Maple Banana Bread Madeleines

I had one very sad, old banana sitting on my counter, waiting for me all weekend while I was out on the east coast. I was worried I'd come home to a terrible mush pile covered in flies, but to my surprise the little thing really held out.

What would I do with just one banana? I remembered back to my time in Paris with Valerie and waking up to the sweet scent of her delicious banana bread.... idea!!

So this morning, I Googled "one banana banana bread" and clicked on the very first link that showed up.

recipe from What a Crock!

One Banana Banana Bread
1 Large Very Ripe Banana (or two small ones)
1 Egg with enough milk to make One Cup liquid
1 Stick butter/margarine (softened) ( 1 stick = 1/2 cup )
1 tsp Vanilla
1-1/2 Cup Flour
1 Cup Sugar
1 tsp Baking Soda
Nuts (optional)
Put all ingredients in a large bowl together (don’t need to sift or
mix anything beforehand). Use mixer on slow to medium to mix until
lumps are pretty well gone (not too long or bread will be too firm).
Pam-Spray® bread pans (do not flour).
Fill pans 2/3 full
Bake 55 Minutes @ 350 Degree until Golden Brown. Toothpick test for
doneness. This bread comes out quite moist and quite a lot of banana
flavor (with only the one banana)!

Seemed easy enough... and it was! But, seeing as I am still in the process of moving into my new apartment, my kitchen is not fully stocked. I improvised and replaced the vanilla with a tablespoon of maple syrup and added a good sprinkle of cinnamon. I also have yet to buy a bread pan, so I baked it in Madeleine molds instead... The batter was enough for 2 batches of 12 Madeleines, plus a little extra that I put into a mini-quiche mold. They baked for about 20 minutes, the mini-quiche mold for about 40.

They turned out beautifully. Serve them warm so the banana is sweet and gooey. If you prefer them a little less sweet, maybe remove 1/3 cup of sugar to make up for the maple syrup.


views from my porthole


between Corsica and Capri



We spent the past two days crossing the Mediterranean, between Naples and Sardinia. No land in sight, water as glassy as can be. We stopped the boat, went for a swim, and enjoyed an evening cocktail in the absolute glassy serenity of the Med.

We had a surprise visit, not once, not twice, but three times by our new friends.

This is what summer is all about.


yo-ho-ho and a bottle of... rosé

A bit delayed, but we had a proper pirate party for my birthday aboard the mighty Altair!

Beginning with champagne breakfast, eggs Benedict for all,

Swing off the spinnaker pole, into the Tyrrhenian we fall!

Mojitos, champagne, and rosé down we guzzle,
The crew bands together and hands me a puzzle.
I set out on a hunt that would lead me to treasure
Limoncello after each clue was more than a pleasure

Into the bilge I go, to search and to plunder
Among boxes and tools, I was in a blunder...
I scratched me head and I looked towards the sky
X marks the spot! Ah, the crew be so sly...

Next I head off into the rental tender
Around mid-day of my birthday bender
Old daggers and shammies, but no X to be seen,
I nearly gave up, for I searched that boat clean!

But alas, pirate Pytka be not a quitter,
Next I enter a cave that be strewn with litter
A light on my head, the cave I explored
Another pirate success! And yet another shot poured

The next clue had me in a real pickle
For of an oily sea I knew not...

We drunk and we drunk
And I thunk and I thunk

Rum in me belly, feeling a bit tickled,
And I solved me birthday plot!!

(Yes, they misspelled my name, and it will forever be remembered on the dock of Amalfi.)

"You're such a brat!"

Being born on Bastille day, and having spent every single one of my birthdays in France for the past 13 years, I have always been spoiled with fireworks on my birthday.

Just 8 minutes shy of my 21st birthday, and my fireworks have followed me. After a beautiful dinner in a gorgeous Italian garden in the mountains at Hotel Caruso in Ravello with my sister and father, we were surprised with a fireworks show in the next bay over. We took the tender over, shut off the engine and sat back, clapping. My father turned to me, smiling. "You're such a brat..." Ah, I know. Happy birthday to me!

4th of July Unda da Sea


Rental car, Wal-Mart, tent, badminton set, Chex mix. Let's go!

We headed south to the Keys, with driving instructions to the main highway, 2 disposable cameras, and open minds.

We celebrated the 4th of July diving on Islamorada.

no need for wetsuits in 83° F water...

peeking lobster... whats up?

I want to go to...

Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland...

Marion, dear cousin of mine. when I come visit you in Limerick, CAN YOU TAKE ME HERE?

28°C in Paris

Buttes Chaumont, 8 pm, chilled rosé, warm baguette, and two delicious cheeses we happened to stumble upon, gouda with cumin and a particularly smelly roblechon. I learned how to whistle through a blade of grass (see above).

We went to the marché at Richard-Lenoir, got a lot of random vegetables, cheese, wine, flowers, whatever looked nice. We came home and made up a brunch: salade de chevre chaud with cherry and apple compote cooked in chouchen, heirloom tomatoes with basil, artichoke with roasted garlic mayonnaise dressing, and wild mushrooms with caramelized red onions and roasted peppers, followed by a citrus salad with honey and mint.

viva la sunday!