Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Come on, Spring!

Thank you for all of the nice messages you sent after my post about my grandma's passing.  It meant so much to read them and I'm glad so many friends related to it.  We're all doing fine, but miss her terribly.  

My mom and I pay a lot of attention to signs and intuition, and it's interesting to me that every day since my grandpa died last year, I have seen at least one bright red male cardinal, his favorite bird.  I don't remember seeing many female cardinals, maybe that's just because they're not as noticeable as the males.  However, since grandma passed, it never fails that I now see female cardinals along with the males. 

We're more than ready for spring weather here in Nashville, especially after the last few gloomy, rainy, snowy days!  Jason and I promised Sophie a trip to see the "purple ooh-ooh aah-aah" (Monkey Joe's) on Sunday afternoon since the weather was rainy and cold, and she had the time of her life!!  This kid is totally fearless (except for her fear of the blow-up monkeys at Monkey Joe's) and has such a zest for life.  It's impossible to watch her without smiling.  We took this video of her 9,999,999th trip down the slide and couldn't stop laughing - she looks like one of those old cartoon characters whose legs are moving too fast for her body as she runs away. 

I've been cooking a lot the last couple of weeks and have been on a roll with some great, healthy pancake, waffle and muffin recipes.  Bananas and unsweetened applesauce are two of our pantry staples for those recipes and I can usually find very ripe bananas on clearance at our local grocery store - perfect for baking or chopping and freezing for smoothies.  Here's one of our favorite muffin recipes:

Photo courtesy of chiquitabananas.com
I made a few modifications to this recipe, using whole wheat flour, egg substitute, and 1/4 cup of raisins and 1/4 cup of chocolate chips.  Also, I never keep buttermilk on hand, but it's easy to make it at home by mixing 1 cup of milk plus 1 T of vinegar and letting it sit for at least five minutes before adding it to the wet ingredients.  I also omitted the topping for the muffins, simply because I didn't want to make it!  We didn't miss it at all and the muffins didn't last long around our house.  

Here's hoping spring finds all of us sooner than later!


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