Banana and Chocolate Chip Muffins

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banana muffins

A few days ago I noticed that we had a few bananas that were getting a bit ripe so I thought that me and O could make some kind of banana cakes or loaf with them. I searched on Pinterest and found this recipe on Taste of Home for Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins. The recipe seemed fairly easy to follow so we choose to make them.

I’m not a massive fan of bananas but with the chocolate chips (which I added extra of!) the muffins had a nice subtle banana taste that wasn’t overpowering. The recipe was easy for O to follow along with and the muffins tasted delicious! O has been asking for ‘banana cake’ all week!


1/4 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup mashed bananas (1-2 medium bananas)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup wholewheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 miniature semisweet chocolate chips (we added extra chocolate chips and they were regular sized and not miniature)


In a bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar.
Beat in the egg, bananas and vanilla.
Combine the flours, baking soda and salt. Add to the bowl of creamed mixture until just moistened. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Fill muffin cases 3/4 full with the batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool for 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack.

This recipe will make roughly 6 muffins. We doubled our ingredients as we had 3 ripe bananas and we ended up with about 15 muffins.


Roasted Chickpeas Recipe

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Whilst O and M were both napping (at the same time!) yesterday I decided to try a recipe that I had pinned on my Pinterest account for a while – Roasted Chickpeas. I found the recipe on Dashing Dish but changed the recipe slightly as we didn’t have all the ingredients in.

These are really delicious and have so much flavour! Perfect for a snack or part of a meal.


1 can of chickpeas
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 pkts Stevia or 1tbs of sweetener
1/4 cup parmesan cheese grated
2 tbs Maple Syrup (or honey)


Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Blot dry with a paper towel (the more you dry them the crispier they will become).
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Spray with cooking spray.
Spread the chickpeas over the baking sheet in a single layer.
In a small bowl, mix together the garlic powder, salt, sweetener and parmesan cheese. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the chickpeas on the baking sheet.
Bake the chickpeas for 15-20 minutes, until they look slightly crispy, remove from the oven and drizzle the maple syrup (or honey) over the chickpeas and return to the oven for an additional 5-10 minutes or until chickpeas are lightly golden brown.

*These can be stored in the fridge for up to one week.

Lunchbox: Day 16

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This morning we made some homemade chicken bites ready to have with O’s lunch later on. We also made enough to freeze ready for another couple of lunches or dinner’s one day. The recipe is really simple and is much healthier and better than store bought frozen chicken products – you just don’t know what is in them! They can be eaten hot or cold and are freezable.

We used 3 chicken breasts but you could use as many or as little as you like. Cut the chicken breasts into bite sized pieces, dip into some flour, then into a beaten egg and then some seasoned breadcrumbs (we used garlic powder and black pepper). Place the chicken bites onto a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes at 220 degrees.

Day 16:

Mixed Fruit Juice
Water (not pictured)
Homemade Chicken Bites (recipe above)
Feta Cheese
Sunflakes Onion and Chives Crackers
Bite Sized Rainbow Cookies
Strawberries and Grapes


Blue Bento Lunch box from Pottery Barn Kids at the Avenues

Lunchbox: Day 15

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O is still under the weather with a runny nose and a cough so he has been a little off his food this week, so whatever he hasn’t been eating during his lunch I have allowed him to leave it without pestering him to eat a little more or try different fruit or vegetables. When you are full of cold, you usually don’t have the taste for much anyway.

Day 15:

Mixed Orange Juice
Water (not pictured)
Melba Toast with Philadelphia Cream Cheese
Sunbites Crackers
Peanut Butter Cookie (click here for recipe)


Blue Bento Lunchbox, from Pottery Barn Kids at the Avenues

Valentine’s Sensory Box

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valentinessensoryboxLast night I dyed some rice and macaroni pasta shells ready for a sensory box that I had in mind to make for O this morning; a Valentine’s Day sensory box. Yes we are very early and keen on Valentine’s Day in this house!

Whilst O was playing his Lego blocks this morning I quickly set up his sensory bin. I emptied the red rice and pasta into our box as the base to our sensory bin and then added lots of pretty and fun Valentine’s Day inspired objects and decorations! Our box included:

different sized and coloured heart cookie cutters, from Daiso at Souk Salmiya

red pom poms, from Jarir Bookstore, Hawally

pink feathers, from 100 fils shops, at Souk Salmiya

foam heart stickers, from City Star, Hawally

different crafty style heart stickers, from City Star, Hawally

a small red pot to pour the red and pasta into, from a painting set at the Early Learning Centre at the Avenues

a red funnel, from City Star, Hawally

textured heart that we got with a beading set, from Ikea at the Avenues

This box was really easy and quick to set up and we are planning on keeping this out for the next couple of weeks on the run up to Valentine’s Day for O to come back to when he feels like.

How to dye pasta and rice:

  • Add desired amount of dry, uncooked rice or pasta into a ziploc bag.
  • Add some rubbing alcohol (we use hand sanitizer) and some food colouring.
  • Close ziploc bag and mix the dry food in with the food colouring.
  • Leave inside the ziploc bag to dry overnight.


Lunchbox: Day 14

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This is one of O’s favourite things to have for lunch – some kind of hummus. He always asks for a spoon to to finish off any hummus that is left after dipping the pieces of bread!

Day 14:

Mixed Berry Juice
Water (not pictured)
Hummus muhammara
Pieces of Arabic Bread
Whole grain Pretzel Sticks
Homemade Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookie


Blue Bento Lunch box, from Pottery Barn Kids at the Avenues
Clear weaning/food storage box, from Mothercare at the Avenues

4-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

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peanut butter
We found this really simple yet delicious 4-ingredient Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe on Gimmie Some Oven yesterday and just had to try it!

These cookies are delicious, however very rich due to the quite high sugar content. I am a fan of sweet things so I enjoyed them, however someone who isn’t a fan of overly sweet or rich food may not like these very much! If I were making them again I probably wouldn’t roll them in the sugar before placing them on the baking sheet as they are sweet enough without adding the additional sugar.


1 cup Peanut Butter (crunchy or creamy)
1 cup sugar (plus extra for dipping, if desrired)
1 egg
1/2 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix together the peanut butter, white sugar, egg and chocolate chips until smooth.
Form dough into round tablespoon-fulls then if desired roll into bowl of sugar to coat the outside of the dough ball.
Place on the baking sheet at least 2 inches apart, and flatten slightly with your hand or spatula.
If desired, place a few extra chocolate chips on top of each cookie for attractiveness and for extra yummy chocolate-ness.
Bake for 6-8 minutes, until the cookies are just slightly browned on the bottom, being careful not to over-bake.
Once cooked, remove and let cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.