Monday, September 3, 2012

One last Picnic

 Pssssssssssssst!  Hey, you!  Let's go on a picnic .. a secret supper picnic while the sun still sets after 6pm and the wind is warm and not frosty cold.  Let's pick a park, pack some food, strap on our bike helmets and go. After all, it is the unofficial end of summer, and who wants to spend labour day moping about that?  Certainly not me!  So let's do it!

We can have this warm coucous salad to use up all our summer veggies, or maybe this perfect summer pasta salad with fresh dill? Oh, we definitely have to have potato salad -- so why not try this one, with tons of fresh herbs, a lemony vinaigrette and French twist?

If you want to get more elaborate, we could make this spicy oven fried chicken to have with all of our salads, or maybe something a little more fancy and delicate, likes these vegan cucumber and avocado tea sandwiches.

And what should we have to drink? While I'm partial to coffee all day any day, maybe it's better if we stick to something that won't keep us up all night .. after all, it's back to work tomorrow. How about this blackberry limeade. It would be perfect -- I just a saw blackberries at the market! And dessert? That's too hard! There are just too many picnic perfect desserts. But let's go with something simple, like a cookie .. My lavender on the balcony is thriving, so let's bring these lemon lavender cookies and maybe this chocolate cake, since chocolate is always necessary.

Yay, let's do it!  Let's have a last-day-of-summer picnic ...

Who am I kidding? This is so not happening. I still have 6 seating plans to figure out, a batch of granola to bake, and lunch to figure out for the next 4 days. But we can dream can't we?  If you're like me, and dream of being the care-free picnic type, but are pulled in by the too-many-things to do before work begins again, then let's talk for real.  For real, I'll settle for a piece of this impossibly healthy blueberry banana bread and a cup of jasmine tea. For real, I'll be perfectly happy enjoying it while I make up my seating plans, stir granola and get psyched up for tomorrow. For real, I'll be more than happy to enjoy a slice of this guiltless treat on the streetcar ride home tomorrow. And for real, yes for real, I'm super excited about the new school year, especially if it starts off with bananas, blueberries, oats and feeling awesome.

Vegan Banana Blueberry Bread
adapted from A Cozy Kitchen and Love and Lemons
makes one loaf

2 medium super ripe bananas, mashed
1 tablespoon of canola oil
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1/3 cup of almond milk + a squeeze of lemon juice (or 1/2 teaspoon of cider vinegar)
a splash of vanilla extract
1/4 cup of rolled oats
1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 pint of fresh blueberries

1. In large bowl, mix together the mashed bananas, oil, sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. Add the oats and let it sit for about 10 minutes.

2. Sift in the flour, baking powder and soda and mix until just combine. Carefully fold in the blueberries.

3. Pour the batter in a greased loaf tin and bake at 350 for about 40 minutes, or until the top gets nice and brown, and a cake tester inserted comes out clean.

4. Cool well before slicing .. if you don't, you'll get a slice that's goopy -- delicious, but goopy.

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