Monday, August 2, 2010

Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

I had been having a great day, even for a Monday. I was rocking a new haircut, was gifted coconut rum cake (that will improve anyone’s day, I guarantee!), and got out of work on time. After work, I had to stop at the bank to replenish my quarter supply for my daily commuter parking lot fee. Instead of filling out a withdrawal slip, I just go to the ATM, take out some money and exchange a twenty dollar bill for two rolls of quarters.

As I turned around from the ATM to sort my money, put the receipt in my purse and go into the bank for my quarters, a lady walked up to use the ATM I was just leaving – or at least that’s what I mistakenly assumed. I moved off to my right to let her get by me, but instead of going around me to the ATM, she nearly plowed me over to get into the bank. I said “excuse me,” and had brushed it off, as I always end up doing the ‘dance’ with people trying to get around me. You know, the classic - go to your right to let the person by, and they go the same way. Then you shift to your left to let them go, and they shift, having the same idea. I didn’t think much of it. Apparently, though, to this lady, I must have looked like a crazed fool. She just stopped dead in her tracks, looked at me incredulously and said, “What are you DOING?” She rolled her eyes, shook her head and finally found it in herself to walk past me and carry on with her life.

I do not like when people intentionally make a big deal out of nothing (spoken from the person venting about one minor interaction in a whole day – I get the irony), and I do not like when someone treats me like I did something wrong and ruined their entire day because of something so trite. It sticks with me because I do not want to give people the impression that I’m rude or inconsiderate, and I feel like the people around that saw what happened may think I am by how she reacted at me.

A few years back, an incident like that would have ruined the rest of my day – I could have won the mega millions and I still would have been upset. I’d focus on that one event, being hurt and sometimes embarrassed because of something completely out of my control. But somewhere along the way, I finally learned that life is too short to let grumps, grouches, meanies or dillweeds take the joy out of my life. I heard somewhere that life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. That stuck with me.

So, I got my quarters, got on the train and carried on with my life. Instead of allowing that one incident to ruin an otherwise great day, I held onto those feelings just long enough to fuel a great run when I got home. By the time I was finished, I forgot all about what happened, and had done something positive for my body at the same time. Oh, and I had some chocolate, too. That always helps.

These muffins are like the love child of banana bread and a chocolate cake. They are moist and dense like a muffin. The bananas in it make it feel somewhat healthy (great after a run) and the chocolate in it is pronounced and satisfying (great anytime). These freeze amazingly well, and are a perfect go-to snack when you need a chocolate fix without all the guilt of a pint of Ben and Jerry’s.

Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
Adapted from
1 c AP Flour, ½ c Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/3 cups mashed ripe banana
1/3 cup applesauce
1 egg
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients.
In a small bowl, combine bananas, oil and egg.
Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
Fold in chocolate chips.
Fill greased or paper lined muffin cups three fourths full. After 6 tins are filled, and maybe a few minis, add a bit of coconut to the rest of the batter and scoop into remaining cups.
Bake at 350 deg F for 20-25 minutes or until muffins test done.

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