Recipe Review Wednesday. Wildly Wholesome’s 3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies.

***This recipe is from Wildly Wholesome.  This is NOT my recipe!

 

We’ve recently made some pretty dramatic changes to our diet.  We’ve cut out MOST grains and MOST sugar and have embraced a MOSTLY paleo type diet.  I say Most a lot, mainly because I’m not a fan of deprivation and do feel that MOST things are ok in moderation (whatever that word may mean to you).

Its no secret I like to cook, so the fun part of this diet change has been trying new recipes.  Surprisingly I haven’t been craving any sweets, but I will never pass up the opportunity to eat a pairing of peanut butter and chocolate.  I stumbled across this recipe on Instagram and knew immediately that me and the kids would LOVE them.  Ingredients looked good so I went with it.

PS- Go follow Wildly wholesome on Instagram.  She’s local and has some great recipes.

The recipe was INCREDIBLY easy to make and all ingredients are super easy to find (I actually had all of them on hand in my pantry).

Ingredients:

1 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

 

Mix all ingredients together, spoon onto pan and bake at 350 for 10ish minutes.

This  made about a dozen decent sized cookies.

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EASY PEASY!  And Delicious

Original Recipe Link

http://wildlywholesome.com/3-ingredient-peanut-butter-cookies/

To the Exhausted Mom of Littles…

I’m exhausted.  Of course I’m exhausted.  I have 4 little kids ages 5 down to almost 5 months.  I haven’t seen a solid week of “sleeping through the night” since I was 30.  Of course I’m exhausted.  Most days I feel like I can balance 4 kids pretty well… but the moments when each kid needs me right now… at the exact same time… my head spins and I wonder why I did this to myself (just being honest).  Those moments move fast and don’t sick around thankfully.

Since the birth of my 4th child, we have been trying to find our normal… our regular routine.  Which is hard, because babies change almost daily… 4 naps, 3 naps, long morning naps and cat naps in the evening… cat naps in the morning and long afternoon naps… Kids snack heavy in the morning but don’t eat their lunch, kids devour lunch and snack heavy in the late afternoon then look at dinner on their plates as if I tried to feed them gruel.  Trying to add in time for myself, gym visits, play dates, mom’s night outs, bible study… Its been trial and error… mostly error for the last 4 and a half months.

I still overestimate what “extra” stuff I can add to my plate.  Art projects, business startups, new friends, mentors, gym classes… I really want to start teaching again.  But alas, I cannot do all the things.  No matter how much I love all the things and want to do all the things.  So I’m learning how to prioritize the things I can do now and put the other things on the back burner for later.  I’m learning how to say No… How to gently let down people when letting people down goes SO MUCH against everything I am.  But right now it is a form of self care.

I have dreams of being a writer, a speaker, an influencer of women… Of having a ministry that makes a difference… of having a platform to share Grace and Love in motherhood.  Having these dreams in this moment of chaos is SO FRUSTRATING!  So for now, I write it down.  I do what I can, when I can.  I snuggle my babies, clean the house and find one more recipe to try out on my guinea pigs, I mean family…

So, since I cannot invite you to my next seminar or speaking engagement lol… Ill end this post by giving you my favorite top 10 tips on surviving the exhaustion and chaos that is mothering small kiddos… whether its 8 kids or just 1.  None of these are original… I learned them from other wiser moms.  So if you like them, I totally cannot take all the credit.

 

  1.  Utilize a grocery service.  I promise you will be glad you did.  If its in your budget, a delivery service like Shipt or Instacart can be life changing.  If you are on a tighter budget, a curb side pickup service is almost as amazing.
  2. If you do have to go to the grocery store… Park close to the cart return.
  3. Factor in some self care.  This one is tricky.  Motherhood is a selfless profession.  Every moment of your life is dedicated to caring for someone or something else.  Your little people, your husband, your home.  And that is probably the short list.  People often look at self care and think of manicures, shopping for new shoes, a day at the spa, a night out on the town with the girls… While these things are fun, this is not the self care I’m referring to.  That kind of “self care” too often can have quite the opposite effect you end up looking for.  The type of self care Im referring to looks more like eating healthy nutritious foods that make you feel good.  Taking care of your body.  Reading a book or listening to a podcast that equips you pour into your people.  Taking 15 minutes of quiet to reset your mind, spend time with your Creator, and prepare for your day (or evening).  Getting adequate rest (certain seasons make this harder than others).  Taking time to sit at the feet of wiser women and allowing them to pour into you.
  4. Prioritizing your marriage.  Surprisingly this one is not very popular.  The notion that we should put our spouse above our children makes many moms buck up and want to fight lol.  But hear me out.  I’m not at all saying we should neglect our children so we can meet every need of our husbands.  Not at all.  I’m saying that our children greatly benefit from seeing their parents in a loving relationship.  From seeing Mom and Dad spend time together, even if that means they have to spend a few hours with Great Aunt Hilda that smells like oragel.  Your children learn what a healthy relationship looks like from what is modeled to them in their home.  And I get it, sometimes this is hard.  Having small children likely means that you are short on time and money… 2 things that are kinda nice to have on date night.  But this may be a season when you have to get creative.  Jimmy and I will often put the kids to bed, grab takeout and snuggle on the couch together and pretend we are at the movies for datenight.  Our next planned datenight will consist of dropping the kids off at the gym childcare and spending some time in the hot tub talking and reading our favorite books (no, I promise there will be no nookie in the gym hot tub, gross!)
  5. You may not have chose this life, but remember, you were CHOSEN for this life.  Whether you planned and planned for babies, or motherhood was thrust upon you through an unplanned pregnancy or maybe you have custody of children who you didn’t birth… you were chosen for this.  I am a believer that God equips us for whatever he calls us to do.
  6. RELAX!  Ok, admittedly, I hate this advice.  Chaos breeds chaos in my mind.  A dirty house raises my anxiety and makes me crazy.  I used to HATE it when other moms would say “your going to have to just let the house be dirty”.  OMG!  My skin would crawl just thinking about it.  While letting my house sink into a level of untidy that makes me crazy is not what I’m willing to allow… I have learned to relax on CERTAIN things.  And you will have to do some examining to find those areas you can spend less time and energy and just “let it go”.  That may be allowing your kids a little more screen time than what is recommended… or letting the dishes sit in the sink for a few more hours than you would prefer.  Or maybe it means learning to keep the door shut so you don’t have to look at the playroom mess for a few days.  Maybe it means a few  more processed snacks and takeout orders… Whatever it means for YOU, just remember it is a season.  One day we will return to our pristine homes, healthy homecooked meals, and our kids eyeballs wont have  burned out of their heads from too much TV… I promise.
  7. Find something you are good at and ROCK IT!  I;m good at cooking… so I like to throw down in the kitchen.  I like to feed people.  I love making meals for others and seeing the satisfaction on their faces.  It makes me feel good… and its a skill I can use when caring for my family.  Maybe you are a master organizer.  Organize that closet girl, and show everyone that walks through your door how awesomely organized you are.  Maybe you make the most AMAZING cold brew coffee.  Invite some other moms over for a play date and make them some cold brew.  Share your recipe.  Take awesome instagram pictures of your mason jar and stainless steel straw and post that ish all over social media.  DO IT!
  8. Become a master at saying no… and don’t take it personally when others tell you no.  This is one Ive been working on.  Saying no to playdates is SO HARD for me.  Im a social person… like super social.  Like EXTREME EXTROVERT status.  But I cant go to all the playdates and still do all the things to maintain my sanity.  So there are some friends (the ones I know will understand and still love me all the same) that I have to say no to.  Or maybe not no, but “maybe some other time”.  There are events I have to decline… even the ones I REALLY want to go to sometimes.  And when another mom declines my playdate request… I can smile and know she is just as overwhelmed as I am, and that she is not personally rejecting ME.
  9. Stop judging… no, stop having an opinion on EVERYTHING.  The things you do for your family… for your people… opinion all over that stuff. But the things other moms, other people, do for their family… MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS.  We all have the same goal.  To love our kids, raise them to be good people, to teach them right from wrong, to keep them healthy etc.  So if Suzy down the street does things a bit differently than you to accomplish that… mind your business.
  10. Ask for help!  Your mom, MIL, Church etc.  Get over yourself and ask for help.  If they can’t help, they will say no.  Otherwise, they are probably delighted to do whatever they can to lighten the load.  And in this vein… get your family involved.  You, momma, do not have to do it all.  Ask your hubby to unload the dishwasher every so often.  Ask your MIL to help fold a load of laundry while she is over judging you, I mean visiting  you (I kid, my MIL is great). ASK FOR HELP!

Truth is, I don’t have it all figured out.  I wish I did and I could just tell you exactly what to do… But I’m over here treading water as well… So here is my buoy, lets both hold on and try not to drown!

 

*Add to my list.  What is your best tip for a mom with littles… drop them in the comments below.33455504_10155755026801491_3637196121224249344_o

Healthy homemade kid friendly juice.

I hate waste.  Like LOATHE waste.  So I make all sorts of efforts not to have to throw out any food items.  We are that family, the one that eats up all its leftovers.  I keep vegetable cuttings for homemade vegy broth and I re-purpose any leftover odds and ends we have from various meals (hello dump soup).  One way I keep from having to toss fruits or vegys that are nearing the end of their life is by juicing them.  So about once every other week, I go through the pantry and the fridge.  Any apples that are starting to get mealy, celery that is starting to get limp or carrots that are starting to look a bit questionable get stuck in a pile ready to go through the juicer.

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This weeks juice is courtesy of apples, carrotts, celery and a smidge of ginger.  I usually like to add in some kale or spinach, but there was none left this week.  So I simply chopped up these bad boys and ran them through my juicer.  I then strained the puree off the juice (I have a Juice Man, better quality juicers may not leave any puree in the juice, or you may choose to leave the puree).  Now remember, I dont like waste.  So dont toss that puree in the trash.  This makes GREAT baby food.  We dont do a lot of puree for the babe but I will add it to yogurt or to smoothies as well.  YUM!

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To keep it fresh, I spooned the puree into a silicone mold and stuck it in the freezer.  Ill then pop them out once they are frozen and store in a zip lock or container.  Toss one or two into a smoothie or into your yogurt for an added boost of goodness.

What about all that juice pulp left in the pulp collector?  I will often bag this up and stick it in the fridge to add to my vegy cuttings when I make vegy broth.  I know, I know… It has apples and ginger in it.  TRUST ME! It makes a wonderfully delicious sweetish vegy broth.  SO GOOD!  Great base for homemade ramen or any Asian inspired noodle soup.

To the juice, after it is strained, I add honey and a little bit of water to thin the juice out.  On occasion I will even add in 1/2 quart of nettles infusion, which is a great nourishing herbal concoction beneficial for the whole family.  I typically end up with 2 quarts of homemade juice.  This ends up being a great, healthy alternative to store bought juices.  My kids LOVE it.

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Recipe Review Wednesday

I don’t know about you, but I tend to fall in a rut when it comes to planning dinners.  The same 7 recipes cycle through our menu.  We get bored, opt for take out and then feel horrible about ourselves.  I know I can’t be alone in this?  Anyone else? Bueller? Bueller?

So to help remedy this situation, I plan to cook and review a new recipe every week and I’d like to take you along with me.  Maybe I will save you some time and even some tastebuds lol.

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This week I made Monte Christo Bake.  It’s a recipe I found on Pinterest.  And who doesn’t love a well made Monte Christo.  A fried sandwich with meat, cheese, sweet jam and powdered sugar.  Whats not to love?

Overall I would give this dish a 4/5 stars.  Super yummy and easy, but there are a few changes/additions I would make when I make it again.

All of the ingredients were very easy to come by.  I shopped at Aldi and was able to easily find everything I needed and all for less than $10.

Assembly was quite simple and maybe took me 10ish minutes.  Its hard to say exactly when you have 3 little people underfoot.  But I do remember it was easy and thinking this would be a great recipe to teach to a young child learning to cook.

This is a bread pudding, so the oven did all the hard work.  Way to go oven, high five.

The dish came out of the oven, crispy on top and gooey in the middle.  It was very yummy and would easily feed 4-6 people.  Maybe even 8 when paired with a side (I paired ours with home made homefries).

So if it was so good, what would I change/Add you ask?  The title of the recipe was a bit misleading.  When I think of a Monte Christo, the jam and the powdered sugar are pretty much signature ingredients, but were not included in this recipe.  So it was more like a ham and swiss bake.  So when I make this again, I will likely add a drizzle of raspberry preserves in the casserole and top with some powdered sugar once it is finished.

But overall, super yummy, easy and budget friendly.

Link to the original recipe here.

Give it a try and let me know what you think in the comments.  Also let me know if there is a recipe you’d like me to review.

 

Happy Eating Friends!!

Breakfast Cookies

So I’m still getting up every few hours with my baby and even my toddler most nights.  This gives me free reign to sleep as much and as often as I possibly can… which is almost never, but that’s besides the point.  Every once in a while I get to sleep in… like till about 7am.  These mornings my boys are usually hungry way before I even open my eyes.  My husband does a lot of amazing things, but cooking isn’t one of them.  So usually on those mornings I wake up to see my boys eating cookies for breakfast.  Now, grace is something I like to give… but cookies for breakfast… I mean… come on.

Now, I love cookies… but there is a special kind of mom guilt that comes from letting my kids eat chocolate chip cookies first thing in the morning. That is, unless the ingredients are the same exact ingredients found in your favorite bowl of oatmeal.  Cause oatmeal is good for breakfast right?

So make these cookies for breakfast, watch your kids light up with joy, and watch your mom guilt fly right out the window.

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BREAKFAST COOKIES

2 mashed ripe bananas

1 cup quick oats

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup of mix ins of your choice (chocolate chips are the obvious favorite in our house)

Mix together, spoon onto a baking pan and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.