babies & banana bread

had my monthly check-up this am. baby’s heart rate is great. they forgot to tell me numbers…i’m one of those weird moms that records EVERYTHING in the baby’s book…but i’ll take “great.” one more monthly appt. in april, then it’s every 2 wks for this chick. seems to be going by pretty quickly.

our april appt. actually falls on the due date for “baby ej,” the 2nd of our three babies, who went to be w/Jesus in august. not quite sure how that day will feel. i’d like to do something as a family on that day to honor our babies and “ej,” but not quite sure about that either. what do you do? shortly after the miscarriage, we visited a park – in a local high-end township – so you can imagine this park. it had everything from miles of walking trails & ecological centers to sports complexes & a spa. we went with a mum that we had purchased specifically to plant in remembrance of our child in the “remembering our babies” memorial garden…well…it took 2 trips on 2 different days, asking staff members where we could find it only to drive around in circles for what seemed like forever, looking at online maps, & walking for nearly 2 hours (all w/a 9 mo. old in tow mind you) to find this “special” spot. let me tell you, the girl scouts’ flower garden was FOUR times the size & was no bigger than your average sandbox! this special “garden” ended up being a 2×2 ft. spot in a PARKING LOT! we only came upon it, b/c we had given up & were LEAVING for the 2nd time! it was so sad & i just lost my composure upon seeing it. yes there was a tree, and yes, there was a little bench, but that’s it. surrounded by blacktop. such a disappointment. sorry for the rabbit trail, but that said, originally, i was hoping this “garden” would be my remembering place. somewhere i or we as a family could go to pray, remember & honor our child. nope. mum came home & died in the garage. so anyway…not quite sure how april 15th will go.

on a happier note – after all this baby stuff this morning & forgoing a great breakfast due to that lovely orange beverage i downed for the glucola test (i had a piece of dry toast & watered-down oj)…i have decided to bake banana bread (and oatmeal bars), but the banana bread i’ve made several times & it never lasts more than 2 days in this house, so i thought i’d share… i’ll warn you though – it does stay a little gooey in the center, but it’s pretty tasty all the same. enjoy!

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chocolate chip banana bread
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preheat oven to 350 degrees
grease & lightly flour loaf pan (this recipe could prob make 2 loaves, but i make 1 biggie)
i also use a fork the whole time, so as to not over beat the mixture

bowl #1 – mash 3 to 4 bananas (i used 4 if they’re on the small side)
mix in 1 c. coconut palm sugar (or 3/4 c. white sugar) & 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
in a measuring cup – combine 1/2 c. coconut oil OR applesauce w/ 1 egg, amp; 1 tsp. vanilla, & 1 tbsp. honey
add it to banana mixture & stir briefly

bowl #2 – combine 1 1/2 c. flour, 1/4 tsp. salt, & 1 tsp. each of baking soda & powder
add to banana mixture & stir lightly (over-mixing = more dense bread = brick)

last, fold in about 1/3 c. chocolate chips (just hold it, there will be more!)
pour into loaf pan
add a final 1/4 c. chocolate chips and “help” into the batter w/ your fork
i have found that if i add them all into the batter and bake, they sink to the bottom
it seems to work a little better when i sneak some just below the surface & if some linger on top, it just helps the aesthetic side of things…

bake for about 30-40 mins. testing in several spots w/a toothpick.
(if you hit a banana, you may think your bread’s still raw…)
i bake in a glass pan, so 40 mins. is just right…
it also yields 18 cupcake-size muffins (only bake for 30 mins.)

comments? suggestions? let me know what you think!

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