Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Banana Spice Greek Yogurt Muffins

I'm having a moment with these muffins and this recipe is too good and easy not to share. I know I have said this a million times over, but I love having healthy muffins on hand. These make the perfect addition to breakfast or a great snack to take on the go. They are also good for pre or post workout! 

The batter is mixed in a food processor, making it super smooth, which is a nice deviation from our usual muffins. Adding in pumpkin pie spice give them a nice festive flavor and mini chocolate chips make for a sweet add in! I also love to use dried blueberries, and have skipped the pumpkin pie spice for lemon zest instead. So tasty! 

Banana Spice Greek Yogurt Muffins
makes 12 muffins

1 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 ripe bananas
2 eggs
2 cups organic oats
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1.5 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare muffin tins with liners and spray with coconut oil or other cooking spray of your choice. 

Combine all ingredients in a food processor, except for the chocolate chips. Pulse until smooth. Fold in chocolate chips and pour batter evenly, about 3/4 full, in muffin cups. Bake for 15-20 minutes. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Salt Dough Ornaments

We spent Tuesday morning with some of our mini friends this week on a mission to do some Christmas crafting. We had an ambitious list, but the little ones were having so much fun playing with the salt dough, that we just stuck to that. 

These toddlers crack me up! They were all so excited to pour in the flour and stir the dough. Poor Will...he kept yelling "pizza!" as helped make the dough. If only I could have gotten a picture of his face when he tasted the salty ornament dough!

We were able to get everyone's tiny handprint and a few cookie cut outs. Once mine finish air drying a bit more, I'm going to spray paint them gold and write the year on the back. This is such a fun activity to do with your littles and would even make cute stocking stuffer gifts for grandparents!

Salt Dough

4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup iodized salt

In a large bowl, pour flour and salt. Add water slowly, until you get your desired dough consistency.

With a paper towel, rub cookie sheets with a little vegetable oil and sprinkle with flour. Roll out dough onto the sheets and cut using cookie cutters. To make the handprint ornaments, we used a mug to cut out a circle in the dough. Place the tiny one's hand in the center and press down.

Use a drinking straw to punch a hole in the ornaments before baking. 

Bake for one hour on the lowest temperature setting that your oven will allow. (most likely 150-170 degrees) Continue to air dry for at least 24 hours.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Clam Pie

Clam pie exists in a realm of pizza that I never knew existed and considering my love of creatures of the sea, I can't believe I've never travelled there before. While out of town a few weeks ago, Mark and I were enlightened by this delightfully different pizza topping combo and we promptly recreated it. In the spirit of Pizza Friday, and in the spirit of giving, I'm sharing this recipe with you today!

If seafood isn't your thing, this pizza probably isn't for you, but dare I say seafood haters might be surprised at their first bite. Broccoli may seem like the odd man out in this toppings bunch but I assure you, it works with the clams in all of the right ways. This may have a permanent position on our Friday night pizza line up. 

Don't knock it until you try it. 

Clam Pie

1 can minced clams 
4-5 cloves fresh garlic, minced
Broccoli crown, finely chopped
Olive oil
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Grated pecorino romano cheese

Preheat oven and pizza stone to 500 degrees.

In a small saute pan, add 2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil. Add garlic and saute until soft and fragrant on medium heat, about 3-5 minutes. 

Pour garlic and olive oil mixture into a medium bowl with the clams and broccoli. Season with salt and pepper. 

Sprinkle a thin layer of mozzarella cheese on the pizza dough. Spread clam mixture evenly on top. Sprinkle another thin layer of mozzarella on top, followed by a thin layer of grated pecorino romano cheese. Bake for 8 minutes. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Chatbooks, I Love You

Instagram is my favorite social media platform and it's really the only place that I post pictures these days. But what is the point of posting daily snapshots and memories if you don't ever get them printed!? Don't let your pictures sit in the clouds forever. There is something so special about tangible memory books to look through for years to come. 

I recently came across Chatbooks via an Instagram post from someone I follow, and I am hooked! I simply downloaded the free app on my phone, synced my Instagram account Chatbooks automatically compiled several books full of my entire Instagram history- including captions. I went through and deleted the ones I didn't want and ended up with seven 60-page books filled with moments that make me smile. Each book was $6, which is an excellent value! My books arrived in less than a week and they are all so cute. The quality is great and I can't wait to keep adding to my collection. I'm trying my hardest not to overgram, but with this easy method of printing and binding, it's so hard not to Instagram ALL THE THINGS. 

Chatbooks also offers features to create custom books and hashtag books. Additionally, you can invite others to a book and collaborate together. I'm loving everything about this app. 

Use this code below to get your first Instagram Chatbook free! 

NOTE: This post is NOT sponsored. I just love Chatbooks so much and wanted to share! 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

{What Will Ate} Apricot Oat Cakes

Healthy snacking is just as important for our little people as it is for us! I like to keep a variety of things on hand for Will to snack on. These little oat cakes are made with wholesome ingredients and are perfect for tiny hands. Will has been snacking on these this week and loves them. They also make a great pre or post run snack for me which is even better. I omitted the butter and used organic butter infused olive oil from Pour Olive which was a genius and much healthier swap. 

This recipe is another gem from my favorite baby cookbook, Cooking For Baby. The apricots are so delicious, but you could really mix in any of your favorite dried fruits. The coconut adds to the substance and texture of the cakes, so I wouldn't leave that out. If you do, just add two extra tablespoons of oats. 

Apricot Oak Cakes
recipe from Cooking for Baby

Coconut oil cooking spray
Organic old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. honey
3 Tbsp. finely chopped dried apricots
2 Tbsp. shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup water, heated

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil and spray with oil.

In a mixing bowl, combine oats, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Make a small well in the center and add the olive oil and honey. Using a rubber spatula, combine until all oats are coated. Mix in apricots and coconut.

Heat 1 cup of water on the stove until just before it begins to boil. Add hot water to the oat mixture 2 Tablespoons at a time, stirring after each addition with a rubber spatula. Oats will become wet and sticky. With wet hands, mix oat dough one final time. The dough will be sticky, but not firm. 

Using two large spoons, scoop and drop dough onto baking sheets. Shape into 2-inch round flat cakes. Bake oatcakes until edges turn golden brown and centers are firm and not sticky, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Store oatcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Beer Tasting with Noda Brewing Company

Last night, we had the pleasure of attending a beer tasting hosted by our best family friends and one of my favorite local breweries, Noda Brewing Company. These beers are some of the best to order when we go out to our favorite local spots. Most recently, Noda's pumpkin beer, Gordgeous, stole my heart. I had it served with a cinnamon and brown sugared rim and can't get enough.

Last night's tasting featured six of Noda's beers, all paired with different cheeses and chocolates. I've done plenty of wine tastings but never a beer tasting. This was so much fun and I learned so much about the different beers that we tried as well as beer in general. My favorite? A chocolate coconut porter called Coco Loco. Over the past couple of years, I have grown to love darker beers so I am not surprised that this was my favorite! The actual Coco Loco that we tasted had just been canned two days prior!

If you're local, check out Noda Brewing at local restaurants, retail spots like Whole Foods or Fresh Market and take a trip to the brewery! Skip the shopping on Black Friday and drink beer instead! Noda's Christmas brew, Santa Baby, debuts at noon.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Friendsgiving, Volume 3

If you are not celebrating Friendsgiving, you are missing out. In a big way. 

It is one of my favorite traditions and although this was the third year that our close group of friends celebrated together, this is the first year that Mark and I were able to join- with little Will in tow! He was our official mascot. 

I love, love, love this tradition and it is a true blessing to have such wonderful people in our lives. 

Our meal this year was stellar and everyone contributed something delicious. Our meal was complete with perfectly smoked turkey breast, sausage stuffing, butternut squash mac and cheese and plenty of other deliciously different sides. We even had a signature cocktail and plenty of Pumpking!

I made a batch of my favorite cranberry sauce, and this incredible Brussels Sprouts Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing from the Thanksgiving issue of Southern Living. If you like brussels sprouts, MAKE THIS SALAD. And if you don't like them...well...make it anyways. I'm convinced that if you don't like brussels sprouts, you just haven't had them prepared in a tasty way. This salad is sure to shake up your Thanksgiving table.

It was a wonderful afternoon spent with so many of our favorite people. Cheers to the holidays, cheers to 2014 and cheers to friends who feel like family. 

Similar Recipe Links:

Autumn Cocktail (try this Bourbon Apple Cider Cocktail)
Butternut Squash + Apple Soup (this Apple- Butternut Squash soup from Martha looks yummy and with the addition of a jalapeno, has a little spice!)
Sausage Stuffing (this Spinach, Fennel + Sausage Stuffing with Toasted Brioche looks divine!)
Roasted Potatoes (this Crispy Potato Roast is gorgeous and delicious. Again, thanks Martha)
Kale Salad (try this Kale + Pomegranate Salad)