Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

IMG_7777IMG_7761I have not always been a “cookie” girl…I preferred cake, ice-cream, brownies or really any other dessert.  To me, there were so many other interesting desserts that caught my attention until I married my husband.  He is a “cookie” guy :)  I swear, there can be the most gourmet and decadent desserts around and he will go for the classic chocolate chip cookie.  

I kind of get it now, I love a good cookie.  Now that we have kids and they LOVE cookies as well, I am always on the hunt for the best cookies in town.  They don’t have to be fancy, actually I prefer them to be classic flavors, just the best flavor.  Texture is a big thing for me as well…edges need to have a little crunch, center needs to be soft and chewy and they cannot be overly sweet.

Chocolate chip oatmeal cookies filled with semisweet chocolate chips, chopped pecans, a dash of cinnamon and a pinch of sea salt on top is now one of my favorites!  After a few rounds of different oatmeal cookies, some plain and some with peanut butter, this was the winning combination.

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Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Yields 8
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
  2. 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  3. 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  4. 1 egg
  5. 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  6. 1/2 tsp baking Soda
  7. 1/2 tsp salt
  8. 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  9. 1/2 tsp vanilla Extract
  10. 1 1/2 cups oats
  11. 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  12. 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  13. sea salt (optional garnish)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In a bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and oatmeal (set aside)
  3. In a mixing bowl with paddle attachment cream the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth
  4. Add egg and vanilla extract into butter mixture and mix until fully combined
  5. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and beat until smooth
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips and pecans
  7. Scoop dough into 3 ounce balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet
  8. Gently press the top of the dough ball down (just to take the dome away)
  9. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on the top of each cookie (optional)
  10. Bake for 15-16 minutes, the edges will become golden brown and the centers will still be light in color
  11. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
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No Tricks Just Halloween Treats

img_5389I love Halloween, not for the scary and spooky stuff, for the creativity it brings out of everyone.  Starting with costumes,  it is so fun to see my girls coming up with what they want to dress up as.  As a mom it is hard not to want to tell them what they should be or what costume would be the cutest, but really it is the best when they come up with their own ideas.  

Working up Halloween treats in the kitchen is the same, the more creative the better. Halloween is not a serious or elegant holiday so why not be a little crazy and have fun with it.  This year I am focused on treats that you and your kids will enjoy and get their hands a little dirty with.

Black and White Chocolate Bark is a simple treats you and your kids can make together.  With nearly no recipe needed at all, find whatever Halloween candy or salty sweet combination you like and sprinkle over melted dark and white chocolate.img_5391

Candy corn and caramel corn both scream fall and why not combine the two for a delicious snack that you won’t be able to stop eating.  Candy Corn Caramel Crunch combines all of my favorites, popcorn, buttery caramel, roasted peanuts, candy corn and drizzled with chocolate.  Serve in a bowl for your guests or package up for a perfect school treat for friends.img_5317

If you are hosting friends on Halloween Orange Fizz Punch is refreshing before or after trick or treating.  Frozen orange sherbet topped with pineapple juice and lemon lime soda ending with a fizz is decadent and sweet, it can even be dessert! img_5449

Keep Halloween stress free with these three kid and adult friendly recipes that will bring your creative juices out!  

Black and White Chocolate Bark
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 8 ounces Semisweet Chocolate
  2. 8 ounces White Chocolate
  3. Candy Corn
  4. Sixlets
  5. Pretzels
  6. Candy Corn M&M
  7. Peanuts
Instructions
  1. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  2. Melt semisweet chocolate in a double boiler, stirring until chocolate is melted
  3. (remove one ounce of semisweet chocolate and save)
  4. Pour onto a prepared baking sheet and spread to be even and smooth
  5. Allow the semisweet chocolate layer to cool
  6. Melt white chocolate in a double boiler, stirring until chocolate is melted
  7. Pour the white chocolate over the semisweet chocolate layer and spread evenly to cover the semisweet chocolate
  8. While the white chocolate is still melted, drizzle the extra semisweet chocolate in rows onto the white chocolate and take a toothpick to spread the semisweet chocolate through the white chocolate
  9. Immediately sprinkle the toppings; candy corn, sixlets, pretzels, M&M’s and peanuts over the white and dark chocolate.
  10. Allow the bark to cool completely, approximately 1 hour, before breaking it into pieces
  11. Package for gifts or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
Candy Corn Caramel Crunch
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter
  2. 1 Cup Light Brown Sugar
  3. 1/4 Cup Light Corn Syrup
  4. 1 tsp Salt
  5. 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  6. 8 Cups Popcorn, Popped
  7. 1 Cup Candy Corn
  8. 1/2 Cup Unsalted Peanuts
  9. 1 Cup Semi Sweet Chocolate, melted
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F
  2. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  3. In a large Saucepan, melt butter completely
  4. Stir in light brown sugar and light corn syrup and stir until fully combined
  5. Bring butter mixture to a rolling boil and boil for 5 minutes without stirring the caramel mixture
  6. Continue cooking for 5-8 minutes or until the mixture comes to a desired caramel color
  7. Turn the heat off and stir in the salt and baking soda
  8. Slowly pour in the popped popcorn and peanuts and toss until completely coated
  9. Spread the caramel corn onto a sheet pan 
Bake for 15 minutes until the caramel becomes a deep amber color
  10. Remove the sheet pan from the oven and immediately sprinkle with candy corn and drizzle with semi sweet chocolate
  11. Once the caramel corn has cooled, break the pieces into small chucks
  12. Package the candy corn caramel crunch for gifts or store in an air tight container
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
Orange Fizz Punch
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 1 quart Orange Sherbet
  2. 1 Can (46 ounces) Pineapple Juice
  3. 2 Cups Orange Juice
  4. 1 Liters Lemon Lime Soda
  5. Garnish: Halloween Sprinkles
Instructions
  1. In a large punch bowl, combine pineapple juice, orange juice and lemon lime soda
  2. Right before you are ready to serve add orange sherbet to the punch bowl
  3. Serve the punch in individual glasses and top it off with a splash of lemon lime soda to create the fizz!
  4. Garnish with halloween sprinkles and a straw
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/

Waffles…Morning, Noon or Night!

waffles 1As young as I can remember and now raising my own family, I find it very important that we all sit down to eat, rather than grabbing and going. As our lives are getting busier and busier with early morning school routine and all the extracurricular activities it is becoming harder to insure that all our meals are enjoyed at the table. Menu planning, prepping and stocking the fridge and freezer is the best way I know how to to quickly get everyone fed with whole, natural and nutritious ingredients.

Although I would love to have a three course meal ready on all occasions, that is not likely at this stage in our life and I am totally fine with that. Breakfast for dinner, dinner for lunch, or an array of appetizers for any meal is what you might find in my kitchen, but the girls are happy and we are fed!

Breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert, waffles are a favorite in my family. There is something so comforting about a homemade waffles, whether you are enjoying them alone or garnishing them with eggs, bacon, prosciutto, roasted bananas, chocolate or anything other toppings of your choice. The crisp outside and soft doughy center makes for a perfect meal. Two of my go to waffle combinations is thinly sliced prosciutto and shaved gruyere cheese for a savory twist and on the sweeter side, roasted bananas topped with a butterscotch syrup.waffles 2

The beauty of waffles is that they can be found all over the world. These perfectly shaped treats are on restaurant menus of all cuisines. From steakhouses, southern to American fine dining, waffles are sure to make you feel like a kid again.waffles 3

Classic Waffle
Yields 10
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Ingredients
  1. 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  2. 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
  3. 1/2 tsp Salt
  4. 4 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
  5. 1 1/2 Cups Whole Milk
  6. 2 Eggs, Separated
  7. 1/2 Cup Butter, Melted
Instructions
  1. Preheat the waffle iron
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl
  3. In a separate bowl whisk egg yolks and milk and whisk into dry ingredients
  4. Pour the melted butter into flour mixture and mix until fully combined
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks and slowly add in granulated sugar
  6. Gently fold egg whites into batter just until combined, do not over mix or the batter will deflate
  7. Scoop the desired amount of batter onto a greased and warmed waffle iron and cook until golden brown (use according to the manufacture of your iron)
  8. Remove waffle when ready and serve immediately or freeze the extra waffles!
Notes
  1. Prosciutto & Gruyere Waffle
  2. Make the classic waffle recipe
  3. Whisk in 1/2 cup shredded gruyere cheese into the waffle batter
  4. Scoop the batter into waffle iron until golden brown
  5. Remove waffle from the iron and garnish with thinly sliced prosciutto, shredded gruyere and chopped chives
  6. Serve immediately!
  7. Roasted Banana & Caramel Waffles
  8. Heat oven to 350 degrees F
  9. Slice bananas into 1/2” thick banana rounds and place on a foil lined sheet pan
  10. Sprinkle the bananas with granulated sugar and roast for 10-15 minutes or until bananas are soft and sugar is bubbling.
  11. While the bananas are roasting, make the classic waffle recipe
  12. Whisk in 1/2 cup chopped pecans into waffle batter
  13. Scoop batter into waffle iron until golden brown
  14. Remove waffle from the iron and garnish with roasted bananas, toasted pecan pieces and caramel sauce of your choice
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
Some of my favorite waffles around Dallas:

Nick and Sam’s Steakhouse
Brioche Waffle on Fois Gras
Jalapeño Cheddar Waffle on a Southern Fried Quail Egg with Molasses Syrup

Hatties
Buttermilk Fried Chicken over a Belgium Waffle with Red Pepper Flake Syrup

Del Frisco’s Grill
Red Velvet Belgium Waffle with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese

Double Dose Bakery
www.doubledosebakery.com
100% Grain Free and Gluten Free Frozen Waffles shipped to your door!

Favorite Waffle Irons
Breville No Mess Classic Round Waffle Maker

All Clad Belgian Waffle Maker

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It’s The Cherry On Top

As we are dreaming of warmer weather and sunny skies (here in Texas), this oh so simple and kid approved Ice Cream recipe will brighten your days and fill your bellies with joy!

Pouring silky custard into a churning ice cream machine will be the start to one of the most rewarding recipes you make in your kitchen. Begin with the perfect ice cream base, and the flavor combinations are endless. This recipe will bring out the creative side of your whole family with flavors of lavender and honey or traditional cookies and cream. You will be enjoying your favorite frozen treat all summer long. SONY DSC SONY DSC

 

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Base
Yields 1
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Ingredients
  1. 2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
  2. 1 ½ Cups Whole Milk
  3. ¾ Cup Granulated Sugar
  4. 5 Egg Yolks
  5. 1 Vanilla Bean, halved and seeds scraped
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan whisk together cream, milk, half of the sugar and the vanilla bean seeds; bring to a boil
  2. While the cream mixture is heating up, whisk the egg yolks and remaining sugar in a bowl until thick and pale in color
  3. Once the cream mixture has come to a slight boil, add about 1/3 of the mixture to the egg mixture and whisk until fully combined
  4. Slowly add the egg mixture to the remaining cream and stir until mixture becomes thick (do not bring cream/egg mixture to a boil); immediately strain custard
  5. Cover and allow the ice cream base to cool at room temperature and then refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight
  6. Pour ice cream base into ice cream machine and churn (follow manufactures directions)
  7. Once ice cream is frozen, slowly add your choice of ingredients
Notes
  1. Flavor Add In
  2. Cookies and Cream
  3. Add 1 cup crushed chocolate cookie sandwiches
  4. Birthday Cake
  5. Add 1 cup crumbled baked vanilla cake and ½ cup rainbow sprinkles
  6. Honey Lavender
  7. Remove ¼ cup granulated sugar from recipe
  8. Once ice cream is frozen, drizzle in ¼ cup of honey and 2 Tbsp dried lavender
  9. Salted Peanut Butter Crunch
  10. Add 1 Cup creamy peanut butter to the egg and sugar mixture
  11. Once frozen, add ½ cup crushed pretzel pieces and 1 cup mini peanut butter cups
  12. Mint Brownie Chunk
  13. Once cream/milk mixture has come to a boil, add in ½ cup fresh mint leave and allow the cream to steep for 30 minutes. Pour the mint infused
  14. cream into a blender and then bring back to a boil before tempering into egg mixture
  15. Fold 1½ cup of baked brownie chunks into mint ice cream
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
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Dressing the Table…Monkey Style

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

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Almond Butter & Jelly Bars

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
Instructions
  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/

Fruit Leather

Peach + MangoSONY DSC

This is the perfect snack with the perfect ingredients and my girls loved it! They always seem be eating some type of fruit snack (which sounds really great and healthy) but when you actually look into the store bought fruit leather or fruit by the yard, there is so much added sugar and other unknown ingredients that totally takes away from the FRUIT in fruit snack. In this homemade, all fresh ingredient fruit leather, there is no added sugar and can be made with a large variety of fruits, fresh or frozen.  I have made two flavors that our family has enjoyed; Peach+ Mango is one of my favorites with flavors that make you feel like you are eating a pie and Strawberries+Mint will provide a refreshing taste for both kids and adults.  I love adding herbs and spices into snacks, allowing our girls to be familiar with other flavor profiles.  I hope you enjoy these easy clean sweets as much as we have!   

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Peach Mango Fruit Leather
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups fresh peaches, sliced (skin removed)
  2. 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen mango, cubed
  3. 1 Tbsp honey
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F and prepare sheet pan with silpat
  2. In a blender combine the peaches, mangos, and honey
  3. Blend until perfectly smooth
  4. Pour pureed fruit onto the sheet pan
  5. Bake at 200 degrees F for 5-6 hours
  6. Allow the fruit leather to cool completely
  7. Cut into 1 1/2" strips and roll with wax paper
  8. Store in air tight container
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/

Strawberry + MintSONY DSC

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SONY DSCStrawberries + Honey + Mint are the flavors that I chose for this recipe, but it can be made  with a variety of different fruits.  Peach, Mango, and  Mixed Berry are the next flavors on my list to make.  Hope you enjoy these easy clean sweets as much as we have! 

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Strawberry Mint Fruit Leather
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Ingredients
  1. 3 cups fresh strawberries, stems removed
  2. 1 Tbsp honey
  3. 4 mint leaves
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F and prepare sheet pan with silpat
  2. In a blender combine the strawberries, honey and mint leaves
  3. Blend until perfectly smooth
  4. Pour pureed fruit onto the sheet pan
  5. Bake at 200 degrees F for 5-6 hours
  6. Allow the fruit leather to cool completely
  7. Cut into 1 1/2" strips and roll with wax paper
  8. Store in air tight container
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/

Blueberry Orange Crumb Muffins

SONY DSCBreakfast is a big deal in our family.  We love to eat it, but during the week, have a hard time getting it ready before we are headed out the door.  On the weekends we take our time and usually make a feast for 20, but only feeding 4!  So my goal has been to get some staple recipes down that can be made ahead and the whole family will enjoy.  SONY DSCThese blueberry orange muffins have been a favorite of mine and so quick and easy to make, no mixer required.  I love the moist crumb of this specific muffin with the blueberries in every bite, a touch of orange flavor and the crunchiest brown sugar streusel.SONY DSCSONY DSC

Blueberry Orange Crumb Muffins
Yields 10
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Ingredients
  1. 1 large orange (1/3 cup juice)
  2. 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  3. 1/2 cup milk, whole
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  6. 1 cup light brown sugar
  7. 1 tbsp baking powder
  8. 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  9. 1 cup frozen blueberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Zest orange and set aside; then juice the orange to measure 1/3 cup
  3. Whisk together oil, milk, orange juice, zest and eggs in a medium bowl
  4. Whisk the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt together in another bowl
  5. Add liquids to dry ingredients and stir until combined; do not over mix
  6. Fold in the frozen blueberries (keep them frozen)
  7. Using an ice cream scoop (2 1/2"), scoop the batter into muffin pan lined with muffin cups
  8. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with a generous portion of crumb topping (see recipe below)
  9. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes
  10. Cool in pan before serving
Adapted from Sarabeth's Bakery
Adapted from Sarabeth's Bakery
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
Crumb Topping
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Ingredients
  1. 6 tbsp all purpose flour
  2. 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  3. 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  4. 2 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  5. 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon, melted butter and vanilla extract with your fingers in a small bowl until combined and crumbly
  2. Sprinkle on muffins once they are scooped into the pans
  3. Bake according to muffin recipe
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
 

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