Sunday, February 23, 2014

Midnight Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Mug Snack

Midnight snacks... sigh... seem so long ago. But I am a mommy and my 'snack' or 'dessert' is really eaten around 8 pm - so who are we kidding, here?! My sweet friend, Reilly, posted a link to this amazingly, gooey, chocolate masterpiece: Microwave Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Mug. Naturally, I have been eating healthy for two weeks straight so it was high time for a "cheat" snack. And I am not sorry I gave in! So, if you are craving a chocolate chip cookie but don't want a couple dozen lying around, I highly recommend the cookie in a mug. I just wish I had made two mugs worth!

Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Mug

- 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tbsp. brown sugar
- 1/8 tsp. vanilla
- 1 egg yolk
- pinch of salt
- 3 tbsp. flour (plus 1/2 tbsp. at high altitude)
- 2 tbsp. chocolate chips

1. In a microwave safe mug, drop the butter in and slowly melt it in your microwave.
2. Once butter has melted add sugars, vanilla, and salt. Stir well.
3. Add egg yolk and flour. If your dough is too stiff, add a little milk to it.
4. Stir in the chocolate chips.
5. Microwave cookie in a mug at 70% for 30 seconds. Add 10 seconds at 70% until you feel your cookie is ready.

Melted butter, sugars/vanilla/salt added, egg yolk added, flour and chocolate chips

 I stirred my cookie between microwave heatings, so its a little gooey here! 

Dig in!

So I am in love with the saying on my mug, "Ain't Nobody Got Time For That!" I was so excited to make these mugs as a craft with my friends, so I went out and bought plain white mugs and fun Sharpie markers. Turns out, Sharpies do not work on already glazed mugs... after you bake it to set the color, it rubs right off. In fact, nail polish remover will take it off completely. So, I tried it again with a gold paint pen. Worked a little better but it is still rubbing off as I use and wash the mug. DIY Fail. I guess I'll have to cough up $23 and buy the real mug

And, "Ain't Nobody Got Time For That!"


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

I'm on a mission to improve on how healthy the food I eat is. So I have been trying new recipes and finally got around to making this recipe for Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash. I have never baked an acorn squash before, but it turned out really good. I think I prefer the taste of a butternut squash better, so I might stuff a butternut squash with this quinoa - because the quinoa was delicious!

Ingredients - serves 4

- 2 small acorn squashes, sliced in half with seeds removed
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 1/8 cup water
- 1 leek, chopped
- 1/3 cup white onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup broccolini, chopped (I used broccoli)
- 1 cup red pepper, diced
- 2 Tofurky Kielbasa links, sliced (I used turkey Kielbasa - not a huge tofu fan)
- 1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Olive Oil for brushing

1. Preheat oven to 375. Fill a large baking dish with 1/4 inches of water. Place acorn squash cut-side-down in the water. Poke squash a few times with a fork.
2. Bake squash for 30 minutes.
3. Heat a large pan over medium heat and add quinoa and water to it. Lower heat and cook quinoa as directed on box.
4. Add broccolini, leeks, onion, garlic and red bell pepper to the cooked quinoa.
5. Saute until broccolini is tender, stir in Kielbasa, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
6. Drain the baking dish with the squash in it and flip the squash halves face up. Apply thin coat of olive oil to the squash. Divide quinoa mixture amongst the squash halves.
7. Bake for additional 10-15 minutes.

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash


Monday, February 17, 2014

Healthy Black Bean Burgers and Baked Cajun Fries

I've been holding out on you all... these two recipes are made frequently in my home and I have yet to share them with you! If you are looking for a healthy alternative to a ground beef hamburger, this black bean burger is packed with flavor and will not disappoint. As for the baked cajun fries, they are one of our favorite things to make and are super simple. I hope you enjoy this meal!

Black Bean Burgers


- 1 x 15 oz. can of black beans, drained
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs, plus extra if needed
- 1 tbsp. tomato paste, or ketchup
- 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
- * 1 tsp. chili powder (optional)
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- buns

1. Mash the beans in a bowl with a fork or mashed potato masher. Do not over mash and puree the beans, just mash enough so no whole beans are left.
2. Add the egg, bread crumbs, chili powder, cumin, cilantro, onion, garlic, ketchup. Mix everything together.
3. Preheat your frying pan or grill over medium heat.
4. Divide the burger mix into 5-6 equal burgers.
5. Oil the pan and cook burgers for about 4-5 minutes per side.

Baked Fries


- 4 large unpeeled, russet potatoes, cleaned and cut length-wise in 1/2 inch strips
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 3/4 tsp. paprika
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1/4 tsp. oregano
- 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne (adjust as needed)
- 1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
2. In a mixing bowl, mix all ingredients together and toss the potatoes into the mixture until coated.
3. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, use tongs to flip the fries over, and bake for an additional 12-15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Baked Cajun Fries and Black Bean Burgers


Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day! I wanted to share with you all that I was a Guest Blogger on Living Locurto last week. I did a DIY step-by-step Valentine's Day placemat. You can see it here! Living Locurto is a very well-known children's DIY/crafts/food/children's parties/printables blogger who gets lots of views. I hope the exposure on her site will bring me more followers to my blog!

This morning I threw a Valentine's Play Date for my 3-year-old and his three little buddies. They made Valentine's Day Placemats and Leis. Then they ate cake and played!

The heart cake I made was just a box cake. I baked a square and a round cake, cut the round cake in half and created a Valentine's "heart." I dyed my frosting red and found a cute cake banner that I printed and stuck on the cake between two chopsticks (you can also use wooden skewers or lollipop sticks).

I hope you all hug and kiss your loved ones on this sweet Valentine's Day!

 Square cake and round cake cut in half to form a 'heart' shaped cake

Frosted heart cake with "Be Mine" banner 

 Table scape

 Placemat Supplies

 Carter and Kinley working on their placemats

Marley and Levi on top, and all the kids working hard! 

 Love how their placemats turned out!


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Chocolate L-O-V-E Cakes

My husband enjoys listening to NPR to and from work and the other day he heard the radio announcers talking about these "Little French Fudge Cakes." He promptly informed me about them and found a recipe for them on my desktop... Ok hubby, I got the hint. Well, I made them yesterday and they truly are fudgy and chocolately and oh soooo good! They remind me of a homemade chocolate cupcake with the fudginess of a brownie, only without frosting.

I hope you can find some time to make these for Valentine's Day!

Little French Fudge Cakes

- 1 (4 oz) bittersweet bar, chopped
- 1 1/2 (1 oz) squares unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 5 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 3 tbsp. all purpose flour
- 1/2 (4 oz) bittersweet chocolate bar, broken into 1/2 inch pieces (I used chocolate chips)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease 6 cupcake cups (my batter made 8).
2. Place 1 chopped bar of bittersweet chocolate, unsweetened chocolate, and butter in microwave safe bowl. Heat at a low temperature in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. Stir occasionally and until smooth.
3. In a mixing bowl whisk together the cinnamon, vanilla, eggs, egg yolk, sugar, and salt. Stir in flour until blended and mix in the chocolate pieces.
4. Spoon batter into cupcake cups and fill 3/4 full.
5. Bake about 16 minutes until a knife inserted in the middle streaks with thick batter. Serve warm.


Chopped Chocolate

Batter Evolution

 Baked Fudge Cakes with fudgy center on knife

Dig In!


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Last Minute Kids Valentine Idea

Valentine's Day is THIS Friday! So I am sure your week will be filled with Valentine's themed parties, play dates, and activities. If you are at a loss for something easy and creative to do for your kids' Valentine's - this would be perfect! I printed out a free printable I found, used my big hole punch to get a perfect circle (you can also use scissors), bought a large bag of Valentine M&Ms, and some shovels at my local Dollar Tree store. Here you go!


- M&Ms
- plastic shovels
- ribbon
- free printable that says "I Dig You"
- plastic cookie/treat bag

1. Print out printable and cut out each circle "tag."
2. Place shovel and some M&Ms in a plastic cookie bag.
3. Tie tag around shovel with ribbon.

Shovel, M&Ms, and free printable

"I Dig You!"


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Valentine Leis

I'm planning a Valentine's Day Play Date! One of the crafts will be for each kid to make their own "Valentine Lei." They will have yarn and paper hearts and cut up straws to place between each heart. Then we will wear them! Here is how to make them.


- scrapbook paper/construction paper cut hearts
- yarn/string
- straws cut to be about 1 inch long 
- tape

1. Place a 1.5 inch long piece of tape around the end of one side of the yarn. This will be your "needle" as each kid places their paper hearts and straws onto the yarn.
2. Decorate!
3. Wear it!

 Cut straws, yarn, paper hearts with holes in the center

 Tape "needle"

 Finished Valentine Lei

Getting my 3 year-old to stand still is nearly impossible! 


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Spicy Tailgate Dip

A while ago I was asked if I wanted to contribute a tailgate recipe for the West Point Women's Club (WPWC) annual cookbook. I submitted the recipe below that we make often in our crockpot that I got from a crock pot recipe book. It is super easy and delicious with tortilla chips. With the Super Bowl today, we are having some of my husband's work friends over, so of course I had to make this dip. I also doubled the recipe that I list below. I hope you enjoy it! GO BRONCOS!

If you are interested in ordering a cookbook, it is titled, "Eat, Drink, & Beat Navy." They are accepting pre-orders currently for a May book release. Go to this site, click on 'Cookbook,' print the order form and mail it off! 

Spicy Tailgate Dip

- 1lb. sausage
- 1 x 8 oz. cream cheese
- 1 can Rotel (diced tomatoes and green chilies)
- tortilla chips

1. Brown your sausage, drain excess grease.
2. Place sausage in your crock pot with cream cheese and Rotel.
3. Cook on low for 2 hours. Serve hot with tortilla chips.

*We cooked ours in our le creuset because we have meatballs in our crockpot for the party! We have our pot on low for the same amount of time.

 Browning 2 lbs. sausage

 Cream cheese and Rotel (I have one more of each to double this recipe)

 Dip before all ingredients are mixed together

Spicy Tailgate Dip - just add tortilla chips!