Feeling better

Ahhhh I am feeling good right now.  I have been sooo down in the dumps for the past few weeks.  I am struggling to pull myself out.

Today when I came home from work I found a clean house, lawn mowed, and supper in the oven.  My summer babysitter Abby rocks.  Totally bummed she is moving. : (

She helped Hailey and Liz (Liz is Abby’s sister who happens to be one of Hailey’s best friends) have a lemonade stand today.  The girls made about $25 bucks!!

Liz and Hailey selling lemonade, brownies, and bookmarks!

After dinner (which Hailey and I actually sat at the kitchen table to eat instead of the TV which unfortunately has been the norm the past few weeks) I whipped up a batch of these awesome muffins.  They have become a staple in our house.  I follow this recipe but use muffin tins and also add chocolate chips!  They are healthy, so filling, Hailey LOVES them, and they freeze really well.

Banana chocolate chip muffins

Then I went outside and checked on my plants, flowers, and garden.  Thankfully they were all looking pretty good considering I have been neglecting them lately.

sweet peas

tomatoes!

garden – please excuse my weeds!

I took a few pictures and now am snuggling on the couch with Hailey while typing this up.

I am hoping this happier feeling continues tomorrow.   I am going to go into tomorrow with the attitude of happiess and try not to focus on how awful the last few weeks have been.  No sense dwelling in what was – focus on moving forward!

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Experimenting In the Kitchen 2

One of our favorite meals is breakfast for supper!  Something about having a delicious breakfast in the evening just seems fun!  One of Hailey’s favorites is pancakes.  Normally I buy the yellow bottle of bisquick pancakes that you just add the water and shake.  In my quest for a healthier lifestyle I searched out a way to make some delicious pancakes for us that were a bit healthier.

I searched one of my favorite blogs for a recipe and found one that I knew I could handle.

Again the recipe called for whole wheat flour but I wasn’t nervous this time since these turned out so fabulous!  I followed the recipe except I didn’t put the banana in.

Unfortunately we didn’t have any fresh fruit to top the pancakes with, but we did have quite a few other options to choose from.

My favorite topping was the honey apple butter from Trader Joe’s.  Hailey tried a few things but went back to her original favorite syrup.

So, this was another easy recipe that was a healthier choice – – seriously if I can make pancakes from scratch anyone can!

 Another hit and a new favorite!

Experimenting in the kitchen

In all of my blog reading I have discovered many recipes that look so yummy and seem so easy to make.  I used to be afraid to make anything that had more than 3 or 4 steps.  My sister loves to cook and came to visit Hailey and I a few months ago and made this delicious fettuccini alfredo for us.  After watching her cook in my kitchen and seeing how simple it actually was and how delicious it tasted I decided to do a little recipe experimenting.

One of the blogs that I follow has tons of healthy recipes they make that their own kids love.  I came across this recipe for pumpkin muffins and decided to give them a whirl.  When I do make time to bake I like to make healthy things for Hailey and I.  Adding more whole grains to our daily food intake is important to me.  This post did a great job explaining whole wheat.

So, on to the experimenting!  I was a tad nervous using whole wheat flour because when I had used it another time I didn’t like it.  She uses white whole wheat flour in this recipe so I was hoping that would improve the taste.  On a side note I actually found the same brand used in the recipe.  This was exciting to me because the closest thing I have to a Trader Joe’s is the organic section at Festival Foods.

First you had to mix the dry stuff together and dump the wet ingredients in the middle.  This was my first time using coconut oil.  Apparently coconut oil is one of the best oils to use according to numerous foodie blogs.  Who knew?

These muffins were so delicious fresh out of the oven all warm and moist.   Hailey absolutely loved them!  She asked me if I would make more for her to take as a treat for her class!

This kitchen experiment was a definite success.  Not only were the muffins healthy and yummy but this recipe was super simple.  Trust me, if I can make these anyone can!

Chocolate Cappuccino Cheesecake

I was sitting at home last night missing Hailey (she was at her dads) when my friend Cindi told me to come over.  They were making a cheesecake.  Not just any cheesecake – – chocolate cappuccino cheesecake.  Yum!  I had eaten this delicious treat one other time so I knew what I was in store for!  Needless to say I headed right over to her house!

When I got there Cindi was well into mixing all of the unhealthy delicious ingredients together.

Grace was busy crushing the Oreos for the crust!

After the baking and the cooling I finally got to have a piece!

This desert is literally to die for!!

Voila!  Chocolate cappuccino cheesecake topped with homemade whipped cream!

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!

Peas and Crayons

Another WIAW post! I am having fun taking all these pictures of food for these posts!

For breakfast I had a yummy breakfast cookie.  Today I formed them into cute little balls to change it up a bit.

I dug out this old guy to make a home made sugar free vanilla latte.  This baby is probably 10 years old and it still works like a charm!

Lunch was some cold peel and eat shrimp, some yellow cherry tomatoes, and some baked chips that were not laden with chemicals!

Simple snacks this afternoon – Larabar in peanut butter and jelly and an apple.

For dinner I got a little creative – – for me anyway!  I made stir fry!  I looked at different recipes and sort of winged it.I used steak and I marinated it in a mixture of soy sauce, garlic, and honey all day.

I browned the steak and removed it from the pan.  I picked out veggies that I knew Hailey would like and threw those in the pan.  Broccoli, cauliflower, and green beans.

Let the veggies cook for a bit and then threw the steak chunks back in and let it all simmer a bit longer.

When it was all done sizzling away I served it over a bed of brown rice.

I thought it tasted delicious but the real question was what would Hailey think?

Another delicious day!

Breakfast Cookie

One of my favorite things to do is search through food blogs to find healthy and delicious EASY recipes.  One of my favorite blogs I follow is The Fitnessista.  She has a recipe posted for a breakfast cookie that I decided to try out.

I basically followed the recipe but I used chocolate peanut butter and this awesome stuff my sister got me from Trader Joe’s.

It was so easy to make!  Dump the ingredients in a bowl, mix it together, and dump it on a plate and refrigerate!

Hailey and I were too excited to wait for morning to try it!  We decided it would be a good snack after our Tuesday evening Zumba class.

I thought it was delicious…..

Hailey said it was the best thing ever!

She was so excited while she ate it!

Easy, nutritious, and a hit with Hailey! Definately a new favorite recipe!