I’m all finished with school. My husband is all finished with school.

Neither of my kids are old enough to even go to school.

I see the whole world around me starting school – attending, sending off to, or teaching at.

I know I should sit back and enjoy this twiddling-thumbs feeling while it lasts, because I hear that the world kind of explodes once your kids are school-age. But when it’s early fall and everybody’s got their new pencils and notebooks, and energy is high . . . I can’t help wanting to play along, because there’s something so exciting and festive about it all. And heaven knows I love festive.

So. This banana bread is my little after-school snack for you. Or you could make it a lunchbox goodie. Don’t forget to obey your teacher. Play nice with the other kids. Do your homework. Share your treats.

If this recipe looks familiar, that’s because this is actually my favorite banana bread recipe in the universe dot com, changed up a bit for variety. It’s perfectly moist and soft, and it’s sweet without being sickening. Did I mention I’m in love?

Berry Banana Bread

adapted from The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1-1/4 cup mashed banana (2-3 very ripe bananas)

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3/4 teaspoon almond extract

2-2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup yogurt – strawberry (or other berry) flavored

1/2 – 3/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries, blueberries, and/or blackberries, in smallish pieces

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar, and oil. Blend in the mashed banana, vanilla, and almond extract. Stir in the cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk together.

In a small mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to the banana mixture. Mix gently but thoroughly, then fold in the yogurt, just until combined. Fold in the berries.

Pour the batter into a well-greased 9×5-inch loaf pan. Bake the bread for about 55-60 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. If the bread begins to brown too quickly, tent it with foil after 45 minutes in the oven.

When the bread tests done, remove it from the oven and place on a cooling rack; after 15 minutes, remove the bread from its pan and place back on the rack to finish cooling. Slice when it has cooled completely. Store at room temperature in a bread bag or airtight container for up to 4-5 days.