Saturday, April 30, 2011

Saturday Snapshot: Only the Nose Nose

Took this photo the day I picked up my corgi, Bella. She'll be a year old next week.

Time flies unless you're an old dog cooped up behind a fence with only a hole for your nose though the good thing is that dogs "see" with their noses.

~ Saturday Snapshots ~

Friday, April 29, 2011

Weekend Reading?

So I when I went to write this week's recommended reading I realized that I was drawing a blank. I haven't read anything great this month and am planning on going to the library tomorrow to pick up some new gems. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has been on my to-read list for awhile now but for some reason I am still hesitant. I have heard conflicting reviews. Any thoughts on this? Is it worth it? Any suggestions for me to check out this weekend?

a healthy decadence

From Dr. Weil

Cocoa-Banana Frozen Dessert

The flavors in this simple dessert remind us of beach fare – frozen bananas on a stick coated with chocolate. This is a healthier version that you can whip up in no time. It contains no added sugar or dairy and is very versatile. Improvise by adding different flavors. Make this a few hours before you plan to serve - it's best when just frozen. Any leftovers will keep for a couple of weeks in the freezer.

Food as Medicine
Bananas are rich in potassium - one banana contains 450 mg, one-fifth of the adult daily requirement - and offer a fair share of magnesium (33 mg), too.

  • 4 very ripe bananas
  • 2 tablespoons pure unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons real maple syrup
1. Peel the bananas and place in a blender or food processor along with the cocoa powder.
2. Add the vanilla extract and the maple syrup.
3. Blend till very smooth. Pour into individual custard cups or small bowls and freeze until just frozen.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Crowds

Visit Wordless Wednesday for more wordless wednesday wonder of wonders although I'd appreciate a comment before you leave.

~wordless wednesday~

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

the ultimate chocolate - banana protein smoothie

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk
  • 1/2 cup nonfat strained plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • one scoop chocolate whey protein powder
  • 3-6 ice cubes
  • splash of brewed coffee

If you want enough to share or have some left over for later in the day, increase the almond milk to one cup and use a whole banana.

* all these things go into the blender

Monday, April 25, 2011

meet me monday for the meme?

because of Easter Sunday, the weekly meme i do has taken a break for the week.
and this is actually, a bit of a blessing in disguise as my blogging mojo has also taken a holiday.  i'm not even sure that i could adequately answer 5 questions.
so, my offering for this monday is, in part, thanks to the resident 8-year-old in our house. 
ever since we first got the movie despicable me, we have watched it no less than once a day.
i speak the truth.
oh, we may not watch it all completely, but....there are some parts we have seen hundreds dozens of times.
in one of our favorite parts....every time i see it, i think of you....yes, you.
and you.

So, now, thanks to this movie, that resident 8-year-old has been singing "CopaBanana"....quite often.
Have a great week everyone!!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Saturday Snapshot: Earth Day

"Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can."
-Arthur Ashe (1943-1993); American tennis player, social activist

Saturday Snapshots is hosted by Alyce.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Weekend Review

So instead of recommending a book this weekend, I thought I would recommend this miniseries that I just finished watching and boy was it an emotional journey! There is nothing negative to say about Kate Winslet... she is as lovely and real as ever in the role of Mildred Pierce. The miniseries is based on the 1941 novel by James M. Cain. I have not read it but have heard that the HBO adaptation stays very true to the original story. There is SO much I could say about this story but I don't want to spoil it for anyone who is thinking about watching it. The story takes place in Glendale, CA in the 1930s. I loved the setting as I live in Southern California and it was great to see the cities that I am familiar with recreated in the past. The basic story is that Mildred Pierce is a young mother of two girls left by her husband and forced to become a working mom to feed her family during hard economic times. She ends up having to take a waitressing job but eventually works her way up into becoming a fairly successful business woman. She meets some friends along the way and has a few romantic relationships, but the reoccuring drama is Mildred's relationship with her eldest daughter Veda. Oh, Veda, Veda, Veda! So much to say about Veda but for now I will just say that the character of Veda will shock you beyond belief and the dynamic between mother and daughter is what makes this story so compelling. Check it out!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

birthday banana

Happy birthday, Debbie!

(Psst, that makes three of the six of us fiery Aries women.)

Wordless Wednesday - Brought to You By the letter J

(Just in case you can't tell from this photo, this letter J is part of the banana slug alphabet.)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Banana Nutella Scones

These banana scones look delicious. I may decide to make them and take one bite. Then I'll give the remainder away.
Yeah, that's what I'll do with them.

photo courtesy of bunsinmyoven

Monday, April 18, 2011

Meet Me (debbie) on Monday

it's monday.  it's meme time.  and this week, i decided to wait for java to get her questions up instead of looking for something else.  (i'm kind of all lazy like that!!) 
if you want to join  this 5-question weekly meme.....go over to Never Growing Old and 'git'er done'.
i like doing memes...not only does it allow me you a chance to find out about others, but....
it also gives me you a topic for a blog post if i am you are having a hard time coming up with
something to write about. are this week's questions:


1. Caesar Salad or Garden Salad?
oh my....i do love me some salad of the caesar kind....with crunchy, garlicky croutons and some chicken tossed on top.
oh yeah....thaaaaat's what i like.

2. Will you be watching the Royal Wedding on April 29th?
hmm...i wonder time that would be happening for our time zone...i need to figure that out.
there will probably be many videos on tv here...the japanese (along with the rest of the world) loved princess diana so that connection guarantees many news updates and video clips being watched again...and again...and.....
personally, i had so much fun watching that parody of the wedding, i think that the real thing might be a bit...boring.
3. Last thing you spent lots of money on?
summer holiday two years ago, the boys and i spent almost 3 weeks in colorado visiting family and friends.  my husband then joined us for a week in colorado and then we went to southern california.  we spent 2 days with the mouse, then we drove to san diego and hit some fun places there.  my sis and her hub joined us for some beach time and i got to meet some of my blogging friends there.  it was a holiday that we thoroughly enjoyed and even though we are probably still paying for it on our credit cards...we don't care.  we have a fantastic time!!!

4. Window seat or aisle seat?
or Lord....please give me the aisle.  with long legs and a slight case of claustrophobia that hits at the oddest of times...i need the space.  if i'm really feeling lucky, i'll also ask for the bulkhead.

5. Do you know your blood type?
oh yeah...
and just in case you didn't in japan, "what's your blood type" is as common a question as "what's your sign?" in a bar.  the japanese truly believe the "you are your blood type" when it comes to personality.
oh, and just for the husband actually thought i was lying as i don't seem to be an A personality person.

i'm more of a lovely combination of all four.

what about you? 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

baking banana - cookies!

Gina at Skinny Taste has created an easy peasy recipe for Chewy Low Fat Banana Nut Oatmeal Cookies. According to Gina, these cookies have all the flavors of the all-American favorite banana nut bread. I haven't made them yet, but I'm thinking adding mini chocolate chips might boost these cookies to super star status.

[Image source]

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Saturday Snapshot: Saturday Serenade

"When the record finally ends he is still barking, sitting there in the oboe section barking, his eyes fixed on the conductor who is entreating him with his baton

while the other musicians listen in respectful silence to the famous barking dog solo, that endless coda that first established Beethoven as an innovative genius."

From Another Reason Why I Don't Keep A Gun In The House

by Billy Collins

More Saturday Snapshots HERE via At Home With Books.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Weekend Reading

So I am a little embarrassed to admit it, but I have followed the recent vampire/zombie literature revival. I love the mash-up novels like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I have read more of them than I am willing to say. Overall, they are cheesy and silly but quite entertaining. However, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter is a step above the rest. It honestly reads like a historical fiction novel with the "vampire" drama expertly interwoven within the events. Seth Grahame-Smith is actually a great author and this novel manages to come off so historically true that I had to keep reminding myself that it was a fictional story! I absolutely love the incorporation of old photographs where you can decipher hidden vampires among the crowd. Oh, and the scenes with Edgar Allan Poe were simply brilliant! You will also learn some true facts about Lincoln, who suffered a pretty tragic life. I guess Hollywood wants a piece of this vampire craze as well. They are currently working on the film version of this novel and Trent Reznor is going to be doing the music as well as playing the part of Jack Barts. I am intrigued already!

birthday banana

Happy 30th birthday, Sara!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sugar & Everything Nice

I borrowed this photo from this website that contains the recipe. It would be ideal if someone made this, tasted it and let me know how wonderful it truly tastes.

Banana Butterscotch Cake

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Veins

You can travel the world & see some amazing sights via ~ Wordless Wednesday ~
Bon Voyage!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

On Movies - flower power

This week at the Bumbles blog it's all about those films in which flowers play a significant role. Molly has assembled an impressive list of such films. I took my time thinking about this one & even asked Mr. Sassy for his ideas. Here's what we came up with:

1. Adaptation (2002) - A wildly creative romp based on Susan Orlean's novel The Orchid Thief.

Starring Mathew Modine :)
2. Flowers for Algernon (2000)* - A made for TV movie based on the sci fi book & short story "Flowers For Algernon." I just read that there is a Will Smith remake in the works.

3. War of the Roses (1989) - A dark comedy about divorce.

4. The Wizard of Oz (1939) - Who can forget the poppy field?

"I think I'll buy the flowers myself."
5. The Hours (2002) - Based on Michael Cunningham's book by the same name. Amazing performances by all the actresses featured in the film. Wonderful book.

6. Under the Tuscan Sun (2003) - Sunflowers! And handsome Italian men.

* This is Mr. Sassy's contribution.

What comes to mind for you?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

a different kind of MondayMeme

Good morning, friends.
It's Monday morning here in Japan and the day has started out just hoping it continues but, as the weather forecast just said "possible rain" (or actually ame furu kamoshirimasen), it may not end that way.
Usually, I am the Monday Memer here at the Banana, but, the last time I checked, Java hadn't posted the questions yet....(I do hope she's out enjoying the heck out of a good Sunday).  I need to get a move on here this morning so I'll do my own meme-like post....

Question:  What are 5 things, in your home, you do NOT like to run out of?
Hmmmmm.....after doing a bit of thinking, here are mine (and depending on the day, the mood and the situation, the order may be different!!):

I have an "emergency supply" of coffee in various places in the house....running out of coffee is NOT something I like to experience.  The boys in the house appreciate this stock of coffee as, on the occasions of no coffee, I have been know to send said small children, money in hand, to the closest vending machine where they can get a couple of cans of the precious liquid for me.
And yes, to answer the possible question you might have, we do have cans (hot and cold) of coffee in our vending machines.  Yes, hot cans.  On a cold winter day, the coffee warms not only your body and spirit, but the can warms your cold hands.  You really should look into this.
No explanation needed for this next one, me thinks.
With 2 young, growing boys and 1 husband who still drinks milk, running out is not something we like to have happen.  I buy, daily, 2 liters of milk.  
FYI...the liter container is the largest available....on our trips to the States, the boys are tickled by the gallon jugs in the stores.  They just look so huuuuuuge!!! (^-^)
(I'm not even sure one would fit in my fridge....yes, even the fridges are a bit smaller here!!)
Lord have mercy on me if we run out of this!!!
We go through about 10 kilos (22 pounds), give or take a bit, of rice a month.
As we eat it for dinner 4 or 5 times a week...and Issei likes it for breakfast of a morning...this is something I do not like to run out of. 
I hate not having extra cash on hand.
Whether it's for the newspaper lady...or either one of the boys remembering he needs a notebook/bus money/whatever  3 minutes before he walks out the door for school...I always try to keep some extra..somewhere.  I have a cup on the windowsill of the bathroom for money left in pockets or found on the floor that has been used on those few times I didn't have enough.
What about you?  What are your 5 things??

Have a great week everyone.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Saturday Snapshot: Sleepy Banana

[Saturday Snapshots is hosted by Alyce here. Be sure to check out the other photos.]

Friday, April 8, 2011

Weekend Reading

The fabulous Sassy B. sent me a copy of this book in the mail. I read it in one weekend. I had to literally pry my fingers off the book! Interpreter of Maladies is a collection of nine short stories, but they blend and interconnect beautifully... it feels like a novel. This book is an emotional rollercoaster. It opens with "A Temporary Matter," which tells the story of a young couple dealing with the loss of an infant. My husband and I endured a similar tragedy in our lives and the deep river of grief that we felt was portrayed so accurately by Lahiri's story. My favorite tale was "This Blessed House" where a newly married couple buys a home and begins to discover hidden Christian items in mysterious places throughout the old house. It was lighthearted and playful and a great contrast to the other more serious stories. Lahiri does a wonderful job of mixing Indian and American culture through descriptions of food, clothing, attitudes, social and political events, etc. It's a great weekend read!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Too Many Bananas!?!

How could you have too many bananas? Is there such a thing?
Make banana cream scones. Learn the Story of a Joyful Kitchen and visit Heather but more importantly, use those bananas. Then tell me how these scones tasted. I love me some scone-age.

Photo courtesy of Heather's Dish.

Monday, April 4, 2011

meet me on monday and debbie..

monday is my busiest day of the week, so it's good to know that i have a " blogging job" to do when i come home....i usually read the questions posted over at Never Growing Old when i first get home, before starting dinner...and i think about my answers for awhile.  it's a good way to get me back into "just debbie" mode...."teacher debbie" works her butt off on monday and she needs a break.
that are the questions that java
 provides for us over at her place.
meet me on monday is what it is, we go!!


1. If you had to eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
oh, honey.....this one was easy...

seriously....breakfast pizza (hello, yes, i was once a college student!!), dessert (oh my...coconut cream cheese, pineapple, peaches, strawberries...drizzled with condensed milk? oh yeah!!)
anytime. all the time.
i'm game.
it's God's way of telling you that He (or She!) loves me and wants me to be happy.
2. Do you write your blog posts in advance or the day you post them?

as i am pretty much a 'fly by the seat of my pants' kind of girl when it comes to most things in life....
blogging is no exception.
sometimes i will come up with an idea and make notes or think about it until i can get to my computer...other times, i just sit down here with an idea of something and hope for the best.
sometimes it works.  sometimes it doesn't.
i'm just thankful there is an "edit" button i can use anytime i want because, sometimes? oh yeah.
i use it a lot.

3. Have you ever ridden in an ambulance?

thank goodness, the answer to this is "no".
 i have always thought it would be cool, but since to ride IN one would mean something bad had thank you.

4. What is your favorite candle scent?

(it's also the scent i wear the most...oh i experiment with other scents...candle and otherwise...but i always come back to what works for me.)

5. Coffee or tea?
especially in the morning...
or in the afternoon....
after class...

so....what about you??

i hope you all have a great the cherry blossoms are at about 60% right now (or so my students told me today!), spring is officially here in nagasaki.
i hope that, wherever you are, spring is there, too.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Saturday Snapshot: Train Tunnel

This train tunnel runs underneath the land where my office chair sits. Closer to my work location is a sinkhole that we discovered earlier this year. We think the sink will eventually sink into a tunnel though it's just a guess.

Train Tunnels run all through these mountains. Good place for banana slugs to catch some ZZZZzzzzs.

Friday, April 1, 2011

On the Fallout

Rebecca Hathaway
Bananas are my preferred unit of measure for radiation.