Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Moist Blueberry Banana Muffins

am a lover of berries, and this is blueberry season so I've been enjoying them in my cereal and oatmeal for breakfast.  Although my favorite way to eat them is probably in freshly baked muffins! 

These blueberry banana muffins have everything I love!  They're moist with plenty of sweet bananas and blueberries throughout each muffin, some whole wheat flour which adds nuttiness and a pinch of cinnamon that I add to almost everything I bake!  Cinnamon just adds that "something-something"!

My kids love these muffins and ask for more.  Enjoy these warmer spring mornings with a delicious treat from your own kitchen!  Try moist blueberry banana muffins out for yourself!  

Moist Blueberry Banana Muffins
Original recipe at: What Megan's Making
Makes 1 dozen muffins

3 ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 c. butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 c. flour **I used 1 c. wheat and 1/2 c. All-purpose
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tap. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 c. Fresh blueberries rinsed or frozen 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Grease or use baking spray to grease one muffin pan.

In a large bowl, add mashed bananas, sugar, egg, and melted butter.  Mix together very well so everything combines.

In another bowl, add flour, baking soda and powder, salt, and cinnamon and stir until blended.  Gently fold the dry mixture into wet, but just until blended and no more!  Fold in the blueberries.

Spoon evenly in the muffin pan and bake for 20 minutes.  Allow to cool for a few minutes before taking out and eating with  a cup of coffee or cold milk!

** For the wheat flour, I used King Arthur Flour in unbleached white-whole wheat flour.  It's great for baking!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Beauty of Imperfect Traditions

This morning I'm reflecting on family and tradition, something our family in particular thrives on!  There is something I find so comforting about a long standing tradition, because we grow to look forward to it and love it so.

A wonderful example is one we always had of worshipping God together at church every Sunday morning, followed by the big meal perhaps homemade or a favorite restaurant,  and then the glorious nap.  

The birthday celebrations with family or friends involving a favorite meal and dessert followed by a nap (just kidding), more like good conversations on the front porch swing while sipping coffee.

The most classic are the various holiday traditions customized to your own family's liking.  If your family is close in spirit as ours is, they usually include the most magical memories and are always oozing of cozy aromas in a bustling house, favorite movies, reminiscing, and excitement that brings you back to the good ole days of childhood!

I particularly thrive in this sort of thing!  I love wholesome traditions!

But, God is helping me to grasp not so tight on the same things that I see needing be perfectly predictable, because the past several years there have been many changes in our life.  

I'm learning that although usually uncomfortable in the beginning, change can be a wonderful thing!  

Comparing to an iconic literary character on this, I would be like Jo March from Little Women.  Growing up I always wanted to marry, but other than that I wanted a very consistent, change-free life for myself and siblings!  (That seems so naive and selfish, come to think of it.)


Excuse my chuckling, but that was before I really asked the Lord what He wanted from my life.  For me, that was indeed a big change!

Yes, I married the love of my life, which was answered prayer.

After just a few years we moved away from our entire family... to the city!   I'm a country mouse, remember?

Albeit, we stayed in Kentucky, but 3 1/2 hours away might as well have been halfway across the country!  No one in our family has ever moved away like this!

Of course that came with everything a big move involves: new church, friends, work, grocery shopping, zip code, neighborhood and insecurities.  This is the beginning of the real change God was doing.  The one inside myself!  My comfort zone had been obliterated, minus my husband by my side.

He was in medical school which meant I worked a lot to compensate to the investment my hubby was making.  My mom has always been blessed to be a "house wife", so me being the breadwinner for several years was a big difference.

Getting back to where we were...

These days, other than Christmas (praise God), our traditions have had to be much more flexible in order to remain.  I can't be at all my siblings and parent's birthdays or at every Easter and Fourth of July celebration, bonfire, or wedding, as much as that hurts.  One year, my husband worked on Thanksgiving so we didn't see family at all that year!  I wouldn't have dreamed such a thing 10 years ago.

Before this sounds like a pathetic pity party, let me explain.  It gets better! God always has worked things out for us to have our most important traditions, but we've learned to get creative and become flexible!  Any growing family understands this concept, but if you haven't just take it from me, it'll make life much easier!

That particular Thanksgiving, no we didn't go home, but the weekend before when Mr. Cozy had a day off, my family came in, and I hosted Thanksgiving dinner for the very first time ever!  Mom helped by bringing some of the food, but I cooked a turkey for the first time among other new dishes.  It became a memorable celebration we'll always talk about!  On Thanksgiving day that year I decided to actually get out all my Christmas decor and decorate the house.  No reason to mope around!

This goes for many birthday celebrations, too.  The exact day doesn't matter a bit, and yes sometimes my brother (who now lives in Chicago) can't fly in, or Papa (who works out of town a lot) may not be able to make this time, but it's okay!  Life goes on, so I don't want to be left crying over all the "imperfect" traditions when there is still much to celebrate!

This brings me back to the present.  Last Sunday was Easter or Ressurection Sunday, and my groom had to work all day and night long on that particular day.   So on Friday night, our own family of four celebrated together at our house-- Easter egg hunt and all!  The day didn't matter a bit to the kids, and if anything it just extended the holiday.  That way as parents we could still have festivities in our own home!  It was great fun!
Mr. Cozy encouraged us to go back to my parents house for the rest of the weekend since he wouldn't be around anyways.  He didn't want for the children to miss out a thing.  (He's a wonderful Daddy!)  I decided to do that, and I'm so glad we did!  My brother and Papa (my dad) wasn't able to come in either, but it was me and the kids, my sister and Mom.  We had the best time!!!! Being our children's first Easter with us, it was a very special one!!!

We came in Saturday evening to find the front porch ready for a beautiful, country Easter dinner.  

Fried chicken, homemade coconut pie, and all!

My favorite kind of food!

Mom took the time to make the setting relaxing and casual, but oh-so beautiful and serene as we indulged in fresh cut corn, cheesy potatoes, rolls with strawberry butter, and the likes.

Sometimes with a sweet little pea on my lap!

Of course sweet tea with lemon was in order-- and the children just loved their little bunny mugs to drink from!   They were big stuff! Hehe

They had their own precious table and chairs set for them.  It's one my parents have had since I was 5 years old.  If only that small wooden table could talk!

The kids had fun playing with Grammy (Mom) while I caught up talking with my sis.

The next morning I woke up and went to relax with warm cinnamon coffee in my robe on the porch before the kids awoke.

breathed deep the fresh country air, hearing only birds chirping and the warm breeze blowing in the baby leafed trees.  

I can feel God more when I'm outside,  it's something about being surrounded by His creation that surrounds me with His love!  But especially on Easter morn.

What lovely memories we made, although not our usual Easter traditions with some family missing, it was the best celebration I could've asked for!  I am so in love with my children, and was so proud of them at church.  I wanted to stand us and praise him the "charismatic" way in that small, sweet Baptist church. ;)

never tire of hearing the gospel message and being surrounded by my family in the church pews.

The beauty of the day was birthed from the calm in my heart.  

The steadiness of our family remains despite distance.  

Tradition is all well and good, but true celebration and heartfelt love will run deep nonetheless!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Easter, A little late

Jesus is alive!!!!

He has saved, set me free from my sin, and redeemed my life through His finished work on the cross!

I could go on and on about God's love for us, and mine for Him.  For now I'll leave it at that as I take a few more minutes on my parent's front porch to meditate on Him before getting the family ready for church.

If you don't know Him as your Lord and Saviour... Don't wait any longer.  He loves you infinitely no matter your present or past situation!  Please find a Bible believing church to go to or email me and I would love to tell you more!

Happy Easter!!!

**I wrote this yesterday morning while sipping coffee at my parent's house in the country, but I just realized it didn't publish until just now. So here it is now, but with a few extra pictures of the rest of the day which was lovely and included church with grandparents, dinner at a restaurant on the lake, and an Easter egg hunt.  So blessed!  If you notice, Mr. Cozy isn't in the pics because he had to work all day and also was on call that night at the hospital, too.  We sorely missed him!  Here goes...**

Monday, April 7, 2014

Eggs Olé for a Rainy Day!

It's another rainy spring day, but I guess that is what April is all about!  The trees are finally beginning to sprout baby leaves, our tulip and lilies sprouts are really growing, and since Mr. Cozy just reseeded the grass yesterday, we're thankful for these showers!  

Speaking of the (handsome) devil, he's off today and we slept in.  It felt so good!  He was sick last week and is feeling much better thanks to God answering our prayers.  The rain made it Just right for a lazy morning.

I decided to make a hot, savory breakfast consisting of a new recipe.  We already had banana muffins I made a couple days ago, so I settled on a delicious new egg recipe I found in my Gooseberry Patch cookbook, called Eggs Ole!  Cute name, isn't it?!

It turned out to be a wonderful choice!  This Southwestern flavored dish consists of mildly spicy green chiles, cheese, and eggs.  Pretty simple which makes it easy to add to, so I decided to add Canadian bacon.  I think chopped red bell peppers or tomatoes would be pretty and tasty, too.

It's really fast to put together!  Just layer your ingredients and forget about it in the oven for half an hour.  In the meantime, you can clean up and wash some fruit to eat along side. I also chose to spice up some round tator tots I baked off for little hash browns.  We ate all of this with strawberries and a muffin!  

The eggs ole were cheesy, spicy, and cooked up just right.  It was delicious!!  A dish I'll for sure make again!  If you like a western omelet, you'll LOVE this.

Eggs ole makes a delicious meal any morning with fresh coffee and some Oj with the family!

Eggs Ole!

12 eggs

3 small cans diced green chiles

16 oz. pkg. sliced cheese
Monterey Jack, provolone or Colby Jack (Shredded would be fine too. Probably about 2 cups)

2 c. Sour cream (I used light)

Salt & Pepper, to taste


(I also added about package of sliced Canadian bacon I chopped and cooked in the skillet before adding.)

Spoon chiles into a greased 9x13 dish; top with cheese and chopped Canadian bacon. Set aside.  Beat eggs and sour cream with salt and pepper to taste; pour over cheese.  Sprinkle paprika and more pepper if you want.  Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes.  Serves 10-12

(I halved this recipe and baked in a 8x8in. pan for about 32 minutes.  Serves 4-6)