Once you've baked this raisin-studded and cinnamon-swirled bread, the possibilities for using it are nearly endless. Make a peanut butter sandwich or slather a thick toasted slice with salted butter. Leftovers will make excellent French toast or bread pudding.
Salmon Poached in Cinnamon Butter with Cedar-Planked Porcini
Rucker conceived of this inventive salmon dish after sniffing a bag of porcini powder. "The aroma reminded me of cinnamon," he says. "So I opened a jar of cinnamon and smelled the two together. Voila! It worked."
In the sixth grade, Lisa Ritter prepared Mexican hot chocolate as part of a social studies project. Years later, she wanted to re-create that sweet-spicy sensation in a layer cake, so she developed a cinnamon-flavored sponge cake and subtly spicy buttercream frosting made with ancho chile powder and cayenne pepper. "This recipe makes great cupcakes, too," Ritter says.
This recipe is full of potassium-packed bananas. Instead of processed sugar, it calls for agave nectar, a natural sweetener; a little canola oil replaces the usual butter. The bread is an improvement on the one Erin McKenna often made with her mother when she was growing up: "I thought it was so healthy, because of the bananas. I didn't factor in all the sugar and butter."