How Do You Find the Time?

"How do you find the time?"

I get asked that question a lot and I really don't know the answer. I know that I just do the thing that I get enjoyment from and the things that need to be done.

A single parent, a working professional, someone who loves to read, knit, craft and create, someone who is working really hard to create a good life for herself and her kids. I know I'm not the only one out there, and I enjoy reading the blogs of others, so I thought, "well, why not?" So here we go!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Long Weekends

So today was the first day of a nice three-day weekend! After a meeting this morning, we went to our friend Kathy's house and had a nice brunch. It was fun to see what they have done with their house and spend some time with some very nice people!

When I came home, I decided to try a couple of new recipes. The first was a new banana bread recipe. I had planned to do some sort of banana bread and had pulled frozen bananas out of the freezer last night. For dinner, I had to find something as my original plans had been to go out with my friend, but she had something come up. So I chose a recipe from my new Weight Watchers cookbook and made Chicken and Barley Stew. So good!

Hearty Chicken and Barley Stew - Adapted from the Weight Watchers Points-Plus Just Five cookbook 5 points plus per 1 cup serving

1 pound skinless boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup chopped leek
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 32 oz. carton chicken broth
1/2 cup pearl barley - rinsed
1 Tbsp tarragon - dried
1 Tbsp basil - dried

Spray dutch oven with pan spray and brown chicken cubes with salt and pepper. Add chopped leek and cook until leek softens. Add onions, celery and carrot and cook 5 minutes. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, barley and herbs. Cook 30 to 40 minutes or until barley is cooked.

This was absolutely delicious!

Buttermilk-Banana Bread with Toasted Nuts

1 Cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
5 Tbsp softened butter
2 large eggs
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup low fat buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup nuts, toasted and chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Spray 5 X 9 -inch loaf pan with nonstick spray

Whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.

With electric mixer, beat sugar, butter and applesauce until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Bean in eggs, beating well after each addition. Beat in bananas, buttermilk and vanilla. Reduce speed to low, beat flour mixture into banana mixture until just combined. Stir in all but 2 tbsp of the nuts.

Pour batter into pan, top with remaining pegans, and bake until toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean, 50 - 55 minutes. cool in pan 10 minutes. REmove bread from pan and cool completely on wire rack. Cut into 18 slices. As written, this recipe is 4 points

I made some adjustments: I tripled the recipe. I used 8 tbsp butter and 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce. My recipe made four loaves, and with each loaf cut into 12 slices, it was 3 points per slice.

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