, and dollops of peanut butter the day of a race, I would become slightly paranoid that I wouldn't run well.

In fact, as I write this, I can now recall a poem I wrote about peanut butter in my English class during freshman year of high school. Assignment? Write about something you love in iambic pentameter. Hey, it was the Shakespeare unit, okay? And it might've went a little like this:

Peanut butter is my favorite treat.
In sandwiches, my treat I like to eat.
When dipped with apples and on graham crackers,

With peanut butter, my lips will smacker.
Grape jelly is good, but bananas, best.
At lunch, my friends would all stare in detest.
They think I am odd, but I couldn't care!
I am in love with my peanutty treat.

Funny we are with our obsessions, hmm?

But don't worry if your love of peanut butter is not enough to drive yourself to compose love poems in iambic pentameter. However, what else is magical about a peanut butter and banana sandwich, you ask?'s a complete protein with fruit! So basically, you get two nutritional bangs for your buck, right there. Also, because it has a lot of fat, it tastes great. But the fat it's loaded with is the good fat...that monounsaturated stuff, which helps to clean out those arteries and prevent heart disease. Always a good thing, right? So do your bod a favor, and eat a peanut butter and banana sandwich today!

Because I've always had a soft spot for this dynamic duo, I knew I just had to try these fried peanut butter and banana dessert-like sandwiches that Paula was making. She, though, was making these sandwiches in honor of Elvis. For those of you who were not aware, peanut butter and banana sandwiches were the King's fav. However, Paula kicked these sandwiches up by mixing in honey and cinnamon into the peanut butter before spreading it on the bread. Basically, WOW, this stuff tasted good. While I could've eaten all of it straight from the bowl, I restrained, thank God. And then, when you thought that was all, the hot grilled sandwiches were doused with a cinnamon-sugar shower. Yes, folks...hang on to your hats. These things are good.

These sandwiches are really easy, too. You make the special peanut butter, shmear on bread. Slice bananas, arrange over special peanut butter. Slap on bread, butter bread (though I used spray butter instead of the real thing...sorry, Paula.), and flip onto hot skillet. Easy, easy. And delicious, oh my...delicious. in wow-wee.

All I can say, is that I want a platter of these as my last meal before I die. And then hopefully there will be another platter waiting for me when I get to heaven. Be careful, though, all this peanut butter could make you mighty thirsty. So have some milk, water, lemonade, pop, what have you at hand. Just in case. :)

Paula's Fried Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich
Taken from Paula's Home Cooking, "Gone Bananas"

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup peanut butter
3 tbsp. honey
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 ripe bananas
6 slices white bread

1/2 cup white sugar
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon

In frying pan, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter. Make sure the butter does not burn. In a small bowl, mix together the peanut butter, honey, and cinnamon. Slice the bananas into 1/4-inch thick slices. Spread the peanut butter mixture on 3 slices of bread. Spread the remaining butter on both sides of the sandwiches. Grill the sandwiches in the frying pan until each side is golden brown.

For topping, combine the sugar and cinnamon in shallow plate. Coat the grilled sandwiches with the mixture. Cut diagonally and serve hot.

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