Today is Giving Tuesday. It’s a day to focus on giving, philanthropy, and the needs of others. Given the political climate we’re facing today, it’s an especially important day to give what you can and support organizations that are important to you. There’s plenty of ways to help. I understand that not everyone has the ability to make monetary donations, but if that’s something you can swing, your dollars speak louder right now than they ever have before. Progress doesn’t just happen, and change isn’t free. Sacrifice is required, whether that means volunteering, making calls to your local government officials to let them know how you feel about issues that matter, or digging into your wallet to financially support organizations that are fighting on your behalf and the behalf of others. Personally, I am not “over” the outcome of the election. It still breaks my heart and shakes me to my very core. Every article I read or news report I hear about the racist, sexist, homophobic, and xenophobic remarks or actions made by individuals involved in the Trump/Pence campaign make me sick. The videos I’ve seen circulated around the internet of people who now feel emboldened to spout hate because “they won” make me furious. But sitting in my apartment, angrily typing or tweeting, isn’t going to help. Action is the only way to fix society and make things better for ourselves and generations to come. That’s why I want to encourage you to donate today, either by volunteering your time or by giving a few bucks. We can do this, but it’s going to take real work to make it happen! And I want to offer an extra incentive by way of a free tin of homemade cookies from your truly. Read on to find out how to score one of those.
A few organizations that are extremely meaningful to me right now are The Young Center, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. You can read more about The Young Center, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the efforts to protect Standing Rock through the links provided. What I really need from you is a donation, either by way of time or money. Once you’ve donated or signed up to volunteer in some capacity for any of these organizations, please forward me your email confirmation to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will personally mail 10 people (chosen at random) a tin of my famous homemade chocolate chunk cookies. If a lot of people participate, I’ll open the group up to more. Tell your friends and family to donate, too! You can use the cookies as a way to bring a little holiday cheer to your officemates, keep them in the freezer to enjoy over the course of a few weeks, or eat them all in one sitting. I’m not here to judge. I’m just here to mail out cookies for a good cause. Thank you to all who donate, and an even greater thank you to those that spread the word. Let’s make a difference together. Also, here’s a recipe for a pretty damn good peanut butter banana snack cake. Enjoy!
Good old JIF–there’s nothing like it!
Make your batter and fold in your nuts.
Spread everything into a pan and bake for about 30 minutes, until set and lightly golden.
This frosting is smooooooth.
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 bananas, mashed
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups chopped nuts (optional)
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- ¼ cup smooth peanut butter
- ⅓ cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4½ cups powdered sugar
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line a 9x13-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your mixer, beat together the brown sugar and melted butter until the consistency of wet sand, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in your eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated, scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla and mashed bananas, again, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in the flour, then fold in the chopped nuts, if you're using them. Spread the batter into your prepared dish and bake for 30 minutes or so, until golden and set. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting (you can put it in the fridge or freezer to speed this up).
- To make the frosting, bring your ½ cup butter, ¼ cup peanut butter, ⅓ cup milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to a boil, whisking until smooth. Remove the mixture from the heat and whisk in your powdered sugar, until smooth, adding a bit more if needed (or a bit more milk if it's too thick). Immediately pour the frosting over the cooled banana cake, using a spatula to smooth it out. Let the frosting set before slicing (again, you can place the cake in the fridge or freezer to speed this up). Slice into squares and enjoy! These will keep well, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 days.