Healthy Frosty

This has been my go-to of how to satisfy my lingering pregnancy sweet tooth, without giving in to all the treats my kiddos seem to have around the house lately! Operation lose the baby weight is in full effect.

It is delicious. Enjoy!


Healthy Frosty

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 -1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1-1.5 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1-2 tbsp honey (or to taste)
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • Ice cubes

Directions:

  1. Put it all in a blender and blend! Then, enjoy- guilt free!

healthy, vegan (gf!) brownies

I always have a stash of these in my fridge. My kiddos beg for them after all meals and have no idea they are actually good for them! My Hershey’s chocolate loving mom was in town this week and made a face at the thought of a brownie that was healthy and without sugar/flour/eggs etc while I was making them; however, I kept catching her in the fridge sneaking them once they were finished ¬†ūüėČ She later admitted they were delicious and needed the recipe!

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Healthy, vegan, gf BROWNIES!

Ingredients:

Brownies:

  • 425g (approx 2.5cups) Medjool dates, pitted (if dry, soak them in warm water for 10minutes, then drain) **Must be Medjool dates!
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 3/4 cup cacao powder unsweetened cocoa powder

Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil- melted
  • 1/4 cup cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts

Directions

  1. For the Brownies: Place the 1 cup of almonds and 1 cup of walnuts in a food processor and process until finely ground.
  2. Add the cacao powder and pulse to combine. Transfer this mixture to another bowl and set aside.
  3. Put the dates in the food processor and process until only small bits remain. Remove and set aside.
  4. Add the almond/walnut/cacao mixture back into the food processor- now, while processing, drop small handfuls of the dates into the food processor. This part is key- only process until a dough consistency is achieved. You DO NOT want it too sticky. You only want to add enough of the dates so that the mixture will hold together when squeezed in your hand or fingers. A brownie like pebble consistency. You probably will not use all of the dates. If you get it too moist, it will become more of a fudge like texture/taste than a brownie..
  5. Add the brownie mixture to a small parchment lined 8×8 dish. Press down with your hands until it is flat and firm. Then, lift the parchment paper to remove brownies from the dish and use your hands to slightly squeeze in the sides to create a smaller square- this will make the brownies a little thicker and more dense.
  6. Place back into the dish and put in the fridge to chill while you make the frosting.
  7. For the Frosting: Melt the coconut oil and mix with remaining ingredients EXCEPT for the walnut pieces. Once smooth, let it cool slightly so it thickens up. Once slightly thickened, spoon and smooth over the brownies. Sprinkle with the walnut pieces. Then return to fridge to set.
  8. Once set, remove from dish and cut! Store in an air tight container in the fridge for the small amount of time they last before everyone eats them!

enjoy!

xox

aj

protein fudge

I found this recipe from Lisa at Lunchpails and Lipstick ¬†and it is just too good not to share. I make one small change in the protein powder, but that’s it. It is a staple in my fridge…for the short amount of time it lasts before I eat it all! It is so easy. No chopping, food processing, nothing. Just throw it all together.

Ingredients

  • 1 16oz Jar Natural Creamy Peanut Butter (read your labels people! It should just be peanuts!)
  • 1 1/4 cup Natural, Raw Honey
  • 2 scoops Plant Based Chocolate Protein Powder (I use this one)
  • 3 cups Oats

Directions

  • Heat Peanut butter in the microwave for 90 seconds. Stir in honey. Mix in protein powder.
  • Combine oats with peanut butter mixture
  • Spread evenly in a 9×13″ pan and refrigerate for at least an hour, or freeze.
  • Cut into squares. Enjoy!

I promise these won’t last long! They are one of my favorites- and my kiddos!img_2705

fast holiday sweets and treats

Tis the season of holiday sweets, treats & parties! If you are anything like me, you have overbooked yourself this holiday season- between kid’s parties, friend’s parties, bunko¬†nights, work gatherings, christmas shopping & wrapping, holiday traveling… the list goes on.

So, I’ve rounded up some yummy, but FAST, go-to treats for all those times you need to take a cookie to a school party, christmas gifts to the neighbors, or just having the girls over for a night of fun! They are all delicious, fast to make, and super cute and festive.


Soft Maple Sugar Cookies

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Ok, now these probably take the longest out of all the treats on here- BUT- it is so simple of a recipe,¬†and it makes 3 dozen cookies! That’s enough for school Christmas party treats AND treats for the neighbors.

Cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon (or, if you can find it, maple cinnamon sprinkle)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp pure maple syrup

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 stick butter, softened
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (add more for a richer maple flavor- then just add more powdered sugar- you won’t screw it up!)
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar (and more or less for proper consistency- again, you won’t mess¬†it up!)

Cream together butter, sour cream, sugar and powdered sugar, in a mixer, until smooth. Add in the vanilla, cinnamon, and eggs. Stir on low speed until mixed. Then, add in baking soda and continue to mix- on a low speed- for 10-20 seconds.

One cup at a time, add in the flour. Once all flour has been added and incorporated, form dough into a ball and knead the dough on a flour covered surface until it is no longer sticky. You may need to add/sprinkle flour to the dough.

Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick. Then, use a 2.5 inch diameter circle cookie cutter and cut out circles- place them on a parchment covered cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting- beat butter, cream cheese, vanilla, maple syrup, and powdered sugar with a mixer. Beat until smooth. Add more maple syrup or powdered sugar for desired consistency. Using the back of spoon, frost each cookie and sprinkle with cinnamon. I dare you not to just dip the cookies in the frosting all. day. long.


Christmas Rice Krispie Treat Balls

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Ingredients

  • Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Cereal
  • Mini Marshmallows
  • Butter
  • Red food coloring
  • Green food coloring
  • Christmas sprinkles

To get the three colors- you will need to make three batches. The easiest way to do it is get out 3 large glass bowls. In each bowl put 3 tbsp of butter. Then, do the next set of instructions all for one bowl before moving on to the next.

Heat the butter in the bowl for 45 seconds, or until melted. Then pour in 3 cups of mini marshmallows. Toss until coated in the butter. Microwave for 1minute and 30 seconds- stirring after 45 seconds. Once finished, stir until smooth. Now, add the food coloring of your choice- or none if doing the white ones –¬†mix until the color is vibrant and incorporated. Next, add 3 cups of Rice Krispies cereal. Once mixed, wait until it is cool enough to not burn you but warm enough to still be malleable. Butter your hands and roll them into balls!

Repeat these steps with the remaining 2 bowls adding whatever color or sprinkles you want!


Spiced Apple Cider

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Ash made this for me last time I was in SF with her- and now I have it almost every day!

Ingredients

In a large pot- add 2 parts apple juice to 1 part cranberry juice. Put a few tablespoons of the spices in the mulling ball and let simmer in the juices for 20 minutes. Remove the spices and enjoy! SO simple, so yummy, and makes your house smell AMAZING! Keep it in the fridge and just reheat when you want some more!


Peanut Butter Balls

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter- get the GOOD stuff, not the healthy ūüėČ
  • 4 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • Dark, milk, or semi sweet chocolate or a mixture of some of them! I do half milk/half semi sweet
  • Shortening

Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper and set aside. Mix the peanut butter, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla on high speed until smooth and creamy. Form into small balls (remember they will be even bigger once they have chocolate on them, so don’t make them too big!) and place on the baking sheet. Once you have formed all the balls, place them in the freezer.

Once they are frozen- it’s time to make your chocolate. Dump two bags of chocolate chips (dark, semi, milk- or a combo!) into a glass bowl with 2 tablespoons of shortening. Microwave on 50% power for 1 minute- remove and stir thouroughly. Repeat doing shorter intervals until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Take a box of tooth pics and stick one in a frozen peanut butter ball, dip it in the chocolate and tap on the side of the bowl to let the excess chocolate drip off. Place it on the parchment/wax paper and use another toothpick to help push it off. Then dip another toothpick into the chocolate and use it to cover the top of the peanut butter ball that is was not covered in chocolate- give it a little swirl to make it look fancy if you’d like ūüėČ Repeat steps with remaining ones! Put in fridge to harden. If your chocolate starts to harden- just pop it back in the microwave!


Santa Crunch Popcorn

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Ingredients

  • 10 cups of Popcorn- Use the microwavable bags!! These are time saver recipes!
  • salt
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 cups Mini marshmallows
  • Mini M&M’s – red/green
  • Pretzel M7M’s – red/green
  • Christmas sprinkles

Pop 2 bags of popcorn in the microwave and pour it out on a wax paper or parchment paper covered surface. Pick out the unpopped kernels- no one wants to bite into one of those!

Next, in a glass bowl, add 3 tbsp of butter- melt in the microwave, approximately 45seconds. Stir. Add 3 cups of mini marshmallows. Toss to coat. Microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds- stirring after 45 seconds. Once finished in the microwave, stir until smooth. Pour it over your popcorn! Gently fold the popcorn and marshmallow mixture together with your hands or a spoon. Then add the candies & sprinkles! Let it cool and then enjoy!


Hot Chocolate Fudge

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups Chocolate chips
  • 1 can (14oz) + 4 tbsp Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 cup White chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups Mallow Bits (mini hot chocolate marshmallows)

In a glass bowl, combine the chocolate chips with the 140z can of sweeter condensed milk. Microwave for 1 minute. Stir until smooth adding 15 seconds at a time back in the microwave if not smooth. Pour into a foil lined 8×8 pan that has been greased with butter. Combine the white chocolate chips and 4 tbsp of sweetened condensed milk in a glass bowl and microwave for 30 seconds- stirring and heating until smooth. Spread this mixture on top of the other chocolate layer. Top with mini marshmallows- then gently press down. Refrigerate until set and then cut into bite sized pieces!

 

xox

happy baking!

 

black bean & roasted veggie tacos

How does Taco Tuesday sound today!? Mix it up and do an all veggie version that I promise won’t make you miss the meat.

Black Bean & Roasted Veggie Tacos

  • 1.5 cups cored, seeded and diced,¬†tomatoes
  • 1.5 cups corn kernels (can, frozen or fresh!)
  • 1.5 heaping cups of diced zucchini (about 1 zucchini)
  • 1.5 heaping cups of diced yellow squash (about 1 squash)
  • 3/4 small yellow onion, chopped (a little less than 1 cup)
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper (about 1 bell pepper)
  • 3¬†Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup canned black beans, drained, rinsed and warmed
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • Corn¬†tortillas
  • Queso fresco,¬†shredded cheese, or feta for serving

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
  • Place the tomatoes, corn, zucchini, squash, onion and bell pepper on a large baking sheet. **make sure all the pieces are cut about the same size- except for the tomatoes. You can cut them a little larger- they will shrink in size**¬†
  • In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, cumin, 1/2 tsp chili powder & salt and pepper. Drizzle this mixture over the veggies on your baking sheet- toss evenly to coat and spread them out.
  • Bake in the oven for 10 minutes- toss and spread out- then roast for 10 more minutes.
  • When the veggies are almost finished, warm up your black beans and toss them with salt and the rest of your chili powder, 1/2 tsp.
  • Once the veggies are finished roasting, add the black beans to them as well as the chopped cilantro and then drizzle lime juice over everything! Toss.
  • Heat up your corn tortillas in a skillet with a little bit of oil so they get some nice golden brown spots.
  • Then, serve ’em up and enjoy! Top with the cheese of your choice, sour cream, salsa- whatever you like!

These are amazing the next day as well. I take a non-stick skillet and pour the veggie mixture on one side with a little olive oil and a couple corn tortillas on the other side- warm everything up and then enjoy them all over again!

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pumpkins pumpkins pumpkins

Like many festive folks, you may have visited a pumpkin patch or two in October. ¬†We did! ¬†And now that Halloween has passed we’re wondering.. what should we do with all those pumpkins?! ¬†Read on for decorating ideas and some recipes! ¬†But first, where’d those pumpkins come from?

Ash’s pumpkin patch visit¬†

I checked out the Great Peter Pumpkin Patch on one of the rainiest weekends Nor Cal has seen in a while. ¬†And, yes! – that’s the ‘jane trench‘ I’m wearing along with the ‘everyday leggings’ (coming soon!), ‘ruche long sleeve tee‘, and Hunter ‘Tour’ packable rain boots (previously mentioned here).

Aj’s pumpkin patch visit

My visit was more of kid-centered visit. We went to a darling pumpkin patch farm with animals, pumpkins, and a real corn maze – Hall’s Pumpkin Farm & Corn Maze. The littles loved being able to just pick grass and feed the animals – as well as running around like crazy trying to find our way out of the corn maze! Do you see those cute boots I was wearing!? Those are coming to the store SOON!! And that perfect green¬†color tee I’m sporting? Yep, our ‘premium tee- evergreen‘.¬†Kiddo’s outfits are from here and here. The husband’s? Ya, I didn’t think you asked. *eyeroll* he did not dress cute for the occasion.

 

Now, what we’re doing with all those pumpkins…

Decorating ideas

pumpkin-welcome

Pumpkins fit the season through Thanksgiving (at least the ones that weren’t carved up), so let them hang out! ¬†Put them on the front porch, use some in a table centerpiece, paint them white and gold for a more contemporary/modern feel – so many options! ¬†Here is some inspiration that we found –

White pumpkins from Livingly;  gold confetti pumpkins also from Livingly; and a beautiful pumpkin centerpiece from the Stone Gable blog.

Recipes

Nothing says fall like pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING. Here is one of our favorites:

Pumpkin Double Layer Cheesecake Bars

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 2-5 tbsp (to taste) white sugar

Filling

  • 4 packages, 8oz each, cream cheese- room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs- room temperature
  • 1 8oz can of canned pumpkin
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Homemade whipped cream

  • whipping cream
  • sugar
  • vanilla

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a 9×13″ baking pan with parchment paper- leaving a little over hanging on the sides.

In a bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar. Mix to combine- Then press the crumb mixture on the bottom of the prepared baking pan. You can use the bottom of a cup to really press down on the crust to make sure it’s pressed firmly together.

In a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and sugar. Beat with a paddle attachment until light, fluffy, and smooth. You don’t want any lumps! This is why it is key for everything to be at room temperature.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time- until blended. Spoon half of this mixture over the crust and spread evenly. To the remaining mixture add the canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. Use a wire whisk to stir until smooth. Then, carefully spoon this over the other layer in the pan.

Bake the cheesecake in the oven for 50 minutes. Then- just turn the oven off and leave the door slightly ajar so that the cheesecake can slowly cool down- about 1 hour, maybe more.

Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before cutting into bars! A little tip- run your knife under warm water and dry it off between cuts so you get smooth, clean cut¬†bars! Top with homemade whipped cream (or store bought!) and sprinkle on some pumpkin pie spice for a festive touch. Then- try not to eat them all before you share with others. You’ve been warned.

 

xox

Ash & Aj