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Baby Update – LONG OVERDUE

OA Tree 9 months BW

(Oliver / Aiden)

I wanted to share more Pomegranate Chocolate Chunk cookie pictures with you but my photog session was hijacked by these 2 cuties.  And then I got sidetracked by adorable babies sitting in front of a christmas tree…..

OA Tree 9 months

(Oliver / Aiden)

OA Tree 9 months2

So easily distracted (Oliver / Aiden)

OA Tree 9 months3

Well that didn’t last long (Oliver / Aiden)

OA Tree 9 months4

Away he goes (Oliver / Aiden)

OA Tree 9 months5

Future Food Photographer….this kid LOVES food already (Oliver)

There have been so many months I’ve wanted to write a baby post for you all.  Share pictures each month, tell you what they are doing, what my life is like day-to-day, etc…..but I’m lucky enough to even remember to take those month to month pictures.  Life was crazy for a while, a long while, like 7 months while and then something wonderful happened.  Naps started lasting longer (not that I don’t love playing with these boys but momma needs a break longer than 20 min sometimes), a schedule started to appear, and the boys are starting to entertain each other while I get some other stuff done.  Which in return frees up some time for my poor neglected blog.  Woop woop!!  I see baking in my very near future!!!!  :)

Since I’ve been so bad about posting, I thought I would give you a recap of our last 9 months in pictures.  Sound good??!?

1 month old

Boys came home from the NICU when they were 3 1/2 weeks old.  Here they are at about 5 weeks

(Me / Aiden / Oliver / Brent)

5 weeks sleeping

Sleeping babies are so adorable – 6 weeks old (Oliver / Aiden)

First Mother's Day

Mother’s Day!!  (Aiden / Oliver)

Father's Day boat rideFather’s Day and the boys’ first boat ride! (Me / Aiden / Oliver / Brent)

Me and boys lakeFirst trip to Devil’s Lake, MI  (Oliver / Aiden)

Firecracker 7kOur first race in the BOB!  Firecracker 7k  (Oliver / Aiden)

My cousin made the race bibs, too cute!!

6 month6 months (Aiden / Oliver)

6 months

6 months (Oliver / Aiden)

Family lake picFirst Family Swim (Me / Aiden / Brent / Oliver)

Heart Health WalkHeart Health 5k…and it was freezing!!  (Aiden / Oliver)

OSU Jerseys

Ready for game day – Go Bucks!  (Aiden / Oliver)

HR Block Ribbon Cuting groupEnd of September we purchased 2 H& R Block locations and moved from NC to OH.  Ribbon cutting ceremony…it’s official!  Never thought I would be so excited for tax season.

HR Block Ribbon CuttingSo proud of Brent!  (Brent / Oliver / Aiden / Me)

OA 8 months Highchairs

Happy boys after their bottle  8 months(Aiden / Oliver)

Oliver 8 months

Oliver and his diaper rag – loves putting that thing on his head – 8 months

Aiden 8 months2Aiden helping me unfold all the clean laundry – 8 months

A tackling O 8 monthsAiden tackling Oliver

OA 9 Months BWBest friends already – 9 months (Oliver / Aiden)

OA Tree 9 months BW

So excited for our 1st christmas as a family!! (Oliver / Aiden)

Hope you enjoyed the picture roll!  As you can tell, the boys don’t miss a meal and they are strong and healthy!  You would never know they were 7 weeks early!  Weighing in at about 22 lbs each and finally starting to thin out now that they are army crawling around the house.  Who needs a gym membership, just get yourself a chunky baby or two.  :)  ps….Can someone please point me in the direction of the “pause button”?  Life is going way to fast!

I hope to be gracing your computer screen often with either yummy food photos or adorable baby pics!!  Hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season so far!  :)

fbcookieswap_white

Cookies have been sent, pictures have been taken and now it’s time to share this years Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap cookie!  I bring you Pomegranate Chocolate Chunk Cookies!  I’ll elaborate on these beauties in a minute.  I was so excited when I got the email reminding me to sign up for this years swap.  I haven’t exactly been the baking machine I was in the past, but signing up for the swap meant I HAD to bake some cookies or I would be on the naughty list.  Signing up also meant I would receive 3 dozen cookies from other fab bloggers.  Win, win people!  Win, Win!!

Pom_Choc_Chunk

The first dozen I received was a Chocolate Walnut Cookie, I think it was.  Unfortunately it didn’t have a name or description, but they were good!!  It was a really cold day when they were delivered and they sat outside for a few hours before I realized my first cookie swap had arrived.  They were chilled from being outside and that’s actually how we preferred them.  So back in the fridge they went.  Brent was a big fan of these!  The next batch I received was from Hannah of Fleur-De-Licious.  Hannah sent me Pistachio and Cranberry Mexican Wedding Cakes.  I loved this cookie for 2 reasons:  1) it was out of the ordinary and unlike anything I have tried before and 2) they were good obviously!  The name immediately had me intrigued.  I’m definitely bookmarking the recipe to try for future reference.  My last dozen was a Whole Wheat Cranberry Chocolate Chip cookie from Lauren over at Sizzle Eats.  I’ve never baked with Whole Wheat before but I will say I didn’t feel nearly as guilty eating these cookies as I normally do.  Another thing to add to the to-do list, bake with whole wheat flour.  Thanks for all the yummy cookies ladies!

Pom_Choc_Chunk_pom

What about my cookies you ask?!?  They were good!!  Like really good!  Chocolatey, gooey, and little bits of juicy tartness.  I was slightly skeptical because I have never baked with pomegranate seeds.  To be honest, I’ve never bought a pomegranate or had pomegranate seeds until last week.  Not that I can recall at least.  They are my new favorite thing!  The pomegranate itself is a bit of a hassle to work with, but those seeds are so worth it.  Chocolate and pomegranate, you make a delightful combo.  Marking this one down to make again very soon!!  Wonder what else I can combine with these seeds??

(Printable Recipe)

Pomegranate Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee, granules
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp POM juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the instant coffee, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

3.  In a small glass bowl, combine chopped chocolate and butter.  Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir frequently until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.  Remove bowl from heat.

4. In large bowl, beat the sugar, eggs, POM juice, and vanilla extract until combined, about 2-3 minutes. Slowly add in flour mixture until batter is thick and smooth. Be careful not to over mix. Fold in the melted chocolate. Stir in the chocolate chips and pomegranate seeds. Using a medium scoop (about 1 1/2 tbsp) place dough onto prepared baking sheets. Bake until slightly puffed and the tops begin to crack, 12 to 14 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool completely on the baking sheets and serve.

Oh heeeyyy!  Where do I even begin?!?!  Clearly it’s been forever since my last post, and even longer since my last food post.  Life has been CRAZY!!  But in all the best ways.  These boys are definitely keeping me busy and I am loving every minute of being a mom.  More on those precious babies later though…..in the mean time here’s a peak at how big they are getting!

Image

I’ve only baked like 4 times since January!  4 times people!!!!  Oy vey!  Needless to say, my creative juices weren’t flowing so I turned to one of my favorite baking blogs.  Jamie, over at My Baking Addiction, always has amazing recipes.  Her blog is one of my go-to’s and I can always count on the recipe to be a hit!

Image

These cookies are AMAZING!!!  They are chocolaty, peanut buttery, soft with a slightly crisp edge, and all around delightful!  I was a little worried about the stuffed Reese’s Cup because I’ve had bad luck before with stuffing cookies but no problems at all this time.  Make sure to let the dough balls freeze for 15-20 minutes before baking to insure they don’t flatten out and become a runny mess.  I may or may not have eaten 3 of them within a matter of like 20 minutes. So.Good!

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Reese’s Cup Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe from My Baking Addiction

(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli 60% Cacao Chocolate Chips)
  • 30 Reese’s Miniature Peanut Butter Cups, frozen for atleast 2 hours

Directions

1.  In a large bowl, beat butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla on medium speed until light and fluffy, approx. 2-3 minutes.  Mix in flour, baking soda and salt.  Stir in chocolate chips.

2.  Measure dough using a medium cookie scoop (about 2 tbsp).  Roll dough into a ball and then flatten in the palm of your hand.

3.  Place a frozen Reese’s Cup in the center of flattened dough and then roll back into a ball.

4.  Place dough balls in freezer for about 15-20 minutes.  After first batch is in the freezer, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

5.  Place frozen dough balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, about 3 inches apart.  I got 6 dough balls on each sheet.

6.  Bake 15-18 minutes or until edges start to turn golden brown, centers of the cookie will be soft.  Cool on pan for atleast 3-5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.

Notes:

  • Cookies store in an airtight container will be good for 2-3 days.  
  • I baked my cookies for 15 minutes and allowed to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring.  Keep an eye on the cookies, each oven bakes differently and you don’t want them to get overdone.

BABIES!!

Well…..it’s been sometime since I have posted a new pregnancy update and even longer since I have posted about any sort of food.  Although the food posts will continue one of these days, the pregnancy posts have come to an end.  I am so excited to share with you all that we had TWO BOYS!!!  I’ll post a birth story (it was a crazy one) soon but I wanted to give you all a quick update on us.  The boys decided to join our world on March 5 (at only 33 weeks) and we have been smitten ever since.  They just couldn’t wait to get here.  The boys were admitted into the NICU and have been doing great!  Making progress every day!  They are now both off oxygen and starting to increase their bottle feedings which is great news!  Still no word on when they might be able to come home but that’s ok. We are on their schedule and learning a great deal of patience.  Oliver and Aiden would like to say hello to the blog world:

Oliver Thomas was born at 2:10pm, 4lbs 10oz, 19in long 

Aiden Douglas was born at 2:23pm, 5lbs 7oz, 19in long

Thank you all so much for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers!!  

32 WEEKS

32 weeks, ya’ll!!  So excited to have reached this point.  4 more weeks until I am full term!  It’s getting real people, very very real!  The car seats are in the back and I am starting to make a list of what to pack for the hospital.  Next up, work on the play list.

I miss being in my kitchen so much!!  I can’t remember the last time I baked something and because of the heartburn even dinners are nothing exciting.  This weekend is free again so hopefully I can whip something up.  If you guys have any ideas of cookie combinations, brownies, or anything relatively simple let me know.  Thank you so much for sticking this out with me!  I do promise to be back…..

Check out the latest on the pregnancy!!

(picture is from 31 weeks)

30 WEEKS

Can you believe that full term for twins is 36 weeks, which means we only have 6 weeks left!!  I’m really hoping to make it to 37-38 weeks but still….it’s getting close! So sorry for the lack of posts lately.  The weekends have been busy and I don’t have the energy once I get home from work to make anything.  We don’t have any plans this weekend, so I’m hoping to bring you guys a few things next week!  :)  Hop on over to my Bites of Life section and read up on the latest…….

Apple Baked Oatmeal Cups

There are sooo many mornings that I am rushing out the door.  Like way too many!  One would think I would learn my lesson and do simple things like pick out my outfit the night before, pack my lunch before/after I pick out said outfit, iron, you get the picture.  But no.  Instead I somehow find some weird thrill in constantly feeling rushed.

I need to have more of these Apple Baked Oatmeal Cups in my life.  They are are a great grab-n-go breakfast item or mid-morning snack.  The best part is that I know they are healthy.  One less thing to worry about while deciding on what to pack for lunch.  I thought they were best slightly warmed up and with a little bit of almond butter/peanut butter to up the protein factor.  Hope you enjoy these oatmeal cups as much as we did!

(Printable Recipe)

Apple Baked Oatmeal Cups

Recipe adapted from With Style and Grace

Ingredients

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (skim, soy, rice, almond, etc)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 apple, cored, peeled, and cut into small 1/2″ pieces
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray cupcake pan with cooking spray and set aside.

2.  In a large bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  Set aside.

3.  In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, applesauce, and egg.  Add wet ingredients to the oat mixture and stir until combined.  Gently fold in apple pieces and cranberries.

4.  Fill each cupcake well about 3/4 full.  Bake for 30-40 minutes or until tops are browned and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

5.  Let cool in pan for 15 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.

Notes:

  • You might need to run a knife around the outside of the oatmeal cups to loosen.
  • Best served warm.  Reheat in microwave for 10-15 seconds and enjoy with a smear of peanut butter, nuts, milk, etc
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