I do this thing where I go to people's houses and imagine what it would look like if I lived there. Almost in a creepy way, where within fifteen minutes of walking through the door, my plans for the place are fully mapped out. In older houses, I like to imagine what it looked like when the very first owners lived there.
A few months ago we ended up this house party, in an awesome giant home built in the 50s, mid-century modern design at it's finest–huge wooden double door entrance, split level where you go up just a few steps to the living room. I didn't even care about socializing, I just wanted to explore that house. "No, I'm fine here alone in the dark sitting room, don't mind me." I can totally picture Betty Draper hosting a swanky little shindig there, passing around a tray of rumaki or some other retro cocktail snack (ps. I LOVE rumaki!).
I also like to do that at furniture stores. Yesterday Evan and I walked to a new consignment store in our neighborhood. The place is two floors with little rooms, which the consignment shop had fully decked out like living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms. Looking for a late 1991 style bedroom, complete with gold bed frame and pastel water color painting? Look no further! Would you like a drink? Step up to my 1970s home-bar, I'll mix you up a martini! There were even a few pieces that could have come straight out of Downton Abbey. I pulled Evan into my little fantasy world, and we wandered around for awhile, pretending to live in the little rooms. Imagining where that furniture had been when it was new. Who's homes it had been in.
By the time we got home, it was pretty chilly out. Evan cozied up to a video game, and I cozied up to the oven to make peanut butter bread. I've made Fannie Farmer's peanut butter quick bread a bunch of times, but this time decided to do something a little different. I had one can of coconut porter in the fridge that Amanda brought back from Maui recently, so I decided to swap out the milk in the recipe for beer. I had been saving it for a special I-need-a-really-delicious-beer-right-now occasion, but then I saw that my local grocery store is carrying it (!!). That coconut porter is SO good. Rich and dark but not too heavy, slightly sweet and coconutty.
And, add it to peanut butter bread? Perfection. This bread is great–dense, slightly sweet, and peanutty, with just a touch of beer-tang. The best part about this recipe–aside from the fact that it's a breeze to make–is that while it's baking, you can drink the remaining half of the beer. My kind of bread!
Peanut Butter Porter Bread
Adapted from Fannie Farmer
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 egg, beaten
1 cup dark beer (like coconut porter)
Preheat oven to 350, and grease a loaf pan (or line with parchment paper). Add dry ingredients to a large bowl (I used my stand mixer) and whisk/mix together. Add in peanut butter, egg, and beer, and mix until incorporated. Spoon into loaf pan, and bake for 50 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.