Surprise, Surprise!

A post? On Shabbat? What can I say…surprise!

Funny story: I am not a huge fan of the word “surprise.” I wish there was some high-level, super sophisticated, quasi-hipster reason for it, but really, it all goes back to Ms. S. Ms. S. was my awesome middle school science teacher, save for one thing: her pop quizzes.

Ms. S. did not call her quizzes “pop quizzes.” She felt that was too stressful. Instead, she would wait for the bell to ring, warmly greet the class, put her hands confidently on her hips, and in a sing song-y voice, whisper, “surprise, surprise!” Almost a decade later, the phrase still haunts me. Shudder.

Today, however, I have some nice surprises for you.

Surprise #1: New layout

I was feeling a change. I’m super new to web editing/designing/pretty much anything not Google, so it’ll be a work in progress. Love it? Hate it? Could care less? Let me know!

Surprise #2: Snow!

Waking up was not super fun this morning – until I saw THIS!!!

SO happy. It was just the right amount for the first snow: enough to make you pay attention, but not too much to overwhelm you right out of the gate. I love you, snow.

Surprise #3: Delicious food, delicious price

Being a vegetarian/healthy food addict, I’m always looking for places where I’m comfortable eating, and where I can secure a good meal – hopefully at a good price. Today’s awesome find came from my work’s cafeteria. Look at this:

Broccoli quiche, salad with veggies, home fries, and a big ol' cup of blueberries, blackberries, and pineapple. Hello, antioxidants!

Not only beautiful, healthy, and delicious, but cheap! I payed $4.82 for the whole shebang. $4.82! Coffee at Starbucks can be more expensive!

Mmmmm. A good reminder that great food can truly be found anywhere.

Surprise #4: Synagogue

I’ve virtually always been a Reform girl with Reconstructionist leanings (and at times the other way around). Nothing against the other branches of Judaism – these are just the ones that work for me personally, and allow me to have a healthy, fulfilling spiritual experience. That’s not to say, however, that I don’t want to learn about and celebrate others! I’ve worshiped with a variety of people of variety of faiths, and it’s always such an interesting experience.

Tomorrow, a friend from my Torah study and I will be checking out our local Conservative Synagogue to see what it’s all about. I’m a huge fan of learning about anything, particularly religion, from first-person experiences, and am really excited to have the opportunity to celebrate Shabbat with what I’ve heard is a great community. I’ll give a run down in a future post!

Not a surprise: Bedtime.

Have a good one, all!

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A Sweet Shabbat

Banana bread? Yes please.

It wasn’t until I entered the food blog world that I learned not many people like banana bread. I, on the other hand, LOVE it. And I love this recipe for it: it’s quick to prepare, vegan and parve, and most of all, delicious.

Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 1/3 c. apple juice, applesauce, or soy milk (the flavor/texture changes are very slight – I’ve tried them all and like them, so use whichever you prefer, or if you’re like me, whatever you have on hand!)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1/4 – 3/4 c. vegan chocolate chips (if desired)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a 9″ baking pan and set aside.

    If 42 is the meaning of life, I firmly believe that 350 is the meaning of baking.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, mash the bananas. Add the apple juice/applesauce/soy milk, vanilla extract, and canola oil and mix until well combined.

    Before...

    ...after!

  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing until just combined.
  5. If desired, add your chocolate chips, then pour the batter into your pan. Since BF is not, NOT a chocolate fan, I only put chocolate chips on the top half of the loaf versus actually folding them in, effectively ensuring that I get at least half of this banana bread love.
  6. What you do with this is up to you. Joy of vegan baking = eating the batter and not getting sick!

  7. Bake for 50 – 55 minutes, until the top is brown and a knife or toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. You will probably have to tent your bread to keep the top from browning too much. If you’re not familiar with tenting, it’s very simple: loosely cover the loaf with aluminum foil. Some use toothpicks; I just bend the foil so it touches the pan but not the bread. This delays the top browning and ensures the rest of your loaf cooks through.

Pure banana joy

SO GOOD. I’ve had 2 slices since coming home from temple. If that’s not a day of rest, I don’t know what is.

Here’s hoping your weekend is a sweet one!