09/19/14
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healthy peanut butter banana soft serve

It’s been an oddly hot summer here in Washington.  Although we have 90 degrees predicted for this weekend, fall is definitely in the air.  I can start to feel a change in season.   I want to do yard work again, yay!  While browsing through some pictures from a few months ago I came across our little ice cream social I had with the kiddos one afternoon.  Hunter had woken up early from his nap so a snack was in order to tide him over until dinner.  Ice cream it was.  Because who isn’t down for a little ice cream on a hot summer afternoon?

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Gosh both kiddos look so different just 3 months ago…

I am all for real ice cream.  Yum.  But it’s not an every day thing, and especially for my little 2 year old.  He is energized enough without a sugar high.  Banana soft serve makes you think you’re eating (banana flavored) ice cream, but without the extra sugar.  Just extra deliciousness.

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Let’s talk about peanut butter.   Anyone else love PB and banana like me?  All you do is add a spoonful in as you’re whipping up your soft serve and that awesome PB-banana flavor combo is made.  If you’ve never made banana soft serve before here’s a little lesson for ya.  If you have, then you know the greatness and totally need to try adding some PB in.

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Peanut Butter Banana Soft Serve

Ingredients

  • ripe bananas (frozen into chunks) – about 1 banana per person
  • spoonful of natural peanut butter

Directions

  1. Add your frozen bananas chunks into a food processor.  Process until the bananas begin to break down into small chunks.IMG_5151
  2. Add your peanut butter in.IMG_5152
  3. Continue to process the bananas and PB until smooth and soft serve like.
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What was your favorite summer treat?  Have you tried banana soft serve before?

Heather

09/15/14
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second annual libby family canning weekend

I can’t believe it has already been a little more than a week since we were crazy canners in Seattle.  As I mentioned in my latest post (did you see the blueberry breakfast bread – check it out!), we spent the weekend in Seattle for our second annual canning weekend!  It was a huge success and of course, lots of fun.  Read more about last year here.  Now more about year two.

We had originally planned our canning weekend for labor day weekend, but it was postponed to the following weekend, which meant it was a tad shorter than the previous year.  My parents, brother, sister in law, niece and nephew couldn’t make it, so we were 6 people less.  But that still meant 4 women, 4 men and 3 children were in for canning weekend.  The women were the canners, the men folk helped a ton by watching the kids.  And they fed us.  Crucial.

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I snapped as many pictures as I could, but I mostly kept myself pretty busy.  I may have even been called bossy… but I say I was just utilizing my leadership skills to keep the weekend a canning success.

In one full day and one morning we canned 154 jars which included pickles (dill, sour and bread & butter), diced tomatoes, canned peaches in lavender syrup, sweet relish, peach salsa, applesauce, mixed berry jam, peach jam and dilly beans.

I loved how hard we all worked and how much we accomplished, but more so just the time spent with family.  All the conversations.  All the tired feet.  All worth it.  I’m already looking forward to next year in the hopes of having a spring canning weekend added in too.

Just can‘t get enough!

Heather

09/7/14
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whole wheat blueberry breakfast bread

It’s secret recipe club time again! My assigned blog for the month was Hun… What’s for dinner?  Cindy cooks for her husband and 2 kiddos, and shares tons of dinner ideas.  In fact, on my dinner menu this week are her spicy avocado and caramelized onion quesadillas. Yum, right? I can’t wait to try them.

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What I baked up were her wild blueberry muffins. Although my blueberries were not wild, nor did I make muffins (a loaf instead), the recipe still rocked. I subbed in whole wheat pastry flour which is light and great for baked items, but gives you the goodness of whole grains. I also cut the sugar down by almost half. I figured the blueberries would add sweetness, and then I’d also feel better about munching on it for breakfast, which is what we did.

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The result? Deeeelicious! The extra sugar was not missed one bit.

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For breakfast one morning I paired a couple of small slices with scrambled eggs and banana. Hunter and I loved it and my hungry 2 year old asked for a couple more pieces, which I was happy to give him.

Now you can too, enjoy the recipe!

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Whole Wheat Blueberry Breakfast Bread

Recipe adapted from here

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp lemon extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (I subbed in 1/4 cup milk, 1/4 plain yogurt and a splash of lemon juice)
  • 2 cups + 1 tbsp whole wheat pastry flour, divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 tbsp natural cane sugar – set aside for sprinkling
  • 1 tbsp rolled oats – set aside for spinkling

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a loaf pan with oil.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar; until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, vanilla extract, lemon extract, oil and buttermilk; stir to combine.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, mix together 2 cups flour, baking powder and salt. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mixing until just about combined. Toss the blueberries with the remaining 1 tbsp of flour and add to the batter, mixing until just combined.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle evenly with 1 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp rolled oats. Bake for 50-60 minutes; or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before removing from the pan.

We spent this past weekend in Seattle for our second annual canning weekend (read about the first one here). More to come on that soon!

What did you do over the weekend?  Bake anything wonderful and delicious?  Please share!

Heather