7 Sep 2012

10 Foodie Things to Do When You’re Feeling Blue

There are some things that you just need to do to take care of yourself. 

Banana Coconut Bread with a big dollop of Dulce de Leche
10. Bake this Coconut Banana Bread and eat it with dulce deleche. Every single piece. Hide it so you don’t have to share it.
9. Watch Eat Drink Man Woman and Ratatouille (possibly the best food movies ever) on an unexpected day off from work (yay me!).
8. Buy that new set of measuring spoons and cups you have had your eye on for a while now.
7. Sit by that big window, watch the rain and drink some hot cocoa.
6. Wear your favourite pink apron, put on some earphones and dance around the kitchen singing to Phil Collins and Kishore Kumar. If someone asks you what that awful humming noise is, flatly deny that it was you.
5. Go to helenjane.com and read. It feels like breathing in great gulps of fresh sea air. Read this and this and this.
4.  Make a list of things that you do have. Try gratitude and count your blessings. Literally.
3. Take a walk through your local fruit and vegetable market and give free rein to your senses.
2. Fill in your shopping bag with big bunches of all the fresh herbs you can find. Just because the smell soothes you. Don’t start thinking about what you are going to do with all of them when you get home.
1. Take comfort from the fact that in this topsy turvy world, when you put in a batter of flour, sugar, butter, eggs and chocolate in the oven; it will always always always make you a cake.

Banana Coconut Bread with Cardamom

Makes 1 loaf
Note: I have changed some flavors in the recipe – the original recipe calls for ½ tsp of nutmeg instead of ½ tsp of freshly ground cardamom and 1 ½ tbsps of dark rum instead of which I have used Mastica, a liquor I got in Greece that has a slight cardamom flavor.

3 large, very ripe bananas
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon freshly crushed cardamom seeds
Pinch of salt
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon white vinegar
1 ½ tablespoons Mastica
½ cup dried shredded unsweetened coconut
1 tablespoon demerara sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a standard-size loaf pan.
2. Purée the bananas and set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vinegar and rum, and beat to mix well. Add the banana purée and the flour mixture alternately, about 1 cup at a time, beginning with the banana and beating to just incorporate. Use a spatula to fold in any flour that has not been absorbed, and stir in the coconut. Do not overmix.
5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth the top, and sprinkle evenly with the demerara sugar. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes; then turn the loaf out of the pan and allow it to cool completely. The loaf will keep, wrapped well, for at least three or four days.


  1. No. 1 is what holds my world together! :)
    lil bliss of life!

  2. Love this post! These are all things I love to do, feeling blue or not! You clearly know the best way to take care of any blues coming your way. And wow, that bread looks out of this world!

  3. Cooking and baking in general improves my mood.
    Thanks for the recipe too!
    Just found your blog and am now a follower!

    The Wanderfull Traveler