I hate to brag, but 2.0 and I are almost entirely ready for the holidays. And by that I mean: I’m totally excited to rub our preparedness in your face. For in December, when a great number of you are freaking out and/or crying, we’ll be watching Netflix in our underwear.
This year, determined to avoid a December Sobfest, I set a strict holiday preparation schedule for November. Each and every holiday task was scheduled. EVERY ONE. As a result, we’ve all but finished our shopping. Gifts have been wrapped and/or shipped. Decorating is almost complete (we’ll do our tree in December). We have been unstoppable. Our mission? Simple:
a) scale back on spending/gifting
b) actually enjoy preparing for the holidays
c) have everything done by November 30th
d) spend December having big fun with family and friends
This December, there will be no trudging around after work trying to find that dumbass gift that was sold out at the first three locations we tried. There will be no weeping over lost parking spots or standing in line behind teenagers who don’t wear their pants properly. There will be no freaking out when one of our stressed-out, over-tired workmates gives us the stomach flu. Nope. Because WE ARE DONE. We were planning to spend most of December in bed anyway. Adding a barf-bucket ain’t no thang.
Now, some of you are probably feeling sad because you aren’t as awesome as we are. But there’s still hope. You, too, could spend December in your underwear, focusing on the important things: crafting stuff out of popsicle sticks, playing in the snow, making cat videos, eating potato chips, and napping. First, get your act together and get a crap-ton of chores checked off this week. There’s still time! Also, make this ridiculously simple banana bread. Everyone knows that banana bread makes you shop better. Or feel better after shopping. Or feel better if you haven’t done a single thing to prepare for the holidays. Whatever.
My friend, Emily, gave me this recipe forever ago. I told you about it in 2010, but I think it bears repeating. It’s easy to throw together, and it’s endlessly adaptable. I’m sharing my favourite version below. If you don’t have whole wheat flour, use all-purpose. Don’t have brown sugar? Use some of the granulated stuff. Or half and half! (Not cream, dummy. Half brown sugar, half white.) Don’t have apple sauce? Double the canola oil. Don’t like walnuts? Well, that’s stupid. But you could use pecans. Or sunflower seeds. Or grow a set of lady parts and start liking walnuts.
Now get out there and finish your holiday preparations. You can do it, tiger!
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Ridiculously Simple Banana Bread
Yields one loaf pan (9×5 inches).
- 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 large, ripe, well-mashed bananas
- 1/4 semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Mise en place – begin by getting organized. Read through the entire recipe before beginning. Measure out all of your ingredients.
Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a standard-sized loaf pan.
Whisk together the flour and baking soda in a small bowl and set aside.
In another bowl, mix together the eggs, canola oil, applesauce, brown sugar and mashed bananas.
Stir in the flour mixture.
Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
Pour batter into greased loaf pan and bake for approximately 60 minutes (this is just a guideline) or until a cake tester inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean. The top of the loaf will be a deep, golden brown. Allow to cool for several minutes, and then remove loaf from pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
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