Real Food Banana Bread & McCall Trip

My original cookbook, Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. For the "cook of the 90's"
My original cookbook, Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. For the “cook of the 90’s”

Did you have a specific cookbook that you learned to cook from when you were younger? Maybe Betty Crocker or Joy Of Cooking? It was, after all, a time when there was no internet and the only way to cook was from a book or a recipe written on an index card. I used this book regularly to learn cooking skills and get basic recipes, especially the Banana Bread. I could whip a loaf up in no time, and it would be demolished in no time too. I prefered it still warm with a slab of melty butter or cooled with a slather of cream cheese. It was really good.

Recently I’ve been into Real Foods, which means making a lot of the basics, i.e. bread, crackers, soup stock, kombucha. It’s been a lot of fun to find new recipes and ideas from fellow bloggers on the internet. I’ve also gotten much more competent in the baking department.

Today I looked at my counter noticed 3 brown bananas just sitting there, much to my husbands chagrin no doubt. Having just done our budget, and trying my best to be frugal (hard) I decided I had to use those organic bananas one way or another. BING! Better Homes and Gardens to the rescue!

In looking over the recipes in my beloved cookbook, I noticed that while all the recipes are from scratch, they are pretty standard ingredients. If I’ve learned anything on my Real Food and weight loss journey, regular sugar and flour hold almost no nutritional value and aren’t metabolized in the body very well.

Since Porter was going to be eating this bread over the next week I wanted to adjust it to our Real Food needs. With the original recipe I would feel like I was serving him cake on a daily basis. No bueno in my book.

What I’ve done is taken the original recipe and made it with Real Food ingredients. I only had 2 bites, but it tasted wonderful. It had the right flavor and texture and was actually pretty good for you, if you don’t eat the whole thing in one sitting. Porter enjoyed his with a think slather of pastured butter, and ate every single bite.

REAL FOOD BANANA BREAD

8″x 8″ baking pan, or use this chart to convert to the baking pan of your choice

350* oven, farenheit

Ingredients, can all be found at your local natural foods store

1 3/4 cups sprouted organic spelt flour
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon pure baking soda
1/4 teaspoon real salt (I like Redmond’s Real Salt)
3 mashed bananas, as brown and gooey as you can get ’em
1/4 cup organic pastured butter
2 tablespoons pastured or raw milk
2 eggs, from pastured non GMO hens
1/4 cup nuts (optional)
coconut oil for oiling pan and measuring cup for honey, I prefer refined.

Preheat oven to 350* and make sure your ingredients are at room temperature.

Using the coconut oil, grease your baking pan and measuring cup for honey (this will facilitate easier pouring of honey).

In a smaller bowl mash bananas.

Add wet ingredients, including honey, to the bananas and mix.

In a larger bowl mix dry ingredients.

Add wet ingredients to dry  and mix until it looks like pancake batter. Mix in nuts.

Pour batter into baking pan.

Cook in 350* oven for 35-40 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. If you smell banana bread, go and check it.

Remove pan from oven and let cool on cooling rack ~20 minutes.

Turn loaf onto a cooling rack and try to resist it as long as possible. If you absolutely must cut into it before it’s totally cool, everyone will understand.

Bon appetite!

This post featured on: Tasty Traditions

***

Thanks to Luke’s co-worker we got to enjoy the long weekend in McCall, Idaho. It was a winter wonderland, complete with log cabins and sledding. Trips like this are wonderful and exciting and I can’t wait to do it again. Here’s the photo journey.

We stayed in the cabin on the left.
We stayed in the cabin on the left.
Moon with a view.
Moon with a view.
Pink snow.
Pink snow.
Cabin interior. Door on left, with bunk beds, gas stove in center with kitchen, on right of the divide a large jacuzzi tub and full bathroom, views out every window. Log cabins rule!
Cabin interior. Door on left, with bunk beds, gas stove in center with kitchen, on right of the divide a large jacuzzi tub and full bathroom, views out every window. Log cabins rule!

IMG_2930

"Burrito buddies"
“Burrito buddies”

 

Frozen fog makes delicate ice crystals on all the branches, turning trees white.
Frozen fog makes delicate ice crystals on all the branches, turning trees white.
Long Valley, before sunrise.
Long Valley, before sunrise.
We left before the sun came up over the mountains, stunning.
We left before the sun came up over the mountains, stunning.
Big red barns everywhere.
Big red barns everywhere.

IMG_2959

Tall As A Tree, Small As A Bug – Gymnastics!

We are in the throes of winter here in Boise. It hasn’t been above freezing for at least the last 2 weeks, and going outside to “play” is not as fun as it should be. Right now I’m thanking our lucky stars for Wings Gymnastics. Thanks to Porter’s Tutu we’ve been going to child/parent gymnastics for about 7 months. In that time I have learned more about my son’s behavior, physicality, and attitude. To watch how he is influenced by other children and how he confronts new tasks has been truly enlightening. According to the Wings website, gymnastics for little ones provides these tools:

  • Patience and Cooperation
  • Improved listening skills
  • Enhanced neural pathways
  • Improved balance, strength, and coordination
  • Learn valuable social skills
  • Gain self-esteem, confidence, and a “can-do” attitude

I’m pretty certain that at the ripe age of 2 Porter would be developing these skills on his own, but I’m also quite confident that they have been improved upon by his experiences in the gym. Miss. Brenda has been an invaluable teacher and Porter lives for her acknowledgment and praise.

This week we had some make up classes to do and got to go to gymnastics 3 times. AWESOME! Just this week Porter made huge strides. He started walking across the beam unassisted, gained confidence swinging from two uneven bars to one, and FINALLY attempted both forward and backward rolls.

Somersaults were the bain of his usually pleasant gym experiences. I don’t know what clicked, but today he got straight into rolling and ended with a triumphant “ta-daa!” We’ve been working on this since the beginning and I nearly cried when he completed the rolls with a smile. I’m so thankful for these experiences and that we get to enjoy them together.

"Watching eyes, listening ears, quiet mouths. Wiggle your fingers, clap clap clap, put them quietly in your lap." ~Miss.Brenda
“Watching eyes, listening ears, quiet mouths. Wiggle your fingers, clap clap clap, put them quietly in your lap.” ~Miss.Brenda
Climbing a rope ladder to slide down the other side.
Climbing a rope ladder to slide down the other side.

Bye bye song, "Bye bye gymnastics!"
Bye bye song, “Bye bye gymnastics!”

Practicing at home on the bed.

This post featured on: Thank Your Body

Play Dough Party! & Recipe

Last weekend we celebrated Porter’s second birthday with friends and play dough. It was a whole lot of fun and I’ve even got the DIY play dough recipe at the bottom of this post. Now get ready for the cuteness, cause it’s about to smack you in the face.

IMG_2860

IMG_2861

IMG_2864

IMG_2867

IMG_2868

IMG_2873

IMG_2876

The following video is everyone singing Happy Birthday to Porter. Keep in mind we did this on his actual birthday and he asked us to sing it multiple times and then blew the candles out 3 times. The “NO!” you hear is him fleeing into Aunt Anna’s arms. He then refused ice cream and cookies. Last year he refused the cake. Maybe next year? He did recover and had the party continued in merriment.

IMG_2880

IMG_2887

Aunt Bug racing a car through the Lucy/Porter tunnels.

IMG_2901

IMG_2903

IMG_2904

These people are the cream of the crop!
These people are the cream of the crop!

***

This is my recipe for DIY play dough. I use the cheap ingredients to save $$$ and considering it’ll be tossed in the trash, or composted outdoors maybe? I usually make it by hand, but I think it would work well in a stand up mixer with a dough hook. It has a perfectly soft texture and you can mix and match the colors. This recipe makes 4 snowball sized rounds. I divide and store them in plastic bags and use them over a week. It’s totally edible, but I wouldn’t eat it unless in was having a Bear Grills moment.

Ingredients

3 3/4 c. flour, reserve 1 3/4 cups on side
1/2 c. salt
1 Tbsp Alum or Cream of Tartar
2 c. hot water
3 Tbsp oil
food coloring

Mix 2 cups flour, salt and Alum in large bowl.

In separate bowl, mix hot water, oil and food coloring.

Pour wet into dry and mix with a spoon or hands until combined. It will be very sticky.

Add the reserved 1 3/4 cups flour and knead with your hands until smooth and play-able.

Divide and store in bags or plastic wrap and commence playing!

Porter Turns 2

Two years ago, at this very moment, we were a brand new family spending our first night at home. Porter had been born less than 24 hours previously and I’m pretty sure I was an elated wreck. My how far we’ve come!

In the very very beginning. We were very very tired.

SAMSUNG

***

A year later…

***

Today…

Tea party!
Tea party!

Tonight Aunt Anna came over and made Porter’s birthday cake, and while visiting she asked Porter the age-old birthday question, “Do you feel older and wiser?” I don’t know about Porter, but I’ve never felt as old and wise as I do today.

My parents asked me earlier in the day what I knew now that I didn’t two years ago. Of course the list is endless, but my response to them was, “I never knew I could be so tired.” The most unromantic response, ever. So I’ve been thinking about my good response to that question, and it sounds like this.

Until the past two years I never knew life could be so vivid. I feel the most unconditional love I’ve ever felt, since I was my own parents baby. The highs are higher and the lows are lower. Life has never been so very real, and there is no way in my past that I could have ever imagined the life I have now.

To really, intimately, watch a person become a person is the most profound human experience I’ve ever had. And to simultaneously be so proud of my child and so in awe of the pure power that he exudes, is breath-taking and inspiring. I’m still getting to know him more everyday, and everyday I’m more in love with him than before.

Porter is his own person now, and learning to respect that and help him grow into himself is the most challenging, exhausting and rewarding bit of life I’ve ever lived. He is a thriving, outgoing, energetic, curious and persistent fellow. I only hope I can do him and his spirit justice while he’s in my care.

In celebration of Porters 2nd birthday, all of Boise took a snow day! Or maybe it’s because of the unrelenting snow that just keeps falling. Either way it was a great day for fun. I did my best to document it in photos. If I was two, I’d think it was a very happy birthday.

Porter woke up to his first of two presents. An adjustable basketball hoop. It was a smashing success.
Porter woke up to his first of two presents. An adjustable basketball hoop. It was a smashing success.
This is what Big Kitty thought of bouncing balls in the house.
This is what Big Kitty thought of bouncing balls in the house.
After breakfast we went outside to shovel snow. As I was putting out snow melt I noticed small snow flakes. I thought it was so clever that it came out in the shape of flakes. Then I realized these were actual snowflakes from the sky. So cool!
After breakfast we went outside to shovel snow. As I was putting out snow melt I noticed small snow flakes. I thought it was so clever that it came out in the shape of flakes. Then I realized these were actual snowflakes from the sky. So cool!
Every season is wheelbarrow season.
Every season is wheelbarrow season.

"Look mama! Spider!" 2 is a truly awesome age.
“Look mama! Spider!” 2 is a truly awesome age.
The captain of the plane, pressing buttons on his control panel.
The captain of the plane, pressing buttons on his control panel.
We watched a squirrel on the fence, jump down and unearth his hidden nut. Porter assumed the appropriate crouched and quiet observing position. He was captivated the whole time.
We watched a squirrel on the fence, jump down and unearth his hidden nut. Porter assumed the appropriate crouched and quiet observing position. He was captivated the whole time.
We came in to warm up with a tea party and Bear.
We came in to warm up with a tea party and Bear.
Oatmeal chocolate chip birthday cake.
Oatmeal chocolate chip birthday cake.
He blew out the candles 3 times.
He blew out the candles 3 times.
He also made everyone sing Happy Birthday as many times as we could stand.
He also made everyone sing Happy Birthday as many times as we could stand.
My kid is the only one I know who is satisfied with 3 bites of cake. He left the rest in the bowl. My hero!
My kid is the only one I know who is satisfied with 3 bites of cake. He left the rest in the bowl. My hero!
The second birthday gift was a fishing ship for bath time.
The second birthday gift was a fishing ship for bath time.
It was a HUGE hit. Duh.
It was a HUGE hit. Duh.
My sweet pea. The best inspiration of my whole life.
My sweet pea. The best inspiration of my whole life.

First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life

I have come to use the word tender to mean sweet, happy, or for any circumstance that is just…well… tender. Sometimes it’s a photo, or kind words or sentiments expressed, or a thoughtful action. As a person and active member of this world I try to live in a conscientious and tender way towards others and myself. Sometimes it’s difficult, and I don’t always succeed, but it’s a worthy ideal. In these posts my goal is to express how I and my family aspire to live in a tender way with each other, our friends and neighbors, and the earth itself.

Now, so you know where I’m coming from, I’ll introduce myself. My name is Megan and I am at a turning of seasons in my life, so to speak. My first child is expected to be born any day, I just ended my career and my husband and I are attempting to live on one income. We’re working on being a nuclear family, for all the good and bad connotations that may have. I am many things to different people, a daughter, wife, sister, friend, soon to be mother, recently retired Kindergarten teacher, Doula, hopeful stay at home mom. These are titles that I wear proudly, but not one can define who I am as a person. Maybe the one true thing I know about myself is that I am painfully normal. No matter the situation, I can always bet that I’m not the first person to to experience it, nor will I be the last. It is this simple knowledge that provides small amounts of peace in times of chaos, and pushes me to be a more unique individual on my good days.

If this blog goes according to plan, which has about a 50/50 chance of happening, it will be an account of me and my family’s day to day existence. It is an attempt to find wonder and fulfillment within this ordinary life. Bear with me, I can be painfully optimistic. I won’t try to list all of the possible things this will include, but a few will be:

  • Living on one income
  • Being a new mother, staying at home to raise our baby
  • Cooking
  • Gardening
  • How we attempt to stay healthy
  • Being married
  • Living in the capital of a state that most would consider middle America
  • Working to leave a light footprint on the earth, because it’s the right thing to do

You get the idea. Any and everything that involves living and breathing is fair game. My hopes are to document this life I have created and share it with anyone who wants to read about it. Which are probably the 12 people my mother will send the link to. I value comments, feedback and questions, especially since I’m out of the work force and have to create my own social circle now. Read on, dear readers, to witness how I am attempting to live a tender life, and consider how you’re living your most tender life too. Now I must go, because even though in my head I am becoming an amazing and in depth blogger and am beginning to believe this is going to be my next BIG THING, the heater guy is here to fix our ailing heater, which resides under the house. The fact that someone is willing to crawl under my house to remedy this issue is pretty tender on his part.

Oh yes, I can’t fail to mention my friend Chelsea and her blog www.beingchelsea.com as she is one of my closest friends, she has inspired me to race in triathlons, live in a healthy way, and to start my own blog. Thanks Chelsea.