Weekend Update: Feb. 21-22

I’m stuck on the intro to this one.  I really just want to jump right into the good stuff but years of English classes have ingrained this need in me to have an intro.  A hook.  And I’m stuck.  Which is silly because this is my blog and I can write whatever way I want, right?  Jeez, here we go.  We have been hosting/rooming with our friends Luke and Kaitie for the past month.  They both race bikes professionally (cool friends are cool, am I right?) and they are the most considerate house guests/living buddies you could imagine.  Collin and I concluded that the worst part about having them around all the times is that they do too much for us i.e. dry our dishes and help with groceries.  Like, seriously what is that?  Does that even count as a complaint?

But honestly, it’s been so much fun to have people around to do cool stuff with, make good food with, and generally have a ton of fun with (please don’t ever leave.  I’m kidding.  No I’m not.)

Look at them, aren't they cute!?

Look at them, aren’t they cute!?

ANYWAY what I actually want to write about is this past weekend In Which We Went Camping and Also to a Cocktail Party.  You know our motto, don’t ever say no to anything even if trying to do it all causes some mid-Saturday morning stress (classic).

So, on Saturday we made it up to the woods around 2:30 PM.  Finding a first-come-first-serve campsite was too easy and we did a 4-5 mile hike down to the actual Muir Woods that afternoon.  We didn’t see any Ewoks but we did almost convince Kaitie that they are real animals 😉

Magic, pure magic

Magic, pure magic

Saturday night, Collin and I also had his employee appreciation party in the City for Apple.  So, when we got back from our hike, we changed into cocktail attire, and headed to the California Academy of Sciences in SF.  You did read that right, Apple rented out a MUSEUM for the WHOLE NIGHT and then gave us FOOD AND ALCOHOL and said HAVE FUN.  It rocked.  Although, as the resident vegans, we were a little disturbed by the fresh sushi being served in the aquarium part of the museum.  It was just really weird.  But we had a great night and it was an amazing experience!

Aquarium selfie!

Aquarium selfie!

Lots of Apple people and also the Rain Forest room which was sick!

Lots of Apple people and also the Rain Forest room which was sick!

We called it a night around 10:30, changed back into camping clothes on the side of the road, and drove the 40 minutes back up to the mountains to enjoy a wonderful night’s sleep in the woods.  Shout out to Mom and Dad for getting me a great sleeping bag for Christmas this year!  It rocked and I was so cozy!

Sunday we woke up, had a classic camping breakfast of tea and oatmeal, and then did a hike out to Red Cliff Beach.  California is a crazy state.  One minute we’re in woods that are straight out of Jurassic Park, and then next we’re on a beach getting sunburnt.  Like what is this place?  Why aren’t you all out here already?

Red Cliff Beach

Red Cliff Beach

We explored Sausalito on our way home (a little disappointing, a lot overly bourgeois) and found an insane hot dog joint in SF that also had an extensive Vegan menu.  Seriously, Underdogs – so good.  So vegan!

GROUP PIC!

GROUP PIC!

Collin took all of these pictures since he’s recently added Amateur Photog Extraordinaire to his many talents/interests/hobbies.  Look at more of his pictures here!

Advertisements

Snacks – Banana Bread Edition

We’re continuing full force with 2015 – Year of Guests.  This month features some of our favorite bike racers, Luke and Kaitie who are out here for the good training weather and, obviously, our spectacular company.

I know (because we’ve asked them bluntly) that everyone who’s stayed with us so far has been nervous about the Vegan thing and about what we’ll make them eat.  Luckily (I think/hope!), no one’s been totally grossed out or left hungry so far!  Yay plants!

On Sunday, I had a need to bake and a couple of old frozen bananas i.e. THE PERFECT STORM/combination for Banana Bread!  Last time I made banana bread, the recipe use a lot of coconut oil which, although a miracle oil, tends to get kind of thick when said baked good is left at room temperature thus requiring that the aforementioned baked good requires is warmed up every time you want a nibble.  So, round two, new coconut oil-less recipe.

I used this recipe from Dairy Free Cooking but, based on the ingredients I had, made some substitutions.

Banana Bread

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. flour
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 3/4 t. baking soda
  • 3/4 t. salt
  • 3/4 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 c. coconut milk *recipe suggested plain soy milk or almond milk
  • 1 t. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups mashed banana *I only had 3 bananas, it was fine!
  • 1/4 c. vegetable oil *recipe suggested canola
  • 2 T. maple syrup
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • Walnuts (optional) but highly recommended!

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly oil a 9″x5″ loaf pan and set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the coconut milk and cider vinegar and let stand for 2 minutes

3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix together the flour, sugars, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

4. Add the mashed banana, canola oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract to the coconut milk/vinegar mixture, whisking until well combined.

5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing until just combined (try not to overmix!). Fold in the walnuts if using and pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.

6. Bake for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center emerges clean. Allow the bread to cool on a wire cooling rack for 20 minutes before serving. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

We’ve also enjoyed banana bread warmed up in our cast iron skillet, shmeared with almond butter, and topped with some avocado slices.  That brainwave belongs to Collin – another reason to keep him around!