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Sugar Bananas has moved! To find the latest, visit
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How To Refresh Dirty Grout

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Lemon-Soaked Berry Cake

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Gooey Caramel Cake

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Mug-Hugging Cookies

I just love things like this...

Cookies that hang onto your mug.
Just darling!

Just roll, cut, bake,

and add them to a mug of your favorite drink.

This is great for a brunch party or light dessert.


I checked Amazon and couldn't find them. 
 ...and something about typing "Angel Wings Cutter" into the search field just feels wrong.

I did find similar cutters for making cookies to hang from your mug. Merry Christmas!



Travel Potty Idea

This portable potty was recommended to me a few years ago by a friend who is always in the know when it comes to kid stuff.  I'm so glad because it has come in handy more than once on road trips with the kids.  It's appropriately called, "Travel John."  hehe  Seriously though, it has saved my car and my sanity when we travel. the time we were half way home

[FOUR hours into an EIGHT hour drive]

from vacation and realized we forgot the laptop so we turned around, picked it up, and drove back home.  Do the math - that's a 16 HOUR trip! - with two kids under four.

It was really helpful when I was potty training my little girl and we were no where near a potty.  They're always nice to have on hand.  So, I bought another pack and thought you may want to know about this, too.   

We live where traffic can extend your time in the car at a moment's notice.  A normally 20 minute drive can turn into an hour long bumper-to-bumper standstill.  For my kids, it's kinda cruel to say, "Hold it until we get home."  So when I hear,

"I gotta go bwadder is fullll",
they can easily pee before they mess my car!

We used to live in the middle of Nowhere, TX.  The Travel John was helpful there as well.  Most of the time, it was a solid 45 minute drive into civilization.  If the kids had to go, they could use one of these instead of the complete hillbilly act.  The beads turn into a gel (kinda like when a diaper is wet) so it won't spill. 

When they mention their bwadder, I know they're serious. 

Don't ask me how I know this.

It's also good for vomit. 

Please don't ask me how I know this either.

If you're traveling with young ones for the holidays, it's definitely a great help on the road.  I found mine here.

I hope you're all enjoying some nice family time this week.


Extra Chewy Donuts

One of the things I missed most about Maryland was the FOOD!  Don't get me wrong - Texas definitely delivered when it came to good food as well.  It's just a different kind of food I missed.  Above all, the crabs!  Second to that is the delicious Italian food found all over Baltimore.  My in-laws were amazing enough to overnight Maryland crabcakes to us in a FedEx ice-packed cooler.  As far as Italian donuts?  I made my own - and they're JUST as good as I remember in Maryland.

It's a very simple recipe.  I found a basic pizza dough recipe and instead of covering it with sauce and cheese, I deep fry hunks of the dough and roll it in sugar.  Oh sweet heavens!  These are the chewiest, most delicious donut! 

Here's what you need:

Pizza Dough:
(from Fleishman's Best-Ever Breads Cookbook)
3-3.5 C Flour
1 Pkg Active Dry Yeast
3/4 tsp Salt
1 C warm water
2 T Olive Oil

Place 1/4 cup of the warm water in a large warm bowl.  Sprinkle in the yeast; stir until dissolved.  Add remaining water, salt, oil, and 2 cups of flour; stir well.  Stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough. 

Knead on a lightly floured surface (or in a mixer with the dough attachment) until smooth and elastic, about 4-6 min.  Cover; let rest on floured surface 10 min. 

To make donuts:

Measure about 1/2 cup of sugar into a shallow bowl.  Line a large plate with several paper towels. 

Fill a saucepan with 3-4" of Canola oil.  Using a frying/candy thermometer, heat the oil to 370 degrees.

While the oil is heating, cut and roll the dough into small balls, about the size of a large gumball.  When the oil is ready, use a metal slotted spoon (or in my case, metal tongs) to place the dough into the oil. 

Once the dough is deep golden brown, remove it from the oil and place it on a paper towel.  Quickly toss the dough in the bowl of sugar and ENJOY!


Facelifting Ikea and Target Print

This picture has been in my closet for-ev-er and I decided I was either going to trash it or doctor it a bit.  I found a few bottles of acryllic paint at Walmart and thought I'd have a go at painting over all of the DARK areas.  I have no idea what I was thinking when I bought this deeply saddening print.  It looks like it belongs in an pamphlet titled, "Are you Depressed?"  Blegh!

I couldn't find my good brushes but I did find a kiddie water color paintbrush that worked just fine. 

So, it was pretty simple - I sprayed the frame with white Rustoleum spray paint and then went to town with my white and blue acryllic paint just adding more petals.  A little here, a little there.  Then, I ended up with a huge white blob - not worried about it too much.  Ultimately it looks WAY better than before.  It may end up in my bathroom - or a pamphlet.  :)

It's kind of fun to attack my prints with paint.


Sweet Summer Strawberry Mango Avocado Salad

This sweet, summery salad is juicy and so flavorful - just delicious on top of some baby spinach.

My good friend tried an intriguing diet this summer.  She saw the documentary, "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead" about a man on a mission to lose a considerable amount of weight to reverse his obesity-related symptoms. He lost 100 lbs in eight weeks, eating a raw, fruits and vegetables-only diet.  Most of his meals came from juicing.  After the weight loss, his auto-immune disorder disappeared and he felt great.


I found this little tool for hulling strawberries.  
If you're working with lots of strawberries, it's a big help!)

Sooooo, my friend decided to go on a lighter version of his diet.  She ate only fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts for three weeks.  She juiced most of her meals and found new ways to prepare dinners (lots of salads).

love LOVE my new citrus juicer!

Right in the middle of her diet, she was supposed to come on over to our house for a play date.  She offered to bring her own lunch and I said, "No!".  She didn't want to inconvenience me by requiring a raw lunch.  I was up for the challenge and came up with this crazy delicious lunch (with no specific measurements).

LIME juice mmm!

If your avocado looks like mush after trying to remove the seed,
here's an easier way to SEED AN AVOCADO:

Strawberry Mango Avocado Salad
2 cups strawberries, washed, hulled, and chopped
2 firm avocados, chopped
2 mangos, chopped
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 lime

Mix all of these goodies together in a large bowl and let them sit in the fridge for a few hours.  When you're ready to serve, eat it as is or place a few scoops of the fruit salad on top of some salad greens and top with walnuts and balsamic dressing (and hunks of goat cheese if you're feeling naughty!).

This is one of my favorite summer lunches now.  I'm glad she inspired me to think raw.  On a side note, my friend lost 15 lbs in three weeks.  Food tastes so much better to her now.  She's slowly added back whole grains and some small amounts of meat.  She said the three weeks of detox was exactly the boost she needed to change the way she eats and thinks about food.  Great job, girlfriend!

And, here's another way I salad:


Oregano Overload Greek Salad

Oregano is a rich source of Vitamin K and Omega-3's.  However, what first brought my attention to this aromatic herb was McCormick's free recipe booklet I picked up in the grocery store.  It's a mini flip-book, centered around the antioxidant value of specific herbs and spices.  

Antioxidant POWERHOUSES in order of strength:

Some recipes included are Mango-Blueberry Cobbler, Orange-Ginger Beef Stir-Fry, and Citrus Salmon. Mmm!

In my hunt for more recipes using oregano, I came up with this delicious Greek salad.  
It calls for lots of flavorful oregano which makes for a meal like you'd find in a restaurant.  

5 Cups Romaine Lettuce, torn
1 Cup Red Onion, thinly sliced
1 Cup Cucumber, skin removed, quartered and sliced
1 Cup Tomatoes, sliced
1/2 Cup Black Olives, pitted
1 Cup Crumbled Feta Cheese

2 T Lemon Juice
1 T Red Wine Vinegar
3/4 tsp Dried Oregano
1/2 tsp Salt
2 T Olive Oil

Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl.  Set aside.  In a small bowl, combine first four dressing ingredients and slowly add olive oil, whisking constantly.  Pour dressing over salad mixture and toss.  Garnish with optional pepperoncinis.

Here's another way I salad...

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