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It’s the Small Things

July 5, 2012

I find that it can be tough to slow down, to take those moments with my kids, to enjoy them. Instead, I get caught up in blogging, texting, emailing, and other social media. Those things aren’t bad, but I just need to remember to limit my time online.

So, this morning the Joker says to me, “Sit down next to me, Mommy.”

I do.

Then she says, “I love your hair, Mommy.”

I tell her I love her hair, too.

Then she touches my face very seriously, and says, “I love your face, Mommy.”

I expected her to say that she loves me, not my face, so I start laughing, and tell her I love her face, too.

One moment like that can make my morning. How blessed I am to be her Mommy.
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Blueberry Coconut Muffins

July 4, 2012

Well, I can’t believe it’s July 4th. This summer has been going by so fast! Our plans for the day are to relax outside, grill, eat, drink, and maybe play some backyard volleyball! I hope you all have a fabulous day!

I’ve been on a quest lately to find a yummy blueberry muffin recipe. I tried some Blueberry Cornmeal Muffins, but they didn’t turn out that good. Then a few weeks ago I bought a bag of unsweetened coconut because I’ve been itching to make these cookies and on the back of the bag was a recipe for Blueberry Coconut Muffins.

This is the first time I’ve used coconut ever, and I wasn’t disappointed. The coconut gave these muffins a little bit of a crunch. That with the sweet blueberries, and you are good to go!

I’ll be making these again, and probably soon. They were a favorite of the Baby’s. She ate 3.

So, if you like blueberry muffins, and you want something different give these a try. They’re sweet, crunchy, and pretty much awesome.

Blueberry Coconut Muffins

recipe adapted from Bob’s Red Mill

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (original recipe called for heavy cream but I didn’t have that, or I think greek yogurt would also be nice)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 & 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (I used fresh)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in eggs one at a time, beating after each one.
  3. Beat in sour cream and vanilla extract.
  4. Then add in flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, and beat on low until well-combined. Stir in coconut and gently fold in blueberries.
  5. Using an ice cream scoop, spoon batter into cups, and smooth tops.
  6. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean, and edges are golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  7. Makes 12 muffins.
  8. Enjoy!

— the Jilb

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The Week That Was…

July 3, 2012

This last week consisted mostly of wedding things. My sister-in-law got married on Saturday and that meant lots of wedding prep, visiting with friends from out of town, eating lots of yummy food, and no sleep. 🙂

The beautiful bride before the wedding

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Some of the 500 hundred cupcakes we made.

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Decorating…

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Bridesmaids!

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And now things get back to normal…

— the Jilb

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Strawberry Spinach Salad with Sesame Seed Vinaigrette

July 2, 2012

I’ve got a classic for you. Strawberry Spinach Salad. The first time I made this was a few weeks ago. I don’t know why I waited so long.

I always seem to have spinach on hand because of the smoothies so I make, and since strawberries are really good right now, this recipe is a no brainer. That along with a homemade poppy seed vinegarette, and you’re good to go!

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Sesame Seed Vinaigrette

recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com

Ingredients:

For the Vinaigrette:

  • 1 T sesame seeds
  • 1/2 T poppy seeds
  • 2 T honey
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 T distilled white vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 T minced onion

For the salad:

  • 9 oz bag of fresh spinach
  • 1 quart strawberries, sliced
  • 1/4 cup almonds, sliced

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together all your vinaigrette ingredients. Cover, and chill for one hour.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the spinach, strawberries, and almonds. Pour dressing over salad (I always start with a little bit of a dressing at a time to make sure I don’t get too much), toss, and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes before serving.
  3. Enjoy!

— the Jilb

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Brown Butter Peach Crumble Bars

June 29, 2012

Peaches are one of my favorite fruits, so when they were on-sale a few weeks ago I knew I had to get a bunch of them. And then I stumbled across this recipe from How Sweet It Is and knew that I had to make them right away.

They are pretty crumbly, but that didn’t stop me from taking them to a church function. These also would go great with some vanilla ice cream. Next time I make these, that will be a must.

I cut out some of the sugar, and still thought they were a little bit too sweet. Next time I’m going to try to cut out even more sugar. I find that the peaches give these bars way more than enough sweetness.

Brown Butter Peach Crumble Bars

recipe slightly adapted from How Sweet It Is

Ingredients:

  • 1 & 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 ripe peaches, chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8 baking dish, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the oats, flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon until combined. Set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir continuously until you see brown specks in the butter, and it starts to give off a nutty smell. Add the butter and vanilla to the oat mixture. Then fold in the peaches.
  4. Press the batter into your greased baking dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until it’s golden brown and set in the middle. Let cool completely before cutting.
  5. Enjoy!

— the Jilb

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What-We’ve-Been-Eating Thursday

June 28, 2012

Lots and lots of Strawberry Spinach Salad. It’s so good!

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I ate a whole box of these Spicy Buffalo Wheat Thins in 2 days.

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Dark Chocolate Strawberry Oatmeal Cookies. Almost like a chocolate-covered strawberry. Delish.

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Cinnamon Sugar Scones. A new fav in this house.

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Pizza! Lots and lots of pizza. I would eat it everyday if I could.

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Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls. Mmm…

— the Jilb

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Thai Chicken Wraps with Spicy Peanut Sauce

June 27, 2012

I made these chicken wraps a few weeks ago and really enjoyed them (and so did the Baby and the Joker). I was looking for something different to eat, and found it. We haven’t been big on Thai food in this house, except for this Thai Noodle Salad and I’m hoping to change that.

These chicken wraps are full of wonderfully healthy things like cucumber, carrots, bean sprouts, chicken, and some herbs. And I really love the peanut sauce. It was spicy, but not to the point where I wouldn’t give it to my kids because I was afraid it would be too hot for them.

Thai Chicken Wraps with Spicy Peanut Sauce

recipe adapted from Rachael Ray

Ingredients:

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T grill seasoning

for the salad:

  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced at an angle
  • 2 cups fresh bean sprouts
  • 1 cup carrots, shredded
  • 12 basil leaves, chopped or torn
  • 3 T mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 T sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 T rice wine vinegar
  • salt, to taste

spicy peanut sauce:

  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter, at room temp
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 1 T rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 (12-inch) flour tortilla wraps

Directions:

  1. I threw in my chicken breasts in a crockpot along with the 1 T soy sauce, 1 T EVOO, and 1 T grill seasoning, on low for 6 hours until they were cooked through. Otherwise, you could toss chicken with the soy sauce, EVOO and grill seasoning and grill chicken until done.
  2. Then toss cucumber, bean sprouts, carrots, basil, mint, sesame seeds, sugar, and rice wine vinegar in a large bowl. Season salad with salt, to taste. Add in chicken.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, cayenne pepper, and EVOO until well-blended.
  4. Pile chicken and veggies in wraps and drizzle with peanut sauce before wrapping and rolling.
  5. Enjoy!

— the Jilb