Monday, March 31, 2014

Smitten Kitchen Perfect Blueberry Muffins

you guys....the fruit cravings have not stopped. in fact, i think they've intensified.

my love for all things berries has changed slightly though. before it was strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and more raspberries, now i'm all about blueberry and lemon. i have scoured the internet searching for blueberry and lemon recipes and i've found a ton.

and, wouldn't you know, all (recipe) roads lead to smitten kitchen. i should've known better. i mean, i've talked about my love of deb and her recipes before and she's never steered me wrong. so while i was deciding between her blueberry boy bait (i mean), blueberry crumb bars (i will make these one day!) or her triple berry bundt cake (yum!), the mom-to-be in me decided, i better go with something semi-healthy and relatively easy...which is why i decided on her perfect blueberry muffins with a slight trace of lemon zest.

i'm so glad i did. you better believe husband and i will be taking these for breakfast every single day this week. i also wouldn't be surprised if i make another batch next weekend. they're that good.

i didn't change a single thing about this recipe, because, you know, it's deb. so go check out the recipe here and enjoy!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Almond Butter Cups

so i mentioned that i gave up sweets for lent, right? i failed. i failed majorly! i only made it two weeks. two very long weeks.

but in my defense, as a preggo lady, i can't have wine, i can't have sushi, i can't have lunch meat, or certain cheeses or my favorite blue cheese dressing...i can't. i can't. i can't. so the way i see it, i'm giving up so much already (totally worth it for the nugget!) that i should get a pass this lent. dontcha think that's fair? and if you don't, well....hasn't anyone ever told you, you can't argue with a pregnant lady ;0p

also in my defense is the fact that these almond butter cups are chock full of ingredients that are good for you! almonds, oats, almond butter, and chocolate (hey, dark chocolate is good for you). plus there's no sugar in these, so i would argue that these technically don't even count as a sweet.

no sugar = not technically a sweet.

the most important thing though, is that these are good. really really good. and so easy (and fast!) to make. so if you have 10 minutes, and need a chocolate fix (i mean who doesn't need a chocolate fix), you should go make these.

have a great week!

Almond Butter Cups
Recipe adapted from Oh She Glows 

for the base:

1 c almond meal
1/4 c rolled oats, ground into a flour
2 tbsp almond butter 
1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil, warmed if necessary
1 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup (or agave nectar)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch of fine grain sea salt, to taste

for the topping:
1 bag semi sweet chocolate chips
1 tbsp canola oil, if needed

Add oats into a high-speed blender and blend on high until a flour forms. Dump into a large bowl and break up any clumps with your fingers. Add the flour mixture to the almond meal.

Add the nut butter, coconut oil, maple syrup (or agave), cinnamon, vanilla, and salt into the bowl. Stir until thoroughly combined. The dough should be fairly sticky like cookie dough.

Line a mini (or regular) muffin tin with paper liners. Portion the dough into each muffin cup and press down until even and smooth.

Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler. If the mixture needs to be thinned out slightly, add 1/2 to 1 tbsp of the canola oil and mix well. Spoon the chocolate mixture over the almond cups in even amounts. 

Place in the freezer in a flat area for 30-45 minutes, until firm. Pop out the cups & enjoy immediately! 

These are best consumed straight from the freezer.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Bumpdate: 19 Weeks

how far along: 19 weeks 2 days

estimated due date: august 16, 2014

size of baby: baby "a" is the size of a mango

sleep: i'm sleeping so much better! still up once or twice to use the restroom, but that's down from what feels like a million times so I feel good.

total weight gain: 5 lbs

symptoms: hunger...all the time hunger. i eat like a truck driver. no joke.

movement: i thought i felt a little something something last week, but i haven't felt anything since, so now i think it may have just been gas ;0)

maternity clothes: i splurged at pea in the pod. i just wasn't finding anything i liked at macy's, target, or old navy. i wasn't planning on buying anything when i went in to "look" at pea in the pod because they're so darn expensive, but everything i tried on fit so well and made me feel like i looked pregnant and not just fat, so i guess the splurge was worth it.

go to eats: fruit....all things fruit. my new favorite combo is anything with blueberries and lemon.

best moment of the week: hmmmm....we're in a transition phase and i'm feeling overwhelmed so i don't really have a "best moment" right now.

gender: one more week till we find out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i can't wait!

what i wish people knew: being pregnant is emotionally draining.

what i'm looking forward to: finding out the sex!

milestones: baby "a" can hear us now. i talk to him/her all the time ;0)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Saturday Hike

spring has finally sprung in portland and i could not be happier about it! husband and i have been itching for warmer weather and sunny days and this weekend was perfect.

we took full advantage of the 64 degree weather this weekend and headed out on a short little hike in forest park. here are some pictures from our day:

i officially have a baby bump! 

how cool is this guy we met on the way back?!?!! a real life spotted owl!

happy weekend!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Baked Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

TGIF!!!! i don't know why it's been taking me so long to get around to posting lately, but it seems that everything i do these days, is slower.

i made these donuts for husband and i for breakfast probably two weeks ago now...before i decided to give up sugar for lent (what the heck was i thinking?!?!). it was my first attempt at making homemade donuts that was brought on by a recent purchase of a donut pan at sur la table. there were awesome! cakey, chewy, delicious and dare i say, better for you than a regular donut (you know, because they're baked, not fried ;0p).

the batter comes together quickly and they only take about 8 minutes in the oven so you can have breakfast on the table in less than 30 minutes. sweetness.

there's a certain green holiday coming up next week, so i think it would be even more fun, to dress these bad boys up with some green colored frosting or maybe st. paddy's day inspired sprinkles.

whatever you do, make these soon. they're delicious!

Bakes Cinnamon Sugar Donuts
Makes about 12 donuts

2 c cake flour
3/4 c sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp salt
3/4 c buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp butter, melted

preheat oven to 425 degrees and spray the donut ban with nonstick spray.

in a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. add buttermilk, eggs and melted butter and mix well.

fill the donut pan till about 2/3 of the way full. bake 7-9 minutes. donuts will look light golden on top. don't overcook or you'll end up with darker bottoms.

let cool and then top with cinnamon sugar mixture. 

Cinnamon Sugar Topping

4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 c butter, melted.

combine cinnamon and sugar and mix well. dip donuts in butter and then immediately dip into cinnamon sugar mixture.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Life Lately...

according to my instagram! it's been a while since i've posted one of these, but here goes nothing....

our very own superbowl sunday food stadium. usa themed magnolia bakery cupcakes. a trip back home to spokane with an early morning walk. one of my favorite local spokane bands, mon cheri. flowers from husband. a mini home spa, created by husband. our baby stroller (it's getting real here). and blazers v. the lakers.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Super Soft M & M Cookies

so i recently learned that my husband loves cookies. like really really love cookies. he seriously rivals the cookie monster.

so i set out to make the softest, chewiest, yummiest m & m cookie i could find and boy did i succeed. so much so, that husband ate an entire batch of cookies in a 24 hour period. these are that good. they have a secret ingredient in them too, and you know how much i love secret ingredients. it's CREAM CHEESE. who knew?

i officially never have to bake him a birthday cake again. these cookies will suffice.

and i have bright eyed baker to thank for the recipe. find it here!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Bumpdate: 16 weeks

4 months today! woohoo!! can i just say that i'm only 4 months and time is draaaggggging on. don't get me wrong, i want the little peanut to cook as long as he/she needs to, but i don't know if i'm cut out for this whole 9 months of pregnancy. i want the baby to be here NOW!

size of baby: baby "a" is the size of an avocado (yum! now i want some guacamole....maybe we'll do tacos for dinner ;0p)

sleep: my brain needs a timeout. a serious timeout. especially during the hours of midnight and 7am because this mama to be needs some sleep.

total weight gain: holding steady at +2 lbs.

symptoms: i feel pretty good overall.

movement: not yet, but i hear you can start to feel the baby kick anytime between 16 weeks and 22 weeks so i'm anxiously waiting!

maternity clothes: while most of my clothes are still fitting, they are getting snug. so i went ahead and bit the bullet and purchased a pair of maternity jeans and some leggings. can i just say that maternity jeans are the BEST THING EVER. i don't care if you're pregnant or not. these babies are comfy. you should buy them.

go to eats: fruit. fruit. fruit. my new favorite: the grapefruit cups from costco. holy  yum!

best moment of the week: my mama bought us a car seat a few weeks ago and we purchased a stroller, bassinet and diaper bags this past week. we our officially purchasing baby gear and woah does it make this feel real. (look how cute our stroller/bassinet combo is)

gender: we find out april 1st. hopefully the little nugget doesn't try and play an april fool's joke on his or her mama and papa.

what i wish people knew: pregnany hormones are no joke. while i've been blessed to not have morning sickness or heartburn (yet)....i'm one raging, crazy pregnant lady. and while i would love to say that i'm one of those women who loves being pregnant, i don't think i am. don't get me wrong, the end result is totally worth it, and i would and will do it again in a heartbeat so that baby a has a little brother or sister to play with one day, but being pregnant is hard (emotionally) and i'm not a fan.

what i'm looking forward to: our upcoming doctors appointment on thursday. it's always fun to check in on the nugget and hear his/her's little heartbeat. 

milestones: baby is growing fast and almost doubling in size each week!