Another Reason to be Thankful for Rotten Bananas.

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You know how I feel about rotten bananas.
Ick.

In the midst of pre-wedding planning, I went and Costco-ed the heck out of some bananas and brought home two HUGE bunches. I easily dominate a bunch per week and figured with all the guests coming and going, I wanted to ensure that there would be enough for yours truly.

Whelp, figures. I didn’t eat one banana the whole wedding week. Its true, just like everyone told me. The harried rush of wedding week completely took me outside of my routine and by the time I realized I was hungry, I was famished and dominating pizza, cheese and crackers, cake batter, anything in sight but bananas.

So I had a pile of brown bananas. At least 10. The Mr. and I HATE to waste food. Not an option in our house so I chopped them up and froze them, figuring I’d find a plan.   Part II of this little rotten banana problem is that we’re moving {and packing}.  I’m cleaning out closets, fridges, freezers and pantry and somehow also have a TON of extra coconut left over from our wedding carrot cake. Oh and why I have about 4000 muffin tin liners too?  Yeah, not moving all these things.

Insert what am I going to bake creativity problem delight here.

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Banana Coconut Muffins

yeah, that sounds like a reaaaaaaalllly genius idea

Here’s what you need to know. The minute these came out of the oven they were in my mouth. Like really that good.  Not too banana-y and not too coconut-y. Sweet Perfection.

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And then I crazily decided that they might be even more DT if I added a scoop of peanut butter to each bite. Or wait, COOKIE butter. YES, better with PB and CB. (and if you have not tried Cookie Butter you should check the link above – go. buy. now).

Anyway, however you enjoy them, just enjoy them. Please.  {you will say Thank You}.

Banana Coconut Muffins.

2 ½ cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
2 sticks butter, melted
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cup sweetened flaked coconut

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375* 25 minutes
Line muffin cups with liners.
Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk butter, bananas, sugar, egg, vanilla and 1 cup coconut. Fold mixtures together until flour is well combined.
Spook batter into lined muffin cups. Sprinkle top with remaining ½ cup coconut.

Bake 25 minutes until muffins are golden brown

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Enjoy Golden. and Warm. And Be Thankful for another Reason to Love Rotten Bananas.

{and if you’re looking for another INCREDIBLE banana recipe, don’t forget this one.  Might make the perfect addition to the Thanksgiving table for your non-pie-loving friends}

{MF Dre}

Hello.Monday.

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Hello. Monday.
You’re Here.
kinda.not.sure.I’m.totally.ready.for.you.so.I’m.just.gonna.fake.it

{for reals}

I attempted to disengage this weekend 100% with my own version of a 12 step program. It turned out something like this.

1.     Wine and Olympics in bed

2.     Catching up on zzzz’s in brand new sheets and duvet because this happened

3.     Strawberry pancakes and IPA’s for breakfast

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4.   People watching in Venice

5.   Cazadores, Grapefruit & Jalapeno – perhaps the quintessential summer cocktail

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6.    Afternoon naps

7.    Loooong run Sunday

8.    More sunny siestas with the homies

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9.  Brentwood Grand Prix cheering

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10.  Olympic Track and Field

11. Hazy Sunday sunset walk on the Bluffs

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12.   and a lot of this.new.obsession.

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Sleep, Cocktails, Sleep, Running, Sleep, Chocolate, Sleep, Olympics, Sleep, Homies.

Kinda Perfect.  but still not quite ready to say Hello.Monday.

{MF Dre}

DT Alert: aka Delicious Town

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We’ve been complaining for a while that the Westside of Los Angeles needs more great restaurants.  Particularly in Brentwood/Santa Monica.  There are some old classics like Peppone & Georgio Baldi that have been here a lifetime (for good reason), some other long standers that just don’t deliver on a unique dining experience (Cheesecake Factory, CPK – blech) and then some newer ones that just don’t cut it. (Obama I know you had a big $38k/person dinner at Tavern, but really it’s not good).

So we’ve been thrilled that some new, unique restaurants have been cropping up around town.   Last night we had a date with  Milo and Olive a mere 2 days after they opened.

Milo and Olive is helmed by a duo native to Santa Monica, Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan.  The married/business partner duo are the forces behind one of Santa Monica’s best bakeries, Huckleberry, artisanal ice cream shop, Sweet Rose Creamery and one of LA’s top 10 “best burgers” at Rustic Canyon.

We were really excited to try this place out since we’re rabid fans of the other three. Seriously I am not sure a week goes by without a walk to Sweet Rose Creamery.  {We’re obsessed}.

We also wanted to see if this place would hit the DT list.  In our household DT = Delicious Town.  We have a little bit of an ongoing competition about which one of us can take the other to DT. Meaning, ridiculously amazing food – homemade, street food or from a restaurant.  So, did Milo and Olive have it?

The place is small – it probably seats 20 tops – and they don’t take reservations.  There are two communal tables and a small bar top area which overlooks an open and very busy kitchen.  The good of all of this is that, dining at Milo and Olive truly feels like an intimate, communal affair with neighbors and staff that feel like friends.

We waited about 45 minutes to eat with a glass of wine and while we waited, Josh passed around the most delicious fried artichoke dip appetizers.

{oops! I caught him mid-chew on a fried artichoke app}

We were seated at the bar and quickly became friends with the team behind the counter.  They recommended the

Roasted McGrath Farms Pumpkin with brown butter sage, buckwheat honey, and black pepper

Aqua Pazza – PEI mussels, Manilla clams, sweet shrimp, white wine, garlic and fresh herbs

and the

Mixed Mushroom Pizza – Fontina, Parmigiano Reggiano and thyme

Each dish got better and better.  In fact we were so overwhelmed by tastes, flavors and experience that we were tempted to be gluttonous and order another pizza despite our overly full stomachs.   Instead our arms were twisted and all of a sudden the most delicate, delicious, sweet and semi-savory Pear Tart was delivered to us.

We were done for.  This place is no joke.  It is DT – HANDS DOWN.

Josh and Zoe know what they’re doing and it’s clear.  Run to this place! And if the wait is too long for your tastes, at least wait for your takeout to be ready (or their soon to launch curbside service!).

The Mr. tried to wax poetic  and summed up our experience: “{eating at Milo and Olive} is like a tummy rub for a dog”.

Nice.  But I get it. {sorta}

{MF Dre}

Yes, Mr. Wendal is Real.

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Last night I came home to this

and this

Life must really be rough in the MF Dre house.

It’s been a week already {and as far as I can tell, it’s not going to get better until Friday at 6p}.

Whipped up some of the most amazing Greek 7 Layer Dip courtesy of Jessica. She also takes really amazing pictures like this one:

and began the Nightshift of working on the work. {Cue Commodores now}

Tried to hit the road for a wind whipping 5 Miles this morning. Seriously I think the winds were about 63mph and I wasn’t up for running like/against the wind so I wound up splitting the workout with the elliptical inside.

While outside though, I passed by Mr. Wendal (yes, I’m serious, he exists and is alive and well in Brentwood, CA) and his Poems To Go…Here, have a dollar, in fact no brotherman here have two.

His Poems were gone with the wind.  Luckily he had a trunk-full more. {Bum + Car = ????}

Loving It.

{MF Dre}

Twas the Night Before December.

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One More Sleep and December is Here.

{and I’ve got one hell of a list}

I LOVE Christmas, but I’ve never been one to quite get behind the tradition of Green and Red.

Gold, Silver, Black, Bronze, Pink, {Confetti} anyone?

Here are five things that I’ve pinned that I’m excited about doing/making/seeing/wearing this Holiday Season.


What’s on your list?
{MF Dre}

Energizer Bunny.

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I’m not sure how it works out this way, but I seriously have too much energy.  I don’t know how to sit still.  The other night the Mr. and I tried to watch Forks Over Knives and my left leg started having agita.  Seriously I got Kicked.Off.The.Couch.  No biggie, I got to do dishes, clean the kitchen, walk the dogs – all of which sounded 1,000x better than sitting still on the couch.

Forks Over Knives examines the claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting animal-based and processed foods. Honestly I’m no scientist, but I do know that a lack of reliance on Bacon, Red Meat and Doritos in favor of a cleaner diet probably does something to contribute to this energy situation.  It wasn’t a bad movie, I just couldn’t sit still.  Finding that to be the case A.LOT. lately.

MF Dre. Bunny

“Ever since you started running like crazy, You are on FIRE all day long. What’s up with that? Shouldn’t you be tired?” — Mr.

{Why No. Thank Goodness. I Think}

Here’s What’s on Today’s List:

  • Running 6 Miles with Homies
  • Thanksgiving Grub-Worthy Recipe Quest
  • Whole Foods 
  • 3 Loads Laundry
  • Vacuum
  • Fresh Cranberry & FIG! Sauce
  • Salted Caramel Cheesecake – my first attempt EVER at a cheesecake
  • Makeup Appointment – BIG EVENT on Saturday
  • Rent a Tux for the Mr. 
  • Bank
  • Start Phase 1 of a D.I.Y.
  • Manicure/Pedicure
  • …. I’m sure more will be added.  

Fresh Cranberries, Sugar and Cranberry Juice

Dried Figs

Gingersnap Crust

Salted Caramel Cheesecake - Pre Oven

With all that done, I’m hoping the Mr. will come home soon and volunteer to Vacuum.  It is the One chore I just can’t seem to bring myself to do.  Energy or Not. 

Thinking it might be time to start the Holiday Shopping – like today. Black Friday has come early. Wednesday, Friday… same thing.  If you liked these pants from Saint Grace, you just might be able to snatch up some during their sale.  Get an early start on your Holiday Shopping – 50% off select items and Free Ground shipping on orders over $75!   

And for you local Runners, Front Runners is having a sale too. Passing this along with a plea to you:  PLEASE DO NOT BUY THOSE UGLY GORILLA FEET SHOES.  THEY ARE HIDEOUS.

kthx.

 

{MF Dre}

Rainy Daze.

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When the forecast is rain, I’m secretly thrilled.  

Woke up and it.was.coming.  Quickly leashed up the homies and took them out on a 4 mile run to make sure they were tired enough to not drive me crazy all day.  (It’s 3pm and the morning nap continues…)

Stopped into Whole Foods, loaded up … like a lot.  On the agenda, Butternut Squash Pasta with Sage and Crumbled Bacon,  Roasted Beets for a slightly modified version of this and some Pumpkin-Coconut Bread Pudding   

Broke out the Myles Hendrik playlist that was gifted to me last year for Christmas.  If you’re looking for a great gift idea for a bunch of people, this was a really great idea.  A friend paid Myles (a pretty neat LA-based dj) to put together a 500+ song playlist filled with a whole variety of music think: lobby music at The W. type music and she gifted it to all her nearest and dearest.  So much of the playlist is new to me and not part of my everyday running/commute music that it provides great entertaining and rainy day background music.

Sent the Mr. off to the LA Auto Show and I got my Cooking/Baking/Music/Creative Daze On.

Pumpkin-Coconut Bread Pudding (*modified from a Southern Living Recipe)

2 large eggs

1 15 oz can pumpkin

1 1/4 cup almond milk

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

12 oz loaf of french bread, cut 1 inch cubes 

Caramel Sauce:

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

1 Tablespoon corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, pumpkin, milk, sugar, coconut, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and vanilla.  Add bread cubes and stir to coat.  Cover with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly grease a baking dish and fill with bread mixture.  Bake for 50 minutes, lightly tenting with foil for the last 20 minutes.

For sauce:  In a small saucepan, cook brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup over medium heat for about 4 minutes or until sugar is dissolved.   Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. 

Remove from oven and glaze! 

PS. Registered for the LA Marathon today on 3/18!  Anyone else want to join in?   Registering today meant I signed up early enough to get on the 5:30a shuttle from Santa Monica to the start at Dodger Stadium.  There are shuttles at 2:30a, 3:30a, 4:30a and 5:30a.   Can you imagine having to get on a 2:30a shuttle?  Might as well pack a sleeping bag and pillow for when you arrive at the stadium.  Sounds.Like.Hell.

Excited for the course – Stadium to the Sea. I will actually be running right by the abode at about mile 22 on the way down to the finish at the Santa Monica Pier. This means that the Mr. and the Homies can stumble out of bed a mere 5 hours after I do and meet me on the curb, put me on their shoulders and carry me to the finish.