Thursday, September 30, 2010

Whole Grain Banana Pecan Muffins

I've really been slacking on the recipes lately! Here's a new recipe I tried that I really like. Even Tyler (who doesn't usually like my healthier recipes) will eat these!
Whole Grain Banana Pecan Muffins

3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. honey (you can substitute 1/4 c. sugar here if you prefer)
1/4 c. butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 c. mashed very ripe banana (about 2 large bananas or 3 smaller ones)
1/3 c. low-fat sour cream or plain yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 c. pecans, chopped
1/4 c. packed brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a muffin tin with liners--you'll need about 15-16.

Whisk together the flours, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the sugar, honey (if using), and butter. Add each egg in one at a time, combining completely after each addition but not over-mixing. Add the mashed banana, yogurt, and vanilla. Slowly add in the flour mixture and beat until just combined (don't over-mix).

Divide the batter evenly (so the cups are about 2/3 full) among 15-16 muffin tins. Combine the chopped pecans and brown sugar and sprinkle them on top of the batter. Bake for 23-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack and allow to finish cooling.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Summer used to be my favorite season. Now I'm not the biggest fan. It's too hot and the kids lose sleep every night due to the abundance of sunlight. We did have lots of good times, though. This is how we spent the hottest months of the year:

-Lots of playing on the playground (and having barbecues)

-Planting a garden (but not reaping much)

-Playing in the rain

-Going to Bear Lake with the Squires

-Staying at Scott's cabin with the Dicksons

-Celebrating birthdays (Tyler and I both turned 29. What crazy thing should we do before next summer?)

-Swimming lessons for Ada with her bff Ashton

-Lots of swimming outside

-Riding Ada's new bike (though it was short-lived since she fell off and is scared to ride again)

Though we had a good summer, I'm not sad to move on. In fact, I'm really wishing it would stop feeling like summer -- I'm feeling a desperate need to pull out my cardigans and boots!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Weekly Quote 9/27/10

Yes, "You pitiful, insignificant fool!" is from The Little Mermaid. I love that show, as do my girls. Now try your hands at this next one!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Weekly Quote 9/20/10

Such a pretty house
and such a pretty garden.

From the song 'No Surprises' by Radiohead. Love 'em. Sorry I've been a slacker lately. My sisters came into town and then I got sick. New quote up!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Weekly Quote 9/6/10

At the final moment, I cried
I always cry at endings.

That is from the song 'Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying' by Belle & Sebastian. They are probably my favorite band after Radiohead. Love 'em.

New quote up!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Thoughts on independence

No, this post is not about freedom...unless we're talking about freedom from a crappy TV contract.

Yes, another post about the Cougs. It's been a while. My thoughts have been obsessed with BYU lately, so hopefully by posting them my mind can finally clear up. I'm sure many people have no interest in this post. If that's not the case, read on!

I don't even know where to start. Okay, so lots of people believe that BYU went independent in response to Utah going to the PAC-10 (I'll call it by its current name in this post). They couldn't handle being "outdone" by the Utes, so they got desperate and made a quick exit from the MWC. I think that the timing of the announcement came because of the Utes, but that is where it ends. BYU has obviously been working for years on the equipment and resources that have made this whole decision possible. I believe that they would have waited around a couple of years to see what the state of the MWC was as far as receiving an automatic BCS bid, but when Utah left the conference they saw this as highly unlikely and decided to get out themselves. Also, maybe they were afraid of losing recruits to Utah. I don't know. Utah is obviously in a better position, being in a BCS conference; BYU just took matters into their own hands and did the next best thing. Some people don't believe this is a good thing, but I'll get to that in a minute. I just want to say one more thing while I'm on the topic of the Utes and the PAC-10: Utah deserved an invitation in its own right, but I'm sick of hearing that BYU wasn't good enough for an invitation. If that is the case, then why was Colorado invited? Perhaps the PAC-10 wanted to improve its ski program? I know Colorado was invited for its own reasons (TV market, ultimately trying to lure Texas, etc.), but BYU fans and others need to realize that the PAC-10 never even considered inviting them and never will. It has nothing to do with athletics and everything to do with religion. I'm not talking about not playing on Sundays either. I sincerely believe that the PAC-10 does NOT want a Mormon school in its midst. Call me crazy if you must, but I know I'm not the only person (nor the only BYU fan) who thinks this.

Moving on...

So BYU left the MWC to become independent in football. They originally had plans to join the WAC in all other sports until Craig Thompson foiled those plans by inviting Fresno State and Nevada to the MWC to weaken the WAC and try to get BYU to stay (he denies this is the reason, but really, does anyone actually believe him?). Many are calling BYU dirty backstabbers because they were trying to make a deal with the WAC behind the MWC's back. I believe that is too harsh. The reason? BYU had previously made it known that independence was an option, so the MWC couldn't have been shocked that BYU was doing something to try and make that happen. BYU had made no agreements with the MWC, unlike, for example, Fresno State, whose president was in cahoots with USU's president and WAC commissioner to get the BYU deal to go through, and then turned around and left within a matter of days. Now the poor WAC is in a sticky situation. I feel terrible for them. You can't really blame FSU for trying to improve their situation, though, and you can't really point fingers at BYU for trying to improve theirs. (Plus, would the prophet really okay a deal that was dishonest or dirty?) It's a gamble as to whether or not this is an improvement, but at least they're free from the awful network known as the MTN. Per a S.L. Trib article last week, BYU brought more money to the MWC than any other school, yet they got the same amount of money as everyone else. BYU now has a great deal with ESPN where they can make more money in one game than they made in an entire season with the MTN. BYU said that money is not the reason they went independent, but it has to have something to do with it. Now the MTN may soon be dead as we know it, so maybe the MWC should thank the Cougars

Something has to be said about the WCC. Many people believe that BYU is selling out on their other sports by making them play in the West Coast Conference. First, let's talk basketball. The WCC is easily strong than the WAC, especially a Nevada- and Fresno State-less WAC. ESPN will now air BYU basketball games. The WCC is thrilled to have BYU. BYU can only help improve the conference. As far as I've read, WCC fans (except for my brother-in-law) are also thrilled to have BYU. It's a win-win. So what about other sports, namely the ones that the WCC doesn't support? I haven't heard any official word on it, but I've heard that they can play in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. I'm pretty sure that BYU would not just let their women's track and field team, who is always on the national radar, just dissolve. Their other sports believe that what is good for BYU football is good for all other BYU sports. They can now have more national exposure as well.

So now, is this going to be a good thing? I believe it is. We already know that they are going to be making more money. Independence might hurt them as far as recruiting goes, but it might help them. They will now have games shown on ESPN, which will give them exposure to the rest of the country. I know my two brothers-in-law who live out of state are thrilled with the news. What about the BCS? It will take perfection for them to get an automatic bid, but that doesn't mean that they can't go to a BCS bowl. They can still be eligible with a good BCS ranking and will have a good chance of being chosen if they have a good schedule. Which leads me to scheduling. BYU knows that it may struggle in the next few years finding "quality" opponents since many schools already have their schedules set. The troubles may continue past that, but they already will be playing Texas 3 of the next 4 seasons and Notre Dame in 6 of the next 10 seasons (though I still question whether or not they are a quality opponent) and they have Boise State in the near future. They will always have a chance to play Utah. ESPN will help BYU with scheduling quality games to improve ratings, so the question may actually be, will they have too hard of a schedule? We'll see how the future pans out. It's a gamble, but I commend them for taking it. It at least will make things interesting. I can't wait to see what the future holds. I only hope that this won't be a distraction to the football team this season, though I don't have super high expectations of this season. This is the youngest team yet under Bronco, so it may be more of a rebuilding year. We'll see. I'm intrigued as to how the two quarterback system works.

I only have one question left: WHY did we get rid of cable a month before the beginning of the college football season!?

P.S. If anyone is still reading, I won't be posting a recipe this week. I'm just not in the mood.