Microwave banana bread for two!?! Could it be true?

Yes. It can.

A couple days ago a friend of mine posted a link to a microwaveable banana bread recipe that is perfect for two! I made it that night… and the next night… and the next night! I love me some banana bread!

To see the original recipe, go here…http://www.mickismorsels.com/2008/10/31/mug-o-banana-bread/

The best part of this was that you do not need to wait for your banana to turn brown! I made this with new, yellow bananas and still tasted awesome! The original recipe also says use a half of a banana, but after reading comments, I decided to use a whole banana because some said it lacked a little flavor.

Anyways, here is my “original” version: (pretty much exactly like the one from Micki’s, but I used a whole banana, added a little butter, and some chocolate chips! Delicious!)

  •  4T flour
  • 2T sugar
  • 2T brown sugar
  • 1/8t salt
  • 1/8t baking powder
  • 1/8t baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 2T Vegetable oil
  • 1 banana (yellow or brown)
  • 1/2T butter
  • 1-2T chocolate chips (or nuts if you like)

Mix all dry ingredients together into a microwavable bowl. (I used my cereal bowl) Next, add egg to dry ingredients and mix until completely combined. Add oil and mix well. Last, add MASHED banana and mix on last time. Microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Take out and add butter and chocolate chips. Microwave for an additional 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!

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And here is my “healthier” version: (the original is SO good, but I decided to change it a little to make a healthier one, and I actually like this one more!)

  • 2T flour
  • 2T Oatmeal (I used instant oats)
  • 2T Sugar
  • 2T Brown Sugar
  • 1/8t Salt
  • 1/8t Baking Powder
  • 1/8t Baking Soda
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 2T Coconut Oil
  • 1 Banana (brown or yellow)
  • 1-2T DARK chocolate chips

Mix all dry ingredients together into a microwavable bowl. (I used my cereal bowl) Next, add egg to dry ingredients and mix until completely combined. Add oil and mix well. Last, add MASHED banana and mix on last time. Microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Take out and add chocolate chips. Microwave for an additional 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!

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SO good! Hope you love it!

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-Brittney

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Time is passing

Winter is finally over, (well according to the calender that is) however days before ending it decided it was time for sickness to hit my family. A whole lot of tissues have been used and the sounds of coughs are heard throughout the day and night. I am finally starting to feel better, however I cannot tell if Hadi is getting better, or starting to get worse. :/ Hopefully better. I am ready for sickness and cold weather to leave, and spring to bring sunshine, flowers, and warmer weather! Due to late nights, and early mornings with a house filled of kiddos, I have been slacking on updating! (update: I have a sinus infection, Rhem has an ear infection, and Hadi has an eye infection! holy sickness! but we are all in good moods and are getting better!)

Well my sweet little Hadi is 6 weeks old. She is getting stronger each day, LOVES being in my Moby Wrap, or ring sling. She has started cooing more and smiles ALL the time. She is such a happy, content baby! Breastfeeding is going AMAZING. I love it. I want to be a source of encouragement for anyone who has tried, and quit before. With my Rhem I tried, and around a month gave up because it hurt, we had latch troubles, and bottles just seemed so much easier. This time around I wanted to try breastfeeding again because I realized how expensive formula is, and I HATED cleaning out bottles all the time and making sure I packed bottles, water, and formula every time I left my house. While in the hospital with Hadi I had a difficult time with the latch again once my supply came in, and anytime I did get her to latch it HURT. I gave up for a week while in the NICU and when we first came home and just pumped like crazy. Well I didn’t want to give up that easy so during the day I would try to get her to latch before every feeding. It took two days until we she latched on and stopped using a bottle. Now all the bottles have been packed away and I no longer need to pump. Let me tell you, breastfeeding is so much simpler. Not only am I saving money, but I don’t have to pack her milk with me every time we got out, and no more cleaning bottles! Obviously there is also the bonding that comes with breastfeeding as well as the nourishment, but let’s face it, I am cheap and lazy so the no bottles and saving money is what sold me. hehe. But really, it does get easier! Don’t give up! ( I am by no means against formula feeding, seeing that I have a very healthy, smart almost 2 year old who was formula fed. I understand for some people breastfeeding is not even an option due to medical reasons, but for those who are able to breastfeeding but are just having a difficult time like I did with my first and are really wanting to continue, there is hope! Also, I just had my first real bonding experience with my LO while nursing, She was eating away and I looked down at her to see if she was falling asleep and she saw me look at her, stopped nursing, and gave me a huge smile. AH. my heart melted. so perfect.)

Rhem knows: Circle, square, heart, star & yellow, pink, blue & “O”, “M”, “R”, “Y”. (all other letters are “B” haha) She has been a bit on the whinny/dramatic/melt down phase, which I am hoping is from having an ear infection and hoping it passes soon! I am getting so excited for her second birthday, although starting to feel a bit stressed! This sickness has thrown me off and I just realized I have 4 days until her party. Ahh. I need to make a menu and do some shopping! Not to mention right after her party we have my cousins baby shower, than the next day we have Easter. Lots of shopping needs to be done in these next 4 days! Good thing I am a professional shopper! haha Rhem has been so helpful these last few weeks! She LOVES to help sweep, clean up spills on the ground, she learned who to use a spray bottle, and she is always wanting to throw things away! (occasionally I need to go look into the trashcan to make sure she hasn’t thrown away any clothes, toys, books, or utensils… all of which I have had to pull out of the trash and wash haha)

I have been working on this update for 4 days now, and there isn’t even much in it! These girls have been keeping me busy! Ok, I cannot completely blame the girls and sickness… you see, my Brother-IL sent us the complete Smallville series about 2 weeks ago, and well we started at season 4 (we have already seen 1-3) and we are now finishing up season 7. (that is about 70 episodes in 2 weeks… haha we are a little obsessed.) We also have had Michael (the brother in law who sent us smallville) over for his first home made meal since getting home from Afghanistan last week. We also had our friends the Sullivans over for dinner (which they made all the food and brought it too us to enjoy!) so they could meet little Hadiley and we could see their son who is growing so fast! Crazy when you go months without seeing friends who live just down the road! We ALSO had Rhemidy participate in her very first Easter egg hunt! She LOVED it. After I got to take some pictures of a family I absolutely adore who is currently pregnant with baby number 3! & I did accomplish to get some of the decorations for Rhem’s birthday party. So I we have had some “play” time in the mix of work & sickness!

Alright now the kids are finishing up their lunch, which means I need to put them down for nap soon, and make a list of what I need to get this week for the party! busy busy busy.

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-brittney

Best Dinner Ever…

Alright, so near our house we had a Japanese restaurant called Sho Guns. Whenever my husband and I would have a date night, this was our go to place. It was a hibachi style restaurant that had DELICIOUS steak and fried rice. But the thing that made it the best was a sauce called Yum Yum sauce. it was divine. Sadly it closed just recently. We tried the other hibachi place in town, Osaka, but they did not have the yum yum sauce. The meal just didn’t taste complete.

Well last night I decided to make my own fried rice, chicken, and yum yum sauce. Total success. The yum yum sauce isn’t as good as the one from Sho Guns, but it did its job. My husband said this was his favorite meal, and if I wanted to make it again, like say tonight, and tomorrow night, and the next night, he would totally be fine with it. (hahaha instead tonight we are making homemade pizza, and tomorrow I will make this meal again. )

Alright so here is my now famous recipe:

Chicken:

  • Thaw, cut off fat, cut into bite size chunks.
  • Mix together a cup of milk and one egg, pour into a glass bowl or zip lock baggy with chicken. (Amount of chicken varies on how many people you are feeding, I used 3 boneless breast for PJ, Rhem, and myself and probably should have done one more breast) Refrigerate for at least one hour.
  • In separate bowl combine:
    1. 1/2 cup of Flour
    2. 2tbs of powder sugar
    3. 1/4 tsp of paprika
    4. 1/4 tsp salt
    5. dash of pepper
    6. (I also added a little garlic powder because I add garlic to EVERYTHING)

     

  • When you are read to cook the chicken, place chicken in the flour mixture and coat chicken, place into a heated pan with 2tbs of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, let brown for about 3-4 minutes on each side. (until all the way cooked through) After chicken is cooked place on a plate.

Sweet & Spicy Sauce for Chicken:
Disclaimer: I did not measure ingredients, so I am estimating what I used… you can simply follow my instructions, then taste and add more of honey for more sweetness, or more sriracha for more heat.

  • In a small pot combine:
    1. 1 tbs of Sriracha Sauce
    2. 1-2 tbs of Honey
    3. 1tsp of Brown Sugar
    4. 1tbs of Soy Sauce
    5. 1tsp of EVOO
  • Heat until sugar is dissolved. Taste, add more honey if needed. Once the taste is perfect, add chicken and stir until completely coated. Serve.

Fried Rice:

 

  • Make some white rice, I made 2 servings of minute rice. (obviously you could use different rice if trying to eat healthier, but I love white rice) After cooked put to the side.
  • In a large skillet put a little EVOO over medium heat. Add some of your favorite veggies cut into small pieces. (I did peas, corn, and broccoli) Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until veggies are cooked with a little crunch left in them.
  • Move Veggies to the side and add 1-3 whisked eggs. Scramble eggs and mix with veggies.
  • Move veggies & eggs to the side and put down 1tbs of butter. Once butter melts, add rice. Stir all together. The add soy sauce until desired taste. and let cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Serve.

Yum Yum Sauce:
This is to pour on your rice, or dip your chicken into! (also good with steak!) Make night before!!

  • 1 1/4 C Mayo
  • 2tbs of Tomato Paste
  • 1/4tsp of Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp of Garlic Powder
  • 1tsp of Sugar
  • A dash of Cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 C of water
  • 1tbs of melted butter

Mix all ingredients together in a small glass bowl, cover and refrigerate over night so the ingredients can marinate together.

Mmm. delicious! I failed to get a picture of the meal plated up, but here are some pictures of the cookie process.

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I ended up leaving some of the chicken without the sweet and spicy sauce for Rhem, because I wasn’t sure if she would think it was too spicy.

If you end up making it, let me know how you liked it! 🙂

-brittney

One & Twenty Three

Hello, time? Where are you going? Ahh. On Wednesday my little Hadiley turned a month old. On Thursday my little Rhem turned 23 months old. There are moments where I stop and think, “Holy cow, I am about to be a mom to a two year old!” while other times I think, “Wait, Rhem isn’t two yet? I feel like she should be turning 3!” She is just so vocal and smart I feel like she turned 2 forever ago! Everyday Rhem seems to have more to say, however when she is upset she is having trouble voicing her problems. She usually just covers her face, throws herself on the ground, and screams. Delightful. :/ I have start counting to 10 with her, followed by taking a DEEP breath to collect ourselves, then I ask her what is the problem. So far this has helped her calm down enough that she isn’t kicking and screaming, but she hasn’t quiet grasp the part of telling me what is wrong. But hey, it’s progress! Hadi is wonderful. & I love her to pieces, however, that child sure loves to be held. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE cuddling her, but it is exhausting that she wakes up EVERY TIME I simply lay her down. During the day I usually am able to carry her in my Moby wrap or ring sling, but every now and then I like to try to cuddle with Rhem without the worry of her squishing her baby sis.

Confession, I started this entry like 4 days ago, so I totally lost my train of thought… haha

So to do a quick update, life is good. I could not be more in love with my two girls. Today Rhem started to use the word “awesome.” Every time she uses a new word I cannot help but smile in amazement at how much she is learning. She also has the color yellow down. And the shapes circle, square, heart, and star. Funniest thing is she now says, “Oh goodness!” every time Hadiley farts. (which is often!) Hadiley is a mama’s girl. She constantly wants to be held by mom. She will fall dead asleep in my arms, and as soon as I place her down she instantly wakes up and pretends she is starving. But oh goodness, she is SO sweet. She is always smiling and has started cooing a lot more. I love it. She is pretty strong at holding up her head already as well. I have put away all her newborn clothes and she is now filling out her 0-3 months. Girl has some crazy hair as well! It is so long and always sticking up! I love it though! Her eyes are also still very blue! (I am always attracted to colored eyes, one of my favorite features of my husband is his beautiful green eyes, so I was ecstatic that one of my kids had bright eyes… hoping they stay blue, but there is a good chance they will turn brown eventually.)

Time is just moving so fast. I feel like I am constantly running around, I am hoping things slow down soon so I can do more crafting with the kids, as well as crafting for some me time and possibly selling some of my things. I also want to do more fun entrys, some with DIY items, sharing a favorite recipe, and maybe some fashion. I also have been wanting to do a photoshoot with my girls, but like I said I plan and other things end up filling my time… such as changing diapers, cooking, cleaning, laundry, nursing, cuddling, cleaning, changing diapers, did I mention cleaning? lol

Well I am off to bed. It is midnight here, which means kids will be showing up in 7 hours. Hopefully I will be able to get my craft of sometime this week and have more interesting blog entrys!

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peace. brittney

Eleven Years.

In this entry, I will take a look back at the last 11 years of my life. I will share with my readers where I come from and how it has molded me to the person I am today. Seeing as my oldest is not even two yet, this entry will not have much to do with raising my girls, instead it is a day of reflection.

The day was Tuesday, March 5th, 2002. A typical morning for me. I woke up early, got dressed in my uniform, ate my breakfast, and got in the car and my mom to drove me off to the catholic school I attended. I was in six grade and your typical 12 year old. I lived with my mom and step dad with my older sister, but we spent every other weekend at our dads, with our half sisters. It may have been a “broken” family, but it was my family, and it was a pretty good life. That day at school was just like any other day. At 2:45 the last bell rang, and I got my backpack and headed outside to get picked up. My mom smiled as I got in the car. On the drive home she was extremely quiet. Instantly I could tell something was wrong. In my head I kept thinking what could possibly be wrong. I remember wondering if one of our pets had died, I hoped and prayed it wasn’t my beloved cat, Cappio. However, for the 7 minute drive home, my mom said nothing. I remember pulling up into the drive way, wondering if I was going to walk into the house and notice one of our pets gone. I could not imagine why my mom was acting so weird. She turned off the car and turned to me. “Brittney, I have something I need to tell you” she began. “This morning… your dad was arrested.” I remember sitting there confused. Hearing what she was saying, but not quite comprehending it. My dad? Arrested? She continued to inform me he was arrested for involvement in drugs. She wanted to let me know right then, because she knew it would be on the news for all to see. I remember just being so confused, and a bit numb. I remember walking in, and still looking around for the pets, still thinking maybe she was joking, and really one of the pets died. But all my pets where still there, my dad really was arrested. That night on the news I watched them talk about my dad, arrested for many things, but the main charges were for selling drugs and fraud.

The next two years were hard. School was hard to face. “Friends” were coming up asking if I was related to the guy in the news, seeing we had the same last night. Older kids talked about me as a walked by, as if I couldn’t hear them. I remember on day in math I asked to use the bathroom, when I walked back to the class room I heard the teacher telling the students about what she has heard about who my dad was and what he had done. I sat in the hallway feeling numb. Not wanting to go back into that room. I felt so judged. I felt so alone. Over the course of those 2 years, more family was arrested. An aunt, an uncle, a cousin, a grandma. More charges. More hurtful words about my family in print. It was difficult. I went through denial. I went through anger. I went into depression. My dad was sentenced to 35 years of prison. My grandma was sentenced to 10, but a couple years later passed away while in prison due to a heart attack. A cousin sentenced to 5, and an aunt sentenced to 12 years. My life as I knew it, was no more.

The summer before 8th grade my mom signed me up for a church camp. She knew I needed help, I needed someone to talk too. The camp changed a lot of things. As corny as it might sound, but I found Jesus at that camp. I found love. I found acceptance. I found joy. I went home that summer changed. Yes, there was still some pain and confusion left, but I was a happier child. I felt more whole again. I remember in 8th grade I had teachers pull me aside and ask how my summer went. They told me they saw a change in me. They were impressed. I was a nicer person. I was smiling. My grades all went back up. I was strong again.

When I entered highschool I decided to have my name changed in the school system to be the same as my mom and step dads. I had come a long way since that day in 2002, but I didn’t want to bring that baggage with me into highschool. For once I didn’t want people judging me because of who my dad was. For the first two years of highschool no one knew. When I started drivers ed, and got a job I had to use my legal last name, so suddenly friends where realizing that the name I had been going by, wasn’t my real name. However, I was a lot stronger. I was able to talk about my family, without falling apart. I continued to use my mom’s last name, though.

The first couple years of highschool I still made some mistakes, dated boys I wish I didn’t, but as the years went by, I grew more in my faith and focused more on doing good for my community as well as helping others around the U.S. through mission trips. I still made mistakes, because let’s face it no one is or will be perfect, but I was able to get through highschool, having many friends, and have dated boys and still never had been drunk nor having sex. It is still possible girls to make i through highschool with out getting drunk and hooking up!

Towards the end of my Junior year I began dating PJ. Two years after graduating highschool we got married. Our relationship was pretty strong, we had a few bumps in the road, but after 3 years of dating we tied the knot. It was two short months after our wedding that we became pregnant with our first.

We are now 2 months away from our 3 year anniversary of marriage. The last 3 years have brought two amazing girls that have filled my life with more love and more joy than I could ever imagine. The last 3 years has also brought some difficult times and pain. However, every obstacle I have been able to get over with the help of God, and amazing friends and family.

11 years ago today I couldn’t imagine what my life was going to end up being like. But today I sit here, knowing because of life events I am a stronger person, with faith in an awesome God, who has brought me two beautiful little girls. It has also brought me the knowledge to know that I can get through anything with the grace of God, and I am excited to see what the future has in store for my family and me. You never know what life is going to throw at you, but in the end it makes you who you are. The trick is deciding how you are going to let it affect your life. You can choose to let it destroy you, or choose to rise above it. My past has also showed me what I want for my girls. Less brokenness, and more love. Don’t get me wrong, my childhood wasn’t just filled with pain. I have an awesome mom and step dad who has showed me what kind of marriage I want. One where they respect each other, support each other, and obviously love each other. I have awesome memories of family vacations (with both parents) as well as many amazing memories of camping in the backyard with my mom that I plan to pass on with my girls. My life has definitely not always been an easy one, but there has been a lot of joy in the mess. For that, I am thankful. & I want to pass that joy on to my kids.

Well here is to the future, and a happy, healthy home for my girls.
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love. brittney