Monthly Archives: January 2012

I Quit Coffee

This post is not a recipe. It’s a personal “yay me” shout out. I quit coffee. At least during the week. I’m allowing myself to still indulge on weekends, or say a trip out of town with a cup or two.

I never even touched the stuff until I was well into my 20s. I blame my husband entirely for getting me hooked. He was my enabler. For at least the first year or so I never even brewed my own pot. The husband would make coffee and I would beg him to fix me a cup because he had a knack for doing it “just right.”

At first more than one cup would make my hand jitter. If I drank more than one dose while in a coffee shop, I’d have to leave.  Jacked on an intense caffeine high, I was afraid of what scene I may make if I stayed and continued to try and read my book. They say “Redbull gives you wings” but I got some pretty good coffee wings at the start.

This small indulgence digressed into an all out addiction. My husband and I began splitting a 12 cup pot of coffee daily. Then he switched to a night shift at work. A cheapo 12 pot coffee maker can’t really handle a smaller load without it tasting like garbage. Thus, I began to sustain myself with six to eight cups of coffee to myself per day as I still brewed up a full pot every morning.

I began to feel blasé. I couldn’t even start my day until I’d been up for a few hours and drank my fill. For 2012 I didn’t make “resolutions” but I did sit down in early January and think about where my life is headed and where I want to be when I grow up. I set down eight goals for myself for the year. One was to quit coffee.

I’ve been drinking too much of the stuff. It ain’t helping my teeth any. My sugar and cream is helping to fattening me up and sweeten me out. My tum tum ain’t a fan of all that sludge. So, “off coffee” made my list of goals.  It’ll also help with goal #1 of having my booty be 15 pounds lighter.

Surprisingly, it’s the first goal that I can happily put a tentative check mark towards. After a few days of complete and utter fatigue from my cold turkey quit, my life is happy and complete without coffee. The reason why I’m keeping us friends on weekends is because I still love the smell and taste, the ritual of grinding beans and brewing a pot, mixing it “just right” and then spending those moments sipping often to ensure I drink it down while it’s the perfect temperature.

Oh delicious kahawa (coffee in Swahili), I’d just like to say that “It’s not you, it’s me, and I’m sorry we can’t be together any more. Our relationship wasn’t happy or healthy. I was too obsessive. I needed you too much. But, I’m happy we can remain friends and see each other on occasion. I still love you.”

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Banana Bread

Banana bread is wonderfully delicious and easy to whip up, especially if you keep extra ripe bananas frozen in your freezer. This last time, I forgot to take my bananas out early, so I “speed defrosted” them by sticking the frozen bananas on top of the preheating stove. By the time I got everything else together, they were good and soft.

My grandmum always seems to have a loaf around her house. Whenever we’d visit there would be bread sitting on the table, or if we were really lucky, a loaf for each of us to take home. Her bread was always wonderfully moist. She swears her secret is adding a tablespoon of water to the recipe. So, every time I make a loaf, I think of her. I used to make her recipe, but I began to tweak it as it calls for vegetable shortening and three sources of sodium (baking soda, baking powder, salt).

I made one loaf of banana bread about a week ago, with only a few tweaks to my grandmother’s recipe (butter instead of crisco, no water added, less sugar) and it didn’t turn out so hot. It was slightly burnt (even though the recipe said 50-60 minutes) at 50 minutes of cooking and tasted “meh.”  Plus, it was better on the “health” factor but still rather low with all that sodium. Banana bread’s hard to mess up so long as it isn’t brick-quality over burnt so I still ate it, but I figured I could do better. After consulting Simply Recipes banana bread recipe, I came to a happy (and delicious) medium between her recipe and my grandmother’s, which is detailed below.

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted or softened to room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt (less than 1/2 tsp)
  • 1/2 cups walnuts (optional, but very yummy)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mash the bananas with the butter and sugar.
  3. Mix in the eggs and vanilla.
  4. Mix the flour, baking soda and salt together separately.
  5. Add the flour mixture into the sugary eggy banana butter mush and stir with a spoon until just combined.
  6. Fold in nuts if you’re including them.
  7. Pour into a loaf pan that you’ve sprayed with vegetable oil. These can also easily be muffins, but baking time will be severely reduced.
  8. Bake the banana bread for 45 to 60 minutes. Test with a toothpick at 45 minutes to see if its done (mine was and looked beautiful!).

Enjoy.

 

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