Oh, but it's just so good!

Banana bread is not on my diet. Nope, not at all. But don't we all deserve to be bad once in awhile? Especially on a Friday night? The bad news is that yes, I made banana bread. The good news? I took half of it to my parents, so I'm only being half bad. hee hee

Here's the recipe, just in case you find you have a couple of bananas laying around. Also, you can add walnuts, pecan or almonds if you want added nutty goodness (about a quarter cup of nuts). Also, when I'm feeling feisty, I'll add in 1/3 cup of cranberries. Yummy goodness and the splash of red is just simply a happy thing!

Banana Bread

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ginger, ground
1/4 teaspoon allspice, ground
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, grated
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (optional)
1/4 cup almonds, pecans or walnuts ground (optional)
1/2 cup butter or margarine (that's 1 stick)
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
4 medium ripe bananas, mashed (I normally use 2-3 for a more mild banana flavor)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Grease 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
3. Sift flour,baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, allspice and nutmeg together in bowl.
4. Add lemon zest and almonds.
5. Stir until combined.
6. Set aside. Beat butter in large mixing bowl until soft and creamy.
7. Beat in sugar until light and fluffy.
8. Add eggs and beat until thoroughly blended.
9. Beat in flour mixture alternately with bananas until mixture is well blended.
10. Pour into prepared pan.
11. Bake in center of oven 1 hour to 1 hour 5 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
12. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes.
13. Invert from pan and cool completely on rack.

And, because I am on a diet and know that many have dietary restrictions, here's the nutritional information for the bread! Now, don't you feel better about it?

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 (107g)

Recipe makes 8 servings

Calories 318
Calories from Fat 118 (37%)
Amount Per Serving %DV
Total Fat 13.2g 20%
Saturated Fat 7.8g 38%
Monounsaturated Fat 3.5g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.7g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 83mg 27%
Sodium 414mg 17%
Potassium 152mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 46.6g 15%
Dietary Fiber 1.5g 6%
Sugars 22.4g
Protein 4.8g 9%

Last of the Desert Flowers...til the cacti start blooming!

Meet the ocotillo! She's rather deceiving as she looks dead about 9 months out of the year. Seriously. Long grey sticks with big thorns. Then, all of a sudden, she gets these beautiful sprays of orange flowers on the end of each of the dead sticks.

And, it's a reminder that looks can be deceiving!

It's not just in the Southwest!

I know this isn't only here in Arizona, but it's definately a warm weather plant. And completely annoying when she loses her flowers because they are like paper and make a real mess. But, for the time they are still on the prickly branches they are beyond beautiful!

15 Feet and Growing

Just another day in paradise when you live in the desert.

This is the agave plant. More specifically, it's an American Agave. They also call it a Century Plant. Rumor has it that it lives for 100 years (Century, ha ha). In reality, it doesn't make it that long. And just when it gets this amazing stalk up the middle with these balls of "flower", it's time to die. This flowering is kind of the last harah for the agave. Then it goes off to some manufacturing plant where they suck the juices out of it an sell it in health food stores as if it is the nector of the gods. It's an interesting story for a plant that grows pretty wild in most of the yards out here.

Reaching up to the Sky

I don't do too many landscapes nor much in the line of macro photography. I love it. I admire it when others do it. I just tend to not capture those areas of my world.

But, for today, I have to share the blossom of the aloe plant. Welcome to my world in the desert southwest!

**Flora Bella texture (Ocean Heiress set on softlight at 75% opacity) and Flora Bella Action (Classic Vintage @80%)

Born Too Late.

That's what this Senior says. He's all about Rock-n-Roll. Loves Hendrix, The Stones...anything that is classic rock. He also prefers vinyl to CD's.

There is no way possible to have done his Senior portraits without including his guitar. And a sunset. And the desert. And making it vintage. Because that's him!

And, a couple of others. I haven't really processed them much more than cropping them.