Dark chocolate and deep red raspberries are so pretty together. Funny how when I start recipes, one of my first thoughts is how it will look on the blog. Frankly, that's ridiculous; alas, the life of a food blogger.
So we took Christmas pictures this week and me and mom were getting clothes out, trying to coordinate colors (getting 10 outfits that don't clash is hard) and then find the right spot where none of us are in the shadows, etc. and Dad (typical male) was like, "can we just take the picture?"
I immediately shot back, "If we're going to do it, were going to do it right. We don't want to look like a bunch of redneck country people who can't even get a family photo." I was a little put off he wasn't appreciating how much work was going into this picture. Trust me, getting my family to cooperate and smile in church clothes on for a picture on a weekend - hard.
That didn't fly so well (surprise) but what he said, although I was miffed, stuck with me. "You are too image based Mary Frances."
Am I? Is everything I do based on my "image?" Okay, so is that bad? Can I even avoid it? My Dad has proved to me you can live without worrying about your image yet avoid the redneck look (I apologize for the stereotype.) Sure, my dad is a successful business man, but what does he know about girl's opinions on image? Um, a lot. But that is a whole nother topic. The truth is, I really do care a lot about my image. I take pains to make my food look nice. I take time to do my hair and makeup and clothes. I like to have people like me. Those things aren't bad - seriously, what person doesn't want up be liked. What Dad was pointing out was that image becomes a problem when it's put before God and he was not-so subtly reminding me that it won't matter whether people think our Christmas card is picture perfect, even though I want people to think we are (just for the record, it's absolutely impossible.) I'm not saying I need to start, well, acting completely without reason because, I don't care what others think! No, I realized I need to quit spending so much time on creating an image that will make people think how cool I (or our family) am. Because I've realized, it's those who care about people and not their image, those are the people I'm most drawn to.
While I was practicing physics problems in my room, Elizabeth and Abigail walked in and needed something to do. I handed them my Taste of Home magazines to flip through and they picked a chocolate peppermint loaf. Since we didn't have candy canes to sprinkle on top, I decided to use what we needed to use up - raspberries. You can use fresh or frozen, although I don't know where you'll find fresh ... we made this several weeks ago!
Now, I obviously omitted the mint extract ... however, I also forgot to add the chocolate chips. So in those photos, there are no chocolate chips. DON'T OMIT THEM. It is fine without them, but it is great with them! :)
Chocolate and raspberry makes a great combination for this bread. The raspberries add moisture and pair nicely with the light, sweet loaf. Here's to a quiet afternoon with a slice of bread and a hot drink!
Chocolate Raspberry Bread
Recipe Source: Adapted from Taste of Home
Yield: 12 slices
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg + 1 egg white
1/3 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
1/4 cup strong brewed coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla
heaping 1 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup chocolate chips
4 oz raspberries
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease bread pan.
In a large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar together. Add egg, egg white, yogurt, coffee, and vanilla and beat well. Stir flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together; add to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk. Fold in chocolate chips.
Spread 1/2 of the batter into the pan. Sprinkle the raspberries on top. Pour rest of batter on top. Sprinkle reserved raspberries on top of that. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out nearly clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack.