9.16.2011

Delightful and Healthy Banana Bread!

Apparently, this week is recipe week on here. This was not intentional, clearly this pregnant lady wants to think about food! As a side note, I do not want to think about clothing because ALL of the fall clothes are do delightful and I am stuck in maternity wear- which, let's face it, is horrific! I am trying not to spend money on any maternity clothes since this is the last pregnancy and I have 2.5 months to go- but I am feeling a touch "ug" these days! Friends, if you see me wear the same all black outfit for the next 2.5 months- you know why! OK- back to the cooking! I wanted to share this recipe because it is always such a hit- this bread does not last 24 hours in the house. I have made some changes (in red) to make it really healthy and still yummy. I am sure you are like me and always have brown bananas hanging around- so this is the perfect recipe to use those up! Enjoy! 

Banana Bread: (actual recipe in black, my changes in red)
- 3-4 ripe or overripe bananas (I put in as many as I have- the more bananas the less sugar I add)
- 1 cup sugar (I put 1/2 cup or less)
- 1 egg
- 1.5 cups of flour (I use whole wheat or whole wheat white)
- 1/4 cup melted butter or margarine (margarine is best, smart balance works well too, I add a touch more than 1/4 cup to make it moist- really moist is 1 stick)
- 1t baking soda
- 1t salt (I just twist the sea salt grinder once, if the nuts are salted I don't add any)
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I use pecans because I always have them on hand)
*My additions: I add a few shakes of cinnamon in the mix and on top before I bake, if I have blueberries I add blueberries, I also add a tablespoon or two of ground flax seed

**Mash bananas with fork, stir in other ingredients, pour into loaf pan (8.5 x4.5x2.5) bake 1 hour at 325 degrees (check at 45 minutes)


9.15.2011

Fall Soup Favorite!

Since it feels like fall now, I am excited to bring soup back into my "dinner mix". I have a lot of favorites, which I will share along the way, but this is my #1 (initially introduced by my delightful SIL, Courtney!) Really healthy and everyone loves it! Here is the original recipe: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=857318) I change it a bit every time, below is my version. 


Black Bean Soup: 

  • warm up 2T canola oil in dutch oven
  • add tons of veggies (carrots, celery, onion, peppers..anything you want) 
  • cover and cook until soft (med heat)                                                                          
  • when soft add 3 cans black beans (Ranch Style Black Beans are best, sometimes I use low Sodium black beans)                                                                                                   
  • 2 cans mild Ro-tel (dont do mild if you like really spicy)
  • 2 cans tomato sauce (or more depending on how many veggies you use)  
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • small bundle or "fist full" of cilantro                            

cook for 1 hour or more (depending on time, I cook it for a couple of hours at least), (you can add groud flax seed or anything you want to sneak in), then blend it with my hand blender (or leave it chunky) - I like to blend because you can sneak ANYTHING in without complaining!  
*add 1 can mexican style corn- after blending
*** I serve this with Corn bread (packaged- trade out milk for water and add 1 small can of corn or creamy corn makes it amazing, then bake) top soup with sour cream and cheese if you wish.

9.13.2011

In Honor of Karen



In honor of my Mother-in-Law, Karen, who passed away 2 years ago today, I am posting her favorite recipe. She was a great cook, someone who really loved to cook and serve her family through cooking. Bless her heart, she was given 3 picky boys who didn't totally appreciate all of her "experimenting"- but the things they loved...the daughter-in-laws can never live up to their favorites! Before she passed away, Dave sat down with her and asked her what her all time favorite recipe was, and she said Chocolate Sheet Cake! I know everyone has a version of this in your recipe books, but here is her version. It is Delightfully Delicious! Enjoy and hug or call your M.I.L today!

Chocolate Sheet Cake:
Put in 2 qt sauce pan:
2 sticks butter
3 ½ T coco
1 cup water
Bring to boil
While hot pour over:
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1t soda
Mix on low speed
Add two eggs
½ cup buttermilk
1t vanilla
Bake on greased pan for 20 minutes at 350 degrees
Saucepan: 
1 stick butter
1/3 cup milk
3 ½ t coco
Bring to boil 30 seconds
Add one box of sifted powdered sugar
1t vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts (I like Pecans, some like walnuts)
Pour hot icing over hot cake then cool

9.10.2011

Zara- About Time!


One of my favorite stops when I lived in NYC was always Zara. Since leaving the East Coast, I have missed Zara but since there is no online shopping and their shops are few, I have had to move on. Well, as of yesterday- we can all shop at Zara. The best part- darling kids clothing!!! The prices are really reasonable on most items (the grey shirt below is $17.90). I am so excited and know you will be too! Zara.com - here are some of my favs for the girls!



9.08.2011

Butterfly Garden!


My friend Amy is FULL of good info, she always finds good stuff for kids- here is her latest find! Thank you Amy!

This is a great science lesson in disguise, plus some! My kids and I watched the infomercial for the amazing Live Butterfly Garden for months. After my daughter's repeated requests I ordered it as a surprise for her. This little kit has turned out to be one of my top favorite kid things. 

After receiving the kit you have to send off for your live caterpillars. I really had no idea how they would ship caterpillars in the middle of August, but five little guys made it safely in a small container. We have watched the caterpillars weave their cocoons from silk and then attach themselves to the top of the container. We've placed them in their butterfly house and now are awaiting the big day where they will turn into beautiful butterflies.
This fun activity has given me opportunities to teach my daughter about the nature and science of how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly. But most importantly, it has been fun to talk about God's hand in the process. It is fascinating. God can take something that is brown and squishy and turn it into something beautiful and majestic. Birth, transformation, sanctification and glorification all on the level that a child can understand.
I hope you'll consider doing this fun project with your kids!
Amy 
Mom of 2
Frisco, TX

9.04.2011

Training the Child- Issues of the Heart!


“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
I wanted to share this list with you, I put it together so that I can refer to these scripture when my girls are displaying a “behavioral” heart issue (I use them for myself a lot too). It reminds me that most of the behavioral issues the girls have ultimately stem from the heart. The outside might appear as if they are having a tantrum but the heart is displaying a different issue. I don’t necessarily use these scriptures in the “heat of the moment” with them- I would never want to appear to use the Word as punishment. But we might look at these verses later, or use them as memory verses, etc.. It might not sink in immediately with kids, but over time it will train them to memorize and refer back to scripture in hard times. I cannot tell you how many times I use Phil 4:6 or Jer 29:11 in my own life, it is such a blessing to have the Word of God to turn to in tough times and find peace in His promises. I want my girls to have those same tools as they grow up. I view these as little “tools” to send with them as they are in school and in life when I am not around. Hope this blesses you, feel free to share with others! 

1. Anxiety: 
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)
2. Fear
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
3. Disobedience: 
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right (Ephesians 6:1)
4. Selfishness: 
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves (Philippians 2:3)
5. Lack of Motivation:
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
6. Lack of Self Confidence:
For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)
7. Moody: Irritable 
He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. (Job 8:21)
8. Ungratefulness: 
Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
9. Unforgiving: 
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. (Matthew 6:14)
10. Impatient: 
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up (Galatians 6:9)
11. Discouraging others:
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. (Hebrews 3:13)
12. Disrespect: 
He who scorns instruction will pay for it, but he who respects a command is rewarded. (Proverbs 13:13)
13. Dishonest:
" 'Do not steal. " 'Do not lie." 'Do not deceive one another. (Leviticus 19:11)
14. Lack of Self Control:
So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. (1 Thessalonians 5:6)
15. Anger:
...Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry (James 1:19b)
16. Gossip: 
A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret. (Proverbs 11:13)
17. Guilt:
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1John 1:9)
18. Pride:
For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. (Matthew 23:12)
19. Jealousy:
A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. (Proverbs 14:30)
20. Laziness: 
The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied (Proverbs 13:4)
21. Lying:
A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who pours out lies will not go free. (Proverbs 19:5)
Here are my some of my favorite Parenting Scriptures: 
1. 2 tim 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2. Genesis 18:19 19 For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him."
3. Deuteronomy 11:19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
4. Proverbs 29:17 Discipline your son, and he will give you peace; he will bring delight to your soul.
5. Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
(All scripture taken from the NIV Bible)
For more resources visit www.prayerwithpurpose.com

9.02.2011

Back to School Shoes!

We went back-to-school shoe shopping today and I am just in love with the girls new shoes- Baby Toms! They are the perfect transition from flip flops to Uggs- I love that they can wear them with dresses, shorts, jeans- you name it!  Of course they offer virtually no support and I dont expect them to last forever- but they are so cute and support a good cause! They have all sorts of cute colors; pink, blue, red, silver, black, etc.. We went with silver- mainly because Izzy wont wear shoes unless they are as sparkly as possible and because they go with everything. I do have to give credit to my niece Rivington who was wearing these the other night- she looked so cute in them that we were excited to try them out! We are so excited for school to start next week...SO excited! 
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