Simply Mrs. Edwards

{just the life of a new wife}


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Waking up Slow with Banana Pancakes

A huge bonus of being married to Josh? He LOVES breakfast, but even better…he loves making breakfast. What’s better than that, you ask? It’s that I’m always the lucky recipient of his talents. It’s a tough, tough life.

This past weekend, Josh tried a new recipe. If I have my way, I’ll be eating these every Sunday morning from here on out! Jack Johnson has it right, waking up slow with Banana Pancakes is probably the best thing ever.

Banana Pancakes (found here)

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed

1. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder & salt.
2. In a separate bowl, mix together egg, milk, oil and mashed bananas.
3. Fold egg, milk, oil & banana mixture into the dry ingredients.
4. Grease a griddle or large frying pan and heat to medium heat (we have this flat Calphalon griddle and LOVE it and use it almost every day).
5. Pour batter in 1/4 cup scoops onto pan and cook until golden brown. Serve warm with syrup, banana slices, walnuts, etc.
6. ENJOY!

Seriously, my husband is such a blessing to me and I do not take him making breakfast for me every weekend for granted! He is so good to me and I am so thankful for him!

Hope you get to enjoy these yummy pancakes with someone you love!

In Love,
Mrs. Edwards


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Kettlemania

This recipe came highly recommended from my brother-in-law. He warned us that it’s addictive and boy, was he right! It’s easy and you’ll be amazed at how quickly the bowl disappears. This version is an adaptation of this recipe over at allrecipes.com. Hope you enjoy!

Kettle Corn

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
  • 1 tsp. vanilla (optional)
  • 1-2 tsp. salt (to taste)
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. You can test the heat by adding 3 kernels of corn and covering with a lid. Once all 3 kernels have popped, you know your oil is hot (Or if you’re fancy, you can use a popper like this one that my mom has).
  2. Once oil is hot, add sugar, a pinch of salt, vanilla and popcorn kernels. Be careful when adding vanilla- it tends to spatter a little once it touches the oil. (I like to pour the vanilla over the white sugar before adding the popcorn to give myself a second or two before it starts to blend with the oil).
  3. Place lid on pot and shake. A good trick is to shake the pot for 3 seconds, let it rest for 3 seconds, shake for 3, rest for 3, etc.. This allows the oil to heat the kernels, but doesn’t let it burn. It will take a few moments for the kernels to start popping, but once they do it goes fast!
  4. Keep shaking until you can count at least 3 seconds between pops.
  5. Pour into bowl, sprinkle with salt and ENJOY!

With love,
Mrs. Edwards


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Afterhours Baking

It is 1:40am…guess what I just finished? These puppies:

After dinner I managed to take a 3hr pre-bed nap (as my Dad calls them), so I was wide awake at midnight. I’ve had some rapidly ripening bananas in my kitchen and Josh has been subtly hinting at banana bread for a few days. So, I spent the wee hours baking up these amazingly delicious Banana Chocolate Chips Muffins.

The recipe, as most of my recent favorites, originated from allrecipes.com (see the original here). This one however, I tweaked to make my own. See my adjustments below:

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c. sugar 6 Tbsp. sugar + 6 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 c. plain yogurt 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. mashed ripe bananas
  • 3/4 c. chocolate chips

I added:

 

  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 splash of milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine flour, sugar(s), baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon
  3. In another bowl combine egg, oil, sour cream (or yogurt), and vanilla
  4. Mix wet and dry ingredients together until just combined
  5. Fold in bananas and chocolate chips
  6. Add a splash of milk if its looking too dry
  7. Fill greased muffin cups two-thirds full
  8. Bake for 20-25 mins. or until a toothpick comes out clean
  9. Cool for about 5 minutes and ENJOY!

These definitely make it onto my favorites list, Josh’s too! I’ve already eaten 4 and the rest don’t stand much of a chance of survival through tomorrow (err, I mean today?) Off to bed I go! :)

Full of chocolatelybananadeliciousness,
Mrs. Edwards


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A Non-Traditional Easter

Both Josh and I come from families who celebrate Easter in quite traditional ways- church, egg hunts, food, family, etc. This year because we live so far from our families, we celebrated our Savior’s resurrection in a bit of a less traditional way. We went to church, then went and got a burger, a Slurpee and headed to the beach. It’s hard not having family around to keep us on the straight and narrow of traditions, but maybe we’re making some of our own? Hmm…I’m always up for a Slurpee!

For the past few months we’ve been attending a local church called Vintage Faith here in Santa Cruz. Today the 11am service was PACKED! It was really encouraging to see so many people-young and old-celebrating the miracle of Jesus’ resurrection today. One of my favorite moments was when the entire congregation was jumping up and down to the song “Happy Day.” It was awesome! Easter is a happy day! The free life we know is only possible because the Lord sacrificed His son through death. But even death couldn’t contain him! Praise the Lord for his redemptive plan.

After church we headed to our new favorite taco shop (Sorry Taco V, you might have been replaced). Unfortunately though, Tacos Moreno was closed because of the holiday. Plan B- figure out something else. We ended up driving for a while (because neither of us are good at making decisions under pressure) and finally landed on a new place we hadn’t tried yet. It’s called Burger. (yep, Burger period). Its been open for a couple of months and I had heard lots of hype about it. I had kinda avoided it for that very reason. I figured that we’d let the popularity die down and maybe try it after a while. Well, today was the day…and it definitely didn’t disappoint!! The venue itself is pretty dang cool with chalk board menus, lots of seating, great decor. But the food, oh my. I wish I had taken a picture of the menu itself, but there were some great names for burgers- The Dude, The Notorious B.I.G., The Phatty, The Snooki, The Monroe, just to name a few. After lots of consideration, Josh landed on The Phatty  (a bacon cheeseburger between two grilled cheese sandwiches) and I got less of an artery clogger- The Dude (avocado, bacon and jack cheese). We both chose sweet potato fries, yum!

Instead of using a number for your order, they used celebrity mugshots. Random, yet interesting!

How can you resist that face?!

The Phatty and The Dude. YUM!

After chowing down at Burger. we headed to the closest 7-Eleven and picked up a couple Slurpees. A good Slurpee can make the woes of the world disappear. You should test my theory! After loading up on cherry/coke frozen goodness, we headed to West Cliff Drive. This was our view:

We got to watch kite surfers enjoying the beautiful weather!

It was bright and windy, but SO pretty!

After a while of basking in the sunshine, we headed home. It turned into family nap time for a few hours, followed by a few hours of season two of 24. Somewhere along the lines I made this: Easter Pizza? Sure. Find the recipe for the dough here at allrecipes.com

Although it was a non-traditional Easter, we made the best of it and maybe started some of our own traditions. Church, burgers, slurpees, the beach, naps and pizza? Sounds like a good day to me!

Satisfied,
Mrs. Edwards


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Tonight’s dinner…

On the menu tonight:

  • BBQ chicken sandwiches
  • Sweet potato fries
  • Asparagus

According to my easy-to-please husband, this meal was great!! (he might be biased though)

For the past couple of months, I have made a weekly dinner menu on Sunday, done grocery shopping for only what’s on the menu (plus breakfast & lunch items) and then tried my hardest to stick to the plan! We’ve had pretty good success so far with this, only once or twice have we strayed from the menu to get Taco V (locally famous taqueria) or Pizza ($10 pizzas on Monday at Round Table!). For tonight, I had planned on using the crock-pot to make BBQ chicken for sandwiches, mostly because Josh has been dropping subtle hints about it for about a month :)

I found a recipe on allrecipes.com for Zesty Slow Cooker Chicken Barbeque. Sidenote…allrecipes.com is a-maze-ing. Seriously, you should check it out! I use recipes from there about 3 times a week and haven’t found one we don’t like yet! It pays to read user reviews and suggestions though. Back to the point…I found the recipe for the BBQ chicken, thought it sounded pretty fool proof and dove right in! It only calls for 5 ingredients, how could even I mess that up?! Frozen boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, bottle of BBQ sauce, Italian salad dressing, Worcestershire sauce (I can never ever say that correctly), and brown sugar. Easy, right? Yeppers.

I dumped it all in the Crock-Pot at lunchtime and when I arrived home at 5:30 the house smelled awesome! I dropped my stuff and hurried into the kitchen to see how my potion was brewing. But to my dismay, I found that the chicken looked overdone and the sauce looked way too liquidy…oh no! I pulled the chicken out and shredded it in hopes that it would help it a bit and put it back in the way-too-soupy BBQ sauce with fingers crossed

With high hopes for the chicken, I went to work on the second portion of our dinner, sweet potato fries! Seriously such an easy thing to make! My version started off as this one, found at…you guessed it, allrecipes.com. But, with the help of my Mom, it has morphed into something super simple and super awesome. Our version has just 5 ingredients- sweet potatoes (ok, ok, they’re yams), salt, pepper, olive oil and chili powder. Peel and cut the potatoes into fries, place in a zip-lock bag, add about 2 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. each salt, pepper, and chili powder. Shake-shake-shake, spread into one layer on a sheet pan and bake in a preheated 425F oven for 20ish min. Flip the fries and cook 15ish min. more. (I say “ish” because it varies to how thick your fries are…just cook ’em until they’re tender and toasty to your liking). Voila! Sweet potato fries! Note: they will be significantly softer than ones you’d get at a restaraunt because they aren’t deep fried. I actually like this version better!

By the time Josh got home, my chicken had redeemed itself! By shredding it and letting it cook for another 40 minutes, I had rescued it from crock-pot death and made something that he loved! It had a chance to soak up some of the liquid and was something I’ll make again. Although, I might do some adjusting to the recipe to make it my own. Stay tuned for that! Back to dinner- we toasted some potato bread buns for the BBQ chicken, cooked up some asparagus and loaded up on the sweet potato fries. SO GOOD! Success!  We’ll definitely be trying this dinner again! Very easy, very tasty, and gives me the satisfaction of a home cooked meal with the convenience of letting the crock-pot do most of the work for me. I see many more crock-pot meals in our future…

Patting myself on the back,

Mrs. Edwards