Monday, December 19, 2011

Spiced Maple Banana Bread

It has been an awesome weekend of baking in our home.We've made Pumpkin Muffins, Everything Cookies and my personal favorite Spiced Maple Banana Bread.

I got some fantastic organic black bananas from our local grocery store for a great price, and I set out to make an amazing, allergy friendly, spiced banana bread. After a little trial and error I believe I have succeed in making the perfect loaf of gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, egg free, soy free banana bread!!

I have a some mini loaves, and muffins in the oven now. The muffins I added carob chips to, you could easily use chocolate chips if you prefer, just make sure they are Fair Trade Certified. Also, if using carob or chocolate chips, make sure to read the label as a lot of carob and chocolate use both dairy and soy.

Spiced Maple Banana Bread


  • 1.5 cups Pecan Meal*
  • 1.5 cups Almond Meal*
  • 3 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Xanthum Gum or 1 tsp Guar Gum
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice 
  • 1/4 cup Maple Agave or Pure Maple Syrup
  • 3 very ripe, mashed organic bananas
  • 1/2 cup almond milk*


Mix together dry ingredients in a big bowl or mixer, add in wet ingredients one at a time adding the milk last to achieve the best consistency.
Pour batter into a oiled loaf pan, or muffin cups. Bake 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool before eating or the center will be a bit mushy.

The crust will be a bit of a darker brown than you might be used to, it's from the pecans, don't worry it isn't burnt. :) 


* Side note, if your nut free you may substitute 3 cups of your favorite gf flour, You might have to add more or less milk depending on your flour. Rice milk and Hemp milk would be a great substitute for the almond milk. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

picture me {im}perfectly. White Elephants

Two nights ago the boys and I were headed to scouts and we needed to make a quick stop by Walgreens to pick up a white elephant gift for J. I let him run in by himself, and use $5 of his own money to pick the gift, something that I never do, but I was hoping it would give him a little since of freedom, and help him to get a little more excited about his white elephant exchange.

J hops in the truck all excited to show me what he had decided upon, he had gotten 2 boxes of candy canes and a very large chocolate coin.

The FIRST thing out of my mouth was. . ."J, that isn't fair trade chocolate, why in the world would you knowingly buy chocolate that wasn't fair traded?"

He replied sheepishly that he had thought about it, but he wanted to get something that he knew the other boys would really like and he knows everybody loves candy, and with $5 to spend and at Walgreens no less, he didn't have much option. He hung his head. . .

Why in the world did I do that, I mean to ease into it would have been one thing, but to jump right into the negative. . . wow. Mommy FAIL.

We have since cuddled and talked about how I made him feel, and I have apologized for the way that I handled that situation, but that was a big moment for him, and I took the spotlight away with my negative comment.

Has this ever happened to you? How did you handle it?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Jolly Oh Saint Nicolas

Jolly old Saint Nicholas
lean your ear this way
Don't you tell a single soul 
what I'm going to say
Christmas Eve is coming soon
now, you dear old man 
Whisper what you'll bring to me
tell me if you can
We got a visit from Old Saint Nick, and his wife last night, and were the boys ever thrilled! He used his magic key and they walked right in our front door, his bells jingling to the tune of Jingle Bells as they came up the stairs to the dining room where we all were chatting. After greeting the children by name, they jumped right into telling the story of The Night Before Christmas. It was a fabulous performance, and how even Santa can memorize that story, I'll never know! Next came speaking with the boys individually, to find out if they they believe they have been good or bad and what they want most for Christmas.

Both J and D willingly climbed right up on Santa's knee, C, lol well C wasn't having any part of Santa Clause, He did however let Mrs. Clause hold him!

Afterward, we sang the HoHo Pokey, and Mrs. Clause read us a story. It was truly a wonderful evening and I was so blessed to be able to share this with my boys!!

(Sam was here, he was just taking the picture)

And Jolly Oh Saint Nick, he even got a great big hug!

When the clock is striking twelve
when I'm fast asleep
Down the chimney, broad and black
with your pack you'll creep
All the stockings you will find
hanging in a row
Mine will be the shortest one
you'll be sure to know
Bobby J wants a pair of skates
Suzy D wants a sled
Nellie C wants a picture book
yellow, blue, and red
Now I think I'll leave to you
what to give the rest
Choose for me, dear Santa Claus
you will know the best. 


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Snow, Peppermint Coffee and a Gorgeous 8 Month Old

Oh how I do love the mornings when you wake up and there are a few inches of snow blanketing the ground in sparkly white.

After cooking the older boys steak, eggs and bacon with peppermint hot chocolate for a December first breakfast done right, they are off to school and C and I got down to business, my baby is 8 months old today. EIGHT, where did this year go and how did my little man get so big. In just four short months we will be celebrating his first birthday, hopefully in Moab with our family. In the mean time, we are capturing him at 8 months, his first December, his first Christmas. I love firsts!

In the kitchen, I have peppermint coffee brewing, it smells a little like heaven. I tried to make peppermint coffee last week, I don't know if it was the fact that it was still November that threw it off, but let me tell you, mixing dried peppermint leaves with coffee and letting it brew. . . FAIL.

Today I used peppermint extract in with my grounds*, it turned out REALLY good. Filled my mug half full of steamed almond milk and stirred in a tsp of vanilla agave, it tastes like a Thin Mint Girl Scout cookie. . . not kidding.

So now C is napping, I'm just finished editing his pictures and I am in love. I'll share this one for now, not sure what I want to put on the Christmas cards just yet. <3

*Update - I added 1 TBSP organic baking carob in with my grounds today, EVEN BETTER! I'm sure that cocoa would work too, for those of you who's EBF baby isn't intolerant to chocolate!