Fancy Fruity Pancakes

It’s unlikely that anyone will believe me when I told them that these pancakes were imagined on a morning when I was simply trying to be healthy (and frugal) and sneak a few over ripe apricots into my girls’ breakfast! =) but it’s true… Sometimes a breakfast that makes squealing happy toddlers is so much better than simply healthy. And hey! It’s still frugal if you have over ripe fruit like me!

image

Mix and set aside:
1 cup flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

In mixer:
1 egg
1 cup of milk
2 Tablespoons oil
1 ripe banana
2 ripe apricots
(Or any fruit you could imagine really! Just try to equal about 1 cup mashed fruit. I used my immersion blender in my mixer blend in the apricot skins even!)

(Optional)
Chocolate chips for sprinkling
Cinnamon sugar butter for topping

Add flour into mixer and stir into fruit.
Should be lumpy!
Heat a griddle to medium heat. Coat with butter, and scoop on  your preferred size pancakes. My girls like little ones that they just eat with their hands… And top with chocolate chips!

image

Flip when bubbles appear in the center of the pancake. Finish cooking. Serve hot and top with cinnamon sugar butter!
Hailee has eaten 4 and still going strong. Claire (teething) stopped during her 2nd one but was especially thrilled to have chocolate chips in her pancakes. Enjoy! :)

image

What “Little House on the Prairie” is Teaching my Girls

I love reading out loud to my girls… They both have their favorite books which I (or their dad) read to them near daily. But one we ALL enjoy is Little House on the Prairie! When we started it, I thought maybe Hailee would be too young to grasp it. But she has surprised me! She LOVES every character, she gets anxious when Laura does, she’s curious for Laura to meet some “wild Indians!” and smiles when we read how everyone dances around the fire while Pa plays his fiddle. She always gets a little sad and asks for me to read more after a chapter. We’re over half way through in less than a month!

(Claire usually enjoys a snack and a snuggle, and waits for the small black and white pictures… which is pretty much all she likes about the book. I’m not going to pretend it’s anymore than that. Just to keep it real. :) She doesn’t get it at all, but isn’t this a healthy habit? So I make her sit with us!)

IMG_4191b&w

[Read more...]

Super Simple Fresh Tortillas

I just love Mexican food. One of my favorite restaurants is Chevy’s simply because of their fresh tortillas. I went to my mom’s for dinner, shortly after being married, and found she made the switch to making her own fresh tortillas. Nearly as soon as I moved out! She has all older kids and they roll their own tortilla out and cook it real quick whenever they’re ready for another. Here, I have is a 2 year old, a 1 year old and a husband. Sooo…. I do all the rolling. At first I was sure it would be too complicated to do for what I typically categorize as a simple meal. (Such as bean burritos.) But man was I ever wrong! It is so simple! I love them. So warm, fresh and chewy. They take a cheap, end of the month budget dinner and elevate it. Without any real increase in cost! They take less than 15 minutes over all.

(Note. This is a double of the original recipe I found. My small family finished off a single recipe of 8 small tortillas in one sitting. This time I aimed for 12 larger tortillas.)

wpid-img_20141010_003738.jpg4 cups Flour
1 tsp. Salt
1 1/2 cups water
6 Tbsp. Olive oil

 

 

- Mix by hand until just combined.
- Turn onto lightly floured surface and kneed 10-12 times.
- Add a little more flour if too sticky.
- Roll into 12 round balls.
- Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes (Longer if you’re doing pre dinner prep!)
- On a floured countertop, roll them out one at a time. (As needed so they don’t dry out!)
- Cook on a greased flat cast iron skillet. High heat. Flip regularly and do not burn!
- Place on a plate, in a towel to keep warm. When you’ve made enough, sit down and enjoy!

My girls even eat these as a snack! Like I said. Chewy. Easy. And yummy!

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

The other morning I woke up at 5a.m. and I couldn’t fall back asleep. :( So I decided to make the best of it! I got up, got ready for my day and decided to make something special from breakfast. By the time I decided to make banana bread, and found a recipe, the 50 minute cook time was too long. So… I brain stormed and threw together these muffins which took less than half the cook time that bread does.  I’d imagine you can use most any banana bread recipe, but these turned out so nice I wrote it down for later! Enjoy :-)

image

{Makes about 3 dozen…}

Place in mixer bowl:
2 cups of sugar
4 cups of flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. vanilla
6 Tbsp. sour cream
4 Tbsp. Apple sauce (optional!)
4 eggs
1 cups softened butter
3 ripe bananas

Mix!

On low, add:

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

- Preheat oven to 350°
- Mix all ingredients (except chocolate chips) in mixer bowl until well combined.
- On low, add chocolate chips. Mix until just combined.
- Pour into muffin tray. Be sure it’s greased or use paper liners so they don’t stick.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes. Until just golden.
- Let then rest for 5 minutes and serve warm, with butter.

These are delicious! Claire thinks so so much, this is what happens when I set her next to a tray I was preparing to freeze. She was very proud of herself for figuring out how one might obey mom and “not touch” but still get a bite…

image

{Guaranteed these won’t be dry! That’s why I like to add the extra scoop of apple sauce when I happen to have some in the fridge.}

My Parental Hypocrisy…

Kids are so cute. So funny. So adorable.

So creative! And adventurous.

They’re absolutely overflowing with energy, bursting at the seams with giggles and good ideas!

Especially mine… just making sure you all know how MUCH I adore my little one’s, before I move on…

While they are busy being all of these perfectly precious things, they are simultaneously, human beings…

IMG_3913edit2

[Read more...]

A Weak Week for Mama

This week…. Was rough.

(See facial expression: The Stink Eye!)

(How does she look so stinkin’ cute with such a stink on?!)IMG_3658edit

I told David on Tuesday, it’s so exhausting when he’s gone, having to be the only mature person in the house!

That was on Tuesday. I was exhausted of being mature on TUESDAY! Bad sign!

If you were to place me among most any group of adults, I would never be the most calm person there. Or the most forgiving. Or the most calm, most thoughtful, most calm, most loving, most patient, or most ANYTHING (calm!) person in the room.

But parenting has a way of demanding these things from me. And I can’t say that I did it perfectly, I probably didn’t even do it super well. But I did better. I tried to be better than I naturally am. And that’s what I’m choosing to focus on. [Read more...]

Chewy, Thick, Better-than-Your-Current-Favorite, Pizza Crust!

I have tried several pizza dough recipes in my 4 short years cooking for my husband. We agree this is the best.

When we first got married, I was still cooking my moms long loved pizza dough. There’s nothing wrong with it. {Although she too has moved onto bigger and better pizza dough’s…) But it hated me. And therefore I hated it. Every time, something else went wrong. Too much flour. Too little. Forgot the oil. Whatever. Let is stand that I still can’t make it right.

Then I tried a new one. Then an even newer one (Pioneer Woman’s, to be exact, is anyone surprised? I’ve tried most of her recipes haha!)

And finally. I found the best! It is so chewy. Fluffy. Gooey. The bottom is crispy, the edges are crunchy and the rest of it is gooey and delicious. I like to do light sauce, easy on the cheese and heavy on the toppings. (When I have em on hand.) But obviously to each her own with the toppings.

Just.

Try.

This.

CRUST.

wpid-img_20141106_165415.jpg

[Read more...]

Monthly Meal Plan, Round 2! {November}

First, a recap on October:

My first month trying this full menu for a month planning. It worked so WELL! I cooked more than normal with less stress than normal, and less money than normal. I baked almost all of my bread myself… Including rolls, which worked for hamburger buns, tortillas, and sourdough bread. I still bought 2 loaves of wheat bread at Costco, as well as a pack of muffins, which is my Sunday morning saving grace… ;-) I came in under budget. I do my bulk shopping in the first week of the month, with a smaller trip to replenish dairy items and produce ONLY sometime during the third week of the month. I have done this the past few months, and its been an awesome money and time saver. (Taking fewer trips!) The monthly meal plan is just an extra bonus to take off some of the work.

Chicken Stir Fry
Chicken Stir Fry

[Read more...]

Baby Bloopers

Who doesn’t like a collection of humorous toddler quotes? Pulling out the good ole’ quote book for this post…

It’s so important for parents too laugh. I want my kids to remember me laughing at everyone’s silliness, {and even joining in!} more than they remember me grumpy or serious… I’ve been blessed with two girls who find themselves QUITE humorous. Already. I’ve got lots of laughing ahead of me!

“Hailee, don’t do that, that’s bad manners!”
“Mama! I’m NOT manners, I’m your Hailee!”
Leaving for a daddy-daughter date, she turns to tell me {mom}
“I love you so much on a date!”
That’s what we tell her when we ditch her to go on a date.
I guess she was reminding me I was the one getting to stay home this time. Jealous!
IMG_3395b&w

[Read more...]

Marriage, GOD, and Magic Formulas.

Everywhere I go we talk about marriage lately. I’m reading at least 3 “wife” books right now. The pastor is preaching Ephesians. I’m married. My husband’s married. Most of my friend’s are married… See? It’s an epidemic! ;-) I’ve been itching to sit down and write about it all! But feeling a little intimidated because February will only be my 4th wedding anniversary.

image

My hope would be in writing this, any other young women who read this can be encouraged and simultaneously challenged. Almost none of this have I come up with through my own experiences, but rather what I feel God has shown me and spoken to me through people I respect. Whether you’re already married, or no where near it, there’s stuff to be considered here.

First, a few quotes from my quote book. (Followed by a recap of how I’m working on this…)

“What shocks me most is the dehumanization of love by young and wholly legal wives who chop and nail down and reduce that powerful force to a technique no different from driving a car… I am appalled by their consumer approach, their concern with management, their ineffectuality as women– sexless, competitive, anxiety -ridden. What has become of joy, and sorrow? Have women no instincts anymore, no mystery or mettle? Must everything be subjected to instruction and manuals, as though love were kind of cooking school?”
(anonymous)

“Being in battle together is what keeps us from being at war with each other.”
(Francis Chan. You and Me Forever.)

“A woman who habitually complains against a man is quibbling. Either live with him, and hold your tongue, or act, but don’t harp, unless you really mean to keep from being loved.”
(anonymous)

“A woman of GOD does not hope solely in her husband but, (Proverbs 31:25) ‘She is clothed with strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future.’ For she knows of and hopes in her Lords promise to be with her.”
(personal writing…)

“Regardless of how satisfying your marriage is or isn’t, the real issue is how satisfied you are with God. Whether your marriage is full of joy or pain, God’s glory is at stake. Do you need to shift your focus on Him?… There are many, many Christians caught up in their own personal satisfaction, giving no thought to the way in which their lives show a deep satisfaction in God. Where is the willingness to forego a feeling of happiness in our marriage’s for the sake of God’s glory? No, we are clawing for our rights, and forgetting there is something far more immense and cosmic going on.”
(Lisa Chan. You and Me Forever.)
[Read more...]