Maybe it’s the yoga. Maybe it’s because I’m in my thirties. Maybe it’s because I’m in a pensive mood. Whatever it is, I’ve learned to accept one thing:
There are times when simple is best.
Sure, there is a time for over-the-top. There is a time for comedy. And I’ve been called an over-exaggerator and a drama queen for as long as I can remember. But sometimes all you really need is a classic. Something simple, something easy, something uncomplicated and not necessarily dripping with chocolate. Or dulce de leche.
(I know, I know. I’m not sick, I promise.)
Lately I’ve been leaning towards the simple.
Case in point #1: I’m spending Thanksgiving this week with my friends and my sister Patty, who’s visiting from Manila. I offered to bring pie, and appetizers. But instead of whipping myself into a frenzy by making multiple apps for a small dinner party, I decided to just make a cheese plate from my favorite Trader Joe’s products. Easy.
Case in point #2: I’ve been known as the single girl for years, but a few months ago I started dating someone. He’s sweet and smart and he makes me laugh all the time. When I’m with him, things feel right, and now we’re in a relationship. Simple. (PS – his name is Matt.)
Case in point #3: I wanted to make banana bread a few weeks ago and I couldn’t decide what to mix in. Should I swirl in peanut butter? Add dollops of caramel? Make a crumb topping? A double chocolate base? But I decided to nix the chocolate, or the frosting, and just stick to my Classic Banana Bread recipe with a couple of earthier toppings: walnuts and dates. It’s not complicated.
Simple doesn’t necessarily mean bare bones. And I did serve slices of this banana bread with pats of butter. I couldn’t help it. But the banana bread was soft and tender, with some sweetness and texture from the dates and walnuts. Paired with your favorite breakfast drinks, it would make for a nice little morning treat. And there’s nothing crazy about it.
Banana Bread with Walnuts and Dates
1 teaspoon butter to grease loaf pan
1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup pitted and chopped dates
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Butter a 9" x 5" loaf pan, then dust with flour.
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together sugars and eggs. Add coconut oil, mashed bananas, sour cream, and vanilla. Mix to combine.
- Fold in flour mixture.
- Add dates and walnuts.
- Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake for an hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the bread comes out clean.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving week! I am thankful for all of you <3