Banana Peanut Butter Waffles

BY TARA BURKE

I don’t know about you guys, but I have been enjoying a lazy Sunday and have been loving every minute of it. Although we didn’t make these delicious Banana Peanut Butter Waffles today, I think they are a perfect Sunday brunch option! It’s a super simple recipe and is completely customizable.

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Here is what we used:

A Waffle Press

Box of Waffle Mix

A Few Fresh Bananas

Creamy Peanut Butter

Half a Handful of Chocolate Chips

However, like I said this recipe can be changed to reflect whatever your tastes are for that day. Crunchy peanut butter, Nutella, cinnamon and a little vanilla extract are just a few simple ways I can think of to switch the recipe up. When it comes to making waffles and pancakes we tend to eyeball all of our measurements, but for this particular batch of waffles we filled a standard Pyrex up about halfway with waffle mix, added water until it was a liquid consistency, put in a whole over-ripe banana (much easier to mash and mix into the waffle mix), and added a few generous spoonfuls of creamy peanut butter. This makes the batter a little stiff so give it a good strong stir to make sure the batter is fully mixed. Make sure to oil or butter your waffle maker a little before putting the batter in.

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We like to mix our batter straight in a Pyrex cup since it makes it much easier to control the batter as you pour it into the waffle maker. This mixture usually makes a good four waffles in our maker. Try to keep them in the waffle maker as long as possible before they burn. Since the batter is so dense the waffles are ooey gooey in the center, so a crispy crust adds a needed crunchy texture. We added some fresh cut bananas on top and poured some pure maple syrup over the whole thing. If I’m going to do sweet I like to go full-out in order to appease my sweet tooth, but these waffles have all the natural sugar of the bananas in them so they taste great all on their own. If you’re ever bored with your typical waffles and pancakes try this really easy recipe for something different!

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At Home Spring Break Tips

BY TARA BURKE

You don’t have to go away on some luxurious or party crazy vacation to feel like you’re on spring break. In fact staycations are all the rage due to the slow economy. For whatever reason, if you’re stuck at home during this spring break don’t let it get you down. Take the opportunity to unwind, pamper yourself and enjoy some time off.

Tip #1- Have a spa day! They’re so many amazing convenience store spa items these days and they’re really inexpensive. You can go for the typical green tea mask or try something a little more adventurous like an acai clay mask. One time my sister and I tried a chocolate mask. It was such a treat (pun intended)! It smelled like real chocolate and it was super creamy like a mud mask. We usually go for the $2 Freeman brand masks.

Then grab a magazine or good book, make a cup of tea or a fruity drink, and draw a bath. Throw in some bubble bath, a bath bomb, some scented beads and bath oil. If that doesn’t get you relaxed I don’t know what will.

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After you get out of the tub, give yourself a pedicure and manicure. Just like the masks, they’re some great value products for smoothing and moisturizing your feet and hands. I like to use a rice scrub for my feet. I got mine pre-made from a store, but you can easily make your own. Here is an easy recipe to make your own foot scrub. For my hands I usually use an Avon product that my mom gets from an associate from work, but as far as hand creams go I don’t really have a loyal go-to brand. I’m a total brand switcher when it comes to moisturizer. Hey, you probably saved a lot of money staying home so you could just head over to your local nail place and have someone else pamper you!

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Tip #2- Find a body of water. This may be impossible for some people, but chances are you have some type of water near you that you can take a day trip to. If you live near the ocean, lucky you! For me, a river will have to do, but there’s something about running by water that is just so much better than running around your neighborhood. If you’re up for the challenge, get up early and catch the sunrise while you’re on your run. It may be an inadequate alternative to running along the beach, but nature doesn’t usually disappoint. A sunrise is beautiful wherever you are. If you’re back at your parent’s house, either get your family or high school friends together for brunch. It’s a perfect way to kick-start your day.

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Tip #3- Do something new! Chances are they’re some pretty cool things in your local area that you’ve never checked out. Go to an open-mic at a cafe, visit an art gallery, try a new trendy restaurant or take a road trip to another town, city or state and explore. What I find so fun about vacations is that there’s never a dull moment. You’re always off jet-setting to new places to do new things. Take the first few days of spring break at home to sleep-in and catch up on all your TV shows, but after that get out there and discover something new. You’ll probably come back home with some vacation-worthy memories.

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