Chunky Monkey Pancakes

Once upon a time, I started a food blog.  My kids were one, two and four years old and what else was I to do with myself while they napped each day?
I had friends who scrapbooked their children’s memories, others who journaled, and many who updated the pages of their kids’ baby books with the latest developments.  I’ve never been creative enough to scrapbook, diligent enough to journal or even organized enough to update a baby book.  Cooking and baking, those were my things!  The kitchen was my happy place!  I figured I could move past the guilt of not having beautiful baby books for my children, if I could instead one day pass on my memories and recipes to them.  That is how Eat at Allie’s came to be.  A blog where I could write down my random thoughts and include a step by step recipe, in the hopes that one day my kids would be able to read, taste and remember their childhood.

I was doing good for a few years.  My kids took naps and I blogged.  It was a great little system we had going.  And then it happened… my littlest started Kindergarten.  I had a hard time adjusting to my new life with all three kids at school, I didn’t know what to do with myself all day!  It took about a month for my house to be completely clean and organized and me to be completely stir crazy.  It was at that time, that I decided to go back to work.

Now I should let you in on a little secret… If you have kids AND you work, you no longer have ANY free time! 

So it’s no coincidence that around the time I returned to work was the same time that my blogging became a thing of the past…

However, I still have no scrapbook, no journal, no baby book for my kids.   So I am not finished with this blog!  My kids need more memories, more recipes, more of me to hold on to as they grow old!  I am not done with this chapter yet, it’s just going to take me a really long time to get through.  I’m a teacher most days, a wife and a mom every day, and a blogger OCCASIONALLY. 

And with all that said, today I’m a blogger!

Now, let’s make some breakfast!  These Chunky Monkey Pancakes have taken way too long to post but they have been worth the wait!  They are a favorite in my house and I’m sure they’ll be a hit in yours as well!

Chunky Monkey Pancakes
(aka: Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes)

3 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3  cups buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 eggs
3 bananas
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Peanut Butter Maple Syrup
2/3 cup  100% real maple syrup
1/3 cup peanut butter

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla.

Slowly add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.

Fold in the mashed bananas.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Heat a nonstick griddle over medium heat and coat lightly with butter.
Cook pancakes until bubbles form and then flip.
Repeat with remaining batter.

While the pancakes are cooking, place the peanut butter and syrup in a microwavable safe dish.

Heat the syrup in the microwave for 30-45 seconds, then whisk to combine.

Serve pancakes warm topped GENEROUSLY with Peanut Butter Maple Syrup.

source:  adapted from Our Best Bites

Gooey Oreo Cake Bars

Tuesday was our first official day of summer.  All three of my kids are finished with the school year and are home with me for the next 10 weeks!  I try my best to balance activities, family time, play dates and even allow for quite a bit of unscheduled, unstructured free time.
Did you hear that people, FREE TIME!?!?!
Wouldn’t you love to just have a bit more of that in your life?
I would!
My kids, not so much…
It seems that it’s during their free time that sibling squabbles, major mess making, or the “I’m bored” complaints occur.

When the first day of summer began with lots of coloring (on themselves)

and LOTS of mess making,

{This is what my children will be using to wipe with for the next month}

 I knew it was time to pull out a couple of my summer tools….

The first is the “I’m Bored Jar.”  After scouring the Internet and racking my brain, I managed to come up with over 50 activities that do not require my time or attention.  Yes, everything in this jar can be completed INDEPENDENTLY! Here is the catch, each child can pick from the jar only once per day. They MUST DO whatever it is that they pull out of the jar.  If I hear, “I’m bored”, after they have already done their I’m bored activity, it’s an automatic chore.
Hey, I’m always in need of some extra help around here and I would hate for my sweet kiddos to have NOTHING to do.

My second summer tool is Dessert!  Yes, a little something sweet keeps me and the kids happy :) I bake with my kids and I bake often during the summer months.  There is always a barbecue or a potluck that NEEDS a good dessert at the table.  These Gooey Oreo Cake Bars are the perfect treat to bring because they are soooo EASY and take no time at all.  You should definitely put them on your “Must Make” list for this summer!

Gooey Oreo Cake Bars
1 box Devils Food Cake Mix
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
16 Oreo Cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with foil and grease with butter.
Place cake mix, butter and egg into a large bowl, and mix until well combined.

Press cake mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan.

Top with Oreo cookie pieces.

Pour sweetened condensed milk over cookies.

Sprinkle milk chocolate chips over the top.
Bake for 18-20 minutes.
Allow to cool for about 10 minutes then run a knife along the edges to loosen from the foil.
Once cooled completely, remove foil from pan and cut into squares.


And there you have it, two of my best Summer Survival tips, just in time to kick off your summer :)

source:  I’m Bored Jar inspired by Shabby Beach Nest
Oreo Cake Bars adapted from Picky Palate

Citrus Soaked Apple Slices

Citrus Soaked Apple Slices

We just got back from our first ever family trip to Disneyland! Our youngest Drew finally reached the magical height of 40 inches so we thought it was the perfect time to make the trip down to the Magic Kingdom. Things were not looking so magical though when the moment we arrived at our hotel, Continue Reading …

Chocolate Peppermint Crinkle Cookies


  The process of grieving is painfully long and the journey for many is still just beginning. Although words continue to fail me after this horrific event, I did want to share with you the wise words that my Pastor wrote last Friday… Pastor Ray Johnston’s response to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School: Continue Reading …

A Little Comfort Food {Panera Soup}

Panera Tomato Soup

Not much to say today. Still saddened and heartbroken, still grieving for those who are suffering… And yet, I was chosen to participate in an opportunity to enjoy soup at Panera Bread. It doesn’t feel right, to write about randomness or to do restaurant reviews with all that is wrong today. It’s not time to Continue Reading …

A Day of Silence