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Story of my life

If you know anything about me, you know that my life is filled with moments where all you can do is shake your head at me..

Well, if you didn't know, this week, I am cooking for a family, 3 days, breakfast, lunch and dinner! This is my DREAM! I am praying praying praying that they will hire me permanently, but only God knows!!

Anyways, to start off day 2 of this new job, I woke up on time, got myself showered and dressed, got the kids dressed, everything was all good. I was going to stop by the donut shop on the way to drop the kids off with my grandparents.. go to look for my wallet. CANT FIND IT! I drove Brendans car last night, and I knew I left it in there.

After calling and panicking to him, turns out it is, in fact, in his car! UGH! So, I call my mom panicking, asking her to borrow money, and SHE LEFT HER DEBIT CARD AT HOME! Like mother, like daughter! She couldn't write me a check, because, guess what?... I didn't have my ID! So, luckily, her angel of a maintenance man gave my poor pathetic, (now rushing) self some money.

I hurry up and get the kids to my grandparents house, race to the store, get the groceries I need, and get to the clients house to find out they haven't even had breakfast yet(that I prepared the night before). I was so relieved! So I got them their breakfast, and started to make lunch.

Well, when I got done, I got in my car....I'm on E. And not like the needle is almost to E, I mean PAST  E! So, I have no money, and I have to go get my kids. Good thing this was around the time that Brendan was supposed to get off! My sweet grandma said it was no problem, and that he could come pick them up.. And thank goodness I made it home. I'm pretty sure my car won't even make it to the gas station from my house! Isn't this the story of my life?....

But, even after all that happening, being in that kitchen just reminded me of how much I want to cook for a living. I love the smell of old pots, the clicking of a gas stove, whisking until I can't feel my hands, the sound of a knife cutting through a vegetable, the aroma coming from the oven! AGH!! I never felt like I was working, not one second of today. Please continue to pray for me, I really believe in the power of prayer, and I know that I have this opportunity for a reason. If not to work for them full time, this will definitely open some doors!

Now, I must go pump. Boobs are as hard as rocks!

-The Banks Mama

Oh, and check out guest post #2 on my friend Carly's Blog. DIY Bookshelves I made for the boys' room!

Thin Mint Cupcakes

Okay, so, y'all know I'm a food aficionado. My friend Megan posted a picture of some cupcakes that she made, and I asked her for the recipe. I had no idea these cupcakes would rock my world. For real. All I can say, is MAKE THEM, and make them now. You will thank me you are having a food-gasm.

Here is her recipe, tweaked a little by me, ya know, because I always have to do a little tweakage.

3 boxes of Girl Scout Thin Mints
48 Cupcake Tins
2 boxes of chocolate cake mix (I used a 'triple fudge' flavor) and whatever ingredients are listed on the back of the boxes
2 cans of Pillsbury Easy Frost - Velvety Cream Cheese
1/2 cup of sour cream (optional)
Red sugar sprinkles (optional)

1 - Preheat oven according to directions on box.
2 - Put a thin mint at the bottom of every cupcake tin.
(I just crushed them, and made a thin layer on the bottom)
3 - Follow the instructions on the back of the cake boxes (combine both boxes & ingredients).
4 - Add the sour cream to the mixture as well (makes the cake moist).
(super duper delectably moist)
5 - Add 10 crushed thin mints to the mixture.
6 - First fill each tins half way full, then if there's left over batter, evenly distribute it into the tins.
7 - Follow the baking instructions on the back of the cupcake boxes.
8 - After baking, take cupcakes out of pan right away and put on the drying rack. Let cool for a minimum of 30 minutes, but I suggest an hour. Icing will melt if cupcakes are too hot.
(we were too anxious, so we put them in the freezer for 15 minutes)
9 - Ice cupcakes and top with red sugar sprinkles and thin mint halves for decoration.
10 - Eat a cupcake.
11 - Digest the cupcake.
12 - Eat another cupcake.

For the Icing, I used Wilton's buttercream icing, but I used mint extract, as well as the vanilla. Duh-freaking-licious. 

Here are photos to prove:

 Apparently my kids and my husband have the same cupcake eating face
Breland is happy because he knows he'll get to taste some deliciousness in mommy's milk later :)

So, everybody gave them the stamp of approval!

As for me, I will be dreaming of these cupcakes tonight. Oh, sweet thin mint cupcakes..

-The Banks Mama

"Not yo mamas smothered chicken"

 I told myself I would start writing down my recipes in goes, and enjoy :) 

would work best in a dutch oven but I don't have one yet!

1 pack of bone in, skin on chicken thighs
1 russet potato per person
1 medium or 1/2 large onion
1 clove of garlic
2 cans diced tomatoes( any flavor)
red wine
olive and or vegetable oil
salt , pepper, garlic powder

Hubby gave it a 4.5 out of 5.. it was delish!

-The Banks Mama!

Bon Apetit!

I keep saying that I am going to start writing down my recipes, but I haven't! I make something, and then I totally don't remember what I did. So, now I am starting to write down exactly what I use, so I can make the same thing everytime :) Tonight- I created a Roasted Tomato Chicken and Spinach Lasagna?.. maybe the name is too long, but I will figure it out later.. It was awesome. Here's what I did...
1. I boiled my lasagna noodles, in lots of salt, and olive oil. (Olive oil keeps them from sticking)
2. I made my regular ricotta cheese mixture that I make for regular lasagna. Which is 1 container of ricotta cheese, 2 eggs, and about 1 cup of shredded romano cheese. Also, a tsp of salt and pepper.
3. Next, I wilted the spinach. I used two bags of fresh spinach. It reduces alot, but its enough because more goes into the spinach mixture. I just put it in a pot with a little evoo, and keep stirring it.

3. Mmmm my favorite, roasted chicken. I drizzled 4 chicken breasts with evoo, seasoned with salt and pepper, and baked @425 for about 25 minutes. It stays tender and juicy. (if there is left over, makes great chicken salad) I will post that recipe later- after it was baked, i just gave it a rough chop.

4. Roasted tomatoes.... I actually didnt use enough tomatoes, I used about 5 roma tomatoes, and only had enough to layer on top. Next time I will probably use 3 times as much, so I can layer them throughout the lasagna. Roasted them @425 as well, for about 15 minutes. (drizzled with evoo, sprinkled with salt and pepper) brother snuck in here ;)

5. Alfredo Sauce- This is my fast and easy alfredo sauce, it's kind of a cheat. First I make a rue (equal parts butter and flour) and add about 2 cups each of heavy cream and milk. Bring to a boil, then let it simmer, and thicken. I call it a cheat, because in this sauce, I just use garlic powder, salt and pepper. I omitted the parmesan cheese, because there is so much cheese in this recipe already!

6. To the spinach, I added half of an onion(let it cook with the spinach until tender) then I added 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream, 2 tablespoons of flour, a heaping dollop of cream cheese(marscapone would work too) 1 can of mushrooms, and lastly, the cut-up chicken.

7. Layer! Alfredo sauce, noodles, ricotta mixture, spinach, mozzarella, repeat!

8. For the final layer, I used the rest of the alfredo sauce, added my tomatoes on top, and liberally covered it with mozzarella cheese!!! I baked this @425 for 25 minutes. (I try to keep the oven at the same temp to make it easy.)

9. Easy garlic bread...1 loaf of french bread, slice, drizzle with evoo, garlic powder, and salt and pepper (I use evoo, salt and pepper alot, if yall havent noticed- gotta keep it simple) bake @425 for about 7 minutes. I usually put it in when the timer has 7 minutes left from the lasagna being done.

Check out that cheesy deliciousness!!!


Well, It was a hit! Even my teenage brother got seconds! I shall put this in my restaurant notebook... My goal is that by the time I fill it, it will be time to open my restaurant. But who knows?!!! I think I would make my all-time Idol - Giada De Laurentiis proud!!
Hope you guys enjoy!

-The Banks Mama

chocolate makes the world go round...

For dessert tonight, we had...
chocolate cake with chocolate ganache, and a strawberry topping :)

somehow, daddy and brayden managed to sneak the bowl away...

he's a bad influence...
the end result :)

oh, and by the way, I dont use recipes, I make my own! So I cant give em out until my cookbook is done, according to my manager/husband :)
now, we are going to go pray that God forgives us for having two pieces of cake at 9:00 pm..
happy humpday to us!!!

- The Banks Family