Saturday, August 4

Day 217: Along the Road to Happiness

When you hear the word hazelnut what do you think of? Nutella always comes to mind for me as well as the fun little game called "filipin" that my husband and I played at Christmas this year where you crack open and eat whole hazelnuts right out of the shell. My very first post was about this game so they are also a bit nostalgic to my blog. I love hazelnuts and after I discovered that I could purchase them at one of the indoor markets already shelled, it has become commonplace to find a bowl of them sitting out in our kitchen. Sometimes they are mixed with other nuts and sometimes they have their own bowl for easier access.

This morning after sleeping in deliciously late, I headed down to the kitchen to make coffee with plans to bake some kind of breakfast treat as well. It is Saturday after all and breakfast treats usually happen on one or both of the weekend days. Earlier this week I came across a pumpkin scone recipe that sounded incredible and since I wrote earlier this week about my love for "pumpkin anything," I was seriously contemplating making them. Even if it is still Indian summer and I have all of autumn to make pumpkin treats. I mentioned my scone idea to my husband last night while we were riding bikes and he very seriously asked, "Will you be able to get more pumpkin?" It sounds like he was concerned that if I used the pumpkin now there wouldn't be any later when we really start to crave the pumpkin. It was pretty cute.

The obvious breakfast treat to make would have been banana bread since we had four very ripe, nearly compost-ready bananas. They would be perfect for making banana bread even if I was craving the pumpkin. As I started making coffee I noticed the bowl of hazelnuts and suddenly I new exactly what I would make. Toasted hazelnut banana bread. Not banana hazelnut bread, but Toasted Hazelnut Banana Bread (THBB). Hazelnuts would be the star. And let me just tell you, it was a brilliant idea, even if I do pat myself on the back. The crunchy hazelnuts paired with the natural ripe sweetness of the bananas and then a bit of brown sugar added to round out the flavors was like a dream come true.

It was just a tiny bit frustrating to discover half way into making this magical bread that we were out of eggs. The wait however, while I ran out to pick some up was completely worth it and the THBB was ready just in the nick of time to eat a piece piping hot out of the oven right before my husband had to run out the door to get his hair cut. There is nothing better than eating freshly baked goods right out of the oven. Brownies have been one of my absolute favorites to eat this way but since moving to Sweden I have started to lean more towards those darn kardemumma bullar (cardamom buns) and now toasted hazelnut banana bread. What can I say? Delicious food seems to always be found along the road to happiness.

Just a pile of toasted hazelnuts... in all of their glory.

Toasted Hazelnut Banana Bread with a fork and napkin on the side but I can assure you that it was stuffed into my mouth by hand as fast as I could shove it in. No fork or napkin used. I even licked my fingers.

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