Memories and healthy recipes for your dinner table.

Tag: camping

Family Togetherness: Friday Night Family Slumber Party

Art: The Children Were Nestled by Pat White I remember as a girl when my dad went out of town for work related conferences my mom would let us sleep with her in her room. We wished we could have slumber parties all the time. […]

Family Togetherness: Story Dice

One night when tucking my son into bed he asked me to tell him a story. The sad part was my mind was blank. I could not come up with anything. I relayed the incident to a friend of mine who comforted me with her […]

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

Ideally one should be able to take any cake or quick bread recipe to make muffins. The banana bread recipe that we love so much by Baker’s Illustrated is not an exception to this rule. However, for our banana muffins we prefer a more delicate tender crumb with a little extra oat fiber mixed in. When oats were added to our favorite banana bread recipe the result was a bit dry. With a few alterations wa-la we have banana oatmeal muffins. These little beauties make a perfect treat when hiking or on a road trip.

3 bananas, mashed
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup rolled oats

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

In a large bowl combine the mashed bananas, sugar and butter; mix until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla. Mix until well blended.

Sift the flour, powder, soda and salt. Fold in the nuts. Add flour mixture to the banana mixture stirring until just combined. Pour batter into greased muffin tin. Bake 30-35 minutes or until firm to the touch and golden brown. Let cool 5 minutes in the pan before transferring to a wire rack.

Makes 18 muffins

Sprinkle a 1/4 cup of chopped dried pineapple, chopped crystallized ginger, shredded coconut or chocolate chips for an extra treat.

Cowboy Cornmeal Omelets

In this post we begin with a recipe for an omelet made from a cornbread batter as opposed to eggs. I could not find white cornmeal mix in our local grocery store. Instead I used plain yellow cornmeal in place of the mix. Not completely […]

Making Time for the Family: Weekend Togetherness

For many households the weekend is encumbered with catching up on sleep, yard work, errands, DIY home projects and much needed recreation. As parents we need our time to unwind from a hectic work week. Fitting in time for the family can sometimes be just […]

Ham Egg and Cheese English Muffins

Breakfast is one of my favorite meals of the day. I just love breakfast food. My mom used to make these for us all the time even on camping trips. I love my egg with a slightly runny center. It must be a Southern thing like grits.

English muffins
Cheddar cheese slices
Scrambled, poached or fried eggs
Ham deli slices

Toast English muffins. Spread with a little butter and top with scrambled eggs, a slice of cheese and ham.

Add a slice of tomato.
Replace ham with bacon.

At Home Vacations and Nickle and Dime Get-a-ways

In February, the local schools were out for Presidents week. The mother hen that I am, I loved having Mason home. We enjoyed sleeping in, staying up late, a morning in the mountains playing in the snow, a visit from Grandma and Grandpa, stomping in […]

I Love Dirt: Discover the Wonders of Nature

This morning, a new book I have been waiting for finally arrived; I Love Dirt by Jennifer Ward. It was a beautiful day today. So, I stole a moment while the kids were napping to escape and enjoy the silence and my new book. I […]

Cultivate a Love Affair with Nature

Many years ago, my brother and his little family came out for a visit. While here, we took a trip to the Muir Woods, a state park north of San Francisco. The Red Woods are one of my most favorite places to explore. I love hiking through the calm, majestic trails. The tranquility always opens my mind to what it would have been like in JR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings as they trekked across uninhibited lands.

During our visit to the red woods, I remember watching my brother’s kids stomping in the puddles of water. They were having so much fun getting all muddy and wet. My first reaction was, “oh no, they are getting wet”. But, my sister-in-law, Emily, was not concerned. She came prepared with extra clothes in the car. Several people passed by with looks of disdain and shock. However, one older couple stopped to congratulate Emily on allowing her children to be children. Seeing my little niece and nephew play, made their day. They were troubled by parents today who do not allow their little ones the chance to play so freely.

Growing up, my siblings and I lived outdoors. The town was our playground to explore and discover from dawn to dusk. Our backyard was a world filled with amazement. My desire is to instill the same passion for nature in my children. Ever since we moved to a city lacking forest trails and nature parks, and moved into a house nestled in a small barren yard, I have felt hard pressed to come up with ways to share the importance of being among nature.

Getting into the car everyday to drive 30 minutes to an hour seems to take the creative soul right out of me. It took a while, but I have learned there are ways to enjoy my surroundings here at home.

  • Sometimes Stephen takes the children to jump on the trampoline. Exhausted, they lie down and watch the clouds roll by or look for shooting stars.
  • Where we live, clay is not my idea of mud, but it holds water well enough to splash in and get dirty.
  • In the planters, we love to uncover earthworms and other creepy crawly critters.
  • Early morning walks are the best time to catch snails and worms making their way across the sidewalks or listen to birds busily looking for breakfast.
  • Behind our home is a canal and plenty of rocks and sticks to throw.
  • Along the canal is a path with a variety of trees to study. Next time, we will have to bring our notebooks to make sketches and then we could attach the matching leaf and/or berry/flower.

There is something about nature that has the ability to reset the mind and calm the spirit. The demands of life seem to flitter away.  We can stop and we can begin to create.

Summer Fun in the Sun

Summer is a perfect time for creating memories. There is so much to do both indoors and out. 1. Pick Your Own Fruit Farm: My kids love fruit. This summer I thought it would be fun to take them to the U-Pick your own fruit […]