Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Kind of looks like leopard print bread doesn’t it?? And it was soooo good!

Only one Christmas tree left to decorate and I’m done!!! All the villages are finally complete. Now it only takes me about 15 minutes to turn all the decorations on every day! :/ I really need to figure out how to program all of that into the ipad.

The “New York” village….

The “old village”…

The Rudolph village…

1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
1 1/2 cups Flour
1 cup Sugar
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
2 large Eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup Banana, mashed
1 cup Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup Walnuts, chopped

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F .

Spray an 8 1/2-inch x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan with baking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir in the oil, bananas and eggs. Fold in the chocolate chips and pour into pan. Bake for about 60-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan.

Adapted from Rachael Ray

Servings: 12

Calories 292
Total Fat 12.8g
Carbohydrates 40.4g
Dietary Fiber 1.6g
Protein 5.1g
Nutrition Grade C+

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Victorinox Swiss Army Classis SD Animal Prints Multi Tool

Elf Shenanigans

Our Elves on the Shelf finally came back last week. They have been busy so I thought I would share. We got Early Merly when the girls were 3. Last year he brought his girlfriend with him. They named her Crystal. They are busy little elves and so are the girls. Every night they exchange notes. The girls have made them so many clothes, they now have to travel with a little suitcase. And now that Taylor has a sewing machine, they may need a real suitcase. Last night they added a jacket and a cape to their wardrobe.

In the last week the elves made them peppermint marshmallows (pic above), they made a Christmas tree out of the dogs bones…

They raided their underwear drawer and threw them on the Christmas tree…(Taylor wasn’t a fan of this one – she wanted them down immediately before someone saw, because soooo many people walk through our living room on a Wednesday morning)

They threw laundry all over the kitchen…

Here are a couple of my favorites from last year…They decorated their bedroom…

and they made snow angels in sugar on the kitchen counter…

The girls put a lot of time and thought into their letters. Here is one that they left for the elves last year…

It’s one of their favorite parts of Christmas time (and usually they write notes begging them to stay longer – one year they stayed through Easter)

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Animal Print Santa Hat

Apple Wraps

Yesterday was my mom’s birthday. I really wanted to try to make her favorite cake from scratch but Megan told me it wouldn’t be a good idea to experiment on Gram’s birthday. So instead we had my favorite pot roast and a Nothing Bundt Cake which was really, really good. I guess I’ll have to experiment on a normal day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They didn’t even plan this…

But earlier in the week I used up the last of the Costco apples… These were really good and quick and easy to make.

1 can Crescents
1 Apple, peeled and cut into 8 slices
2 tsp Cinnamon
2 Tbs Butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Separate crescents into triangles. Mix butter and cinnamon in a small bowl. Using a rubber brush, lightly brush the butter mixture onto each triangle. Place one apple slice on each one. Roll up and brush tops with butter mixture. Bake for 13-15 minutes.

Servings: 8

Recipe makes 8 servings
Calories 184
Total Fat 4.91g
Total Carbs 31.5g
Dietary Fiber 1.6g
Protein 4.1g

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Leopard Door Mat

Cranberry Pecan Salad

One of my favorite things about pulling out the Christmas decorations is seeing all of the old Santa pictures. They make me laugh and cry all at the same time. We’ve gone to the same place every year. Hindsight, I wish I would have gone somewhere that didn’t change their props every year but oh well….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 cups Spring Mix
1/4 cup Pecans
1 Tbs Cranberries
1/4 cup Feta Cheese, crumbled
2 Tbs Balsamic Vinegarette
2 oz Grilled Chicken, sliced

Toss all ingredients together in a large salad bowl.
Enough for 2 small salads or one large salad.

Servings: 1
Calories 378
Total Fat 32.63g
Carbs 8.44g
Dietary Fiber 2.1g
Protein 14.56g

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Bean Bag Chair

Tex-Mex Tacos

Christmas decorations are half way done! The leopard parts were first of course. The leopard tree…

The leopard stockings….

The Tacos…

1 Tbs Vegetable Oil
1 Onion, chopped
1 clove Garlic, minced
1 Tbs Chili Powder
1 Tbs Fresh Oregano, finely chopped
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1 cup Rice, uncooked
2-1/2 cups Tomato Juice
1 can Black Beans
1 cup Corn
1/2 cup Ketchup
2 Tbs Fresh Cilantro, chopped
2 Tbs Lime Juice
12 oz Chicken Breast, cooked
1/2 cup Colby Jack Cheese, shredded
12 Corn Tortillas

Heat vegetable oil in a deep skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, chili powder, oregano, salt, and pepper. Cook for 4 minutes.
Stir in the rice and tomato juice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover tightly. Cook for 20 minutes or until rice is cooked.
Fluff rice with a fork and increase heat to medium.
Stir in beans, corn, and Ketchup. Cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.
Stir in fresh herb and lime juice.

Recipe makes 12 tacos
Calories 299
Total Fat 6.0g
Carbs 46.83g
Dietary Fiber 7.1g
Protein 15.55g

Read more: http://cookeatshare.com/recipes/tex-mex-tacos-651219#ixzz2DIOL0kdH
Today’s Leopard Print Find: Calvin Klein Faux Fur Leopard Animal Print Wrap Belted Coat

Apple Crisp


The girls had a playdate with Taylor’s best friend, Emma. I promised her that I would share their fashion show on my blog. It was quite entertaining. They also did a video for each genre.

Elegant….

Party attire…

This was supposed to be disco but I told them that it was 2/3′s 80′s….

Casual….

Hippies…

Sporty…

Cheerleaders…

Afterwards their closets looked like 3 tornadoes had been through there, but they had fun.

6 cups Apples, sliced (about 6 medium)
1-1/4 cups Brown Sugar
3/4 cup Flour
3/4 cup Old Fashioned Oats
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, plus a little extra to coat the dish
1 tsp Nutmeg
1-1/4 tsp Cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Rub butter on the bottom and sides of a 9 x 11 baking dish.

Place the sliced apples in the bottom of the baking dish and spread out evenly.

Combine all the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl and mix until well blended. The mixture should be crumbly. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the apples.

Bake for 30 minutes or until apples are tender and the topping is golden brown.

Recipe makes 8 servings
Calories 382
Total Fat 13.34g
Total Carbs 64.34g
Dietary Fiber 4.1g
Protein 4.08g

Today’s Leopard Find: Gotta Flurt Womens Ivory Pink Black Leopard Tennis Shoe

Thanksgiving Thankful Tree

The girls and I made a Thankful Tree for our Thanksgiving centerpiece. All we had to do was hunt for a few branches and find some skinny ribbon. I used my Cricut Doodlecharms cartridge for the leaves. But if you don’t have a Cricut or that particular cartridge, you can use circles, squares, tags, etc…

Taylor only filled out one and it was for her pets.

Megan was thankful for many things, including food. She was also thankful for money. When I asked her whose money she said “yours, because it gives me food”. She also hums when she eats something she likes, so she really likes food. She was elated yesterday as I wheeled her around on the back of the buggy at Costco going from sample station to sample station.

I’m thankful for my wonderful husband who happens to be the best Daddy in the world, for Taylor who is such a sweet and compassionate soul, for Megan who keeps me entertained on a daily basis, and for my numerous family and friends. I hope y’all have a very Happy Thanksgiving!!

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Sterling Industries Leopard Jar

S’mores Bars

I accidentally unpublished this one as I was making these for about the 75th time. So here’s an all time favorite…

These are the girl’s all time favorite dessert. Even their 9 year old friend told me she needed the recipe. They are delicious and even better when they are warmed slightly in the microwave. They have been a huge hit at every function I’ve taken them to. Today I’m making 2 batches…one to take to the scrapbooking girls weekend and the other to leave behind so the family doesn’t forget about me while I’m gone. Hopefully they all make it with me on that hour and a half long trip.

This is what the sugar mixture looks like after blended.

This is what the dough looks like after adding the flour mixture.

And this is what my floor looks like after I cook. I would have taken a picture of that happened with the marshmallow fluff but my camera wouldn’t have survived that. Somehow the strap still ended up with fluff allover it.

Divide dough in half (I’m slightly obsessive so I had to weigh it to make it perfectly even but for you non OCD people I’m sure that isn’t necessary)

Press one half into bottom of baking dish (I really need a leopard baking dish….)

Lay chocolate on top of dough. Gosh it’s hard to not any of that chocolate before I put it in there…

Smooth marshmallow creme over chocolate.

Divide remaining dough into sections and flatten to lay on top of marshmallow creme.

Try to smooth out to cover as much of the marshmallow as possible.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, slightly melted
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/3 cups flour
3/4 cup finely processed graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 Giant size (4.4oz) Hershey’s milk chocolate bars
1-1/2 cups marshmallow creme

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, mix butter and sugars until combined.
Mix in egg and vanilla.
In a small bowl, mix together flour, graham crackers, baking powder and salt.
Slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix at a low speed just until combined.
Divide dough in half and press half of dough into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan.
Place chocolate bars over dough. (I have one pan that works perfectly the others I have break the chocolate some to get it to fit in a single layer).
Spread marshmallow creme over chocolate.
Place remaining dough in a single layer on top of the marshmallow. (doing a square at a time or flattening it with a rolling pin before placing it on top) Then press down to smooth.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Servings: 16
Calories: 262
Fat: 12
Fiber: 1

Adapted from myrecipes

Today’s Leopard Find: Gold Leopard Design – Hand Painted – Serving Bowl – 6 inch diameter

Beef Taco Soup

This was delicious and so easy to make. Much easier than the sea of Snoopy’s puzzle that the girls worked while at my mom’s house.

This is my favorite puzzle ever. The Dog of 1000 Faces. And oh I loved my Snoopy and Belle and all of their little clothes!!!! Does anyone else remember those?? I really wish I would have held on to those. They finished this in less than a day. Now if they could just finish the one in our game room that they started over 5 months ago…..

Ingredients:

1 lb Ground Beef
15 oz Can Corn
16 oz Can Pinto Beans, drained and rinsed
15 oz Can Green Beans, drained
15 oz Can Ranch Style Beans, undrained
10 oz Can Ro-tel
1-1/2 cups Chicken Broth
1 oz Ranch Dressing Mix
1 oz Taco Seasoning
2 cups Water

Brown ground beef over medium-high heat. Drain and put in large pot with remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

12 servings
Calories 235
Total Fat 8.88g
Total Carbs 26.33g
Dietary Fiber 7.3g
Protein 13.54g

Adapted from the Southern Living The Official SEC Tailgating Cookbook

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Transformable Leopard Animal Pillow 18″ by Fiesta

Italian Sausage and Pasta

I realized today that we are apparently way behind on the Christmas decorating. There is already an inflatable snowman at the end of the street. The girls are ready for their elves to come back too. They ask about them daily. So now my only issue…how in the heck am I going to get 2 trees and a million boxes down from the attic when I have a hubby that has thrown out his back??? I have a feeling that by the end of the day there will be 2 of us with bad backs.

Megan’s usual meal request…pasta, broccoli and chicken. I decided to switch it up and give her 2 out of 3. She’s learning to branch out a little.

16 oz Mini Farfelle Pasta
18 oz Italian Sausage Links, casings removed
12 oz Frozen Broccoli Florets
1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/8 tsp Pepper
1/8 tsp Garlic Salt
8 tsp Parmesan Cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions, adding the broccoli florets after the first 2 minutes.

While pasta is cooking, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Crumble the sausage and drop it into the skillet. Cook sausage until browned. Remove from heat and drain.

Add pasta and broccoli to the pot.

Mix 1/4 cup olive oil and garlic together in a small bowl. Salt and pepper to taste. Toss into pasta mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

8 servings
Calories 525
Total Fat 29.98g
Total Carbs 44.83g
Dietary Fiber 2.5g
Protein 18.07g

Today’s Leopard Print Find: 20″ Plush Wild Red Christmas Stocking with Leopard Print Trim