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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Stewart

The Clogging Blog.

I recently attended my daughters first dance recital… a night I will never forget. So many memories and emotions of back in the day when that was all I did. Seeing girls hustling around from dance routine to dance routine. Quick changes in the back, sweaty intermissions, animal crackers and fruit to get you through the night. It was definitely my favorite thing to do in grade school, high school and college. My brave little daughter has now begun the same tradition. Her beautiful smile lit up that stage and made my heart flutter so much.


When I was 10 years old, I enrolled in a clog dancing class. My neighbor Brittney was already into it and asked if I would be interested in learning. I was down. My parents were down. It turned into weekly classes, monthly competitions, and performances at the fair and 4th of July Celebrations. We traveled to Missouri, Indiana, Nashville… OpryLand. Wow Opryland!! From Cummerbunds and Bow Ties, to Petticoats and Poc-a-dot skirts… clogging was everything to me. I loved it so much. But when I turned 16, I started to fall in love with other things too. Poms, Speech, Theatre, Other Dance, Band… all the things. And it was hard to keep up. So, alas, after 6 years.. I quit. But to this day, it has always been my favorite past time. And I am forever grateful for the memories.


So, in honor of, my daughter’s first dance recital and my clog dancing history… I will be pairing this months blog with Half Baked Harvest Chocolate Chunk Chai Banana Bread. WHAAAATTT??!!! Because Clogging will always and forever be sweet and spicy and everything so nicey.





CHOCOLATE CHUNK CHAI BANANA BREAD



Ingredients

CHAI SPICE

· ▢4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

· ▢2 teaspoons ground ginger

· ▢1 teaspoon ground cardamom

· ▢1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

· ▢1/2 teaspoon all-spice

· ▢1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

· ▢1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

BANANA BREAD

· ▢4 overly ripe bananas, mashed (1 1/4 cup mashed)

· ▢1/4 cup melted coconut oil

· ▢1/4 cup pure maple syrup

· ▢2 eggs

· ▢2 teaspoons vanilla extract

· ▢1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

· ▢1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

WHIPPLE MAPLE BUTTER

· ▢6 tablespoons salted butter

· ▢1/4 cup maple syrup


Instructions


1. To make the chai spice. In a shallow bowl, combine the cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, all-spice, cloves, and pepper. You will not need all of this, save the blend for another use.

2. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a 9x5 inch bread pan.

3. In a bowl, stir together the bananas, coconut oil, maple, eggs, and vanilla until combined. Add the flour, baking soda, 1-2 tablespoons chai spice, and salt, mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks.

4. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the center is just set. Remove and let cool slightly.

5. To make the butter, whip together the butter and maple syrup until light and creamy, about 3 minutes using a hand whisk. Spread over the warm bread. Trust me it's delish.


I have a theme song this summer. I cannot stop dancing to it. Pink’s song, Never Gonna Not Dance Again from her newest single. AHHHH!!! Promise me you’ll turn this up real loud in your kitchen and while you’re making this incredible banana bread, you just let the song move you. Holy Moly it makes me so happy.


“You could have my liquor, take my dinner, take my fun My birthday cake, my soul, my dog, take everything I love But, oh, one thing I'm never gonna do Is throw away my dancin' shoes and Oh, lord, don't try me, really, not tonight I'll lay down and die, I'll scream and I'll cry We've already wasted enough time”






I have always wanted to be a professional dancer… but as a youthful ambitious dreamer, I had another passion that took me away from making that a reality. I regret that some days. Dancing always makes me forget. Makes me feel free. Makes me feel so happy. Standing on the side stage with my daughter, as she gazed at the older girls dancing on the stage, was the highlight of my weekend. I loved hearing her tell me, “Mommy, I love watching the Big Girls Dance. Mommy, do I get to do my dance one more time?” Yes, honey. You can do your dance as many times as you want. Forever and Ever.


Thank you #HalfBakedHarvest for this yummy recipe. And thank you #Pink… for reminding me that I will never gonna not dance again.



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