This story will somehow lead to a baked good. I promise.
I can’t believe the summer is almost over and I have to go back to school (work) in less than two weeks! I’m in denial. I will be teaching psychology this year and have planning to do, but I keep telling myself I have plenty of time, but I guess I really don’t. With the summer flying by, I feel like I haven’t really done much, like day trips and stuff like that. And having a 13 month old is a little tough. He is go go go and things don’t hold his attention for too long. However, this week my parents, brother and his fiance, my aunt, two cousins, Luke and I went to Smolak Farms in North Andover. It was perfect and a great place for a family to go. They have pick your own fruit, animals, a playground, bakery and farm stand, an ice cream stand, and picnic area. They have a ton of activities too, especially in the fall. I will definitely be going back to try the apple picking and do some fun stuff with Luke.
We started the day at Smolak Farms by picking plums, peaches, and raspberries. Raspberries were slim pickings but I was able to fill up a good-looking pint. They also have blueberries to pick but I have plenty of those. I am not sure what I will do with the peaches and raspberries but Matt has plans for the plums.
After we picked the fruit we ate lunch and then checked out the animals and playground. Luke didn’t know what to make of the animals at first but eventually warmed up to the goats.
I wrapped up my day by baking. Matt got home from work early so it worked out and I was able to get this done. I have mentioned Joy the Baker numerous times in previous posts. In addition to her cookbook that I am baking my way through, she is always sharing great new recipes on her blog. The latest one I had to try is Banana, Walnut & Chocolate Cookie Cake. She made this in a cast iron skillet that I did not have…yet. After contemplating it, I convinced myself that I needed a cast iron skillet because not only with this recipe, there is so much I can do with it!
So I got one and I made this awesome dessert. Now, I don’t like bananas and I don’t normally go for things with walnuts but it looked too good to pass up. And that is the whole point of what I have been trying to do with my baking, which is make things with ingredients I would usually avoid.
This recipe was so simple to make because all the ingredients were mixed right in the skillet. The only thing different is she uses an 8 inch skillet and mine is 10 inch. So I reduced the oven temp to 325 and it took just a few minutes longer to cook. Also, the recipe calls for one egg. I had twins in mine! This cake came out so good! The banana flavor isn’t overpowering and there is just enough walnuts. It is delicious!
I can’t wait to create something else in this skillet!
My transition from my day at Smolak Farms to making this cake is pretty weak but I wanted to share my day with you. I hope you enjoyed!