This time of year always seems so busy. I am ready for some lazy summer days to get here:)
I have been staying pretty busy taking pictures, and have several sessions and another wedding coming up over the next few weeks. Cassandra and Scott’s wedding was on the first, and was so much fun to shoot! You can see a few of my favorites over at the photoblog. We drove down to Kaufman, Texas for the ceremony, and had a nice little mini-vacation while we were there. Munchkin did was SO good during the drive! (Well, except for the one time when boredom go the best of him and he decided to reach into his diaper and play in his poop). We didn’t do anything to exciting while we were there; just got up early and did a little yardsaling (we drive all the way to Texas, and then do the same thing we could have done right here at home…:) I just love yardsales! I got a couple of cute little outfits for Munchkin and myself, a couple of vintage pie pans, and a brand new xylophone for Munchkin. Yay! Much better than the yard sales I’ve been to around here lately…
I’m really trying to think of something, anything interesting to write about, and I’m coming up blank. Seems to be a rut I am stuck in. Or maybe my life really is that dull 🙂 Anyways, for lack of anything better to say, I’ll share a couple of recent favorite recipes we have been enjoying around here:
Munchkin’s favorite Banana Muffins (adapted from One Mix, 100 Muffins by Susanna Tee)
I have been trying to come up with a healthier banana muffin recipe that tastes even remotely as good as my mom’s recipe (sorry mom, I just feel guilty giving him all that white flour and sugar!) and so far, this is the best I have found. It’s not really a traditional banana bread recipe, but Munchkin and I both approve!:)
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1 orange
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour (I sometimes up the ratio of ww to white flour to make it a little healthier. of course, the muffins will be denser, but they still taste good)
- 1 TBSP baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup agave nectar OR honey OR sugar
- 2 very ripe bananas
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 6 TBSP oil or melted butter
- grate the zest of the orange and set aside. Juice the orange and soak the raisins in the juice for approximately 1 hour, until plump. Grease or line a muffin tin.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Mash the bananas, and mix together the rest of the wet ingredients, including the raisins and juice, and the orange zest. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir gently until just mixed.
- Spoon the batter into the muffin tin. Bake for about 20 minutes until well risen and golden brown.
We’re all about soup in this family. I love anything I can fix in one pot, in large quantities, using whatever ingredients I have on hand. You just can’t go wrong with soup. And there are SO many different kinds to try! This not-so authentic version of a Moroccan Tagine is one of our current favs, and we have it just about every week!
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 1-2 chicken breast halves, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 med onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 smallish butternut squash, cubed
- 1 carrot, diced
- 2 cups cooked garbanzo beans
- 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes + juice
- about 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock (I usually use my own stock which I make in large batches and freeze, but canned works well too)
- 1 TBS sugar
- 1 TBS lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp each cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger
- dash cayenne pepper
Cook chicken, onions, and garlic in oil. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until the carrots and squash are tender. I like to throw in a little chopped fresh cilantro at the end to add some color and flavor just because I usually have some around, but it is perfectly good without it.
Serve with whole wheat couscous if you want to make it more authentic, or be like me and serve it with brown rice or bread. Either way it’s delicious! This recipe also makes a fantastic vegetarian stew if you omit the chicken and use veggie stock. It is really quite hearty with the garbanzo beans. And, if you already have the spices on hand, this recipe can also be very budget friendly. If you have to purchase any of the spices, remember that even though they cost a bit upfront, they will last for many meals. And of course, don’t be afraid to improvise if you don’t have all of the ingredients:) It is, after all, soup and you really can’t mess up soup.