What’s happened in that time?
3 years ago, I lived in a place where the sun would neither rise nor set depending on the season. I had been there for 4 years – a place where -40 was the rule, not the exception, during winter and the small summer window opened to the quaking leaves of birch forests and salmon runs.
I married my partner, with our beloved dog by our side, in the most beautiful place on earth. And I turned into a we.
We moved far, far away from the cold, white, wild place.
A place where snow falls heavily (and sideways) in the winter and warm summer days are spent with feet buried in the sand.
We got new jobs.
We lived on a lake with loons.
We bought a house not far from another lake with loons.
We biked across the whole wide state, ate lobster until we got sick of them, and camped under the pines. And there’s still so much to do.
Here, we thrive.
We thrived in Alaska, arguably.
We threw everything up in the air to see where the pieces would fall.
We landed and adjusted.
Life is that way for all of us, isn’t it?
Three years ago, I started this blog to stay connected with the space my itinerant roots once burrowed and to share something with my family and friends who lived half a world away. It’s grown, little by little, post by post, into a way I identify myself and strangely, how people identify me. A blogger. A writer. A cook. A creative. I like the ring to all of those.
In celebration of my blog’s 3rd birthday, I made a birthday cake (kind of). Fittingly, this recipe is a variation of one developed by Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks. It’s fitting because her blog was the one that inspired me to start my own. The first time I tried her Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread, it became a staple in my recipe arsenal. For this one, I subbed the dark chocolate for dark chocolate toffee, nixed the lemon, and topped the cake with a toffee-molasses glaze. I really love this for its simplicity, its not-too-sweetness, and its shape shifting abilities to act as a breakfast bread or dessert. I love those recipes. And I hope you love this one.
I’ve come a long way since the early days. Trying to find my voice, my style, my blog’s purpose was a process and to be honest, I’m not certain I’m any more sure now of all those ideas than I was in the beginning. But that’s the beauty of the spaces we call our own. We can be whoever we want, or perhaps it’s better to say we can be our true selves. And that’s never set in stone. Instead, it’s celebrated. With cake.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup coarsely chopped dark chocolate covered toffee bars
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large eggs, beaten slightly
- 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
- ¼ cup full fat greek yogurt
- ¼ cup almond milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a bowl, combine flours, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt with a whisk. Stir in toffee pieces and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine olive oil, eggs, mashed bananas, Greek yogurt, almond milk, and vanilla. Stir well.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and fold together with a spatula until just combined being careful not to over mix.
- Pour into a prepared Bundt cake pan (see note above) or 9x5 loaf pan.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the cake passes the toothpick test.
- Once cooked through, transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes before turning cake out on the cooling rack to cool completely.
- When cake is slightly warm, drizzle with toffee glaze.
- To prepare glaze:
- In a saucepan, melt 2 Tbsp. salted butter over medium heat. Add 3 Tbsp. light brown sugar, 2 tsp. molasses, 3 Tbsp. heavy cream, and ¼ tsp. vanilla extract. Taste. If wanted, add a pinch of salt. Let boil for 2-3 minutes or until glaze thickens. Remove and drizzle immediately over the cake.
1st Post: Alaskan Gumbo
1st Birthday: Brie en Croute with Curried Lowbush Cranberry Relish
2nd Birthday: Cardamom Plum Crisp with Cardamom Whipped Cream