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Labor day weekend

We had such an amazing Labor Day weekend! Ben and I flew to Oregon on Thursday to visit family and just got home (last night/this morning) at 2am.  We ended up zigzagging around the country (because of course I made sure we got the cheapest flights) and had 2 stops both there and back.  But boy, was it worth it!!
My older brother moved to an area outside of Portland when I was still in high school, and I have enjoyed my extended vacations there ever since. Almost every trip I've ever taken there has been at least 2 weeks, lasting once an entire summer.  So this 5 day trip really did fly by. 
We spent most of our trip in Bend, Oregon staying at an adorable cabin in Sunriver.  It was such a fun time filled with playing with my almost 2 yr old nephew and 5 week old neice, hiking, catching up with my sister-in-law, relaxing, bike riding, cooking/baking, bonding time for the boys (golfing/fishing), and throwing rocks!!
I am already missing hearing "MIKKI" in the early morning and "dues dues dues" (shoes shoes shoes) from the little guy.  He could convince me to go outside and throw rocks at just about anytime of the day.
Noah's favorite activity--throwing rocks into water

Fly fishing in a caldera

Hiking the obsidian flow

Before leaving for our excursion, we went grocery shopping and filled a big cooler with everything we would need to make our meals for the weekend.  These muffins were so delicious that I woke up to Ben and John making them one morning because we were about to run out of our first batch!
We first made these muffins for Ben's work convention, so we made mini muffins since there were over 30 people (pictures below).  I couldn't find a muffin pan in the cabin, so we poured the batter into a 9x13 pyrex pan and the end result was still great--little muffin squares!  Of course I ended up finding the muffin pan once the pyrex pan was in the oven.
  • We first made these using 1 1/2 cups wheat flour and 1/2 cup white flour (instead of all wheat flour) and that works as well...but obviously using all wheat flour is healthier (and just as tastey!).
  • I did not even mash the bananas before putting them in the stand mixer--let the mixer do all the work!
  • We always try to buy all ingredients organic when possible.
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Mocha Banana Muffins
Recipe adapted from

1/4 cup softened butter
1cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
3 large ripe bananas
4 tablespoons instant coffee granules, dissolved in
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons ground flax seed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup dark chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Mix butter, applesauce, sugar, egg, bananas, dissolved coffee, and vanilla in stand mixer until combined. 
  3. Add flour, ground flax seed, baking power, and baking soda. Mix until well combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Spoon mixture into paper-lined muffin cups, well oiled muffin pan, or well oiled 9x13 baking dish. 
  5. Bake for 18-23 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool on wire racks.
Makes 20-23 muffins
We found all of this at Publix

Instant coffee dissolved in water

1 comment:

  1. looks healthy but yummy! ;) and what a fun trip, it looks like! can't wait to hear more about it in person. p.s. miss you! we NEED to get together!