The best banana bread for the worst year…

So, 2020 is turning out to be a bit….well, let’s be honest it’s turning out to be a hard year to describe without swearing.  Not sure anyone, except makers of masks and pyjama pants would put it down as “the best year ever”.  To be fair, it started off with a lot of promise and optimism, but somewhere around March things took a dramatic turn for the worse.

However, there have been two upsides of 2020- (not including living in my pyjama pants and not wearing makeup)

1, I’ve been too worried about the entire world falling apart economically, socially, and virally (is that the right word?) to worry about turning 40 in 2 days.  It’s pretty hard to throw a pity party for turning 40 (or any party at all actually) when 2 billion people or more are locked in their houses and thousands of people are dying every day.

2,  I finally made Chrissy Teigan’s banana bread recipe.  And it is literally one of the best banana breads/cakes/baked items I’ve ever tasted.  The batter was so good I was eating it with a spoon.  I understand why twitter went nuts for this- it is delicious on so many different levels.  I have to say I’m not a banana bread person- I don’t normally make it, I don’t order it in cafes and if someone brings it in to work, I may or may not try it to be polite- because banana bread is a bit boring.  This has changed my tune.  This banana bread is next level, and exactly what my 2020, about to turn 40 self needed.  It definitely blurs the line between cake and banana bread, but the fact that it’s called Banana Bread in the recipe means I don’t feel guilty for eating it for breakfast.  Not that there’s anything wrong with Cake for Breakfast but this is Banana Bread which is a totally ok breakfast food.   Plus, it’s easy to make.  The hardest part was trying to save 6 ripe bananas from the banana eaters in my house.    It was so easy and so delicious, that it has saved 2020 from being the worst year ever.  Well- maybe not completely but discovering this little gem has certainly put a smile on our faces and something good in our bellies.

Thank you Chrissy for saving 2020.

Singapore- the food capital of the world!

Right now, I’m in Singapore for work. Honestly, I don’t know why I didn’t come here sooner! It is a foodie paradise. Everywhere you look there are beautiful displays of food, amazing smells and intriguing things to taste. Every type of cuisine, every type of dish.

In a perfect world, I would come back for a week and only pack stretchy pants and spend the week walking around and eating.

Chilli crab, kopi, Kaya toast, chicken rice….. and those are just a few of the things I’ve tried and loved.

I had heard amazing things about Singapore and I was not disappointed! Plus the whole city is decorated for Lunar New Year which gives it a festive feel!

We even did a traditional Long Hey ceremony to bring prosperity and happiness in the new year.

Enjoy the photos and video- and book your flight to Singapore soon!


I find it hard to believe that I haven’t written about this before- but I don’t think I have. Maybe it’s too personal. Too much a part of myself and my DNA.

It’s My Mother’s, well Grandmother’s- and possibly Great Grandmother’s Corn Pudding. I have no idea where it comes from, my mother has recipe on an index card, I have it in an email from 2003 and it 100% would not be Thanksgiving without.

History of Genocide aside, Thanksgiving is my all time favorite holiday. It revolves around food and friends and family and it’s the best. Once you get past the fact that it didn’t turn out so well for the Native Americans after the First year, it’s a holiday that encourages us all to quietly reflect on life and love, what brings us together, what’s brought us through the last year.

I have a lot to be thankful for, I’m very fortunate and lucky to be able to say that most years. Practicing gratitude and thankfulness is really important, and it’s great that we celebrate that on Thanksgiving. But let’s be honest here kids, we’re here for the food!

And my all time, number 1 favorite Thanksgiving good is Corn Pudding. The Gulliver-Giddings-Williamson family recipe passed down possibly only from 1975 or maybe from 1875- who knows- but it’s not Thanksgiving without. My mother has shared it with her best friends, I’ve shared it with mine and it’s always a crowd favorite. And for me, it’s what family gatherings are all about. Not just eating it on the day, but hoping there are leftovers (there rarely are) and eating it the next day. See, we only make it once, maybe twice a year. Thanksgiving and Christmas- so it reminds me of family, holidays, the festive season, my mother, my grandmother- in short love. Maybe that’s why it tastes so good. There’s 100 years and generations of love in it!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving where ever and how ever you celebrate it this year.

Good news is coming…

So far 2019 has been a really good year and it’s not over yet. Two more exciting things are on the horizon that I’m looking forward to sharing more details on. It’s been a year full of growth, change, transformation and fun- and it’s not over yet! Watch this space….

I wasn’t prepared…

I wasn’t prepared for motherhood.

It sounds funny to say it almost 3 years in but I wasn’t prepared. I was ready but not prepared.

I wasn’t prepared for how it would feel to be so needed by someone or how hurt I would be when he rejects me- “not Mommy, just Daddy” stings every time.

I wasn’t prepared for how easy it is to pick out parent child combinations at the pool or at the park. I never saw it before — I don’t think I look like my parents or my child yet I can always pick out the features of other parent/child pairs that look alike. Is it their face? Their walk? Their style of dress? What makes it so easy to pair? Is it nature, nurture or destiny?

I wasn’t prepared for seeing my own parents’ face reflected back at me at times, diluted and much smaller but unmistakenly there.

I wasn’t prepared for the joy of watching this tiny person complete the most routine tasks- or learn things which I can’t remember not knowing. The first time he said his full name, I was so shocked- not just that he said it but by how proud I was of him.

I had no idea that I could be so thrilled by someone telling me that it was time to go to the potty- and yet here we are.

But what I really wasn’t prepared for was the feeling that it’s all going too fast. I’ve never wanted to stop moments in time before but more and more often I do. Every time I get slobbery kisses or a little body curling into my lap, I want everything to stop so I can hold onto

This moment. Right now. These little fingers, this little head full of curls. For the first time, I look at pictures and don’t recognize the infant that came before. I remember him but he hardly seems like the same person. The tiny helpless baby has given way to the strong, confident active little boy who loves the Lion King and Cars and has friends and climbs things. I don’t miss the baby but it makes me realize that this little boy will one day be unrecognizable too. I wasn’t prepared to want him to freeze and stay like this forever. I mean who wants to hang out with a baby all the time- they’re so boring. This kid is fun- like super fun and funny and interesting. I don’t think I was prepared for how interesting he would be. I knew genetically the odds were leaning towards interesting and funny and charming but I wasn’t prepared for how it would actually be on a day to day basis.

I wasn’t prepared for so much, but it’s amazing. I know every parent thinks there kid is awesome and amazing, but I really wasn’t prepared for how awesome mine would actually be.

Change, evolve, transform

Change. Transformation. 2 words that are both totally overused and also totally sum up so much of life. So many songs written about it, so many ways to describe it- and don’t get me started on how many businesses are doing “transformation” programs.

But what is it really?

Cooking is transformation. Growing up is transformation. Living is transformation. Everything is constantly changing so how can we point to one single experience or event or project as more important than the rest. What is transformative vs what is just life?

We can’t really, but at the same time, I can look back on the last few months and say I’m a different person than I was 12 months ago. Not fundamentally different but different. Different priorities, different habits, different goals, different outlook.

2019 has been a year filled with change. But it’s not change just for changes sake- it’s change moving toward a goal- so many that makes it a transformative year or maybe we’re just having transformative experiences. Or maybe there have just been so many changes that everything feels a bit different.

We bought a house- we’ve made some minor changes to the house and to our lifestyle but it hasn’t been a transformation.

In buying a house, we left the neighborhood we spent almost 9 years living in- and moved 15 minutes away. Again, far enough away to change habits but not far enough away to disrupt our lives dramatically.

In changing neighborhoods, we’ve had to change how we get to work, where we eat, when we shop- not really but we lost our corner shop where we could pick up milk and miscellaneous forgotten items.

One of us has a new job but it was a promotion not a radical change of career.

We’ve changed lots of habits and lots of routines because of our new location, but that’s just being practical and doing what makes sense logistically.

We’ve watched our baby change into a big boy before our very eyes. But he’s not transformed, he’s evolving and growing. He’s a talker, a swimmer, an independent 2 1/2 year old with his own ideas.

There are more changes ahead of us, more steps towards the next part of our lives. The Runner and I are less than 12 months away from turning 40- and it feels like we’re evolving and changing too.

In the past year, I’ve read the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar quite a few things. It strikes me how this very basic and very simple book aimed at infants teaches such a powerful lesson about change and about transformation. I won’t ruin it for you if you can’t remember the end- but the short version is that the caterpillar eats and eats (healthy food during the week and junk food on the weekend- much like most people I know) and at the end is transformed into a butterfly.

I feel like this is that year for me- one of changing and transforming into a butterfly. It’s been a slow process but I’m starting to see light at the end of the tunnel. More than likely it’s an oncoming train because change never stops- or as my grandmother so eloquently used to say, “life is a process of change”. Life isn’t just that though, life is transformation. Day by day, step by step.

Exciting Times….

There are exciting times in the He Runs, I Cook household in between watching Sesame Street and the everyday juggle of life, we’re actually doing some interesting things– sort of.

For starters, MiniMe is nearly 2. He’s only 22 months to be exact but I’ve finally reached the point of motherhood where I know longer know exactly how old my child is. The first few months, I could tell you that he was precisely 9 weeks, 4 days and 37 minutes, then it was 8 1/2 months, now we’re starting to round up to years. I’m sure if you asked my mother right now, she would say that I’m somewhere in my 30s- because to be honest, even I can’t remember my exact age sometimes.


So MiniMe has gone from being a baby to being a walking and talking human being with his own personality, preferences and priorities which is super cute and fun- until they clash with the preferences and priorities of others in his orbit. But we’re coping well- his favorite words are bus and car and he’s fascinated by anything that has wheels or an engine (especially buses and cars). He knows his colors, can count to two and is generally a pretty cool kid.


The second exciting thing that’s happening is I’m combining my job (IT recruitment) with my passion (gender equality) and organizing and hosting an event at work called Women Leading IT. I’m super excited about it, my company is super excited about it and we’ve had a great response from the female IT community- with over 100 women registered. I’m really thrilled because it’s been a huge lesson for me in terms of speaking up and agitating and advocating for change at work. I kept opening my mouth and asking why we’re not doing more and voila- here we are doing more! And my we, I mean mostly me and my co-organizer, but it is being paid for and sponsored by our company so it is very exciting! You can read more about the event here.

As you can see, I’m MC-ing the event- also a new challenge for me, fingers crossed I don’t freeze and just stare at the audience for 5 minutes!

The third, and possibly most exciting thing that’s happening is that I’ve found the perfect muffin!

Yes, that’s right!  I told you it was exciting times.  They are apple and carrot gluten free and sugar free and actually quite delicious. They’re relatively healthy- although I added chocolate chips and raisins- so I don’t feel bad about feeding them to MiniMe for breakfast, snack and even after dinner- not three in the same day obviously—- well, not obviously but don’t judge me! I found them on the Cookie and Kate website- they call them superhero muffins. And they’re 100% right! Amazing! Great to grab and go in the morning to eat on the bus when we’re running late and they have hidden fruit and veggies in them which is great for a toddler that won’t eat a vegetable other than potato and pumpkin. They come from a cookbook called Run Fast.  Cook Fast.  Eat Slow.  It is written by an elite marathon runner, Shalane Flanagan,  which I ordered as soon as I tasted the muffin.  Healthy Treats for MiniMe and The Runner; a new cookbook for me- So, all in all, a win!

Like I said, exciting times in our house!