October 30, 2011

Things that make me smile lately...

Listening to James' toy tractor play "Old McDonald" about a thousand times a day (the ironic thing- I bought it from a consignment sale because I thought it didn't make noise)

Going to the pumpkin patch with James and not having to prop him up among the pumpkins because he refused to wake up (like last year)...

Apple crisp with vanilla ice cream in front of the fire with my husband

James beginning to use a spoon as a spoon and not a food-catapult...

Knowing Christmas is coming (don't judge me, it is the most wonderful time of the year)

Watching James read books (almost always upside-down) out loud to himself, and sometimes to Bear...

James as a cow...

Really feeling like each day is being lived to its fullest potential- not rushing life, or waiting for the next step, or trying to make my life something that it is not- but just living and enjoying the ride, one experience at a time

October 20, 2011

One Bowl Banana Bread

This bread is a recipe I developed by combining several recipes, including one from Jessica Seinfeld's book, "Deceptively Delicious," and also adding a few of my own ideas.
I make it almost every week. It is super-easy, mostly-healthy, kid-friendly, portable, and tastes really good. Add chocolate chips, pecans, or both for extra deliciousness. Or make it plain and slather with peanut butter or cream cheese. You really can't go wrong.

One Bowl Banana Bread
3 medium bananas*
1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter or trans-fat free margarine, softened; or vegetable oil, or combination
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg + 1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose four
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
large sprinkle of cinnamon
dash of nutmeg and allspice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream together the first four ingredients using a wooden spoon or potato masher, if necessary. Stir in vanilla and eggs.
Sprinkle flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices evenly over top of wet ingredients. Mix until just combined, do not over mix.
Pour batter into a loaf pan greased with non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 40 minutes, then cover with  aluminum foil and bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes. Let cool in pan a couple minutes before turning loaf onto cooling rack to cool completely. Enjoy.

* I put bananas that are beginning to brown in the freezer to use when I make this bread. Then I take them out of the freezer and thaw them in a sink full of warm water. Be sure to peel them over the mixing bowl, the bananas are pretty much liquefied after freezing!