Breanna Virginia Johnson is 25 today.

She is my great friend for many reasons. She is…to name a few…

  • Kind
  • Funny
  • Enthusiastic
  • Loyal
  • Fun Loving
  • Empathetic
  • Encouraging
  • Intelligent
  • Witty
  • Warm
  • Relaxed
  • Trustworthy
  • Pretty

Breanna I hope you have a good birthday, Love you!

Waiting on ripening bananas

I buy a TON of bananas, both Brad and I like them and I like to make banana bread for Brad’s lunch. Apparently some guys at work make fun of the fact that Brads 25 year old wife bakes bread for his lunch but… he hasn’t complained.  The quilting didn’t help his “Really my wife is normal” case either. Although I did get a request for a camo quilt from one of the guys. So they can make fun all they want but everyone likes a good quilt. Wow what a tangent.

Back to bananas I have been waiting for some bananas to ripen so I could make these Quinoa Banana Nut Muffins I pinned a while ago on my pinterest. Seeing as Brad and I are training for a marathon, we have been looking at how to add protein into our diet. Enter quinoa! It is a low-fat source of protein, rich in essential nutrients and may just be my new favorite alternative to white flour. I have used quinoa before but I had cooked it similar to couscous. This didn’t go over so well with Brad. B: Is this supposed to be like rice? B: I don’t like it, I’m not eating it. I made it a few more times for me to eat but had gone back to couscous as it seems like they have more flavorful options in a quick cook box.

Having quinoa left over I thought this recipe would be a perfect way to try and use it. One thing you should know about me is that I am kinda a zoo. In our family the definition of “zoo” is sort of a nicer way to say crazy… zoo: all over the place; unprepared; spontaneous;  scatterbrained ect. I knew my bananas were ready and that this morning I was going to make these Quinoa Banana Nut Muffins so Brad and I could have a healthier option to my usual Best Ever Banana Bread, but I hadn’t actually looked at the recipe. P.S Best Ever Banana Bread is below: My favorite part about it is that it has Brad’s hand writing on it. :) He really did make it one day when he got home early from work and I was gone. He called to ask me questions and wrote down notes. Substitute for buttermilk… Add 1 Tablespoon lemon juice to normal milk. Also double the bananas.

I wake up make my coffee, two farm fresh eggs over a piece of Dave’s Killer Bread set up my computer to get the recipe and get to work. I quickly realize that it is quinoa FLOUR that I need now just quinoa, call my local Safeway and they don’t have it. I’m thinking a specialty store would in Salem, like Life Source or Trader Joe’s but I didn’t want to change out of my pajamas to go across town. I start to think well I’m sure they make quinoa flour out of quinoa right? GOOGLE. How to make quinoa flour.

First you take the raw quinoa which I purchased in the bulk bins at both Winco and Life Source and toast them in a non-stick frying pan on the stove. Medium heat stirring often until they brown and start to pop. This brings out the nutty flavor in the quinoa, it smelled like a mix between pop corn and peanuts to me.

Once they are popping and a bit brown take them out and allow them to cool. I am impatient so I out them in the freezer for a bit. Pour them into a blender or food processor and blend until it is a flour consistency. In my experience it was a little more course than flour.

DONE! Quinoa flour!  I did 2 cups of quinoa and it seems to have made about 1 ½ cups of quinoa flour.

What’s next… Walnuts… don’t have them… in my opinion don’t HAVE to have them… move on.

Dark chocolate chips… nope… have semi-sweet though… good enough.

Crystallized ginger, finely chopped?!?! No… GOOGLE. What can be substituted for crystallized ginger?

I see an option for powdered ginger, this is in my spice rack!

Use this mixture as a substitute for every 1/2 cup of crystallized ginger you require:

Mix 4 tsp. ginger powder with 4 tsp. of powdered sugar then add 2 tsp. of cold water to the mix, stir and allow to set for a few minutes to bring out the ginger flavor.

DONE!

Next item I didn’t have was low-fat yogurt. Decided to use a bit more butter as the substitute.

Now that I had all my ingredients prepared it was ready to go back to the recipe and assemble! Below is the actual recipe…

Quinoa Banana-Nut Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 1/2 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 stick salted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2  cup sugar
  • 3 large ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup low-fat yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Place 12 baking cups in a muffin baking tray.

Measure 1 cup of the walnuts onto a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 8 minutes or until fragrant and golden. When done, let cool for a few minutes, then chop until very fine and set aside. Crumble the rest of the walnuts with your hands and set aside.

Sift the dry ingredients into a medium bowl.

Place the butter and sugars in the bowl of a standing mixer and mix on high speed with the paddle attachment until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl, add bananas, and mix for about another 30 seconds. Add the eggs, one at a time, add the yogurt and vanilla and mix until combined. Add the dry ingredients and the toasted chopped walnuts to the bowl and mix on low speed until just combined.

Remove the bowl from the mixer, scrape down the sides and fold in the ginger and chocolate chips until uniformly combined. Using two spoons, drop the batter into the prepared muffin tray. Sprinkle the un-toasted, crunched nuts on top of each muffin and bake for 15-18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out dry. Cool the muffins on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. (found at www.thewelldaily.com)

As you know I didn’t do it this way. My adapted recipe …

Quinoa Banana Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 1/2 cup crystallized ginger substitute: 4 tsp. ginger, 4 tsp. powdered sugar, and 2 tsp. cold water
  • 1 cup dark semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 stick salted butter, cut into 8 pieces plus 2 Tbs. softened (trick: put butter on defrost in microwave to soften watch closely!!!)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2  cup sugar
  • 3 4 large ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup low-fat yogurt
  • 1 2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Place 12 baking cups in a muffin baking tray.

Sift the dry ingredients into a medium bowl.

Place the butter and sugars in the bowl of a standing mixer and mix on high speed with the paddle attachment until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl, add bananas, and mix for about another 30 seconds. Add the eggs, one at a time, add the vanilla and ginger mix until combined. Add the dry ingredients on low speed until just combined.

Remove the bowl from the mixer, scrape down the sides and fold in the chocolate chips until uniformly combined. Using two spoons, drop the batter into the prepared muffin tray. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out dry. Cool the muffins on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.

(Adapted from www.thewelldaily.com )

A smart man once taught me to open my oven when done baking = FREE HEAT!

Thank you Ryan Ward!

Baking done… Quinoa Banana Muffins

They are actually VERY good! Even got a good review from Brad the quinoa hater.  I will be making them again and again!

YUMMMMM!!!!

Adorable summer skirts

The day I got my camera we went to Hancock Fabrics to get some supplies for a  camera bag insert that I have yet to make. Hopefully another day another post, if I stop getting distracted. While I was in the such fabric store I spied a fabric I couldn’t leave without. Thankfully Brad was waiting in the car, purchasing fabric that isn’t intended for THE EXACT project I headed in there for is a big NO NO. I get things like this….

B: What are you going to make with that? A: Don’t know yet but its so cute.

B: You don’t even know how much you need. A: Well… I’ll just get 1 yard.

B: Babe, just come back when you know what your going to make.

A’s wheels in her head are turning as to what she could possibly make with the 1 yard and what other supplies she would need.

B rolls his eyes with a deep sigh.

You see? None of that had to happen because he was in the car. SO I could process all this in my own head and get the fabric and the elastic I THINK I might need. Which I did. Alas I’m home dying for a day off work so I can bust into this fabric. I found a few tutorials (here and here and here) and used parts from each to make two skirts for two of my favorite little girls.

It starts with a little something like this…

and the Fabric I couldn’t leave behind…

I took a few photos along the way, some were taken at night and some the next morning. If I knew how to use my camera you wouldn’t be able to tell which was which. But, not quite there.

Its all about the Ruffle

Ta-da! This one is for my Niece Jacklin

Because this is a casual Jersey fabric I left the edges of the ruffle raw

And because I hear Scrunchies are BACK! I couldn’t resist

After feeling the success from my first skirt, I tried my luck at a different design for a smaller little girl I know :)

Details…

I can’t get over how cute this turned out! I specifically used this Tutorial over at Simply Modern Mom.com for this one. She actually shows you how to make it out of an old shirt! Re-Purpose!

Miss Adelaide… Can not wait to see pictures of you rockin’ this thing! Hugs and Kisses from OREGON!

Seemed to go pretty good for my first real attempt at sewing clothing!