Food

A Delicious Banana Cake Recipe

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I love this banana cake recipe.  Just so you know, the frosting is what makes this cake.  A great use of bananas! This recipe is taken from http://www.spendwithpennies.com and was written by Holly.

CAKE

1 and 1/3 cup mashed bananas

2 and 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice, divided

1 and 1/2 cups milk

3 cups flour

1/2 tablespoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup butter softened

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

FROSTING

8 oz cream cheese

1/3 cup butter softened

3 -3 1/2 powdered sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Grease and flour 9×13 Cake pan

Place 1 and 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice in measuring cup. Top to 1 and 1/2 cups with milk. Set aside.

Mix together mashed bananas with 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Set aside

Beat together butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until combined.

Add in eggs one at a time and vanilla to mixture. Mix on high until light and fluffy.

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. Alternate flour mixture and milk to egg mixture, stirring until combined. Do not over mix.

Fold in bananas. Pour into pan.

Put into oven and reduce heat to 300 degrees. Bake for 60-70 minutes.  Check with toothpick.

Remove from oven and place in freezer for 45 minutes to make cake extra moist.

Let cool before frosting.

For Frosting: Cream together butter and cream cheese until fluffy.

Add lemon juice.

Add powdered sugar a little at a time until your reach desired consistency.

Put on cooled cake.

Enjoy!

 

Food

Great Zucchini Muffins

 

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Zucchini Muffins

Receipe taken from Simply Recipes. com

Ingredients:

2 Large Eggs

1 1/3 cup of sugar

2 Teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups packed grated fresh zucchini

3/4 cups unsalted butter, melted

2 3/4 cups all purpose flower

1 Teaspoon baking soda

1 Teaspoon baking powder

1/4 Teaspoon Salt

2 Teaspoons Cinnamon

1 Teaspoon Ginger

1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg

You may wish to add 1 cup Walnuts and 1 cup of raisins or dried cranberries.

 

MAKE:

Mix eggs, sugar, vanilla, then add zucchini and melted butter.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat eggs in a large bowl.  Then mix in sugar and vanilla extract.  Then stir in grated zucchini and the melted butter.

Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, and salt.

Combine to make batter. Stir dry ingredients and zucchini mixture. Do not over mix.

Fill muffin pan.  Coat each muffin pan with a little butter.  Use a spoon to distribute the muffin dough equally among the cups, fill the cups completely above the surface of the muffin tin.

Bake at 350 degrees on the middle rack until the muffins are golden brown.  The top of the muffins bounce back when you press on them.  It is about 20-30 minutes. Test with a toothpick.

Food

Springtime Veggies.

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Finally, Spring is here.  We’ve had so much snow I thought I’d never see the sun again!  With the warmer Spring temperatures our gardens start to bloom.  With the growing season starting so too does the farmer’s market season.  What will be in season?  Check out my list below for some great fruit and veggie ideas.  Happy eating!

Apricots

Asparagus

Broccoli

Butter Lettuce

Corn

Green Beans

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Honeydew

Limes

Mango

Oranges

Pea pods

Pea

Pineapples

Rhubarb

Spinach

Strawberries

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Food

10 Cooking Terms to Know

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Al Carbon- In Mexican/Spanish cooking meaning to cook over charcoal or wood coal.

Baking Soda- A chemically based ingredient that generates carbon dioxide and is used with acidic ingredients such as sour cream, or fruit juices to create bubble to make the food rise.

Baking Powder- This is a combination of chemicals that can make carbon dioxide in two different stages.  One stage is when it is a liquid. The other stage is heat.

Butterfly- To cut or split food through the center without cutting it in half.  So it resembles butterfly wings.

Capers- A bud of a bush or shrub that grows in several countries that adds flavor to a dish.

Cafe de Olla- Mexican Style coffee made in a clay pot.

Calamar- In Mexican/Spanish Cooking means squid.

Carne- In Mexican/Spanish cooking meaning meat.

Emulsify- When you combine two liquids that don’t dissolve together.

Maiz- In Mexican/Spanish cooking means corn in a dry state.

 

 

Home

10 Quick things to declutter.

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One thing I like to do on my blog, make lists. I like my lists short and sweet.  Not a lot of words to describe a single action.  Just tell me what needs to be done and list it.  So here it is. My short list of things to declutter.

1. Outdoor Winter Clothing.  Get rid of what didn’t work.  Repair and clean anything that needs it for the next winter.  Make a list of what you need to replace.

2. Reusable bags.  It could be plastic, paper or cloth.

3. Carry-on and Totes.

4. Suitcases and duffle bags.  Sometimes you just need a new one.

5. Keys.  You have 10 keys on your key ring.  Do you know what they go to?

6. Shoes.  What do your flip flops and slippers look like?

7. Beach items and Swim stuff.  Do the water guns work?  Are the beach towels clean? Can you find your 12 year old’s goggles?

8. Holiday Paper and tape.  Is it time to recycle the candy cane paper you’ve used for the last 5 Christmases?

9. Address Book. Clean out your contacts.  It can be on paper or online.

10. Pantry. Really?  Those date bar cookies have been in there long enough.

Happy Cleaning!

Food

Ten Terms to Know for Cooking

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I wish I could say I love to cook.  Honestly it is the least favorite household chore I do.  I did not grow up in a cooking family.  Our joke was if it didn’t come out of a box and you couldn’t add water our mother didn’t make it. Well, we thought it was funny.  Mom not so much. Even if it was true.

As an adult, I tried to cook a variety of dishes.  Cookbooks were my best friends.  I wish I could say that I have a natural ability to cook, but I don’t. So as I use these cookbooks I also need to understand some of the vocabulary used. Here is a list of ten cooking words that I’ve run across in reading or watching television shows and their meanings.

Albert Sauce: A horseradish sauce with a base of butter, flour and cream.

Alfredo Sauce: A sauce made with heavy cream, butter, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

Ceviche: An appetizer from Latin America made of raw fish marinated in citrus juice.

Bearnaise: A sauce made from a reduction of vinegar, wine, tarragon, shallots and finished with egg yolks and butter.

Acai: A dark purple berry from Central and South America that is rich in nutrients.

Cacciatore: Meaning to prepare food “hunter style” with mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, herbs and wine.

Aioli: A garlic mayonaisse

Acini de pepe: Is Italian for peppercorns. Pronounced ah-chee-nee dee-Pay-pay which in cooking can mean tiny rice shaped pasta.

Caffeine: An organic compound found to stimulate the nervous system, release insulin, stimulate heart and kidneys, and dilate the blood vessels.

All Spice: A spice named due to the fact it tastes like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. It is taken from the berry of the evergreen pimiento tree from Jamaica.

Happy Cooking!

 

 

Family

To Be Continued, Part 2

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When we drove our son up to the inpatient hospital he was okay.  I don’t think he could comprehend what was about to happen. Upon arrival, they informed us that they were running behind schedule.  This would turn out to be a huge problem.  Our son would get so overwhelmed that he would have major meltdowns.  We were there for over 5 hours.  During that time, my son cried, dry heaved, screamed, grabbed me and begged me not to leave him. He kept crying saying “Mom, don’t leave me, I can’t do this without you. I need you.”  It killed me.  It was so painful.  I felt absolutely horrible.  I just didn’t know what to do.  I pride myself on always knowing what to do.

I went to visit my son everyday.  My heart went out to the other children on the ward.  I would go days without seeing another visitor name in the sign in logs for the children.  I realize other families have responsibilities and children.  I just thought I would see more visitors.  Every time I went, “E” would beg me to take him home.  He had great difficulty participating in the groups they did.  Each day before I came “E” would call me crying asking me when I was coming up.

Finally after ten days he was released.  From what I understand people are released when their insurance runs out.  We questioned them, (the doctors) about this once they told us that insurance was not going to pay.  They assured us he was fine. I didn’t quite believe them. However, I saw no indication my son was improving, so we decided to take him home.

The doctors advised us that “E” has an eating disorder. I have for years tried to get my son to alter his eating habits.  He doesn’t eat fruits or veggies.  He has sensory processing disorder. Food and dress are his biggest areas of problems.  If you try to force him to eat he will vomit or gag the food.  He will also just not eat at all. If his food has spices he cannot eat them, the spices must be taken off. His food cannot touch, he needs separate plates and utensils.  I had tried for years to get his food issues fixed to no avail.  So when they said he had an eating disorder I thought, ” finally”! They then sprung on us a new inpatient program.

They said that he would have to go to a three week in patient eating disorder clinic.  I resisted a bit saying I thought it would be outpatient.  My son is only 11, how is he going to handle three weeks?  The doctors told me he was very sick.  They said his BMI had him ranked as malnourished.  I guess anything under 15 qualifies for that. So within a few days I drove him to the new facility.

The intake was so long, my son cried and screamed and begged not to stay.  While this was a much nicer place than the lock down facility, it still wasn’t home. In addition, all the kids there were so much older than my son.  He’s 11.  The next youngest was 14.  His roommate was 17.  It was another day of mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion. While leaving him at this facility was slightly better than the lock down facility it is a lot for a young child to deal with.

Unfortunately, the next day I came down with an illness and could not go to visit him.  He would call me daily in tears and crying begging me to come visit him.  I really wanted to.  The illness I had would be detrimental to kids in an eating disorder clinic.  I couldn’t risk passing this along to others. Then six days later I get a phone call…..