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Chocolate PB Frozen Banana Bites Monday, July 23, 2012 ~ 10:10 a.m.

Hey guys! I hope you all had a great weekend. Mine was very relaxing; the only thing Dale and I really did was take a walk around Denver (my idea to get a little bit of weekend exercise ;) and we went to dinner with friends and saw The Dark Knight Rises on Saturday night. Needless to say, it was kind of eerie to go and see it after everything that happened in Aurora (which is about 20 minutes from where I live, by the way). Very...surreal walking into a theater after that. You never think something like that will happen in a theater. You feel safe, and I don't even know why we all feel that way, when you think about the fact that there is hardly any security in place at the movies. I guess we all just assume that we're all there for the same reason; it isn't like school, or the airport, or work. We are all there because we want to be entertained.

I'm not a very religious person, but I do believe in a higher power. I don't spend very much time contemplating what it all means, exactly, but there's a large part of me that feels like we're not supposed to really understand it all. We live our lives with the comfort of knowing that there's something out there that is bigger than all of us, and this comfort rings especially true in times like these. Honestly though, when things like this happen, it really reminds me of how much we depend on one another, more than anything else. I was telling Dale the other day...all of those people walked into that theater to share an experience, believing that everyone there wanted the same thing - to see a good movie. Only there was one person there who didn't; there was one person there who betrayed everyone else, and because of that, everyone's lives were permanently changed. It just makes you realize how much we rely on one another to make the right choices, live honestly and follow the rules.

We get on the road every day hoping that the people in the cars next to us will follow the rules - signal before they change lanes, stay within the speed limit and drive safely. But sometimes, one person gets on the road and decides that they won't follow the rules today, and suddenly, we're all at that person's mercy. That, I think, is what scares me most in life...How much we must rely on one another to do the right thing, and how little control we really have. We have to keep our faith not only in a higher power, but in one another, every single day. We have to keep believing that deep down, we all want to happily coexist, that we all have good intentions in the end, even when something like this happens to brutally shake that faith.

Anyway, sorry to be a buzz-kill, but that's what I was thinking about a lot this past weekend. We were lucky enough to see The Dark Knight Rises, and I thought the movie was good, overall. I have to be honest though, I think that I liked the last one better! Mostly because I liked the Joker villain a lot more than Bain. Both were awesome, but nothing beats Heath Ledger as the Joker, if you ask me.

On Friday, I also "cooked" up a special little treat - Frozen Banana Bites. I found a recipe on Pinterest (of course), which was originally published by the food blog, (never home) maker. Let me preface this by saying that while there are bananas used in this recipe, I wouldn't call it an especially healthy dessert. They're still dipped in peanut butter and chocolate! However, I think that you could customize the recipe a bit to make it a bit healthier (almond butter and dark chocolate, perhaps? Maybe topped with some nuts?) What I really like about this dessert is that you can easily control the portion size. You can make the banana bites large enough that they require more than one bite, and since they are frozen, it's not easy to scarf them down like you would a bag of cookies. Plus, let's face it...they're YUM!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Frozen Banana Bites

This recipe was adapted from one that I found on (never home) maker

4 - 5 bananas
1 bag of chocolate chips (milk or dark; your preference)
1/4 to 1/2 cup of peanut butter
2 - 3 graham crackers

Frozen banana bites recipe Start by peeling all of your bananas, and cutting them into 2-inch chunks. Make sure you use bananas that are just as ripe as you usually like them. The great thing about this recipe is that since you'll be freezing them, you don't have to worry about them going bad or anything. Arrange the bananas on a cookie sheet covered with a piece of wax or parchment paper. Then, begin melting your chocolate chips. I recommend only melting half the bag at a time; just because you need the chocolate to stay warm the entire time you're dipping the bananas in it. Once the chocolate starts to cool down, the consistency starts to get chunky and you'll have to remelt it again. Put the chocolate chips in a bowl in the microwave for 45 seconds to 1 minute; stopping ever 10 to 15 seconds or so to stir. Once it's melted, add the peanut butter (use your best judgement on how much - I just did a generous scoop) into the melted chocolate and stir well.

Now, for the fun part! Using your hands, start dipping your banana pieces in the melted chocolate; it's a bit of a messy job, but it's chocolate, and they taste good whether they look all that pretty or not, trust me - you see how mine turned out! ;) Place your banana pieces back on the cookie sheet, and if you run out of chocolate, melt the rest of your chocolate chips as previously instructed and stir in peanut butter once again. Once all of your bananas are dipped, you can spoon the extra chocolate peanut butter mixture on top off the banana pieces.

Next, the graham cracker topping! You can top your bananas with anything, really (Oreos, anyone?), just make sure that you grind up the topping really fine (with your blender, food processor, Magic Bullet, etc.) so it sticks well to the banana bites. Once finished, place the cookie tray on a flat surface in your freezer, and allow them to freeze at least 4-6 hours before moving them at all. I let them freeze overnight before placing them in a tupperware container to store in the freezer. The bites taste yummy without freezing them, but I highly recommend it. They'll keep longer, of course, and the bananas actually taste like vanilla ice cream! I know that sounds impossible (I thought the same thing when I heard it), but they really do!

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