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Countertop Review

This time last year I was packing up our house to prepare for our down-to-the-studs renovation in our kitchen, family room, and master bath as well as the addition of a screened porch. The family room wasn't originally part of the plan, but that's a post for another time. The kitchen was where I really had to plan and scheme, and, yes even fret, to stay in our footprint and budget and to get the function and look I wanted. I love a challenge like this, though, so despite some occasional frustration with my client (aka me! ), I enjoyed the process. A key "want" of mine was honed marble countertops. There are dozens--maybe hundreds--of blog posts, articles, and showroom sites that compare various types of countertop materials and their pros and cons. I read most of them and took notes from a lot of them in the months leading up to our start date. One of the most helpful things was visiting a sweet friend's kitchen, where I was able to ask questions about cleaning, a

Eating out of the freezer

Writing a blog is a lot like making supper.
retro woman cooking 2
It’s easier, healthier, and tastier when I have a meal plan and a grocery list, when the pantry is full and the fridge is stocked.  Sure, every once in a while I can pull a rabbit out of my hat and make something delicious with an onion, an egg, some pasta, and a frozen vegetable, but generally speaking, I like a plan.  And, lately, although I’ve been feeding my family, I haven’t been feeding my blog.  It’s possible that working full-time, helping out at the store, and, last but not least, wife-ing and mothering, are using most of my creative resources. retro-housewife
Truth is, I’m not willing to give up this little blogging endeavor just yet, but I’ve got to re-stock the inspiration pantry, so to speak. So in the meantime, while I get my blogging meal plan together, I’ve thawed out some dinners from the deep freeze. retro-cooking That’s right, for the next week or so, I’m serving leftovers.  I’ll understand if you’d rather go out, but I will be back with some real home-cookin’!
And now, straight from the deep freeze . . .
Simple Summer Pleasures
It seems there are a few foods that are made for summertime.  I’m not talking about juicy watermelon or ripe tomatoes or even fresh corn, although my family enjoys those throughout the season.  I’m thinking more of foods that--although available year round--we set aside for summer—sort of like eggnog is only served from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day.  After all,  the ingredients in eggnog are always available.  It’s the same with one of the T&C household’s favorite treats— homemade frozen bananas.  We started making these a few years ago after Little picked up a recipe for them in the grocery store.  I like to think they’re a bit healthier than ice cream bars, and they taste amazing even if you’re not crazy for banana-flavored treats.
Start with a bunch of not-too-ripe bananas.  They shouldn’t be green, but they should not be fully yellow either.  And definitely no speckles!
Find a cookie sheet or baking pan that will fit easily in your freezer and line it with waxed paper.
Cut the bananas in half and insert food-grade wooden popsicle sticks.  (If you are only going to be serving these to adults, you can use wooden skewers if you have them on hand.)  Place on the wax paper-lined baking pan and pop them into the freezer for half an hour or so.  (Leaving them in longer is fine, too, but you might want to cover them.)
While the bananas are chilling, melt one cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips in a microwave oven or in a double boiler.  Microwave temperatures vary, so start with 30 seconds.  Chocolate that has been melted in a microwave holds its shape, so be careful not to burn it.  I microwave my chocolate for one minute, then add a teaspoon of cooking oil (even a light olive oil will work in a pinch) and stir until the chocolate is smooth and the oil is incorporated.
Remove the bananas from the freezer and quickly dunk them in the warm chocolate, which will harden immediately.  Store covered in the freezer.  A paper muffin liner slipped over the stick makes the perfect drip catcher. For young children, be sure to add sprinkles!
What’s your favorite summer treat?


  1. blogging is a bit of work isn't it? good for you for knowing your priorities and not being afraid to "serve" leftovers...since I'm a new reader I won't mind the recycled content one bit! and those banana pops look divine.

  2. The leftovers are new to me and I am drooling.

  3. I am in the same boat...I dont have any posts planned or started, nothing much is one is might be time for a little summer break. Even the last event I went to had a no photos policy! I guess they dont want anyone promoting their event and it means the post I had planned, vanished :O( I refuse to fall into the trap of simply posting pretty photos and calling it a blog or just doing free ads for companies and expecting people to take me seriously as a blogger. I am sure inspiration will come when the humidity drops a bit!

  4. When you ask so beautifully, how could anyone say no?

  5. Oh what a great idea! These look delicious!!


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