Thursday, August 28, 2014

Homemade Strawberry Chia Seed Jam

This post is going to be a quick one because I have a 2 1/2 month old baby on my lap who hasn't pooped in 3 days and is having some major separation anxiety today. I also just happen to be wearing white jeans in the effort to wear them as much as possible before Labor Day (even though I'll still probably wear them afterwards).
 
White jeans + constipated baby that could blow at any moment = we gotta move quick
 
 
So I made this jam. Not because I am dissatisfied with the jams and jellies that are available at my local grocer, even though I usually find them a little too sweet, but I just felt like making my own the other day. After perusing the web for different recipes, I created this one that is pretty darn good.
 
 
It only contains 3 ingredients and is packed with omega-3 fatty acid rich chia seeds, which give it an insane texture too.

 
It also freezes well, if you're unlike me and don't devour the whole batch in 3 days. No shame.
 
Happy Thursday!!!
 
 
Homemade Strawberry Chia Seed Jam
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 lb strawberries (Fresh or frozen. I used organic, frozen strawberries and they worked great!)
  • 3 Tbsp agave syrup (pure maple syrup or honey can also be used here)
  • 3 Tbsp chia seeds
Directions:
  1. In a medium skillet, cook the strawberries on medium heat until softened and mashable.
  2. Using a potato masher (or avocado masher), mash the strawberries until combined, but leave a few strawberry chunks for texture. (I hate the word chunks but I can't think of another word right now...).
  3. Add the syrup and chia seeds to the strawberries and whisk over medium-low heat until combined and thickened.
  4. Pour jam into a heat-safe bowl and let it cool to room temp.
  5. Store in a jam jar or airtight container, or freeze.
ENJOY!
 
 
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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What I Do All Day & Recent Eats


I've received a few questions recently regarding what I do all day since I'm not working outside of the home right now (I will start back part-time mid-September), so I thought I would give you a little 24 hour breakdown of how we roll these days.
 
6:30/7:00 AM: Wake up for the day, feed baby, change diaper, kiss my man goodbye.
 
7:30 AM: Make & eat breakfast while Kennedy sits in her Mammaroo and watches me be as goofy as possible so I can get as many sweet morning smiles as I possibly can before she goes down for her morning nap.


 
Breakfast lately has been consisting of eggs and toast with jam and a giant cup of coffee with a splash of almond milk.
 
8:30 AM: Kenn goes down for her pretend morning nap, only to wake up 20 minutes later (this happens every single morning).
 
9:00 AM: Kenn wakes up and hangs out with me while I clean up the house and drown her in kisses.
 
9:30/10 AM: Kenn goes back down for her real morning nap after nursing her and changing her diaper (yes, we go through A LOT of diapers).
 
10:00 AM-12:30PM: Clean house, blog, complete a quick 30 minute Insanity workout (sometimes), and shower while Kenn sleeps.
 
12:30: Kenn wakes up, eats, aaaannnnd you guessed it! Gets a diaper change.
 
1:00 PM: Eat lunch

 
Lunch these days has been pretty predictable. Either toast slathered in peanut butter and a green monster OR more eggs topped with avocado and a green monster.
 
 
Then I eat a few bites of whatever chocolate we have around the house :)
 
 
2:00 PM: Clean up after lunch, nurse Kennedy, and get ready to head out and run errands.

 
Our errands normally consist of a run to Trader Joes and/or HEB for groceries and other necessary items, like Cookie Butter Ice Cream (dying), and to Target for diapers and other baby-related needs.

 
4:00/5:00 PM: Return home, unpack groceries, do anymore housework that I didn't finish earlier, bathe & feed the babe, and start on dinner.
 
7:30: Hubs gets home, we eat dinner, feed Kennedy, put her down for her evening nap, hang out with the hubs.
 
10:30/11 PM: Go to bed!
 
12 PM, 2 AM, 4 AM: Wake up to feed Kennedy and change her diaper.
 
6:30 AM: Start over!
 
So there you have it!
 
I always thought that the days would drag on when I would be at home with my kiddo, but the days go much faster than they did pre-baby. Even though I still feel like I never sleep and my life is flashing before my eyes, I wouldn't want it any other way. So stinking thankful.
 
Happy Wednesday!
 

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Soft & Chewy Chocolate Chip Coconut Zucchini Cookies

I was going to do a "life" post instead of posting back-to-back baked goods that both consist of zucchini, but I'm way too jazzed about these cookies. 

I realize that most people will probably be turned off by their appearance, but I actually like the look of the green little zucchini bits found throughout these cookies. I know that's weird, but I'm not normal and really really enjoy strange things.


So after making, loving, devouring, and posting my Chocolate Zucchini Cake, I had one little lone zucchini left that probably would have been delicious sautéed and eaten with grilled chicken, but the fat kid in me simply said, "Nope. We are making cookies with that thing".


Behold the Chocolate Chip Coconut Zucchini Cookies! 

Just like the cake, the zucchini makes these cookies moist and dense and is hardly detectable (taste-wise, not appearance...obvi). I know I know I know, you're still like BUT WHY THE ZUCCHINI? Just try it. If you hate them, email me and I'll pay the postage for you to send me those bad boys so I can eat them :) But that won't happen because you will love these!

I know that many of you are either starting or have kiddos that are starting back to school today! Wishing you the best of luck for a successful, fun new school year!!!

Happy Monday! 


Soft & Chewy Chocolate Chip Coconut Zucchini Cookies
Makes 1 dozen large cookies

Ingredients:
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled to room temp
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup organic white cane sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup finely shredded zucchini (about 1 small zucchini)
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut (I use Bob's Red Mill brand)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In a separate bowl, stir coconut oil, sugars, eggs, and vanilla together until combined.
  5. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture until combined (dough may seem a little dry)
  6. Stir in zucchini, chocolate chips, and coconut.
  7. Divide cookie dough into 12 balls and place on cookie sheets.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until edges start to brown slightly. 
  9. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheets for a few minutes.
  10. Remove cookies from baking sheets and place on a cooling rack to cool completely, or enjoy while they are still warm!
*These cookies will stay soft and chewy for several days if placed in a airtight container or Ziploc bag. They also freeze well!

ENJOY!


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Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Best Way To Eat Veggies

Growing up, my mom used to make no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies for us to have for breakfast. She said it was the only way we would eat oatmeal. Well friends, I'm here to top that. A few nights ago, I made my first Chocolate Zucchini Cake and it.is.ridiculous.


Up until now, I was always turned off by the idea of putting zucchini in my cakes. I never really understood it. Carrot cake, I get. But zucchini? Just too weird. But then I realized that you are not adding the zucchini because you just love zucchini and think it will give a cake that delicious zucchini-like taste. No. You add it because it makes the cake dense and keeps it super moist for days. And don't worry, you can't taste the zucchini at all.


I don't know who thought of adding zucchini to cakes, but they need a serious pat on the back followed by a slow clap. I'll start it.

Oh, and don't forget to pour that luscious chocolate ganache on top for the win.

Happy Saturday!


Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Chocolate Ganache
(adapted from My Baking Addiction)

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 3/4 cup organic cane sugar (I like Sugar In The Raw brand)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini (about 1 large zucchini)
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
For the ganache:
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Line a 9x13 pan with foil and coat foil with butter so the batter doesn't stick.
  3. In a large bowl, blend butter, oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.
  4. Stir in sour cream.
  5. In a separate bowl, sift together flour and cocoa.
  6. Add flour mixture to batter and gently stir.
  7. Stir in zucchini and chocolate chips.
  8. Pour batter into the pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out fairly clean.
  9. Allow cake to cool in the pan on a wire rack while you prepare the ganache.
  10. Place 1 cup chocolate chips in a heat-safe bowl.
  11. In a saucepan, heat heavy cream over medium heat.
  12. Once the cream is simmering, pour over the chips and allow it to sit for a few minutes.
  13. Whisk the chocolate and cream together until smooth and blended, then pour over the cake.
  14. Allow the ganache to sit for 45 minutes for cutting the cake.
ENJOY!



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Friday, August 22, 2014

Is This Real Life?

I have found myself questioning whether or not this is really my life several times since our little bumble bee (aka The Honey Bee, Kee-Kee, Miss K, Princess Kenn Kenn, K-Money, The Famous Miss Kee-Kee, Milk Monster, and The Kennedy Harper Show...) arrived. Don't get me wrong, life was unbelievable before her, but now that we get to live life with her, everything just seems very surreal in the best possible way.

May I just mention that fact that it's a little crazy how we spend an enormous amount of time deciding what to name our child, only to call them everything but their real name once they arrive. Just an observation.

Anyway, things got super surreal when my sister and I visited our alma mater last weekend. For some reason, bringing my offspring to a place where I went to school made me feel like I was having an out of body experience. I am a completely different person in so many ways since attending college and never ever ever thought I would be blessed enough to bring my beautiful daughter back with me. 

Pretty cool stuff.

Oh, and you just can't do Baylor without my lovely sister Hannah. While I love my school and have a deep respect for it, she is all kinds of Baylor crazy. Love her.

Once arriving in good 'ole Waco, TX, we headed straight to the Baylor Bookstore to buy insanely overpriced Baylor clothing and accessories for ourselves and the kiddo. We got there at 3:30 PM and even though they close at 4:00 PM, they joyfully stayed open for us until 5 PM! If that's not southern hospitality, I don't know what is :)


Then it was time to hit up one of our old favorite food spots, Food For Thought. We demolished two baskets of Chicken Black Bean Nachos and left ROLLING out of there. Amazing.


 Then we walked around campus reminiscing about the good old days, when our primary worry was whether or not our bodies would give out from the amount of caffeine we consumed and all-nighters we pulled.


Of course, I had to show Miss K the Hankamer Business School, where I spent countless hours debiting and crediting and reviewing employee handbooks (majored in Accounting & Human Resources).


It's insane how much the campus has changed in 5 years, but many of the same buildings and signs remain, which is awesome and necessary.


We stopped by the new stadium that I think cost around a gazillion dollars to build...no big.


Then we took a selfie break.


Then we were very brave and visited the bears.

Oh, and I would like to mention that Kenn had a very cute outfit on, but it was 100 degrees with 1000% humidity in Waco that day, so we stripped her down to her baby wife-beater.


My sister (aka Auntie Tutu) unknowingly took some candid shots of us strollin', which is always fun.


After covering most of campus, we called it a night. We went back to the hotel and, after more reminiscing and laughing uncontrollably while chowing down on York Peppermint Patties and trying not to wake up the baby, we CRASHED.

This was my first time back after attending a homecoming 3 years ago and it felt great to be back. So many fun memories. Yes, I'll be ok if Kee-Kee does not want to attend Baylor, but it sure would be fun if she did :) Will I still be paying for MY time at Baylor when she attends? Probably. But going back and soaking up the memory reminds me that the cost is totally worth it.

This is real life, and it's a good one.



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