Monday, July 11, 2011

Baking the Rules.

Hey everyone, I know this post is loooong overdue, and by long I mean 7 months overdue.  A lot has been going and changing in my life.  Where to start?  First off, now I'm living in Caracas, Venezuela!

I will be here until March 2013 on my first assignment as a diplomat (aka visa issuer/dream crusher, I'm hoping for something more glamorous for my second tour) with the Department of State.

Second big news, Steven (non-foodie fiancee) and I broke up after a 4 year stretch.  The pressures of my job (moves, crazy new places, silly new people) are there, and for some just too much, so that signaled the end of what seemed to be a solid relationship. So between those two life changing events, I've had little time to blog--my most sincere apologies guys.

How's Venezuela you ask? I LOVE it here, I've made some great friends already and of course eaten great food.  Right now I'm obsessed with pineapple batidos, parchita (passion fruit) juice, and empanadas de pabellon (all things you will read about later), but its so hard to pick a few things because the food is great here.

However, it seems that my love of food got me sick. Yup, somewhere along the line I ate a contaminated something and a lovely parasite made my body home. I just got out of the hospital and am currently on bed rest and  the BRAT (Bananas/Bread, Rice, Apples, Toast) diet until further notice thanks to the pesky pest  and subsequent intestinal infection.  Needless to say I'm going stir crazy and craving real food! 

Since I'm a stubborn foodie, I decided to whip up some banana bread.  I mean technically I'm not breaking the rules, I'm baking the rules.  Bread, check. Bananas, check.  I figure the milk and eggs (banned items) don't count since they will be baked and in my mind that makes them harmless...

Using Ratio as a guide I made this yummy, spice filled, aromatic banana bread to break my bed rest blues and give me something interesting to eat...wanna do it? Here's how.

The Stuff:
Note: Since I live in Latin America now, land of the metric system, I've started cooking by weight...far more consistent.

8 ounces + 1 generous tablespoon of flour
4 ounces sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 tablespoon of cinnamon 

8 ounces of milk
2 large eggs
4 ounces of melted butter
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons of vanilla

3 pureed bananas, the more ripe, the better

  1. Preheat oven to 350 (I have a gas oven and baked at 175ish degrees Celsius) 
  2. Whisk dry ingredients together in a bowl, set aside.
  3. Puree the bananas, I used my trusty immersion hand blender to do this.  If you don't have one of these, just mash the bananas up with a fork or potato masher. 
  4.   Mix the wet ingredients in a bowl, be sure that the eggs are well incorporated
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry bowl, stir until the two start coming together.  Then, add the          bananas.  The batter should be kind of runny, don't be afraid.
  6.   Pour batter into a well buttered (I used butter flavored PAM) 9 x 5 bread loaf pan or in muffin tins,     the choice is yours!   
  7. Bake until golden brown and  a knife blade or toothpick come out clean. 
  8.   Enjoy!


      1. YAY! You are back!

      2. WOW! Many, many big changes. Sorry to hear about your break up and that you were so sick. Hope all else has been OK! Keep on cooking while you're 'dream crushing'. :) Great banana bread!

      3. long time no see :) welcome back!

      4. Welcome back! So sorry to hear about your break up & your stint in the hospital. Enjoy your time in Venezuela--Sounds like you'll have plenty of time to get acquainted with it! :)


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