Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Muffins and soup.....yummy!!!

 Before I begin, I want to remember the 9/11 victims, those killed and those affected by the tragedy.  As I took my kids to school this morning, I noticed numerous flags being flown in front of our neighborhood and various houses.  I am grateful that we are a country that can come together.  Yes, our lives go on and we continue living.  However, may we never forget the unity we felt that day, as a country and as human beings. 
We vacationed in wonderful NYC this summer and visited the World Trade Center sight.  It was odd returning and seeing the city without the buildings.  Barry and I lived there for a couple of years when Jorden was a baby.  Barry went to Physician Assistant school in NY.  We visited the city often, and even stayed at the Marriott World Trade Center one time when his mom was in town.  Taking this picture was weird.  Usually when you pose for a picture you smile, but it just didn't seem right to break out in an ear to ear grin.  It was patriotic day at Luke's school today.  He wore the same exact outfit as in this picture!!

I decided to make some banana nut muffins yesterday.  I wasn't particularly in the baking mood, but I hated to throw out over ripe bananas.  It was either in a muffin or in a trash for those brown bananas....muffins won.  I have never found a banana nut muffin that I love and rush to make again.  Emily loves this type of muffin, so I often try out recipes.  I searched the Web and found a recipe on  Food Network to try yesterday.  WOW!!  They are so moist and delicious! 
I will definitely keep this recipe and use it many times. 
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 lg. eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
3 very ripe bananas
1/2 cup toasted walnuts (I used toasted pecans because I didn't have walnuts)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place nuts on a baking dish and toast for approximately 7 minutes.  Whisk the eggs and vanilla together.  With a mixer, mix the sugar and the butter together.  Once they are thoroughly mixed, add the egg mixture and mix until combined.  Add the dry ingredients and mix until well blended.  Add the nuts and gently stir them in with a spoon.

Pour into muffin cups and bake for 15-17 minutes.  If you would rather use a loaf pan, bake for 55 minutes.....ENJOY!!

My kiddos each came home from school happy to see muffins in the kitchen.  :-)

Last night was a busy one!  Jorden had SAT tutoring at our house.  Barry and I divided and conquered because the junior high and high school both had open house.  Emily had homework and Luke held down the fort (we told him that was his duty last night!)  I knew regardless of our busy evening, everyone needed some nourishment.  Complaints and growling tummies would invade our home if I didn't have some form of dinner for my hungry bunch!  I threw a soup in the crock pot and boy, oh boy, was it wonderful!! As I was trying to clean the kitchen when I got home last night, Barry wouldn't stop eating out of the crock pot.  He had already eaten two bowls and finished off Luke's too.  He kept saying he wanted to stop but he couldn't because it was too good.  Once he backed away he said, "You're welcome!!  I cleaned the crock pot for you."  Sure enough, it was empty!! 

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans corn, undrained
1 can Rotel, undrained
1 pkg. Ranch packet
1 tsp. cumin
1Tbl. chili powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 8 oz. cream cheese
3 chicken breasts, cut in half (raw)

Place all the ingredients into a crock pot and turn on the low setting.  Let cook for 6-8 hours.  Before serving, cut the chicken into pieces and return back to the soup. 

I served the soup with cornbread muffins.

Off to a meeting!!  May we all enjoy the day....may many hugs and kisses be a part of it!!