Friday, February 17, 2012

Easy Vegan Chocolate Banana Bread

I've had seven spent bananas sitting in my freezer for nearly a month.  I kept telling myself that I was going to make banana bread.  I WAS GOING TO DO IT.

Yesterday, I finally did.  It's pretty darn good.  I actually think the batter tasted better than the bread itself (not something I usually find true).  But, the bread (cold, with a tiny smearing of Earth Balance on it) it pretty great, too.  I like this recipe, as it's not ridiculously sweet.  It has a decent amount of sugar, but not as much as in many quick bread recipes.

The recipe comes from Isa Chandra on Post Punk Kitchen.  Per loaf:

1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c white sugar 
(if you're trying to be a good vegan, as I am, try to use unrefined sugar, the refining process is a little horrifying)
1/2 c margarine 
(room temperature or slightly melty)
3 very ripe bananas
(mashed well, I used 7 bananas for 2 loaves)
2 c flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 c vanilla soy milk curdled with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
(I subbed 1/2 tsp cardamom here)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c cocoa powder (my own addition)

Preheat oven to 350 and lightly oil your bread pan.  Cream margarine and sugars together.  Add bananas and curdled soy milk to the sugar mixture.  Sift/wisk together the dry ingredients.  Add wet ingredients to dry and mix very well.  Fill your bread pan (it'll rise about 1- 1.5 inches).  Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour 10 depending on how psychotic you oven is.

Quick breads are very likely the easiest baked thing to veganize as bananas are an effective egg replacer.

Thawed banana (pre-mushing).  You should have seen it coming out of the peel...

I'm not usually a batter eater, but this stuff tasted like chocolate frozen bananas.

Super moist and awesome for breakfast of with vegan ice cream (bonus points for sprinkling the ice cream with cardamom).

What are your favorite quick breads?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Mini Goals

Last year I set monthly challenges and tried to adhere to each for 30 days.  I ended up giving up about half way through.

This year, I'm going to set weekly goals (they'll be Saturday to Saturday).  Some of them will be simple and week specific, some of them will be small pieces in the larger puzzle of who I'd like to be a the end of this year.

I've really got to start moving forward again.  I feel so stagnant.  I even occasionally fantasize about moving.  And I hate moving.  I do wish we had a dishwasher and that our laundry was inside our unit, but I digress.

Each Friday I will write a post containing the goals for the coming seven days and each Sunday I'll write to tell you how the previous week went.

This is what I want for this coming "week."  I'm going to keep it pretty easy for this first go.

1. Stick to the training schedule.  Week three of mileage build up training: Sat 3 miles, Sun 5 miles, Mon rest (anaerobic) , Tue 4 miles, Wed rest (anaerobic), Thur 4 miles, Fri rest (anaerobic), Sat 3 miles

2. Clean the litter box EVERY day.

3. Bake banana bread.  (I want to bake once a week, but this is taking it as the weeks come).

4. Finish reading The Wasp Factory

5. Finish writing chapter three and at least 2,000 words of chapter four in the Jecheon book.

6.  Finish the new in house menu (Publisher file) for Oasis.

Alright, that's it!  I'm gonna get to it!

Friday, January 6, 2012


I promise that I'll get those holiday pictures up soonish.  It looks like Blogger is going to make me upload them as I use them in the post (instead of all at once), so it's a bit of a pain.  But, I really want to put them up here.  Peter suggested that it might be time to look into Blogger's competitors, and he might be right.  Google is going through a lot of changes in their various interfaces (I have an Android, I use Gmail and Blogger, so I feel like I'm all Google all the time).

Now on to the cliche January business.  Resolutions!

Ian and I are in a couple's competition with his family to see who can lose the greatest percentage of body weight before his sister, Alena's, wedding on September 1st.  Each couple has $150 in the pot.  The rules are pretty straight forward, each couple will post weigh-ins each Sunday (Tuesday at the latest or there's a $5 penalty) and their combined percentage of loss will be the one considered.  No fad diets, no pills, no liquid cleanses or anything like that.  Veggies and exercise, basically.  So far, it's been fun.  We're using a private Facebook group for it to keep it easy and, since we're all pretty competitive, it's been fun so far.  I think it has a lot of potential to keep us motivated.

So, that's one if Ian and my "together resolutions."  I need to finally hit my healthy weight and Ian has goals for this year and beyond.  We bought home gym equipment so that we can cancel our gym membership (we both prefer to run outside and it's easier to stay motivated that way).  Looking to hit the pavement 5-6 times a week.

We're also emphasizing teamwork on keeping our apartment clean (even when we aren't expecting visitors, ha).

This one kind of fits right into the "healthy weight" resolution, but we're planning more meals and snacks from home and keeping our eating out to 1-2 times a week.  We're always out and about on our days off, so this is a tough one, but it will save us money and keep us healthier.

I'm looking to write (AT MINIMUM) 5 hours a week and both of us are trying to read more.  I think I should easily finish a book a month.  We watch too much t.v., which is humorous since we don't have cable.

There are others, but these are the big guys.  Oh, and I'm also flossing.  No lie.

How cliche are your resolutions this year?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Our Christmasses Three

This has been awhile coming.  There won't be as many photos as I was hoping for because I have to upload them in chunks, but here this post is, nonetheless.  Finally!!

Ian and I, like many Americans, have several Christmas celebrations in order to spend time with everyone.  It can be cumbersome, but mostly its fun to spread the joy out.

When I was a kid, we used to celebrate Christmas Eve with our immediate family, homemade pizza and sugar cookies.

Now that our family has grown and the holidays pull us in so many directions, we've had to adjust it (calling it Christmas Eve Eve Eve... and so on for awhile), but its still a lot of fun.  We gather at Rob and Danie's house (we being Ian and I, Mom and Bruce, Justin and Richelle [super close family friends]).

Their house was totally decked out (you'll see, in some of the photos) their fridge was even a snowman for the occasion.

My favorite part is giving the kids (Audrey and Grant) their gifts, personally.

But, the whole night is a total blast.

I don't have a single picture of Justin and Richelle.  They didn't get to be there super long due to work schedules.

On Christmas Eve we braved morning traffic (which turned out to be a breeze) and went up to Grays Harbor to spend the day with Ian's family.

But, we did have to get a tire changed when we got there.  We discovered we had a flat outside of Grand Mound.  There, Ian ran into to buddies of his from high school.  After that we were on our way to family fun.

We retired to Mom's after that, where we stayed the night and spent Christmas morning before heading to Gramma's.  I was excited to see her decorations and even more stoked that she had a totally vegan spread out even though it was almost 10pm when we got there.


Last, but not least, on to Gramma's!

Phew!  The end.  Now I can officially move on into 2012.  Ha!