Archive | recipe

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!!!

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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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SWEET BITES: MINI NO-BAKE CHEESECAKES

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Kitchen activity is sparse during the summer months and I actually appreciate the break but ever since Espen and Tilly took a cooking class with their friends a couple weeks ago, we’ve all been more inspired to spend time making and baking. Over the weekend, Ozzie, Tilly and I made these cute and delicious lemony no-bake mini cheese cakes. They don’t require too many ingredients or any time in the oven, and are easy enough to make with littler kids (if you don’t mind a little crumbly mess).

Try out the recipe below… They are delicious and sweet and would be even better with a few berries on top!

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MINI NO-BAKE CHEESECAKE (makes 12)

For the Crust, You’ll Need:

  • 15 graham crackers
  • 2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

For the Filling, You’ll Need:

  • 1-1/2 cups (13 oz.) cream cheese, at room temp.
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 – 14 oz. can sweeten condensed milk
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice

Here’s How:

  1. Grease standard muffin tin and line each cup with strips of wax paper… See picture above. The strips make it easier to remove the cheesecakes from the tin.
  2. Roughly break graham crackers into a food processor. Add allspice and blend until finely crushed. Add butter and process until well combined.
  3. Press crumb mixture into the bottom and sides of each muffin cup to form your crust. Use the bottom of a glass to press down if needed (Tilly liked this part). Place in freezer while you make filling.
  4. To make the filling, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add lemon zest, vanilla, condensed milk and lemon juice. Beat until mixture is creamy — about 5 minutes.
  5. Remove muffin tin from freezer and spoon filling into each cup.
  6. Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Lift mini cheesecakes using waxed paper liners.

The hardest part is waiting for the cheesecake to set, but it’s so worth it!

XO, Rae

P.S. – Here’s a healthier breakfast or snack version of the mini cheesecakes you might enjoy.

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MINI BITES: BEDTIME POPSICLES

Oh bedtimes. Such a sweet, snuggly, and often bananas time of day to unwind, have precious conversations (or answer a million random questions), read books, pray and give 100% attention to the kids. But we all know its one thing to get kids tucked in and another to get them to sleep.

A couple of our babes are particularly challenged (like their mama) in this area so about a year ago, after doing plenty of research (aka, calling my mom + googling), I started giving them and myself small doses of Melatonin – an au naturel supplement that helps you fall asleep. And it’s a God send. Seriously. Except that it’s not meant to take every night. Since we’re trying to ease our way back into a schedule before school starts, I’ve been looking for other ways to naturally help them get sleepy at night and discovered that there are several sleep inducing foods out there.

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Bananas, yogurt, almonds, oats, cherries and honey all have nutrients that help you sleep and they all taste delicious together. Or course, piling your favorite ingredients into a snack size parfait before bed would be delish but blending them up and freezing into popsicles would be way more fun!

BEDTIME POPSICLES

  • 1 banana (or a little less)
  • 1/2 cup pitted cherries (we used frozen)
  • 3/4 cup favorite vanilla yogurt (coconut milk yogurt for dairy-free)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • Honey to taste
  • Granola to top
  1. Add first four ingredients into a blender and mix together. Add Honey to taste.
  2. Pour into popsicle mold (this is our fave) and sprinkle granola over the top. Place in freezer for a few hours until frozen.
  3. To make the layered popsicle, blend banana, yogurt, almond milk and honey. Fill molds a little over halfway and freeze. Then blend cherries with a little yogurt, almond milk and honey and add to the molds. Top with granola and freeze. (*makes about 10 large popsicles)

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We ate them on kind of a wild night that lacked any routine so they didn’t (and I doubt they will) work as well as Melatonin, but I do think the right kind of snack right before bed makes a big difference!

Have any bedtime tricks up your sleeve, friend?

XO, Rae

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MEAL PLAN: AUG NO.1

We still have another month of summer with the kids and my goal is to soak up all the quality time, sunshine, activities and outings as we can while also reintroducing some of that good old fashioned structure back into our lives so back to school isn’t quite so abrupt. Food and mealtime is one of the best and easiest places to start for me so I’m back to planning our meals and stocking the pantry. Here’s whats on the menu this week!

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(mexi)MONDAYHuevos Rancheros with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

TUESDAY – Grilled Chicken + Summer Veggie Skewers, add whatever veggies look fresh and grill-able at the store like summer squash and serve with couscous

WEDNESDAY – Eat Out or Takeout and MOVIE NIGHT with friends!!!

THURSDAYSlow Cooker Beef Carnitas Tacos, this is also Johan’s Birthday dinner so the menu might change based on what he wants but I figured anything involving beef was a safe bet!

FRIDAYBBQ Chicken Cobb Salad + Mini Grilled Cheeses

SATURDAY – Eat Out or Takeout

SUNDAYEasy Meatball Sliders

BREKKIE – Oatmeal, Cereal, or Eggs — keeping it simple this week!

LUNCHSandwich Wraps, fruit, yogurt and popcorn

SNACKFrozen Yogurt Dots, Watermelon Pizza, Cracker Stackers, Hummus + Veggies + Chips

After posting the picture above on Instagram last week of our movie night snacks, I received a lot of questions about the food and drink trays. I bought a case of them originally for all the summer get togethers and Birthday parties but they also make movie night seem extra special and clean up extra easy. You can find the FOOD + DRINK TRAYS HERE and the PLASTIC CUPS + LIDS HERE.

Hope your week if off to a good start!

XO, Rae

PS – Thanks so much to everyone who participated in the August Faves Giveaway. The winner has been announced HERE and emailed :)

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LITTLE BITES: FROZEN YOGURT DOTS

It’s safe to say the kids are getting tired of the snacks that have been gracing our pantry and fridge this summer. All we seem to do lately is snack so I guess I can’t blame ’em! But I was shocked when they hadn’t gobbled up all the noosa yogurt I’ve been buying at Costco. It could honestly pass for fro-yo! When questioned, they admitted it was just that they had been eating so much of it. So earlier this week we decided to try freezing some into dots, hoping it would rekindle their enthusiasm for the delicious yogurt.

To my delight, they loved the dots and ate them all up. As did I, and will now be eating all yogurt in frozen form — so good! The “recipe” and steps are so simple and easy for little helpers too. Details below.

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YOU’LL NEED:

  • favorite kind of yogurt, refrigerated and stirred
  • small zip locks or pastry bags
  • parchment paper
  • cookie sheet

HERE’S HOW:

  1. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Fill ziplock with stirred yogurt and cut a small hole in one of the bottom corners.
  3. Squeeze small dots onto prepared cookie sheet and place in the freezer for a couple hours, until frozen… Freeze longer or overnight if wanting to store and keep for later.
  4. Peel off of paper and eat, scoop into a bowl and serve or place in airtight container and store in the freezer!

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Don’t those little yogurt dots look delicious and refreshing?

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Poppy thinks so! And suggests trying to make some this weekend :)

What have you been snacking on lately?

TGIF!

XO, Rae

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SWEET BITES: SIMPLE BERRY-LEMONADE SNOW CONE GRANITA RECIPE

simple snow cone granita recipe

Gosh I hated being away from this online space and (gasp!) social media last week, but have been busy finishing up a few big design projects before the kids are home for summer — just a week and a half left. Not sure who is more ready and excited, me or the kids! That being said, posts might be random and sparse for the next couple weeks but then I have quite a few summer-y DIY’s, kid crafts, recipes and adventures that I can hardly wait to document and share! Make sure to sign up for emails below (if you haven’t already) so you don’t miss out!!! Now onto todays post….

With all of the hot weather and outdoor playtime in our future a frozen treat seemed to be in order and granitas (aka Italian ice) are a new fave around here. They are technically vegan, gluten free, and made from fresh ingredients, yet totally delicious and full of sugar. But who doesn’t need a little extra sugar in the summertime!

simple snow cone granita recipe

Here’s how to make them:

BERRY LEMONADE GRANITAS, takes 20 minutes hands-on time (3 hours start to finish), makes 10-12 small servings

You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 cups of your favorite homemade or store-bought lemonade
  • 1-2 cups raspberries, blueberries or sliced strawberries
  • a few hours of down-time
  • OPTIONAL, extra berries and mint for garnish and paper snow cones, wood paddle spoons and cute straws for serving

Here’s How:

  1. Pour sugar and water into a saucepan and bring to a boil for one minute to make a simple syrup. Add fresh berries and let simmer, stirring often for about 5 minutes. (Or grab a flavored lemonade at the store and skip the berry step!)
  2. Remove mixture from heat, spoon or strain out the berries and set in an ice bath to cool.
  3. Pour mixture into a 9×13 or larger baking dish. Add lemonade and stir together carefully. Place in the freezer.
  4. Every 20-30 minutes use a fork to break up the mixture then return to the freezer and repeat until it you have a nice fluffy/icy/crystal texture.
  5. Scoop into cups or these snow cones and garnish with berries and mint!

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//We used a marker to add a cute design to the handle end of wood ice cream spoons//

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YAY for summer you guys!!! Looking forward to making more of these and trying new flavors. Maybe an adult version for cocktail hour or a red, white and blue combo for the 4th of July… What flavor would you want to try?

XOXO, Rae

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BREAKFAST CLUB: SMOOTHIE BOWLS (+ A MEAL PLAN)

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I love a good “build your own” type meal. I also enjoy a good bandwagon. So, since smoothie bowls are super easy to personalize and trending at the moment, I figured it was time we gave them a whirl. Now I’m wondering what took us so long!?

If you and your kids like smoothies you will LOVE these. They are basically extra thick smoothies topped like a parfait. Toppings make everything better, yes? Yes! Here’s how we made ours…

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BERRY BERRY SMOOTHIE BOWL (makes 2 big bowls or 4 small ones)

You’ll Need:

  • 1-1/2 cup frozen berries
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 cup almond milk (or other preferred milk)
  • 1 cup spinach or favorite green
  • 2 tablespoons chia/hemp/flax/etc. seed
  • honey or agave to taste
  • ice to taste
  • favorite protein powder (optional)
  • toppings – chia seeds, shaved almonds, berries + other fruit, shredded coconut, granola, etc.

Here’s How:

  1. Toss all ingredients (except toppings) in a blender and blend until well combined and mixture is too thick to suck through a straw.
  2. Pour into bowls and prinkle with toppings of choice!

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Give me ALL the toppings please! I think they are the best part of any dish but especially these smoothie bowls. Aside from the delicious taste the colors and textures are so pretty and pretty food is fun to eat.

Now we just need to try acai bowls… Which I think are like smoothie bowls with an added ingredient? Have you guys tried them?

(CLICK HERE TO CHECKOUT OUR MEAL PLAN FOR THE WEEK)

Happy Monday!

XO, Rae

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SIPPING ON THE PERFECT ICED COFFEE

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(sleepy eye fabric backdrop from my spoonflower shop)

Warm weather goes with iced drinks like Monday’s go with caffeine so it seemed appropriate to share a little tip I learned that will have your iced coffee tasting delicious and creamy to the last sip.

Ready for it?

It’s so simple… freeze your favorite milk into ice cubes!!!

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As the cubes melt the coffee stays yummy instead of watery and blah.

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Our friends dropped off a bottle of their homemade cold brew last week, which (side note) is amazing! Not sure what has taken me so long to try, but I’m hooked. Anyways, I’ve been experimenting with different combinations and my favorite so far is:

vanilla coconut cold brew (or iced coffee) – half glass of cold brew, frozen coconut milk ice cubes, a little bit of vanilla syrup and coconut milk to taste.

What is your go-to iced drink during the warm weather months!?

XO, Rae

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BIG BATCH FREEZER CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

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One of the things my kids never fail to appreciate is a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies. Particularly when they have a group of friends over. But adding one more messy task in the middle of the afternoon, with a house of munchkins requiring a certain amount of supervision (and damage control) isn’t always the most practical. Lately though I’ve been able to set out a plate of gooey confections in just 15 minutes without dirtying more than a couple dishes.

How, you ask!?

A couple weeks ago we made a super sized batch of our favorite cookie recipe, balled the dough into individual cookies and then threw them in the freezer. Now it’s so easy to throw in a dozen crowd pleasing cookies to share with friends or bring to a get together and each batch tastes just as good as the first. Honestly one of the smartest mom things I’ve done… ha!

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FAVORITE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES, makes 6-7 dozen

You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups butter, softened (4 sticks)
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups cake flour (this is what makes this recipe amazing but cake flour can be substituted for regular all-purpose flour)
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 6+ cups chocolate chips
  • Cookie scooper (optional but SOOOO helpful!)

Here’s How:

  1. Combine flours and baking soda together in a bowl and whisk well.
  2. In an extra-large mixing bowl cream butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla together.
  3. Slowly add flour mix to large mixing bowl until combined. Then stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a cookie scooper (I like the small ones for the kids, but any size – even an ice cream scoop or 1/4 measuring cup – works) scoop as many balls of dough onto baking sheet as you can and place in the freezer for a couple hours. Repeat with remaining dough.
  5. Once frozen, store dough in airtight container or gallon bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
  6. Anytime you need a sweet treat set the oven to 350 and bake for 12-15 minutes (no need to thaw!), erring on the early end of the timer. Underdone is better than overdone, every time.

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Chocolate chip is the only kind of cookie (other than the breakkie kind!) that we make around here but it is probably time we try something new. Any suggestions?

Now go make some cookies friends!

XO, Rae

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