Aug 22, 2011

Super Fantastic Muffin Recipe, Revisited

Just shy of one year ago I posted a recipe for muffins, which I titled, Super Fantastic Muffin Recipe, and well it was.  But over this past year I have played with it a bit more, tweaking it and now it truly is the ultimate:

SUPER FANTASTIC MUFFIN RECIPE
2 ripe, mashed, bananas
3/4 cup milk
1/4 - 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar or white sugar or honey
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease bottoms only of the muffin cups in a muffin pan.

Combine ingredients, mixing until moist, do not over mix! (This is key to good muffins!) Add in extras, stir with wooden spoon. (see list below)  Divide batter evenly among muffin cups and bake for 18 -24 minuets or until golden brown. Allow to cool in pan for 5 minuets before removing to cooling rack.


That is the basic recipe, the base for the muffins.  To this you can add anything... seriously ANYTHING and they will be delicious, moist and pretty darn good for you too! ;)


Featured here is Cranberry, Pecan and Chocolate Chip.



Other ingredients to play with:

Strawberries, fresh or frozen
Raspberries, fresh or frozen
Blue berrues, fresh or frozen
Apples
Walnuts
Coco
Raisons
Cinimon
Coconut
Frozen mixed berries
Carrot, shredded
Pumpkin puree (and that's coming soon!)
Pumpkin pie spice [goes nice with the prementioned ingredient! ;) ]
Jam
Add more bananas
Peanut butter

I'm sure there are many other ideas, these are just a few to get you started.  Have fun, add what you like and enjoy!  Ofcouse don't forget to come back and share with me what you used and what you like!



Oh and here's a little something else to get your creative food fun flowing.  Cookies made by a dear friend of mine, she's such a sweet heart and a good and talented baker to boot! ;)






Happy snacking!




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Aug 17, 2011

Farm Fun

Seeing as we came SO close to country living this summer, with God saying last minute, "No my children, not yet, I have other plans for you." we relish any opportunity to spend some time away from the city.  So when some new friends invited us to spend the afternoon at their home and hobby farm, we were all to happy to oblige!




This family has a lovey home and beautiful property!  They were so kind to allow us to come and invade them on really, their only day off during the week!






Needless to say, our girls were ecstatic to see all the animals.  And after taking them to a sad, sad excuse of a petting zoo a week ago, this was a much better way to see and interact with animals.  And interact they did!







Maybe a little too much......





They call it a hobby farm...but it seems more like a full time job then a hobby!  They had goats, horses, chickens, cows, turkeys and even chiche pink pigs in mud!







And reliving childhood fun, my hubby even had the opportunity to catch a frog.  To which our girls were both delighted and disgusted!





Yeah, that's right, she hugging and kissing the frog!




They not only have tons of animals, they grow much of their own food.  I tell you, it's both inspiring and intimidating!




They invited our girls to help dig up the vegetable that were to be served for supper.  I don't know if I have mentioned my lack of ability to garden, but lets say....there's a reason dandelions are one of my favourite 'flowers'...they're about all I can grow! :P 

So this was a novelty!





They prepared the most amazing dinner for us, with all the food fresh from their farm; right down to the homemade butter!




It was a wonderful afternoon!   I believe it spoke to a part inside both my husband and myself, a part of our childhoods, and a longing for open spaces.  We came away, happy and renewed and glad to have made some new friends!  And though we both feel that someday we shall end up in the country, Lord willing, we are content right where we are!




And until that time, we will enjoy what our city has to offer and the blessing of living in the heart of it!  We will enjoy this all with, more trips to playgroups and the library, to visiting with friends and park time fun, to rainy days snuggled indoors as the world goes by and sunshine days filled with sidewalk chalk and bubble blowing.



But when they day comes to stretch out and enjoy open spaces, fields of grass, and fresh county air, I think we will be ready....







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Aug 11, 2011

Making Time


Finding or actually, making, the time to sit and be with God seems to be an endless challenge!  It starts with marriage, where in you adjust from having just you to think about to now having us.  And though you have good intentions, the time flies and you see days whisk by with hardly a moment devoted to the Lord.  Then children enter the picture and those once sweet, quiet moments alone with the Creator seem but a distant dream. 


No wonder Paul suggests one remain single! (1 Corinthians 25-40) 


But I am (always) learning and this thought impressed on me the other day.  In the role of wife and mother, it is not simply enough to say, "I am too busy." "My kids keep me distracted." "I just can't find the time." or "Some days are better then others" No, we must make the time, better yet we must want to make the time.  How often do we cry to Him in times of trial and tribulation but do we stay faithful during the out pouring of blessings or the mundane days or life?  For surely God has appointed one as well as the other. (Ecclesiastes 7:13,14)  It is this daily communion with God that I am talking about.


It is here we need to discipline ourselves.  For we would never choose to not feed our children their breakfast, it is fundamental, it is needed and not to mention they wouldn't let us forget to feed them!  And though many a days we would rather roll over in bed, ignoring their requests, or read the paper instead of making more toast, we do not, we feed our children. 


But how often do we neglect to feed our own souls?  (Matthew 4:4)


We say we will find the time, we say it with good intentions - but how often do you find something that you aren't actually looking for?  The truth is we must make the time!  Just as you make time to get dressed, to feed your family or to walk the dog, we must make the time to be in God's word.


I once heard it put like this, if you had to take a pill everyday just to live would you remember to take it?  And would you ever skip it, even once?  Time with God is our 'pill' and we need it to live - to truly live!


So I have purposed to make time for God.  I am rising early to be alone with Him and when my kids wake up earlier, for they surely will, then I will just have to get up even earlier.  This isn't some household task that I can continually put off, like cleaning up cobwebs or washing my windows, it is necessary, a daily part of my homemaking.


For if I do not make this time for God, then the cobwebs will cling to my heart and 'windex' will not be able to remove the fog in my mind.  It says in James 4:8, come near to God and He will come near to you.  It is true, I want to grow ever closer to Him and spending time with Him is the only way to do it.


I have been reading many other 'good' books as of late, other biblical sound books on topics of importance and interest to me but this is not enough.  I can not grow a personal relationship with my God by reading what others say, just as I cannot create a friendship with another person if I only speak to their other acquaintances.


A personal relationship with God is just that, personal, between Him and myself.


So I am challenging all my readers - make the time, don't find it - make it!  Join me in these early mornings, as the sun rises later and later and the weather grows cooler, to make the time to be with the One who made you and knows your inward parts. (Psalm 139:13)


I am no longer leaving it to the day, circumstance or good timing, no I am making the time to be with Him, daily!  Choosing to do whatever it takes - but pray for me, 'cause I'm sure going to need it!









God bless!





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Aug 4, 2011

Cookies and Cake

Ah, another long weekend came and went here in Canada...not sure why we get one at the beginning of August, but I'm not about to argue with it!  So hubby and I got ourselves into our usual trouble over a long weekend...we started a small reno/face lift project....it was suppose to be easy and quick....but it's grown a bit..... 

*sheepish grin*

So at this point I do not have any pictures to show you but hopefully by the end of the month....


...until then, enjoy these goodies!





With the weather actually cooling off slightly...which I'm assuming is only temporary...right? I got the itch to do some baking.  But low and behold, after settling on cookies I discovered that I had no eggs.

What's up with that?  Anyways, I wasn't about to let that stop me....not to mention I had little girls at my heals ready to devour cookies the moment they would be ready!  So spotting bananas 'riping' on my counter I decided to substitute them in and hope for the best.

And well, it's all good! 

The cookies turned out great...a slight cookie meets banana bread flavour...but is that such a bad thing?

So here's the recipe in case you are silly like me and buy too many bananas for these hot summer months and need a way to rid yourself of them.

No Egg, Chewy Chocolate Chip and Pecan Cookies

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups flour (I used all purpose this time, but whole wheat would work fine, though I'm thinking only 2 cups of flour in that case)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 riped bananas
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup (or more) pecan pieces

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Grease (or line with parchment paper!) cookie sheets.
2.  Sift together the flour baking soda and salt; set aside.
3.  In a medium bowl, mash bananas and cream together with the sugars and the melted butter, mix until well blended.  (there may be some banana bits left, don't worry to much about those!)  Beat in the vanilla.  Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended.  Stir in chocolate chips and pecans with a wooden spoon.  Drop cookie dough onto prepared cookie sheets - I use a large table spoon for this or an ice cream scoop would work well.  Cookies should be about 2 inches apart.
4.  Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the edges are lightly toasted.  Cool on baking sheet for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.




YUM!



On to the cake!



One of our dearest friends is originally from Holland.  He moved here to be with and marry his sweet heart about 9 years ago.  The last time they visited his homeland was when his wife was pregnant with their daughter...she's now 5!  So they left the other day for a twenty five day holiday.  But our friend's birthday falls during their vacation and so his wife threw him a little party before they left.



And I got to make the cake*!


*code for; she left everything to the last minute and we pitched in to help!



 


For those of you who may not know...it's based on the board game 'Settlers of Catan'.  We play this ALL the time with this couple...I mean ALL the time....and in admitting this you may now realize how geekish we just may be - but that's okay!

Anyways, our friend is turning 30 and his name starts with R hence the tile in the middle.  (I only clarify, because other fans of the game might notice the inaccuracy there!  Okay...clarifying that I think moves my geekiness to a whole new level....not to mentioned I used the words 'geekish' and 'geekiness'...)

*blank stairs from my readers*

Riiight.....okay, well it's a really good game and he loved the cake - and it was a fun night.  But we're going to miss them these next 25 days....






So I'm busy trying to finish up the photos from my sister-in-laws wedding...don't tell her I'm doing a blog post instead of working on them! ;)  Haha, I know you're probably already reading this Steph....but they're coming I swear! ♥  And then I have another wedding this weekend, oooh so exciting!


Oh and yes that reno project.....hmmm summer, you go to quick!  Anyways, let me know how your summer is going, is it flying by like mine?  And will you still read my blog now that you know my geeky side?!? Hahah! 


Have a great week!




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