A Brand New Blog & Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Hi, pals! How have you all been?! Boy, it feels so good to be back in the blog-osphere (almost certain that’s a thing.)

Some of you might know that I’ve been quite ill for the past few months… My anxiety has been crippling and working in childcare has resulted in more than a few colds and viruses (I blame my putrid immune system for this, not the kids… Even though we see them pick their nose and eat/wipe it all the time!)

Being sick for so long has given me lots of time to think about my blog; what I want it to be, what I want to say and how I want it to be so much more for all of you!

I started this blog to share my recipes with whoever might see them, but in the year it’s been running it’s turned into so much more. It’s incredible what social media can do; how it can create a network of people who support, encourage and inspire each other. If you look past all the hate, it can be beautiful.

I shared my story about food saving me in one of my darkest times a few months ago, and the response I received was amazing. So many people reached out to me, telling me they’d experienced similar demons and that they too suffer from mental illness… Some people were even calling me brave! (That blew me away, because I can’t even watch Law and Order: SVU unless it’s during the day!)

I’ve decided that I wanted my blog to be a place where people could visit and feel safe and inspired… A place where people can learn how to cook and bake, enjoy healthy and real food, love themselves and take care of themselves.

I follow many women on social media who constantly inspire me to love myself and treat myself the way I treat my best friend. From Katie H. Wilcox to Heidi Sze, these women have helped me on my path to recovery and my path to loving and nourishing myself… And it is my absolute life goal and dream to be able to do the same for other people.

At the same time, I’m going to continue to be my dorky and goofy self, because the world already has too many people who are afraid to be themselves. And Amy Poehler’s smart girls always say you can “change the world by being yourself”. So that’s what I’m going to aim to do!

This used to be a place where I would share all of my recipes, but I know now I want and need it to be so much more. You can’t do everything on your own, so I’ve decided to share recipes from other blogs as well (giving the author’s all the much-deserved credit, of course!). I want my blog to be more of a diary; a food diary and a place where I can share my journey towards health… Not just the idea of eating well, which is what I used to think health was, but an all inclusive picture of health, where I address body image and mental health issues as well.

I’m super duper excited about the new direction my blog is taking, and I’m even more excited about you guys joining me for the journey!

And now, a recipe… Because I haven’t shared one with you cutie patootie pals for way too long and this is Lou’s Little Kitchen, after all!

This recipe comes from Rachel Ray and boy, is it a cracker! It’s the kind of treat I like to enjoy on a Sunday morning with my lovebug by my side, sipping some tea and reading the paper… Or rather, watching Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, which is what we’ve been doing lately… It’s amazing, you guys have to watch it!

…Preferably with some of this banana bread and some tea. Because why not, pals?!

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Only very slightly adapted from Rachel Ray’s recipe

Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients

– 1 1/2 cups plain flour

– 1/2 cup brown sugar (the original recipe calls for 1 cup, but I find this too sweet!)

– 1 teaspoon baking/bi-carb soda

– 1/2 teaspoon salt

– 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

– 2 eggs, lightly beaten

– 3 ripe bananas, mashed

– 3/4 cup chocolate chips (milk or dark: your choice!)

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius and line a loaf pan with baking paper.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.

3. Add in the oil, eggs, bananas and chocolate chips and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.

4. Pour mixture into prepared loaf pan and bake for 60-80 minutes (mine took about 70), or until a skewer when inserted comes out clean. (You may need to wrap foil over the pan in the middle of baking to prevent the top from over browning, so keep a wee eye on it!)

5. Cool the loaf in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Slice up and enjoy!

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