Sunday, April 28, 2013

Turisteando


Playing tourist around town is one of my favorite things to do. I haven't done so in a considerable amount of time so figured Saturday night would be the perfect night to do so. (I mostly wanted to go visit the new Pinkberry, oh how I love that place!) The night ended with sore feet, people watching, and lots of pictures of course.
 
Exploring my city with my best friend is definitely my kind of weekend.




 
 



 
 
 
<3 Stef
 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

This Weekend


The way a coconut is a supposed to be enjoyed, fresh coconut juice included!


We headed to the Broadacres Swapmeet this weekend to unleash our love for fresh coconuts and unneeded knick-knacks. We didn't buy much but did enjoy all the new fresh fruit in stock and bought some snack to eat during our stroll. I can't believe that is it is barely the middle of April and already the outside heat is becoming unbearable. Good thing, pools are in abundance around here! I love coming here, and if you are ever in town, make sure to stop by to get a little taste of Mexico off the strip. :) Check out this other post I wrote talking about this local spot. Have a beautiful Monday everyone!

<3 Stef

Gluten-Free Banana Bread


 
Overripe bananas can only mean one thing, banana bread. Yup, it's the unspoken rule of baking (maybe we can make an exception for some muffins) that if the speckled beauties seem to be neglected, a delicious bread will be the outcome! I am no baker and to be honest I never had banana bread until my freshman year of high school! Pretty crazy, eh? I still remember the experience as I went over to a friends house and there it was sitting on the kitchen counter, waiting for us to devour it. What was more crazy was the fact that Lacey was not as (overly, creepily) excited as I was and was not phased by the fact that it was after school and there was FRESH HOMEMADE banana bread waiting for her. She then prompted to tell me how her mom ALWAYS made banana bread and how it's always been that way since she was a child.
 
Seriously? Was I the only kid who's childhood seemed to go by without banana bread?
 
Yet again, us Mexicans don't eat banana bread and only bake conchas or cake. At least in my house anyway.
 
So I was determined to fine a recipe that was easy enough for my brain to comprehend, since I seem to lack skill in the baking (and cooking) department. I looked around and they all varied one another, it was like there was no standard recipe, they were all different! Some had coconut oil, some had nuts, others used wheat flour, and others white. I was a little confused but modified a recipe I found to the ingredients I had at the house. I realized that you can't really go wrong with banana bread as long as you have the basic ingredients; bananas, some kind of flour, eggs, and cinnamon. Since I like the gluten free idea, I decided to experiment with brown rice flour. Turns out brown rice flour is not that bad, and works perfectly in this recipe since the bananas are what really adds the moistness to the bread. So folks, brace yourself, cause this recipe is SUPER duper easy and SUPER amazingly delicious.
 
 
 Since we just moved and are starting from scratch (no pun intended, hehe), we still have no bowls, and since I didn't want to go out and buy one, I settled by mixing it in the loaf pan, transporting it into 2 bowls, washing and buttering the loaf pan, then transferring the mix back into it. I know, I know, "el huevon trabaja doble" but who really wants to go out and buy a bowl at 8 pm?! 

Easy Gluten Free Banana Bread

Ingredients
2 overripe bananas
1 1/2 cups of brown rice flour
2 1/2 tbsp. of melted butter
1/4 tsp. of baking powder and soda
1/2 tsp. of cinnamon
1/2 tsp. of nutmeg
1/3 cup of sugar
1/2 tbsp. of vanilla extract
4 eggs
2 tbsp. (or more) of water
Electric mixer (setting: 1)

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Take your overripe bananas and mash them up completely until they turn into a smooth consistency.

2. Add in your 4 eggs (yolks and all) and your melted butter. Mix. Add in your "little powders" which are your baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg, along with your vanilla extract. Mix.

3. Next, add in your sugar and slowly add in your flour (this can get a bit messy, so remember to slowly add in the flour). Add in your water.

4. Make sure everything is of a smooth consistency, you might have to add a bit more water if your mix is not runny enough.

5. Place in a buttered pan and topped with extra banana slices if you wish. Bake for 50-60 minutes if you like it super golden brown like me, less if you don't. Checking on it with a toothpick or knife. Once it's ready, let cool and enjoy!



See, I told you! Super simple right? I bet after you make it once, you'll find yourself making it ALL the time. (I actually am making a loaf right now, so bad). A simple banana bread is amazing, but I bet some runny maple frosting wouldn't hurt. :)
 
So hopefully you guys try this recipe out sometime, I guarantee you won't even miss the gluten!

<3 Stef

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Balboa Park: (San Diego, CA)

 
 
Balboa Park. Oh my goodness, what a gorgeous place this is! Considering that I live in a city that is covered with sagebrush and cacti, this is botanical heaven! What is known to be the "Central Park" of San Diego, Balboa Park is located near downtown San Diego and is home to the world famous San Diego Zoo. It is considered to be one of the most visited parks in the nation, attracting visitors with its theatre, botanical gardens, archicteture and restaurants.
 
Once I knew we were heading to San Diego for the weekend, I made sure we had this added to the places we wanted to visit, envisioning strolling through the park on a sunny afternoon. Luckily for us, the weather was perfect, the sky was bright blue and no clouds were in the air. Even though I  love plants and flowers, the architecture is what really got me. The buildings here are absolutely STUNNING, and transport you back to a street in the middle of Madrid. Every single building, whether it be a chapel or a simple pillar, was adorned with intricate details and designs by people who's hands surely did not slack off while creating such beauty! We spent the day strolling through, enjoying the weather, the people, and the street performers outside the Casa de Balboa.
 

 
 

Getting there was another story,we didn't exactly know where the park was, but knew it's vicinity, and since we were staying in downtown, figured walking was our best bet. It was a lot more walking than we were used to, but enjoyed strolling through the surrounding neighborhoods while sipping on some horchata. (We even raced up and down some hills to make it more interesting) As we were heading back out, we people-watched by the dog park (which was located on Balboa Dr and El Prado) and loved how the owners let their dogs interact with each other. All in all, if you are heading down to the city with amazing weather all year round, make sure you stop by this amazing park!
 
 
<3 Stef