Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Banana Craisin Chocolate Oatmeal Bites

In my quest to live a healthier lifestyle I've been trying hard to find a good, quick, easy breakfast.  As a mom of two kids Love-A-Lot, who is in kindergarten now and Funshine who has just turned 2, it's not always easy to pick the healthy choice.  We walk to school each morning and have exactly 25 minutes to eat breakfast and get out the door to make it to school on time.  I found this recipe.  There is nothing wrong with the original (although I wouldn't refer to them as muffins), but I wanted it to be healthier for me so I changed quite a bit.  Here is my result:
 
 
Don't they look yummy?!
Preheat your oven to 375* and lets get started!  Get a large bowl:
 
 
Peel 3 bananas and toss them in the bowl.  Mash them up.  You can use a fork or whatever floats your boat.  I prefer to have my banana mush smooth so I used my hand mixer! Love that thing!
 


You'll also need the following:

1 CUP of Almond Milk


1/3 CUP of Egg Whites

1 TBSP Baking Powder

3 CUPS Rolled Oats

1/4 CUP Craisins

1/2 CUP Applesauce

1 TSP Pumpkin Pie Spice

1/4 CUP Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
 Toss all the other ingredients in the bowl along with the bananas you mashed and mix thoroughly. 

 
Grease a mini muffin tin and spoon out the oatmeal mixture.  I used a little scoop (for cookies and what not) it is the perfect size for the mini muffin tin. 
 

Fill the cups right up.  Some of mine vary in size due to the craisins and chocolate chips, but try to make them as even as possible.  I got 34 servings from this recipe.


Bake at 375* for 15 - 20 minutes.  Check them after 10 since oven times vary.  Mine is gas and tends to cook faster then others.  Also if you use a regular or jumbo tin, then adjust the cooking times accordingly.


To check for doneness poke the top of the Bites with your finger you want them firm not squishy.  Also look for a little bit of browning on the top.


Let them cool in the pan for a minute or two and transfer them to an air tight container to cool the rest of the way.  I generally make these during naptime or in the evening so once they are finished cooling put the lid on and store them in the fridge!


 
In the morning you can either eat them cold or pop them in the microwave for about 30 seconds until they are warm again.  One of these Bites is 50 calories!!! Not to shabby, because I find them quite filling.  I usually have 3 and then a veggie sausage patty. 

You don't have to have the "fancy" things, you can absolutely use regular milk and two eggs, but that will change the calories depending on what you use.  Also if you don't like craisins or **GASP** chocolate omit or replace them.  Pumpkin Pie Spice is kinda my thing, if you don't like it you can use cinnamon or another spice combination. 

Make these, they are great, easy, and so very yummy!  You will wonder how you ever got by without eating Banana Craisin Chocolate Oatmeal Bites!!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Sunshade Tutorial

Love-A-Lot and Funshine love to play outside.  We usually go out in the afternoon.  It gets horribly sunny as the sun goes down below the roof line.  The kids and I tend to burn easily and the sun just cooks you in those chairs.  
 
The chair against the wall provides the best view of the kids, but the most sun exposure.
A sunshade was my solution, but of course nothing is easy.  We had an odd measurement and no sunshades on the market would fit.

 
Isn't that great?!  It's a perfect solution.  The two pictures are taken at roughly the same time of day!  It is so much cooler and finally tolerable.  It was SO easy to make too. 
 
You will need:  Fabric (here), Grommets (I used these), hooks for hanging, thread, ribbon for tying, heavy duty fusible interfacing (I used scrap of home d├ęcor weight), and some Heat'N Bond iron on adhesive.
 
The fabric was 30% off and I used a 40% off coupon at Joanns for the grommets.
Measure your space.  Cut your fabric to the appropriate size adding 1" for seam allowances.  I was lucky the width of the fabric was the height that I wanted.

Since I was using the width of the fabric I lined up the selvages to make trimming and squaring easier.
Trim off any extra fabric.  I ordered 2 yards and had 15 extra inches.

Trim to your desired size.
 
Measure your grommets and add about an inch .  Cut four squares of fabric that size.  Mine were 2.5".  Also cut 8 squares of interfacing and 4 squares of Heat'n Bond.
 


First fuse the interfacing to the wrong (or right, really it doesn't matter) side of the fabric squares.  After, fuse the squares of Heat'n Bond.  You will have 4 squares of interfacing leftover, set those off to the side.


Hem your fabric.  I did the cheater/fast way using the selvages as a roll over guide.  Fold it once the width of the white space and then fold it one more time.  Sew. 


I sewed the selvage edges first and then did the width of the fabric edges second.

All the edges will be concealed, preventing fraying.
 Fuse your remaining squares of the interfacing on the wrong side of the 4 corners of the fabric.


Peel back the paper from the Heat'n Bond.  Pardon my HORRIBLE nail polish throughout this tutorial.


Fuse it on the interfacing square.


Using the template from the grommet pack mark where you need to cut.


I used the pie method (I'm pretty sure I just made that name up).  I fold the fabric in half and cut, from that slit I cut little wedges leaving the circle looking like a pie, then cut around the edges.


Follow your grommet instructions and attach all 4 grommets.


They snapped right on.  I was worried I had layered too much on there, but they fit nice and tight.

Why yes my ring is backwards. 
Install the hooks.  You can do this yourself or enlist the help of someone else.  Enter Grumpy.  Boy was he Grumpy after this.  The first hook went in great the others were a bear.  His drill wouldn't go through whatever crap is under there.  He had to hammer a screw first, THEN drill, THEN put in the hooks.  Crazy.  Good thing he's an engineer.

He's really not, but that was a joke just for him!
Hang your curtain up.  I chose to use the grommets on one side and ribbon on the other.


The window was in the way so the bottom ribbon is quite a bit longer.


The top is much shorter. Don't forget to heat seal the edges of the ribbon. The ribbon will come in handy in a few minutes.


How well does it block?  Wonderfully.  It's not dark at all. The temperature is much cooler too.


The back looks nice and finished too.


The ribbon is used to hold the shade on the hooks for storage purposes. Roll it up and loop the ribbon on the hook.

The bottom.

The top.
I love this shade.  I no longer dread going outside in the afternoon.  It took me about an hour to make.  It took poor Grumpy about an hour to install the hooks.  It's so easy, give it a try!