Thursday, February 07, 2008

keeping busy

Last night, after we came home from the dentist #1 busied herself with Barbies. That left me to deal with #2 who was in no mood to play dolls. So we put together 3 jumbo puzzles, played catch with the nerf ball and a baseball glove, laced 10 under the sea lacing cards, played princess memory, played hot wheels and colored 2 robot pictures; all before 7:30 church while I was making supper and juggling a 3 month old.

This morning I had to plan something that would occupy him for longer than 2 minutes. So I got out the art stuff to make valentines.

First let me say that I believe Valentines Day is just a marketing gimmic to get mom's to buy tons more candy for kids and another chance for us to give in to commercialism by buying princess cards for the girls and superhero cards for the boys. In my almost years of dating plus marriage to the same man; perhaps 3 or 4 of those I have recieved a gift of (what else) chocolate or flowers. He's no romantic, but I knew that coming into this relationship (if you can decide that when you are a seventh grader). Besides it being generally a holiday geared toward adults and perhaps classroom parties it really has no meaning whatsoever to me.

That said I am frugal and when I garage sale or thrift shop I pick up leftover cards, art supplies and what nots for 10 cents here and there and put them in my art tub. Then when we need a project I get out the art tub and we go to town. This year I had 3 or 4 superman valentines that we cut and pasted on a empty coffee can for my son's mailbox to take to preschool. I then cut enough cards out of construction paper for all his friend and let him go to town. It kept him occupied for several hours this morning. All I had to do was make a list of his classmates names for him to copy. Now, being the perfectionist I am, I was tempted to make him keep his work area clean and have him put matching things on the cards; so I had to busy myself so as not to ruin his creative experience.

A fellow blogger posted a yummy oatmeal twist recipe and I wanted to try it out. As I was preparing the ingredients I saw two overripe bananas on the counter that needed to be dealt with and I had a handful of mini chocolate chips that needed to be included as well. I also wanted to use my new silicone bread pan I picked up while thrifting last weekend (seventy-five cents at the salvation army). So here is the recipe I came up with.

Banana Chocolate-Chip Oatmeal Bread
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 whole wheat flour (you can use all white, but I like to try and be healthy:)
1 cup rolled oats
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
Mix these dry ingredients together and set aside. In a larger bowl cream
1 stick softened butter
gradually add
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 2-3 whole)
1/4 cup buttermilk (meaure 1/4 milk remove 1tsp and add vinegar to make buttermilk)
On the slowest speed with mixer or by hand gradually add the flour mixture until batter is even with no lumps. You may add nuts if you like or chocolate chips in my case. Pour batter into loaf pan Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. YUMMO!

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