He Made Me a Mom – Recipe: Banana Muffins

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I am in a reflective state of my mind about my oldest little this week because he is celebrating a big birthday on Sunday.  He will be 9.  That means that there are only 9 more years until he will be 18 and can leave home…if I let him.  Really, I am strongly considering just not letting him.

As I have been thinking about all of the things that I love about him, there are a few that really stand out to me.

1.  I love that he is an amazing big brother.  He loves his brother and sister with all his heart.

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2.  He is compassionate, so very compassionate.  Last year his letter to Santa said that he wanted him to take care of all of the homeless people.  When I called his teacher, in tears, she said, “Natalie, Gabriel is a special kid.  Please know that he is unique. ”  Yes, yes he is.

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3.  His love of books amazes me and makes me smile.  He can sit and read for hours…and then come and tell us every little detail of what has happened.  He lives and breathes books, and, like me, is almost sad when they are over.

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4.  When he cannot fall asleep, he will come in and ask if he can get into bed with us for just a few minutes. That few minutes often turns into an hour, especially if American Idol happens to be on.

5.  He asked for sushi for his birthday dinner.

6.  He says cute things like, “Chocolate and peanut butter are my favorite food combination. That is probably why I like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups so much.” A boy after my own heart.

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7.  He chose a trip to Sea World with his family over having a friend party.  Friend parties are great, but the fact that he wanted to spend time with us means so much to me.  I hope that we are raising children who always want to hang out with us.

Photobucket8.  He loves pizza and movie night.  I am so glad that we started that tradition when he was just 2 years old.  Seven years later, and it is something that he still looks forward to at the end of the week.

9.  He made me a mom.

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10.  He has a way of tying food to memories.  After Summer was born, my mom made some banana muffins.  He loved them and still talks about those muffins that Nonna made when Summer was born.  Since it is his birthday week, I decided to make some for him on Monday for an after-school snack.  I do not think that this is the exact recipe that Nonna used because, for some reason, I do not have a copy of it.  So, I improvised.  And, it worked.  The smile that he gave me was priceless…oh, yes, I love his smile, too.

Banana Muffins

Banana Muffins

Ingredients

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 ripe bananas

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Place cupcake liners in muffin tins.
  3. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside
  4. Cream together butter and sugar in a mixer.
  5. Add the bananas, vanilla, yogurt, and eggs, and mix until combined.
  6. Slowly add the flour mixture, until incorporated into the wet ingredients.
  7. Add a scoop of the batter to each of the cupcake liners.
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
http://cookingformykids.com/2012/03/01/he-made-me-a-mom-recipe-banana-muffins/

Enjoy!

I shared this recipe at Mrs. Fox’s Sweets, Delightful Order, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, Something Swanky and Lady Behind the Curtain.

The Heart of a Momma – Recipe: Hot Chocolate Muffins

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Summer and I had a mall date today.  She has been asking for one for about three weeks.  Last night as I was making my to-do list, I decided that it would be a perfect day for a mall lunch with my little girl.

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We had a great day, and I enjoyed spending time with Summer. But, I also missed the boys.  Since they were sick last week, we had a four day weekend together, and it was nice.  Needless to say, I was very excited to see their smiling faces after school today.

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I have a friend who understands me, who empathizes with me when I miss my littles so much.  Not only is she a sweet friend and an amazing mom, but she also has a fantastic blog.  If you have not visited Dine & Dish, you really should.  I have known Kristen for almost five years, and I can tell you that she is as sincere and genuine in real life as she is on her blog.  Read just one post, and you will find yourself looking as forward to the next one as I always do.

When I saw these Cafe Escape Dark Hot Chocolate Muffins over on Kristen’s blog, I knew that they would be making an appearance on our breakfast table very soon. And, I am so happy that they did.  I very slightly adapted them based on what I had in my pantry and refrigerator.  This was a perfect muffin to enjoy on a lazy Saturday morning while we drank coffee and tea, soaking in the weekend moments when we are all together all day as a little family of five.

Hot Chocolate Muffins

Hot Chocolate Muffins

Ingredients

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup baking cocoa

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup Philadelphia cooking cream cheese

1 cup hot chocolate, brewed

1/2 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Strawberries, diced, optional

Chocolate chips, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Prepare 12 cup muffin pans by lining with cupcake liners.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sour cream, cream cheese, brewed hot chocolate, oil and vanilla.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda.
  5. Continue beating the wet ingredients while slowing adding the dry ingredients Mix until well blended.
  6. Spoon muffin batter into prepared muffin cups.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  8. Cool for 5 minutes before removing.
http://cookingformykids.com/2012/02/21/the-heart-of-a-momma-recipe-hot-chocolate-muffins/

I loved these muffins so much that I made them on a Saturday, reserved some of the batter for Sunday, and had them again with the addition of some strawberries and milk chocolate chips.

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Enjoy!

I shared this recipe at Crazy for Crust, Nap Time Creations, Chef in Training, 33 Shades of Green, Permanent Posies, Blessed with Grace and Mandy’s Recipe Box.

Valentine’s Day Food

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Since I am spending some extra time with my littles this week, I wanted to do a short but sweet little post today.  It is all about Valentine’s Day.  If you have not been celebrating all month, you should definitely at least start on Saturday and celebrate right up until Tuesday.  Here are some ideas to get you started.

Strawberry Cream Cheese French Toast

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Perfect for a special weekend or Valentine’s Day breakfast in bed.

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Strawberry Nutella Muffins

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These muffins are perfect for an easier breakfast or a fun snack.

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Steel Cut Oats with Blackberry Sauce

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While the blackberry sauce does have some sugar and the whipped cream kind of puts it over the top, at least you have the health benefit of the steel cut oats to start your day off right.

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Cookies ‘N Stuff Chex Mix

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Just enough sweet to make it a special love day after-school snack.

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White Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake

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It does take a little more work than some desserts, but it is so worth it.

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Chocolate Cookies

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You can make these plain or dress them up with some frosting and sprinkles.

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Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

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Red M&M’s make these cookies a fun, special treat.

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Chocolate Stuffed Cookies

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These cookies are big and rich, but everyone deserves a special treat on Valentine’s Day.

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups

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Out of all of the cookies that I make, I must admit that these are my favorite ones right now.  They are best fresh out of the oven, so I recommend baking them while you have your special Valentine’s Day lunch…and then having cheesecake for dinner.

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Yes, Valentine’s Day is a two-dessert kind of day.

 I shared this post at Domesblissity, Made Famous By, Lil’ Luna, Mrs. Fox’s Sweets, The King’s Court, Polkadots on Parade, Bizzy Bakes, This Chick Cooks, Crazy for Crust and Lady Behind the Curtain.