Thursday, January 29, 2009

Banana Cake with Maple Cinnamon Glaze!

2cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup melted butter
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (very very ripe) *see note
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup maple syrup

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In separate bowl, blend milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla until smooth; stir in bananas.
2. Add to dry ingredients and stir until just moistened.
3. Pour into one 9-inch cake pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
4. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

To make glaze: Combine maple syrup and cinnamon. Using fork, prick holes in the top of cake. Drizzle glaze evenly over warm cake. Let cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove
from pan and let cool completely on cake rack. Store cooled cake tightly wrapped or freeze leftover cake.

*If you don't have ripe bananas, peal the unripe ones and wrap in foil and bake in the oven on 350 for about 10-15 minutes

Braised Short Ribs

So this is my first time making short ribs and they came out awesome! I really wanted to do them in the crock pot ($ saver) but couldn't find a recipe I liked that way so I incorporated a few different ones and made it my own!

6 pieces of shot rib
3 carrots chopped up
3 celery ribs chopped up
1 onion chopped up
4 cloves of garlic chopped up
2 cups of cabernet reduced in a pan
2 can of beef broth
1 can of diced tomatoes
sea salt
garlic power

First, I seasoned the meat with the sea salt, pepper and garlic powder. Next I browned the meat in a pan in some olive oil then put it into the crock pot. In the leftover oil that I browned the meat in I added the carrots, celery and onion and cooked for about 8 minutes then added the garlic and cooked about 2 more minutes. Then I added that, the broth, the diced tomatoes and the wine to the pot and set it on low for 6 hours. Once finished I put the pot in the freezer for about 45 minutes to separate the fat and remove it off the top then I cooked it on the stove top to heat it back up.

Can you say SUPER DUPER DELISH! These came SOOO GOOD - Cocco Bello Restaurant Good - Alex LOVED them and couldn't stop raving about them! Lucky for him I put some aside so he could take it for lunch today! Oh how I love filling his belly with yummy food!!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Thankful For...

Today I am thankful for...

A toddler who is happy, healthy and SO much fun to be around!

The moms with toddlers who understand just what I am going though - the fun, the good, the bad and the ugly AND the moms with older kids who can give me the warnings and wisdom of what to expect!!


My iPod on shuffle.

AJ's nap time so I can do sit ups and weights.

Finally having time to make a hair appointment for Friday!

My Swiffer Wet Jet.

The possibility of more snow, but also for knowing I am going to St. Croix in 2 weeks!

Taking tons and tons of pictures of EVERYTHING!

A really good dog!

Email and keeping in touch.

People who come into your life for a reason or a season and those that you know will be there for life!

The most incredible yet dysfunctional family that I wouldn't trade for the world (well most of them)!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inauguration 2009 - History Was Made!

Yesterday I was prouder then ever to be an American, I had to hold back some tears as the 44th President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama II, was sworn into office. Regardless of my political views, yesterday was pretty awesome. I loved that the rest of the world was watching as a peaceful change in power was made. I loved they they got to see two men and two women, with very different views, exchange hugs, hand shakes and best wishes. We have proven time and time again that democracy works.

So where were we when history was made? AJ and I watched from the comfort of my moms living room along with her, my Aunt Judy, cousin Johnny, and cousins Christopher & Donnie!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Diamond Gymnastics!

We started AJ's Gym class last week and it looks like it's going to be a super fun class! It is this huge open gym with all kinds of fun stuff - there are huge trampolines, a huge foam block pit with a swing over it, bars, beams, all kinds of things to climb one, climb over and crawl through! So happy we have something to help keep us busy through the cold winter!

Little Picasso!

AJ got a art desk/little work station complete with a little stool from Aunt Judy for Christmas and she LOVES it! She loves coloring, using finger paint, painting with pasta and gluing shapes I cut out for her on to the paper. She is so cute and sits very proud on her little stool! The other great part about this desk is it also has a dry erase/magnetic side she loves playing with. She loves playing with all the magnets on it!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Thanks for the idea Jacky - I had to make this the next day for Alex and I it was SO YUMMY!

1 chicken breast (on the bone)
1 container whipped creme cheese
1 cup franks wing sauce
1 bag (2 cups) cheddar cheese
Big Bag of Nachos

I boiled the chicken breast in chicken broth till tender and then shredded it. While waiting for the chicken to be done you spread the bottom of a casserole dish (I used a 8x8) with the creme cheese. Next, you add the chicken to the buffalo wing sauce and spread that over the creme cheese. Top with shredded cheddar and pop in the oven for about a half hour (till bubbly!) and ENJOY with a bag of chips! All the goodness of buffalo wings without the mess!!

Happy 2009!

As it's been the last few years, this NYE was pretty low key for us - we can't party like we used to and you can't get too crazy with a 18 month old who has a pretty tight bed time schedule! Alex and I barely made it up till 12AM and were in bed by 11:30! At the stroke of midnight we kissed and fell fast asleep! New Years Day we spend at my Aunt Margie's house - my whole family was there and there was tons of yummy food! I even got a good recipe from my cousin Jacky that I will post about next! Anyway, AJ was quite the entertainer, dancing, clapping, jumping, spinning, screaming and running for everyone out on the breezeway and a fun day was had by all!