You want some cheese with that whine?

There’s an awful lot out there these days to whine about. The rising prices, the falling market, your job or lack of, lovers (or lack of), children, bosses or just why anyone would give a rat’s heiny about any Kardasian. You name it, there’s a vintage of ennui to accompany. Yet rather than fan the embers of melancholy, I find a guaranteed method for extinguishing that whine is through the liberal application of some cheese. Specifically, a spectacularly cheesy movie. And what is le grand fromage of cinema d’cheese? THE ELVIS MOVIE!! You just can’t feel sorry for yourself watching one of Mr. Presley’s lactose-filled little gems. Come on, I dare you to slip on sackcloth during “Speedway”, “Roustabout” or “Tickle Me”. “Girl Happy” is guaranteed to inspire giggles. Just the fact that a song and dance about a mollusk was created for this cinematic tour de force makes me laugh out loud, leap off the couch and DO THE CLAM! It’s better than Prozac. Perhaps a laugh-fest from the Marx Brothers or Mel Brooks might do the trick, but for maximum schlock-factor the cinematic cheese of an Elvis flick can’t be beat. Take the King, put him in a boat or race car or on a beach, add in a pretty girl in capri pants and kitten heels, a smarmy rival for her affections and the Jordanaires (conveniently showing up at the first chord of a ditty) and you’ve got a cheese-a-palooza! So the next time you feel the blahs creeping in I suggest you raise the corner of your upper lip, start up your wiggle, and pop in an Elvis flick. You’ll thank me, thank me very much…

Rather than include a cheese-themed recipe (there’s plenty of lactose in the movie), I created something the King himself might have enjoyed. Feel free to fry a slice up in butter. Elvis would.

Hunk-a Hunk-a Peanut Butter Banana Loaf

Makes 1 loaf (10-12 slices)

  • 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 1 cup shaken buttermilk
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter chips
  • 2 TBSP roasted salted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 TBSP banana chips, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8×4-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl to thoroughly mix the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, cream the brown sugar and peanut butter together. Add in the banana and beaten egg and mix well. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet (it will be a little dry – don’t worry, the buttermilk will loosen it up to a more batter-like consistency). Add in the buttermilk and mix until fully incorporated. Fold in the peanut butter chips. Pour the batter into greased loaf pan. Mix the chopped peanuts and banana chips together, and sprinkle top of loaf.

Bake 50-60 minutes or until toothpick or cake tester inserted in middle of loaf comes out clean. Remove from pan and cook on rack. Calories: 210/slice for 12 slices, 250/slice for 10 slices.

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