(scroll down for brownie recipe)
This week’s episode was inspired by an experience last year that had me shook. I was at a high-profile meeting for my job with several VIPs present (deans, chief of police, faculty, federal consultants, etc.) and I had to present about a project. Usually I’m very comfortable speaking publicly, but that morning I was jittery from a few too many gulps of the free coffee that was served. Plus, the handouts I prepared were mistakenly left behind by a coworker, so I didn’t have notes. As I went up to present, I was shaking and I could feel the warmth of my face flushing. I stammered throughout the whole presentation and bee-lined it back to my seat where I cowered in embarrassment for the rest of the meeting. I felt so self-conscious and terrible about it for weeks. I even stopped drinking coffee (my dearest love) since it was partially the culprit.
I talked to some mentors about it, and they suggested that since I can’t erase what happened, I can move forward by devising ways to prevent that from happening in the future. So, I came up with 5 Ways to Melt Away Insecurities and also decided to share my secret (until now) brownie recipe. You’re in for a treat; I’ve been making these for over 10 years and am known for them around the get-together scene. Enjoy!
To review, here are my 5 tips:
- Don’t take anything personally (from The Four Agreements), the spotlight isn’t on you as much as you think.
- Observe how you perceive others.
- Temper and transform your thoughts with an Evidence Record (see below).
- Recite positive affirmations*.
- Stay ready.
*One thing I should’ve mentioned in the video is the importance of using “I statements” when reciting affirmations. Even if you do not yet believe these positive words about yourself, saying the phrases (out loud if possible) will get you there in your mind and eventually in reality. Even if we still feel insecure, we can start acting like we are confident.
As you saw in the video, I recommend using an evidence record to monitor and manage your thoughts. This is a technique I learned in graduate school that uses theory from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This is by no means a substitute for treatment if your condition is severe, but it’s a key step in developing a clearer, happier mind.
And of course, here’s the recipe for you!:
– 2 sticks of butter
– 2 cups of sugar
– 1/2 cup of cocoa powder
– 4 eggs, beaten
– 2 tsp. vanilla extract
– 2/3 cup flour
– 1/2 tsp. salt
– 1/4 tsp. baking soda
– 2 cups chocolate chips
– 1/2 cup chopped nuts
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C) and lightly grease a 9×13 in. baking pan.
2. Melt butter on medium heat. Add sugar and stir until combined. Add cocoa and stir until combined.
3. Remove from heat.
4. Temper the eggs (see video at 2:06), then stir into batter.
5. Add flour, salt, and baking soda to batter and stir thoroughly.
6. Mix in chocolate chips until well-incorporated.
7. Stir in nuts evenly.
8. Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 28 minutes. Cool before cutting and serving.
As always, you’re welcome to comment or email me with any questions you may have. If you make these brownies, please tag me @DiningAtTiffs #DiningAtTiffs. Also, let me know if you found these 5 tips helpful or if you have any others to share from your experiences.
Your Cooking Counselor