Sunday, September 15, 2013

Chunky Monkey Muffins

I have been disappointed with all of my latest efforts at making banana bread. I had two ripe bananas and took the challenge to find a better recipe. Awhile back I was given a book with a recipe that looked like a winner. Recipe from Feed the Belly.

Chunky Monkey Muffins
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Makes 15-17 muffins

1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon, dark cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 - 2/3 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
6 ounces low-fat vanilla yogurt
2 medium overripe bananas
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup milk or milk alternative
1/3 cup peanut butter (optional)
1 tablespoon (or more) wheat germ

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Whisk together dry ingredients.
3. Combine yogurt, bananas, egg, vanilla, oil, and milk in separate bowl.
4. Fold wet mixture into dry mixture. If using peanut butter, fill paper muffin liners 1/2 full with batter then spoon 1 teaspoon peanut butter on top. Fill the cups with more batter until 3/4 full. Sprinkle tops with wheat germ and place in the oven for 20 minutes or until the tops of the muffins look dry and spring back when touched in the center. Allow to cool and enjoy.

I of course did not follow the recipe exactly; I used water instead of milk and skipped the wheat germ and peanut butter. I also used a vitamix to blend it all together instead of unpacking the kitchen aid. I could taste the baking soda once it was baked but it still wasn't bad enough to keep me from eating a half dozen or so of these little gems. They taste like moist chocolate cake and for some reason I keep telling myself they are healthy so it's okay to have another. I'll definitely use this recipe again so I wanted to share! Enjoy.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

I Love Softball in Springtime

We've been lucky around here, Spring has been feeling like Summer and we are soaking it all in. Chris is playing in a softball league and I am his number one cheerleader.

A friend was nice to share the pictures above, I caught the ones below.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sleep Habits of a Rock-star... Student

I've always had insomniac/narcoleptic tendencies, you would think they would cancel each other out and I would just be "normal". For the last few years I've been feeling more comfortable with my normal. I would try not to feel guilty for getting 9 hours of sleep while others were getting an interrupted 6 hours because they were up with babies. I figured my turn would come and I'd enjoy sleeping in while I could. I guess my turn has arrive but with studying instead.
    For the last 2-3 weeks I've been complaining to Chris that going to bed at 2 am and averaging 5-6 hours a night is getting old. I hate feeling like I'm turning in homework that is just good enough because there just isn't more time. But lately I've been feeling very short on time and not very balanced. I kept hearing myself say things like, "Maybe I'll shave next week." or "I think I'll have an hour to buy groceries in two days." On Friday I had big plans to really dress up and put on eyeliner, but once I was getting ready I was saying, "No time. No time." and didn't even put on eyeshadow. And curl my hair? I can't remember the last time I even considered it. On Thursday, after an hour nap which brought my sleep for the day up to 5 hours, I was scaring myself because I has having an extra hard time separating dreams from real life. "Did I cancel that hair appointment for real or only while sleeping?" I don't like feeling this rushed and unbalanced.
    Yesterday I started feeling sick but still didn't go to bed until 11:30 pm. I  hoped I would sleep in then assumed I would stay up late to work on homework. When I woke up at 5:30 this morning with Chris as he left to go play golf with Kener and I felt pretty miserable. I would have liked to go to bed and sleep it off but it just wasn't happening. I got up to work on a few papers I have due this week but that just wasn't happening either. Luckily I had a novel I needed to finish for my Aging Families class and I stayed in bed reading for a few hours. Once Chris got back this afternoon we went out and ran a few errands. By 6:30 pm I stayed in the car for the last stops and started to fall asleep. I thought now was my chance to go to sleep early, get 12 hours of healing sleep and wake up early to have a productive day. Not the case, I woke up at 10:45 pm to pee and there was no way I was falling back to sleep. I guess it's a good thing, this is prime study time, no distractions.
    It's becoming more common for me to only want/need 6 hours of sleep. This is coming from the girl that is typically a zombie if I get less than 10 hours. In some ways getting minimal sleep is getting old but I'll confess I'm also kind of happy. I’ve been told more than once that I couldn’t be a successful student because I sleep so much. That I wouldn’t be a good mom because I sleep too much. Essentially, that I won’t get far in life because I’m sleeping through it. Well, I could never control how tired I was before but hopefully this will be a good, productive change for me. I’m so grateful I’m in school right now because I feel I am expanding my horizons and learning so much. I just didn’t think that would include life skills of how to power through exhaustion.
    Alright, now that I’m all warmed up, time to write a few papers. This is really a lot of self talk of an exhausted student but why not post it to the World Wide Web.

The music video's weird but this has been my theme song lately. "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked."

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Stark has not been feeling himself since being put under for his teeth cleaning. Last night Stark hung out with Chris while he was working on the truck when they got home Stark seemed almost dazed and I sat down next to him. 

 He just laid there staring at nothing. Poor puppy. 
 It didn't take too long for him to doze off and before long he was sleeping hard. 

Just look at those pearly whites. This was good motivation to start brushing his teeth more regularly. He's gonna love that. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Honey Nut Granola

For the last four months I have been eating a heavily plant based diet. Yes, I sneak in dairy here and there but mostly because it has been a learning process. I love how I have felt eating a cleaner diet and I want to continue to improve my diet. But as everyone importantly adds after a statement about eating healthy is that food has to taste good too. I've found that the more simple I keep the food the better it is. I can let the quality whole foods shine and I don't have to hide anything in syrup or a thick cheese sauce. I recently found a new blog that I've been learning a lot from: This recipe is listed as Honey Nut Granola but I wanted to note the changes I made because I plan on making this at least a million more times. 
 Yum. Every week I splurge on a delicious granola that I find in the bulk area of Win-Co. It's $4 a pound and typically the most expensive item I buy every week. I noticed that the ingredients listed were oats, cashews, dried cranberries, and honey. Which is why I was buying it in the first place but I felt silly spending so much for something that seemed pretty doable and cheap to make. Enter the honey nut granola recipe. (These are her instructions, I added my notes.) Here's the link to the original recipe.

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 cup sliced or chopped almonds
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut - I think coconut is poison so I used about 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds and 1/4 cup chia seeds instead. 
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup dried fruit (I like raisins, dried cranberries, and/or diced apricots) - I had just over one cup of dried cranberries. This made the perfect blend of oat to nut to fruit ratio. 
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a lightly greased sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.
  3. While the mixture is still warm, stir in the honey, vanilla and salt until the mixture is well coated, then the dried fruit. Pour the mixture back onto your sheet pan and return to the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for 1 to 2 hours before breaking up into pieces. Store in an airtight container. This can be stored at room temperature for a week or two; however, it will only stay really crisp for a day or two. Store it in the freeze to maintain crispness for longer.
My house smelled like heaven on earth when this was baking. I actually received a complement when I went back to work that I smelled good. So it doubles as a home freshener and perfume, oh yeah, and you can eat it too. And it tastes like heaven in your mouth. I can't wait to make it again and try all sorts of mix ins. 

Morning Run

This morning I dropped Stark off at the vet to get his teeth cleaned. Considering that it's difficult to tell a dog to open his mouth and keep his tongue out of the way while they are cleaning they sedated him and it was a whole day event for him. After dropping him off I found myself feeling melancholy and missing my buddy. I drove to a park that I knew had a safe running trail along the creek that I would enjoy. Near the parking lot there is a community garden and the local geese were munching away at the corn cobs that were left there. It helped brighten my day and got it off to a good start.   

There's something about all of this that just makes me happy.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Ragnar Relay

I ran in the Ragnar Relay race this July with family. We had a great time and I'm ready to do it again.  We ran in honor of our family friend's one year old son who was recently diagnosed with cancer. 
I ran in van 2 with Mom, Nate, Jeffrey, Aleasha, and Janae. 

I did the double R and yeah, it's crooked. 

Janae made sure the van was well decorated.

 The numbers below our names are the miles we ran in each leg. We crossed them off as we finished them, oh goodie I love checklists.

Unfortunately it was raining and our paint was not rain proof. Until two days before the race the forecast was hot and sunny. I was really starting to worry about overheating while running. Thankfully Janae warned me of the weather update before I packed my bag. 
 Yes, I had the best hair there thanks to Janae. This lasted through two runs! Thanks Janae!
 Jeffrey's warm ups would have warn me out. He always ended up doing something that made me giggle so I had to try to catch a little. A half second later we saw Nate coming around the corner and Jeffrey was off.
All of my videos are sideways, apparently I didn't figure that out after recording Mom's sideways finish at her half marathon. So if the video works, just tilt the screen.
 They look way too cute to have been running all day and all night. Love these girls.
 The exchanges were always bustling with excitement. It was fun to see a variety of decorated vans and runners.

This was our view of our competition while we were waiting for one of the runners to go by.