Chocolate really is the key to staying sane!

Today was a rough day. I’ve been out of a job for almost 5 months now and today seemed to be abnormally quiet. After tossling through the job boards and cleaning the bathroom and attempting to read a book but finding myself not really accomplishing anything, I decided what I needed was a quick project. Something I could start and finish and also be proud of.

I’ve been looking at the kitchen counter with those 2 overly ripened bananas for a couple days now. Each time I think, “I should make some banana bread,” and then I think “Ooh, chocolate chip banana bread!”   So that seemed like a doable project and I had all the ingredients… well, most of it at least.

So I tried finding some yummy banana bread recipe online and once I found one that seemed easy enough, I began pulling out the ingredients. I started mixing it together and already, I was feeling better. I think just the act of accomplishing something with my day spurs on even greater ideas. And that’s when it hit me – I should do this everyday. I’ve never been much of a cook or a baker, but only because I ususally don’t think about food until I’m hungry. I’ve always enjoyed cooking something those few times I’ve done it. And I seem to have all this time on my hands now, so why not learn how to cook now?

And then another light bulb went off. “Write about it.” Share your lessons in cooking with anyone else who wants to read about it. Maybe someone will share some recipes. Maybe someone will have some advice. Maybe someone will attempt to bake some recipe and have some tips to share. And even if no one ever reads this… I’m writing. Which is what I usually get paid to do – write – but for the last 5 months, I haven’t been able to do much of it at all.

Anyway – back to today. I’m making chocolate chip banana bread and as I type this, it is just 4 minutes away from being done. Here’s the recipe I used in case anyone would like to try it:

  • 1¾ cup flour
  • 1½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1/3 bag of mini chocolate chips
  • 2 mashed overripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/ tsp vanilla extract
  • I found this recipe at The Delicious Life blog and decided to try it. Now, I didn’t have any buttermilk but I googled “replacement ingredient for buttermilk” and found that if you mix white vinegar with regular milk, it should have the same result. However, it said to mix it and let it sit for 5 minutes before adding it and… well, I’m not a patient person. So, it sat for about a minue.

    It’s been in the oven for about 34 minutes now. It’s golden brown and it’s filling the kitchen with a soft, warm, heavenly smell and I can’t wait for it to cool down so I can try it out! In the mean time, here is a pic of the chocolate chip banana bread for you to enjoy and perhaps help motivate you to try at home!

    I figure, if I can try to bake or cook something new everyday, I’ll keep my mind from drifting into those scary places and I’ll have a ton of new recipes I can add to my repoitoire of skills. And if I can write about each recipe here, it will keep that ever annoying “writer’s block” syndrome from consuming me whole.

    PS… I just snuck a bite and this recipe is AMAZING! I don’t know how I’m going to not eat the whole thing myself.

    Now… what to make tomorrow? Note to self, make something healthy to balance out today’s treat!

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