Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Farm Girl Banana Bread

My boys love banana bread. I introduced my one year old to banana bread recently, and he just giggled and smiled after his first bite. A few weeks prior to that,  I was carrying my one year old to his high chair on my left hip, while carrying a very ripe banana in my right hand. He leaned over before I could stop him, and took a big bite out of the banana, peel and all! When I attempted to retrieve it, he developed a sudden case of lockjaw, and  he refused to budge. He quickly swallowed what he thought was a treat. I laughed for at least the next ten minutes.

Banana Bread


1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup margarine or butter
2 eggs
3-4 bananas (ripe)
1/2 cup buttermilk or 1 cup milk with 1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
Nuts (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Combine above ingredients and mix on high until only small bumps in batter remain. ( I never use buttermilk. I always use the milk and lemon juice combo as a substitute)
3. Pour in pre-greased loaf pan, pre-greased muffin pan, or muffin baking cups.
4. Bake at 350 until light brown color on top. Small loaves take approximately 45 minutes.
5. Enjoy!

I love making mini muffins too. I freeze them in Ziploc bags and pull them out for the boy's breakfasts.

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Divorce Care Package

A dear sweet friend of mine recently got a divorce and I wanted to cheer her up.  My husband is actually the one that suggested the idea of giving her a few fun presents. I wrapped a gift up for each day of the first week after her divorce. I figured a few minutes of distraction a day never hurt. Who does not like presents?? 

Here are the seven presents I came up with. I wrote a note to go with each one to let her know I was thinking of her.

Sunday: Cookies and fun napkins that read, "Eat now for tomorrow we diet"

Monday: A candle and a journal. I told her to treasure the good memories of her marriage, because they would always be a part of her life.

Tuesday: Starbucks Gift Card. A pick me up for the morning as a reminder to start off every day with something positive.

Wednesday: Apple lunch bag. She is a teacher, so I wrote an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Chin up.

Thursday: Marilyn Monroe coasters. She used to love her in high school. I reminded her that her high school girlfriends would always be there for her.

Friday: A foot care set to energize her for the weekend to come.

Saturday: Margarita in a bag and flip flops. Life is a beach (b****). Put on some flip flops, drink a margarita, and enjoy the waves!

Cheer up a friend in need whether it is a divorce or a rough spot in life. It does not have to be expensive to let them know someone is thinking of them. Have a great week no matter what you are going through! Do a little something special for someone you know.

Parties I linked to:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Personalized Teacher Gift

I was inspired to make these personalized teacher gifts from a post I read on Brown Paper Packages last year. Kierste from Brown Paper Packages is so clever. My sons start their preschool in a week and I wanted to let the teachers know how much we already appreciate them. I bought a handful of antibacterial soap from Bath and Body Works last time they had a sale. I thought these would make a perfect first day of school present.


Antibacterial soap
Spray can of primer
Spray can of color of choice
Vinyl or stickers
1. Peel off the label on the front of the soap bottle and scrub off any residue. Ensure dry before proceeding.
2. Tape off section on the front that you want to paint and decorate.

3. Spray paint soap front with primer. (Make sure the pump is covered too)
4. Allow primer to dry. Here in 100 degree Texas weather it is soooo fast. I forgot to take a picture of the next step...but spray your color of choice over the dry primer. 

5. Allow paint to dry completely. Carefully remove tape from soap dispenser.
6. Decorate with teacher's name, stickers, hot glued flowers, ribbon, etc.

We were having such fun making them we decided to make one for the boy's dad as well. I showed them to my husband and he could hardly tell it was paint on top. I hope the teachers like them!

Parties I linked to:

NightOwlCraftingSomewhat SimplePhotobucketFantabulous Friday!http://linesacrossmyface.blogspot.com/search/label/the%20Cure%20for%20the%20Common%20Monday

Monday, August 22, 2011

Caught My Husband Manicotti

I wanted to share an easy recipe for manicotti that I have nicknamed "Caught My Husband Manicotti." My husband's mom is an amazing cook. He grew up on the best food there is and was spoiled rotten. Anything I cooked when we first started dating was always too healthy and did not compare to her extravagant southern cooking....until I made manicotti. Apparently, this is a dish she never cooked. If she did...God Bless Her... because he does not remember. When I served this to him the first time I knew immediately I had a secret recipe weapon up my sleeve. Ha!

I think manicotti may seem intimidating if you have never made it before. However, the prep time is only around 20 minutes. I usually bake two batches and freeze one for a later date.


12 large manicotti shells
3-4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups ricotta cheese
2 tbsp dried basil
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Cook manicotti according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cool water.
3. In a bowl, mix 2 cups mozarella with ricotta, basil, and bread crumbs. Spoon mixture into ziploc bag. Cut off the tip of the bag and carefully stuff pasta shells with mixture. (If you accidentally rip a shell it is not the end of the world. It still tastes the same! Trust me.)

4. Spoon 1-2 cups spaghetti sauce into baking dish. Arrange stuffed pasta shells over sauce. Pour remaining spaghetti sauce over the manicotti shells and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.

5. Bake for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake for ten minutes longer. ( I have used canned parmesan cheese before and it still tastes good.)
6. Enjoy!!

Parties I linked to:
Cast Party Wednesday NightOwlCraftingSomewhat SimpleFantabulous Friday!http://linesacrossmyface.blogspot.com/search/label/the%20Cure%20for%20the%20Common%20Monday

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Decorated Dish Towel with Fabric Belt

I love the bright pink and green of summer flowers and was inspired to make a dish towel in those vibrant colors. I found a fabric belt at a garage sale for 10 cents and thought it would be the perfect addition to some green and white tea towels I had at home.


Tea Towel
Fabric Belt

I started by folding the cloth belt in accordion style and then I pinned it carefully in place.

I stitched a line at the top and a line at the bottom of the belt to secure it to the towel.

Then I sewed some pink ric-rac down the middle.

It was a quick ten minute fix to brighten a plain green and white dish towel. My kitchen can always use an extra spot of fun and color. I would love to see some of your jazzed up dish towels!

Parties I linked to:
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