Marbled-Chocolate Banana Bread

I rarely make banana bread (it’s probably been YEARS since I made a loaf). I am rather partial to chocolate in it, though. Recently I’ve had a bit of a hankering and whipped up a batch this morning after our weekly Besalu trip. It is not a greasy banana bread and would probably be easy to overcook. Fortunately, mine cooked in the exact amount of time prescribed. It will make a yummy breakfast tomorrow morning and will probably not last much longer than that.

Marbled-Chocolate Banana Bread
Source: Cooking Light, SEPTEMBER 2003

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
1/2 cup egg substitute
1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Cooking spray

Preparation
Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.

Place sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add banana, egg substitute, and yogurt; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist.

Place chocolate chips in a medium microwave-safe bowl, and microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until almost melted, stirring until smooth. Cool slightly. Add 1 cup batter to chocolate, stirring until well combined. Spoon chocolate batter alternately with plain batter into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Swirl batters together using a knife. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

Yield
1 loaf, 16 slices (serving size: 1 slice)

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 183(23% from fat); FAT 4.7g (sat 2.8g,mono 1.4g,poly 0.2g); PROTEIN 3.1g; CHOLESTEROL 8mg; CALCIUM 18mg; SODIUM 180mg; FIBER 1.3g; IRON 1.1mg; CARBOHYDRATE 33.4g

A Raging Debate

There’s a very interesting debate going on over at one of the food blogs I follow. Basic gist: food snob or local food advocate? You kind of have to go back and forth between the 2 blogs and read all the comments to get the full picture. But I’ll let you do that if you’re really interested.

Now we’re talking!

OK, I have some real data to share from my new GPS gadget. It’s the run I did with my training group this morning at Squak Mountain. If you click the play button, you can “watch” me run. Here’s another view of the same run. Check out that elevation gain! I knew it was steep but 7,700 feet? Wow! My quads are gonna be sore tomorrow.

The Best Husband

I hate to gloat, but I really think I have the world’s best husband. This week he bought me this awesome new gadget to help me prepare for the ultra marathon. It’s a GPS/heart rate monitor that provides a dizzying amount of statistics. He knows me too well. I used it today for the first time and just uploaded the data. It was just a quick spin around Ballard. I was tired and slow, but it was better than no run at all. I’ll post a link to a run at some point that doesn’t have my house in it! For now, let’s just say this tool rocks.

Happy Baby

I just came across this study, which says that babies are happier if their mother’s ate a lot of chocolate during their pregnancies (or something like that). No wonder Lucy’s so happy! All that chocolate I knocked back during those 9 months directly accounts for her good nature, right?

Tired Legs

These legs are tired. 2 10-mile runs in the past 3 days. This is my toughest week of training for the half-marathon. It peaks on Saturday with a 12-mile run. From then on, I will taper and ease way back on the running. The race itself is 2 1/2 weeks away. I’m feeling good, although my legs are a bit heavy these last few days. I’m hoping the taper rectifies that problem.

After the half-marathon I’ll be able to fully focus on the ultra-marathon training. Last week I attended the first group training session. It was a fairly easy, weeknight run of speedwork along Seattle’s waterfront. I was one of only 2 women and about 8 men present, though there are supposedly over 20 signed up for the training program. I felt really good about the first run as 1) I was by no means the slowest person there (probably slightly above the middle of the pack) and 2) I realized the race is definitely doable and thus I am not completely crazy. This weekend I hope to make the group’s trail run in the mountains. That will be a much bigger test of my fitness level. Wish me luck!

It’s the Simple Things

I’m all about fresh mint right now. Today’s snack: cubes of watermelon topped with fresh mint and some excellent feta. Yum. There’s no fancy recipe. Just a few fresh, seasonal ingredients. At this time of year, that’s all you need.

To Work or Not to Work?

That is the question. I don’t know if this blog post was the best thing for me to read. It’s about the divide between SAHMs (stay at home moms) and WOHMs (work out of home moms). I read all the comments and it just plain made me sad. Of course, it didn’t help matters that I was at work and Lucy at day care when I read the bloody thing. There are a heck of a lot of emotions around this issue and I’m just beginning to understand them. Last week a SAHM was questioning me (quite aggressively, I felt) about my decision to go back to work. It really upset me but has contributed to lots of thought on my part about what is most important to me. For now, I’m happy with the balance that 3 days/week of work brings to my life. But I know there will be doubts no matter which side I end up on.

Ultra….crazy?

Ahhhh….what have I gotten myself into this time? I just registered for my first ultra marathon- The North Face Endurance Challenge. I’m going to try the 50K distance. That’s Five-Zero, not five. Roughly 31 miles. The program I signed up for includes a 17-week training program, race registration and a bunch of free North Face gear. All for $100- what a bargain! As yet, I have no idea what the training schedule is like, although there was some mention of being able to commit 14 hours per week to training. Eek! I’m currently running 3-4 hours per week. I’ll keep you posted on the developments of my mad endeavor.