It also puts me in the mood for the upcoming holidays. Last night MGG and I went to The Grove, a local outdoor shopping area that is attached to one of the original permanent Farmer's Markets in Los Angeles. It was just fabulous.
We toured the different booths at the Farmer's Market and drooled over all the fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables. There is nothing better than the smell of fresh produce. I could stand there and sniff forever! We also looked at all the homemade candy, dried fruits and nuts. Oh yum!
I got some inspiration and picked up some mini chocolate chips and some dried cherries to bake something scrumptious! Sorry, I'm getting over the pumpkin pie already!
We had a great time walking around looking at all the lights, a giant toy workshop, giant Christmas Trees, and even Santa and his reindeer flying through the snow. Live bands filled the air with great music that everyone was dancing to, and it even started to snow. Fake snow...this is Hollywood ya know!
Just a great way to spend the evening.
So, chilled and wanting something warm to drink and sweet to eat we went home.
I quickly make this great version (a winter version) of a banana bread, with my mini chocolate chips and dried cherries.
Moist and flavorful, the bread along with a cup of tea was the perfect ending to a perfect evening! (Can't wait for breakfast tomorrow morning...)
Chocolate Cherry Banana Bread
makes 1 loaf (16 slices)
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/3 c Splenda Sugar Blend
2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1 egg, beaten
1/4 c lite sour cream
1/4 c 2 % milk
2 t canola oil
1 t vanilla
1 large ripe banana, mashed
1/3 c dried cherries
1/3 c chopped pecans
2 heaping T miniature semisweet chocolate pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat the bottom and up the sides of a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, Splenda blend, baking powder, and baking soda, and make a well in center.
In a medium bowl, combine sour cream, milk, egg, and oil. Stir in mashed banana and vanilla.
Add liquid mixture to flour mixture; stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy). Fold in chopped cherries, pecan, and chocolate chips.
Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove bread from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Makes 16 slices.