Thursday, July 25, 2013

Let's Play Catch-Up

It's July.

July 25th to be exact.

I've failed to blog pretty much at all this summer, and it's weird.  It's funny how I went into this summer thinking: Man this is going to be great.  I am spending a summer at home just hanging out and relaxing - I can bake, blog, read, lay out by the pool, catch up on shows, etc.  It will be so nice.

Where is the blogging, then, you ask?

Funny you should mention that.  It's not that this summer hasn't been exciting.  It's been just the opposite, in fact.  It's been so exciting and filled with huge changes -life changes- that I've been busy taking them all in :)

For starters, I completed my undergaduate degree.  No more biology!  Such a relief.  I love science, but it is an enormous relief that I no longer have to take class on very particular subjects within biology that I will probably never have to teach to children under the age of 10 anyway.  Don't get me wrong, I found all subjects very interesting... but it's nice to take a break from them for a while :)

I pseudo-graduated.  Or "undergraduated" as my sister likes to call it.  So long undergrad, hello grad school.  I am officially a full-time graduate student.  One more year and I'll (hopefully) receive my masters(!?) in Teaching.

And on that note, I also received my placement for student teaching!  Fourth grade.  This coming fall.  And I couldn't be more excited :)

Now, for the most exciting news to catch you up on... I got engaged!!  He's my biggest fan, rummy partner, running buddy, former co-counselor, biggest encourager, man of God, best friend :).  There are many more qualities I love about Isaac, but you get the idea :).  It was the most special day.  I was completely surprised, but in the best way possible.  The proposal was so thoughtful and creative, and I got to celebrate with some of my closest friends at a surprise engagement party! Thinking back to the day makes me smile so big, and I feel so blessed to be spending the rest of my life with such a thoughtful, goofy, God-fearing man.

The rest of my summer has been spent vacationing.  Seriously.  From Dallas, Texas, to Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, and pretty soon to Park City, Utah.

While I was home in Texas, in between spending time with my family and beginning to plan a wedding(!!), I did a little baking :)

It was mostly making granola - a family favorite - but I did try a new recipe!

Peanut Butter Banana Chip Muffins!

I'm not sure if this happens to you, but most of the time (feels like all the time) my family has a banana problem.  We can never accurately buy enough bananas.  It seems like when my mom gets a couple, everyone wants one and there are not enough.  The opposite happens quite frequently, too: she buys a ton and they just sit there... and turn a sad brown.  Then it becomes my job to "use up" the rest of the bananas! Aka hello baking!

I've tried to get creative over the years with different recipes, but I think bananas go best in plain old traditional banana bread.  My sister agrees.

Anyways, I tried a new recipe here!  It turned out to be delicious -- who doesn't love a muffin in the morning?!  Especially one that has peanut butter and chocolate chips! Mmm.

Here's the recipe!

Peanut Butter Banana Chip Muffins
2013-07-18 09.55.06
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed, golden brown sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2-3 large, ripe bananas, mashed-enough for 1-1/4 cups banana
1 cup milk
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
3 Tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and the cinnamon.
In a separate mixing bowl, combine mashed bananas, milk, peanut butter, egg, oil, and vanilla; mix well.
Add this to the dry mixture previously prepared; mix just enough to combine. 
Stir in chocolate chips.
Spray muffin tins with cooking spray or fill with liners.  
Fill tins 3/4 full.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Recipe makes about 18 muffins.
2013-07-18 09.54.00

2013-07-18 09.55.21

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