Monday, June 2, 2014


Hello, dear reader. Hope you're enjoying the beginning of summer. I'm about to take little trip to visit family in Illinois, and I'm so looking forward to it. Despite the heat and the 95% humidity, I love Illinois in the summer. Probably what I miss most about midwestern summers is summer thunderstorms. After a hot sticky day, there's nothing quite like running outside into heavy rain and thunder, tromping around barefoot and feeling the thunder rumble. And the whole time it's still 80-something degrees, so the wetness is a welcome refreshment.

The forecast calls for storms this week. I can't wait!

The other thing I'm most looking forward to is driving out in the middle of no where (you don't have to go far), in the middle of the night, sitting out by a silent field and watching the stars. Nate and I tried to get that kind of quiet the other night in the bay area (to see the recent anticipated meteor shower, which we didn't see), and we totally struck out. Too close to city lights and noises, and not enough time to go up a mountain just for an evening view.

Of course I'm hoping that those thunderstormy skies clear up enough for me to get a star fix.

Since I'm leaving for more than a week, these last few days have involved a lot of strategic cooking in order to use up all the food we have in our kitchen without having to throw anything out before leaving town. Naturally we had some ripe bananas, so I used them up on my favorite banana bread recipe. I've baked this recipe several times now, learning and tweaking a little bit each time. This time it was so delicious that I decided it was blog-worthy.

I've made this recipe with and without chocolate chips and walnuts, and with both; every combination works well. This time I left them out, since I was feeling more of a classic banana bread taste.

Enjoy any little trips you might be taking in these early weeks of summer!


Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
4 ripe bananas, smashed (very ripe (read: almost black) = best)
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1- 2 tablespoons bourbon*
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
dash nutmeg
1 3/4 cups dry oats, blended (in a blender or food processor) to powdery consistency
optional 3/4 cup chocolate chips or walnuts

* just for flavor; it mostly bakes out, but if you particularly dislike bourbon, use only 1 tablespoon

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a big bowl, mash the bananas. Don't make them too smooth - there should be some small chunks. Stir in the melted coconut oil. Mix in sugar, egg, vanilla, bourbon, baking soda, and salt, and spices. Gradually fold in powdered oats. If using, stir in chocolate chips or nuts last.

Bake in a greased 4x8 inch loaf pan for one hour, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a rack.


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