I ❤ Cookies!

In all shapes and forms. Chewy or crunchy. With or without milk. Nutty, fruity, gooey, decadent…                              I’m already salivating.

However, due to this wonderful yet, limiting thing called breastfeeding, dairy, for now, is off the menu. Bye bye late night chocolate indulgences!

But my sweet tooth would not be silenced. As I often do, I was perusing Pinterest, when I came across this – (a cookie I feel less guilty about!) – trail mix cookies! You can find the recipe here:

http://celebratingsweets.com/oatmeal-trail-mix-cookies/

I used a trail mix consisting primarily of dried fruit, which I chopped a little smaller, and threw in some pecans. My favorite part is the yummy chunks of cocunut that were in the mix!

I also tried this recipe a second time with HALF the sugar – the dried fruit and honey kept it tasty, but I think I’ll keep to the orginal amount when I make them again. 😉

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* Note: I found this recipe makes about 12-16 cookies; maybe a little less, if you like bigger cookies. 🙂

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Baked Oatmeal Cupcakes

If I tried every recipe my friends post to Facebook, well, I wouldn’t have time for anything else! However, as a big fan of oatmeal, and a big fan of chocolate, I just HAD to try this recipe, from this site here: http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2013/01/08/breakfast-oatmeal-cupcakes-to-go/ . Plus, maybe I can finally get the husband to eat breakfast. ( The guy goes to school full time AND works 30 hours a week; He needs fuel!)
So, here it is!

Baked Oatmeal Cupcakes To Go

(makes about 24 cupcakes)

◾5 cups rolled oats (400g)

◾2 1/2 cups over-ripe mashed banana (For all substitutions, see nutrition link below) measured after mashing (600g)

◾1 tsp salt

◾5 NuNaturals stevia packets (or omit and use 5 tbsp liquid sweetener of choice–such as pure maple syrup or agave–instead)

◾optional: 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips

◾2 2/3 cups water (640g) (If using the liquid-sweetener option, scale water back by 1/3 cup.)

◾1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp oil (45g) (I really like coconut, but veg oil will also work. For lower-fat substitution notes, see nutrition link below.)

◾2 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

◾optional add-ins: cinnamon, shredded coconut, chopped walnuts, ground flax or wheat germ, raisins or other dried fruit, etc.

Preheat oven to 380 F, and line 24-25 cupcake tins.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients and stir very well.
In a separate bowl, combine and stir all wet ingredients (including banana). Mix wet into dry, then pour into the cupcake liners and bake 21 minutes.

These oatmeal cakes can be eaten right away, or they can be frozen and reheated for an instant breakfast on a busy day.

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* Note: I have this habit of NEVER following a recipe exactly as indicated; For sweetener, I went with the syrup, but I also couldn’t resist putting a little bit of sugar in there too!
I also included some cinnamon ( Maybe 2 or 3 teaspoons) and about 1/2 cup of sweetened shredded coconut.

And, voila!

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Beef Vegetable Soup

I think this is my new favorite, homemade soup!
I found it on this website:
http://www.acreativedayblog.com/2013/11/the-best-vegetable-soup-recipe.html?m=1

Beef Vegetable Soup

3 onions / chopped
1 lb ground beef
1 clove garlic, minced
3 cans beef bouillon
2 large cans diced tomatos
1 cup each: potatos, celery, carrots, frozen corn, frozen lima beans 
1 1/2 tbsp italian herbs
1 to 2 cups water
lots of salt and pepper and Worcestershire sauce

1. Brown the beef, onions and garlic. Drain 
2. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
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* Note: I made a couple small tweaks; used two onions instead of three, and I used canned corn and beans, instead of frozen.

Here is my own picture of the soup!

Beef Veg. Soup