Banana and Oatmeal cookies

banana and oatmeal cookies

Whenever we have bananas that are too ripe to eat, I throw them in the freezer until I have enough to use in some sort of treat.  These cookies are wholesome, nutritious, moist, and delicious.


3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup soft butter
1/2  cup white
1/2 brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
2-3 mashed bananas
1 3/4 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 dried cranberries or raisins (or both)

Other add-ins you can throw in that increase yumminess:
blueberries, dried cherries, chocolate chips, chopped nuts, pumpkin seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 400 ° F.
  2. Put cranberries/raisins in a small sauce pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil then remove from heat and let soak for 10 min. while preparing rest of the ingredients.
  3. In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.
  4. In an large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  5. Add the egg, vanilla, banana, oatmeal and nuts. Mix well.
  6. Add dry ingredients, mix well and drop by the teaspoon on ungreased cookie sheet.
  7. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until edges turn lightly brown.
  8. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.

Makes about three dozen cookies.


Sometimes the bees need a little help

It’s pretty common to lose the first few fruits when growing squash and zucchini. Throughout my few years of gardening, I’ve learned that sometimes the bees need a little help pollinating the flowers.

There are two types of flowers that bloom. The male on the left has a long, thin stem. The female on the right has the itty-bitty fruit.

male/female squash flowersIf the female flowers are not pollinated by the male flowers, the squash will not mature. This often occurs when the plant is just beginning to flower because the male flowers are not much taller than the female flowers.

end rotSometimes the bees need a little help pollinating. You can do this with hand pollinating. Cut a male flower, remove all the petals, and leave the pollen covered anther.  Then, gently dab the male anther onto the female stigma…..

…..Are you remembering (or having bad flashbacks)  all that terminology from college biology yet? I have to admit that I was a science fan, and those were my favorite classes…..

Anyway, gently transfer the pollen from the male to the female flower:

hand pollinateThen, viola! Let nature do her magic while you sit back and watch.

Who needs to buy a soaker hose?

soaker hose
Our garden got a present today…its very own homemade soaker hose. We had several old hoses that had tears and weak spots and we turned them into a soaker hose. All it took was a hammer, a nail and some hammering. We poked holes about every 5-6 inches, then weaved it up and down the rows.

During the first use, it’s important to check the plants and soil after a few minutes to make sure that they’re getting  water. Also, keep an eye out for major leaks.  You don’t want the water to puddle. You might have to add a few more holes or re-adjust the direction of the spray.

Our Garden is so happy!

playing in the dirt

I firmly believe kids need time to play freely outside. Yes it’s nice to have tons of toys, but too many can be a bad thing. Sometimes when I look around our yard, I think we don’t have enough playthings for our kids. But it doesn’t really seem to bother them. They get to use their imaginations, which I think is so much better than being confined to crappy plastic toys.

  • Here are some of their favorite things to do in our backyard:
  • Sword fighting with fallen tree branches
  • Digging holes in search of buried treasure
  • Filling those holes with water and making mud pits
  • Pretending the swing set is a pirate ship
  • Making things out of leaves, grass, dirt, and flowers
  • Making concoctions using our home-grown herbs
  • Climbing our trees and sometimes getting stuck
  • Playing Hide and Seek
  • Building fairy  and gnome houses

Yes, they get dirty. Yes, sometimes they get hurt and scraped. Yes, our yard is full of holes. But I LOVE seeing their smiling, mud-streaked faces when they invent a new game.
I have to admit: I’m lucky my kids are imaginative, silly, and play well together.