Monday, October 12, 2009

Chocolate Banana Bread

This is a loaf of banana bread I made yesterday. It's brown because it's chocolate banana bread. OK - the real name of the recipe is Whole Wheat Chocolate Banana Bread but don't let the whole wheat part put you off (it almost made me not want to make it).

The great thing about this recipe is that the addition of cocoa masks the sometimes overwhelming flavor of the whole wheat flour. I love whole wheat in bread but not always so keen about it in my baked goods. With this recipe you get the best of both worlds; you feel like you are eating a treat (which you most definitely are) as well as getting a little bit of some healthy whole grains. I also liked the fact that there isn't much oil - only 1 T and the sugar, at 3/4 of a cup, wasn't terrible either.

I modified the recipe as follows: used Rice milk instead of skim milk for my milk allergic son, used 1/2 white flour and 1/2 wheat (I was a little nervous to go all the way and use 100% wheat flour) but next time I will try and increase the ratio of wheat to white flour. And I only used 3/4 t of nutmeg instead of a full teaspoon. Nutmeg can be such a strong spice; even at the reduced amount it still came through loud and clear.

Hubby proclaimed this banana bread "perfect" in its current state and told me not to change anything. I can't get any better compliment than that.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

When Life Gives You Lemons

....step on 'em!

My Dad loves to send me those internet emails that go 'round the world. He has become a lot more selective, especially since I taught him to use This was one he sent me this week. I liked the message - kind of the farm animal version of "Who Moved My Cheese".

"A donkey fell in a deep well. The villagers, not knowing if he had survived in good condition, decided to just bury him in the well.

At first the donkey was very upset and angry. "How could they do this to me? I worked hard for them and I never complained about the heavy loads. I was loyal and did a great job." he thought to himself.

As the shovels of dirt continued to fall on his head he realized that complaining and being angry was doing no good and certainly wasn't going to help him get out of the well. He finally decided that with each shovel of dirt that fell on his head he would shake it off and step up.

He continued to shake off the dirt and step up. By the time the villagers had thrown in their last shovel of dirt the donkey was able to step up and out of the well by himself."

Setting aside all my questions (how did a donkey fall in a well? If it was a dry well why wasn't it capped? If it wasn't a dry well why would the villagers risk their water supply by contaminating it with a dead donkey?) I liked the message: if you aren't happy with something that is going on in your life change it!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Blow... Didn't

Tonight I finally got around to watching the 2001 movie "Blow". I don't know why it never appealed to me 8 years ago, but it was on regular old TV tonight and I was looking for some background that I could knit to so I decided to watch. I'm glad I did.

I thought it was quite good. Based on a true story - I always like those types of movies - it was intriguing to see the life of George Jung go from rags to riches to rags again. It was poignant and somehow I ended up feeling sad for him, but especially his daughter. I tend to try and avoid any sad movies nowadays so this one snuck up on me. Again, I'm glad it did.

Johnny Depp, as usual did a great job. Lots of other big names too - Penelope Cruz, Ray Liotta, Rachel Griffiths, Paul Reubens (Pee Wee Herman - I thought he looked familiar) to name a few. It's definitely worth renting