Thursday, January 13, 2011


noun: the doctrine that pleasure or happiness is the sole or chief good in life (Merriam-Webster definition)

Any lover of food is a hedonist. The levels of hedonism vary from person to person, of course, but at the core of their being foodies love pleasure. It's why we drive out of our way for a specific ingredient, or spend five hours cooking just soup, or pay slightly more for that gourmet cheese. We do it for those moments where you eat something and can't help but close your eyes with a heartfelt moan. For the true hedonistic eater food isn't just fuel, it's an exploration of ourselves and a reminder of the joy life can be.

Granted, most people probably wouldn't think of the joys of life when looking at these bananas, but I certainly get excited by them. This sort of situation happens to everyone. You buy some bananas with every intention of eating them all, but somehow you never quite get around to it before some of them become spotty tubes of goo. Thankfully for us abusers of fruit, this provides a wonderful opportunity: banana bread. The following recipe isn't the best (considering I took it from a book entitled "Teens Cook!" I'm not surprised), but it's by no means bad. I really like how the crust is a bit crunchy and it is very moist, but I'll definitely be looking for a replacement soon. For now, though, enjoy this bread with some caramel sauce and ice cream or have it for breakfast with some peanut butter. Or if you're bad like me you can have it for breakfast with some bittersweet chocolate. However you eat, never be ashamed if you love it. Life is pleasure and pain; wouldn't you like as much pleasure as you can get?

Banana bread

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 medium bananas
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in the eggs for one minute, then the bananas for an additional minute or until no large chunks remain. Add the baking soda and salt, mixing well, then mix in the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to incorporate the last of the flour. Pour the batter into a lightly buttered 9x5 loaf pan and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cooking for One

A lot has happened since my last post. My boyfriend returned from his (very) long deployment in Africa, I've decided to move out of my current apartment, my brief considerations of a vegetarian lifestyle have been long abandoned. I'll tell you what hasn't been happening much since my last post: cooking. Despite my love of food and aspirations to become a better chef, I just ran out of patience with my roommates. Their refusal to help around the apartment wore me down, so I finally decided to stop cooking for them. I was also without a car and basically broke for two months which made buying groceries difficult. Thankfully that's behind me now and I've started cooking again, but this time I'm cooking for myself.

Now, I have mixed feelings about cooking for one. In my current situation, I think it's totally justified, but I still consider it a bit selfish at times. Food is something that should be shared, enjoyed in good company and as a chef I take pride in bringing people together with a good meal. Hopefully I'll get that sense of fulfillment in my next apartment. Yep, I'm moving. Some friends of mine were looking for a roommate and in a strange moment of spontaneity from me (I'm generally more cautious) I decide to take them up on the offer. Yes, the rent's slightly higher and yes it's further from my job, but what do I really have to lose? It's the start of a new year and I want to start getting my life together. That means taking chances and making hard choices and going after things that I want. Oh and more cooking. Definitely more cooking.