Am I the worst or what?

I know, I might be the worst blogger ever. I go on giant hiatuses and then come back and then disappear again!

I meant to post this ONE week ago, but here I am. Two weekends ago I ran the D.C. Half Marathon. I finished strong and felt great. I realized I have come to be a stronger runner, and then decided I needed to be stronger athletically. I went out and bought some weights and started doing some cross training. This weekend, I ran the Cherry Blossom 10 mile run. I felt great. Powered through the entire race and finished in 1:32. Averaging a pretty respectable 9:13/mile. Ideally, by this time next year I will average an 8:30/mile in 10+mile runs. I’m also aiming to get my 1 mile time down to about 6:30 and maximize my cardio by adding more short length sprints.

Anyway, when I’m in my running zone, I tend to bake and cook less. I just crave more vegetables and grilled steaks, hence the reason for the lack of posting here. But, when I do run, I love bananas. Unfortunately, because I live in a city, it’s hard to get good fresh produce. So when I do see delicious bananas, I have a tendency to buy boatloads of them. So I make banana bread. I make mine with a healthy dose of flax seed (sometimes some wheat germ) and sprinkle generously with walnuts and sunflower seeds. I bake it in a 9 x 13 pan so I can have a lot of walnuts and sunflower seeds crunching on the tops.  As always, I dialed back the sugar. This banana bread is super easy and moist. I leave it on my counter with a butter knife so I can slice off little squares as I pass by.

Banana Bread (adapted from Food & Wine Annual 2009 best recipes)

  • 1 1/2 cup of mashed banana (about 3 bananas), I’ve used up to 2 cups of banana for very moist bread
  • 3/4  cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of canola oil (I have used butter with very good results too)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup of flax seeds
  • 1 cup of roasted walnuts
  • 1 cup of roasted sunflower seeds
  1. Mash the bananas
  2. Whisk in sugar, oil and 3 eggs.
  3. Stir in the flour, baking soda, salt, and flax seeds
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit
  5. In an oiled and flour dusted pan, pour the batter
  6. Sprinkle the walnuts and sunflower seeds evenly over the top
  7. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean and the top is golden brown

Notes:

This banana bread gets very brown, so I bake mine on the lower rack of my oven so it stays a golden hue. Should you like darkly gold breads – feel free to bake it higher up.

 

Bibbity Bobbity Boo!

Tada! I’m back. I promise. I’m not sure what I’ve been doing that would excuse my 10 day hiatus, but I do have a delicious quick recipe for you.

I was making lemon tart a while back, and as I removed the crust from the oven to pour the lemony curd into the shell I dropped it. The little pieces of crust scattered everywhere! But I snagged a little piece from the pan and thoughtfully chewed on it while I swept up the other crumbs. I’m a sucker for pie crust. I was notorious for picking the crust off the pumpkin pie during Thanksgiving as a kid, so I guess not much has changed. I swapped out some white flour for whole wheat, sprinkled sea salt over the tops, and mixed turbindo sugar in for a delightful little crunch. The flavor is mild and the sweet/salt melting on your tongue is just my favorite. The cookies can be difficult to roll out, so I roll them out on plastic wrap and pop the little cookies up and onto my baking sheet.

Whole Wheat Shortbread, for pie crust lovers like Kaprise!

  • 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of whole wheat  flour
  • 1/3 cup of sugar (I used a mixture of granulated and turbindo sugar)
  • 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon of flaky salt
  1. In a heatproof bowl, melt the butter until completely melted. Allow the butter to cool to room temperature
  2. Mix the flour, sugar, and salt into the melted butter. Knead for a minute or two until the ingredients come together.
  3. At this point, you may chill the dough for 30 minutes to allow the dough to firm up a little. This makes it easier to roll out and cut.
  4. But, I’m not patient enough to wait for the dough to firm, so I spread parchment paper or plastic wrap on my counter and use my little 1/2 inch fluted circle cookie cutter and punch out my cookies. Then I just lift the paper/wrap and pop the cookies onto a baking sheet
  5. Bake cookies at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown