We really are liking Florida, and are enjoying some of the many perks of living here, such as being super close to the beach, having beautiful parks that we will be able to go to year round, eating awesome produce and enjoying the farmers markets, and having palm trees everywhere. We have met some really nice people and are making friends faster than we expected. It has been good, really better than expected for such a big transition. We miss family though and there are moments that I miss Georgia as a state more than I thought I would. Florida is nice and definitely enjoyable, but Georgia will always have a place in our hearts that feels like home and gives that oh so comforting feeling of being where we both grew up and have so many memories.
One of the things I miss most right now and feel a little “home sick” for is the fall. We got a taste of cooler weather when we traveled back to Atlanta for a wedding a couple weeks ago, and it was really nice. Temperatures here are still in the upper 80s and all the trees are still, and will remain, green. Neither Andy or I are really winter people, so I think we will love the warmer winter here…but we do miss the fall. I miss seeing the leaves change colors, the comforts of making a big pot of soup for dinner as the weather cools off, and the fall festivals (which in Gainesville was called “Mule Camp”…whoever would of thought we would miss that!) I guess I’ve been coping by creating our own sense of fall here through baking warm breads and making things like butternut squash soup! We’ve found some delicious recipes and I thought I would share one of our new favorites below. This bread is to die for. It tastes like a big piece of cake, but has some added health benefits such as whole-wheat flour and flax seed. Hope you will try it out and enjoy a little taste of fall too!
Peanut Butter – Chocolate Banana Bread (adapted from a recipe in the October Cooking Light magazine)
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground allspice
2 Tbsp. chopped dry-roasted peanuts (optional)
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until blended. Add sugars; beat until blended.
3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through allspice) in a small bowl; stir well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to banana mixture; beat just until blended.
4. Fold 1/3 cup minichips and nuts, if desired, into batter; pour patter into 9 X 5 -inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 55 minutes or until a wooden pick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before slicing.
5. Optional Glaze: Melt 1/3 cup chocolate chips & combine with 1 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter, 2 Tbsp. milk, & 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Spread over bread.