Generally speaking, I am a very lucky girl. Granted, I've never won the lottery, or even a raffle for that matter, but I have a great family and awesome friends, which is totally better than hitting the Mega Millions jackpot. I have a good job, I live in an amazing city, and I've traveled to far-away places. I've eaten French Fries in Nice, Pad Thai in Bangkok, and more New York pizza in Manhattan than I care to remember. All in all, I'm as lucky as can be. Except when I'm not. I don't know about you, but when my luck runs out, boy does it ever run out. I once fell down in public and threw my watch down my building's trash chute in the same morning. And then locked myself out of my apartment while trying to get it back (which involved sorting through other people's garbage). Those are my kind of unlucky days.
Last weekend, I was in the thick of it. First my ceiling started to leak. Next, some important jewelry disappeared into thin air. Add on some work stress, and I was about to go over the edge. Thankfully, Saturday was Joy the Baker's book signing at The Brooklyn Kitchen. I decided to take a leisurely walk there, get Joy to sign some books (one for me and one for you!), and maybe even treat myself to a new cookbook or kitchen gadget. Sadly, things didn't go exactly as planned. Halfway over the Williamsburg Bridge, it started to rain. No big deal-I had an umbrella. Forty minutes later, it was totally a big deal. I was cold, wet, tired, and couldn't feel my toes. Thankfully, I'd arrived at The Brooklyn Kitchen and was ready for some books and some baked goods.
Only I didn't know you had to sign up for Joy's book signing in advance. Do I need to mention that it was full? The place was packed with people waiting to see Joy. (Yay Joy!) Sadly, the nice people at Brooklyn Kitchen told me that based on my arrival time, I'd have to wait nearly three hours for Joy to sign my books. I love Joy (who, bless her heart, stayed all day in order to meet everyone) and I love all of you, and I really wanted to get you a signed copy of Joy's book. But after waiting for an hour or so, I decided it was time to cut my losses and head home. It had been a long week (see leaky ceiling and missing jewelry) and I just wanted to take the subway back to Manhattan and crawl into my bed. But not before buying myself a pick-me-up or two. I got in line to check out, and...realized I had forgotten my wallet at home. Not only was I not going to be buying myself any presents, I was sans subway card and thus would have to walk back over the bridge. In the rain.
Needless to say, by the time I lugged my (unsigned) cookbooks back into my apartment, there was only one thing to do, and that was to get into the bathtub with a mug of bourbon. Can I tell you a secret? Bourbon makes everything better. Especially this bourbon spiked chocolate chip banana bread from Joy's cookbook. When life gives you lemons, throw some bourbon in your banana bread. Is that a saying? Can we make it one? Because it's true. Leaky ceiling, missing jewelry, work stress, numb toes, forgotten wallet--don't worry, bourbon spiked banana bread has got you covered. I hope that none of you have an unlucky day anytime soon, but in case you do, now you have this recipe to cure whatever might ail you. Besides, I think the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days are a tradeoff for being oh so lucky the rest of the time. I'm going to win the lottery one of these days, I just know it.
A giveaway! I'm giving away an (unsigned...sorry) copy of the Joy the Baker cookbook. Joy's book is amazing--it's beautiful, it's unpretentious and it makes you want to put it down and run into your kitchen to start baking. I pretty much want to make everything in it (especially the avocado pound cake--can someone make that one stat and report back?) To enter to win Joy's book, just leave a comment on this post. For two additional entries, you can like the sweet tarte page on Facebook or follow me on Twitter. Just leave a comment here telling me you did so (or if you already follow me on Facebook or Twitter you can leave a comment telling me that too). I will randomly pick a winner next Wednesday April 18th at midnight.
Chocolate Bourbon-Spiked Banana Bread
Ever so slightly adapted from the Joy the Baker Cookbook
2 cups all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons bourbon
1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate mini chips
Preheat the oven to 350. Butter and flour an 8x4 or 9x5 loaf pan. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar for about five minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the banana, lemon juice and bourbon. Beat until incorporated. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture all at once. Beat until almost incorporated. Stop the mixer, remove the bowl, add the chocolate chips, and stir until the rest of the ingredients are incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake in the center of the oven for 45-60 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely. Banana bread will keep for 5 days well wrapped at room temperature.