When life gives you rotten bananas–make banana bread!

Rotton Bananas

Okay, that doesn’t flow quite like the lemons to lemonade quote.

The only time life has given me rotten bananas was the time the grocery store bought too many. They were selling bags of black bananas dirt cheap!

We buy bananas on a fairly regular basis around here. Folks like them in cereal or smothered in peanut butter.

When they start to go to the “dark side” I usually chop them up and freeze them for smoothies. Sometimes I squish them up and freeze them in a baggie.

Usually, they get black and leaky and I end up throwing them away! Wasteful!

This time I actually had time to make banana bread. Not just ordinary banana bread–

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread!

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Banana Bread

I made it to eat for breakfast. The kids ate it as a dessert and a snack. The loved it!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed, ripe bananas (about 2 bananas)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter ( I used crunchy Jif.)
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup chocolate chips, divided (I used semi-sweet.)
  • 1/3 cup chopped peanuts

Preheat oven to 350˚F.

Spray the bottom of a loaf pan with cooking spray.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. I find that using a whisk to combine dry ingredients works well.

Add bananas, milk, peanut butter, oil and egg. Stir until moistened.

Stir in 3/4 cup of the chocolate chips.

Spoon batter into prepared pan.

Sprinkle chopped nuts and the rest of the chocolate chips on top of the batter. I press the topping into the batter a little.

Bake about 60 minutes. After checking with a toothpick, mine took a bit longer.

Cool in the pan 10 minutes. Loosen sides from pan-remove to a cooling rack. Cool completely.

YUM!

Critics’ Corner

Chip: Simply fantastic. I’ve always been an advocate for putting peanut butter on bananas. This bread does it for you — plus it has chocolate, too.

Megan: If this stuff was illegal, I would be incarcerated. Seriously-it’s that good!

Katie: This bread is INSANELY EPIC! If people were immune to sickness, I would strongly consider eating it All.Day.Long. (and then some!)

I love plaid! Some folks like stripes, others polka dots. I’m a plaid girl!

I don’t really know how this obsession began. (Okay, obsession might be a little strong.)

I have plaid tablecloths, placemats, pillows, dishes, and quilts. I have decorated with plaid and worn plaid. I have several pins on Pinterest that show plaid. (Obsession is starting to sound a little better.)

Yesterday, when I saw a little plaid box in a flea market booth, I was intrigued.

Plaid box

It was on a low shelf on the last aisle. I was lucky to see it at all!

Upon further investigation, I found that it was an Avon product–not just an Avon product though–a plaid Thermos Avon product.

Avon Plaid Thermos decanter

Ooo, the excitement was building!

I could not wait to open the box. I was not too keen on the Sweet Honesty Body Splash smell still lingering after all these years. (There was no date on the box.)

Thermos box

I carefully opened the box. As I did, I lost my breath–and not because of the Sweet Honesty! Oh.My.Word!!! The cuteness!

Plaid Thermos

Isn’t that the cutest thing?!

Here, look at it next to something to get a feel for its size.

Size of thermos

Oh, the plaidness! Oh, the cuteness! Fortunately the owner of the booth was not around. He would have seen my face and charged me a ton of money. The price tag said… are you ready for this… $2!

AAaaaaah! Oh, the cheapness!

Thermos logo

I didn’t even know such a cute thing existed until yesterday.

I was very glad to get my plaid fix for the day! I have no idea what I will do with this adorable little plaid thermos. I’ll probably just pull it out of the box from time to time and shake it around, being careful, of course, to not spill Sweet Honesty all over the place.

 

Last week, I was sitting at the computer when I suddenly felt the urge to do some organizing. That urge is sporadic at best!

I decided to go through some of my back log of blog post photos. I had some in a file from another computer. Some were on the external drive. There were things in wrong folders, and duplicate files were making me crazy! I’m sure NONE of you can relate to such madness!

I finally got everything moved from the computer to the external drive that needed to be moved. Happy dance!!

One of my now nice-and-neat files is “PCTuesday in the Queue”. Unfortunately, there are close to 100 files within this file. UGH!

WHAT ON EARTH?! you may be asking.

Well, these are photos I took for blog posts that I just haven’t gotten around to writing yet. Some of them are missing the ever-important “final” picture. Others, I had hoped to get comments from the Critics but never did. Then there are items that I look at now and go “really?”!

So, all that introduction brings us to today’s post–Vegetable Tart. I’m working on finishing up some of those posts. Hooray for me!

Vegetable Tart

 

You may have seen a photo similar to this floating around Pinterest a while back. (Y’all, I pinned this recipe over a year ago and actually made this last APRIL!)

It is a very fancy looking dish. It takes a little time to prepare but is not difficult.

Ingredients:

Pie crust

3-4 carrots

5-6 zucchini

salt, pepper, thyme

olive oil

Start by prepping your vegetables.

peeling vegetables

Use a vegetable peeler to peel thin slices of each zucchini and carrot. When you start to get to the middle of the vegetable, turn it over. Then you will have nice, wide slices with color on them. Of course the carrot is colorful all the way through. Still flip it over. It makes for nicer slices.

Now the recipe didn’t really say what to do with the oil or spices. I’ll tell you what I did and what I’d do next time.

I did all my spiraling, you’ll see that in a minute, then drizzled oil and sprinkled spices over everything.

I used a bit too much oil and my crust got soggy-and not in a good way.

Next time, I will mix the spices with the oil and toss over the vegetables BEFORE I put them in the crust.

For the spiraling:

Just start in the middle and work your way out.

I had a little piece in the middle. Alternate zucchini and carrot rows.

starting the vegetable tart

Keep adding vegetables until your crust is full.

Isn’t it pretty?

I can’t believe I actually made that!

spiral vegetables

The recipe was vague about the cooking time. I just baked my Vegetable Tart like I would bake a pie. Just follow the directions for your crust. Usually about 375˚ for 30 minutes will work. Just keep an eye on it.

Zucchini and Carrot Tart

I was not sure how well this would go over with the family by itself. So, I served some grilled chicken with it.

I think I could have used a few more veggie strips in my tart.

It was tricky to cut. It kinda fell apart.

veggie tart slice

Ooo, maybe next time I will add a little egg in there, too! I guess it would be more of a quiche then.

I know you gardening folks are planning your vegetable gardens now. Be sure to plan on some zucchini and carrots!

Vegetable Tart

 

Well, here we are at the beginning of 2015. The time when many bloggers roll the highlight reel from 2014. (Much like the paper your teachers used to make you write every year on the first day back from summer vacation.)

Okay, I’ll play along. WordPress is so nice to send all the “best of” stats at the end of the year.

Most of the posts that were popular this year were not even from this year. I guess that is a good thing.

#1-Christmas Party Food is a post from 2011. It features a Snowman Cheese Ball, a Christmas broccoli appetizer, and a Turkey Cranberry Ring.

#2-I Say it Every Year-an adorable Nutcracker gift box craft from 2012.

#3-Banana Pudding from 2013. If you haven’t tried this yet, put it on your things-to-do list for 2015!

#4-Apple Slaw (2011) Ironically, this was a dish that my crew was not super wild about. I guess the pictures grabbed some attention. Hey, that is why I tried it!

#5-DIY Placemats (2013) I love this craft tutorial. I have used this method several times. I have some candy corn fabric I plan to try at some point.

So, those were the overall top five posts here at Pork Chop Tuesday.

Curious about 2014?

The busiest day around here was the day I posted my Project 180 photography project. It was so gratifying to work on something for so long and see it to a successful completion. Please go check it out. I really enjoyed it!

Ecclesiasties3

I did a series of posts about my trip to P. Allen Smith’s Moss Mountain Farm. It was a lot of fun with lots of opportunities for photography practice. You can check out the series below. I think my favorite was the Rose Garden.

There was actually one more Moss Mountain post–a post-series post.

DIY Notecards

selection of notecards

Lasagna Cups was a fun, new recipe to try. We all liked these! I need to make them again–soon!

Lasagna Cups

We enjoyed trying out some new restaurants, well, new to us. Green Leaf Grill and The Root Cafe to name a couple.

Rounding out the year were Bananas Foster with friends and the Thanksgiving 101 series.

Most of the folks who visit Pork Chop Tuesday are from Pinterest or Facebook-along with folks who are subscribers.

To all of you, I say…

ThankYouNote

Thank you for visiting my little corner of the internet.

Subscribing to Pork Chop Tuesday is easy. Click the home button at the top of the page or here. Go over to the right. You will see a box with “Email Subscription” on it. Just click on the “sign me up” button!

You can also follow along on social media. Sometimes I post things there that don’t get on the blog. Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are the social media outlets I use.

Thanks for all the comments and support in 2014. I hope to hear from you in 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

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Isaiah 9:6
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Ms. Leta' Chex Mix

We were at John and Leta’s house for a Bible study/prayer meeting last fall. Leta, being the hostess that she is, pulled out some Chex Mix for us to nibble. Y’all, I really needed prayer that night! I could NOT stop eating the stuff! It was so good!

Apparently, I was not the first of Leta’s friends to have this reaction. She had little green sheets with recipes printed up ready to pass out to those who could not control themselves.

I made some for our family that Christmas. Everyone went NUTS!

This year I decided to make the Chex Mix to send as gifts to Chip’s co-workers. (The cute little Santa tags were from the 90% off Christmas clearance one year.)

Chex Mix gift

Reactions at the office were very similar to mine.

I guess since Leta shared with me, I should share with them, and now you.

Thank you, Leta! Now I can get my “fix” any time I want.

Ms. Leta’ Chex Mix

1 bag each:

Turtle Chex Mix

Dark Chex Mix (I could not find this to save my life!)

Honey Nut Chex Mix

Caramel Bugles (Substituted for Chocolate Peanut Butter-they were hard to find.)

Muddy Buddies

Crunch & Munch (small box)

Can of Cashews (I used 8 ounces.)

Mix it all in a BIG bowl.

One batch filled about 10 little treat bags as pictured above.

Now you know my secret, well Leta’s secret.

Use caution when making Ms. Leta’s Chex Mix. It is highly addictive!!!

 

It seems like it took a little longer to get in the “Christmas spirit” this year. I’m not really sure why. Perhaps 70˚ days have been a contributing factor. Whatever the reason, I still managed to put out Christmas decorations. Yippee!

The decorations are the same as in years past. Some just get relocated from year to year. I looked back in the PCTuesday files and found a Christmas Decor post from 2012. If you click on that post you can see some of the same decorations used in different ways.

We’ll start with outside.

winter foliage

I made my fresh wreaths again. It is such a relaxing activity.

I used some of the leftover greenery here and there around the porch, along with leftover pumpkins.

outdoor decor with lanterns

vintage Coke crates

To really appreciate this greenery, you need to be sipping coffee on a Saturday morning–which we do as often as possible!

winter foliage under glass

See? It’s like a little surprise for porch-sitters.

I guess this picture would have looked a little better if the kitchen blinds had been closed. Ahhh, hind-sight.

large wreath with santa

I even have a little nativity on the porch. Don’t you love the old tv tray? I got it here.

Playskool nativity

On to the inside…

Even though we have teenagers now, they are still excited to use our advent calendar. Looks like we were deeper into the season than we were when I posted about it in 2012.

advent calendar

This is a “new” kitchen wreath. The gingerbread man usually sits in a little sleigh with his little Christmas tree. His tree is filled with tiny gingerbread men and cookie cutters. You can see some of the little gingerbread ornaments in the outdoor wreath above.

This year I wanted something different-surprise, surprise. So, I tied him on a wreath. I pilfered the little rolling pin from Katie’s old kitchen play set. The giant rickrack was in a box of old ribbon I had saved from several Christmases ago. It looks like the icing you put on gingerbread cookies!

You will not believe where I got the little red ties for the cookie cutters and rolling pin. I recently got new chair cushions for the dining room. Megan tore open the old ones to reuse the stuffing for some of her knitting projects. Not knowing what I would use them for, I popped the ties off of the back of the old cushions.  Tada! At least my hoarding wasn’t in vain. I think this new little wreath is a winner. I like how it looks against the antique game board, too.

kitchen wreath

More in the kitchen. I think this is the first time I have used my old scale specifically as a Christmas decoration.

vintage kitchen scale green

Look what’s in the colander–antique jingle bells!

antique jingle bells

Vintage overload!!! I hope not.

antique radio

I pick up Scrabble games when I see them at garage sales and thrift stores. I always think I am going to make something cool-like Christmas ornaments or something. Since we enjoy playing Scrabble from time to time, I just have not been able to bring myself to do it. Maybe one of these days…but for now, a temporary use.

joy to the world

Scrabble tiles

nativity

I stepped out a little on the china hutch. I bought a HUGE roll of double-sided wrapping paper at Sam’s. I was so glad to find a plaid paper that I liked. I LOVE plaid! Blue ticky tack is all I used to adhere the paper to the back of the hutch.

plaid paper-lined china cabinet

I really like how it looks with my Lenox Christmas china.

Christmas china

We folks in the South are often dreaming of a white Christmas. Usually, that’s all we do. We don’t get a lot of snow in Arkansas. However, last year it snowed ON CHRISTMAS DAY for the first time in 80 years!

I’m still dreaming of my girls to drawing some snowflakes on the chalkboard for me. They have been busy studying for semester tests. Maybe they will get to it during the break.

pom pom and ric rac

The wool garland is not new.

I came across the pompom strand and red rickrack in my scrap box. I think they add a nice little touch of whimsy. The pompoms even look a little snow-like.

let it snow

stuffed snowman

plaid tin

My in-laws brought the girls these fun little wooden toys from their travels to Germany.

wooden toys

German Santa

wooden dolls

German toys

I love my glittery music tree. You can see more pictures and a link to the tutorial here.

Christmas music

Just a few more pictures.

magical Christmas

crock with peppermint

One of the many nativities we have collected.

carved nativity

THIS is the reason we celebrate CHRISTmas!

 

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