Let’s face it, Pinterest can be an endless rabbit hole of clothing, crafts and cookery. I currently have over 2,000 pins. They’re a mix of decorating ideas, recipes, inspirational quotes, crafts and a ton of other things I just plain like. I’ll be honest: I’ve probably tried about 1.79% of them. I made a wreath once. And I hung our kayaks on the garage wall. More than anything, I’ve tried some recipes because I’m always looking for easy dinners to make. Some were terrible, but some were delicious! Maybe you have a Pinterest board full of promising dinner ideas, too. Let me share my absolute favorites out of that 1.79% that met the “realist mom” standard: quick, easy and not super processed.
Ever since I gave up eating gluten, I find that I look for treat recipes based on what other people might like, as opposed to just things I like (as in chocolate, with a little chocolate mixed in). Generally, the kids will eat just about anything I make as a treat – so they’re no challenge. My mother, on the other hand, is a challenge. She doesn’t like anything too sweet, or too sticky, or too cake-y.
I was really excited when I found this Chocolate Chip Biscotti Recipe online, because the resulting cookies are small, not too sweet, and just crisp enough for dunking in your coffee – another thing my mom really enjoys. With Mother’s Day coming up, I thought this biscotti might be something you could try for the special moms in your life!
S’mores Bars is not what I had planned on making for today’s post. I made the most beautiful Black and White Cookies. They were gorgeous. They also tasted awful. Even the dog spit them out. The odd thing is, it was the frosting, which was made with confectioners sugar and water. I’m not sure how I screwed that up – but I did.
Bad baking happens. Thankfully, I had time to come up with Plan B. I needed a quick and easy recipe that would be delicious. And Beth-proof.
This has to be one of the easiest and most kid-friendly recipes I’ve ever posted – I dare your kids not to like these!
Bananas are a staple in our house. I eat them before I run, the kids eat them before and after school, and, if I’m feeling really wild and crazy, I slice one up, add a little chocolate syrup and call it dessert.
Sometimes, though, I buy too many – or we eat too few – and we end up with bananas like these:
I’m always on the hunt for new uses for brown bananas – and this recipe was just the ticket. It’s a simple recipe that you can personalize for your family by adding whatever you’d like to the muffins like chocolate chips or chopped walnuts. I also love that you do it all in the bowl of your mixer so there’s less to clean!
You know those people who stroll down the aisles of the grocery store with no plan? They just leisurely gather whatever looks fresh, utterly confident that in a mere 30 minutes, they’ll be able to transform humble ingredients into something nutritious and delicious that their families will love.
I am not one of those people. I can probably only cook about 5 things without a recipe – and one of those is grilled cheese. Dinnertime was a source of a lot of stress for me and in all honestly, it led to more than one argument with my hubby. (Whatever – who doesn’t consider grilled cheese dinner?) As always, my road to hell is paved with good intentions. I would try to set out a menu plan for the week, all full of optimism and dreams of fabulous, fresh yummy meals – but then soccer or hockey or PTA or baseball or some life something would foil my plan – and there I’d be – in the grocery store with 20 minutes before meal time, wondering how I could pass Cheerios off for dinner.
Mama needs sleep. I have 3 children. I would have had more if it weren’t for the associated lack of sleep in the early years. Colic. Need I say more? Those were some dark days, my friends. See that kid up there? He likes to get up waaaayyy early. Like, before the rooster early. So, as soon as the kids were old enough, we encouraged them to make their own breakfast and turn on the television, so The Hubby and I could catch another hour or 2 of precious, life-affirming sleep. (Yes. I said turn on the television. The only thing that makes that flat screen worth what we paid for it, is its ability to babysit when we really need it to. And True Blood in high-definition – but that’s a WHOLE other post.)
I believe I have already mentioned my pumpkin hoarding tendencies in a previous post. As family legend goes, after living through The Great Depression, my grandmother’s sister used to hoard canned goods and toilet paper under her bed. I’m not sure which I’d be more concerned about a shortage of. Clearly, there are other items you could substitute for toilet paper. I’m getting off on a tangent here, aren’t I? In any case, there was a shortage of canned pumpkin a couple of years ago, right around Thanksgiving, and I’ve kept an ample supply stocked in my pantry since then. In order to justify the rather significant amount of pantry real estate the cans occupy, I’m always on the lookout for new pumpkin-using recipes. This Frosted Pumpkin Cake fit the bill perfectly!
You’ll notice that we’re making cookies today. You’ll also notice that the title of my blog is ‘Realist Mom’. In the interest of staying true to my “real life” of a “real mom” commitment to you, my fabulous readers, I’ll tell you that I initially made carrot cupcakes that absolutely sucked. You know what’s even better? As with my other baking tragedy, I served them to company. (Sorry, Connor and Katie!) They were so bland and wet and gross, that after taking her first disappointing bite, Beans announced “You can NOT blog about these, Mom. They’re guh-ross!” So, yeah, I was feeling good about my baking prowess.
I really don’t like to waste food. That is not to say that food doesn’t get a chance to spoil around here, because believe me, it does and much of it tends to be produce – particularly fruit. Our family tends to have phases with fruit where we either eat it all the time, or we just don’t. Since bananas are always on my shopping list, they can almost always be found languishing in our fruit bowls lending that odd smell to the kitchen that’s half sweet – half icky. Fortunately, even as they near the end of the line – you can make them into something yummy, like these Banana Crumb Muffins. Trying doing that with a past-its-prime orange!
When someone in an Amish costume serves you a piece of ridiculously delicious cinnamon chip bread, you ask for the recipe. A day or two later, and my lovely friend texted me the recipe for this bread – which is “bread” in the spirit of zucchini bread or banana bread.
Truth be told, I was little suspicious about the recipe because a) it was texted to me, which somehow seems a little imprecise for a recipe b) I did not expect a recipe called Amish to contain pudding mix and c) it all goes down in one bowl – basically, you just plop the ingredients in the bowl and stir.