Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread & Winter Punch

Tis the season of comfort foods! Fun fact: Did you know that when asked, men typically identify comfort foods as being steak, casseroles, and soup, and females pick chocolate dishes and ice cream? I suppose I see comfort foods as warm, hearty, and filling--broccoli and cheese casserole, potato soup, and, mmmm, fudge brownies.

It's ten degrees outside today, and as delicious as ice cream is, I think my comfort snack needs to be warmer...like a freshly baked chocolate dish! I again went to AllRecipes to find a good winter dessert recipe. Chocolate chip banana bread caught my eye for a few reasons. One, although I'm not a fan of banana bread, my boyfriend tends to avoid the supremely chocolate-heavy dishes I crave. And two, having never made banana bread, I felt it was just something an aspiring chef needed to do! Hey, vegans, this is a recipe that may be a little harder for you to adopt. It's got sour cream, butter, and buttermilk in it--but with all the vegan options out there, you should be able to find some supplements in your produce section.

The banana bread dish was pretty easy to make. Since it's not exactly "bread," and more of a "dessert," I just used my smallest casserole pan to make it in. A warning--make sure your bananas are room temperature. Since bananas spoil so quickly, I made the mistake of storing mine in the refrigerator, and mashing them was pretty much impossible. Fortunately, things still worked out for me. The chocolate chips really make the bread, because, honestly, I'm not bananas about bananas! It is such a warm, comforting dish, though--but incredibly filling. I had to eat it in small proportions.

The other recipe I wanted to share also comes from AllRecipes and complements chocolate chip banana bread deliciously: warm winter punch. This is the quickest and easiest recipe I've ever seen in my life, and it's quite tasty. A forewarning, though--trying to make it extra wintry, I doubled the amount of honey...and nearly dozed off drinking this! On the plus, though, that just made it a relaxing nonalcoholic mixture to have at the end of a stressful day! So don't let the "punch" title fool you--this is not a party drink by any means!

However, I can't think of two more flavorful and delicious recipes if you just want to curl up in your pajamas in front of the fireplace on a cold night. True chefs will appreciate these recipes because there's nothing bland about them--they are so tasty and unique, and will definitely warm you up on these bitter, snowy December nights.

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