Banana Rhubarb Bread


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I was at my mom and dad’s house the other day for dinner. (They must have read my blog from my previous post about how I missed eating dinner with them. Thanks Mom!) My mom had made delicious lasagna and rhubarb crumble for dessert. As I was leaving with a full belly in tote my mom and dad asked if I wanted rhubarb. Well I have never cooked with rhubarb before. So the challenge was set. I immediately went to Banana Rhubarb Bread mostly because I had a lot of ripe bananas left at home. Well of course I took some and here are the results of my first attempt at using Rhubarb.  Now if I make this again I will add more rhubarb maybe 3 or 4 stalks instead of 2 ½ stalks. Although this is very tasty like it is I would have liked to taste more rhubarb.

I hope you try this bread it is very moist and it melts in your mouth. Enjoy!

Banana Rhubarb Bread

6 Ripe Bananas

2 ½ stalks of Rhubarb

2/3 Cups of butter melted

1 ½ cups of sugar

¼ cup of water

2 eggs

2 teaspoons of vanilla

2 teaspoons of baking soda

Pinch of salt

3 cups of flour

 

            Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dice the rhubarb into small pieces. In a small sauce pan add water and a ½ cup of sugar then the diced rhubarb. Cook on low to medium heat until the rhubarb is soft. In the meantime take the 6 bananas mash them with a fork or a potato masher and add the melted butter. Then when the rhubarb is soft and has cool slightly add that to the bananas.

            Mix in the sugar, eggs and vanilla into the banana mixture. Sprinkle the salt and baking soda over the mixture and then add one cup of flour at a time until all the flour is added.  Pour mixture into 2 buttered loaf pans. Bake for one hour and then cool on rack. Then all there is left to do is grab your knife and slice and butter it up. 

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Hot Pretzels


Jon and I are going to be spending Memorial Day weekend at his family cottage with some great friends. Plus Jon’s Birthday is in a few days and one of his favorite snack foods is Hot Pretzels. So tonight I made a double batch so we can snack this week plus have some for the weekend. I am telling once you try this recipe you will be making these often. I first tried the Hot Pretzels when Jon and I went on a road trip with friends to the Novi Snow Show a few years ago. Our friends had a bag of them in the car and I think they were gone before we even knew it. So good! So thank you Tony and Tina for such a great recipe.

Hot Pretzels

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 Preheat oven to 210 degrees. Whisk the last three ingredients together in a large bowl. When whisked thoroughly add pretzels and toss until fully coated. Put the pretzels in a roaster or cookie sheet stir one more time. Put in oven and set timer for 15 minutes. After the first 15 minutes take out and stir and then return to oven for another 15 minutes. Do this about 3 to 4 times or until the oil mixture is soaked in. 

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I really enjoy the Hot Pretzels right out of the oven but they are very good cold too. I hope you try this recipe I know you will love it. Let me know what you think.

Bad Week


I had a bad week last week. I won’t go into detail but my patience with people was very thin and it was hard to stay to true to myself and be the Christian I want to be.  I was placed in a situation at work that required a lot of patience. Let’s just say I am not sure I handled it the way God wanted me to. But after the situation which seemed to drag on for days I read a Joyce Meyer devotional that seem to hit me right between the eyes. I just wish I would of read this before I had the situation at hand. Here is her devotional that I read.

“Walk with Boldness

Some people exude boldness, while others struggle with living boldly as a loved child of God. I had that problem until God showed me some important keys that helped me live boldly, and I want to share them with you.

1. Refuse to live in fear. Fear is an epidemic in our society. The Bible instructs us in Hebrews 10:38 to live by faith and not draw back in fear.

2. Put setbacks behind you. You are not a failure because you try new things and they don’t work out. You fail only when you stop trying. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and if you do, recover quickly and press on.

3. Don’t draw comparisons. Boldness will be impossible as long as you compare yourself to others. Boldness comes from accepting who you are and being the best you can be.

4. Be willing to take action. Search your heart and ask yourself what you believe God wants you to do, and then do it.

Pray over these four keys, and ask the Holy Spirit to help you live them out. Hold up your head and be filled with boldness.”

Joyce Meyer Devotional

I come to realize that everyday God puts us in situations where we can show his true love. I am taking last week as a learning lesson.  I am ready for the week ahead, ready to face my giants and hold my head up and be filled with boldness. I am prepared for the week ahead.

I had a very productive weekend which helped me work out some of the problems rolling around in my head.  My garden and flower pots are now planted. I planted my green peppers, Jalepeno peppers, Basil and Thai Basil, Dill, Sage and Rosemary. I also planted two cherry tomato plants in pots. Now it is time to sit and wait for the produce. I truly believe gardening is good for the spirit and the soul.  Here are some pictures of what my mental healing produced this weekend.

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Coconut Lime Cookies


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First I want to apologize for the state of my pictures. My lighting in my kitchen was horrible today. I had two under the counter lights go out and no replacement bulbs. Figures.

But my husband has been working so hard lately. He is a boat mechanic and being that it is almost summer; his shop is crazy busy trying to get everyone’s boat ready for summer including ours. So he is working longer hours plus our house is a work in progress so he is also working on house projects as well. There is one thing that I know of that will put a smile on his face, Coconut Lime Cookies of course. These cookies would put a smile on anyone’s face.  The cookie is soft in the middle and crunchy on the outside. They just melt in your mouth.

I am not sure where I stumbled across this recipe, but to whoever invented this cookie I give you kudos. I have been on a lime kick for a while now and these cookies hit the spot for my lime craving. This is the recipe I swear by.

Coconut Lime Cookies

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar plus ½ cup for rolling cookies
  • 1 ounces cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces
  • Zest from 2 Limes
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and hot
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 tablespoon lime juice

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper so the cookies do not stick. Whisk flour, Coconut, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Place 1 1/2 cups of sugar, cream cheese in blend unto smooth in large bowl and then add lime zest. Pour butter over mixture and whisk until combined. Make sure your butter is melted and hot still. Whisk in oil until well incorporated. Add egg, milk, and lime juice, continue to whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture with a rubber spatula until soft dough forms.

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Create cookies into a ball then roll in the ½ cup of sugar.

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Flatten the ball with your fingers or the bottom of a glass. Then sprinkle with more sugar.

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Bake one tray at a time until edges are set and just beginning to brown. 11-13 minutes. Let cookies cool for 5 minutes and transfer to wire rack or aluminum foil sheet laid out on counter.

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I hope that you try this recipe and let me know if they put a smile on your face!

 

 

What I Learned From My Mother.


 

                My mother had seven children, which alone speaks volumes. As a mother of two I respect her so much.  How she had the patience for seven children I have no idea.  Even to this day she is fair and loving not to just her children but to her grandchildren and great grandchildren.  She always has a smile on her face and something wonderful to say to you.  She is the glue that holds us together.

Here is a picture of the two of us on Mother’s day.

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Last year at my son’s wedding we thought we almost lost her.  My sister had fallen in the parking lot and was taken to the hospital. My mom after pictures were taken at the church and in between the wedding and reception went to the hospital to see her and passed out and hit her head on the counter.  Meanwhile we are at the reception and had no clue what had happened.  We had to keep going with the wedding but we were all worried about her.  The next day we went to see her in the hospital and were told that for a brief moment everyone thought she was gone. But thank you God for allowing us to have our mother for another day.

MoM and Dad at Andrew's Wedding

I am sure that I have tried her patience many times over the years.  One thing I know about being a mom is that no matter what your kids do or say to you will never change how you feel about them.  We mothers can withstand the times when our children hate to have us around, hate what we are wearing, hate our rules and blame us for everything.  What makes it all worth it are the times when we see our children happy and successful.  The love of a mother is so powerful even our children won’t realize it until they themselves become parents.

So here is what I learned from my mother.

  1. Love unconditionally
  2. Always be fair
  3. This too shall pass.
  4. How to be frugal and still have fun.
  5. Always say I love you.
  6. How to cook
  7. Never change who you are.
  8. Learning never stops
  9. Be there for everything you can
  10. At the last thing on my list is….forgiveness.

Here is my mother with my son Andrew at Ferris State University for his graduation.

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My mother with my daughter Ashley at her graduation from Michigan State University.

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The love of a mother. Happy Mothers’ Day Mom! I love you.

Bacon and Broccoli Pasta


Thought I would share one of my go to recipes when I need to cook in a hurry. It might not be the healthiest but it sure is yummy.  My mom would make it with mozzarella cheese but I like it with Monterey Jack cheese. It  melts and sticks to the pasta more than mozzarella cheese. Just reminds me sitting at my mom and dad’s house having dinner. Comfort food all around. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.

Bacon and Broccoli Pasta

2 heads of broccoli

1 pound of bacon

6 to 7 ounces Penne pasta cooked and drained

2 garlic cloves

8 ounces of Monterey Jack Cheese

First cook your pasta according to the package. Cut your bacon in bite size pieces and then cooked until crispy.

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While the bacon is cooking cut the broccoli into bite size pieces. I only use the tops of the broccoli but you can use the whole stem too.  Shred the Monterey Jack cheese with a grater.  When the bacon is just about done drain some of the bacon grease then add the broccoli and sauté until tender.

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Minced the garlic and add that to the bacon and broccoli.  When the broccoli is tender add the pasta.

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Stir into the broccoli and bacon then top with half the cheese and stir.

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Once that cheese is melted add the other half and cheese until melted. Then you are ready to serve.

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It is truly one of my guilty pleasures.  Hope it becomes one of your favorites too.

Relay for Life


Last year in June I did my first Relay for Life.  I am forever changed by that walk. I walk for my sister Lillian who has been fighting cancer for almost 15 years. She is such an inspiration for me and my whole family.

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This is a 24 hour walk. The kick off lap to me is the most important. This lap is for all the survivors and the caregivers.  At the end of this lap I was in tears.  I had tears from watching so many people affected by Cancer.  I had tears for all the people who are survivors and are still fighting for one more birthday. When dusk comes the luminary ceremony begins. They light candles during the service and then they scroll through the list of survivors and the ones that have lost the battle to cancer. This is the most emotional part of Relay for Life. Last year our team had Chinese Lanterns which we sent off to the sky. Many other teams had them too and the skies were filled with lanterns. How amazing and beautiful. I wish I could explain what it means to be a part of something so special.  It moves me to tears when I think about what my sister has been through and is still going through.  Last year my good friends April and Tracy came from Detroit to walk with me for an couple hours and it touched me so much that they would take time out of their weekend to walk with me.

Here is a picture of April and Tracy with my parents and me.

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So this weekend was April and Tracy’s Relay for Life walk.  Jon and I decided we would surprise them and show up to walk with them. April and Tracy lost their mother to Cancer a few years ago. Their team won Best Team Spirit award this weekend.  How great is that. Here is a picture of April and myself on the crazy hat lap.

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Here is one with the three of us this weekend.

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For those of you who are not sure what Relay for Life is this is a link from Relay for Life page that explains what it is.

http://www.relayforlife.org/learn/whatisrelay/index

I encourage you to at least go and visit a Relay for Life walk. There is so much to do. Each team has a booth that sells crafts, food or has games that you can play for prizes. The money that you spend at a Relay for Life helps that Team hit their goal. Ultimately that money goes to help find a cure for Cancer and that is the goal.