Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Whole Grain Banana and Nutella Pancakes


Doesn't this just make you want to jump up and down with your hands in the air!!!! Hooray Hooray Pancakes with Nutella!!!! If you have never tried Nutella, you have been missing out, it is creamy and divine.

I am pretty sure that I am not the first person to ever think about putting Nutella in pancakes, but anyway this is how this recipe came to be. I was standing in front of my Pantry trying to figure out what in the world I should make for breakfast, when I spotted a jar of Nutella hiding behind a box of pasta. So I whipped up my favorite Pancake recipe, added some Nutella and then seen a lone Banana on the counter that needed to be used....so in it went. I love how freeing it is to just throw a bunch of stuff in a bowl and your end result is a Masterpiece!!!!

Click Here for the printable recipe

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

 Summer is just on the horizon....I can feel it slowly creeping its way up, while boots become sandals, sweaters are replaced with tank tops and we linger outside just a little bit longer. So what better way to celebrate than a Pineapple Upside Down Cake. This is Pioneer Woman's recipe and it is Fabulous, it's light, fluffy and has the perfect balance of sweetness.


 It reminds me of a Golden Sunset. I love that this cake is made with a cast iron skillet, so RUSTIC.


To make the batter, in a large bowl mix the flour and baking powder, salt and sugar.


Add in a 1/2 stick of softened butter and shortening.


Next pour in the milk and then add in 2 eggs.


A splash of Vanilla.....


Then some reserved Pineapple juice.


In a 10-in or 12-in skillet melt 1/2 a stick of butter.


When the butter is melted add in the Brown Sugar.


Make sure that the Brown Sugar is evenly distributed....don't want to show any favoritism towards one side of the cake.


When the brown sugar has started to dissolve, add in your Pineapple rings with a maraschino Cherries in the middle for a pop of color.


Pour the batter over the Pineapple and Cherries and place the skillet in the oven for 30 - 40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.


 Ta Da.....wait for the best part....the flip:)


There you have it a perfect Pineapple Upside Down Cake, perfect for a Summer BBQ. 

Click Here for the Recipe
So here is to Summer.....Hopefully it will show up soon:)

Pep Talk

Monday is almost over.....Hooray! I don't know what it is about Mondays that make them so undesirable. Maybe it's because it is known as the day of Transition....from the Weekend to the Weekday. All I know is that I become a two year old stomping my foot and throwing a fit in the face of this day. It is days like these that take me back to the Track....where I wore high cut green silky shorts and a tank with Wayland Wildcats across the front. Sometimes on hot days when the smell of asphalt is in the air, I get butterflies in my stomach, like I use to just before a race. The thing I miss the most besides that feeling of adrenaline that pushes through your veins right before the gun goes off, is the Pep Talks. It is the best feeling in the world to have your coach send you off right before your race with words of encouragement. I can still hear Ms. Brewer's voice telling me to start off quick, ease into a steady pace and then kick it on the last curve right before the straight away, giving it everything I got until I cross the Finish Line. I use to run the 800 in track, a tricky race if you ask me because if you give to much in the beginning then you will have nothing left for the end.


Even though my Track glory days are well behind me, I can't help compare an 800 race to my day to day life. The same analogy can be used....if you start off the day with blazing saddles you won't have anything left for the end of the day. I don't know about you, but dinner time is probably the most hectic time in my day....it becomes a balancing act, that last sprint to the Finish.


However, there is one major component that is missing, can you guess what it is? That's right I do not have Ms. Brewer standing next to me giving me a Pep Talk while I am making dinner, cleaning up after kids, entertaining kids, stirring the pot with one hand, while loading the dishwasher with the other, and using my legs to block Lennon from trying to climb into the dishwasher or grabbing everything that I had just put in it. Although it would be Awesome to have Ms. Brewer in my kitchen, I am pretty sure she has better things to do.



So what is a poor helpless Mother like myself suppose to do (with a dramatic sweep of the hand across the forehead). Well here is what I've learned, while I may not have Ms. Brewer to encourage me, I have myself. That's right MYSELF, so here is what I like to do. When I get up in the Morning, even before I have my first cup of coffee, I look at myself in the mirror and give the person starring back with wild hair and dark circles a Pep Talk. Okay you might be thinking that the Southern heat has finally gotten to me, but trust me it works. I tell the tired Momma in the mirror, that today is a new day, it doesn't matter how much I messed up yesterday, I am blessed to have three beautiful monkeys that like to hang all over me, that before I know it, they will be all grown up, moved out and I will be pining for days like these. Then I laugh at how ridiculous I am for talking to myself in the mirror, hike up my yoga pants and pull my hair a little bit tighter.


Just like in the 800....I start of my day quick, ease into a steady pace, and then kick it with everything I've got until I reach the Finish Line:)

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Slipping and Sliding through Wednesday.......With Grace Of Course:)

Woo Hoo I made it to Wednesday!!!!! You ever had a week like that, one that drags on and on and on??? Well let me tell you that this week has been the slowest week EVER!!!! I am not even sure why it feels so long, all I know is it has me hunched over in a fetal position wishing to catch a glimpse of the weekend. Maybe it's because over the course of two weeks we have gotten enough rain to fill Lake Michigan....so we are just patiently wait here to see if the Levee will or will not break. So my life right now could easily be compared to a Game of Jenga...will it fall or not fall, the suspense is almost unbearable ( hopefully the Levee will hold otherwise I may be swimming to the Piggly Wiggly).


So in the meantime we are making light of our situation the best way we know how....by slipping and sliding. Hey who put that naked baby in that picture....look at those sweet cheeks:) I Love this picture in so many ways...it tells so much about my family. John who is never hesitant to get in on the fun, Keegan ready to follow his daddy, Miles devising up a plan to make the most out of this situation, and my Baby, naked as the day he came out and just happy to be in on the fun.


Can I get a Hip Hip Hooray! I made PW's Pineapple Upside Down Cake and it beyond incredible ( I will share this recipe with you later this week).


Also to top off this week, I discovered a Goodwill Bookstore!!!!!! That's right a Goodwill dedicated to just books, I have died and gone to Heaven. So while we browsed the store, Keegan found this little treasure. A book on how to make Paper Airplanes and it included 40 sheets of paper, guess how much it cost me? TWO dollars...that's it!


This was the best Two dollars spent....you can't buy a smile like that.


Then of course Daddy had to show off his Airplane flying skills, you would have thought these two boys were at Disney. All I keep hearing was "That's Awesome", "Wow, look at that one", "Giggle, Giggle, Giggle".


So Happy:)


Then once the nostalgia of flying Paper Airplanes wore off, they broke out the baseball. (By the way the other boys were napping, if you wondering what happened to them)


I love how they tease each other....I am pretty sure that Keegan is telling John " YOU PLAY BALL LIKE A GIRL", can you name that MOVIE?


Something Magical happens when you watch your husband and son play ball togehter...it's if the world slows down for just a moment to let each one grab a hold of that moment and suck the marrow out of it. It's moments like this that fill me with such JOY  and get me all teary eyed....I love my boys!


We did some grilling (or Smoking, however you want to look at it)....RIBS....YUM!!!!


While my husband is the master of the grill, I dominate the kitchen. Here is a look at some Savory Classic Mac and Cheese (I will share this recipe along with the Pineapple Upside Down Cake later).


Here is a book that I just finished...thought I would throw that in there! It was a pretty good book, filled with twist and turns.

 
If you are wondering why I took a picture of this book using my Zoom lens....you are mistaken. For some reason I grabbed the LARGE print edition...have you ever seen a book in LARGE print...the words are huge! I must admit, that even while I felt like a 80 year old reading this book, it was easy on the eyes. So who knows I may start purchising all my books in LARGE print.


I LOVE LOVE LOVE my husband! He gave me my Mother's Day gift early and I am absolutely Swooning over this Apron. He hit a Home Run this year....way to Go!


To put the Icing on the Cake....this lovely Apron came with her two Sisters, Oven Mitt and Pot Holder:)


So this morning while the Mississippi Rises....we pass the time with some Sidewalk Chalk!


Sidewalk Chalk is a Wonderful thing for Mommies that have trouble getting themselves going in the Morning..... while they go to town, I sit and enjoy my cup of coffee one sip at time. BLISS!



HELLO, my little lovies....thanks for making Mornings easier on Me


So here's a toast to Wednesday.....we are half way there!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mini Buffalo Chicken Sammies.....

One of my favorite things in the world is a good Buffalo Chicken Sammie....it's my "go to thing" when I am the only one left to order and I have a waiter/waitress staring me down. So it was only a matter of time before  Mini + Buffalo Sammie made their way into my kitchen. YOU can not go wrong with Mini sandwiches...because it is an excuse to have more. So if you go to grab a third or a fourth, and accusing looks are thrown your way...don't sweat just remind them that they are Mini and your suppose to have more than Two:) If the Accusers still don't believe you, send them my way and I will set them straight.




My Salivary Glands are going Bonkers....by the way not to get off topic but Bonkers is a fun word.  I didn't give a step by step because these are really easy to make.

All you need are these few things and you will be on your way!

Mini Buffalo Chicken Sammies

12 pack of Hawaiian Rolls
6 breaded Chicken tenders- Fully Cooked and Halved
1/3 cup of Buffalo Wing sauce- I used medium but you can go hot or mild if you like
Shredded Lettuce
Ranch- I use my own homemade Ranch, but store bought will do just fine


That's It...Super Duper Easy!!!

Enjoy:)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

An not so Ordinary Easter Part 2

So I am back to tell you about the second half of our Easter Weekend Festivities.....bare with me because all these storms have brought on some major allergy issues, so I am not on top of my game (well the truth is I don't think I am ever on top of my game, I am just lagging behind more than usual today). So we left off with the Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday...and afterwards we retreated home to dye eggs.


We decided to try something new...an experiment if you will...we dyed both brown eggs and white eggs to see the different outcome.


We also used glitter....to make our eggs stand out even more.....to give them that eggtra star quality:) I know terrible pun but it was there so I had to use it.


 Here is a look at some of our finished eggs...can you tell what dyed ones are brown and what ones are white? The glitter ones don't count because we didn't dye them at all.


Here it is the one of the left is the brown egg and the one on the right is the white egg....both dyed in the same color green....for the same amount of time;) I love experiments and I have to say I prefer the brown dyed egg over the white dyed egg, it is more primary in color.


Miles showed off his impressive skills in egg dying, except for the fact that he handled them like they were indestructible and we ended up with a bunch of cracked eggs. It's all fun and games until someone starts cracking eggs, just kidding we let him slide since he is still new to the concept.


 Finally we reached Easter Sunday and it was wonderful. The weather was warm and the sun was shining, so we took advantage and did a few more experiments.....if you haven't caught on this is a normal thing around here:) So this little experiment was brought to you by the Easter Bunny and so when we got out of church the boys couldn't wait to get home and try it (when I say boys I mean all of them, John is just another kid when it comes to experiments).


 5....4....3....2....1..... Blast off....Mentos and a 2 liter of Coke can do amazing things:)


This was our second attempt ...Keegan is all business here:)


Keegan pulled the cord this time and I wish i would have gotten a picture...because a geyser of Coke shot up 20 feet in the air.


Lennon just enjoying the day....with his wild and crazy family:)


Miles was bird watching...he thinks it's funny when they dive from tree to tree. The greatest thing is it is FREE entertainment...I love things that don't cost me a thing:)


So after we had a Fancy Easter dinner of ....wait for it......Chili Cheese Hot Dogs!!!! Okay I know what your thinking "Chili Cheese Hot Dogs for Easter Dinner....REally?", but I just wanted to enjoy some time with my family and the thought of being stuck inside listening to all their giggles come from outside...I couldn't do it. So after we feasted, we decided to take a walk.


These are my favorite moments...the last piece of the day coming to an end...the light from the sun reflecting on my boy's faces while it slowly slips behind trees.


I love watching my boys from afar...as they recap the day and experiments with their dad....I love hanging back and soaking in moments like these.  As if it were vital to soak up every last bit of the day, I couldn't be happier.


Sunday, as we walked the streets I couldn't help but be reminded of God's Beauty. For this is the real reason we Celebrate Easter anyways...right? To remind ourselves that God offered his own son to save us...God's Love is a powerful and poetic thing.


 I love this wall by the way....how the paint is chipping off and reveals another color and layer.


My little town of Tunica is filled with lovely gems like this one....old buildings that carry a story.


Miles, my little lion cub....come out it's time to head home the day is ending.....


So even though we didn't do Easter Sunday by the book...it was nothing less than Magical. Like so many memories, I will fold this one up, but it in my pocket and pull it out on a rainy day. Look at how the sun dances on that family.....wait that's right my FAMILY...