I’m not sure if anyone Irish will take issue with me for this bread, but I like to tinker. Consider authenticity thrown out the window with this one.
I’ve taken out the raisins and seeds and put in chocolate chips and cocoa. As a result, I’m a very happy girl right now.
The bread itself isn’t sweet (except for the chocolate chips here and there), but there’s a lovely chocolate flavor throughout that makes this quite a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day snack!
Now that the Oscars are over, can I get in on the controversy? Hey, better late than never.
Back in the day, I got really excited about the Oscars. Hey, I was a kid. I didn’t overthink the situation. All I knew was that the fashion was fun and that for a few hours, I could watch celebrities hobnobbing and performing. It was just a fun TV night.
As you know by now, this year things got really heated. There’s no doubt that equal representation in Hollywood (in the movies themselves or at the awards shows) has not yet been achieved, and I am duly upset about it. But there’s something else about all awards shows that bothers me.
Why do we give actors so much screen time for recognition? I mean, we’re talking endless hours of airtime, media coverage, and money that gets poured into awarding people who have made it in the television and film industry. They’re all talented, so I’m not trying to hate on their craft. But why are they the heroes? Why do they get all those moments in the sun?
People risk their lives every day (or actually give up their lives) to save humanity, and I don’t see them being recognized or rewarded. Heck, they’re not even paid that well. Instead, people who pretend to be heroes, who play the part, get all the credit. It’s so much more glamorous to play a firefighter who dies to save others than to actually be one.
The real heroes have been taught not to expect appreciation as a matter of course, and that’s the way it is. But the way we celebrate Hollywood is positively obscene. Do you know about the gift bags that Oscar nominees receive? Some publications have estimated the worth of these gift bags to be around $200,000 each. Really? Is that necessary?
And that doesn’t include the expense of the show itself, or the parties, or the fashion, or the salary bumps that the world’s most successful and well-paid actors receive once they win that gold statuette. I’m not all about the money (I did go into teaching, after all), but that’s just insult to injury when you consider how much time and attention is spent on rewarding people in show business.
Okay, rant concluded. Deep breath. Soda bread.
Every year on St. Patrick’s, someone brings a soda bread into the office. It’s the standard issue soda bread, which has a lovely flavor and texture and goes perfectly with butter. I enjoy it, to a point. But man…those caraway seeds. Not my thing.
What I’ve done here is probably super not okay with traditional St. Patrick’s Day revelers, so I apologize. But I had to. The bread gets a shot of cocoa and some chocolate chips. And it’s not hard to put together at all. The video is the proof!
This bread is simple to make and accessible. Nothing fancy going on here! Nope, we save that for the Oscars. They can have the overdone display of exclusion and artificial emotion. I’ll keep it real with the baking!
I fulfill many roles in life: wife, mother, teacher, everlasting learner.
This site is dedicated to one role that expresses my creativity in ways that I find consistently challenging and rewarding: baker.
Inventing new ways to enhance food, especially if that food involves chocolate or peanut butter (or both!), is a passion of mine. I look forward to sharing my ideas with you.
I’ve heard that climbing Mount Everest is pretty hard. For most people, anyway.
We all have our version of that, the near-impossible summit that we can’t reach, no matter how hard we try. For years, that was my grandmother’s mocha bread.
When I was little, I didn’t like apple pie. Chalk it up to youthful foolishness. So when my grandmother made the pie, she’d also make this bread. And I loved it. It was so special that I’d eat it slowly, sliver by sliver, to make it last. Usually, I gobble up my dessert. But this was too special
And when I grew up, I tried to make it. Over and over again I followed the recipe, calling my grandmother each time I failed. It was too light in color, or too heavy in weight. What was I doing wrong? It got to the point where I suspected her of recipe sabotage.
Finally, about a year ago, and shortly after my grandmother’s death, I got the mocha bread right. I’m still not sure exactly what I did to make it correctly other than acquire more knowledge and skill, but I feel like the torch has been passed. She was a phenomenal baker who used scant resources in harder times to make amazing food. Later in life, she still had the knack for producing recipes that nobody else seemed to have.
Nothing beats fresh bread. Well, maybe some things do. But not much.
Like, I’ve heard that winning the lottery is pretty awesome. But if that happens to you, you’re not supposed to tell anyone or they’ll be trying to bum your winnings. I guess you’re supposed to pretend that the new mansion (complete with pool, personal trainer and stylist) came from a modest amount that a rich uncle left you upon his passing.
Fresh bread is nothing to keep secret. Oh, no. You have to share it liberally, announcing to one and all that you have a fresh loaf to be eaten. Especially a loaf like this one. It’s got a delicious almond chocolate filling, so it bridges the gap between actual food and dessert. I had it for breakfast!
It’s 100 degrees out and we’re trapped in the house. Who wants to turn the oven on?
Well, I do. I know, I know. No-bake treats are all the rage this time of year, but heck, I like to bake. A baker’s gonna bake. That’s how it goes. That’s why somebody smart invented air conditioning.
Every weekend, I find myself staring at tired bananas. They call to me, and sometimes I ignore them. That’s usually when I’m just as tired as they are. But sometimes I cut them up and freeze them for smoothies that I never really make, and that’s an effort right there. But if I’m feeling really energetic and serious, I’ll bake them into something. And this double chocolate chunk banana bread is probably one of the best ways ever to use those bananas!