Banana Bread

I used to make the following recipe all the time.  It’s quick, easy, uses leftovers and comes out perfectly every time.  Somehow, I managed to loose the scrap of paper I had it written on.  I remember originally getting the recipe from Money Saving Expert‘s forum.  Roll on about four years later…and today I stumbled across it again!  Happy days.

So here it is, so I can’t loose it again!

You can play around with the ingredients, use less sugar, part whole wheat flour, add cinnamon or nutmeg, etc.

In your mixer bowl throw in…

2-3 over-ripe bananas
1 cup (or less) sugar (white/brown/whatever)
3 tbsp veg oil
2 eggs
2 cups self-raising flour

I like a teaspoon of mixed spice or cinnamon.  Adding chocolate chips are nice, as is raisins or walnuts.

Mix for a few minutes then put all the mix into a cake tin.  Bake at 180 degrees in a fan oven, for around 45 minutes.

Easy and delicious.  It’s also nice with butter and jam.  Mmmmmm.

 

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Continuing cosiness.

I had a whole weekend off this weekend – what sheer joy! And I had originally planned some energetic activities.  You know, the sort that would actually require us to get dressed and leave the house.  But after my Friday afternoon cosy-fest I decided on an indulgent, all out pyjama day on Saturday. BLIIIIIIIIIIIIIISSSSSSSSSSS!  In our defense, we have all been knocked sideways by various tummy bugs and coughs & colds, so (in my mind anyway) a PJ day was practically medicinal.

We baked…(using this recipe – the dough was LOVELY to work with and the results yummy!)

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and I crocheted little stars…(very cute – pattern found here)…

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and played with Hama beads…made homemade wholemeal pizzas using this recipe for the base, and topped with BBQ sauce, chorizo, peppers and cheese (I didn’t get any photos as they didn’t survive long enough!)…watched rubbish TV…had loooonnnnngggg bubble baths..read some of my favorite blogs (including 71toes, Posie gets Cozy, My Rose Valley….and took time to smell the lillies.

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Mark brought these home for me last week when I was feeling most sorry for myself.  He also brought Imodium, Sudofed, extra loo roll and a Greggs Custard Slice.  Who said romance was dead?  That man knows me so well.

Sunday continued in the same way after church.  Mark went to play golf, the kids went about their various indoor activities and I snoozed on the sofa.  We had the first rehearsal of our new choir last night and it was so lovely.  We are practicing songs for a couple of Christmas services.  I LOVE Christmas music and I came home having sung/bellowed/screeched my heart out feeling all festive.  Which added to my weekend of cosy beautifully!

Memory dump – September 2014

 

It’s amazing how many of the photos I took in September are of food!  It’s easy to see how preoccupied I’ve been with sticking to my diet and feeding the whole family more healthily.

 

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This is my favorite Slimming World recipe to date.  BBQ pulled pork, done in the slow cooker.  Ridiculously easy to make but oh so good.  It’s been a big hit with the whole family.

 

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I took Lily for a back to school haircut and had a shock to see how grown up she looks. Scary stuff.

 

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A random boy and his dog photo.

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A regular pudding or night shift treat…sugar free jelly with chopped fruit and yogurt.  YUM.

 

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I really enjoyed this risotto that I cooked from a recipe I saw on Instagram.  Risotto is one of the ultimate comfort foods and you get to have loads of parmesan for a HexA.

 

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Slimming World Eton Mess – a crushed meringue nest (3.5syns) with chopped fruit and yogurt.

 

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The best use of 7. 5 syns ever.2014-09-14 06.48.28

 

And this was the month I discovered Overnight Oats.  35g oats mixed with yogurt and (optional) chopped or frozen fruit and left overnight.  I am seriously addicted to these oats…thick, smooth and creamy.   2014-09-15 10.16.30

I look forward these most mornings.

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Steak, slimming world chips and tomatoes.  This diet is no hardship!2014-09-16 20.52.13

The best of a lot of blurry photos of Spike, Patrick’s hamster.  He really is very cute and extremely tame.

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A little treat I shared with Mum while out for lunch with a friend (Eugene).  And I enjoyed EVERY LAST MOUTHFUL!

 

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More fruit, more yogurt (there’s a theme here) and sprinkled chocolate.

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I started a new baby blanket for a friend’s newborn.  I’m enjoying this pattern that my Mum came up with and I’m making good progress.

 

 

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I got my 1.5 stone award…2014-09-24 11.28.22

and was slimmer of the week again!

 

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5.5syns of loveliness!2014-09-26 10.26.16

 

SW cooked breakfast…all completely free.2014-09-26 13.10.29

 

Mark, my Mum and I went for a wonder around the churchyard on top of the hill one sunny Friday afternoon.  Beautiful.2014-09-26 13.16.17

Progress

I have a rather swollen face, having just been to my first of four dentist appointments for root canal filling and crown.  Ouch – on the wallet and in on the gums!  But it has to be done.  While I was in town I finally made a start on my Christmas shopping and picked up a few bits for the kids.  I also popped into the local greengrocer.  I think this man might possibly me the most grumpy man on the planet, but with such low prices I can forgive his complete lack of conversational skills!  I got all of this for £6.  And for that I don’t care if he is a miserable old goat or not!

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I’m still really enjoying my reading now that I’m back into the swing of it.  The library has really come up trumps and I’m getting emails most days to say that some of the mahoosive list of books I have reserved are ready for collection.  I finished Lady of the Rivers, by Phillipa Gregory which was BRILLIANT.  It has made me want to reread The White Queen as I missed most of the recent TV series.  And then I was onto this book…

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…I LOVE Janet Evanovich and her Stephanie Plum novels are probably my most favorite series on the plant.  Ever.  But I’ve really been enjoying this series too.  Carl the monkey makes me laugh in every chapter!  I devoured this cook over a couple of days and then moved onto this book, which I think was the first book I ever put on my kindle wishlist after I got my kindle for Christmas a couple of years ago.

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This novel isn’t quite what I was expecting and I’m a little tempted to move onto one of the other novels I’ve got sat waiting in a pile.  But I think I’ll persevere a little longer.  Lily has turned back into a book worm again (which is lovely to see) with books from the teen section of the library and Paddy has been showing a little more interest in having a go at reading different types of books.  I explained to Lily that he is really struggling with his reading and she is going out of her way to encourage and cajole him into it.  On Friday night we all piled into my bed and with a little help from Lily and I he managed to ready most of a Dr Zeus book ‘And to Think I say it on Mulberry Street’.

I’ve also picked my crochet back up again and an making some progress with Lily’s blanket although with the weather due to get chillier I really should think about starting the wrist warmers that I’ve been thinking about.

We’re planning to get the Christmas tree and decorations up tonight – I’m looking forward to starting to feel properly christmasey as I’ve been so busy that it’s mostly passed me by this year so far.  So dinner tonight will be something quick and easy.  I’m going to make a big pan of soup with any veggies in the fridge that need using up with some chopped up chorizo or garlic sausage.  And then we’re planning to make homemade thin crust pizzas using this recipe which looks easy enough.

I’m still catching the bus.  I don’t mind catching it to and from late shifts and night shifts but I have to admit that I’ve been sorely tempted to throw the towel in and admit defeat when I have to get up extra early (5.30am!) to make it to the bus stop in time for the first bus to get me to an early shift.  The first morning I did it I nearly missed the bus.  I swear it came about 3 minutes early!  So I had to leg it down the road, looking like a giant plum tomato in my huge red puffa jacket – NOT a pretty sight!  As I skidded to a halt just as the bus doors were starting to shut the bus driver looked a little startled as I hurled myself in – ha!  That’ll teach him to leave early!

The day of the dressing gown.

Overnight the temperature dropped. And I mean REALLY DROPPED!  It was sunshiney and warm yesterday and it’s now grey, wet and not sunshiney.  I had to wear my dressing gown for the first time this autumn! Hhhmmmpphhhh.  On the positive side of things though my lovely new plants are getting a good watering in.

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I’m loving my new front patch now! From right to left I’ve got my beautiful peony ( which didn’t do much this year other than three perfect-in-every-way beautifully scented flowers), my new pink lupin, a reddish something or other I bought a couple of years ago,  my new purple lupin, a twirly wirly green grass then my new azalea.  And a few winter pansies thrown in for good measure.  Call me sad but I’m extraordinarily excited by this and keep popping outside to take another look.  Hey, what can I say? I’m low maintenance – it doesn’t take much to make me a happy bunny!
:::oh dear. That wrought iron trellis is a bit disgraceful.  Been meaning to see to that for…ummm…about 6 years:::

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Right now I have a huge bowl of fruit,  yogurt and bran flakes to demolish. Even happier!

Today’s best bits.

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I had mandatory annual training today (yawn) but managed to get through the morning session by promising myself a sunny lunch break over at the park’s rose garden.  I heard on the radio this morning that ‘autumn will be arriving tomorrow’ so I wanted to make the most of every last drop of the sunshiney stuff available. I treated myself to Broccoli and Almond soup which I’ve never had before but which was delicious.  Swiftly followed by this…

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So yummy! 

Being surrounded by so many beautiful flowers got me in the mood for a mooch round the local garden centre. I came hime with a couple of lupins, an azalea japonica and some of the cutest little winter pansies.

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So sweet.  I spent a happy hour planting and rearranging them in the front garden along with some crocus bulbs I bought in town last week.   Eeek! I’m excited to see if they grow. I’ve never grown anything from bulb before and I’ve always assumed it’d be tricky. I don’t know why. We shall see!

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Crocus bulbs are very strange looking things indeed!

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I don’t want  Autumn to arrive.  I could quite happily have another couple of months of sunshine please. 

Lillies and cake.

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Aaaaaah, so BEAUTIFUL!  And they smell divine.

These are my latest yellow stickers flowers,  reduced to £3.  300 well spent pennies as the happiness they’ll provide for days (hopefully a week) will be MAHOOSIVE. 

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I went for afternoon tea today for the very first time and oh, t’was LOVELY!  We went to celebrate a baby shower but I have a feeling I’ll be using any excuse to go again in the future. Such pretty cakes and crustless sandwiches. Heaven.