Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sweet Tooth Tuesday: Double Chocolate BananaBread

Banana bread is one of my most favorite things!  I can eat a whole loaf by myself....in 5 minutes....no joke.  So I am always looking for new varieties.  I have my tried and true recipe that was given to me by my grandma.  I always add chocolate chips to it.  YUM!!!!   Well....as I perusing the world of Pinterest, I came across this gem...Chocolate Banana Bread =)  I was instantly in love.  I had to try it.  

Double Chocolate Banana Bread
1 cup honey
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups mashed bananas (about 3)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa (I prefer dutch process)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350. Spray bottom of 8×4 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.  Beat sugar, eggs, and oil in large bowl at medium speed until combined. Beat in banana and vanilla at low speed. Add flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt into banana mixture at low speed just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.  Spoon batter into pan. Bake 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack.

Next time I make this my hubby wants to use peanut butter chips instead.  He loves chocolate and peanut butter together, and he loves banana bread with peanut butter chips so he figures chocolate banana bread with peanut butter chips will be awesome....we shall see =)

You can find this awesome post linked up to the following Fantastic Parties:

Monday, April 29, 2013

Munchkin Monday: Grass Heads!

My daughter has always wanted a Chia Pet. The problem is I have never wanted to spend the money on something we would use for a few weeks and then have to store forever. Then I saw a picture online of a grass head and thought... We could totally make those.

You will need:
Knee High Nylons
Grass Seeds
Googly Eyes

If you have a Walmart near you they have Knee Highs for $.33. You will find them near an end cap with the nylons and in the candy machine plastic clam shells.
Place the grass seed into the toe of the nylon and then add the dirt. Stretch the nylon while you tie a knot in sock. I wasn't sure what to do exactly with it so we grabbed bowls and placed the heads in the bowls. When the kids water them they just fill them to eye level and they soak for a few days. This isn't an issue but they stay really wet all the time and I worry a tiny bit about mold. An easier way to do this would be save a yogurt container (something with a smaller diameter than your grass head) and let the tail of the sock hang into the container. Then you fill the container and the tail will absorb and pull the water into the head.  I didn't think of this idea until we cut our tails off.  Glue your eyes on and you are good to go. I think hot glue would work the best and not wash off.

Here are our heads with a few days of growth

I made this picture so it would be easy for you guys to pin it and remember everything!

This is what happens if you use Elmers glue. Yes that is an eye in the bottom of the bowl. My daughter thought it was funny and poured the water right onto the eyes and they washed off. :(

Friday, April 26, 2013

Foodie Friday: Homemade Nutrigrain Bars

I love granola bars and Nutrigrain bars.  I could go through a box a day.  But that gets expensive.  So I try to find homemade shortcut versions.  Now my versions don't always look as pretty as the store bought kind, but I know exactly what is going in mine and it's a lot cheaper.  Plus, I get to do whatever flavor I am in the mood for at the moment, or several flavors if I'd like.  This time, I did an apple cinnamon.

Apple Filling:
2 apples, peeled, cored, cubed
1 tablespoon of butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
tbsp of cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in water (if needed)

1/2 cup of butter
1 egg
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup flour
3 1/2 cups oatmeal ground (measure before you grind and I ground mine up in the food processor)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

First, cut up 2 apples.  I squirted them with lemon to give them a little tang.
(I forgot to peel mine but I didn't notice any difference with leaving the peels once it was cooked)
In a saucepan, I melted a tablespoon of butter & sauteed the apples.

When they started to soften, I added brown sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Let a sauce form and cook the apples until they are soft.

Once the sauce was really thick, I blended it in the food processor. Let this cool while you make the bar dough.

Cream the butter and sugars together, then add the egg. 

Add the vanilla. Add the oats, flour, baking soda and powder and salt. 

Place in the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes so it's easier to work with.

Divide the dough in half.  Spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick spray and press half the dough into the bottom of dish.

Spread the apple filling on top. (you can use any kind of filling, try berries or apricot or anything you feel like eating.)  Roll out the other half and lay over the apple filling.

My dough came apart as I was laying it so I had to piece it back together.....I was impatient and didn't let it set up in the fridge)

Let it cook at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

If you want to do other flavors, you can use your favorite jam or preserves and just spread those on.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

DIY Thursday: Toy organizing boxes

Everyone needs more bins to store toys but those bins cost some money. If you are like me and needed more then one it can put a big dent in your wallet. I found a way to make storage bins for way cheap.
Fine boxes, whatever size you need 
 Find fabric that matches in the room you will be putting it. Cover it and hot glue it on around the edges. I had this scrap in my craft stuff and put it on the top. You could also do ribbon,

Fill it with toys or whatever you need to store and now you have cute matching storage bins for cheap.
You can find this awesome post linked up to the following Fantastic Parties:

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sweet Tooth Tuesday: Caremelized Pears

This is the easiest treat to make EVER!! my daughter always begs for these cause they are sooo yummy. 
Pears cut in half
Brown sugar
dab of butter
dash of cinnamon

Place in a skillet medium temperature. I always start with the skin side down as pictured and then I flip them till I feel they are done :) yes I am annoying cause I don't have measurements or times. Please don't hate me! 
Just try them they are easy and yummy :) 

You can find this awesome post linked up to the following Fantastic Parties: