banana snack cake.

BANANAI made this for breakfast one week and it was a hit with milo! Great way to use up some ripe bananas.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
2/3 cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Silk Soymilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup mashed banana (roughly 2 medium ripe bananas)
1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chip

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease an 8×8 square pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. In another large bowl, whisk together the soymilk, oil, banana, vinegar, and vanilla. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix everything until combined, being careful not to overwork the batter. Stir in 3/4 cup chocolate chips.
  4. Spread the batter into the pan and top with the remaining 3/4 cup chocolate chips. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (it may have some chocolate on it). Cool completely before serving.
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spinach penne toss.

spinThis salad. Is my FAVORITE salad. My friend Martha brought it to one of our dinners and now we all demand she always brings it. The original has cheese and bacon, but she always puts that on the side so I can eat it too. I took a stab at finally making it and now I have the recipe to add to my collection! Its a crowd pleaser!

2 cups uncooked penne
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 onion, sliced
1 T plus 1/4 cup olive oil
1 bag baby spinach
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, sliced
2 T cider vinegar
salt
pepper

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. In a large skillet, saute red pepper and onion in 1 T of oil for a few minutes until tender.
2. Drain pasta and place in serving bowl. Add red pepper, onion, tomatoes, and spinach.
3. In a small bowl or jar, whisk the vinegar, salt, pepper and oil.  Drizzle over spinach salad and toss well.

super mario bros. legos.

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Milo and I googled images of the fire power flower and goomba from super mario bros. and created our own following what we can tell was the pattern. I sorted through the legos and pulled out the colors, he built. Therapy for me, fun for him.

grilled corn salad.

grilledcornsaladThis salad may not be the prettiest, but its great for summer (end of summer?) barbeques! Kids may be back in school, but barbeque season is still going strong while this weather is still holding out!

  • 5-6 ears corn, in husk
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper
DRESSING
  • 1/2 cup packed sun-dried tomatoes (soaked in hot water 10 minutes)
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 3 Tbspemon juice
  • 1 cup tightly packed fresh basil
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • Pinch each sea salt + black pepper, plus more to taste
  • lime
 Recipe/instructions are found  here

peach power smoothie.

smoothie.jpgI’m always looking for ways to mix up my smoothie game in the morning and this one hit the spot! bonus: it has beets in it!

1 frozen banana
1 cup frozen strawberries
2 T unsweetened coconut flakes
1 peach
1/4 red beet
1-2 cups coconut water
hemp seeds

Blend and enjoy!

blueberry pie.

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We spent a weekend in Saugatuk, Michigan before school started, and I got to do something I’ve always wanted to do: go Blueberry picking! Fresh picked blueberries do NOT do the grocery store ones any justice. They are so sweet and delicious. I never thought I liked blueberries until I tasted freshly picked ones a few years ago. I made a pie as soon as I got home! I tried a new pie crust; it was a little hard to work with, but I liked the texture once it was baked. This crust would make awesome homeade pop tarts!

Pie crust
3 cups  all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
¾ cup  vegetable oil
⅓ cup almond or any non dairy milk plus  extra if needed

  1. Sift the flour, then whisk in the salt and create a little well.
  2. Pour in the oil, then milk and stir everything together. If the dough seems too dry, add 1-2 tbsp of milk. I had to add quite a bit extra to hold it together.
  3. Once the dough starts to form, finish working it by gently kneading it on a sheet of wax paper.
  4. Divide into two parts.
    Pie filling
    1 cup fresh blueberries
    1/2 to 2/3 cups granulated sugar (depending on the sweetness of your berries)
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    scant 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
    3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

    In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, spices, flour, and cornstarch.  Pour the sugar mixture over the berries, and gently toss together with a wooden spoon.  Stir in the lemon juice.

    Bake in a preheated oven at 425F for 15 minutes, then bake at 375F until the crust is golden and filling is cooked. Usually about another 30-45 minutes.

     

pipe cleaner glasses.

PIPECLEANER.jpgSo not the most complex of crafts, but my kid was pretty stoked to make and wear some pipe cleaner glasses. We even made a matching pair for his favorite stuffed piggie.

A good diagram and instructions are here

Take 1 pipe cleaner and wrap one end around in a circle.
Then wrap the other end around in a circle leaving a space in the middle between the 2 circles.
Take another pipe cleaner and cut it in half.
Wrap one piece around each of the circles. And there you have it – glasses!