Long Abscence From Blogging…

Hello to all my readers(to those who still follow)! I’m not quite sure where to begin, guess I’ll be honest and tell you all that the desire to write hasn’t been there. Since my last post back in April(I think), the year has been busy for the most part, sad, and depressing. I’ve put off sharing anything on here mostly because I don’t want to be a blogger who airs it all on the web, but neither did I ever imagine I’d become a blogger who would disappear for months on end without a word to my faithful readers. For that, I do apologize. 

The year started off well enough, so what have I been up to?  By the end of March I was asked to teach a 3&4 yr old VBS class at my church and from then on until June I was busy prepping and making decorations for my classroom and no joke that took A LOT out of me. Once VBS started we were swamped every day with fun activities, energetic kids, and I would come home to crash. It was a fun theme though, under the sea, so cute! Below are few pictures of the room my helpers and I decorated(mind you we kept it simple so as not to give little hands too much to mess with).

My son, G, decided to come hang out in my room one morning before VBS started. He played with the play-doh and made a gruesome zombie head. What can I say, that’s G for ya! ๐Ÿ˜‰

This was a fun labor of love project that unfortunately I didn’t get to use. I made a puppet stage out of carboars, expanding spray foam, pain, and hot glue. The sea urchins were my favorite and one of the first things I made. A half ball of styrofoam, qtips, craft glue, and paint. BOOM, sea urchin! Thankfully another church who was using a similar under the sea theme cam in on the last day and took all the decorations to use during their VBS week. Hopefully the puppet stage was put to good use! 

As for the wall decorations, all credit must be given to Party Cheap dot com. They made it possible for me decorate the walls to look we were under the sea. My helpers did an amazing job putting everything up and yes it wasn’t all perfect but the children loved it and that’s what mattered the most! 

The second thing I loved the most was the beach sign! Foam poster board, paint, and hot glue made that possible. And I’m not even an artist, never claimed to be either, but the rustic skills I do have worked well for that old weathered look! On the first day of VBS I had G help me get some sea kelp up that went behind that sign on the lower wall. Wish I had snapped a picture of it, was really cute and helped finish off the wall. 

The third decoration I LOVED making were the jellyfish! Crazy easy! Paper bowls, paint, tissue paper, and googly eyes is all it took. A person with long arms was kind enough to lend his height when it came time to hanging those precious jellyfish up. All the ideas were found through Pinterest and made possible through friends who donated items to me. It was fun but very tiring, not for the faint of heart. It’s the VBS I remember from the 90’s, that’s for sure! 

After VBS was said and done, I went back to sort of helping a friend with her summer class. Fine tuning her weekly lessons, and making sure everything was ready. I admit my mental capability was tapped out for a bit, felt like a vegetable most days. Thankfully I was able to get her summer class announcement finished in time so it could be advertised. She had a Lego theme and all her lessons were centered around Building Godly Character.

 I had saved up 13 boxes(mostly amazon shipping boxes) and wrapped them in tissue paper to make them look like Lego building blocks. Each week she could add the next block to the the previous one and use it as a visual aid for her class. The kids loved it! Of course I don’t know too many kids who DON’T love Legos! And what’s in store for next year?! An Indian Jones theme!!! Queue the theme song…๐Ÿ˜œ

After the summer class ended I had the utmost pleasure in helping my sister from another mister plan for her first overseas mission trip. Spent one weekend helping her organize and price things for her yardsale, which turned out to be amazing! Being able to help her with that was a huge blessing to me, I was able to witness God work lots of miracles! I never tout that I have a lot of faith, I struggle just like everyone else and yet I was constantly being reminded of “faith as small as a mustard seed.” Truly, every single prayer was answered, lots of tears were shed as we both witnessed God working in our lives and seeing people coming together to make this trip possible for her and the group she was going with! Below is a picture of the sign I made for her after we learned someone had annonymously purchased her plane ticket.

I wish I could say the summer ended on high fun note, but sadly it didn’t. The last few months since August 17th have been the pits. I’m not even sure I can share this without crying, so for now I think I’ll stop here and hope this little update finds you all in joyous spirit! Christmas is around the corner and the new year is upon us, ๐Ÿ˜ฑโ˜บ๏ธ<—I am shocked and excited! 

Will write more later, may the rest of your week be blessed! Amanda Gayleโค๏ธ๐ŸŽ„โค๏ธ

Friday Favorite!

I haven’t done one these in quite a while, and today’s favorite(yes, only one) is a site that I signed up on just this morning! I am no way being paid to write about the following, just a teensy bit excited about today’s favorite! Hope you enjoy!!

House-Party-Logo

The site is called House Party, and the way it works is simple: you sign up(it’s free,btw!), apply to “parties” you would like to be chosen for, answer a simple questionnaire and agreeing to their terms of service. Once you’ve done that you can then share everything on your favorite social media sites and complete some easy activities to better your chances of being chosen to host! AND PRESTO!

I guess I’m the addicting type, I have already signed up for 5 parties.

  • Depraved Heart by Patricia Cornwell House Party
  • Women’s Rogaine House Party(need all the help I can possibly get!)
  • HelloFresh House Party
  • Lumination Glow Stick Markers House Party (thinking the kiddos from my Wednesday night church class are going to REALLY love these!)
  • Team Roomba for iRobot Roomba 980 House Party

Which may not look like a lot, after all I will probably not be chosen for any of them. Perchance I am picked to host one of those parties, I am going to have so much fun sharing my findings with everyone here on my blog! Pictures, testimonies, and possibly some videos(yikes,ย  lol)! I’ve always wanted to do product testing and hopefully NOW I’ll get the opportunity ๐Ÿ™‚

ย Go check it out, sign up, and apply for some fabulous parties! If you are chosen please ping back to this post so I can see your review, photos, testimonies and ooo and awe over your party!! ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

Have a blessed day!!

Boldly Going…

Today I launched my new Jamberry blog (Jonesin’ For Wraps). Basically I wanted to separate my work fun from my food fun ๐Ÿ™‚ I already have a brand new post up, if you get a chance I hope you check it out!

To visit—>Jonesin’ For Wraps

Hope you all are having a blessed Thursday!!

Frosted Chewy Sugar Cookies

Afternoon all,

Hope everyone is staying warm! Woke up today to sleet, a nice sight considering we haven’t had much of anything this winter other than rain. I would have preferred actual sticking snow, but sleet was just as nice to see ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s on days like this I just want to hunker down under a warm blanket, cup of coffee nearby, a little heater aimed at my feet, and get lost in a book. It’s a day to not do anything! However, it’s also a day fire up the oven and warm up the house with some baked goodies!ย 

Each year G–Man and I set out to decorate holiday cookies and last month I think we REALLY discovered something yummy! I didn’t grow up decorating holiday cookies, Mom and I did that once and never again because of how messy it was. True, it can be very messy and now you all know where I get it ๐Ÿ˜‰ It’s hard for me let my son in the kitchen to help with cooking and baking because the mess seems to grow. But determined to create our own holiday memories, I put aside my angst against messes and let G–Man have at it. Rolling out the dough, cutting out the shapes, sprinkling on the colored sugar. My hand in it is the making of said dough, putting in and pulling out the pans from the oven, and applying the frosting. We always have a lot of fun and actually enjoy ourselves! There is hope for me yet!

Last year I discovered a very tasty cut out sugar recipe. I wanted something that was going to soft, chewy, and yet sturdy enough to hold up to the frosting. And then I wanted a frosting that wasn’t overly sweet, that would have a delicious vanilla flavor and set up in no time. Boy did I get lucky with the recipes and I am so happy to be able to share them with you today! The recipe for the cut out cookies is over at Sally’s Baking Addiction. The only thing I didn’t have for the recipe was almond extract, no bigs I just replaced it with more of our homemade vanilla extract which was a great idea!

Frosted Chewy Sugar Cookies

We decided to keep them simple this year, stars, gingerbread men, and Christmas trees. The year before last we used a store bought icing tubes(red, white, green) and while that did make our first time decorating cookies I wasn’t too impressed with the outcome. So this year I made the commitment to making the frosting from scratch. But first let me brag about Sally’s cookie recipe. Chewy. Soft. Flavorful. Not too sweet. Everything I ever want in a cookie and more! It was an easy enough recipe to make and here’s a trick when cutting them out. Instead of rolling out on a surface and then transferring them to a cookie sheet, I turned a baking sheet pan upside down, applied a scant amount of Crisco to the pan and laid a piece of parchment paper to it. The Crisco helps to keep the parchment paper in place when rolling out the dough. I only rolled out the dough twice before discarding.
reposition the cut out pieces on the pan and bake according to directions. They came out perfect! Once cooled G–Man would move them from the pan to a cooling wrack and we would continue on to the next batch. So fun!

And now for the frosting, I based mine off of the one I found over at allrecipes. But like always, I chose to change it up slightly. See, I don’t like adding milk and vanilla extract to my frosting recipes. It’s too much liquid and the vanilla flavor is never right. I know I’ve shared this many times before, but I like to use flavored coffee creamer in lieu of milk and vanilla extract. That shouldn’t shock anyone but I’m sorry if it does. I am especially fond of the French Vanilla coffee creamer(yes, the liquid stuff). So, here’s the link to the original recipe, but below is how I changed it. Try both and decide which one you like best!

4 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup shortening
5 TBLSP + 1 tsp French Vanilla Coffee Creamer
food coloring, optional

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, cream together the confectioners’ sugar and shortening until smooth. Gradually mix in the coffee creamer with an electric mixer until smooth and stiff, about 5 minutes. Color with food coloring if desired.

And that’s it! My youngest nephew was impressed and because he liked them so much I sent the rest home with him ๐Ÿ™‚ Of course you don’t have to use French Vanilla coffee creamer, you can use Hazelnut, Irish Cream, Amaretto, Caramel…really the possibilities are endless! Especially around the holidays when there’s white chocolate, peppermint, and eggnog.

20141225_051558859_iOS

And that’s how this Night Owl does Frosted Chewy Sugar Cookies. I had G–Man keep the decoration simple, just red and green colored sugar. Explaining to him that I wanted the flavor and texture to be “center stage” rather than piling on numerous candies, sprinkles, and layers of frosting.

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, this cookie and frosting recipe is perfect! Now all I need to get are some heart shaped cutters and red frosting gel to make Valentine cookies for G–Man to give at his Patch Club Valentine’s Day party.

I hope you all have enjoyed this little post and try out these recipes. Hopefully they will become your go–to recipes as they have become ours! Have a blessed day!!!

~5 Christmas Favorites~

Afternoon everyone, I haven’t done one of these in a while and thought well, why not?! ๐Ÿ™‚ Christmas has come sooner than expected this year, or perhaps that’s my age hanging out. So today I’m going to share 5 of my Christmas favorites, these rarely change from year to year. Here goes….

1) Christmas Music

Give me some of those old classics from way back when….my personal favorite being Dean Martin! Listening to this music reminds me a lot of my Memaw. She would always have the record player going(and later on the CD player). The TV wasn’t allowed to be on at all Christmas Day. She wanted us to enjoy being together, making those memories and celebrating together the most wonderful time of the year! And the tv stays off here at our house on Christmas Day, we all sit around talking, making memories, sipping on egg nog and munching on holiday goodies. Remembering those who have already gone on ahead of us, the good times we shared with them while embracing the new ones. It’s amazing what a little song can do ๐Ÿ™‚

2) Houses Decorated on the Outside

I’m not finicky, if your house is decorated for Christmas then I am in love! Pretty easy to please in that respect. Fewer and fewer people actually decorate the outside of their houses. We have never done it, mostly because of a lack of funds, but I do admire those who take the time to string up some lights on their house! Driving through neighborhoods to see the lights is a favorite of mine, it just brings back that feeling of “ahhhh, Christmastime is here”.

3) Ugly Sweaters

ย ย 

Yes, I am an ugly sweater fan! It brings back fun memories of my public school teachers who would wear these fun festive sweaters in December, with their little gold slip on shoes, poofy hair with frosted tips, and gaudy jingle bell jewelry! We’d have room mother’s bring in cupcakes, chips, and koolaid for homeroom parties, get a gift from our teacher and spend the rest of the time on a sugar high of epic proportions! Ugly sweaters get mocked frequently but to me I smile when I see one at its holiday cheer ๐Ÿ™‚ If you’re tired of having an ugly Christmas sweater, I’ll give a good home!

4) Christmas Eve Finger Foods

Alright, what kind of blog would this be if I didn’t bring food into the mix?! Seriously I love our Christmas Eve snack food! It’s been something that my family has always done. We pull out a few cookies, the smoke summer sausage with cheese and crackers, boiled shrimp, a cheese ball, and a Claxton’s fruit cake(you know the kind that weighs a ton that no one wants to eat…my Granddad Jones would send one every year, a little something to let us know he was thinking of us and last year in memory of him I bought one for my Dad’s stocking. We all took a piece and ate it to commemorate Granddad Jones). Serve it all with my Mom’s hot apple cider, egg nog, and have some instrumental Christmas music playing in the background.ย 

5) Christmas Coloring Books

ย ย 

Don’t deny it, when you were a kid you would colors for hours and show everyone each page you did! My Memaw always had crayons and coloring books where us grandkids could find them. It was the first thing I’d pull out as soon as we’d arrive. Sit at the coffee table and color until my hand was ready to fall off! A bit exaggeration but you get the idea ๐Ÿ˜‰ Every time I see a vintage Christmas coloring book I am thrown back to when I was little girl and simpler times!

Yes, those were the days folks. But they are not forgotten nor replaced. A smell, a sound, or seeing something from back then can bring it all back! Cherish your memories, your loved ones, and enjoy this holiday season! From my family to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Hello, I am an Independent Consultant for Jamberry. How May I Help You?!

9c396f9a308f4abf2d1d30526b833151

 

Since joining back in October, things have been a whirlwind and I’m not sure I’ve completely grasped everything just yet. Let’s see, I’ve been a consultant now since Oct. 16th, almost 3 weeks now and haven’t sold a thing. I’ve sent out oodles of samples, lots of prizes from my launch party(this Friday I have to send out the rest), and lots of inquiries about what Jamberry is. I’ll be honest, it has taken it’s toll on me. Seeing posts from other fellow Jamberry Consultants selling left and right, booking online parties and vendor events, and getting recruits signed up. All the while I’m trying to NOT let my head get the best of me. I can be my own worst enemy at times!

20141104_152124000_iOS

 

After being in a bad head space on Monday, I decided to change it around and remind myself of why I wanted to be a consultant. There are a lot of personal goals I’d like to reach by the end of next year, one in particular is to begin studying holistic medicine. May sound like an odd thing to pursue but it’s been a dream now for over a year and hopefully it will become a reality. I’ve always turned to holistic medicine whenever I’m sick or feeling a tad under the weather. Without fail I have bounced back with no ill side effects and usually feeling better than before.
I also enjoy sharing my findings with friends and loved ones, but I would like to be able to share it on a broader scale with more people and eventually be able to take on patients who are wanting an holistic practitioner. And in my city, they are hard to come by. So in the meantime, baby steps toward my goal and hopefully more people will hop on board the Jamberry train!

Alrighty, what is Jamberry?

20141019_165950000_iOS

Do they only have quirky styles? No, in fact, Jamberry offers a wide range of more conservative styles that are more business appropriate(eg. French Tip Wraps). They also offer festive holiday wraps, collegiate wraps, and yes you can even customize your own wraps with the NailArtStudio for a truly one of a kind look! The Nail Art Studio is a great way to make awareness wraps, customize wraps for birthdays, weddings, parties of all kinds, or just for the heck of it!

The current offer from Jamberry is to Buy 3 Get 1 Free. It’s a wonderful offer actually, it’s a $60 value for $45+shipping & tax. A lot of consultants who host parties online will offer a Buy 3 Get 2 Free, usually the second one is a sheet of wraps from the consultant’s personal stash or the customer can choose one online at the consultant’s expense. It’s a great way to not only boost sales but to also give a little extra, especially around the holidays! Many times, customers will do what is called “Buddy Package” that is offered in parties(like the one I am currently doing). A “Buddy Package” is when two friends decide to choose two wraps each and split the cost of shipping and tax. Another way of doing it is when both people choose four wraps each and split the cost of shipping and tax. It then becomes a Buy 8 Get 2 Free at that point but I prefer the first option. It’s a good way for those who are new to Jamberry to try it out with the hope of making future purchases.

From what I have heard through the grapevine, Jamberry does do Black Friday Sales. I have no clue as to what that will entail, however all I can say at this point is don’t stray too far from your laptop or digital devices. You will not want to miss out on special savings! If you choose to place an order with the intent to give said items as a Christmas gift, the cut off date to order is December 1st(CAD) and December 10th(USA). Of course the sooner you can get your orders in the better! But this way you should receive it by December 24th.

GiftCardHeader

And then there is the other option…E–Gift Cards. I am quite fond of this option and hope that many folks choose to go this route the closer we get to Christmas. It’s a wonderful way to give a unique gift without fretting over what exactly to pick out. If you know someone who is into doing her nails but you aren’t quite sure about what wraps to pick out for her, the best choice would be to go with an e–gift card. After purchasing the e–gift card, it will be sent your email inbox. Here’s what I would do if I were giving an e–gift card. I would print out the above picture on nice card stock paper. Cut it out and on the backside I would include all the necessary information the recipient is going to need in order to use the gift card (including my the link to order through, mine is http://jonesinforwraps.jamberrynails.net). Then I would place it in a nice festive money card and of course write their name on the envelope. It’s that extra step in making even something as simple as an electronic gift card seem that much more special and that you were thinking about her when it came to the presentation!

You can choose to purchase a $25/USA $28/CAD gift card all the way up to $100/USA $113/CAD gift card.

Of course Jamberry isn’t just about fun nail wraps, they offer nail lacquers(which are just the professional grade polishes that are worth every penny), as well as hand care products.

20141018_122337000_iOS

A hot item this season is the Indulgence Jamberry Hand Care kit. We all struggle with keeping our hands moisturized during these cold dry months and Jamberry offers a full kit that is sure to take care of your delicate hands. It sells for $60/USA ,but if you are wanting to skip the whole kit and would just like to try the Nourish Hand Cream alone,ย  then you can do so for $25/USA. A little goes a long way, the hand cream has biotin, aloe vera and shea butter which will keep your hands feeling silky smooth and not greasy! I can think of several Christmas stockings the hand cream would be welcomed in ๐Ÿ™‚

And that is the stitch, a very short summary of all that Jamberry offers. If you would like to try a sample wrap, send me an email at jonesinforwraps@yahoo.com with your name and mailing address. I will be more than happy to get a sample out to you the next day and challenge you to take the 7–day challenge.ย  Tag me to your pictures(Day 1 and Day 7) either on Facebook, Instagram or on your blog and let me know what you think!

20141020_232334000_iOSย ย ย  20141018_122157000_iOS

When tagging on Facebook, please follow and tagย  Jonesin’ for Wraps-Independent Consultant for Jamberry, this is my business page.
If tagging on Instagram, my handle is @nok_amandagayle.
And then of course if you have a blog, you can ping back to this blog post ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope you all have a very blessed day!

20141101_204124116_iOS

My current manicure, I’m wearing Hint of Mint Nail Lacquer on my thumb, middle finger and pinky. On my forefinger and ring finger I am wearing the Sunday Brunch wrap. And on my middle finger over the nail lacquer I am wearing a White Romance clear wrap. This is my new favorite combo, and as you can see my nails are not very long. Anyone can wear these!!

Hello Again

Y’all just might want to take me out back and beat me with a wet noodle, been too long since I’ve posted anything. Lots of things have happened since my last post. For starters, I’ve had a “cold” since last Friday. I put that in quotes because it’s not acting like any cold I’ve ever had before. Usually when I have a cold I’m so under the weather that I spike a fever, everything hurts, and I resort to drinking lemon ginger tea multiple times a day with organic raw honey.
Instead, I’ve just been plagued with fatigue, a sore throat that progressively gets better throughout the day until it’s late at night as I’m going to bed. Accompanied by a dry cough, and a gross amount of overly produced mucus. I know, TMI, but that’s how this blog rolls. Tuesday night I was feeling better so I got busy making brownies for the Harvest Party that my church is putting on this weekend. Wednesday I skipped my afternoon cold meds(which usually induces a nap) and baked up a pan of chocolate chip blondies and four dozen peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. Everything had to be individually wrapped and ready for this weekends festivities.

While I love baking, helping, and doing my part…I probably should have skipped it this year. No regrets, but I was feeling miserable late Wednesday night. After teaching my Wednesday night class I barely had any voice left, my throat felt raw, and my dry cough got progressively worse as the night wore on. This morning when I woke up I didn’t get out of bed for two hours. I just laid there, any speck of energy that was in me was pretty much gone. But I did manage to pry myself out of bed. It was insane just how much effort it actually took. Of course, having an 80 pound dog pinning you in didn’t help any…but I would never blame sweet Spotty ๐Ÿ™‚

The other bit of news, aside from me being under the weather, is that as of last Thursday I am now an Independent Jamberry Consultant. Since Sunday I have had my launch party going on on Facebook, it’s called Under Wraps Launch Party.

20141019_155652000_iOS

Click the above picture to visit the event that is opened only to those in the USA and Canada.

Reason it’s only open to those two countries is because Jamberry doesn’t sell or ship to other countries. So far there’s been a bit of a turn out. But I would love to extend the invite out to all of you ๐Ÿ™‚ There are games, prizes, and deals. Such as Buy 3 Get 1 Free, this is the most popular deal going on right now. A $60 value for $45. Once I get more established I’ll be able to offer deals such as Buy 3 Get 2 Free or 3 Free, free tax, free shipping, etc. I am looking forward to not only doing that but also signing up interested ladies in doing online parties. It’s so fun! I do all the work and you reap the hostess rewards. Invite your friends, family, and coworkers, we play games, they place their orders and everyone has a wonderful time! Looking for interested hostesses for November ๐Ÿ™‚ Think about it in the meantime.

And then I’ve also been busy gathering up things to list on Posh Mark. Don’t know what that is? It’s a website/app where you can list clothing, shoes, jewelry, handbags, toys, children’s clothes, and so on. There a lot of great deals on there, designer labels going for steal.
I’m not a fashionista/designer person(I’m more of a “If it’s clean and I can button it, I’ll wear anything” kind of gal), but when I see a listing for a Coach bag that was originally $400 going for $95,ย  yeah that’s pretty darn good in my book! I do have a few listings on there, if you know of any plus size ladies in need of some shirts, cardigan, or an unworn triple tier dress, please send them to my Posh Closet (<–click). I have a few more items to put up just haven’t had the energy to do it recently. Even some kids items which will make great Christmas presents.

So, in a nutshell I’m “sick”, I have an at home job(aside from blogging and being a Mom…hopefully this one will pay), listing items to sell, and oh yes taking pictures of food that I’ve yet labeled or shared. I have NOT forgotten about those ๐Ÿ™‚ Bear with me. This next week is going to be busy for me as well, my church is having a Missions Conference starting Wednesday night and I want to be there every night since a dear family is going to be leaving in December to be missionaries in Italy. Sure gonna miss them! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
I’ll get my recipes up asap, I’ve got some good ones that I think you all would enjoy! Things such as a Frito Chili Pie, Loaded Baked Potato Soup(that even my picky eater ate and had two servings, huge shocker), and a Creamy Tortellini Soup. Tis’ the season for soups ๐Ÿ˜‰

Alrighty, back to your normal lives citizens!

thumbnail.asp

Pumpkin Banana Nut Bread *UPDATED*

20141014_172556000_iOS

Afternoon everyone! A couple of weeks ago I asked everyone on Facebook and Instagram what their favorite pumpkin recipe was. Sadly, only one person responded BUT her response was the best one I think I’ve ever made!

On Instagram a dear friend Melissa suggested a pumpkin banana nut bread. I asked her if she had a specific recipe for it or if I should just fly by the seat of my pants…and fly away I did! I looked around for a 5 star recipe, and sure enough I scored a delicious, delectable, and delightful quick bread recipes from the test kitchen of Nestle. It’s moist and it’s received raved reviews from those who purchased the mini loaves and muffins from me. Everyone loves the combination of the pumpkin and banana, and quite honestly I never would have thought to have put the two together! I can’t thank Melissa enough for suggesting it!!

Alright, enough blubbering… y’all just want me to get to the recipe already ๐Ÿ˜›
I did take a few liberties with the recipe. I don’t keep canned pumpkin(butternut squash) in the house. We process fresh pumpkin, or try to, every year. So I took out the fresh pumpkin from the freezer(2 cups worth) and let it thaw. Just like I do for the Amish banana bread recipe that my Mom has used for as long as I can remember, I let the banana’s get as ripe as I possibly could. And this particular quick bread recipe called for 4 tsp cinnamon. Now, I personally love to use a Chinese cinnamon called Cassia. It’s a very pungent cinnamon and a little goes a long way. Naturally I cut that back as well, but if you’re using a store bought cinnamon you may want to use the full 4 tsp amount. But I leave that up for you to decide, you all know how much cinnamon you can handle ๐Ÿ™‚

Pumpkin Banana Nut Bread

Prep Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 78 minutes

Makes: 24 slices (12 slices per loaf)

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY’Sยฎ 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup (2 medium) very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

PREHEAT oven to 350ยบ F. Grease and flour two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans.

COMBINE flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Combine pumpkin, eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, bananas and vegetable oil in large mixer bowl; beat until smooth. Gradually beat in flour mixture; stir in nuts. Spoon into prepared loaf pans.

BAKE for 55 to 60 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

20141011_211049755_iOS

There is enough batter to make four mini loaves and 6 muffins(or two large loaves as suggested in the original recipe). I think the muffins turned out perfectly! I have enough ingredients that I plan to make more and this time add a streusel topping(per my Mom’s request)!
You can certainly use muffin papers if you like, it does make for easier clean up. If you do choose to do muffins, don’t bake them any longer than 20 minutes. The mini loaves were done in about 52 minutes or there about. I tested each one with a sharp knife, if it came out clean then it was time to take them out. It really is an easy recipe, and with the fresh pumpkin you’ll need to drain it slightly. I just placed the pulp in a mesh strainer over a bowl in the sink and gently moved the pumpkin around to help it drain faster. You’re not going for a dry consistency, you just want it less soupy.

AND These freeze up nicely too! If you want to make several batches before the Thanksgiving holiday and give them out as gifts, just be sure to wrap them up in plastic wrap, foil, place in a freezer back(remove all the air), wrap in freezer paper and if you want to make sure to preserve the freshness place them in food saver bags before freezing. Sounds like a crazy way to freeze them but trust me, it works! Just be sure to let them thaw out completely before gifting in a pretty wrap with a bow and tag!

I hope you all enjoy this recipe, it has become a family favorite for us!

Have a blessed day!!

 

****

UPDATE!

Yesterday I had to use up the remaining bananas, they were oh so ripe! I followed the above recipe to a certain point. With the exception to adding the nuts into the batter. I left those out and put the batter in a greased and floured pan. I went ahead and used one of the large aluminum casserole pans to fit all the batter. So what did I do with the nuts?!

10645126_10152731640049014_190871666787026337_n

Yep, I went there! I added the nuts to a streusel topping ๐Ÿ˜€ For. The. Win.

Nut Streusel Topping

1 stick butter, softened

3/4 cup flour

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup oats

1 cup chopped nuts

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl using a fork your fingers. Sprinkle over the cake batter and bake until cake tester comes out clean. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

 

20141016_020845377_iOS

Enjoy!!

“I’m not a morning person…you don’t say!”

Good morning!!! It’s not too often that I’ll make something for a Sunday morning. There is usually very little time for me to do so, but G–Man has been requesting pancakes lately. I’m not a morning person…you don’t say! As if anyone here has missed the memo on that lol!! Sunday mornings I’m doing good just to get up and get ready for church. So G–Man asked me, why don’t you make breakfasts on Sunday morning? Apparently he had heard from another boy in his Sunday School class that his mom woke up early every Sunday to make waffles for them. In my head I thought well that’s great for them (note, I can be very sarcastic and a lot of the time I don’t voice it because it can be mean or rude…I don’t mean to be that way it is a knee jerk response though). I told him that I’m not a morning person to begin with, it’s not easy for me to get up before the crack of dawn. His solution of course, go to bed sooner and get up earlier. Oh sweet child of mine!

If only it worked that way! Instead I made a compromise, I told him that Saturdays could be the mornings that I make a special breakfast and any leftovers can be had for the next day! He agreed and I get to sleep in an additional hour now on Sunday mornings. I know that probably doesn’t paint me in a very good light, his childhood is fleeting I get this, he’s 10 going on 25 and knows everything. I should be more willing to get up before the sun and make those memories with him but honestly I just can’t do it. I’m lucky most nights if I can even get to bed before 4am. The hardcore truth is that my insomnia is getting worse and it is taking its toll on me. No matter how hard I try or how exhausted I feel, when I get into bed my brain will not for the life of me shut off. I’m thinking about everything I need to do, things I should have done but forgot about, projects I’d like to accomplish before the month/year is out(btw, there are 9 Fridays till Christmas as of today). Throughout the day my mind is like sludge but at night it comes alive and won’t turn off. I’ve lived up the the night owl name for quite some time but I would like to get some sleep and what little I get I’m not too eager to relinquish so quickly.

Everyone thinks they have to keep up with the Joneses, well folks I am a Jones(no seriously, that’s my maiden name) and I’m moving at snail speed through thick peanut butter, feel free to pass on by ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ll most likely hold ya up. In the end, I don’t let what others are doing get me down. We all living our own lives, creating our own memories with our families. We can’t all be the same! But you have to do what is best for your crew(family). After explaining this to G–Man he’s content to let me have what little precious sleep I can get and enjoy what memories we can make. Besides, I’ve never been one to do what everyone else is doing. I’m a go against the flow kind of gal ๐Ÿ˜‰

In honor of G–Man and our Saturday brunch together, here’s a recipe that we made. Hope you enjoy!

20141010_165757000_iOS

Sausage Pancake Patties

(Basic Buttermilk Pancake recipe can be found HERE)

8–10 sausage patties

1 recipe for Basic Buttermilk Pancakes

Fry up the sausage patties and place on paper towels to drain. Don’t throw out the sausage grease, but add a little vegetable oil to it and reduce the burner temp to medium to get the oil heated. Follow the recipe for the buttermilk pancakes. Dip each sausage patty in the batter. It will be thick, you might be tempted to stir it till it’s runny. Please don’t do that, you want the batter to be foamy, this is what will give you the lighter pancake. Just carefully coat the sausage patties in the batter and place in the hot oil. Fry till they are golden brown and place on a paper towel lined plate. Serve with your favorite syrup, fruit compote and morning beverage!

20141004_174819952_iOS

We’re fans of 100% Maple Syrup ๐Ÿ˜€

We. Loved. This! If you have leftover batter, which I had enough to make a couple of pancakes, just cook it up on a hot griddle and freeze once cooled. Makes for a nice breakfast the next day! Pop it in the toaster oven and enjoy with butter, syrup or jam.

Have a blessed Saturday!!