Monday, July 21, 2014

The Best Banana Walnut Muffins

This recipe is one I saw Nigella Lawson make several years ago.  I've tried many banana muffin and banana bread recipes and I love this one the most, hands down.  These muffins have a lighter texture than most that I've tried and every one I've served them to agrees.

Banana Walnut Muffins

2 T butter
1/4 cup honey (I used 1/8 cup sugar and 1/8 cup splenda since we eat very low sugar.)
1/2 t vanilla
2 large, very ripe bananas
1 cup all purpose flour
1 heaping t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t cinnamon
health pinch of salt
big handful of walnut pieces
10 cup cake papers

Preheat over to 375

Melt butter and honey in a small sauce pan.  Add vanilla.

In a mixing bowl mash bananas, and stir in melted butter mixture.

Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon just until combined.

Don't beat with a mixer.

Stir in walnut pieces or if preferred mini chocolate chips.  I believe Nigella used the chocolate chips.

Line a muffin pan with 10 cup cake papers.

Spoon 2/3 full into muffin cups.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean.

This recipe will make 10 regular sized muffins.

Linking to Cozy Little House
Joyful Homemaking,  Saving 4 Six
Between Naps on the Porch

I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!

Have a great week.


Friday, July 11, 2014

Give a Kitten a Home

The end of May I was walking on the side of my house and spied a little eye looking at me from behind an old air conditioner cover that was on the side of my neighbor's house.  I should have left well enough alone, but instead lifted the A/C cover to find four tiny kittens, not more than a week old.  They had their little eyes open, but were very shaky to stand.  Very tiny babies.

I took a large box from my garage, put in a towel and brought the box and babies to my front porch.
An hour after I relocated them, the neighbor mowed his tall grass and surely would have mowed right over the kittens.

I knew who the mother cat was.  A small feral orange cat I had been seeing for the past three weeks.
I could tell she was pregnant, but had tried resisting contact with her.  I finally ended up offering her some food (stupid me) because she just looked so emaciated and could hardly walk. 

I called several rescue groups in town and even though they weren't helpful, I thought if I could trap her with some food, that I could take her to a shelter before the kittens were born.  No such luck.  She was too smart to be trapped.   I was rather panicked at the thought of having to take care of the mother and four kittens.  The mother travels with a young male cat also, so that's six cats that need care, spaying/neutering, shots, etc. 

I called every single shelter in my large city, and all the surrounding areas.  Not one offered any solution.  The new philosophy seems to be: trap, spay/neuter, and get shots all at my own expense and then return them to where they were found to be fed for the rest of their lives (or mine), again at my own expense.  I had no less than nine rescue organizations tell me this. 

I have two elderly dogs with health problems and four rescued cats that I already support.  I have just enough room and funds to care for these.  I grew up with the idea that when you adopt pets, you give them the best care possible for the live time of the pet.   We have two "cat colonies" close in the neighborhood to us that feed large groups of cats, so there is an endless stream of feral cats in our area.  I have resisted for years even putting a water bowl out for these travelers.  But it goes against ever cell in my body to let these four kittens be mowed over by the neighbor.  I actually had one rescue woman tell me "then it just wouldn't be your problem".

The mother cat actually moved the kittens a little over a week after I put the box on the porch.  I knew where she had taken them and was still talking with the only two rescue people that would contact me.  Then two weeks after she moved them, she brought two kittens to my porch and left them.  Even though they were older, they were still too tiny to be on their own and had no protection from any dogs that might come by.  So again, stupid me, I let the two in and have had them since.

I still had hopes one of the rescue people would help, but that hasn't happened.  My brother visiting from Las Vegas made a large covered pen for them and that has helped make a place for them, so far. 

Recently, the mother cat and the other two kittens have been coming to be fed.  The neighbor puts food out for his two cats, that he doesn't take proper care of, so she goes between us and his house.   I don't need to trap the kittens, they will let me pick them up.  I just need to find someone to give them a home.  Really, I need someone to give the two I have inside homes also, but the two outside need help more right now.  Otherwise this neighbor will be a new cat colony, right next door to us.  The feral mother will get pregnant again as soon a she stops nursing these two kittens.  The two kitten I have are females and I'm pretty sure so are the two outside.  That will be three more breeding females, along with the young male she has in tow, plus the neighbor won't neuter his male cat.  I am facing having to find the money to get the two I have inside spayed and shots.  It's hard to do with Texas A/C bills right now.

If anyone in the Texas area can give one of these kittens a home, I would be so grateful.  It doesn't save the world, but it would save the one kitten that gets a home.   They sure didn't ask to be born and being the animal lover that I am, I think any animal deserves a home and to be loved.  I never really meant to do a post about this situation, but am out of options.  I see so many of the feral cats live  miserable lives in our extreme heat of the long summer season and on the winter days when we do get ice, sleet or heavy rains.  Our city claims to be a "no kill cat city" now.  When in reality, that is not what it is.  They just won't take the cats any more.  I even talked to animal control in our city and was told in reality, they just won't pick up cats and if they do, they sterilize them and put them back where they found them.  Then it's up to people like me to feed them or not.  I don't find that a humane solution.

Please, email me or leave a comment if you can give a kitten a home.