Archive | EAT

MOM HACKS: EATING OUT WITH KIDS

My kids are loud and messy and opinionated and I can’t take them anywhere without something ridiculous happening but they are also so fun and silly and taking them out and about is one of my favorite things to do! When our older kids were little though there was one exception. Eating out. It was takeout and drive-thrus for us thank you very much. Since those days I’ve changed my thinking and approach and it’s made eating in restaurants way more enjoyable — not to be confused with easy — without having to pack up a bag of activities.

Granted my kids and their age gaps are likely different than your’s, but hopefully you’ll find these tips helpful or encouraging anyways!

  1. EXPECT KIDS TO ACT THEIR AGE: I used to have this weird expectation that my kids could pull it together for an hour or so while we ate in public. Turns out there’s only one thing I should expect from them… to be themselves and act their age. So now, during any given eating out experience I expect there to be a spill or two, that someone will decide to take off their shoes, while another thinks its fun to climb under the table and everyone is bound to be starving and act like they’re near death. The good news is that it’s rare for all of these things to happen at one sitting so I usually walk away feeling like they did awesome, ha!
  2. KEEP MY GOAL(s) IN MIND: My hope is that my kids will do their best to be a good guest and considerate of others and especially their server. All of which are learned behaviors and one of the reasons I want to take them out. I also really just enjoy sitting for most of a meal and then not having to clean up afterwards! Usually makes the moments of chaos totally worth it.
  3. DECIDE ON A DINNER WORKFLOW: Having an idea of what and when we’re ordering (are we letting kids get sodas, ordering a basket of fries or other app first, etc.), and how you want to occupy the kids while they wait, before walking in the restaurant is a big help. Something that has worked for us when we have all of the kids is to order drinks, the kid’s meals, side salads for the grownups, and usually a basket of fries or hummus plate right away. While we wait for the food we chat with the kids – go through our highs and lows from the day, etc. Once their food arrives Johan and I order. We continue chatting and micromanaging until the kids are finished and then we let them share tech (usually our phones) while we eat and attempt a conversation. It’s not perfect or peaceful but it works :)
  4. HAPPY HOURS ARE MY BEST FRIEND: kind of a given but going before or after the breakfast, lunch or dinner rush makes a huge difference!
  5. STAY POSITIVE: and if needed switch things up a bit. Taking a kid or two for a bathroom break or to the car to grab something or telling a funny joke (the spoon on the nose trip works every time!) or anything that distracts them from annoying their sibling or throwing a fit is worth a try!

(Received lots of questions about my sweater so shared outfit details with links at the bottom of the post :)

A few pics from our lunch date with Griffin + Poppy yesterday.

There were surprisingly no spills and I don’t think any complaints about being starving to death. Griffin however, did accidentally mistake his thumb as part of his cheese and let out a very loud yelp followed by major tears and Poppy spent a good chunk of time dropping things under the table so she could climb down and pick them up.

But in the end they earned ice cream.

Not really but it seemed like the perfect way to end our outing!

It’s my favorite when Johan can join us for an afternoon adventure in the middle of the week. One of the perks of being married to a firefighter. Lucky kids. Lucky me.

Happy, happy weekend you guys!

Oh, and loved reading all of the comments on my dining room post… thanks for playing along!

XO, Rae

ME | pink + orange stripe sweater, jeans

GRIFFIN | blue gray thermal (for the babes), red coat, shoes

POPPY | sweatshirt (+ for big girls), boots

3

A MENU PLAN, PENGUIN COOKIES, FAVORITE BOOK, + LIFE LATELY

It’s not often that I start my week off with a random post but — oh my goodness you guys — still over here having  a hard time transitioning out of Christmas break mode! Was hoping all the new year’s resolutions, goals and ambitions would kick my butt into gear but the haze has not fully lifted. I’ll be heading out later this morning for a meeting and long work day away from the house and kids (what, what?) and am hoping it will do the trick. Nothing like a quick break from the norm to regain focus and energy.

Here are a few other things that have been going on around here…

I may not have done much other than play and visit with the ones I love this last week but I did manage to put together a meal plan which is always a good thing. Here’s what we’ll be chowing down on this week:

M | beef + cauliflower fried rice

T | baked potato bar

W | thai chicken noodle bowls (i like this recipe but this one has some good shortcuts)

TH | eat out or takeout :)

F | skillet chicken chilaquiles + a winter margarita (cheers to the weekend!)

SA | creamy tortellini and sausage soup + rustic bread

SU | dinner with friends

BREAKKIE | cereal or smoothie with sausage, or omelets

LUNCH | leftover fried rice or bagel sandwich, apple slices with almond butter or strawberries, popcorn or veggie straws, cucumbers or baby carrots with dip

SNACK | zucchini chocolate chip muffins or greek yogurt and granola

Now let’s chat about the cute penguin cookies above that Griffin and I made last week while Poppy napped and the big kids were at school.

To make YOU’LL NEED:

  • oreo cookies
  • white baking chocolate
  • black decorating gel (next to the frosting tubes) or mini chocolate chips
  • fruit leather for the beak (or other orange dried fruit or candy), cut into small triangles
  • wax paper

HERE’S HOW (reference pics below):

  1. Cover cookie sheet or cutting board with wax paper. Melt chocolate according to instructions. Dip cookies in chocolate at an angle to make face. Lay on wax paper and then use a spoon to make chocolate lines more rounded like a heart.
  2. Use black gel to add eyes and small triangles of fruit leather for the beak.
  3. Place cookies in the fridge or freezer until chocolate hardens and then enjoy! Side note — black gel never fully hardens so if you stack them the eyes sometimes smear.

The cookies and my kids recent penguins obsession was inspired by the book, Penguin Problems. I purchased it because the cover and name was so cute (ha!) and then wasn’t sure what I thought about the story once it arrived. The kids however, fell in love and even quote parts of it too!

Those feet! Griffin’s are still cute and sweet to me but probably not for long.

The sun paid us a visit for most of last week and with it frigid temperatures. It was a nice break from the rain but kept us cooped up indoors just as much which I actually didn’t mind too much. These pictures and the pretty light is sure making me crave springtime though!

Feeling a little more ready for the week after that recap… Hope your Monday is off to a beautiful start!

XO, Rae

Poppy’s sweatshirt and sweatpants and Griffin’s sweatshirt are from childhood’s clothing. Griffin’s sweat pants are from Zara.

0

OUR FAVORITE HEALTHY(ISH) SNACKS FOR THE FAM

Remember cribs on MTV? Well, the master bedroom might have been where the magic happened, but the refrigerator was always the best part. It’s so fun seeing what other people eat and since everyone in my home could use a cleanse from processed and sugary foods after the holidays, I thought it would be ‘fun’ to share our favorite (mostly healthy) snacks!

Here’s a peek at what you’ll currently find in our kitchen to snack on…

ZBARS (costco) | FRUIT LEATHERS (costco) | ALMOND BUTTER + PEANUT BUTTER (costco) | FRESH FRUIT (a must) | STRING CHEESE | HUMMUS DIPS (costco) | GUACAMOLE DIPS (costco) | HARD BOILED EGGS | PRETZELS (costco) | EDAMAME (costco) | SALAMI | RAW ALMONDS (bulk)

Obviously keeping Costco in business :)

Not Pictured: fresh veggies (Johan is so much better about veggies at snack time than I am), pirate booty, tortilla chips, greek yogurt (the kids like the chobani tubes), turkey meat (wrap around string cheese for an extra fun snack!), izze sparkling juice (as a special treat), and honest juice boxes

Edamames are a hit with half the kids. We buy the big frozen bag with smaller pouches from Costco and keep a pouch or two in the refrigerator for easy snacking or to add to school lunches without having to warm up or defrost. They are extra good with salt sprinkled on top!

I swear there mush be kid crack in Zbars because my little ones are obsessed with them. There were days this past summer where I’m pretty sure, its all Griffin ate. Half curious if they are just as bad as a chewy granola bars but am afraid to know the truth, LOL. If you have any info to share about these lifesaving, easy to pack, crowd pleasing bars, please let me know. But if it’s bad news, break it to me easy :)

Most of our “eat me anytime” snacks are kept in the bottom drawer of the fridge for easy grabbing. Pantry snacks are a little more out of reach with the exception of pretzels.

I try really hard to keep super processed and sweet foods to a minimum in our home. That being said we do indulge but usually when we are out and about or have planned a family movie or game night. Oh, and of course homemade treats (like these yummy cookies) too. So maybe we don’t do that great of a job (ha!) and it’s near impossible around any holiday, but I guess it could be worse!

If you’ve been feeling stumped on what to stock the kitchen with, I’ve been there. And go there often. Hope this helps!

What snacks do you keep your kitchen stocked with?

XO, Rae

1

THE BEST OF 2016

Happy day after Christmas you guys! I’m currently still in my jammies (at noon), listening to the kids play with their new toys, and have no plans of doing anything but eating leftovers, folding laundry and recovering from the (good) craziness that December brings.

Sorta sad that the holiday season is coming to an end but I’m excited for the fresh possibilities of 2017. It can be so easy for me to think about the past year and come up with a list of things I want to do better in the coming year but have found that it can be equally as inspiring and encouraging to reflect on my favorite parts of the past year and all the things I want to carry into the new one.

That being said, I thought it would be a good time to roundup a list of the most popular posts along with some of my personal favorites from 2016.

LIFE | a day in the life (working on a winter version!) | hook-nook refresh | living with kids (+ their toys) | first week of school | our disney land trip

FREEBIES | paper heart glasses | baby milestone cards | emoji lunchbox stickers | shareable social media graphics

MAKE | book bin diy | easy pom-pom basket | sailor hair bows | flower vases + arrangements

 

KIDS | woodland party + boot driveour favorite kid apps | diy binoculars | brown bag microwave popcorn | tin can herb garden

WEAR | that tied shirt trend | statement coat 3 ways | all things with love | WIW may

EAT | homemade pop tartssmoothie bowls + a meal plan | big batch chocolate chip freezer cookies | frozen yogurt dots

Gosh, what a fun year… that also happened to be soooo full of transition and trying to figure out what’s next for our family and business and I just want to say thank you for meeting me in this space. The online and social media world can be so much about the numbers and while that’s just part of growth and good business, it’s not what this blog is about for me. I appreciate and care about one visitor as much as I would one million. Thank you so much for sharing your time, thoughts, comments and encouragement with me and allowing me to share my family, life and creative endeavors with you. It means the world to me!

Hope your Christmas (and 2016) was everything you hoped for and then some.

XO, Rae

5

THE BEST BAKED FRENCH TOAST

Short of the occasional donut run, super sweet breakfast dishes are not the norm around here. All holiday seasons and celebrations being the exception. Thank goodness there’s always a reason to celebrate when we need a little indulging ;). The kids first full day of Christmas break this past Saturday seemed like the perfect excuse to surprise them with their favorite sugary breakkie dish, Baked French Toast. It also happens to be our go-to for Christmas morning and Easter too since it’s best to throw together the night before and bake when you wake up!

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BAKED FRENCH TOAST, serves 12

NOTE: Takes about 7+ hours start to finish. 20 minutes hands-on. Let set overnight (6+ hours). 45 minutes to bake.

FOR FRENCH TOAST YOU’LL NEED:

  • 1 loaf crusty sourdough, challah or french bread
  • 8 whole eggs
  • 2-1/4 cups half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

FOR TOPPING YOU’LL NEED:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon all spice
  • 1 stick butter, cold and diced — plus more to grease pan
  • maple syrup to serve
  • whip cream to serve
  • fresh fruit to serve (pomegranate seeds pictured)

HERE’S HOW:

  1. Grease 9×13 inch baking dish with butter. Tear bread into chunks and lay evenly in the pan. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, sugar and brown sugar. Pour mixture evenly over the bread. For most delish version, cover and store in the fridge over night…. or until you are ready to add topping and bake.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. In a small mixing bowl combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and all spice. Sprinkle evenly over top of bread. Dice butter and layer evenly over the top of bread too. Bake (uncovered) for 45 minutes. Dish, top as desired and serve…

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So simple and never disappoints! Plus I appreciate anything that can be thrown into the oven long enough to shower, clean or play with the kids. Especially on a holiday morning.

What are you whipping up in the kitchen over Christmas break!?

XO, Rae

2

MINI CHICKEN (OR TURKEY) POT PIES

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I’m not a huge fan of stew-like dinners you guys, but the chicken pot pies we made last night were so tasty almost everyone went back for seconds. Since the meat in this dish can easily be substituted and we’ll all be needing ways to use up leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, I thought I would share! 

MINI CHICKEN (OR TURKEY) POT PIES

Makes 8 individual pot pies, takes 50 minutes start to finish

You’ll Need:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 8 tablespoons of butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 large potatoes, diced small (or use frozen diced potatoes)
  • 1 large carrot, diced small
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 chicken breasts or turkey meat, cooked and chopped (or sub for a rotisserie chicken!)
  • Basic pie crust (I used almost 3 boxes of store-bought — 6 round sheets) 
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 Ramekins 
  • Mini alphabet cookie cutters, optional

Here’s How:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt butter in a large sauce or soup pan over medium heat. Add onions and celery and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in flour and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Continue stirring over medium heat for 4 minutes.
  2. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Pour in milk and cook for 4 more minutes.
  3. Remove pan from heat and add potatoes, carrots, corn, mushrooms, and meat.
  4. Cut pie crust into 8 circles big enough to fit inside the ramekins (optional) and press into the bottom of each. Cut 8 more circles slightly larger than the rim of your ramekins and use cookie cutters to personalize. Set aside. 
  5. Fill ramekins with mixture and cover with pie crust, folding edges around the outside and crimping with a fork. Brush with egg and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until crust is golden brown and crispy. Let cool before serving!

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There were a couple nights last week that Johan played with the kids outside while I cooked in a quiet kitchen. Being able to dice, boil and dish without someone clinging to my leg, resting on my hip or sitting on the counter chatting my ear off was like a little slice of heaven.

That being said, I do love sharing the kitchen and dinner duties with a little helper or two and Griffin happens to be the most passionate about it. Especially this time of year when it’s dark, cold and rainy outside.

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Don’t let the giant pretend bite of food fool you. Despite all of his cooking efforts, the only part of the dinner he ate was a few nibbles of the cooked pie crust. Stinker. I’ve never heard of a cooking enthusiast that doesn’t like eating though, so I’m holding out hope that he’ll outgrow his picky palette!

Anyone else dealing with a  picky eater lately?

How do you use up turkey dinner leftovers?

XO, Rae

 

1

GIGI’S FAMOUS MEATBALL SOUP + WHAT WE ARE (HOPEFULLY) EATING THIS WEEK

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With all the Birthdays, travel and fall festivities, our usual meal plans have been non-existent this past month. And judging by large quantity of candy wrappers I’m finding all over the house we could all use some whole foods to help curb the sugar addictions. So this week my goal is to get back on a normal eating schedule and menu. Thought I would share the meal plan I whipped up last night if your in need of some inspiration, along with the recipe for one of my favorite meals my own mama cooks. Makes me feel like I’m home every time I eat it… The best kind of comfort food, but more healthy!

GIGI’S FAMOUS MEATBALL SOUP

You’ll Need:

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1-1/2 quart beef broth
  • 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1/2 head green cabbage, diced
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced (optional)
  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • Olive or coconut oil for cooking
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Here’s How:

  1.  In a small mixing bowl combine beef, egg, and salt and pepper. Form into 1 to 1-1/2 inch meatballs. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat and brown the outside of the meatballs. Remove from skillet once browned but not cooked through — they will cook the rest of the way in the soup. (Tip: skip this step and use frozen meatballs instead!)
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and sauté onion, carrot, celery and cabbage. Add a couple pinches of slat and pepper. 
  3. Add the broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, rice, meatballs, bay leaf, basil, soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon of parsley and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Check meatballs to make sure they are cooked through. Garnish with remaining parsley and serve! (Tip: make a double batch and freeze half in a mason jar for later!)

MONDAY/ Chicken caesar salad and grilled cheese sammies (+ Monday night football!)

TUESDAY/ Stuffed peppers

WEDNESDAY/ Butternut squash carbonara

THURSDAY/ Green coconut curry with chicken + zucchini (love this recipe but omit the cuttlefish balls and fish sauce)

FRIDAY/ French dip sammies, apples + fresh veggies (+ movie night!)

SATURDAY/ Crockpot chicken burrito bowls

SUNDAY/ Gigi’s famous meatball soup (recipe above^)

BREKKIE/ Steel cut oats, pumpkin pancakes, eggs

LUNCH/ Wraps, fruit, yogurt, popcorn

SNACK/ energy bites, hardboiled eggs, pretzels, apples + peanut butter

Phew, that felt good but is also kinda intimidating considering how long it’s been since I cooked more than one night in a row (ha!). Now to make a shopping list and trip to the store!

On another note, how was your weekend!? We (finally) celebrated Tilly’s 8th B-day with a party, enjoyed the extra hour of sleep I mean, time in our jammies,  and Tilly and I got to go on a girl date with friends. Never fun saying goodbye to the weekend but I’m actually feeling ready for Monday. Hope your week gets off to a good start!

XO, Rae

P.S. – For more inspiration, you can find a few more meal plans HERE and my usual approach to meal planning HERE.

2

OUR TRIP TO DISNEYLAND + CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE

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This shot was taken on the last day of our trip, after a few solid hours in the rain and moments before leaving California Adventure and heading towards Downtown Disney for a little shopping, shelter, and grub. By this point a couple of the kids were on the more miserable side (guess which ones?), but I honestly think it was the best possible way to end our stay because, a) it would have been so hard to get anyone to leave the parks at a reasonable time and we had to be up at 3:00am the next morning to catch our flight, and b) I think the inclement weather will be one of the reasons this trip will be hard to forget. How we laughed at all the non-Seattlelites scrambling to buy ponchos and then regretted not getting some for ourselves, but still rallied and stood in line for rides and made sure to use the fast passes that were burning holes in Johan’s pocket. And how by the time we finally left to get food (totally famished of course) all the restaurants were packed with people smart enough to get out of the rain early and the waits were close to an hour long. So we ended up grabbing takeout at La Brea Bakery and eating while we walked back to the hotel. It was the best kind of craziness.

Here’s a few more pics and details about our trip!  

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DAY 1

We woke the kids up at 3:30am, gave them the exciting news, left the house at 3:45am with Costco muffins in our bellies and then haphazardly did the airport shuffle (park, shuttle, baggage check, security, boarding, takeoff, landing, shuttle again, etc.). Made me want to book more flights so we could get better at this kind of traveling!

Once we made it to Anaheim around 11am, we stopped at our hotel to pick up passes and then walked 15 minutes to the parks. We spent the entire first day at Disneyland while we got the hang of things. By 6pm we were all exhausted and headed back to the hotel.

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(Taken at the end of the first day! A tiiiiired looking bunch.)

DAY 2 (not pictured)

Easily the best day of our trip. The parks weren’t too busy and my friend Sadie met us with her 3 kids, (including a teenager for Ozzie to hang with!). They taught us the ins and outs of park hopping, fast passes and where to find Starbucks and a good margarita :). We crammed so much in and had the best time.

DAY 3 (not pictured)

We took the day off from Disney to swim at the hotel and wander around the Newport Beach area. I’ll share more from this day later!

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DAY 4

After a day off, our sore feet had recovered, we knew where we were going, and the kids had a list of rides they wanted to go on before we left. Sometime around noon it started raining and the rest of the day I explained at the top of the post.

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(Griffin on the last day, taking a well deserved but most likely last stroller nap of his life… sweet boy did an amazing job of keeping up with the big kids!)

the-fam-bam-takes-disney-2016-1431the-fam-bam-takes-disney-2016-1436By the end of day (rain and all), I was wishing we had planned one more day to enjoy the rides and take everything in. Which I guess is a really good thing. Always best to leave wanting more!

Have you guys done any Disney vacays? Super curious about the cruise.

Also, let me know if you have any questions about what and how we planned our trip. Would love to share what worked and what we will be doing differently next time!

XO, Rae 

1

BREAKFAST CLUB: PUMPKIN SPICE FRENCH TOAST DIPPERS

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I really, really love a good slice of toast topped with peanut butter or avocado, but have never thought much of the french kind.  Until a few weeks ago when we decided to give the breakfast classic a pumpkin spice makeover (’tis the season!) and now I can’t stop making it! I think we’ve had it the last few times the kids have had sleepovers or we’ve had guests around and a couple extra times just for us. The slices get gobbled up as quickly as I can make them so I figured it was time to pass along the recipe (below)!

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PUMPKIN SPICE FRENCH TOAST SOLDIERS + WHIPPED CREAM

Makes one loaf of bread

For the French Toast, You’ll Need:

  • 3/4cup milk (I like to use whole, but any works)
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 loaf of favorite bread to french toast (thick sliced bread is best!)

For the Whipped Cream, You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup granulated sugar, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 to 2 teaspoon cinnamon, to taste
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice, to taste

Here’s How:

  1. Grease large non-stick skillet and set to medium heat.
  2. Beat together milk, pumpkin, eggs, and spices in a baking dish.
  3. Dip both sides of bread slices into mixture and place on heated skillet. Cook until each side is golden brown. If sides are getting brown but the bread is soggy, lower heat and cook longer per side. Repeat.
  4. While french toast cooks, add whipping cream, sugar, vanilla, and spices into mixing bowl and whip with stand or hand mixer until mixture thickens and peaks form (about 5 minutes).
  5. Cut into strips, serve with pumpkin spice whipped cream and dip away!!! They are good with syrup too.

If someone finds away to make this stuffed… or knows of a good stuffed french toast recipe, please share!

XO, Rae

P.S. – Tomorrow we are waking up at an ungodly hour to surprise the kids with a family vacay! Despite the stacks of warm weather outfits that have been cluttering up my dresser since Monday, they have no idea but are going to freakout! Can’t wait to spill the beans… Will share more on Friday from our destination and tomorrow on Instagram too if you want to follow along. Happy hump day!!!

1

BAKED APPLE COBBLER RECIPE

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Pumpkin spice is already my go to drink these days, but before we get all the way into pumpkin season, I thought it would be nice to give apples some time in the spotlight. After all, we visited a Cider Mill and went apple picking with friends last week and have buckets full of apples to show for it! Since they aren’t going to eat themselves and we could use a change from our go-to apple dippers I decided to try baking some (something my mom used to do, with a drizzle of honey – so good) with a cobbler topping and whip cream. Aside from turning out delicious, I’ll take any excuse to have something yummy smelling in the oven during the fall and winter months!

BAKED COBBLER APPLES

Takes 50 minutes start to finish (10 minutes hands-on) and makes 4 halves.

YOU’LL NEED:

  • 2 apples
  • cinnamon (to taste)
  • sugar (to taste)
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup flour (any kind)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (uncooked)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • sprinkle of salt
  • FAVORITE TOPPINGS – whip cream, caramel, more cinnamon, ice cream, baked pie crust, etc.

HERE’S HOW:

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cut apples in half and core using a spoon. Place face up in baking dish (if dish isn’t non-stick, spray with cooking spray first).
  2. Sprinkle apple flesh with cinnamon and sugar (see picture).
  3. In a saucepan, melt butter. Remove from heat and stir in oats, flour, brown sugar, and a sprinkle of salt. Put a scoop of the mixture on each apple. Then cover dish with foil and place in the oven for 20 minutes. Uncover and cook for an additional 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes before adding toppings. To make the letters I used these mini cookie cutters and pie crust from the store, then baked on a cookie sheet for a few minutes.

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I’m more of a non-fruit dessert eating girl, but these were so good we gobbled them right up! Now to try and make apple sauce out of the rest of our apples. If you have a favorite recipe, please share!

Oh, and if you are wondering what apples are best for baking, I like Mutsu, Pink Ladies, Honeycrisp, and (of course) Granny Smith. Here’s a helpful chart for more ideas.

XO, Rae

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LITTLE BITES: SUGAR CONE PARFAITS

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Don’t you love when old things feels new again? Goodness, I do. It’s one of my favorite things about fall. Not sure if it’s the crisp air or change in routine that does it, but lately watching football, visiting a favorite coffee shop, wearing cozy layers, walking to the bus stop with the kids, and even a rainy day like we had this past Saturday, feels fresh and new again.

And that is exactly what inspired these yummy updated yogurt parfaits. A common snack made new again!

ICE CREAM CONE YOGURT PARFAITS

You’ll Need:

  • Ice cream cones
  • Favorite yogurt flavor(s) — Can’t wait for the Noosa pumpkin yogurt to be back at Target :)
  • Topings – dried or fresh fruit, nuts, cereal, granola, small or crumbled graham crackers

Here’s How:

  • Layer yogurt and toppings in a cone.
  • Eat up!

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There are so many new things to look forward to this fall, but I would love to know what old routines (outfits, meals, outings, etc.) feel new again lately?

Hope your week is off to a good start!

XO, Rae

// Photos by my fave Stacy Jacobsen //

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