What is it about having kids that makes you want to celebrate ALL the holidays? Am I alone in this? I have never ever been a fan of Halloween or Valentine’s Day, but I was ALL about a Halloween costume for the little guy a few months back and today I found myself wondering if I should make Valentine’s for Landon to give to a few people.
Happy new year everyone!! What did everyone do to celebrate?? We had a very low-key night, stayed in, finally finished watching Stranger Things 2 and I nursed a cold. I have to say, I’ve been so lucky and somehow haven’t gotten sick since before I was pregnant. But this on is a doozy. And sadly, Landon has it as well 😦 It’s one thing for me to be sick, to be able to take medicine or use whatever remedies I feel like trying but it’s so hard to see him sick when there is so little I can do for him. Fingers crossed it doesn’t last much longer.
For those of you who procrastinate…like me…a super quick treat for your 4th of July festivities! These are so adorable, no? And the hands on time is maybe 15 minutes, tops!!
Can I just say, infant sleep training is not for the faint of heart. I’m probably taking longer with each stage because once he masters one part, I just want to sleep at night so I am hesitant to move on to the next stage. We’ve only been working on it for a week and the first stage is getting baby comfortable with sleeping with his arms outside the swaddle. I may be starting a bit too early, we will see. Most blogs and experts recommend sleep training not begin until after 4 months old.
This will be my one Christmas themed post of the year. I think I failed on the holiday preparedness front. But in turn, I’ve had lots of baby snuggles instead.
I had planned to sit down and write this post last Tuesday, as in a week and half ago, but…went into labor instead!!
I mean…I don’t really feel like I need to say much about these. The name kind of says all you need to know…Cookies & Cream Cheesecake Bars! We DEVOURED these! Just looking at the photo and remembering how delicious they were is making me want to whip up another batch. They were so easy too, no bake, just chill in the fridge for a bit and then eat to your hearts content. Ok, it’s settled, I’m making them again.
There are so many great things about today…
1) It is officially fall!
2) I was decorating for fall like a mad woman today; hay bales, pumpkins, mums, the whole nine yards
3) The season premier of Scandal is on RIGHT NOW and I am watching, Olivia Pope style, with a glass of red wine in my hand
4) These INSANELY delicious cookies 🙂
I came home from work today, put on my workout clothes and was ready to get a productive workout in. First I needed a snack, something healthy, because I was going to workout after all. Once my pre-workout snack was complete, I realized I needed to take some blog photos and should do so before the daylight went away. One of the photos I needed was of this delicious mini brownie sundae which meant I needed to make a mini sundae first. Photos were finished and I was left with a delicious mini brownie sundae which I OBVIOUSLY wasn’t going to throw out, plus it was topped with ice cream so I couldn’t save it for later…now, not only am I not working out but I’m eating a brownie sundae for dinner.
I’m getting a little tired of pre-made scrambles every morning so I thought I’d try something new. I still wanted something healthy but I also needed something tasty that my husband will eat…enter baked oatmeal muffins…made with NO FLOUR! These are easy to prepare ahead of time, customize with whatever toppings you prefer and grab and go as you head out the door in the morning.
Makes 24 muffins
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups applesauce, unsweetened
1 banana, mashed
1/2 cup honey
5 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 Tbsp almond meal
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups 1% milk
Toppings: walnuts, blueberries, chocolate chips or whatever your heart desires
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Mix eggs, vanilla, applesauce, banana, and honey together in a large bowl.
3. Add in oats, almond meal, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and mix well with wet ingredients. Add milk and combine.
4. Spray muffin cups with cooking spray. Pour approximately 1/4 of mixture into each cup.
5. If using toppings, add them onto the tops of the muffins. I used blueberries, dark chocolate chips and chopped walnuts. You can also mix frozen fruit right into the batter. Bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before eating (muffins may not come out of liners cleanly if they are not cool)
Somebody please help me!! I’m not kidding, not exaggerating…I CAN NOT STOP EATING THESE! For some reason, because I made them, I don’t feel nearly as guilty as if I were eating the store bought kind. I can’t get over how good these peanut butter cups are. No bake, only 3 ingredients and little mini sizes that are only 100 calories each, so it’s a tiny little snack for your dessert cravings. At least, that’s what I told myself…then my husband and I ate the whole pan…The secret is the coconut oil mixed into the peanut butter, makes it extra creamy.
Ok, go make them now and let me know how much you love them so I can justify my addiction.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Makes 12 mini-muffin sized cups
2/3 cup dark chocolate chips or chopped baking chocolate
4 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
2 tsp coconut oil, warmed
1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, you can create one with a heat proof bowl sitting on top of a saucepan of boiling water. Watch the chocolate closely, stirring occasionally to make sure it melts smoothly and doesn’t burn.
2. In a small bowl, stir together the peanut butter and coconut oil until combined.
3. Spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray. Spoon a tablespoon of chocolate into 1 of the muffin tin cups, spooning it mostly to one side, then add a spoonful of peanut butter to the other side of the cup. Continue this until all the cups have been filled.
4. Use a toothpick to swirl the chocolate and peanut butter together.
5. Place the muffin tin in the freezer and allow them to set for at least half an hour. When you are ready to each, run a knife around the edge of the cup to pop them out of the tin.
Original recipe from Cooking Light.
When I first got married, I was lucky enough to be a stay-at-home wife. That only lasted about 6 months before I went totally crazy and was bored out of my mind (if only I had the blog back then). While I was playing Suzie Homemaker, I decided to try making candy. This peppermint bark was my first attempt and it was amazing! Not only that, it was so simple. I had heard that candy making is very difficult (which it is) so I was expecting a labor intensive afternoon, but literally, 50 minutes start to finish, and that includes the time it is cooling in the fridge.
This makes a great treat to wrap up and give to teachers, babysitters, your kid’s friends, neighbors, etc. as a cute little holiday gift.
3 bags white chocolate chips
24 candy canes
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1. Break candy canes into 1″ pieces by placing in freezer size zip lock bag and hitting with a kitchen mallet.
2. Use a double boiler (or a saucepan with a heat safe bowl on top) to melt chocolate. Fill bottom with water, bring to a boil, place chocolate in top bowl and melt, stirring constantly.
3. Once chocolate is melted, remove from heat and stir in candy cane pieces and peppermint extract.
4. Pour chocolate mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and cool in the fridge until hard, 25-30 minutes.
5. Break chocolate into 2-3″ pieces and enjoy!
I threw this together this morning for a quick and tasty breakfast. I don’t generally like to eat a big breakfast but I know it’s important in jumpstarting your metabolism for the day. This is a light and easy way to do it.
Chocolate-Peanut Butter-Banana Smoothie
1 ripe banana
1 cup almond milk
2 Tbsp peanut butter (I like to use one naturally sweetened with honey)
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup ice
Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Who knew that one little ingredient could make a regular chocolate chunk cookie so incredibly amazing!?!?! There’s nothing too crazy different about these cookies, except the salt flakes on top, and let me tell you, I’ll never make chocolate chunk cookies without salt flakes again!
Salty Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Makes 24 cookies
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 ozs semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
Maldon or other flaky sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, kosher salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
2. Using an electric mixture on medium speed, beat butter, brown sugar, sugar, and powdered sugar until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add egg yolks, egg, and vanilla. Beat, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl, until mixture is pale and fluffy, 4-5 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low; slowly add dry ingredients, mixing just to blend. Using a spatula, fold in chocolate.
3. Spoon rounded tablespoonfuls of cookie dough onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, spacing 1 inch apart. Sprinkle cookies with sea salt.
4. Bake cookies until just golden brown around the edges, 10-12 minutes (the cookies will firm up as they cool). Let cool slightly on baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.