The Banana Party (plus links to 7 great banana recipes)

Banana Pina Colada Recipe

Back in college, I would often carry a banana in the front pocket of my pea coat, like a yellow edible pocket square.  This was back before energy bars were all the rage, and my banana was not only all-natural but also quirky and cute and totally college (trust me).  I was always prepared with a snack on hand, should I have to miss lunch for a study date (or a nap in the student center).  To this day, I still open my banana from the bottom (the end without the stem), just like my mom.

Try it.  Thank me later.

Recently, my friend Vanessa and I received emails from Dole asking if we’d like to co-host a banana party.  You heard me.  A banana party.

Obviously, we said yes.

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We wanted a big variety of banana recipes, so we asked each of our guests to bring their favorite banana dish.  We also made and enormous salad and sandwich tray to balance out the meal.
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Take note of the SPF 80 sunscreen on the table.  It was a scorcher in Charlotte, and I’m not sure what melted faster–me or the cheese.

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Not that I’m complaining, melted cheese is friggin delicious.

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Of all our guests, Amber got the award for Most Adventurous because she was the only one to bring a savory banana dish.  We were admittedly apprehensive, but her rendition of this Curried Chicken and Banana Stew recipe was so good several of us went back for seconds.

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Given the heat, a frozen cocktail was in order, and Dole came to the rescue with this fabulous recipe for Banana Pina Coladas.  Frozen bananas and a little extra rum made these cocktails extra refreshing and extra smooth.

Paula brought homemade banana bread, still warm from the oven.  I stole a piece for breakfast the next morning and ate it warm with a slathering of peanut butter.  Divine!

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Joanna made a gorgeous Banana Pudding Cheesecake complete with a scrumptious pecan and Nilla wafer crust.

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After much brainstorming, deliberation, and subsequent scouring of the Dole recipe website, Grayson decided to make these banana caramel bars, and Amy, a fellow Charlotte Food Blogger, brought banana pudding, a staple down here in the south.

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Vanessa had a great idea – grilled bananas stuffed with chocolate and marshmallows and a few dabs of peanut butter (at my request… ok, demand).  By this course, we’d relocated the party to the refuge of my air-conditioned condo, so we opted to cook the bananas in the oven (350 degrees for about 20 minutes–until all the toppings were melty).  It only took one bite for them to get my audible “WOW” of approval.  Topped with a bit of vanilla ice cream, they’d be a serious show stopper.

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All in all, it was a great time, and I think the excessive amount of sweating we did together has forged some sort of eternal friendship bond between us.

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What party is complete without some swag?

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Dole sent us lots of goodies, including bread pans, water bottles, and these awesome contraptions:

Say buh-bye to bruised bananas my friends!

Thanks a bunch to Dole for giving us this fun day, and to our friends for joining us at the banana party!

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10 Comments

  1. Hi Mary, I recently found and LOVE your blog! I have the best “Easy Banana Ice Cream” recipe ever:1. peel bananas 2. cut bananas into 1 inch chunks 3. freeze at least 3 hours 4. put in food processor for 5 minutes and it become creamy cold deliciousness! Nuthin’ but bananas!

  2. Mary, sorry I missed it … been traveling a bunch and getting one ready for college and the other one for her junior year … it literally has been “bananas” 🙂 I know lame …

    Hope to see you soon!

    (I had my banana cupcake recipe ready)

  3. Lovin’ the banana post. My husband works for Chiquita so he would kill me for liking this post, haha. We just moved here with Chiquita so they are Charlotte’s “official” banana company 😉
    On another note, after moving to the Queen City I started a food blog and am really enjoying reading other Charlottean’s blogs such as yours.

    1. Hi Kendra! Thanks for checking out my blog and welcome to Charlotte! Next time the Charlotte food bloggers get together, I’ll be sure to let you know!

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