Friday, June 27, 2008

Bisquick Banana Bread with Coconut...and Lake Toxaway

I can't seem to find the time, or the inspiration to write anything these days. Everytime I think of something to write about, I look outside and see this...



or this...



or this...






...and I just can't get past this....



We're at the lake for three weeks...the longest time we've been able to stay here. We bought the little house on the lake at the end of last summer, but we've been coming up two or three times a year and renting places for the last 7 years. Up until now, the longest time we were able to stay was five days. This place in Lake Toxaway, North Carolina is one of the most beautiful places we've ever been. It's a private lake at the top of a mountain, with gorgeous weather, a golf course, tennis, hiking, mountain biking, boating, and swimming right outside our door. But it's not really a social place. We're probably the youngest family here, most of the residents are retirees. The summer is the busiest time, and the only young people are the grandchildren who are visiting. So far H doesn't really care about that, nor do we. We've met a few of the club members and homeowners, and they're really nice, but this is our getaway place. The three of us have so much fun exercising together, reading, watching movies, boating, taking the dog on hikes and swims, and just being together without the distractions of home. There is no grocery store...the closest places are 30 minutes away, no shopping, no movies, no parties. But when we get here we are more relaxed than we could ever be at home.

We do have guests coming. My in-laws are coming up on Sunday for a week, and a few days after they leave, we will take H to point guard camp, and come back to meet two other couples here for five days, before we have to leave. We're pretty excited about sharing our piece of heaven with our friends and family. I don't know if they'll be as enthusiastic about it as we are, but it will be fun.

Anyway, I'm enjoying catching up on my reading, taking tennis lessons, and cooking for my family. Here's an EASY recipe for Banana Bread made with Bisquick. I changed it a little bit...added chocolate, cranberries and pecans and topped with coconut for a great (semi-healthy) dessert.



BISQUICK BANANA BREAD (OR MUFFINS)

1/3 cup oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar (or splenda for baking)
1 1/2 cups mashed banana (3 medium/large ripe bananas)
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 1/2 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1 hershey bar, chopped fine

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom of loaf pan, 9" cake pan, or use muffin pans with liners. Beat all ingredients vigorously with spoon for 30 seconds. Bake 55-65 minutes for loaf pan, 45-50 minutes for cake pan, 15 minutes for mini muffins, 20 minutes for regular muffins. Cool five minutes. Top with shredded coconut.