Buenos Aires, by Noelia Diaco. Photo is not visible, used only for sharing on social networks.

Quick breads for skiing

February 27, 2015

When we go up skiing, I usually make a quick bread to bring for breakfast. I've even gotten comfortable enough that I've started making up my own recipes. So far, I've created my own apple bread and carrot bread.

Apple Bread
Inspired by Sprouted Kitchen and Joy the Baker

Note: As this was a bit too moist, I'll probably add more flour next time.

1 cup grated apples
1 cup coarsely chopped apples
1/2 cup (62g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (65g) whole wheat flour
1/2 cup (48g) almond meal
1/2 cup (55g) chopped walnuts
1/2 cup (40g) oats
1/2 cup (100g) + 2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
generous pinch freshly ground nutmeg
2/3 cup buttermilk (substitutions)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan and set aside.

Put the chopped apples in a bowl of warm water with a squeeze of lemon and let them sit. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, nuts, oats, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, oil and vanilla extract. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Add the grated apples and chopped apples. Fold to incorporate thoroughly. Spoon batter into prepared pan and top with remaining brown sugar.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Carrot Bread
Inspired by Food.com and Smitten Kitchen

1 1/2 cups (195g) whole wheat flour
1/2 (40g) cup oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar
2 cups (255g) carrots, grated
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup (55g) nuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together oil, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla. Stir grated carrots into wet ingredients until evenly coated, then stir wet ingredients into dry just until no floury bits remain. Fold in nuts.

Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

- Steph

Video: Snow, wind and skiing

February 26, 2015
It's gotten to the point where we get excited over an inch of snow. An inch. That's what we got last weekend and it was the only time we've seen fresh snow all year. In honor of the "snow," we put together our first GoPro video of the season. It's a very rough cut, but the snow and wind made for some cool footage. The forecast predicts we'll get 8-12 inches this weekend, so hopefully our next video will feature real snow.

- Steph

8 hours in Sacramento

February 12, 2015
We were planning to spend all winter skiing, but then New England stole all the snow and we've ended up with a lot more weekends to fill than we expected. We spent one of those Saturdays in Sacramento, our state capital which we had bypassed on prior trips.

We started at the California State Railroad Museum, with its restored locomotives and railroad cars. I had chosen the museum mostly because I thought Ben would like it, but turns out that I think old trains are pretty cool too. The transcontinental railroad was conceived in Sacramento and construction began in 1863. It took six years to complete the Central Pacific Railroad, connecting Sacramento with the Union Pacific Railroad in Promontory, Utah. The railroad cut the travel time from New York to California to six days, a journey that took months on horseback.

The best part of our visit was our private tour from one of the docents. Ben wanted to better understand the mechanics of how steam engines work so we asked one of the docents where we could find an exhibit explaining it. He was so thrilled with our question that instead of taking us to the exhibit, he toured us around the museum himself, using the different models to explain steam locomotion.

For the rest of the afternoon, we walked around the touristy section of Sacramento ("Old Sacramento") with its preserved Gold Rush-era buildings and modern shops (we found this guy in an antiques shop). Then we continued west to ski at Northstar the next day.

Old Town Sacramento
Along the Sacramento River
Dome at the California State Capitol
- Steph