Day 31 Again: The Choc Chip Banana Bread You CANNOT Mess Up

So last night I came home from a meeting and remembered I had to bake something before the New Moon was over. (Read about why, here.) I was feeling giddy about an exciting project in its early-manifestation stages and therefore wasn’t in the tidiest mood so I thought, I know, yeah, a blog post about how to bake, for messy people!

I know you’ve seen all those high-tech, gourmet food bloggers, I drool over their posts too. But I am not one of them. No one taught me how to bake, I just figure it out as I go along and this is one of the recipes that’s always been the most forgiving. I’ll include below what they told me to use, and what I actually used, adjust yours according to taste.

It’s always hard to eat all the bananas before they inevitably turn to mush. Next time that inevitably happens, don’t shed a tear, pop them in the freezer! I know the bananas look scary and black, but they taste SO good, trust me on this one, it’s worth the “ick” factor. Now you never need to be afraid to buy too many bananas. You’re welcome.

bbread1Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Oh, how is it that you can’t mess this one up, you ask? Well you see, my terrible Spanish oven burned the living crap out of this loaf I made last night and all three of my roommates still wrote all over the refrigerator about how delicious it was – on the inside, because that’s where it counts, guys.

1 2/3 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 tsp Baking soda
1/4 tsp Cinnamon [I used way more]
1/2 tsp Salt [A little more]
1 Cup + 2 tbsp Sugar [Half of it brown]
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Olive oil [Half coconut oil]
3 1/2 Mashed v. ripe bananas [Used 3]
2 tbsp Sour cream [Original recipe called for creme friache but I don’t know what that is. Greek yogurt works but I used flan, since I’m in Spain and that’s more common.]
1 tsp Vanilla [Twice that]
2/3 Cup Walnuts [Chocolate chunks]

bbread21. Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together. If you can’t sift (which is actually really worth the extra dish to wash if you like fluffy baked goods) use a whisk or a fork even.

2. In your mixing bowl (if you’re a normal technologically advanced baker, unlike me) bbread3beat the sugar and eggs for ten minutes until they’re fluffy. If you’re stuck in the stone ages and you’ve got to do this by hand, don’t worry, totally worth it.

3. Drizzle in the oil and mix it up good.

4. Mush up the bananas with a fork first in another bowl. They’ll slide out of the skins really easily after they’ve been defrosted, bbread4don’t worry about touching them for long. I know, gross, but again, so worth it. Add the yogurt (or whatever) and vanilla.

5. Fold the banana mixture into the egg/sugar one. Then add the dry ingredients (remember, always add dry to bbread5wet for the best combination). Last, add the chocolate and or nuts.

6. Pour into a lined loaf pan, pop it in the oven at 350F and leave it for 45 minutes to an hour.

bbread87. Time to clean up after yourself! Even if it is only to avoid eating the rest of the chocolate you have left over.

8. Check if it’s finished by sliding a toothpick or clean knife into the middle and when it comes out clean, the bread is done. My little guy was crispy after only 45 minutes in the new Spanish oven but sometimes I’ve needed more than an hour to get the center solidified.

Here’s a little before and after action:

bbread6 After

So I went to bed only slightly devastated that my first baking experience in Spain had been such a massive failure but woke up to love notes and hugs from grateful roommates! I feel like this was a victory. I chose not to cry and be upset, I thought, well at least the process was creative and fun, who cares about the outcome. It would have been so easy to get down about wasting my time and being imperfect but I remembered we always have a choice.

How did your banana bread come out? Is it less burnt? I hope so.

Day 31: Creativity As A Gift

I find that my ability to channel creative energy from the universe has always made it so much easier to give gifts to those I love. In middle school I gave a painting to my favorite English teacher, for Christmas I often give hand-written notes as gifts, and now I have the pleasure of gifting a yoga teacher friend of mine this lovely poster I made this afternoon…

Nicole also gives FREE classes every week. She is an angel.

“Shanti” means “peace” in Sanskrit.

Shanti Yoga happens to be the friend with whom The Sacred Architecture of Here and Now will be collaborating on an exciting new project! The themes will be fitness (yoga, eating, mental health), stewardship, and travel of all dimensions. Stay tuned for more updates about this work-in-progress. I’ll be posting all the details here, so don’t wander far!

Nicole uses her creative gifts by also teaching FREE classes in Madrid once a week which has saved my life every single time. Yoga is indeed the best gift. How do you share your gifts with the world? Do you find service an important part of your life?

Day 30: The First Day I Didn’t Post

Old Veronica would have been all stressed about meeting the arbitrary 12-midnight deadline she had set for herself at the beginning of her 365 Day Creativity Challenge. Actually, old Veronica would not have even set such a challenge for herself, she would have been too busy and scared to be vulnerable on the internet. A blog? Not a chance.

Well tonight I am here to post a little teaser in regards to the future of this glorious little corner of the internet. Today I spent the evening in a spacious subterranean cafe with my yoga teacher after class, putting the finishing touches on a project we will be dress rehearsing this weekend! It’s a combination of design, yoga, creativity, and stewardship and the meeting couldn’t have been more inspired. Here’s what our work ended up looking like…

Well I can't give away the secret project just yet so if you figured it out... shh!

Well I can’t give away the secret project just yet so if you figured it out… shh!

When I came home, I baked banana bread which I’ll post about tomorrow because it’s super easy and messy in just the right way. Tonight is the second New Moon in January and a time of new beginnings. Every New Moon (when we can’t see her and are waiting for the crescent to reappear) I make a list of ten goals for the new cycle we’re embarking on. It’s lovely to look back every once in a while and see how things are coming. One of my goals was to bake something tasty, so I cut it close, but officially the day isn’t over until my head hits the pillow.

Other goals I set on January 1st, the last New Moon, were to blog, yoga and meditate everyday. I am proud to say that I have the right to check those off my list and that is such a source of gratitude for me. My affirmation which came to me through the tarot cards was “I open myself to life’s bounty with gratitude” and though that didn’t make it onto a Post-it note or even into my conscious mind every day, the vibration was there beneath it all, and I truly do feel more in connection with Cosmic Law a month after I wrote that down.

Here’s a word cloud I made tonight while brainstorming names for our new project, debuting next week (ish). Don’t miss it! You can follow this blog on Facebook here so you’re sure not to miss the unveiling of our heart-centered project.

words

This works like a game: fold it in half, spin it around, open it and the first word you read is meant to find you in that particular moment. Make your own!

What do you want to start the month with the intention to achieve?What are your goals for the next month? Speak them aloud to the stars, write them on a piece of paper, or journal them out in a comment below!

I love sharing the exciting energy of new beginnings with you. Thank you for being!

Namaste,
The Sacred Here and Now