After a change in our plans, Piyush and I decided to take a weekend trip to Grand Marais, MN.
Grand Marais is a small town located on Lake Superior in northeastern Minnesota. It holds a very special spot in my heart; and, in my opinion, just might be among the most beautiful places on this Earth.
When I was a teenager, my parents purchased a cabin in Grand Marais–off the famous Gunflint Trail. Now, if you’re from Minnesota–or even Wisconsin–you’re probably pretty familiar with the term “cabin.” If you’re not, “cabin” is a term that usually describes a second piece of property and can mean anything from a rustic shack in the woods to a magnificent mansion on the banks of Lake Superior.
My family’s cabin is definitely not a mansion, but it’s no shack either. It’s more like a charming cottage, hidden along the banks of a beautiful lake about 10 miles away from Lake Superior.
I absolutely love it there, and it really does feel like a second home.
Unfortunately, Piyush and I only seem to venture to Grand Marais about one or two times a year. I wish we could go more often, but it’s 6 hours away…and there just aren’t enough weekends in the summer (and there is way too much snow in the winter!).
Piyush and I left Friday morning and decided to take our time. Usually we’re in such a rush to get to the cabin that we don’t really stop or enjoy any of the sights along the way (excluding Duluth. We always stop in Duluth).
This time we stopped at a few antique shops, played 18 holes of golf, and even stopped for some pie.
Betty’s Pies is a relatively famous Minnesota destination. Personally, I think it’s history is more interesting than the pie, but I’m not much of a pie person. We picked up a Bumbleberry pie (raspberry, strawberry, blackberry and blueberry) to share with my parents. When I opened the box, this is what I saw:
Isn’t that the maddest pie you’ve ever seen? I got such a kick out of the pies angry-face! It still makes me giggle.
The filling was yummy! …the crust, meh. It was pretty dry. But I guess dry pie is better than no pie, right? …Right?
Piyush and I also stopped for dinner at The Angry Trout. The food was amazing, and I wish there was an Angry Trout clone in Rochester!
The trout was fresh caught in Lake Superior, and the taste was incredible. I don’t usually enjoy fish all that much, but I think I could eat this everyday!!! YUM!
The view from the restaurant was pretty incredible too…
Once we finished with dinner and began driving north on the Gunflint Trail, I noticed all the beautiful wild flowers were beginning to bloom. Lupine, roses, and blackberries (among other things) grow wild along the roads. It’s such a lovely welcome, and I always look forward to it.
The weekend was so relaxing, but unfortunately it rained all of Saturday. We didn’t get to spend much time on the water, but that’s okay. Just being in Grand Marais was good enough for me!
Now…on to the banana bread!
This recipe for banana bread is the easiest version I’ve ever come across. It is also probably the first thing I really learned to bake myself.
The recipe allows for all sorts of variation, and a lot of times I’ll toss in some dark chocolate or dried cranberries. It always turns out incredible, and I’ve never baked a dry loaf. There really isn’t anything worse than dry banana bread. Yuck!
I couldn’t tell you where this recipe came from. I don’t know if it was from a book, my grandma, or maybe I found it online. I don’t know. I’ve had it for well over 15 years.
What I do know is that if you make this banana bread…you won’t regret it!
Easy Banana Bread
- 3 browned bananas- smashed
- 1 c. sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 c. flour
- 1/4 c. butter- melted
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
- In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, mix together smashed banana, and the melted butter. Once everything is combined, add the egg and mix again.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until everything is combined–but don’t over-stir. Add any mix-ins (chocolate, dried fruits, nuts…) and stir until they are evenly distributed.
- Pour batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour at 325 degrees F.
- Remove from oven, let cool a couple minutes and remove from loaf pan. Let the bread cool on a rack for about a half hour or so. Enjoy!
This recipe freezes extremely well!