the go-to muffins

By Moriah on January 28th, 2011

My mom made a lot of from-scratch goodies when I was growing up, but she must not have been a big fan of the muffin because the only ones I remember were blueberry, from a box.

I, on the other hand, always seem to have spotty bananas around, which no one will eat. And I find banana bread + kids = too many crumbs. They can handle muffins, though. So we make these all the time and are a huge hit with my kids. (And us parents too, quite frankly.)

Banana Walnut Muffins
(adapted from the recipe in the red & white check BH&G cookbook)

1 3/4 cups flour (I usually use some combination of organic and/or whole wheat pastry)
2/3 cup organic sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (sometimes I use a teeny bit more)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup organic whole milk (actually, I usually end up splashing a little extra in if the batter seems dry when I go to mix)
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted down
3 small/medium spotty bananas
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
(1 tbs milled flax, optional)

Mix all the dry ingredients in a big bowl. Smash up the bananas (I think it’s easiest to do on a plate with a fork). Add in bananas and all the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well.

Line muffin tin with foil muffin cups and I usually lightly spray with oil. (Paper liners really stick badly to banana muffins for some reason.) Spoon batter into the cups, about 2/3 full. 400 degree oven for 20-22 minutes. It usually makes 14 for us.

Serve warm with BUTTER. :)

raw honesty

By Moriah on January 27th, 2011

WELL. Yesterday (the first half, anyway) was… well, just bad, bad, bad. Later I ended up hiding in Madeline’s top bunk and cried. (And if you don’t occasionally have those kinds of days too, I’m not sure we can still be friends.)

It started fine, then Arianna’s hand got smashed in the door and she spent the rest of the morning pretty cranky, following me around whining or demanding to be held. We were out of milk (her consoling naptime partner). I finally put my foot down and we all went to Wmart just to get the milk. In the rain.

When we got home she somehow got a hold of a sugar bag, got it open, and dumped it out on the floor between her legs and went to town. All while I was bringing in the groceries. (I would have gotten a sugar-coated photo if my head hadn’t been about ready to combust.) One huge gritty sticky mess. My kitchen floor is still a little crunchy. (That’s the part where I went and hid.)

SO THANKFUL Andy came home after a half-day and we pushed up our sleeves and scrubbed our house. I’m the kind of person that if my house is out of control, my life feels out of control. He’s been really busy with temporary construction-type work and I’d been sick, add in a few wild kids and you have a situation bordering on disaster.

Oh, and then the prong of my new(ish) vacuum plug broke. On Cleaning Day. Go figure.

ANYway. We did get things under some sort of order, I got a bag of toys ready for donation, and we have some momentum to finish things up today. I only tell you all that to say – THIS IS THE REAL DEAL, FOLKS. We all have terrible, no good days.

(And believe me, I put Arianna in the nursery last night at church so I could breathe in peace.)


By Moriah on January 26th, 2011

(at least he’s evened-out now?)

Also, the Tooth Fairy finally remembered to fulfill her duties in a timely manner. Last time Drew said “Mom, you forgot my dollar.” The kid isn’t fooled.

{rosette lampshade}

By Moriah on January 25th, 2011

One of the things I don’t like about our bedroom (besides the fact that it’s tiny) is we don’t get a lot of natural light. It’s in the back of the house, which gets little morning sun, and there’s also a tree that shades one of the windows. Sometimes it can feel like a cave. Which is just depressing.

I did keep a little lamp on the nightstand but one of the kids accidentally knocked it over and it broke. Actually, I think that’s happened twice. However, I had a store credit to Homegoods for months and months and would periodically check in to see if they had any lamps I liked.

Finally a couple of weeks ago they had one (clearanced, even!) that would work. I hated the shade though. I tossed it in the attic and kept looking for a cheap shade to match.

But then! It dawned on me out of the blue one day that I could re-do the shade it came with.

Old shade:

Ugliness ripped off (also had to fix one of the bars; yay for glue guns):

And then I just tied strips of white cotton muslin (that I already had) around the sides of the shade and glued rosettes I made (out of the same fabric) onto the front. (Google “rosettes” and you’ll get a ton of different tutorials if you’re ever interested in making some. Super easy.)

Yeah, much better, I know. Now I just need to plug it in. ;)

Don’t be fooled by appearances

By Moriah on January 24th, 2011

Here she is, in all her innocent-lookingness right before the unfortunate carseat episode.

(Blowing raspberries at Madeline.)

Don’t think I’ll be giving her string cheese for a while.

And then I got it. Was sick all night. So much for that! I’m feeling fine now, just on the weak side and can’t stand up too long.

clean sheets

By Moriah on January 23rd, 2011

(raise your hand if you read blogs on weekends)

Sooo Arianna and I stayed home this morning, just to be safe. She puked ALL over herself and her carseat yesterday afternoon while I was driving. Such a (stinky) disaster. The kids all had it – about a 12 hour bug, starting in the middle of Thursday night. I thought she was in the clear because she got it first and then had two days of normalcy. My washer has been getting a workout, is all I can say.

(A tip! I stripped the padding off the seat and then stuck all the straps, buckles, clips, everything in a zip-laundry bag and threw it all in the machine. Easiest way to wash carseats ever.)

Friday was sort of the respite day – everyone was still resting but definitely feeling better. I managed to get a shower/dressed, make it to the grocery store, AND got my van back from the shop (new axles, can you believe it?) on hardly ANY sleep. We even got a date that night. (We’d been joking all week how we were going to go out and split an ice cube. Close.)

Anyway, I could see over and over God’s little mercies throughout the entire weekend. Bright spots of sunshine on some very long days.


By Moriah on January 21st, 2011

I’ve been struggling lately with feeling friend-lonely.  I mean, I do have a lot of friends, that’s not really what I meant.  But it used to be that we had this huge group of new-moms — buddies, really (for lack of better term) that were able to get together for playdates at the drop of a hat.  And we did, often.

Now, some of my closest friends have moved away; others are really busy with all sorts of things, and we all have new things to deal with like school schedules and carpool and lessons and sports.  And, let’s face it, many of us have a minivan full of kids — and they are just harder to cart around spontaneously.

ANYway.  I still do have Nicky around, and we’ve been friends for a long time.  I called the other day and just invited her over for coffee and muffins while the “big” kids were in school.  (It worked out great because later her little boys stayed at my house while she went and picked the others up.)

(She doesn’t know I took these – ha!)

Seb was hilarious – apparently not camera-shy AT ALL.  Wearing Drew’s old sweater, too, of course.

They were perfectly content watching Adelaide color (but did NOT want to join in).

Showing me her “scary face”:

(And then my camera battery died.)

It made me remember how much I enjoy doing things like that. It certainly doesn’t have to be elaborate to be a sweet time of fellowship (and really good friends don’t care what your house looks like). All that to say, I’m completely inspired to start doing little things like this again.

pizza, homemade perfection

By Moriah on January 19th, 2011


I hadn’t made homemade pizza in a long while, but we decided to make some a couple of weekends ago. I got the sauce recipe from my cousin Vangie – it’s a lot more like the sauce you find in Italy than American pizza sauce. It’s just a large can of whole peeled tomatos, drained, chopped right into the pan and sauteed in olive oil. That’s it! (I use my pampered chef chopper, handy tool that it is.) So, so good.

Andy requested it again this past weekend and that time we were sure we had some fresh basil on hand. Yuuuuuuuuum.

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