Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Banana Bread Experiment (and can you believe I am actually posting?!)

Ok here's the deal. If I don't write this yummy recipe down I am going to forget it. I know this because I always tell myself "hey, that was goooo-ood! Write that down so you don't forget how to make it!" And then I don't, so I do (forget). So without further ado I give you:

Banana Bread Which Tastes Normal But Is Made With Flax, Coconut Flour, Coconut oil, and Maple Syrup
hmmm... Too long?
Ok how about:

Yummy Experimental Banana Bread

First I have to confess that I based this banana bread on THIS RECIPE. As a side note I LOVE her recipes. They are all simple, wholesome, and make everyone's tummy happy which is not always easy to do around here. Also, this is not a gluten free recipe.

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 rounded teaspoon baking powder
1/2 rounded teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon (estimated, but then I always estimate salt) sea salt

2 Large mashed ripe bananas (recipe calls for 1 cup, I had more than this but I wanted more because of the coconut flour)
Generous 1/4 cup maple syrup (spilled over a bit, recipe calls for 1/3 cup honey but I am finding myself cutting back on the sugar in most recipes these days)
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 tablespoon ground flax plus 3 tablespoons warm water mixed together before everything else and let sit for at least 10min

Preheat oven to 350 F
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl
Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl (note, it helps to have the ingredients room temperature so that the coconut oil doesn't try to solidify. I did not do this but mixed the coconut oil with the room temp banana, vanilla, and flax before mixing in my cold eggs and maple syrup. It worked out just fine)

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients until all the dry ingredients are well moistened.
Stir in raisins (as many as you like, I used about 1/2 cup or so)
Spread into a buttered loaf pan and bake for 50 to 60 min or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Consistency is important! Last time I experimented with coconut flour and flax in a recipe like this the batter was runny and was poured rather than spread into the pan. This resulted in a loaf that was way too moist and didn't raise much. Although it was thoroughly cooked and cake-like it had an odd, almost watery quality that wasn't very appealing. Like pound cake soaked in water. It also spoiled very quickly because it was so moist. This time the batter was thick and on the drier side. I was afraid it was too dry but it rose nicely and came out perfectly. I want to keep tweaking this recipe to increase the coconut flour content, eventually to 100% coconut flour to make it wheat free. But for now I am very very happy with this.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Yarn Along

Although I haven't been posting much lately, I have been knitting quite a bit. The little sweater is done and just needs ends woven in and buttons. I am also knitting a little hat to match. The purple is my first ever shawl to be knit from my hand spun yarn.  I love this yarn even though the colors are a bit muddy because I started spinning it in the hotel room we stayed in for 2 months after moving here and Isabelle "helped" me quite a bit with the spinning. She would sit next to me and work the pedal of my spinning wheel and occasionally try to pinch and draft the wool. It was the first batt I ever worked with and was quite a pleasure to spin. I especially like all the little tweedy bits in the yarn. I have been pretty scatterbrained with reading which seems to be my normal for this phase of life so far.  The recipes in this book all look good but are very time consuming. We had the "All Day Beef Stew" last night for dinner which my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed but the little ones did not. I think it was the clove so next time I make it I will omit that part and see if it is better received. Go see Ginny (or rather Johnny this week!) for more Yarn Along fun.

Friday, July 13, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday

7 quick takes sm1 Your 7 Quick Takes Toolkit!
Today was rough.  I mean really REALLY rough.  Like mommy-yelling-at-three-year-old-a-lot-over-small-stuff-crazy-crying-I-NEED-CHOCOLATE-NOW!!!!! rough.  So what did I do? As soon as naptime officially started I began inhaling my "secret" stash of dark chocolate and called my hubby to tell him to bring me MORE on his way home.  Chased that with a couple glasses of pomegranate/black sun tea and sat down to start reading through the {P.H.F.R.} posts from yesterday.  Then I felt better.  Because chocolate and blog reading make everything better, no?

Which brings me to my next point of interest. I am officially back on the NFP bandwagon (like you couldn't tell from all the chocolate scarfing. Right.) It is a bit sooner than I expected since it didn't happen with my first until she was about 13 or 14 months old, approximately a month or so after we started night weaning her.  Baby boy has been night weaned for about a month now... hmm...

I am trying to get back to not eating meat on Fridays. I know it isn't lent but here's the thing: if I don't do this I never remember to make any sort of sacrifice or do any penance of any kind on Friday. So if anyone has any great fish/vegetarian recipes I would love to hear about them because I need some inspiration. Just ask my family about dinner tonight, they'll tell you.

Deer are eating my garden. I love to watch cute frolicking fawns out in the field. I even thought they were cute when they were munching the weeds under my asparagus. Now that they are destroying my tomato plants I think I need to get out a shotgun. Well, maybe we just need to build a fence, I could be overreacting a bit (see #1 and #2). Did I mention they also ate the strawberry plants down to the ground? Grrr.

Speaking of wildlife our yard seems to be teeming with exotic creatures.  We have seen hummingbirds, gigantic wasps (shudder), carpenter bees, huge dragonflies of every color, some kind of large cat (domestic or bobcat, not sure which), at least 3 kinds of tree frog plus regular frogs and a few toads, a painted turtle, deer, rabbits, chipmunks by the dozen which my lazy and intellectually challenged cats simply watch blankly, a garter snake, many different kinds of birds (including bluebirds!), the biggest squirrel I have ever seen, and a giant white fuzzy caterpillar we found near the garden this morning. I can't tell if we are seeing more than an average amount of wildlife or if we have just been living in cities too long and all this is pretty normal for country livin'.

I. Love. My. Compost heap. Now that you know I am a huge dork let me tell you why. I love knowing that food and remnants of food I would previously have thrown in the garbage is going into a big ol' pile in the back yard that is slowly turning into super duper rich and nutrient filled earth to feed the garden, which will feed us, which will give us more fuel for the compost heap. Now if I can just manage to get some chickens... Compost heaven.

Say a prayer we will get some rain around here will ya? I checked weather dot com and they said we have gotten about 1/4 inch of rain since the beginning of JUNE. It is making me so sad because several of the beautiful trees around this house are starting to drop leaves like crazy from all the drought. :( I don't know much about how trees survive dry weather but I am hoping they don't all die. Man, didn't mean to end on such a downer. It is sprinkling right now as I am writing this, but we need a good rain, more than just a sprinkle.
Now if you will excuse me I am off to have a beer and play guitar with my wonderful husband. :) Go see Jen for more Quick Takes!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

{P. F. H. R.}

I am so glad we didn't buy that house in town.






It always seems that I can't see the road beneath my feet.  Like the blind being led, sometimes unwillingly, I stumble and I doubt.  But oh, glorious day!  When His plan is revealed and finally I see where I have been and get a glimpse of where He is taking me.
I am breathless with wonder.
And I weep with joy.
round button chicken

Thursday, June 7, 2012

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} New House Edition!

Well, this first picture is kind of random.  It is of my daughter on Saturday of Memorial Day weekend but I just think it is a pretty picture.  
Our gorgeous new yard!

Look what we bought with the house!  Piano lessons are in at least 50% of our household's future.

 And just LOOK at the blueberry bushes!  Okay my other half is standing behind me saying "you can't even tell those are blueberries." But they are, for REAL!  Okay fine let me see if I have a close up on my phone...

 There, see! I told you! Blueberries.


  We "moved in" on Saturday but I am using that phrase very loosely. More like we are camping out on air mattresses and eating off of blue storage tubs while sitting in camp chairs.  Anyway, what do you do when you have no furniture or means of entertaining? Invite people over of course!  Directly after church, with no food in the house.  Happily the men saved the day and made a grocery run for hot dogs and chips. And beer, of course.

Check this out.  What do we do with this?  Hubby 
says "anything" but I would like him to be a little more specific.

And finally, the asparagus.  Yes we also acquired an established asparagus bed with this house.  It is so good and so awesome and really sweet (as in not bitter at ALL) and there is so much of it my refrigerator will soon be full of nothing but asparagus and oh my gosh do you see all those WEEDS I need to do something about them and what do I do with ALL THIS ASPARAGUS?!?  Whew.
 Maybe I can work something out with Dwija over at House Unseen and we can start bartering her peas in exchange for my asparagus.  Or maybe I just need to give it away faster. Go see Like Mother Like Daughter for more {P,F,H,R}!

round button chicken

Thursday, May 24, 2012

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}

round button chicken

Isn't that Iris lovely?  I do love Iris, please forgive the camera strap and lens cover in the photo, it was taken with a very grabby baby strapped to my chest.  I also love this picture of the painted turtle since I am so proud that I was able to get such a close shot and it was even in focus!  These were both taken on our little nature walk on Mother's Day which makes me...

This girl loves water, and playing with her new friends!


The boy seems to be following in his sister's "rough housing with Daddy" footsteps.  Which brings me to...
First, did you see that little guy STANDING there with little support from Daddy?  He is only 7 1/2 months old and he is determined, DETERMINED, to walk right this minute.  He crawls over to things and pulls himself up when he can.  It is too soon I tell you.

Can you spot the baby in this picture?

And he is quite mobile, and independent.