Easy Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (with Pancake mix?!)

I’ve spoken about it before, but we have a house of picky eaters (really just my toddler), and we are often left with an excess of various food. For example, one day my son LOVES bananas and the next day he hates them. It hurts me deeply to throw away perfectly good food, so I’ve become an inventive chef in my kitchen.

So, what can you make with limited time and overripe bananas (because your son decided the day you brought home the bananas he was no longer going to eat them)? Chocolate chip banana bread!

With four simple ingredients and less than an hour (because as parents we don’t have a lot of time), you can make a delicious treat guaranteed to fill your stomachs and make your home smell like a local bakery.

What you’ll need:

– 4 ripe bananas
– 2 eggs
– 2 cups of pancake mix (YES! Pancake mix)
– 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350

Step 1: Gather your four ripe bananas and mash them up.

* Here’s a trick I like to use when I’m baking at night and want to stay quiet – place all four peeled bananas in a gallon bag, zip up the bag tightly (remove all excess air), and start to smash. Once the bananas are fully mashed up, you can cut the tip of the bag and pipe out the contents like you are icing a cake.

Step 2: Crack and beat your two eggs.

Step 3: Combine the pancake mix (will work with gluten-free pancake mix as well) and chocolate chips, mixing it all together.

Step 4: Mix the eggs into your dry mixture.

Step 5: Fold in the mashed banana.

Step 6: Once all four ingredients are mixed together, evenly dispense the contents into a greased loaf pan.

Step 7: Place the pan in the center of the oven and bake for 35 minutes on 350 degrees.

Step 8: Cool and enjoy!

I’ve made many types of banana bread over the year, but this is by far my favorite combination EVER! Give it a try and let me know your thoughts. Trust me, it’s delicious!

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When Dad Is In Charge

When you’re a mom, it’s assumed you are the one to always power through and take care of everyone at any given moment, but what happens when you get sick? I know, I know, what a horrible thing to say, but it happened! I have been struck by the flu. THE FLU! A three-letter word we as parents, especially moms, never want to hear. It’s like “he who shall not be named.” Don’t say it! Get it out of my house NOW!

The origins of my illness are unknown. Could it have been something my kids brought home from daycare? Was it someone I shook hands with from work? The list of culprits is extensive, but none of that matters, I have been out of commission and the three men in my life – husband, toddler, and baby – have been left to fight for their own.

Now, I will give it to my husband, he does a great job, but a screaming toddler and teething baby can take a toll on anyone. As I laid in bed with a headache like no other headache I’ve experienced before (the fluorescent lighting was trying to take me down), I just let go of my mom control issues and just assumed the following would take place:

(When dad takes the daily photo)

  1. Lotion? What lotion? My husband hates the feeling of lotion, so I assumed my kids will not be moisturized and fall victim of the winter chap.
  2. My toddler would be exposed to some Netflix series, well over his head. Today they watched Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, which I can’t complain too much. At least it wasn’t something ridden with gore and death. I’ll just have a nearly three-year-old question his existence on this planet. Swell!
  3. My children will bully their father. When you have two kids yelling at the top of their lungs, you give in. If my toddler will want puffs, pretzels, cheez-its, goldfish, fruit chews, pediasure, yogurt, and an orange and he’ll get it, because one screaming child is better than two.
  4. When they bump their heads, or face it with my child, fall off the couch, they get a rub on the head and a “you’re OK Bud” instead of some serious mom cuddles.
  5. Finally, my toddler may or may not wash his hands following the use of the potty. Who needs basic hygiene? Not my son!

I could highlight the things I would have done differently, but when it all comes down to it, my husband rocked it. He confirmed everything we speculated, he’s an AWESOME dad! While I was quarantined, my kids:

  1. Got quality one-on-one time with their dad.
  2. They were able to play lightsabers or ninja with their dad without mom chiming in on safety issues.
  3. My toddler was able to follow his dad around and help with his baby brother (who absolutely adores him).
  4. They learned about the infinite expanse of the universe with Neil deGresse Tyson
  5. Finally, they were showed how much they are loved by their dad – more than anything.

To say we are lucky to have my husband is a complete understatement. Hun, if I haven’t said it enough, I love you, the boys love you, and we appreciate everything you do for us!

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Bye-Bye Bad Dream

For a number of months my toddler was suffering from night terrors. He would wake up every night screaming and crying to the point where he was completely inconsolable. It would take nearly an hour to calm him down and get him back to sleep.

As a parent we want to do everything we can to make our kids feel better. It was breaking my heart to see him fill up with so much fear. During his time of bad dreams I tried everything to ease his soul, and I finally found the best solution for my little guy.

Here are the three steps we use to take down the monsters under the bed.

  1. Tabitha Fink Ninja at Night by Rick Felty – This is quite possibly the best tool in my nightmare destroying tool belt. Tabitha Fink is “a cat with one eye” and she “likes to try things no other cats try.” Tabitha helps her friend Bartholomew Blink the mouse confidentially confront his fears at nighttime by becoming ninjas at night. Along with becoming a night ninja, Bartholomew Blink gains the skills needed to confront his fears of monsters with curly noses, blue bears, trolls in the laundry room, etc. while learning his monsters could be misunderstood and just need a friend to care about them.

You can get your copy of this WONDERFUL book by going to https://www.amazon.com/Tabitha-Fink-Ninja-at-Night/dp/0989912841

  1. Essential Oils – Bye-Bye Bad Dream essential oil roller ball – My coworker is a consultant for Doterra (there are so many brands and everyone has an opinion on which one is better than the next, but this is the brand she uses) and she made a Bye-Bye Bad Dream mix for my little one. Every night before we tuck him into bed, he asks us to “put it on my back please!” What am I to do when I run out of this? I will say, as soon as we started incorporating essential oils into our nightly routine he has been sleeping more peacefully.

Bye-Bye Bad Dream roller ball oils:

– Lavender
– Marjoram
– Juniper Berry
– Cedarwood

*I would consult an essential oil specialist regarding the dilution of the oils. It is very different for child and you need to make sure you are using the right amount. *

  1. Best Buddy – My son is a creature of habit. He likes things a certain way and will, let’s be honest, freak out if something is out of sorts (according to him). My toddler has 5 friends he takes everywhere with him no matter what. He doesn’t have to carry them around, but they need to be within a 20 foot radius. God be with you if he’s friends are out of reach.

Best Friend Entourage:
– Anton – a 40 cent Alligator from Goodwill
– Buddy – a $3 Triceratops from the Target dollar section
– Lion – a Lion given to him by his doctor
– Sven – a McDonald’s keychain of Sven from Frozen that he received as a prize
– Chameleon – a 1997 Beanie Baby an elderly woman gave him in a restaurant (don’t worry we cleaned it)

Can we all agree kids are weird?

So, yes – armed with his 5 friends, he is ready to take on the nighttime “bad guys.” Does your kid(s) have a stuff animal they have to carry around everywhere? Also, how do you successfully detach your kids from their stuffed buddies? This may be a post for the future.

So when the “evil monkeys throwing fruit at your head” or the “bad guys stealing books from your bookshelf” (actual dreams my toddler has had) come out of the dark, arm your little one with artillery equipped with the tools to take the baddies down!

What do you do to help your little ones sleep peacefully without nightmares at night?

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Get your hands on “Tabitha Fink Ninja at Night” by going here >> https://www.amazon.com/Tabitha-Fink-Ninja-at-Night/dp/0989912841 <<