There are many ways I’m pushing myself recently. Trying things that I know can really pay off. Because I have the time and the energy now. Be productive, learn about myself, and do better all at once.
Put my phone down and go to bed early so I can wake up early and GSD before noon. Not only show up for pilates, but hold that pike higher for a few extra seconds. Ask him out. Read for fun and read about business. Take the extra time to try something new in the kitchen.
Ok, not that this banana bread is going to change lives, but pushing my creativity in the kitchen fosters ideas at my desk and in my relationships too. I could have made my go-to banana bread, but those four over-ripened bananas were telling me to do more. You have the time and energy to do more. And that’s really just a beautiful thing. So I changed things up a bit. I did things a little differently and I learned – about consistency, patience, collaboration, selling. After all that, turns out I love this recipe even more and have decided that everything should be coffee-glazed.
Time, energy, coffee glaze. Those are my three favorite things right now. How are you pushing yourself if you have those things at your fingertips?
Coffee-Glazed Peanut Butter Banana Bread
makes one 9 x 5 loaf
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 large egg
- 2/3 cup sugar sugar
- 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter, melted and cooled
- 4 large bananas, mashed
- 1/3 cup milk
- 2 Tablespoons strong coffee
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray or grease with butter, sprinkle some flour to lightly coat sides. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk egg and sugar together until smooth. Whisk in vanilla, peanut butter, and butter. Then add the mashed bananas and milk and mix until combined. Slowly add in dry ingredients mixing with a spatula or wooden spoon until batter comes together.
- Pour batter into loaf pan. Set pan on a baking sheet and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until center is set and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool completely.
- While baking, prepare glaze. Brew strong coffee and mix a couple of tablespoons with some powdered sugar until it becomes thick. Drizzle on top of cooled bread.
I’ve been talking a lot recently to people about my favorite DC coffee spots. Luckily we have some really good ones: The Coffee Bar, Dolcezza, Blind Dog Cafe, Filter, Big Bear Cafe. I’d happily spend a few hours at any of these, reading, chatting with a friend, and enjoying a great cup. But because of all this coffee talk, I also have been reminded recently of the cafés in Paris I used to visit. The ones down tiny curved streets that my friends and I would discover between classes. The ones where I learned to sip espresso and like it (and not just only because it was the cheapest option). The café near my homestay apartment that I could frequent a few times a week, pretend I’m a regular and not feel so far away from home. Ok, allons-y!
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Good morning! Wake up! You have your coffee and probably some super healthy bland breakfast in front of you and you’ll looking at these photos and drooling, right? Ok let’s change that.
You know I support cake for breakfast every so often, and I think I recently discovered the perfect one. I made a simple light vanilla cake (you could even do a box mix), but the best part was the strong coffee flavored frosting that I quickly whipped up and slathered all over it.
This sponge-like cake pairs so well with the sweet creamy cream cheese frosting and delicious coffee flavor. I’d also love this frosting on chocolate cupcakes or a hazelnut pound cake. So someone should try those and get back to me!
Of course it wasn’t beyond me to to pair it with even more coffee and curl up on my couch on a weekend morning with the two in hand. JCrew Saturday pants + a stack of magazines + this cake + big mug of coffee + a cozy throw + West Wing + hilarious group texts about the night before. Sounds perfect.
Coffee Cream Cheese Frosting
Ok, let’s see if I can remember how I made this frosting. Something like this…
In a bowl of an electric mixer, beat 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter and 8 oz (1 block) cream cheese. In a separate small bowl, dissolve some instant coffee or espresso in a little bit of water. I would say I used about a tablespoon and a half of water and about two teaspoon of instant French roast. It all depends on how strong you want your coffee flavor. Beat in the coffee mix and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Finally, incorporate about 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar to complete your frosting. Spread on a cooled cake and enjoy with more coffee.
While this sentiment isn’t new, it certainly resonated with me while at Alt Summit last week during a discussion with Lucinda Scala Quinn and other Martha Stewart editors. I’m sure I’ll be sharing more inspiration from Alt, but for now I’ll be thinking of this idea especially while baking and writing. And if you’re looking for something sweet to share, this coffee meringue ice cream cake would be a perfect treat for a simple gathering this week. How else will you bring simplicity to your life this week? Happy Monday!