Monday, October 25, 2010

Caramel-Banana-Nut Muffins

Last night I tried a new recipe to use over ripe bananas...they are AMAZING!

1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans
2 Tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 (3oz) pkg Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 Cup Butter, softened
2/3 Cup Sugar
1 egg
1 Medium Banana, peeled & mashed (1/2 cup)
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 & 1/4 Cup Flour
3/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Carmel-flavored ice cream topping
Extra banana, sliced thinly (optional)
1 Tbsp Butter, melted
Extra Carmel-flavored ice cream topping (optional)

Line (12) regular muffin cups with paper liners. (if using a jumbo pan, only 6)
In a small bowl, mix pecans, 2 Tbsp Sugar & 1 tsp Cinnamon.
In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, softened butter & 2/3 cup sugar until well combined. Add egg and beat well. Beat in mashed banana & vanilla until combined.
In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda & salt. Add to the banana mixture beating on low speed until just combined.
Stir in 1/4 Cup of the pecan mixture. Spoon 1/2 the batter into prepared muffin cups (1 rounded Tbsp for the regular size).
Drizzle with Carmel topping in each cup - about 1/2 tsp or so in each one
Top with remaining batter. If you wish, put 2 slices of thinly sliced banana on top, drizzle with melted butter & then sprinkle with remaining pecan mixture.
Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes.
Can drizzle with more caramel after about 5 minutes if you like.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Homemade Bread

One of the things I have always wanted to do was learn to make a good, quality homemade bread. One that will stand up for Sandwich bread the same as slicing & eating with a meal.

About 2 years ago, my Father-in-Law really got into baking as a part of retirement, and, he discovered an amazing recipe for homemade bread. I finally took the plunge about a month ago & had him teach me how to make it. I was so shocked when he told me I actually had to made sure the water/milk reached 110 degrees on a thermometer (that I honestly didn't even own at that point) - I mean, really, did it matter? (Well, YES, BTW - It DOES matter!)

I have made 2 official loaves by myself, and, still haven't perfected it to his loaves, but, boy they are good. My hang up at this point seems to be sealing the edges after the 2nd rise, I don't seem to be getting them perfect and you can see the rolled "layers" in my bread when it finishes baking. I will keep practicing!

Jason is thoroughly enjoying homemade bread for both his lunch & our meals. It's amazing how much better homemade bread tastes toasted for breakfast too!

I love living the domestic life :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Happy 5th Birthday Cole Michael!

This was my baby 5 years ago. I never dreamed time would go by as fast as it did.

My life was forever changed the day Cole was born. My purpose, my calling in life is to be his Mom (and soon, Jake's Mom). Thank you God for entrusting these little guys to me for this time, to teach & help them grow to be Men of God :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Family Legacy

I loved this picture of Jason's Mom & Dad taken last weekend. It captures so many years of happiness, joy, & perseverance through the tough times. May we all live long & see our marriages as wonderful as theirs :)