Tag Archives: family

Donkey Kong Power Cookies

When I was in elementary and middle school, Nintendo, Super Nintendo, and Game Cube were the cool hi-tech video games in our house.  My little sister and I would play Donkey Kong until our eyes were swirling.  No lie, at one point we actually were hallucinating that we were hearing the Banana Fairy!  Don’t judge.  Sick. I know. Mishy, you know what I’m talking about, girl!! (sigh) The good old days.

click image for source

Well, our mom raised us a chocoholics.  It’s genetic.  Brownie or chocolate chip cookie crumbs were probably packed under our fingernails and chocolate smeared on our cheeks as we magically imagined ourselves as super-strong gorillas.   Every now and then a banana would find its way into our coco-laden kitchen, one of us would grab it, hold it in the air like it was a light saber and say “Ooooooh! Banana!”.

What?!

I never said we were normal.

I’ve been feeling pretty nostalgic lately, so I whipped up a healthy nod to our Donkey Kong Country days  last night.

These cookies are perfect as a grab & go snack, breakfast, or as dessert. They are loaded with protein and taste awesome. The only added sugar comes from the chocolate chips (which is a trivial amount, and can be omitted if you like…but why would anyone want to omit chocolate?! To each his own, I’m not hating 😉  ).

Pre-heat the oven to 350.

Mix together the dry ingredients first in a large bowl.

* 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats  (you may need more if you need to make the dough thicker)

* 3 scoops of  protein powder (I used BSN’s cinnamon roll but any flavor will do)

* scant 1/2 t baking soda

* a dash of cinnamon

Next, add in your wet ingredients.

* 1/3 c skim milk

* 2 egg whites

* 1/4 c canola oil

* 1 t vanilla extract

In a smaller bowl, mash 2 very ripe bananas.  These guys almost got tossed by Mr. FSL because they were “gross”.  I thought they were just perfect 😀  So did my furry friend who was eyeballing them for a week now.

OOOOH! BANANA! (I couldn't resist)

Mash them up and leave them pretty lumpy.  The banana lumps will keep these muffins really moist and chewy.

Fold in the mashed bananas.

Measure out 1/4 cup mini sized semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Fold in the chocolate chips.

I felt like I needed a doughier consistency so I added a little more oats.

Once you’ve reached your dough consistency, coat a baking sheet with non-stick spray.

Taste the dough because it’s awesome.  (disclaimer: you shouldn’t eat raw eggs, but I did and I lived to tell about it 😉 )

I used a medium sized cookie scoop and lined them up like little soldiers on the tray.  They don’t really spread much, so they can be pretty close together.

Bake until the edges are golden brown. Mine took about 9 minutes, but keep checking on these guys.

Let them cool.  (Check out my new Valentine’s Day dishes I scored for 50 cents each!!)

Store in an airtight container.  This recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies.

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What food brings back childhood memories for you?  Were you into video games as a kid?  Which ones?  Did you have any hallucinations of banana fairy twinkly sounds?

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Meet Travis!

There was a very special delivery this holiday in our family! A 6 pound package was delivered to Florida.  My cousin and his wife welcomed baby Travis into the world.

Ain’t he cute?

Congratulations Matthew & Katie on the birth of your beautiful son.  I can’t wait to meet him!!

Gingerbread House Making With The Kiddos

Continuing on with yesterday’s gingerbread theme…

It’s becoming a little bit of a tradition around here.  For the past couple of years, we rally up the kids and decorate gingerbread houses.

 

Last year I learned that you need to assemble them about an hour or so before you plan on decorating them because the frosting holding it together needs to harden.  This year I remembered *insert smug grin here* .  It’s a rare thing that I remember something like that people.

Here are a few shots of the night.  Bitten, headless gingerbread men and all.

Um, I put the houses together.  Yeah.  Good thing I didn’t build our house that we live in, that’s all I’m sayin  😉

Here’s my 15 year old cousin’s iPhone, my best girl and my God daughter getting into some frosting action!

Mr. FSL looking exhausted ecstatic about all of this and our niece who actually was! LOL!

My cousin and her sugar induced smile.

Do you have any Christmastime traditions with the kids in your family?  Do you bite the heads off of your gingerbread men first? I wanna know.

For The Kids’ Table On Thanksgiving

When I was little, Thanksgiving day would go something like this:

Wake up ridiculously early.

Watch the parade.

Unravel the 20 braids in my hair so it would look crimped and gross like fancy mermaid hair because that’s what people do on special occasions 😉  .

Go to my grandmother’s house and eat at the kid’s table I had to eat enough real food to get me to the next round which was ice cream sandwiches that were somehow in the magical shape of turkeys.

Watch the women sit around the kitchen table and talk.

Watch the men watching football.

Long story short, I wished I had something fun to do while the grow ups did grown up things.

If you didn’t know this about me already, I’m an art teacher. Here’s a fun and cute activity for the little guys at the kids’ table this year. It’s a Native American inspired vest.  I do this project with my kindergarteners and 1st graders. They love it, and it’s virtually fool-proof.

You will need:
A large brown paper bag ( the kind from the grocery store, not Bloomingdales)
Crayons
A hole puncher
Yarn
Scissors
A big piece of construction paper (optional)
Glue ( if you are using the optional paper above)

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Draw a “U” shape on the bottom of the bag.

Flip the bag over.  Draw a “V” shape at the bottom of front of the bag (where there is a seam).

Cut out the “U” and “V” shapes out.  (I add 2 strips of packaging tape to the shoulder area so they don’t tear).

 

Cut down the front seam.

Cut 2 arm holes out.

Punch holes along each side of the seam.

Decorate with crayon at any time.  I’d do all of the above steps before the kids get there if they are small and can’t use scissors.  Nothing’s worse than feeling like a “baby” when you’re 4.

I had my students draw on a large brown paper that was glued to the back of the vest (in case they made a non-fixable mistake…we only had exactly enough bags for 1 per student).

Cut small snips along the bottom edges to create fringe if you like.

Tie a piece of yarn to the top hole on each side of the vest and lace it up!

I’ll post a photo of me playing dress up tomorrow.

Best Photo As Of Yet

Karina is my God Daughter.  She may be one of the funniest kids I’ve ever met. 

Her mommy is graduating from nrsing school tonight.  Give her a Twitter shot out @jacnaser !  Show some love.  Nursing school ain’t easy. Plus, her kid’s cute 😛

Ed The Bassmaster

I apparently have been living under a rock.  I have never heard of Ed The Bassmaster until last night.  We went out for dinner & a drink Saturday night with a few friends.  We all came back to Casa FSL after.  We were doing my husband’s faaaavorite entertainment activity.  Ever.  We watched funny videos on Youtube on our big screen.  Usually there’s 1 or 2 videos that will stir up a laugh.  We found this channel by accident.  We got sucked into watching so many videos, that before we knew it we were all laughing until tears were rolling down our cheeks FOR 2 HOURS!!!  Video after video was playing and we were laughing harder and harder!!

He does so many different characters he’s like a one man Saturday Night Live.

He also reminds me a bit of Sasha Baron Cohen (Borat, Da Ali G Show) because he satys in character and pranks people.   Ed  has THE BEST poker face I’ve ever seen!  He pranks like The Jerky Boys.  Ah-Mazing.

Here are 2 hilarious videos.  You have to watch the whole clip and then go on his Youtube channel and have at least an hour to spare. 

Living Like A Real Italian?

When you hear living like an Italian do you think of spaghetti and meatballs?  Spray tans, spiky hair, and a gold chain (GTL anyone?!)?  Simplistic fashion icons? Homemade wine perhaps? 

Yeah Buddy!  T-Shirt Tiiiiime!

Well, growing up in a VERY Italian town, and being raised in an Italian American household, I see things a bit differently than the stereotypical Italiana. 

I was watching No Reservations and Anthony Bourdain makes some serious points in the Naples Episode that many people shoud take notice of.

 It dawned on me that real Italians (people who actually LIVE in Italy) have a lifestyle that reflects their surroundings.  They cook with only fresh ingredients, caught or picked within their own neighborhood.   They don’t use imported cheese.  They use the cheese from their Uncle Luigi’s sheep.  They don’t buy chilean sea bass.  They use the mussels caught from the beach across the street.  Italians are very resourceful this way.  It’s really a beautiful and uncomplicated way of life (and a way of eating).  This episode was my favorite one yet.

This guy

owns a restaurant in NYC and he calls it “Italian”.  Some patrons have been put off because there was not any chicken parm on the menu.  This man used what was local and at its peak of freshness and put it on the menu for the day.  The mentality is Italian.  It is more Italian than all of the Italian restaurants we know in the USA. The concept is brilliant.  It captures the essence of Italy.  This concept (even if you aren’t Italian)  is kind of like modern art.  It may not look like the DaVinci painting that we have forever known (or labeled) as art.  We must look closer into it to appreciate its depth, its soul.

It is my philospohy in the kitchen and where most of my best recipe ideas come from.  Use what you have on hand.  I’ve always said necessity breeds creativity.  If you need juice from 5 limes for your Key Lime Pie but only have enough juice to fill a shot glass, try using those limes, a lemon, an orange, and some coconut extract for fun! (See that action in real life here).

 If you need a flower vase and don’t have one, chop down your stems and pop the flowers into short drinking glasses. I talk it out here.

 

Do you live like an Italian?

Icebox Cake Trifle

There are lots of different versions of icebox cake.  Where I’m from, there is only one kind 😉  It is usually served in a 9×13 glass dish, and it is definitely one of my family’s comfort foods. I put a little bit of a spin on the presentation, but I kept the recipe (for the most part) traditional. 

This recipe is easy to prepare and could easily be tweaked to be a low-sugar, low-fat or fat-free recipe.

You’ll need:

1 box of instant chocolate pudding mix

1 box of instant vanilla pudding mix

2 ripe bananas

about 1/3 of a box of graham crackers

milk

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First, line the bottom of the trifle dish with graham crackers.

Then prepare both pudding mixes (in separate bowls).

Slice up the banana and place the slices on the graham crackers.

Add in your first layer of pudding (it doesn’t matter which flavor you start with).  Trifles are great because they look beautiful.  If you plop the pudding in and it smears all over the sides of the dish, it won’t be so pretty.  It will look like you carelessly dumped a bunch of things into a bowl and called it dessert.  (This recipe is actually that easy, but if it’s not presentable, everyone else will know that too 😉  ).  Put the pudding in the center of the dish and spread to the sides.  If you do end up getting it on the sides, just wipe it off with a paper towel.

 

Now you alternate layering graham cracker, banana, chocolate pudding, graham cracker, banana, vanilla pudding. 

 

Easy peasy.   Traditionally, you sprinkle crushed graham cracker crumbs on top as a garnish.  This is great if you are going to serve it immediately.  I made mine the day before I was going to serve it, and graham crackers can get soggy…ew.  I could have just garnished it right before our guests arrived, but I wanted this thing D-O-N-E.  So I just used what I had lying around.

This was actually really nice.  It tasted like a very crunchy graham cracker and never got soggy. 

What is your family’s comfort food dessert?

Me, Myself & Irene

Okay.  I haven’t posted in a week.  Our computer is dead. The data was deemed not retrievable by Best Buy’s  Geek Squad.  All of our photos, videos, important documents, etc.

 *dramatic sigh*

I can’t NOT post because I feel guilty and I’m a bit addicted to it.  Blogging has become a real outlet for me.  Plus I feel out of the loop with all of my blog friends.  I  haven’t posted even with this 6″ notebook computer because it repeatedly deletes entire paragraphs without notice, it’s crazy hard to surf the net, and forget about loading pictures onto it.  I don’t want to write crappy posts, but that’s what comes of it when I try to on this thing. 

 

Please hang in there guys.  We are doing all that we could to try and get a new computer from Sony.  I refuse to pay for another computer since it crashed on its own less than 6 months in. 

In other FSL news, Hurricane Irene slammed CT.  My mom lived here with her cat and dog for 2 days. Casa FSL is in good condition still (except for a piece of siding that got ripped off of the house from the crazy wind).  The neighborhood that I grew up in (where my mom & dad’s house is), was completely flooded.

You’ve got to see this.  Click here to see my town’s devastation from the hurricane. The town beach was nonexistent!  The high tide & moon phase plus the hurricane completely sucked up the beach.  The entire section of town is under water.  Amazing.

While all of that was going on, I was hosting dinner party after dinner party!  We were one of the lucky households that didn’t lose power!  700,000 people lost electricity during this storm.  We had a great time in spite of the bad weather. 

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Did you get hit by Irene?

There’s A Copy Cat In Cougar Town

I don’t watch TV unless it involves Anthony Bourdain, The Bachelor, Food Network, or the NY Giants.  So when my sister-in-law asked if I’d seen the “EAT” sign on Cougar Town, I had to say no.  She was gushing about how adorable it was.  I went home, googled it, and she was right.  It was really cute!  And totally D-I-Y-able.  She didn’t want to copy it completely, so being the amazing Italiana that she is, she wanted to have a “CUCINA” -the Italian word for kitchen- sign ala Courtney Cox –with an FSL twist of course!

We hit up Joanne Fabrics and bought some scraps and cardboard letters, then I went to work!

I had some Mod Podge – which by the way is fabulous and everyone should have a jar of it in their house or two (just in case, lol) and some small paint brushes.

I started with my first letter and placed it on butcher paper to protect the work surface.

Crack open that Mod Podge, grab a paint brush, and apply a fairly thin layer on a small section of the cardboard (about a 2″ square).

Next, place a piece of fabric on top of the sticky surface taking great care to make sure it’s smooth and wraps around to the back of the letter.

Now, the rounded parts of the letters were not easy.  I had to snip the fabric in a few places to ensure a snug fit.   It will look sloppy if the fabric isn’t perfectly smooth.

Once you’ve covered the entire letter, it’s on to the next one!

I stuck on a few strips of double sided mounting tape, measured the placement on the wall, and ended up with this.

She was really happy with the outcome, and I thought it was really cute.  Maybe I’ll make something like this for the empty wall in my powder room or on a blank wall in my living room…