Cranberry-Banana Gingerbread (with Blind Spot Nutbutters)

Cranberry-Banana Gingerbread (with Blind Spot Nutbutters)

December is national fruitcake month.

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Depending completely on your personal opinion, my childhood was either blessed or deprived.  Why? Because, to my knowledge, I never tasted fruitcake.

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This fact doesn’t disappoint me.  Cursory research says that fruitcake was originally created to last for a full 365 days.  A baked good that lasts more than a month is a little freaky.  What do they put in that stuff?

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So here is my version of a fruitcake with bananas, cranberries, oatmeal, and (of course) nut butter.  I figure that any loaf with fruit in it can be called “fruitcake,” right?

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Unlike real fruitcake, this bread will only last for about a week in the fridge (if you manage not to eat the whole loaf at once).

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Makes 1 loaf, about 10 slices

Ingredients

  • 3 overripe bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 1.2 oz (about 3.5 tablespoons) Gingerbread Cookie Blended Nut Butter
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, chopped

Direction

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 8X4 inch bread pan with nonstick spray.
  • In a blender, combine bananas, egg, oatmeal, nut butter, and baking soda.  Blend until smooth.
  • Stir in spices.
  • Fold in chopped cranberries.
  • Pour into greased baking pan. Top with sliced bananas, if desired.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let cool completely.
  • Slice and top with anything you would like! Butter, jam, more nutbutter, etc.
  • Eat and enjoy!
Strawberry Shortcake Smoothie with Blind Spot “Fit and Nutty”

Strawberry Shortcake Smoothie with Blind Spot “Fit and Nutty”

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I was originally going to save this recipe for July, and then I learned a few very important facts:

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Shortbread Cookie Waffles (Blind Spot Monthly Series)

Shortbread Cookie Waffles (Blind Spot Monthly Series)

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My family does not have many traditions, but when it comes to Christmas, we always conduct our morning the same way.

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We sleep in.  That’s right.  We don’t rush to the tree at three o’clock in the morning to open presents.

When we finally pull ourselves from our warm beds, we cook a delicious breakfast of bacon, potatoes, fresh fruit, and homemade waffles.

We eat together, do the dishes, and (finally) open presents one at a time.

I associate Christmas with homemade waffles, but a lot of people consider December the month of cookies.

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Friends exchange cookies as presents.  Because of family traditions, children decorate sugar cookies to look like Christmas trees and snowmen.  Families bake cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve.

In celebration of Christmas, I combined these two Christmas treats and created…

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 banana, mashed
  • 1/4 tbs honey
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 tbs coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 tbs Blind Spot Shortbread Cookie blended nut butter

Directions

  • Whisk dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt) together in a small bowl
  • In a food processor, combine wet ingredients (banana, honey, milk, oil, and nut butter).
  • Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients
  • Preheat waffle iron and coat with nonstick spay. Pour batter into prepared iron and cook 1.5 – 2 minutes.
  • Top with the Oatmeal Artist’s Chocolate Sauce and sprinkles.
  • Eat and enjoy (or leave out for Santa)

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Rice Krispie Treat Oatmeal

Rice Krispie Treat Oatmeal

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Last Wednesday, I promised to share my recipe for Rice Krispie Treat Oatmeal.

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I wish I had a great story about Rice Krispie Treats, but I don’t.  Actually, I don’t like store-bought Rice Krispie Treats because they are too thick and dry.

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But I do like oatmeal, and I like Rice Krispie cereal, and I like marshmallows, so I figured that I could put them all together.

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It was a good decision.

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 banana, mashed
  • 1/4 cup Rice Krispie cereal
  • 1/3 cup marshmallows, divided

Directions

  • Combine oatmeal and water in a microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave on high for 90 seconds.
  • Stir in mashed banana and half of the marshmallows. Microwave an additional 30 seconds.
  • Stir in Rice Krispie cereal and remaining marshmallows.
  • Eat and enjoy!
Peanut Butter Banana Cake (3 Ingredients, Vegan)

Peanut Butter Banana Cake (3 Ingredients, Vegan)

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Baking in the dorm kitchen is always an adventure for several reasons:

  1. You never know what pans are actually clean.
  2. There is no working mixer.
  3. I have to carry the ingredients from my room to the kitchen (and always have to go back because I forget to take cooking spray).
  4. There are no pot holders.
  5. There is no cake tester, so sometimes I poke holes in the cake and try a piece before I remember to take pictures of the final product.

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Yet, I love to bake, and my hall loves cupcakes, so I find myself vigorously stirring batter every few weeks.

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Several weeks ago, I bought bananas for ten cents a pound. Like all discounted bananas, they were mushy before I could eat them all. Nonetheless, I believe that it is an unpardonable sin to throw away bananas because you can always bake with overripe bananas. I also found powdered peanut butter at a discounted price.  I decided to combine the two ingredients, and this simple banana bread was the result.

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You may have noticed that I tagged this recipe as vegan.  The truth is, I am only 99% sure that the recipe is vegan. Since I am not vegan myself and never will be (it is a proven fact that my body needs dairy to function), I do not know what vegans exclude from their diets other than meat, dairy, eggs, and honey.  I do know that bananas and powdered peanut butter do not contain animal products.  If someone wants, they can enlighten me on the unpronounceable ingredients of boxed cake mix:

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Whether it is vegan or not, this cake tastes delicious, costs less than $3 total, and is simple to make.  I hope you enjoy!

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Ingredients

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 4 overripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup powdered peanut butter
  • 1 tbs. cinnamon (optional)
  • water (as needed)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mash bananas.
  3. Combine cake mix and mashed bananas completely.  Stir in powdered peanut butter and cinnamon, adding water as needed.
  4. Coat a sheet pan with nonstick spray.  Pour batter into pan.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  6. Let cool completely.  Eat and enjoy!

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WIAW: Stress Free Saturday

WIAW: Stress Free Saturday

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Today for What I Eat Wednesday, I am showing pictures of my meals on Saturday.  I wrote the text Saturday morning, and I felt that it gave appropriate “spiritual food for thought” to pair with my comestible activity for the rest of the day.

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Breakfast: The best way to finish off a jar of peanut butter is to make oatmeal in a jar!  I added grapes to make it more like pb&j.

 

Be anxious for nothing -Philippians 4:6

I seem to quote that verse on a second by second basis, and yet I am so bad at obeying it.  I tend to do the opposite and worry about everything.

Mid-morning snack: vanilla yogurt with strawberries and mandarin oranges

Right now, it is 4:30 Saturday morning, and this is what I am thinking:

  • What if I got a failing grade on the speech I gave yesterday?
  • Will I have enough time to get this assignment done?
  • What will the cafeteria serve for lunch?
  • If I swim today, will it give my mind a rest or be too taxing on my muscles?
  • I told M and K that I would take date-iversary pictures of them this afternoon, but I don’t really know what they want or what their style is.
  • Did I drink enough water yesterday?
  • Should I make my WIAW post for Saturday or Monday?
  • Should I go to the elementary school on Monday to do some prep work for student teaching?
  • I wonder if I can pick up some extra hours at work this week.
  • Should I have bought a different type of cake mix to bake for the hall meeting on Tuesday?  
  • Will I pass my licensure tests next month? 
  • Am I prepared to student teach in January?
  • What am I going to do after graduation?
  • Am I worrying too much?

I am sure the list could go on for quite a while.

Lunch in the cafeteria: banana & peanut butter sandwich (toasted in the waffle iron because the panini press was gone), mixed vegetables, and cottage cheese with cranberries

Be anxious for nothing,

But in everything with prayer and supplication 

Let your requests be made known unto God. 

– Philippians 4:13

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Snack while writing lesson plans: (an American classic) a hotdog and chips (I usually don’t have hotdogs in my room, but earlier this week, I really wanted a good hotdog.  Since I am picky about what counts as a “good hotdog,” I went to the store and bought a pack.)

I think my problem is that I never really make it past that first line of that verse.  I get so worried about not being anxious that I fail to realize that God does not leave me to find my own peace.

Supper in the cafeteria: penne pasta with chicken, vegetables, and alfredo sauce, and a bowl of cottage cheese

God wants me to bring my worries to Him in prayer with  thanksgiving.  He doesn’t expect me to mitigate my own fears.

Pre-Bible-Study-Snack: Peanut butter crackers…protecting the world from a hangry Kat.

…My peace do I leave with you. I do not give it as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled or afraid. 

– John 14:27

Snack at Bible Study: 3 Pumpkin Cheesecake bars made by our hostess (don’t you love our patriotic plates in the middle of Autumn? 🙂 )

So right now, I am bowing my head in prayer and dedicating myself to a stress-free Saturday.  I am going to fervently surrender to God’s grace.  Then I will crawl back into bed and rest in God’s peace, eager to embrace His mercies that are new every morning.

After-Bible-Study-Snack: Greek yogurt with peanut butter (I added about 4 oz. of peanut butter to this after taking the picture…I usually eat about 4 oz. of peanut butter a night).

Did I spend Saturday completely stress- and worry-free?  No.  Nonetheless, typing that post did help me put my anxiety into perspective.  I must daily hold my life up to the light of eternity and surrender my struggles to God.

Thanks Jenn (Peas and Crayons), Laura (sprint2thetable), Arman (thebigmansworld) and Meghan (cleaneatsfastfeets).

Chunky Monkey Green Smoothie

Chunky Monkey Green Smoothie

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Growing up, I learned a lot of random life facts at my neighbor’s house.  Before I met them, I did not know that hot dogs came in different meat options (they were Jewish, so it was important to have chicken or beef hot dogs).  They first introduced me to Mario, shrines, and degus.  They are also how I heard of Chunky Monkey ice cream (we are a devout Breyer’s family. I didn’t  even know who Ben and Jerry were until late elementary).

So now it is time for me to teach you a few random facts.

Fact 1: I don’t think I have ever had Chunky Monkey ice cream (I remember seeing it in the neighbor’s freezer, but I don’t think I ever ate any of it).

Fact 2: This smoothie really good.  Even monkeys think so.

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Ingredients

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup chocolate milk of choice (I use cow milk, but this could be made with almond milk, soy milk, rice milk, cashew milk, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup white milk of choice (I used 2%)
  • handful of spinach (optional)
  • 1 tbs chopped walnuts

Directions

  • Place all ingredients in blender
  • Blend until smooth
  • Drink and enjoy!

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