Monday, May 14, 2012

A Special Weekend

The past weekend in Houston was definitely filled with lots of celebration, family, and good times. 

For my nephew’s 1st birthday, my sister made a delicious yellow cake with chocolate icing for Nathan’s smash cake.  It’s called a smash cake, because that’s basically what happens (if you can’t tell from the picture).  The cake was everywhere! All over his face and body, in his hair, covering the floor, and anywhere else nearby.  He had fun getting messy and enjoyed the little bit of cake that actually made it into his mouth.

The next day was Nathan’s birthday party.  Since it was a train theme, my sister and brother in law rented a train to come to a nearby park.  The party was a huge success and everyone had a great time riding the train!

Danielle, Noah, and Nathan riding the train.

And no party would be complete without cupcakes!

On Sunday, there was yet another huge celebration…Mother’s Day!  I was so happy to be able to spend Mother’s Day with my mom.  My dad and I celebrated my mom by making her a wonderful brunch.  We kicked off brunch with a bloody Mary bar complete with Vodka, bloody Mary mix, celery, olives, pickled okra, and Tabasco sauce.  My dad uses Zing Zang to make his bloody Marys.  I love this mix and it is just the right amount of spicy!

My favorite parts of the bloody Mary bar

To eat, we had breakfast tacos filled, muffins (recipe later on), and fruit.  My dad did a great job making the breakfast tacos.  They were filled with eggs, potatoes, sautéed onions, cheese, and topped off with salsa.  He even warmed the tortillas before serving them!

Cooking the eggs, potatoes, and onions

I made peanut butter banana muffins.  I originally found the recipe on Skinny Taste.  I made these muffins once before for my friends at book club (with chocolate chips added) and they were a huge hit!  Banana and peanut butter is obviously a no fail combination.  One of the best parts of these muffins in that they have an extra layer on peanut butter in the middle…pure peanut butter gooiness!

The recipe calls for a special type of peanut butter called Better n’ Peanut Butter.  It has half the calories and half the fat of regular peanut butter.  Before I tried it, I wasn’t too sure about how it would taste.  I ended up loving it and now buy it regularly along with my other staple, crunchy almond butter. It’s less creamy but stickier and sweeter than regular peanut butter.  You can use regular peanut butter in this recipe, but if you want to try Better n’ Peanut Butter you can find it at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.

Banana Peanut Butter Muffins (makes 12 muffins)
3 ripe bananas
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 ¼ cup flour
¾ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
2 tbl butter
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 large egg whites
½ tsp vanilla extract
10 tbl Better n’ Peanut Butter (divided 8 and 2)

-Preheat oven to 325. Line muffin tin with liners.
-Mash bananas and set aside.
-In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk and set aside.
-In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar.  Add egg whites, bananas, applesauce, vanilla, and 8 tbl of Better n’ Peanut Butter. Mix at medium speed.
-Add flour mixture and mix.
-Pour batter into muffin tin halfway. Top each with ½ tsp Better n’ Peanut Butter. Top each with remaining batter.
-Cook 25 minutes. Cool and enjoy!

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