“Banana Bread Go To”

Muffins

One of my weaknesses is bread. I’ma carb and sugar lovin’ kinda gal and bread gets me every time. One of my personal goals is to successfully create my own recipes. My family and friends keep telling me I should open up a bakery or dessert joint, but I have to remind them that it’s illegal to steal others’ recipes and call them your own. So, if I can come up with my own it’s smooth sailin’.

My new “Go To Banana Bread” is my first successful recipe! Disclaimer: I have taken a pumpkin bread recipe that was given to me when I got married and changed ratios as well as eliminated/added ingredients to make it my very own! This essentially is my creation, minus the crux of the recipe (i.e. flour, salt, oil and baking soda amounts).

If you’re interested in trying one of the tastiest banana bread recipes out there, please proceed.

Ingredients:

3 ½ Cups Flour (I dare you to experiment with different types of flour! Think I’ll try coconut sometime).

2 Cups SugarMuffins

2 tsp Baking Soda

1 ½ tsp Salt

5 Eggs beaten

1 Tbs real Vanilla Extract

2/3 Cup Water

1 Cup Oil (I use coconut oil, but any will do)

3 Bananas medium in size and very ripe (brown spots galore!)

Heat oven to 350 and either prep your loaf pans (probably 2-3 pans) OR line your cupcake tins (this is what I prefer; can’t beat on the go goodness).

Now, I’m not one who has the patience to sift stuff sooooo…

Dump the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt into a medium sized bowl and mix well with a whisk, fork (or heck) even a spoon.

If available use a stand mixer and toss the eggs, water, oil and vanilla into the mixing bowl. Mix using whisk attachment. Remove peel from bananas; throw those (the naked bananas not the peels) into a bowl and mash until you reach a smooth consistency. Pour your mashed bananas into the liquid mixture and combine.

Pour one third of the dry ingredients into the banana mixture and mix until incorporated. Continue to add a third and mix until all dry ingredients are united. Then take your handy ice cream scoop and deposit a little less than one full scoop of mixture into each wrapper OR fill your loaf pan 2/3 of the way full. I’m not sure if 2/3 is correct loaf making etiquette, but it worked for me and when I filled my loaf pan ½ way it was not a pretty result. J

So there you have it! Bake those puppies for approximately 11 min. Yes, I said 11. That gave me the perfect Banana muffin with the perfect sweetness and a little chewiness to the top of the cake. Peeeeerrrrrfectioooooooon! Of course you should pay attention to your oven to make sure the bread isn’t overcooked nor underdone.

Hope you enjoy as much as me and my fam did. Me, my mom and two kids ate almost all 15 that I baked in one sitting the first time I made these.

Banana bread

-Megan xo

 

My Life through Food

 

cerea, breakfast

Although not completely on topic it’s still food related :/

O.K. so I’m one of “those people” who love taking pics of their food and a Self Proclaimed food critic. Don’t ask why, cuz I don’t really have an answer. Ever since I’ve had a phone with a camera [Genius] I take pics of my food, amongst other things, wherever I go. When I think it looks awesome, smells good, it’s something new, and old favorite, something I’ve made or I’m just happy about eating it. I take a picture of it. Sometimes I think rehab might be in my future [Sigh].

I have decided to begin a series I’d like to call “My Life through Food”. I’m not sure I’d call photographing my food an addiction, but I do do-it often. :/ . I fantasize about one day making an album of all the pics I’ve taken of various dishes throughout my life so I can share these scrumptious memories with others, or just myself. I think for me, by photographing my food I’m marking that memorable time in my life. It’s all about making memories, right?! And if 90% of my memories have food in them, so be it.

I find that I typically take photos of my, and some times my family’s, meals when it’s a special occasion or I’m particularly proud of what I’ve made (i.e. homemade pizza, various indulgent desserts, cupcakes, smoothies and the list goes on).

I’d like to start this series off with Mother’s Day. If you read in my previous post [HERE], my family and I had Mother’s Day brunch at my favorite restaurant Catal and Uva Bar at Downtown Disney. This is by far the best restaurant I have ever been to. Before having kids my husband and I went so often we new all of the servers and they all knew our order by heart.

Without further a due (a-do, a do, adeau – Whatever)…

 

Organic Greek Yogurt

Organic Greek Yogurt

 

Salmon with Hollandaise and Asparagus (Mine)

Salmon with Hollandaise and Asparagus (Mine)

 

French Toast (The Hub's)

French Toast (The Hub’s)

 

Dessert - Panna Cotta

Dessert – Panna Cotta

 

Gorgeous. I’d love to hear about your favorite dishes to indulge in or places to dine!

-Megan XO

Nightmare Before Christmas And Mykel Jean’s Birthday!

Birthday Girl!

Birthday Girl!

So I’ve been on a little hiatus. Lots has happened, mom broke her wrist, two family members passed away and my family is now considering buying a home with my parents, gulp, or having them move into our home. So needless to say a bunch of stuff has been goin’ down.

My rambunctious daughter Mykel will be turning two on July 30th. My how time flies. I love that little girl more than words can even describe. She knows what she wants and when she wants it and no one can tell her otherwise. I respect her for that.

If you’ve read any of my previous posts you’d know that all my parties are themed. Since Mykel’s movie of choice, for the past year, has been Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas that clearly was a no brainer. I’m not sure what intrigues this (almost) two-year-old, not to mention my four year old, about Halloween, ghouls, goblins and witches, but it does. So on with the show…

The perfect colors for this bash were purple, orange and black. By no means typical two-year-old party colors. Tule, spider webs, Christmas trees, black crows, and 36 inch balloons were just some of the décor. Not to mention Santa hats, monster wreaths, streamers and sweet flower arrangements.

Welcome!

Welcome!

 

jack n sally

One of M’s bday gifts. Drawn and hand painted by my cousin!

Lanterns

Edible goodies in flower arrangements. Love this!

Edible goodies in flower arrangements. Love this!

Sorry for the glare :/

Sorry for the glare :/

Living Room

Mantle

Dining Room table

Entertainment center

The Ghoulish Delights included pizza (her fave), gummy worms (Oggie Booggie worms), Zero’s kibble (yogurt and chocolate covered raisins – Thank you Pinterest!), Jack Skellington cupcakes – banana and chocolate with cream cheese frosting, various salads, Sally’s hair (Red Vine licorice), Sugarplum Pops, orange Slop (a family fave) and Slimy green punch.

Sallys Hair

Sallys Hair 2

Buffet

Candy

Sugarplum Pops

Festive Straws

cupcakes

Of course gifts were placed under the Christmas tree and we played the movie through out the party. A great time was had by all, especially the birthday girl! With some help from family and the assistance of my husband (to hang stuff) this party went off without a hitch! If that’s how the saying goes. :/

tree

Hope you enjoy the pics! And as always please don’t hesitate to ask questions or use these ideas for your own shin dig and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog! You know you want toooooo. :)

Happy Camper

Happy Camper

I got my COLORS done!

headshot colors

In December I met with my fabulous sister in law, Amanda, who has a color consulting business, Amanda Roberts Color Analysis. “Color Analysis, what is that?!” you ask. Well, allow me to enlighten you. Color Analysis is a process based on the science of vision. It (Well rather the consultant) examines the interactions between your skin color/tone and the colors you wear. In the wrong colors you may look tired and your skin may seem blotchy, but in the right colors you look vibrant, awake and your skin tone looks more healthy and glowy.

The consultant uses a set of perfectly calibrated fabric drapes to determine which color hues, value, and chroma make you look your best. Breakdown? Hues are the warmth and coolness of a color, Value is the lightness and darkness of a color, and Chroma is the amount of clarity or mutedness of a color.

You and the consultant, as a team, work your way through the process of elimination by draping the groups of fabrics denoted by a season (Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter) to determine which season best fits you! At the end of your session, which takes approximately 2-3 hours, you have the option to purchase a color fan [some consultants include the fan in their price]. I must say, I didn’t want my session to end. I’m so fascinated by this whole darn thing. :)

I cannot tell you how awesome this is! I’m not the most fashionable person out there, but I love me some cute clothes and awesome makeup. Color Analysis is the most fascinating process [have I said process enough yet?] and I had to share this gem with you. I use my fan every time I go shopping for clothes or make up and since using the fan I haven’t come home with anything I didn’t end up truly loving.

I remember after my consultation with Amanda going out to buy some new makeup. I bought a couple eye shadow pallets (which she recommended to me) and a blush. OMG! I couldn’t believe how bright and glowy my skin looked; and I barely had any make up on! The colors were just perfect and all I did was use my color fan.

IMG_0424

Playing with my new makeup

Anywho, just thought I’d share some beauty fabulosity with you. I think every woman and man should get their colors done. Money well spent! $$

True Spring Color Fan

IMG_7227

drapes

IMG_7232

Have you had a color analysis? Are you thinking about getting your colors done? I’d love to hear about it!

-Megan xo

A Perfect Mother’s Day (Better Late than Never)

My Babies

My Babies

I’m not sure what it was about this particular Mother’s Day, but it felt different. Maybe it was because my babies are getting older and our experiences are, well, just different. Newborns are like night and day compared to a toddler and a freshly crowned four year old. Everything seemed much smoother; no freaking out we’re going to be late (that would be me), no over flow of stuff in the diaper bag (again, me), no abundance of snacks (lets not get crazy, we brought snacks just not 10 varieties). Less crying in the car during the long distance journey and better behaved children at the restaurant (for the most part).

We started out the day with our yearly tradition of going to brunch at Catal and Uva Bar located in Downtown Disney. My husband and I have been dining there for over 10 years and every time we go it’s like visiting family. They seated us in this fab “Round Room” and it was if we had a private meal, just the kids and us. We had the room to ourselves for half of our stay. We then went to Sanük so I could check out some shoes I’d been wanting. I think I could buy the entire store! They are the most comfortable shoes. I just love how they look and “Happy Mother’s Day to Me!”, I got a gray pair! We then tried going on some rides at Disney’s California Adventure Park, but we can’t stand huge crowds so we pretty much walked in and right out, grabbed some smoothies at Jamba Juice and hit the road home. After some naps we had a pretty low-key evening with some pizza and Pirates of the Caribbean the Curse of the Black Pearl and called it a night.

Organic Yogurt and Berries

Organic Yogurt and Berries

Main Course

Main Course

Panacotta

Buttermilk Panna Cotta

It was the perfect day! My husband and kids made me feel so special and loved! I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

I’d love to hear about your Mother’s Day adventures!!

Mac N Cheese!

Mac N Cheese!

Baby Girl

Baby Girl

My new Kicks

My new Kicks

Cheesecake Mousse

Finished product

My in-laws have come over once a week, every week, for the past four years (since my son was born). It’s family time we look forward to every week and it helps that the kids are completely tuckered out after they visit. The deal is that they bring dinner, usually some sort of take-out, and I make dessert.

As much as I love baking and making desserts there are days when I want something that tastes awesome, but isn’t a lot of work. Soooo, I pretty much use Pinterest as my recipe book (for those of you interested, here is my Pinterest link if you’d like to see the recipes I’ve pinned). A few weeks ago I found this awesomely decadent “No Bake Cheesecake Mousse”! It’s so simple too! My family thought I spent hours and it literally took minutes.

Below is the recipe I’ve altered from the original site (Click HERE for original recipe by letsdishrecipes.com)

No Bake Cheesecake Mousse

8 oz package of Cream cheese

1 cup Heavy Cream

¾ cup plus 2 Tbs Powdered Sugar

Splash of Vanilla Extract (the real stuff)

* I also made a mixed berry sauce to drizzle. It was to die for! See below.

Instructions:

1. Remove cream cheese from fridge and let it warm up for about 30 minutes or so.

2. Then, in a medium sized bowl beat cream cheese with an electric mixer  until smooth.

3. Mix in ¾ cup powdered sugar and vanilla until combined and smooth. Set aside.

4. In a separate medium sized bowl, beat heavy cream and 2 Tbs powdered sugar with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.

5. Fold half of the whipped cream into cream cheese mixture. Once incorporated add the remaining whipped cream until just combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

6. Pipe or spoon mixture into serving dishes or glasses and add favorite toppings just before serving. I placed mine into cocktail glasses and then into the fridge.

 Cheesecake Mousse

IMG_8170

Mixed Berry Sauce

2 cups Frozen Mixed Berries

½ cup sugar of choice

Splash of Orange juice

1 tsp vanilla extract

Bring berries, sugar, and vanilla to a simmer over medium heat. Some times I add a tablespoon or two of water, but this time I choose orange juice (I always feel like I might burn the berries or somethin’ so I need some liquid.) Once those beauties have melded together give it a good stir and pour that goodness into some kind of pureeing machine (i.e. small food processor, Ninja Bullet, NutriBullet, a blender whatever you got laying around that’ll get the job done); OR you could even use the mixture as is, I suppose. That’s it! Poor that berry goodness over anything!! Cheesecake mousse, pancakes/waffles, ice cream, cake and the list goes on. This recipe is great with other fruits as well!

IMG_8168

IMG_8174

Hope you enjoy! I’d love to hear your thoughts!

-Megan xo

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

smoothie

Chocolatey Goodness

Well, I’m not one to toot my own horn, but “Toot, Tooooot!”. This Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie is fan-freakin-tastic. Ever since going to the Lazy Dog Café and having their PB and Chocolate smoothie I’ve wanted to create my own. This morning I finally did.

It’s the perfect breakfast smoothie if you like, well, chocolate, peanut butter, and bananas and this could be a great dessert option as well!

 

Recipe:

1 frozen banana

1 not so frozen banana

1 ½ – 2 cups almond milk

2 Tbs Coco powder

1 heaping Tbs Peanut Butter of choice

¼ Cup oats

1 Cup or so of ice (might need more to reach desired consistency)

Splash of Hershey syrup for sweetness and more chocolateyness

Splash of vanilla

 

What Now??

First things first – Into a blender dump the oats and blend them up.

Then, dump the ice, bananas, coco powder, peanut butter, vanilla and almond milk.

Blend, blend, blend!

I then added my splash oh Hershey syrup and blended 30 seconds more and TaDaaaaa! Breakfast/ Dessert smoothie perfection.

 

Enjoy!!

-Megan xo

Let’s Get Personal

Party time

Me at my 32 birthday party, not the most flattering photo I’ve taken.

I got tagged by a friend to do this. I love stuff like this! I hope you learn a little more about me and would love to hear more about you!!

1. Nickname: “Punkin’ Head” by my Mom (In case you don’t know, I’m a natural red-head) and “Maggie” by my Dad. Not sure where this originates from since he wanted to name me Misty Moon Mullens (can you say stripper??). Other nicknames, “Babe” by my husband and of course “Momma”.

2. Hometown: I lived in Rancho Cucamonga for the first 6 years of my life then moved to Murrieta, CA and have lived here ever since… I’d prefer to be in OC (for various reasons).

3. Current town: Murrieta…

4. Education: A.A. in Social Sciences; B.A. in Social Sciences; M.A. in Educational Counseling w/ PPS credential. Any school counselors out there? Hollahhh!!!

5. Mermaid or Unicorn: Mermaid, have you seen me? I look like Ariel. ;) I really enjoy the beach, but not so much boats cuz they make me ill. (Sigh)

6. Blackberry or Iphone: Iphone, bam. Wouldn’t know what to do with a Blackberry.

7. Favorite breakfast food: How about Pumpkin Pancakes from the Original Pancake house with whipped cream. Sounds like dessert to me. I like a bunch of stuff though, such as, oatmeal w/ brown sugar, frozen waffles, English Muffins, chocolate and blueberry muffins, scrambled eggs, eggs over easy, love me some biscuits and gravy, pancakes, banana pancakes, banana and pumpkin bread….ummmmm, this was a dangerous question.

8. Favorite tv show: Favorite show of all time is Meet the Barkers. What’s wrong with you MTV?! Why can’t you sell that shiz on video??? I love Real Housewives of OC and shows that chronicle people’s lives.

9. What five items would you take from your burning house: Wedding Pics, Pics of kids, Jewelry/Watches, Laptop, Kids’ baby books.

10. Beach or mountains: Beach all the way. The mountains ain’t fun.

11. Dinner Party wish list (dead or alive): Michael Jackson from the Thriller days, all of my deceased grandparents (miss them), my dad’s Aunt Vi (I want to know her secret for becoming wealthy and not ever having been married or working; that girl knew how to work it), my acting teacher Ken Garcia (I learned so much from him), Christina Aguilera, Shanna Moakler, Tom Hanks (to get my in into the acting world ;) ), and I think my list could go on and on. Oh and Chip Foose, so that he could finally Overhaul my husbands rad car.

12. Favorite ice cream flavor: Gosh, from the Grocery store it would probably have to be Carmel Cone from Haagen Dazs and from an ice cream shop it’d be Rocky Road. HOWEVER, peanut butter and Just Chocolate frozen yogurt with cherries on the side from Golden Spoon frozen yogurt would be my absolute fave!!!!!

13. Favorite Season: In Suuuuuuuuummeeeeeeerrrrrrrrr!!!!! (If you don’t know that line I feel bad for you.)

14. Favorite smell: Something baking.

15. Camera: Canon Rebel T5i

16. Matte or sparkle: I have no idea

17. Yoga or cycle: Cycle. Yoga is tooooo sloooooooow for me.

18. Favorite flower: Tulips

19. Favorite social media: Instagram and Facebook

20. Magazine or Ipad: Magazine. I like to rip out the ages of things I like.

-Megan xo

Life Happened

Let it go

This is me taking it in and letting go. Allowing the room to be a mess while Rivers and his friend play.

Well, I feel like it’s been foooooreveeeerrr since I last posted. So much has been going on: birthdays, illness, work, illness, kids, and did I mention illness? I feel like I barely have time to go pee than to sit and write a post. Maybe I should just start combining the two.

I think it all began with me subbing for an entire week, yuck, and bringing home a wretched illness to my kids, double yuck. My kids (4yrs and 20 months, imagine what this house was like with two sick babies :/ ) became really ill with a gnarly cold/sinus/ear infections and I thought I was free and clear, but nope… The following week I was adorned with the lovely bug and was laid out for three days and a 101 temp. Not. Fun. At. All.

The day my symptoms became unbearable was the day of my son’s 4th birthday party. We were driving to the location and I began to sweat and get chills all at once. I knew it wasn’t going to turn out well. I felt worse and worse as the minutes ticked by; all the while having little kids run, jump and scream all around me. I literally could not breathe through my nose (I kept thinking, “Now I know what it must feel like to get a nose job.”) and couldn’t eat. I stayed in bed the next two days and slowly (with the help of antibiotics) have been returning to normal.

Sadly, I had planned on doing a birthday post for my big guy, but all I could do at his party was chase my little one around, blow my nose, and pray the time went by quickly.

So life happened.

Oddly enough, I learned something from this little escapade. I believe that for quite some time now God has been telling me to ssssllllooooooooww doooowwwwwnnnn. I couldn’t do anything, but that. Towards the end of my illness a friend and fellow blogger The Morning Mug posted this. God was definitely speaking to me through this post. Don’t Hurry. Take the time to take in the gifts God has given you, your family, your partner, your babies, your talents, and hey even your job (if you love it that much). My downfall is hurrying, and perfection, but one mountain at a time, right? Being forced to slow down, for myself, helped me to slow down and take in my kids and my husband more, to allow the house to be “Gulp” messy and to allow things to happen as they may.

This IS difficult for me.

But so worth it.

So, I’ve never been thankful for being sick before, and I can’t say that I’m glad things happened the way they did, but I am glad that I have had the chance to not hurry and finally embrace the lesson I’ve so desperately needed to learn for quite some time. Don’t Hurry. Slown Down. Take it in.

I feel a new tattoo coming on…

Hope your Easter was great and you had the chance to take in God’s goodness. ;)

-Megan xo

Some life pics from the past few weeks.

birthday cake

Rivers’ awesome excavator cake as requested by the birthday boy

party, presents

Party time at Pump It Up

cake, birthday

My birthday cupcakes

Easter eggs

Coloring Easter eggs

Fabulous Pot de Creme I made for Easter. Raspberry Rose Water Pot de Creme courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis

Fabulous Pot de Creme I made for Easter. Raspberry Rose Water Pot de Creme courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis

 

Pizza and Poppers

That’s right! Yet another food post. One of my favorite things in life is food and to eat. My friend Jenny over at JENuinely Homemade recently posted her go-to pizza recipe so I thought I’d give it a whirl. I have never made pizza from scratch and I. Must. Say. Pizza is one of the easiest dinners, lunches or breakfasts (whatever floats your boat) to make on this earth! I figured it could be a fun activity for me to do with Rivers, my almost 4 year old, but he could’ve cared less. He had to go play with “his kids” a.k.a. the neighbors in our cul-de-sac.  So, I went it solo. Click on THIS link to see the recipe; it was as simple as throwing everything in a mixing bowl and allowing the dough to rest a couple hours. Then pizza makin’ time! I used some organic tomato sauce from Super Target (love their Simply brand), mozzarella cheese and the secret ingredient, grated carrots. Here’s what some of the process and finished product looked like. Yummmmm.

pizza and sauce

 

pizza and carrots

 

homemade pizza

So thick and yummy. It was just perfect!

I was also inspired by a friend’s Instagram post of the Dole Dippers. She had the bananas dipped in chocolate. I love me a good chocolate banana shake so those sounded scrumptuous (yes, I made that word up, so what). I decided to make some of my own since I had all of the ingredients. I cut up one banana and five or so strawberries into bite size chunks (not too small) and then placed them on a lined baking sheet. Once my sauces were ready I drizzled them over my patiently awaiting fruit chunks.

bananas and strawberries

I spy carrot cross-contamination :0

Chocolate Sauce

4 Tbs dark chocolate chips

1 Tbs coconut oil (use a little more if needed to get smooth consistency)

2 tsp vanilla extract

Place all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds or so. Stir until smooth.

Nutella Sauce

2 heaping Tbs Nutella

1-2 tsp coconut oil

Place all ingredients into a microwave safe bowl and heat for 10 seconds or so. Stir until smooth.

IMG_0954

Wholly Moly these were good!

Once both sauces are done drizzle them over the fruit and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or the freezer depending on how frozen you like the goods. Then eat them all! Just kidding. You could share some…or not.

The kids loved the Poppers! My 19 month old loved the pizza too and my son, the intellectual, said the pizza was too thick for his liking (rolling my eyes). Guess he can make his own next time. Seriously, you must try the recipe. This will be a go-to in our household from now on!

What are some of your go-to recipes??