• Baking Makes Me Boss

    It can be so easy to get burnt out at work when you turn your passion into a career, when you monetize creativity.

    As creatives who bring home the bacon by being creative, it’s crucial to find an outlet that we aren’t monetarily dependent on. Our work may be creatively driven, and we may totally love what we do, but it’s still a job. We need a hobby that is just a hobby, one that makes us happy, feeds our souls, and recharges our life battery—no cords attached.

    Something that gets my battery at 100% capacity, is baking. I love it. It’s my happy place, and has been for a long time. I have always enjoyed the precision behind it, the perfectly measured steps, its hands-on nature, and of course, sharing the sweet, sweeeeeeeeet payoff with loved ones (and myself). There’s just something about the process that nourishes my soul, and my tummy.

    Flour & Measuring Spoons

    Favorite Vanilla Extract

    And, like most hobbies, it got set on the back burner. My soul charging activity was a pretty cookie filled jar that I placed high, high, really freakin’ high on a shelf. Work got in the way, life got in the way, responsibilities got in the way. Excuses got in the way.

    I placed that cookie jar on the tippy-top shelf because I made the choice to. I chose to stay in bed an extra 20 minutes and scroll through Instagram. I chose to re-watch another (and another) episode of That 70s Show. Real quick, Kitty Forman is probably my favorite (fictional) human. Her laugh just cracks. me. up.

    Last week I decided to try and make time for the things that make me happy. And so, I whipped up these bad boys. Oh yes, those are banana nut and chocolate chip muffins (some sans walnuts for the boofriend). Probably one of my favorite goodies to bake, and eat.

    Banana Muffins

    I had a lot of stuff to get done this day, but I knew I wanted to use up the overripe bananas sitting rather sadly on my countertop—they were just begging to be baked up into something delicious. So the next morning, instead of hitting snooze one too many times, I chose to hop out of bed when my alarm went off. I showered, got dressed, made my coffee (cause nothing’s getting done without some java running through these veins) and got to baking. Not only did I feel totally zen during the muffin making process, I felt extremely productive. I mean hello, I was out of bed, showered, dressed, full of coffee, and putting muffins in the oven and it wasn’t even 8:30 in the morning! Might seem like a small feat to some, but it sure made me feel good.

    And isn't that something that should be just as important as the daily hustle, the daily grind? Shouldn't making ourselves feel good, feel happy, be a priority?

    Scheduling that bit of time to do something with the soul purpose of feeding my soul ultimately left me feeling more productive than if I were to have just jumped right into hustle mode. Making time for personal happiness left me feeling totally motivated and ready to tackle my workload. A happy girlboss is a productive girlboss.

    How are you going to make happy a priority in your life? It doesn’t have to be something time consuming or expensive. It doesn’t even have to be baking. You can totally despise baking, and that’s okay (just don't tell me). Your happy place could be as simple as reading a book, enjoying your morning coffee on the porch, sketching, journaling, watching That 70s Show. You get the point. Just do something. Make time for happy—no cords attached.

    Banana Muffin With Bite

    RECIPE

    Banana Nut + Chocolate Chip Muffins

    (adapted from The Busy Baker’s Best Ever Banana Muffins)


    Ingredients:
    3 very ripe bananas
    1/2 or 3/4 cup white sugar (I like my banana muffins a tad less sweet, so opt for 1/2 cup)
    1 egg
    1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 cup chocolate chips of choice (I usually go with semi-sweet or dark chocolate)
    handful of walnut halves (optional)

    Process:
    Start off by preheating your oven to 350° F. While your oven is pre-heating line a standard 12 muffin tin with liners (I double lined mine so they’d be lookin’ super cute for their photo debut).

    In a large bowl, mash up the bananas with a fork or the back of a wooden spoon, mix in the sugar, oil, egg and vanilla extract. Try not to over mix.

    In a separate bowl, lightly mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt with a fork or knife. Mix in the chocolate chips.
    Tip: I usually add my choco chips to the dry ingredients to coat them with flour—this ensures that they will be evenly distributed throughout the batter and not sink to the bottom of the muffins while baking.

    Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in three batches, mixing with a wooden spoon after each addition until just combined.

    Spoon the batter evenly in your prepared muffin tin. Here I usually add a few walnut pieces to the tops of each muffin for a little added crunch and some pretty. Totally optional.
    Tip: Tap the muffin tin lightly on the countertop a few times to help release any trapped air bubbles in the batter.

    Bake muffins for 23–25 minutes, or until a cake tester (or tooth pick) comes out clean. I ended up baking mine for 24 minutes.

    Let these guys hang out on the counter for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

    These muffins are seriously delish and don’t last long around this homestead! Great for breakfast, with afternoon coffee, or for dessert. Or be like me, and do all of the above. :)

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