A good portion of last week was spent with family.  My daughter Molly came on Wednesday with her younger two children, Lincoln and Melody.  Maggie (who lives with her dad) arrived on Friday.  My house has been filled with the sounds of children for several days; now it seems very quiet.

Thursday morning was waffles for breakfast day.  Molly picked up some whole wheat pastry flour for me at an outlet in Illinois, and I used it in the batter instead of all-purpose flour.  (A side note – when sifting whole wheat flour, some of the bran stays in the sifter.  I just dump it in with what has been sifted.)  The waffles were a big hit with Lincoln and Melody; they requested them the next two mornings.  Thankfully, my recipe makes several, and I froze Thursday’s leftovers, so all I had to do was pop some in my toaster oven to reheat them.

Molly left early Friday morning to get Maggie.  Since it is a three-hour trip to get there, I had some Grammie-time with Lincoln and Melody.  We decided to make a funny-sounding recipe (I discovered it on the Internet at lifemadefull.com) – Monkey Poop (a.k.a. Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bites).   The kids are not fond of the coconut called for in the original recipe, so I used quick-cooking oatmeal instead.  At first, the banana-peanut butter-oats mixture was too runny to scoop.  I added more oats to my blender until it was a thicker consistency.

Five-year-old Melody stuck with me through the whole process; however, Lincoln decided to leave the kitchen and play in the living room.  We scooped the banana mixture onto waxed paper and then put it in the freezer.  Later in the day, Maggie and I worked on coating the frozen “innards;” some with melted chocolate and the rest with melted butterscotch morsels.  We learned that it was much easier to spread the coating on with a spatula instead of trying to dip the cold objects into it.  Once the tops were set up, we picked up the pieces and coated them on the bottom, plus any sides that didn’t get covered.

We encouraged Lincoln and Melody to finish their dinner that evening so they could have Monkey Poop, laughing all the while at how funny that sounded.  Lincoln loved the flavor of his and wanted more.  Melody was not a fan of the center flavor, but she did eat all the chocolate surrounding it.  Maggie and I tried the butterscotch variety and gave it two thumbs up.

Saturday was filled with a trip to Lebanon, Indiana in order to attend my grandson Elijah’s third birthday party.  My son Adam and his family came as well.  What a blessing it was for this Grammie to have every one of her grandchildren in one place!  It was the first time all seven of them had been together.  Needless to say, I wanted pictures!

This week’s recipes include the one for Monkey Poop, plus the one I used to make our waffles.   I am adding a recipe that Maggie and I tried a few weeks ago for a White Nacho Cheese Sauce.   We had decided on nachos for lunch, and I was in the midst of making them when I realized I only had shredded cheese.  Thankfully, it was Monterrey Jack.  However, the recipe called for Pepper Jack, so I drained a can of green chilies and added it to the mixture.  It worked beautifully, and we all agreed that our homemade variety of nacho cheese sauce turned out very well.


Monkey Poop (a.k.a. Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bites)

 3 ripe bananas

1 cup peanut butter or almond butter

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (or substitute quick-cooking oats)

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1 (10 to 12-ounce) bag chocolate chips (may use butterscotch morsels)

Combine all the ingredients except the chocolate chips in a blender or food processor, and blend until well-combined. If mixture is too runny, add more coconut or oats.  Scoop onto a parchment-covered baking sheet (may use waxed paper).

Freeze for about an hour, or until hard enough to handle. Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Let cool for 10-15 minutes. Dip* each banana/peanut butter ball in the chocolate and return to parchment paper. Place back in freezer to harden. Enjoy!

Note: Store in freezer for best results

*We found it easier to spread the coating on with a spatula.  When it set up, we coated the other side.


White Nacho Cheese Sauce

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

2 cups milk

2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese*

1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles, drained

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add flour; whisk until it forms a paste.  Gradually stir in the milk so that no lumps form.  Add green chiles.  Cook and stir until thickened.  Remove from heat and stir in the cheese until mixture is smooth.

*May use Pepper Jack cheese and omit chiles.


Everyday Waffles

1-3/4 cups sifted flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 beaten egg yolks

1-3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 stiffly beaten egg whites

Sift together dry ingredients.  Combine yolks, milk, and oil; stir into dry ingredients.  Fold in whites, leaving a few fluffs.  Bake on a heated waffle iron.