Banana Bread Muffins

The day before we left for summer vacation back in July I made these muffins and lordy my, why have I been hanging on to the recipe since then?! As I type this out I’m wondering if I can post this speedily enough so that I can whip up a quick batch before S wakes up from her nap. It’s chilly and grey here and if there’s one thing this afternoon could use to spruce it up it’s a banana bread muffin and a cup of tea. Instead – and unfortunately – I will probably stay curled up in my blue chair listening to the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, and eating pistachio nuts until my time is up and I’m back on duty.

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Holidaying (+ Flourless Persimmon Cake)

A holiday-spiced, naturally gluten-free persimmon cake that’s perfect for December days.

[Fisherman, Dar Bouazza, December 2014.]

A week of rain, a week of sun, and we leave Morocco very early Saturday morning for a month in California. We’ll trade palm trees for redwoods, the Atlantic Ocean for the Pacific, and running on trails rather than bricks, enough so that we get properly muddified and return to our roots. I’m hoping for lots of hikes, lots of quiet miles in the wet and dripping woods, and hopefully lots of afternoons spent under the bright sun at the coast. The winter beach in fair weather is perhaps my favorite beach.

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A Year (+ A Vegan Banana Cake)

A vegan, maple-syrup sweetened cake for Sierra’s first birthday (and for anytime).

Sierra turned one year old over a month ago and we celebrated the day with homemade pizza for dinner and a banana cake with almond butter glaze (as well as, err, a couple of glasses of champagne for her parents). A week later we hosted a party for her and two of the other little girls in the American community; I made probably too many sweets and gluten-free salads and huge pans of baked pasta. Almost all got eaten, the kids had fun, and and thus I consider the afternoon a roaring success.

It’s hard to believe she’s been with us for the better part of 14 months now — me, who when I was told all the usual adages of ‘it goes so fast’ ‘soak it up’ appreciate the moments’ nodded gently and agreed in principle while privately telling myself that while of course I would do all of these things in any case time would slow down just for for me because I dearly wished it could. I did appreciate the moments — the newborn cuddles (oh so many cuddles) and lurching first steps and funny noises and the mid-night wakings … I did appreciate them all. I do still. And yet. The year whisked by quickly and slowly and now my babe is becoming her own self with her own opinions and wants and wishes and it’s wonderful to see. Even as I sometimes miss those early, sleepy, quiet and cozy days which suddenly feel so far away.

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