Category

FOOD

This time last year, I was on cloud nine, launching my blog and sharing my very first post about some DIY Mother’s Day cards! My photography skills weren’t that great, to say the least and I didn’t really know what on earth I was doing at the time, but I loved being able to make something special for the incredible mothers in my life and share it here.

I don’t know about you, but I live 15 hours away from my beautiful, sweet momma, and I could not hate the distance more, especially on Mother’s Day! I would love to be able to celebrate and honor her in person this year, but it just isn’t doable, unfortunately. So I wanted to do something special for her, and decided to bake some homemade butter cookies! When my husband and I visited my parents in GA for Easter, mom gave me a scalloped cookie sheet that I just love, and I promised her I would bake her lots of yummy cookies in return!  As long as I can remember, my mom has always loved eating cookies with her morning coffee and I thought that whipping up a special batch using the cookie sheet she gave me would be the perfect gift for Mother’s Day! I also wanted to make some for my amazing mother in law and seester, who this time last year was pregnant with my niece, and praise Jehovah, Lorien is now a happy and healthy 6 month old beauty! I’ve learned so much from these incredible women and I am blessed to call them family.

Deciding on the flavor for my butter cookies was a no brainer. My hubby was given several bags of Teavana’s delicious Chamomile Bloom tea, which we both absolutely love and I knew that it would be the perfect ingredient for my cookies! Since I’m unable to bring these ladies pretty flowers, I thought that going a more floral route with the cookies would be a good substitute. These are super easy to make and turned out delicious, so if you’re wondering what to get for your momma this year, I would highly recommend baking some of these goodies. You just can’t go wrong gifting a batch of homemade cookies, people! Okay, here’s the simple, yummy recipe:

Chamomile Butter Cookies

Oven °325

Ingredients

  • 24 Cavity Scalloped Cookie Pan
  • 1 ½ Cups All Purpose Flour
  • ½ Tsp. Salt
  • 5 Tsp. Softened Butter
  • ½ Cup Sugar
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 3 Tablespoons Milk
  • ½ Tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • ½ Tsp. Pure Maple Syrup
  • ¼ Cup Teavana Chamomile Bloom Loose-Leaf Tea (Or whatever loose-leaf tea brand your prefer)
  • 1 ¼ Tsp. Lemon Zest

Directions: 

STEP ONE: Preheat oven. Combine flour and salt in a medium size bowl and set aside.

Step Two: Beat sugar and butter until fluffy in a large bowl. Add egg yolk, vanilla extract, maple syrup and mix until well combined.

Step Three: Gradually add and mix in the flour/salt and 3 tablespoons of milk. Work dough with hands until it becomes pliable.

Step Four: Add Chamomile and lemon zest to dough and combine well using your hands.

Step Five: Grease scalloped cookie pan with cooking spray. Begin pressing small amounts of dough (about a teaspoon in size, but add more as needed) into the cavities of the pan.

Step Six: Bake for about 10 minutes, rotating the pan halfway into baking. If cookies are not lightly golden, bake for an additional minute or two.

Step Seven: Allow cookies to cool for a few minutes and then transfer them to cooling racks.

You should end up with about 4 dozen cookies, so they’ll be plenty to go around and enjoy! Whether you’re a coffee or tea drinker, these will pair really well with both! I love how the maple and lemon balance out the flavor you get from the chamomile. If you give this recipe a try, let me know how it turns out for you and what you think!

I also want to give a quick shout out to Tessa Worley of Fox & Bear Paper Co. for the darling Mother’s Day card I snagged from her shop! She designs the absolute sweetest cards and prints and I collaborated with her on a recent post to tell ya all about them! If you’re looking for some new art or  just want to send a little love to someone, go check out her Etsy shop!

Thank you so much for reading, and Happy Mother’s Day to all you wonderful moms out there!

 

IMG_7987-2

I don’t know about you guys, but if there’s one thing that we always have in our home, it’s a box of cereal.  That sounds silly, but my husband is basically a cereal monster and would eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner if he could ( well, actually sometimes he does, the dork). Something that he’s asked me for ages to make for him is granola, which until this year I never attempted for some strange reason (poor guy).  He absolutely loves the way his mom makes it and I am quite the fan of hers myself!

 I remember the first Christmas I spent with Jay’s family, and how sweet I thought it was that she would make a humongous batch and give it to all the kids, as part of their gifts. This year my hubby and I gave gift baskets to my family at Christmas, and we filled them with some granola, and it was a hit! Homemade gifts in general are the best, in my humble opinion, and I loved giving some of this deliciousness away! When I took a stab at making a batch of my own, I wanted to mostly stick to the way my mother in law makes hers. But I also wanted to test the waters myself and add a few tweaks. So with her permission, the recipe I’m sharing with you all today is a mashup of hers and mine (but mostly hers).

IMG_7912

HOMEMADE GRANOLA

OVEN: 325°

  • 8 Cups Rolled Old Fashioned Oats
  • ½ Tsp  Salt
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 Cups Coconut (Sweetened or Unsweetened, whatever your heart desires!)
  • 2 Cups Almonds+Walnuts mixture (My mother in law likes to use sesame or flax seeds in her recipe, about a 1/4 cup of either and 1/2  cup sunflower seeds) 
  • 2/4 Cup Brown sugar
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • 2/4 Cup Oil ( I used coconut oil)
  • 1 Cup raisins, Craisins ( I usually shuffle between these two, myself), or any other kind of dried fruit you love! (Do not add until after the granola has baked and cooled!)  

IMG_7916 

STEP ONE: Preheat oven and combine all dry ingredients well in a separate bowl 

STEP TWO: Mix together wet ingredients until the oil is no longer separating ( I did this with a spoon, but you can also use a whisk or an electric mixer)

IMG_7963

STEP THREE: Pour wet mixture over dry ingredients and stir to a fairly even consistency and spread out in a shallow baking pan (The largest pan I have is a turkey roasting pan, so that’s what I used and it worked great!)

IMG_7966

STEP FOUR: Bake for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to prevent the sides and top from burning. 

STEP FIVE: Remove the yummy goodness from the oven and allow to cool. Add raisins/fruit of choice and mix well!

IMG_8057-2

 

My favorite thing about making granola is the delicious aroma that fills our home while it’s baking! And whether it’s for a bowl of cereal, a topping for your  yogurt (my personal favorite) or just something yummy to munch on, my hubby and I have no problem devouring a whole batch of this stuff ourselves. I usually store our granola in a large mason jar + bag and refrigerate the rest until we’re ready to use it!

I hope that this recipe was helpful, and has you running out the door to go pick up all the ingredients you need to make some for yourself! Thank so much for reading and please let me know how it turns out for you!

IMG_8044

 

IMG_5996-(3)_edited

Okay, I don’t know about you guys, but I have an insane love for Italian food! For real, ya’ll, when it comes to Italian (aka pizza), the love is deep and the struggle is real. Unfortunately, it’s not always the healthiest option (cheese GALORE), so we don’t usually have it a ton in our home, but when we do, I always try to look for or to create a new recipe, that will spice things up a bit and that won’t clog our arteries! My husband and I have grown to LOVE spaghetti squash and have started making it one of our weekly meals, pretty regularly. It’s such a yummy substitute for the less healthier Italian dishes, and though I love my pastas and pizzas, spaghetti squash never leaves me disappointed.

A few weeks ago, I was looking in our fridge, unsure of what I wanted to make for dinner. I had some spaghetti squash and the remainders of a loaf of french bread to use up, as well as some provolone cheese, and pasta sauce. Then the idea to create some sort of crostini with it all came to mind, and so I just went with it. This idea isn’t mind blowing, I know, but I was rather giddy over coming up with it and it turned out to be so delicious! This has become a HUGE favorite in our home and so I thought I would share the quick, simple and inexpensive recipe with you all, in case anyone else wants to give it a try!

Ingredients

  • 1 Spaghetti Squash
  • 1 loaf of your favorite fresh baked bread
  • Provolone (or mozzarella) cheese
  • 1 jar of pasta sauce
  • Olive (or coconut) oil
  • Dried (or fresh) Basil for garnishing
  • Salt & Pepper

Oven: 375 ͒

IMG_6045-(3)

IMG_6051-(2)_edited

Step 1: Prepare & Bake Squash

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut your spaghetti squash in half and scoop out all of the seeds and excess inside. After doing this, lightly coat your squash with olive oil and add salt and pepper to each half. Place the squash face down onto your baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes.

IMG_6108_edited

Step 3: Scrape Er’ Out!

Once your squash has cooled, Use a fork to scrape out the squash, creating spaghetti-like strands. Lightly toast your bread in the oven while doing this, so that it won’t become soggy when you apply the toppings.

IMG_6118-(3)

IMG_6132-(2)

IMG_6141-(2)_edited_edited

Step 4: Prepare Crostini

For each slice of bread, top with a generous amount of squash, pasta sauce, and a half slice of cheese. Garnish with basil (I used dried, but I’m sure fresh basil would be glorious), and toast in the oven until the cheese is fully melted.

IMG_6164-(2)

And there you go! So simple, tasty and filling. I plan to fool around with Spaghetti Squash Crostinis lots more in the near future, adding different ingredients and having more fun with the recipe. Thanks so much for reading, and enjoy!

 

Cookies-52

A few years ago, my sister gave me the most darling Christmas gift ever, Winnie the Pooh’s Cookie Book! Not only do I love Winnie the Pooh (no shame), but I have such a love for baking, so to this day, it’s still one of my most favorite gifts. This book is full of so many unique and tasty cookie recipes, but the one that my husband and I have loved the most, is the Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies. Need I say more?!  For real, ya’ll, these cookies could not be any more delicious. Complete chocolate galore! The recipe bakes 4 dozen, so there’s plenty to enjoy, share with your friends (bless you) and to freeze for later (which we have yet to do with these, because they are so easy to completely devour)!

My husband and I are OBSESSED  with all things dark chocolate and I am always incorporating it into the desserts that I make, whenever possible! This recipe calls for bittersweet chocolate, which is already wonderful, but I substituted bittersweet for extra dark, and let me tell you, IT. IS. SO. GOOD. What I love most about dark chocolate is the balance that it brings to desserts. I am very picky when it comes to sweetness and whenever dark chocolate is involved, it just never lets me down. Jay and I are also big oatmeal fans, as well, so that is another ingredient that I really like to use whenever I am baking cookies. But I’ll stop yacking away and actually give you all the recipe now!

Cookies-3

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks of softened butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of flour
  • ¾ cup of sifted cocoa
  • 1 ½ cups of blended oatmeal
  • 2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • ⅔ cup of coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate

Cookies-8

Step 1

Beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar together until fluffy.

Cookies-13

Step 2

Add eggs and vanilla extract, and mix well.

Cookies-18

Cookies-24

Step 3

In a separate bowl, sift flour, cocoa, blended oatmeal, baking powder, and salt together, and stir into butter mixture. Add chocolate and mix.

Cookies-25

Step 4

Drop batter by rounded tablespoons onto cookie sheets and bake at 325 ͒ F for 8 to 10 minutes.

Cookies-35

Cookies-49

Step 5

Remove baked cookies from the oven, transfer them over to cooling racks and allow them to cool for about 2-3 minutes.

Did I say YUM?! These cookies are a regular in our house and I hope you all love and enjoy the rich, chocolaty goodness, as much as we do. Thanks for reading!