Chocolate Chip Cookie Bread : Year 26

  ..okay I am not a birthday person. I never was and never will be. Even after 25 years + 1 later, birthdays are still blah to me. I may have waited for my 21st birthday but that's a different story. Do I get little overwhelmed on b-days? Yes..and I really don't know why. I go through a roller coaster of emotions - panic, sometimes melancholy, and want to forget the fact its my birthday and move on like its just another day..I do not like showing my birthday on facebook or the office birthday calendar not because I expect people to remember it or something but because I don't like the whole celebration, attention and wall full of Happy Birthdays. My dad constantly tells me that I should be appreciative of well wishes - I feel blessed that I have people who care but its just something about birthday talk I still don't know how to deal with.   
But if it's somebody else's birthday - I love it. Gifts. Cake. Decoration. Everything. I am known to bake on people's birthday. Like this chocolate chip cookie bread for my brother. Cupcakes on a friend's birthday. Also on a friend's nephew's birthday. After all, its a celebration of life.  

In actuality, (sounds silly) but I am afraid of growing old because I still have so much more to accomplish. So much more to learn, grow, see, experience. And with every year passing by - I feel like birthdays are brutal reminder telling me that my time is slowly running out.. But, this year, I am trying really hard to put positive goggles on and make this the year to start embracing my age, celebrate my accomplishments, and make it a less-overwhelming day. Just on my last post,  I talked about gratitude and when I look back and play the slide show of my past twenty five years - I feel pretty awesome & grateful for where I stand today for all I have experienced. Failure. Success. Lessons learned...etc.  I can only hope that it gets better from here. 

...and here is to my 26 lessons
- Parents are BFFS (almost). Even though we live world's apart, I feel strongly connected to them now than when I was 19. Over the years, it's also gotten easier to share my joy, sorrow, ups and downs. Despite our own views on things, we both are now able to communicate, respect each others point of view and come to a happy conclusion. 
- Don't be a people-pleaser. You can't be everything to everyone. 
- Quality vs. Quantity mainly when it comes to things like beauty products & food. 
- Don't break anyone's trust, especially people who care about you.
- Find a hobby. Never stop exploring your creative side. I found this blog. We all have creativity, you just have to look for it. 
- Don't run away from your past. Everyone has it and you will eventually have to make peace with it.  
- Be true to yourself. It's easier said than done but try doing it-  you will love and respect yourself more. 
- Accents are cool. Repeat if you have to and don't feel bad if you have one.
- Be honest with your loved ones. It might be difficult, embarrassing, painful but you will no longer feel guilty and have that peace of mind.
- Communication is the key to finding solution to most things- with friends, family, significant others, customer service, professors, co-workers, strangers. Talk & exchange your thoughts. 
- Acne and yoga pantsare always going to be part of my life. 
- Don't be embarrassed to ask questions. Actually, ask a lot if you have to.
- Fad diets do not work. Healthy lifestyle is the ultimate answer.  
- Love is real and so is heart break. Don't give up - there is someone equally weird but totally compatible waiting for you. 
- Balance keeps everything in check between friends, job, social media, family, finances, relationship, workout etc. Don't put too much focus on just one aspect.
- Using coupons and signing up for club savings card is totally okay. 
- Life is not always about competition & jealousy.  Be happy for others & share their joys.
- Weekends do not always have to involve clubs, friends, and hangovers. 
- Never lose hope easily. Stay positive & try everything you can with everything within your reach.
- Breaking your routine every once in a while does not make you a failure. Cleaning, grocery shopping & laundry can wait.
- Don't be afraid to place a complicated order. Say thank you and be little generous with the tip. 
- Failures and rejections are part of life. Cheer up, maybe it was not meant for you.
- Believe in prayers and miracles. Sometimes all you can do is sit back and wait for that magic to happen.  
- Don't assume, listen, then decide. Comes with lots of patience and experience.
- Say NOrather than ignoring and making excuses. It will make life simpler.
- Keep that inner child in you alive. Always.
In case you are still not tired of this wordy post and have tons of chocolate chip cookies just sitting around, even if its little stale - crumble them, mash overly ripe bananas and turn them into one of the best. loaf. of. bread. ever.  
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bread 
Makes 1 loaf
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
10 chocolate chip cookies, crumbled or roughly grind them in food processor
1 egg (you can omit the egg-i tried both ways and I couldn't really tell the difference)
1 overripe banana, mashed
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
 -Preheat the oven to 350F
-In a small bowl, mash banana using a fork, then add vanilla extract and milk. Blend them well.
-In a separate bowl or KitchenAid's mixing bowl, add flour, crumbled chocolate chip cookies, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir everything together.
-Pour the wet ingredients into dry ingredient's bowl then mix them in medium speed until everything is well combined (The batter will be little wet).
-Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the toothpick inserted comes out clean.
-Let it cool for 10 minutes

If you don't have enough will power to wait,  take a slice or finish half the loaf before you realize it was actually for your brother. Oppsss - thank god I had enough cookies for another batch. This one time you will thank yourself for not throwing out those (stale) cookies.