Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Egg-Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

My sister recently found out that she is allergic to eggs. Since I have multiple food allergies myself, I wasn't shocked by this news, but it did get me thinking about baking and cooking. Add in 3 bananas that had been sitting a little too long on our kitchen counter, and voila! A tasty recipe for egg-free banana chocolate chip muffins. I made them mini-size and maaaaybe had to sample a couple just now. You know, for quality control ;-)

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup soy milk
3 mashed bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla
crushed walnuts to taste
chocolate chips to taste


1) Sift the first five (dry) ingredients together in a large bowl

2) Cut in the softened butter until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal

3) In a smaller bowl, blend the milk, bananas and vanilla

4) Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mix lightly until incorporated

5) Add walnuts & chocolate chips, stir gently

6) Fill greased muffin tins about halfway up

7) Bake at 325 F for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inser
ted in the middle comes out clean

8) Allow to cool, remove from tins

I was surprised how light and moist these mini-muffins turned out without eggs! I'm going to freeze most of these and see how they work for quic
k, weekday breakfasts. Also considering the addition of oats to the next batch.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Meal Planning - March 21

Well, Spring Break is over...waaah! I know, I know, most adults don't get school holidays off. If it makes you feel any better, I'm a contractor, so a week off work also means a week without pay! The great thing about the break was I had time to do some freeze-ahead cooking and try out some new recipes. Here's what we're planning on eating this week:


Lunch - Turkey Sandwiches

Dinner - Grilled Chicken Fajita Pasta (made ahead & frozen)


Lunch - PB&J

Dinner - Chicken & Broccoli Casserole (made ahead & frozen)


Lunch - Turkey Sandwiches

Dinner - Meatball Soup (made ahead & frozen)


Lunch - Leftovers

Dinner - n/a (bowling league night)


Lunch - PB&J

Dinner - Chicken Noodle Soup Casserole (made ahead & frozen)

What's on your menu this week? Need more ideas? Swing by I'm an Organizing Junkie, where hundreds of bloggers (including yours truly) link up each week for Meal Plan Monday. Gotta love letting other ladies find new, yummy recipes for you!

Sewing Update

Results of yesterday's sewing efforts. All of my phalanges remain intact despite the efforts. Sorry the photo is so dim. It was 1 am when I finished, LOL!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Don't Sew Your Finger

A couple weeks ago I made two little blouses for a couple of our youngest dance students. They were the same basic idea as the blouse I made for myself last summer to go with my kilt but, you know, tiny. It was fun (I love sewing for girls!) and I got to flex my pattern-making skills for the sleeves, which was cool. I'd raided the Lost & Found at our dance school for little leotards and tank tops to use as the bases (don't worry, it was kosher - everything had been there for about six months and was about to go to Goodwill). The eyelet for the sleeves was left over from my own blouse, the elastic for the sleeves from a dress I made last year and the interfacing (for the base of the dickie) left over from our great jig outfit sew-a-thon back in December. The only thing I had to buy was the eyelet for the dickie, which came to a grand total of $5. Not bad for two blouses!

So this week was Spring Break and, feeling somewhat proud of myself for doing so well with the first two blouses, I decided to buckle down and transform the remaining three base leotards/crop tops into blouses, assembly-line style. All was going well until sleeve #5 (of 6) when something bad happened. No matter how many times I have be
en asked exactly *how* it happened, I really can't explain it, even though I was looking at my work the whole time. All I know is that one minute I was sewing in a sleeve and the next minute I had sewed my left pointer finger to the machine.


That's what I said in my head, anyway. Out loud, it wasn't quite so savory. Here's a lesson that may help you in the future: If/when you manage to sew your hand to your sewing machine, your first instinct will be to yank your hand away. DO NOT YANK YOUR HAND AWAY. Turn off the machine (I remembered this part) and use the manual wheel to remove the needle, as painful as that sounds. Yanking your hand away results in breaking the need
le, which then sticks out the bottom of your finger, gushing blood everywhere, and you will be forced to remove it using tweezers. Not nearly as much fun as tweezing your eyebrows, let me tell you. Then you will go to the doctor's office and find out, although you managed to avoid the fingernail and bone (woo hoo!) there is now a small piece of needle embedded deep inside your finger, much like a metal splinter. They will also inform you that for the next few days/weeks/months your finger will hurt as your body encapsulates it and attempts to expel the foreign body - not really a woo hoo situation. Then they will offer you a prescription for oxycodone. Okay, that one brought back happy post-wisdom tooth extraction memories for me and did result in a teeny-tiny woo hoo. Just a little one, though, 'cause I was still crying from the finger pain.

Here's a picture of my poor, splinted Highland hand on the way to dance class Wednesday night. Don't worry, I wasn't driving *and* taking pictures - my brave husband played chauffeur for Monkey Boy and me, since prescription drugs and driving don't mix very safely, especially in the crazy rush hour traffic that encompasses DFW!

Luckily for you, I didn't have the presence of mind to pho
to-document the entire incident, but here is a lovely picture of my finger roughly 24 hours after sewing it. Don't sew your finger, it's not nearly as satisfying as sewing pretty little girl clothes and dance costumes.

Now that I've shared the first really important piece of wisdom I've picked up in my 30's, I'm off to finish those blouses. Yes, you read that correctly. I may have almost lost a finger on Wednesday, but I haven't lost my spirit, and Saturday afternoon is feeling like an awesome time to jump back on that metaphorical horse. Let's go, Susie Singer machine!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Saying Yes

I am feeling a little melancholy this morning, let me start with that forewarning. I have another respiratory tract infection, and while this one overall hasn't been as bad as previous illnesses of this school year, I have been having trouble sleeping and been coughing myself awake in the wee hours of the morning. Boo. If you know nothing else about me, know this: I love to sleep, I need more sleep than the average bear, and I'm not much good at anything or nice to be around if I don't get my sleep!

So here I am in the dining room/office, trying to keep myself occupied and do something *useful* without waking up my boys. I read a blog post several
months ago (for shame - I can't remember where!) about habits (maybe secrets?) of effective mothers (or housewives? or women?). Anyhow, there was one tip there that really stuck with me, even if the exact wording didn't: To be effective, one must say yes where others say no.

I can't tell you how this has helped with my tidying routines around our home. As I pass small messes, perhaps a piece of dirty clothing that needs to go in a hamper, a piece of trash that is ready for the can, a dirty dish, etc., my knee-jerk, reactive thought used to be something along the lines of, "Okay, seriously, I know that the husband and Monkey Boy have seen this and didn't pick it up. Really? Do I have to pick up after them like a maid? Unbelievable....aargh!" I was so busy being irritated by the fact that one of the other members of the household were aware of this mess and didn't care enough to deal with it that I didn't stop to consider how quick and easy and rewarding it would be for me to just pick i
t up myself.

Now, I'm not saying that I pick up after my boys without fail or protest. However, when encountered by these situations lately, instead of getting irritated, I stop and think. Let me say yes to dealing with this mess when others have said no. Let me pick this up and put it in its proper place for my own benefit and sanity. Let me appreciate that God has blessed me with a beautiful family who makes messes, because they are
my joy and my heart. Let me be effective in dealing with the little messes so they don't turn into huge, all-day cleaning type messes. Let me say yes where others say no.

Monday, March 7, 2011

PraiseBaby DVD Giveaway Winners!

Thank you for all the entries in my first giveaway, which was for PraiseBaby DVDs and had two winners. You can read all about the giveaway here. Now, for the fun part: announcing the winners!

The first DVD, Praises & Smiles, goes to Lloyd Family with entry #15! The winning entry reads, "i LOVE the song "Open the Eyes of My Heart" on Praises and Smiles (and many others) and would love to share my love for this song with my boys". Lloyd Family isn't yet a follower at Make It Happen Mama, but I'm hoping she'll join us soon! You can check out her blog here.

The second DVD, God of Wonders, goes to Elizabeth with entry #20! Her winning entry was, quite simply, "I'm following on GFC." And I'm so glad you are, Elizabeth!

Thank you to everyone who entered my first giveaway and I'm looking forward to hosting another one soon! Any requests for types of prizes? It may be another digital media prize, as Monkey Boy has been making noises about going through his CDs and weeding out the "baby ones"...anyone out in the blogosphere need some lullaby CDs? Check back for more details soon!

Meal Planning - March 7

I said on the phone with my Dad last Monday, "I'm actually glad February is over, because maybe this string of people dying will be over." Yup, wrong. My husband's uncle passed away unexpectedly last Thursday, so we are making preparations to travel to Houston mid-week for his funeral. I'm hoping to convince my mother-in-law to come back up to DFW with us for at least a few days afterward. Since we have Spring Break next week, we could spend some unexpected quality time with her and Monkey Boy would be *overjoyed* to show her his room, take her for walks, etc. My husband suspects she will be anxious to get home (Washington state), however, so we're not counting on anything.

The marathon listening sessions continue for me, coming up on the third funeral in four weeks. By the grace of God, I'm going to figure this all out to my own satisfaction, and figure out how to say for myself, it it well with my soul.

Here is our abbreviated meal plan for the week:


Lunch - Leftover Fajitas, green salad, apple slices

Dinner - Cheeseburgers, french fries, carrot chips (Daddy is grilling out - yay!)


Lunch - PB&J on wheat bread (no crusts), yogurt, carrot chips & Ranch dressing

Dinner - Lasagna Soup (made ahead & frozen)


Lunch - Turkey & cheddar on wheat bread (no crusts), applesauce, green salad

Dinner - On the road to Houston!

What are you eating this week? Need more ideas? Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie's Meal Plan Monday, where I, along with hundreds of other bloggers, link up my meal plan for the week each Monday. Make it a great week!