Brene Brown and overripe bananas (weekly recap)

First off, I have an important PSA. If you have an overripe banana, run — don’t walk — to the kitchen to make these cookies (recipe from Gimme Some Oven). After being in the presence of two spotty bananas and suffering from decision fatigue for the past couple of days, I finally made the call: I was going to keep things simple and whip up a basic banana bread. When I informed my husband of this plan, he wondered aloud why I wouldn’t just make ‘some sort of peanut butter banana cookie’ instead.

I immediately rejected his suggestion. Partly because after two weeks of livingincloseproximity, I was feeling even more disagreeable than usual, but also because I’ve attempted to make ‘cookies’ with bananas in the past, and I refuse to be  fooled. Nothing I’ve made which contains even the slightest hint of banana has been a cookie. Banana bread masquerading as a cookie? Muffin in cookie’s clothing? Sure. But not cookies.

Well…let me tell you, my tune has changed. After I got over my initial bout of peevishness (which happened to occur while my husband was industriously installing electrical fixtures in our basement), I decided it wouldn’t hurt to simply google some peanut butter banana cookie recipes and see if any of them looked…reasonable.

Enter this recipe. The pictures looked like cookies, which is always a good sign. And the ingredient list seemed reasonably cookie-ish, with the exception of the added banana. So, I decided to take the plunge.

Full disclosure, I left out the corn starch because we didn’t have any. And I was inspired by a peanut butter and jelly dairy-free ice cream that I recently bought (it’s freaking delicious), so I added thumbprints of mixed berry jam to the tops.

I don’t want to toot my own horn here, but these are Good. Highly recommend! I wouldn’t say that they’re 100% what you’d expect when biting into a peanut butter cookie — they’re a bit lighter and fluffier, but they are NOT bread, and they are NOT muffins, and they will not be mistaken for a breakfast food when you try to serve them for dessert. I mean, I haven’t done that yet…I just baked them this morning, but you can bet they’re going to be paired with the PB & J ice cream for dessert tonight.

Anyway, thanks very much to Gimme Some Oven for gracing the world with this wonderful recipe!

While we’re on the topic of baking, I also trialed these Blueberry Bran Muffins this weekend, and I have a couple of bones to pick. First, they have a distinctly molasses-y flavour (I was hoping they’d be slightly sweeter), and all of the blueberries sank to the bottom, making the muffin structure somewhat unstable. I’m going to try these ones next.

Now, on to cooking, because if COVID-19 isn’t about the food, then what is it about?

(That was a joke!!!)

We had some wraps to use up, so these cheesy cauliflower, black bean enchiladas were selected. As is standard practice when we’re trying to use up a single ingredient, I had to run out and get many other things we’d usually never buy and will probably never use up (this is the song that never ends…). I couldn’t find poblano peppers, so we used a small can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce instead. Also, our mango was all bruised, so I made a yogurt drizzle (pulsed plain greek yogurt, cilantro, avocado, lime, jalapeno and some salt in a food processor until smooth) instead. The enchiladas were amazing…would 110% make them again! I can’t believe I’m this late to the Half Baked Harvest party…every recipe of hers that we’ve tried has been a winner.

So, beyond cooking and eating, what have I been doing this week? Some highlights:

  • I had a Zoom ‘meeting’ with my writer’s group on Tuesday night. We mostly just drank wine and didn’t talk all that much about writing, but it was just the kick we all needed to get back into our writing routines (at least as much as we can given the current circumstances), and we’ve all submitted pages to one another for review this week. I’m hoping to make some real progress on my novel in April.
  • My husband and I attended a Zoom party on Saturday night. Another chance to have some drinks, see some familiar faces, and hear the guys whine about the lack of sports over the past month.
  • I got a Peleton bike! It arrived yesterday, I’ve already done two classes — one through my regular gym and the other through the Peleton app. I love it so far. More to come once I’ve had more time to test it out.

Like many others, I’ve been thinking a lot about connecting with other humans this week. Here are three things on my mind:

  • My mom loves to cook and bake (I guess it’s genetic). I’m planning to ask her if she wants to select a recipe each week for both of us to make (provided we can source the ingredients), and then we can share notes over the phone. Maybe we’ll even work our way through Food52’s list of the 10 best chocolate chip cookies.
  • I purchased a few books of funny postcards and plan to send them out to some of my friends and family.
  • I listened to the first episode of Brené Brown’s new podcast, Unlocking Us. Hearing her talk about handing FFTs made me feel like everything might not be okay, but we’re going to get through it all together.

Have a delightfully mundane week!

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