Dressing the Table…Monkey Style

by admin on March 9, 2015

Last weekend, we celebrated Adele’s 2nd birthday…time goes so fast!  One of my favorite times of the year is when I get to plan my girl’s birthday party.  I know planning a party is not always easy and so much time and effort goes into a few hours that is over before you know it, but it is all worth it when you see the excitement of the birthday girl or boy and all the guest that have come to celebrate!  To make party planning a little easier, I have several of my go to places to get some of the cutest supplies that will make your table a piece of art.  Here are some of favorites that made Adele’s Curious George birthday party a success.  Curious George Birthday Party

 silly yellow bananas, Red Glitter Number, Felt Fetti, Polkadot Napkin, Balloon Table Runner, Polkadot Plates, Balloon Table Confetti, Confetti Balloon, Felt Yellow Hat, Curious George Book
 Party Menu 
Monkey Bread
Monkey & Banana Shortbread Cookies
Banana Nut Muffins
Banana Pudding Shots
Pigs in a Blanket
Donut Holes
Birthday Cake
Water Bottles and Table Cards by Joy Creative Shop



Finger Food that Pops-Herb Goat Cheese Poppers

by kristen massad on March 3, 2015

SONY DSCHappy March!!  It’s hard to believe that Spring is quickly approaching but I have to say, I am looking forward to a little sunshine around here!  We have had such a mild winter in Texas, but the past few weeks have made me want spring more than ever…now lets start planning our warm weather parties!

 A table covered in gourmet appetizers provides the perfect setting for a spring gathering. At the beginning of this new season, freshen up your menus with bite-size finger food, ideal for sharing or passing. With only five ingredients, herb goat cheese poppers keep it simple and small but full of flavor.



Herb Goat Cheese Poppers
Yields 24
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  1. 1 (8 ounce) log soft herb goat cheese
  2. 1 large egg
  3. ½ cup flour
  4. ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  5. 2 cups canola oil
  1. 1. Place flour, whisked egg and panko breadcrumbs each in individual bowls (do not mix together). Roll goat cheese into 24 balls (1 heaping teaspoon each).
  2. 2. Dip each goat cheese ball in flour, dip in egg and roll in panko; place each ball on a baking sheet and refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.
  3. 3. Heat oil in a small deep saucepan until it reaches 350 degrees F. Drop goat cheese balls into oil in batches of 4-6 at a time until golden and crisp on the outside. Remove balls with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain.
  4. 4. Serve goat cheese poppers immediately with your choice of dipping sauce.
  1. Dipping Sauce (optional)
  2. Blackberry honey (pictured)
  3. Marinara sauce
  4. Balsamic reduction
  5. Sweet chili sauce
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/



Almond Butter & Jelly Bars

by kristen massad on February 9, 2015

SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCFeeling very excited over here…I have come up with a recipe that I love as much as my kids do and it can be eaten at breakfast or dessert and I don’t feel bad about it!  

If you are like our family, we have a serious love for “PEANUT BUTTER AND  jelly” (we like to sing it around here:) and sometimes it is a battle to get Sophie to want anything else for lunch.  So I have been working on a recipe that she will love just as much, but could be a healthy addition to her breakfast routine…and I did it! Yay!  Although, for this recipe I have removed the peanut butter and replaced it with almond butter for so many more wonderful benefits.  

After teaming up with Nuts.com and learning all the  health benefits that go along with almonds (and they taste amazing as well), these bars got even better.

The addition of almond butter, to replace peanut butter and almond flour, to replace all purpose flour,  you are treating yourself to a high protein and gluten free treat…and your kids will love it as well!!

Check out Nuts.com for over 2,000 items that can be shipped straight to you.

Almond Butter & Jelly Bars
Yields 15
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Bar Recipe
  1. 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter
  2. 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  3. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  4. 1 large eggs
  5. 1 cup almond butter
  6. 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  7. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  8. 1/2 tsp salt
  9. 1 cup strawberry jam (or flavor of your choice)
Crumble Recipe
  1. 1 cup almond flour
  2. 2 tbsp sugar
  3. 1 tsp salt
  4. 4 tbsp butter, melted
  5. 1/3 cup almonds, slivered
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper
  3. In a large bowl with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy
  4. Add vanilla extract, eggs and almond butter and mix until combined
  5. Slowly add almond flour, baking powder and salt to almond butter mixture and mix just until combined
  6. Spread the 3/4 of the batter evenly into prepared pan with a spatula
  7. Spread the strawberry jam over batter
  8. Drop small globs of the remaining dough over the strawberry jam
  9. Make the crumble topping and sprinkle to cover top of jam
  10. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden
  11. Cool in pan before cutting into squares or hearts
Crumble Topping
  1. In a small bowl combine the almond flour, sugar, salt and melted butter and stir until it comes together
  2. Stir in the slivered almonds
  3. Sprinkle over jam
  4. Make crumble topping and sprinkle to cover the top
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/


Chocolate Chip Zucchini Mini Loaf

by kristen massad on February 6, 2015

SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCOn a daily basis, I am looking for a great alternative for a quick snack that my girls will think is a little extra special, but also has some health benefits!  This recipe has a dense brownie texture, sprinkled with mini chocolate chips and loaded with shredded zucchini (a small amount of veggies goes a long way with kids!)  After a great day at school or eating all of their dinner, these mini loaves are perfect for the whole family to share.

In the spirit of Valentines day, I also love gifting these individual goodies!

I am addicted to my mini loaf pans because I can make some for my family and share the rest with others…the best of both worlds!  (our sweet 2 year old obviously couldn’t keep her hands off of them :)

Enjoy !

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Mini Loaf
Yields 6
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  1. 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini, raw
  2. 1 cup all purpose flour
  3. 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  4. 3/4 tsp baking soda
  5. 1/4 tsp baking powder
  6. 1/4 tsp salt
  7. 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  8. 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  9. 2 large eggs
  10. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  11. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  12. 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  13. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Grate the zucchini using a medium size grater or a food processor with attachment, set aside
  3. In a large bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon
  4. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, sugars and vanilla extract
  5. Whisk the flour mixture into the egg mixture until combined
  6. Fold in the shredded zucchini and mini chocolate chips
  7. Grease the mini loaf pans and fill with batter 3/4 full
  8. Bake until toothpick comes out clean, approx. 20-25 minutes
  9. Let bread cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pans
  10. Store bread at room temperature for several days or freeze!
Adapted from Joy of Baking
Adapted from Joy of Baking
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/



Blood Orange Bars

by kristen massad on February 2, 2015

SONY DSCSONY DSCHappy February!!!  I can’t believe we are already one month into the year.  I am not sure about you, but my January felt like a whirlwind and I am pretty sure I am officially starting my New Year now!  I think it’s ok to reset now, right?  

We have less than 14 days to get ready for our Valentine celebrations and this recipe is a must.  Blood orange bars might have my heart over lemon bars right now.  The color, the sweet and tart flavor, the buttery crust and did I mention the color…so perfect!

Blood Orange Bars
Yields 20
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  1. 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  2. 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  3. 1 1/2 sticks of butter, cold
  1. 6 eggs
  2. 3 cups granulated sugar
  3. zest of 2 blood oranges
  4. 1 cup fresh blood orange juice
  5. 1 cup all purpose flour
  6. powdered sugar for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F
  1. Combine flour and sugar in a large bowl with paddle attachment
  2. Slowly cut in cold butter until dough is crumbly and looks like a course crumb
  3. Press the dough into a 9x13 baking pan until crust looks even and covers the entire bottom of pan
  4. Bake crust for 20-25 minutes, until golden
  5. Allow crust to cool for 10-15 minutes before pouring the filling in
  1. Beat eggs and granulated sugar until combined
  2. Add in zest, blood orange juice and flour and mix until smooth
  3. Pour over baked crust and spread evenly
  4. Bake until edges are golden approximately 30 minutes
  5. Allow the bars to cool completely and refrigerate for 30-40 minutes before removing the bars from the pan and cutting into 2" squares
  6. Dust the top of each bar with powdered sugar
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/