Archive | SWEET BITES

AUGUST MEALS + A DONUT RECIPE

Ever go on a trip, plan on visiting, eating or shopping somewhere, but put it off until the last day only to discover that it’s closed!? That was us last week while in Corvallis where there is this really fun donut shop called Benny’s Donuts that was recommended to us. So bummed that we missed out on a local favorite, but it’s also what inspired todays kitchen concoction which was delicious and fun too so I can’t be too mad about it!

Recipe and details below along with our meal plan for August!

VANILLA BAKED DONUTSmakes 12

You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk (whole, skim or anything in-between)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • *a donut pan (mini muffin pan would work too)

Here’s How:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray donut pan with cooking spray.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together.
  3. Spoon batter into donut pan, filling 3/4 of the way — Or pour batter into a ziplock and cut the corner to pipe the batter into donut cavities.
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes, then get started on the glaze (details below) and set out the toppings.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan. Transfer to a plate or cooling rack.
  6. Once completely cool, dip into glaze (recipe details below) and then toppings. Let glaze set for 30 minutes before storing or stacking.

DONUT GLAZE 3 WAYS

You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 drop of food coloring
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • toppings and sprinkles — animal cookies, sprinkles, chocolate chips, coconut flakes, favorite cereal, cookie crumbles, bacon, etc.

Here’s How:

  1. For the glaze whisk together sugar, milk and vanilla extract. If needed, add milk in small amounts until you have desired consistency. Divided into 3 bowls.
  2. For vanilla glaze you can leave as is or add a drop or food coloring.
  3. For chocolate glaze, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of coco powder to taste and mix well.
  4. For maple glaze, add 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, to taste.
  5. Follow directions above to glaze and top your donuts!

(Poppy’s cute play gown from Plain Jane… also Jane is my mom’s name and Tilly’s middle name so their dresses are even harder for us to resist!)

Eating, I mean, taste testing as soon as the donuts are topped… no waiting for the glaze to set around here, LOL!

Here’s what’s on our menu this month:

12 DINNERS TO MAKE IN AUGUST

EASY

MAKE AHEAD OR BAKED

30-45 MINS

BREAKFAST, LUNCH + SNACK IDEAS

Hoping to draw summer out until the very end and that includes mealtime :) So, share your favorites in the comments!

XO, Rae

1

NO BAKE SUMMER RECIPE: MAGNOLIA’S BANANA PUDDING (WITH TOPPINGS)

They say necessity is the mother of invention – so we give it (and the magnolia bakery cookbook) all the credit for this recipe. I’ve been dying to make magnolia’s famous banana pudding but bananas are  a polarizing ingredient in our family and who wants to make a dessert that isn’t enjoyed by all? So instead of sticking to the traditional bananas we included a few other topping options and it turned out so, so good.

The recipe and some silly pics below — because cooking with kids is highly entertaining.

(Griffin’s v. appropriate banana shirt  from zara and on sale!)

Griffin LOVES to cook and be in the kitchen but is so funny and picky about food. He ended up being a fan, but instead of layering in a cup he would dip the wafers in the pudding to eat.

OUR VERSION of MAGNOLIA BAKERY’S FAMOUS BANANA PUDDING (adapted from this cookbook)

You’ll Need:

  • 1-14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1-1/2 cups cold water
  • 1-3.4 oz. box instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1-12 oz. box nilla wafers (reserve some to crumble for topping)
  • TOPPINGS: sliced bananas, sliced strawberries (or other berries), crushed nilla wafers, sprinkles, chocolate chips, anything fun you have on hand!

Here’s How:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix sweetened condensed milk and water together. Add pudding mix and beat until well combined. Cover and chill for 4 hours or overnight.
  2. In another large mixing bowl, whip cream until peaks form.
  3. Remove pudding from refrigerator and add whip cream. Fold into the pudding until well combined.
  4. Spoon into individual cups or bowls and layer with nilla wafers, fruit and other toppings!

Two pics up — when everyone decided they needed a beater to lick but there’s only 2, ha! A familiar scene anytime we make dessert.

Whipping the cream was pretty funny because the kids kept dipping their finger into taste and were super confused by the lack of sweetness… whipped cream that tastes like fluffy milk? Weird.

It tastes so good. And rich. And the kids are already talking about what other versions we could make. I’m definitely saying yes to all the entertaining summer activities that we can do together, don’t require an oven and result in something edible.

What’s your favorite thing to whip up in the kitchen with kids?

Oh, and here’s another good banana recipe that’s perfect for summer!

Speaking of bananas, where does your family fall on the banana debate? Or pudding for that matter…?

I hadn’t had pudding since I was in the hospital after having Poppy… even the store-bought stuff tastes good when your starving and just gave birth, LOL.

xo, Rae

1

MINI MAKERS: 3 EASY VALENTINE PROJECTS FOR KIDS

The Seattle weather this time of year just about does us all in, so we’re trying to stay busy and distracted over here. A homemade treat, kitchen experiments (slime anyone?), and simple crafts always seem to do the trick tho. If you’re feeling the same way, here are a few Valentines-ey projects that have been giving us life right now and make hunkering down at home feel extra special.

WHITE CHOCOLATE VALENTINE POPCORN

Shared the recipe on my Insta Stories yesterday and added to the “eat” highlight reel for safe keeping too, but it deserves to be documented here too… it’s that good! I cut way back on the chocolate compared to other recipes and will normally add the hearts after the kids dish their bowls so they don’t get too much :)

YOU’LL NEED:

  • 5 oz. bag popcorn or 15 cups homemade, lightly salted
  • 6 oz. white chocolate, melted
  • sprinkles + conversation hearts

HERE’S HOW:

  1. Pour popcorn into a large baking sheet/pan.
  2. Drizzle with white chocolate and sprinkles and then toss until incorporated. Sprinkle hearts over the top. Cover and let sit until chocolate hardens.
  3. Dish up for your little (and big) valentines!

CONVERSATION HEART ACTIVITIES

That don’t involve eating them although we know it’s inevitable. A few ideas…

  1. Pour a bunch in a jar and have the kids guess how many, then count together.
  2. Drop a few in a glass of sparkling water or clear soda and watch them dance around. Kinda fun and science-y!
  3. Play around with making and matching patterns, or sorting.
  4. Give everyone a box of hearts, set the timer for a minute (or 5, lol!) and see who can stack them the highest! When you’re done, grab a few snack items from the pantry and use the candies to make individual trail mixes.
  5. Practice fine motor skills with little ones by scooping, and tweezing  hearts from one bowl to another. Challenge older kids to use chopsticks. Here’s a few more montessori inspired activities!
  6. Take it one step further with these fun family night games. Would be fun for sleepovers too!

HEART GUYS FTW!

Can’t beat this classic! I found colored cardboard hearts and googly eyes at target and then cut up strips of text weight paper into strips. Set all the materials out on the table and let the kids get creative. Most of the finished hearts got taped to their bedroom doors which I love!

YOU’LL NEED:

  • Hearts cutout of card stock or construction paper (found our hearts at Target, but couldn’t find online)
  • Googly eyes
  • Text weight paper, in various colors
  • Tape or glue stick
  • OPTIONAL: smaller hearts cutout for hands and feet, black marker for making a mouth + nose, stickers, pop-pops or other items to embellish with

HERE’S HOW:

  1. Cutout hearts and strips of paper for the arms and legs — ours were about 1-1/2 inch wide and 8-1/2 inch long for the legs and 5 inches for the arms.
  2. Fold the strips of paper like an accordion and tape onto the backside of your hearts.
  3. Embelish with eyes, etc. and you’re done!

Aren’t they cute!? And fun for everyone!

How are you guys having fun and staying sane at home on winter days!? This past Saturday we filled the stairway with mattresses so the kids could slide down, LOL. Anything to get some of their energy out these days!

Hope your week is off to a good start!!! Don’t forget to check classroom valentines off your to-do list!

XO, Rae

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

1

23 FUN VALENTINE’S DAY TREATS + TOYS

Thanks so much for your sweet response (+ orders) to our classroom valentines! Next step is finding the perfect surprise to include with the cards, because we all know the treat part is equally as important to the mini valentines in our lives. So, with the kids’ help, i’ve rounded up a list of favorites below.

1. parachute guys | 2. monster finger puppets | 3.  dragonfly propellers, or a combo pack | 4. googley eyes (that are already sticky on the backside!) | 5. cherry pop rocks | 6. candy necklaces | 7. ice cream shooters | 8. heart balloons here or here | 9. bouncy balls | 10. fluffy slime or play doh | 11. lip + mustache whistles | 12. paddle ball game | 13. unicorn pops | 14. glow sticks | 15. cat ear headbands | 16. pullback race cars | 17. squishy toys (tilly’s fave!) | 18. fruit candy | 19. unicorn poop | 20. plastic dinosaurs | 21. heart stickers | 22. candy buttons | 23. plastic clackers

Love and wish I could buy all these cute treats just to have on hand! Sometimes it’s the little things that go a long way.

What do your kids like giving their friends and classmates on Valentine’s Day? Excited to see what my kids’ final picks are so I can order and check it off my to do list!

xo, Rae

5

UNICORN HOT COCOA + A KID CHARCUTERIE PLATTER

With the majority of winter and lots of time cooped up at home still ahead of us, we’re staying cozy and having fun while whipping up some unicorn and narwhal hot cocoa. Watch the video below to see how we make it!

Did you watch long enough to see the “cutie” platter at the end? It’s my favorite way to feed a crowd without actually having to cook or clean!

Most of the fixings got eaten before I could snap a picture for this post, so I thought I would try and put one together today and share on Instagram Stories. Come say “HI!” if you get a chance! I’ll also add it to an “eat” collection below my bio for safe keeping. For now, here’s the hot cocoa recipe…

UNICORN or NARWHAL HOT COCOA

You’ll Need:

  • whole milk (or milk of your choice)
  • powdered white mocha  powder and/or white mocha syrup (you can use both or just one)
  • 1/4 teaspoon all natural powdered food coloring (I like this kind!), or a drop of liquid food coloring
  • toppings of choice: whip cream, sprinkles, marshmallows, paper straws, etc.

Here’s How:

Over the stove or in the microwave, heat your milk. Stir in powder mix and/or syrup. Add food coloring. Once the milk has cooled enough for little ones to drink, add your toppings and enjoy!

*If you’re having the kids help you, make sure the milk isn’t scolding… spills tend to happen when kids are involved and I would hate for someone to get a burn!

Don’t forget the marshmallows and whip… Even if just for entertainment value ;)

Extra props to Johan for figuring out how to piece together the video… it was not an easy one!

Are there any videos you’d like to see in the future?

XO, Rae

PS — See you over on Instagram later today!

PPS — More unicorn fun –> HERE and HERE.

SaveSave

SaveSave

8

DECEMBER MEALS + A SUGAR COOKIE RECIPE YOU’LL LOVE

Cookie baking, Holiday movie watching, hall decking, and gift wrapping, sign me up for it all. But with December 1 comes a reality check. Christmas will be here before I know it and there’s so much I want to get done between now and the 24th. Assuming you guys are in the same boat, I did my best to curate dishes and recipes that are mostly easy to make and perfect for leftovers! But first a sugar cookie recipe that does not disappoint! Seriously, I don’t eat many desserts that don’t involve chocolate and couldn’t stop snacking on these.

SUGAR COOKIE + ICING RECIPE

YOU’LL NEED (for cookies):

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • cookie cutters (I used this one)

YOU’LL NEED (for icing):

  • 2 cups shortening
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 8 cups powdered sugar (aka icing sugar)
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream, less or more for desired thickness/texture
  • sprinkles
  • food coloring (the all-natural one we used)

TO MAKE THE COOKIES:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together butter and sugar. Then add egg and vanilla and cream together.
  2. Whisk the baking powder and flour together. Gradually add dry ingredients to sugar mixture, mixing in-between until well combined.
  3. Knead dough by hand for a minute then immediately roll smaller batches, on a floured surface, to about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out with cookie cutters.
  4. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven before they brown. Move to wire rack or platter and let cool completely before icing.

TO MAKE THE ICING:

  • In a large bowl, beat shortening and vanilla. Add powdered sugar in small amount (I added 1/2 cup at a time) and combine.
  • Add cream gradually and beat until desired thickness and consistency.
  • Divide icing into bowls and add food coloring to each as desired!
  • Spread onto cooled cookies and add sprinkles!

Here are a few other dinners on our menu plan this December!

12 DINNERS TO MAKE IN NOVEMBER

EASY

MAKE AHEAD OR BAKED

30-45 MINS

BREAKFAST, LUNCH + SNACK IDEAS

1

AMAZING EASTER CANDY COOKIE BARS + A MEAL PLAN

Playing catchup today after a whirlwind week and weekend, and still have lots to do to get our easter outfits, baskets and egg hunts pulled together for the big day this Sunday. Soooo am going to keep this short and sweet with a favorite festive cookie treat that might just change your life. No joke. They are so good and making bars instead of individual cookies eliminates so much of the hands-on time… Perfect for a busy holiday week!

CHOCOLATE CHIP + EASTER CANDY COOKIE BARS, makes one 9×13-inch pan of cookies

You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup butter, softened 
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup Easter candy, roughly chopped or crumbled
  • 1 cup chocolate chips 

Here’s How:

  1. Grease 9×13-inch pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and eggs.
  3. Mix in flour and baking soda.
  4. Stir in candy and chocolate chips.
  5. Scoop into prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Bake for approx. 20 minutes, checking after 18. Remove when golden brown around edges and middle looks slightly undercooked. Cut into bars and serve! TIP: for straight clean lines, allow to cool completely before cutting!

The cookies are even better warm, with a scoop of ice cream and candy sprinkles on top! Making them on day 5 of my 10 day cleanse over the weekend was not the smartest tho. Thought I could resist but ended up sneaking a bite or two. Or three. Ha! Should have known better, but it was worth it!

Here’s what’s on our menu this week:

MONDAY | tuna melt sandwiches (this one looks good!), chips, crudités with ranch or hummus and above cookies for dessert!

TUESDAY | chicken tortilla soup

WEDNESDAY | baked salmon and veggies in parchment pockets

THURSDAY | breakfast burritos

FRIDAY | eat out or takeout while watching a baseball game — currently craving Thai food!

SATURDAY | BBQ chicken,  quinoa, and zucchini fritters

SUNDAY | it’s Easter and we’ll be running around at church services most of the morning and then meeting up with my parents and brother after. No idea what we’ll be eating yet, but I will for sure be ordering some festive donuts for the kids (wink, wink) to wake up to :)

Keeping all other meals simple this week and going with the staples!

BREAKKIE | Cereal, oatmeal, fruit and/or fried eggs.

LUNCH | PB&J or salami, cheese + crackers, edamame and strawberries or apples and peanut butter, bunny crackers or pirate booty.

SNACKS |  some combo of the lunch options!

Hop, hop, hooray for a week of Easter prep and celebrations. It’s going to be an amazing Sunday. I can just feel it. Now if I can just get my stufffff together sometime before then, lol!

I’ll see you back here on Wednesday with some bunny fun for the littles!

xo, Rae

3

SWEET BITES: HOMEMADE SODAS

I don’t know about you guys but February is seriously kicking my butt. Not sure if it’s the lack of sun, daylight or warmth that has me feeling so blah and it probably hits me around this time every year and I forget, but OMGeeee! Spring cannot get here too soon. And I am not one that usually wishes for time to hurry.

A few of the things that seem to be helping with the winter blues lately: copious dance parties, getting out of the house, and playing with the kids in the kitchen. Thought I would share our latest cooking session recipe with you, inspired by the last few hipster-ish restaurants we’ve grubbed at  that have handcrafted sodas on the menu instead of sprite and root beer. While nothing can really replace a good old fashioned Shirley Temple, these homemade sodas are delicious and less sugary. Plus the fancy flavors and garnishes make them feel extra special.

Our DIY version is a mix of sparkling water and homemade simple syrups. Here’s the how-to…

YOU’LL NEED:

  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups fresh fruit
  • 1 cup sugar of choice (modify measurement for stevia or splenda)
  • 1 cup water
  • sparkling or flavored water (like pellegrino or la croix)
  • mint, basil, lemon, lime, berries, etc., for garnish
  • lemon and lime juice (optional)

TO MAKE SIMPLE SYRUPS:

  1. Dice or slice fruit if needed – for instance mango or strawberries.
  2. Heat 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar over med-high heat. Stir until sugar is melted.
  3. Add fruit and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes or until the sugar mixture is a deep color that matches the fruit.
  4. Remove from heat and pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer into another pot or heat safe bowl. Resist the urge to press down on the strained fruit to try and get more juice out :) it just makes the syrup chunky and cloudy.
  5. Let syrup cool completely then poor into mason jars or other airtight containers in the fridge. Should keep for a few weeks.

TO MIX THE SODAS:

  1. Set out syrups, sparkling water options, and garnishes.
  2. Pour sparkling soda in each cup. Add syrup and garnishes to taste. We used approx.  a 1:4 ratio of syrup to water (1/4 cup of syrup for every cup of sparkling water… maybe a little less syrup than that).
  3. Tip: a little splash of lemon or lime juice tastes so good in the sodas!

 

These yummy drinks may not make spring arrive any sooner but they will add a little fun to your day and fancy to your tastebuds.

How has February been treating you? Have any tricks for beating the winter blues? I probably should have added Netflix to my list of tricks above :)

If you love this time of year please spill all your secrets and then move next door so your happy winter vibes can rub off on me.

Happy hump day friend!!!

xo, Rae

0

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.

1