Pancakes!

Finally found a recipe that I like and that my kids gobbled up!

2 c. all purpose flour
1 T. baking powder
3 T. white sugar
1/2 t. salt
2 eggs
1-1/2 c. milk
2 t. vanilla

Mix the dry well. Add the wet. Mix to combine but don’t mix to much! Cook over a griddle set at 350 and enjoy! Makes 8-12 pancakes.

Sweet and to the point because they’re that easy and that good.

YUM!

 

 

 

Chocolate peanut butter no-bake cookies

I’ve probably made hundreds of dozens of these cookies in my lifetime. They are a fickle cookie and can be messed up easily. When I was a young teenager I would waste SO much sugar, oats, and butter trying to get these to turn out right and…no one in my family even liked them. This is most likely because of my horrible attempts. Haha.

 

Without further ado – here’s one of our favorite cookies to have only once in a while. (TONS of sugar!!)

 

Ingredients

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Large pinch kosher salt

Directions

Line a baking sheet with wax paper or parchment.

Bring the sugar, milk, butter and cocoa to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, then let boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Add the oats, peanut butter, vanilla and salt, and stir to combine.

Drop teaspoonfuls of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, and let sit at room temperature until cooled and hardened, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

 

A fast blueberry muffin fix

We often make one of the kids’ favorite banana bread around here–probably 3 times a month. It’s super yummy. I love it so much that eating it in moderation is tough but making it sugarless has been voted a no-go by a few.

 

I decided that we needed to switch things up today but I didn’t feel like dirtying up my muffin pan. I came across this Blueberry Muffin Mug Cake recipe. I’ve tried mug cake before and it did not turn out well but this girl seemed to be a success so I tried X’s 5. I had to switch up the time a few times — it cooked anywhere from 2 minutes to 3 minutes. I also cheated on my milk and nuked it for a few seconds and my butter wasn’t totally cooled. Oh, and my blueberries weren’t fresh either but they were thawed! My kids devoured these. I devoured this. I wish I knew how to take beautiful artful food pictures but I don’t so here’s just the how to’s below:

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Scant 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
  • Coarse sparkling sugar, optional garnish

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and baking powder until thoroughly, completely combined, with no streaks of any ingredients remaining. Blend in milk, butter, and vanilla until batter is smooth. Stir in blueberries and pour batter into a 14-ounce (or larger) microwave-safe mug with straight sides. Sprinkle with sparkling sugar, if desired.
  2. Microwave on high for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, or until cake is done to your liking. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes before serving.

 

 

THE BEST Banana bread

Some day maybe I’ll edit this to include beautiful pictures but today the recipe will have to do. As always with banana bread, the riper the bananas the sweeter the taste. I really like this bread.

This recipe is super easy to make and did I mention it’s delicious? I usually cut the sugar some. A fun tip I learned is to use the wrapper of the butter to butter your bread pan. It works wonderfully. 😀 Enjoy!

 

Directions

  1. Cream together butter and sugar.
  2. Add eggs and crushed bananas.
  3. Combine well.
  4. Sift together flour, soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture. Add vanilla.
  5. Pour into greased and floured loaf pan.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.
  7. Keeps well, refrigerated.

{Websites we love}

Here’s an on-going list of websites we love.

 

This is a site that often helps me focus on who matters the most : shereadstruth.com

This is a site that I (Joyce) visit regularly for homeschool and parenting encouragement. I also have purchased 2 of her bible studies (Because I said so and My Brother’s Keeper) and my kids and I had a great time digging into God’s word and learning about obedience and loving each other.  We will re-visit both of these studies at the start of every school year.  http://www.notconsumed.com/

We really like Norwex. Life could be rough without friendly cleaning options.

Ask Joyce why she likes Young Living essential oils!

The Challenge: Eating out

This December will mark 7 years since I’ve been a mom. Time mostly has flown by, yet on some days time has totally stood still. For the last half hour my husband has been in and out of the car running errands as I sit…in the car…with 5 tired children (it’s 9:00pm). Time is standing still. They are fighting, screaming, and complaining. “Don’t you DARE unbuckle!”, my 6 year old whines loudly to my 3 year old who responds with a quick snarky “I’m gonna unbuckle!”. The 6 year old has had it with my son. These petty exchanges are the result of my husband and I telling her that we won’t be doing dessert out after our adventure at Cracker Barrel.

It’s been a long time since we’ve felt at ease with even considering taking the kids out in public to places not called Chick-fil-A. Don’t get me wrong, banging spoons, flying food, multiple breakdowns over ice melting in the water cup sounds entertaining but not when it’s your ONE child behaving this way. So, with only one kid in our gang, we pretty much gave up on eating out as a family and my husband embraced his inner chef…but that’s a story for another time.

Fast forward a few years, add 4 more gang members and a mom who often craves adventure outside of what might be described as a constant tornado zone and we’ve got : Dinner in public with the Phantastic Phive (mild shout out to Philly).

Our early re-attempts started out testing what seemed like familiar waters for maybe the past year as we still often end up running out of the restaurant as fast as possible all while leaving a literal trail of crumbs. It seems we double the amount of dropped food under the table when we eat out. We’ve gotten better though.

Finally.

I *think* we enjoy the time we get out together which as of late has mostly included uproars of laughter as 7 month old Felix tests out food and has the most hilarious facial expressions. I actually have (albeit briefly) moments of thanking God for the awesome hilarious family. Sometimes intentionally check out for a moment and enjoy listening to the conversation at hand. What silly blessings they are…and so is…the water mess that Jameson just made all over the table or…yes, that’s Luci hiding her biscuit under her arm- for safe keeps?

It’s funny how panicked I used to feel when my only child made a loud noise in the restaurant.  I’d quickly sush her. Now I realize that her sweet silly noise at 1 year old was probably not a big deal. Water messes, meals on the floor, fights over crayons- those feel like a big deal. We’re now generally able to maintain an appropriate level of respectful entertainment (for those in close proximity of our table) yet, I still don’t think that we’ll frequently venture outside of the walls that Mr. Truett Cathy so kindly created as a safe haven for my family and many others with young children.

For me, it’s not about maintaining an image of perfection, it’s about displaying an attitude of love and enjoyment (and respect for those also wishing to enjoy their meal). I want others to see that we truly enjoy these little lives we’ve been blessed with but it’s slightly difficult to express that when Jameson randomly takes the top of the oil lantern and immediately turns it into a spy glass…while Woody and I are giving the waiter our order.

I’m happy to allow God to use me to mold these little lives into people that love others and (Lord willing) love Jesus, but sometimes it’s really hard to be a happy, self-controlled Mamma with all the personality we have. I’m so thankful for the years past of growing and learning. I’m thankful that even though I’m messy and loud that God is still always patient with me and I’m really glad that he has given me the ability to go out in public regardless how of much I do or don’t have it together. Haha.

All this to say– Hey you, mom with littles, as you sit exhausted on your couch dying to not fear the unknown of taking kids out in public: This season is short. I promise. I can’t believe how quickly time has passed and how close we are to REALLY looking forward to family time out.

For now though, we’ll continue to let the kids enjoy chicken…again.