I have some exciting news! Last week on kind of a whim, Pat and I booked a trip to California. In November we'll be flying into San Francisco, staying with Pat's friend for the night and then driving down the coast through Santa Cruz and Monterray and the Carmel Valley to Big Sur, where we will stay for a couple days before heading back. We've booked our Air Bnb and all that's left is figuring out a car rental and planning out all the stops we want to make. I've never been to this part of California and it's been on my travel list forever, so I am super pumped. Also, first time renting a car so checking that off the list, haha. I'm taking recommendations on what to do and places to see, so if you have any please send them my way!
Traveling is one of my favorite things to do and I think it's one of the most important things that someone can do. I'd always liked traveling growing up, but I really started to love it when I studied abroad in Rome my junior year of college. Being in a new city surrounded by new people and a new language completely opened up my world and my desire to explore. The five months I was there were some of the most defining in my life so far. I became more independent, mature, and just generally aware about the world around me. Since then my thirst for exploring new places hasn't died. Traveling is expensive, especially for a person who doesn't have a ton of money (ie. me) but I've found that some of the best ways to do it is on a budget. Having hardly any money when I was abroad forced me to be resourceful, staying in hostels with my friends (having both amazing and terrible experiences), eating local food, and being forced to talk to local people because we didn't have cell phones. One of the biggest things that blows my mind is how I was able to navigate around Rome and other foreign countries and cities relying only on a map. This seems crazy to me now, thinking about how much I use Google Maps on my phone for navigation, but it also reminds me that I can get around without technology!
Obviously San Francisco is still America so there isn't a language barrier, but I am still really exciting to explore a completely new place that I have read and seen so much about. Even with limited amounts of money, I believe traveling is one of the most enriching things one can do, and while I have limited responsibilities in my life (no kids, etc.) I'm trying to take advantage of going as many places as possible.
I wasn't sure how this loaf would turn out as I've never baked with papaya before, but it was surprisingly one of the densest and most delicious loaves I've ever made. Taking a bite made me feel transported to the tropics.
Papaya Coconut Loaf
Preheat oven to 350F; line 1 loaf pan (8 1/2 x 4 1/2) with parchment paper and lightly spray the insides with cooking spray.
Puree the papaya and coconut milk in a blender or food processor and set aside.
Mix together the flour, coconut, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl.
Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl, and then beat in the eggs until light and fluffy. Stir in the vanilla and rum extracts. Add in the papaya puree and mix.
Stir the dry ingredients into the wet. Be careful not to over mix! The batter should be smooth.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted inside comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
Cool 10 minutes in the pans, then transfer to a wire rack. Once the cake is cooled, whisk together all ingredients for the glaze.
Mix together ingredients for glaze and Pour the glaze on top of the cooled cake, spreading evenly. Sprinkle the flaked coconut on top. Enjoy!
- Coconut oil to line parchment paper
- 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut (reserve 1 tbsp for sprinkling afterwards)
- 1 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 3 tablespoon butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup fresh cubed papaya
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup (115 g) powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons water