Dreaming of the Beach

img_7391

Every now and then I have dreams of sticking my toes in the sand on a deserted beach. I look down to see the sand folding over my toes and everything feels right. I love the mountains, but there’s just something about the beach that beckons me. Would I want to be a sailor? Not a chance. Do I actually like being in the ocean? I feel like I’m going to die every time I get past my hips. But the calming ebb and flow of the waves is comforting and somehow reminds me of who I am when I feel lost.

Forever a beach baby,

Maegan

This is what 7 degrees looks like:

img_7381

It’s currently 7 degrees in Colorado Springs. I took this while letting the dogs romp around in the snow. They’ve been getting some serious cabin fever. You can just see a hazy moon peeking out behind the branches of the tree. This is a calm cold. There’s no chilly breeze. All the neighbors are warmly tucked into their houses. The only sound was the crunch of the powdery packed snow giving way to my boots and the occasional honking from geese in flight. Thick snow flakes, the kind that settle into your hair and eyelashes, have been blanketing the ground for two nights in a row. When the sun rises, it resonates on each crystal, giving the town an enchanting twinkle.

Stay warm wherever you are, friends!

Maegan

Banana bread: a Departure From My Usual Content 


So you know how this is primarily a travel blog? Well, I’ve got something else to talk about. In my previous post, I mentioned cooking. I have been putting so much energy into cooking, considerably more than I have my entire life. I’m getting to the point where I can attempt difficult recipes because I finally have the cooking confidence I have been chasing since I was 16.

I know this is not my usual post, but stay with me while I digress. Can we hang, Bloggerverse?

Want to know a secret about making banana bread in Colorado? If you want your loaf to be swolloable, do not use whole wheat flour. That’s what I get for trying to make banana bread healthier. To make your bread, ugh I hate this word, moist, add a half a cup sour cream. Most recipes that I’ve found tell you to use a stand mixer or hand mixer at some point, but this recipe doesn’t call for that. I’ve made it both ways, and I can’t tell a difference. Save yourself some time and dishes, and skip that step. Also, feel free to replace the butter with coconut oil. It works just as well but is so much healthier. Without further ado, here’s my perfected banana bread recipe that I’ve been working on for the past month:

1/2 melted butter

1 1/4 cup flour (not whole wheat)

1 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract ( if you don’t have any on hand, the same amount of maple syrup works too.)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 medium bananas sliced and mashed (you can do this with a fork)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan with coconut oil or any oil/cooking spray you have on hand.

2. In a large bowl, stir together melted butter and sugar.

3. Add the eggs and vanilla. Mix well.

4. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Then stir it into the butter-sugar mixture until smooth.

5. Fold in sour cream, mashed bananas, walnuts, and chocolate chips.

6. Spread evenly into the loaf pan.

7. Bake it for 60 minutes or until a toothpick entered in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

8. Let stand for 10 minutes, and serve.

What are your secrets for the best banana bread? I’d love to try them all!

Newly converted banana bread enthusiast,

Maegan