Motto of the week “Instagram that shit!”
Which would have probably been more awesome if I had a cell phone signal for like 5 minutes while tucked away in the mountains of Virginia and her half-sister to the west.
We kicked off the day one by heading up to Hagerstown to pre-ride an upcoming race course and visit some friends. The course was BORING – straight up a hill and straight down it – but at least now we know what we’re in for (and once again, I mean “we” as in “he” and maybe myself depending on how packed the field is that morning. There was drinks and responsible driving and fun for all.
Friday we killed some time and hit up the Crack Barrel before heading south to our destination, The Guesthouse at Lost River. The inn is beautiful, the staff is very friendly and the owners are kind. Our room was off in a side cabin as our weekend fell on ‘family weekend’ and as we all know my love of children, but that was perfect. We had an entire suite to ourselves with a fireplace, comfy leather furniture, and a full kitchen. I could have seriously gotten my cook on in this little inn if I had planned better. We enjoyed great drinks at the bar and had dinner at the inn (everything ‘nearby’ is at least an hour away).
Saturday we were in full on vacation mode and headed down to the Natural Bridge. Where it is an amazing sight, I’m pretty sure Foam Hedge was more entertaining a place and I pouted a bit when Handsome wouldn’t let me stop at Dinosaur Land which has an insanely flattering brochure for a not so charming destination. We got a little lost looking for some mountain bike trails but ultimately ended up at Douthat State Park where we climbed for the better part of an hour. I earned my badge in official mountain biking and we headed back down the swooping trails. We headed back to the inn (2 hour drive) cleaned up and back down to a local town for dinner. I won’t mention the name of the restaurant near Lost River that specialized in brewing, nor will I mention the waitresses name that told us to hurry up with our appetizer and salad so she could bring us our steak. I can say that the plating was poorly conceived as the steak was hard to find on the small plate under the three cups of french fries served atop it but that the food was otherwise ok. Sticking to the positives here.
Nutter Butter Banana Pudding
adapted from Baked Explorations
If you have ever wondered if splitting a vanilla bean is worth it - it is.
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tbs cornstarch
- dash salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 tbs unsalted butter
- 3 ripe bananas, peeled
- 2 tbs orange juice
- 1 sleeve peanut butter cookies (about 12 cookies)
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Whisk in the cream and milk. Add the egg yolks. Split the vanilla bean in half and scrape out the seeds into the saucepan. Don’t skip this step or replace it with vanilla extract – this one bean goes a long way. Whisk the mixture until everything is combined.
Place the saucepan over a burner and set the heat to medium high. While whisking constantly, bring the mixture to a boil, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, and the butter and stir vigarously for two minutes to release excess heat. The mixture will be smooth and thick. Place plastic wrap directly against the pudding and let cook in the fridge at least one hour.
After pudding has cooled, remove from fridge while preparing the bananas. Slice the bananas and toss with orange juice. Set aside.
Place the peanut butter cookies in a heavy duty Ziploc bag and beat to fine crumbs with a rolling pin.
Place a layer of peanut butter cookie crumbs in a serving jar and top with banana slices. Place a dollop of pudding over the bananas to cover and repeat the process as needed to fill remaining jar/s.
Top with a sprinkle of cookie crumbs and banana slices. Serve and don’t expect leftovers.