jana banana

December 4, 2008


Filed under: baby, carmen, family, food, friends, holidays — Jana @ 11:16 pm

I finally go to post and wordpress is typing my letters backwards… Fate doesn’t want me to blog.

Ok since it is now working I will give a  recap of the past few weeks of no posting.  It should probably be 3 different posts, but I just don’t wanna.

It was thanksgiving, which means I hosted my (count ’em) 4th thanksgiving dinner.  Remember I have only been married 5 years, so I am a veteran by now I think.  I am huge and tired right now, so I gave all the hard cooking jobs to Lee’s mother and sister Mignon.  The stuff I did make turned out good, so that was a relief.  I did not however have the energy to take a single picture the whole time Lee’s family was in town, so whatev.  No pics of delicious turkeys or anything. It was really fun to have them visit.  But having that many people in my house is pretty good birth control… Not that I’m not already pregnant, but it pretty much reaffirmed that I want a small family, and therefore this will probably be my last child. (if I have anything to say about it, but how much control do I have…really?)

We visited the beach a lot while they were here and Scott took some really cute pictures of Lee and Carmen, so here they are.lee-and-carmen-at-the-beach2


Since then I have been nesting like crazy.  I have been going through and trying to organize all the baby clothes that Lauren is letting me borrow, thank you Lauren!  She is a life saver. I really don’t need anything for this new baby, other than tiny diapers, and a double stroller (which is probably something I don’t really need, right now anyway) I finally switched Carmen into her big girl bed and converted the toddler bed back into a crib.  She is still adjusting to this new state of affairs… As soon as I set up all the crib bedding, she opened up one of the drawers in the changing table, pulled out a binky, climbed into the crib, pulled the quilt onto herself and said “I’m the baby”.  So… this should be fun.  baby-bedding-001 But all in all I am feeling really good. I actually feel prepared, which is such a huge relief for me.  If I could just get Carmen 100% potty trained, it will be smooth sailing.

Then today amidst the thousands of loads of laundry I was trying to catch up on, I went on a little bit of a baking spree.  While Lee’s family was here they taught me how to grind my own wheat, which is actually much better than I previously imagined.  So I made us some whole wheat waffles, then I wanted to use the rest of my flour to make bread.  Now, I consider myself to be a pretty competent cook, I love to bake and I think my stuff usually turns out really good, but for the freaking life of me I cannot bake a decent loaf of bread.  I don’t know what my problem is, I have tried so many times, and every single time I am disappointed.  I think my problem this time was that I didn’t let the bread rise long enough, but I have let bread rise too long in the past, so I figure I just don’t have the touch.  I just want to drop kick the two loaves I made today.

Anyway, since I was so bummed about my sucky bread skills, and since lee has been begging me to make him these cookies I decided to whip him up some of these million dollar cookies.

Million-Dollar Caramel Cookies

(Makes 4 dozen)

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar, plus 1 Tbs
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1⁄2 cups flour, plus 1⁄4 cup
  • 3⁄4 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 Heath candy bars
  • 1 bag Rolo chewy caramels

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. In a medium bowl, beat butter and sugars until fluffy, then add eggs and vanilla and beat well.

2. In a separate bowl, mix 2 1⁄2 cups flour, cocoa, and baking soda. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture a little bit at a time and blend well. If the dough feels too sticky, sprinkle in a little extra flour. Cover and chill dough in fridge for about 30 minutes.

3. Chop Heath bars into small pieces. Place in a small bowl and toss with 1 Tbs sugar.

4. Once dough has chilled, wrap a piece around each caramel, forming a 1-inch ball and covering the candy completely. Dip top of the dough ball into the candy topping and place on parchment-lined baking sheet.

5. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes. Cookies will look quite soft, but do not overbake. Cool in pan slightly, then move to a rack or the counter to finish cooling. Store in a covered container.

These kind of made up for the bread fiasco, at least I got to eat caramel.

Now that I am all caught up on blogging I am exhausted and will leave you with this one last nubbin of cuteness from Carmen.

Carmen: “What’s that?” (pointing to my protruding belly)

Me: “It’s a baby.”

Carmen: “That’s not a baby, it’s a tomato!”

Then she laughed like it was the funniest thing she’d ever said.



  1. Glad we’re done with the long time no postage. I hardly even recognize Carmen! Man…I wish you guys were coming to the reunion. (No guilt trip intended.) :) Ah well, I’ll look forward to kissing her cheeks off in the spring. Any guesses when abouts you’ll be blessing your little guy?

    Comment by Melinda — December 5, 2008 @ 12:42 am

  2. Finally! I’ve been missing you. I was hating clicking on your blog and seeing no new posts. Not that you don’t have a good excuse or anything. This pregnancy is totally kicking my butt this time!! I can totally relate when you say you are TIRED!! Anyway, sounds like you had a nice Thanksgiving. I love the photos of Lee & Carmen at the beach. Also, at least you attempted to make bread and cookies… I can’t even find the energy to do much of that anymore either. I can’t wait to have this baby and get my ENERGY back!!

    Comment by Gwenny — December 5, 2008 @ 6:50 am

  3. Frick myself – now I feel really behind and panicked. I already did a little. I have done NOTHING for this baby yet. Nothing for the entire room I need to redecorate, nothing for clothes, NOTHING! And I need a ton of stuff for this baby too. Clothes, carseat, stroller, pretty much everything… What the heck am I gonna do?

    That’s awesome Lauren loaned you a bunch of boy stuff. Gotta love freebies.

    Comment by Tami — December 5, 2008 @ 7:41 am

  4. What a cutie Carmen is. She is hilarious. As far as bread baking, DON”T GIVE UP. As soon as you get it down you will never buy another loaf of store bought bread again. Its so yummy. Um…my bread got better when I bought the awesome yeast. SAF is the best. Try that. I use wheat gluten in every batch too. It makes it soft, moist, and it lasts longer. Hope that helps.

    Comment by Linds — December 5, 2008 @ 11:27 am

  5. “im the baby”
    I could see she was starting to figure it out…but mom didnt think so. Were you like that when Ryan was born?

    I gotta make those cookies..but how small do you cut up the heath bars?

    Comment by Carly — December 5, 2008 @ 4:26 pm

  6. I don’t remember that far back.

    With the cookies, I would crunch them up pretty small because I left the chunks pretty big last time and they stick to your teeth when they are still warm.
    You’ll know the cookies are done when they start to have cracks on the top (since it’s a dark cookie you can’t tell by color).

    Comment by jana — December 5, 2008 @ 4:47 pm

  7. That was a great post. I can’t wait to try those cookies! They sound outrageous! Mmmhmmm….

    Comment by Kat Clark — December 5, 2008 @ 8:32 pm

  8. Hey, I have a fav bread recipe, and guess what? It is very difficult to mess up and looks fancy. Good news for all of us busy mom’s. It is out of the Kitchen Aid cookbook that came with my mixer and called Honey Oatmeal bread. I’ll post it, along with a few tips (not that I am an expert). Keep trying! I don’t know what kind of mixer you have, but if you still have the origial cookbook, that is a good place to start. All the proportions will be adjusted for the mixer. I love your recipe posts, so keep ’em coming!

    Comment by Ruth Dursteler — December 6, 2008 @ 11:36 pm

  9. […] House Bread, if you are interested.  I just didn’t want you all to think that I was going to give up making bread for life.  Plus I have all those buckets of wheat that have been sitting in my garage, […]

    Pingback by Yay for me « jana banana — December 13, 2008 @ 4:14 pm

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