09/19/13
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broiled caprese tomatoes

alternate post title: just a mom day with yummy food

Yesterday we didn’t have much planned.  No places to go, people to see or things to do.  After breakfast Hunter, Norah (the 8 month old l I watch 3 days a week) and I walked to the park.  It was a little bit sunny, but the grass was still damp from the dew overnight.  Although I laid a blanket out, no one stayed on it.  Why would they, there’s so much to explore at the park!  So many sticks and pine cones to pick up!  Some pictures:

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It was so much fun.  I spent most of the time chasing after Hunter.  He was all over the place!  Once home they both went down for naps and I started cutting out bibs.  Around 11:30am I began to feel hungry for lunch, so instead of sitting down for that I made myself a little snack to tide me over for a bit (I like eating lunch with Hunter).  I have tons of tomatoes from my sister in law Chelbe, so four of them got put to good use.

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Caprese salad was on my mind, however, I didn’t have fresh basil or fresh mozzarella.  No problem!  I had dried herbs and not fresh grated mozzarella on hand.  There’s really no recipe for this – just more of a process.

Cover your baking sheet with parchment paper + a little drizzle of olive oil.  Lay your tomato slices on top and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.  Add about 1 tbsp grated mozzarella on top of each slice, then generously sprinkle dried basil over them.

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Broil at 500 degrees for about 5 minutes.  I kept a close eye on them to make sure my cheese didn’t burn.  Once the cheese was melted and beginning to slightly brown in a few spots I pulled them out.

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The tomatoes were warm and everything was cooked perfectly together.  Totally an acceptable snack to stand over the stove and eat straight from the pan.  Actually, I highly encourage that.  They make a great side and would be a wonderful appetizer to share as well.  Just eat them when warm since they’re best then.

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The rest of the day was pretty mellow.  We played, I baked these pumpkin spice honey cookies (delish) and hung out as a family at home the rest of the evening.

Today it’s back to reality with BodyPump this morning, then sculpt and tone a little bit later.  I’m excited to get a bit more moving in today and share the cookies I baked yesterday with a class. :)

How do you spend your day when you have nothing on the agenda?  Are you a caprese fan?

Heather

The cookbook giveaway winner will be announced tomorrow, so hurry and enter if you haven’t yet!

07/18/13
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cocoa peanut date balls

Yesterday was a glorious day.  I had no plans, no teaching and no agenda.  Hunter’s been a little under the weather the past couple of days so it was nice to be able to be home to give him lots of opportunity to sleep.  I woke at 5am with the hubs (not normally when I get up), made him coffee and food to take and then instead of going back to bed, I was awake and got to the day!

Coffee, first breakfast (toasted whole wheat english muffin sandwich with cream cheese, an egg with cheese) and my daily devotional to start the day.

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It was perfect for that day, because while I did have lots of busyness going on, I didn’t feel rushed or overwhelmed like I normally would.

After that,  I turned into a crazy cleaning lady.  First I started inside by making the bed and folding + putting away two loads of laundry.  I also picked up the clothes, empty glasses and random things around our bedroom.

Then around 7am I went outside.  I watered the front lawn, cut down a bunch of black berry vines, pulled weeds, trimmed a tree + some bushes and even picked up dog poop from the back yard.  All before it got too hot outside and prior to Hunter waking for the day.

Around 8:15am Hunter woke.  We had breakfast (breakfast #2 for me) then went for a walk outside.

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Hunter started to fall asleep right before we got home, so I put him into bed when we returned.  Then I continued to clean!

It was time for the downstairs bathroom.  Shower scrubbed, shower liner replaced, outside shower curtain washed (because I accidentally squirted bleach on it… whoops!) toilet cleaned, sink and mirror cleaned, and the floor swept + mopped.  Then I showered myself.

Before lunch I made some healthy treats, which I’m going to share after all my ramblings + I cleaned up the kitchen.  Hunter woke around 12:15pm and we ate lunch – grilled avocado and cheese + orange slices + a green smoothie for him.

I put the peel from our orange slices + some rosemary from the yard into a pot with some water and turned it on low.   The house smelled divine.

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We went to a couple stores to get out of the house, but by 2pm Hunter was sleepy again, so back home.  He went down for his long nap around 2:30pm and that lasted until around 5:45pm.  That boy sure is sleepy when he doesn’t feel well!

During that time I only did a few more things: picked up the downstairs hall a bit, unloaded the dishwasher from running it earlier, took out all the recycling, emptied the garbage cans throughout the house, relaxed for quite some time on pinterest, folded two more loads of laundry and made these peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.

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YUM.

It was a packed day, but since I didn’t have any kind of agenda it actually felt pretty relaxed.  I didn’t feel busy, I just did what I wanted to do.  And normally I never clean this much… so this was not very Heather like.

Now onto the treats!  I’ve had a hankering for some chocolatey date balls.  Last week when I was in the bulk section I stocked up on dates and peanuts.  I remembered to soak my dates early on in the morning (which is key!), which made them come together quickly.  They are best stored in the fridge to harden up.  Enjoy!

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Cocoa Peanut Date Balls

makes about 20 balls (depending on size)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dates (soaked for at least 2 hours in water)
  • 1.5 cups dry roasted peanuts (unsalted)
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • pinch of sea salt

Directions

  1. In the food processor pulse the dates (excess water from soaking drained) until they turn into a smooth paste.  Remove and place in a bowl.
  2. Add the peanuts to the food processor and pulse until they are broken into small pieces (just don’t go too long or it will turn into peanut butter!).
  3. Add the dates back in, along with the cocoa powder + sea salt.  Pulse until everything is combined.
  4. Place plastic wrap on a baking sheet or cutting board.  Roll into balls (slightly smaller than golf ball size), and place on baking sheet.  Store in the fridge to harden up.

Do you ever have days like that where you just go crazy cleaning?  Have you made date balls before?  What’s your favorite flavor combo?  Another recipe I love are these almond, date and coconut balls.  Sooooo good.

Not much cleaning planned for today… 3 classes to teach.   Have a wonderful Thursday all!

Heather

06/27/12
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peanut butter coconut no bake oat bars

Thank you everyone who chimmed in on yesterday’s pumping and milk supply talk!  All the great tips, advice and hearing how it went for other mamas was appreciated.

One thing that’s surprised me since having a baby is the amount of TV I’ve been watching.  It’s crazy since I used to never watch TV on my own, mainly just in the evenings with Jacob.

Now, whenever I’m upstairs nursing Hunter, the TV is on.  I’m kind of embarrassed by the amount of Say Yes to the Dress episodes I’ve watched…

Before having a baby I’d rarely lounge around.  I love being productive.  Having a baby made me take a step back and re-prioritize what I do.  It’s not that I don’t like being productive anymore, I just have to squeeze it in, and decide when it’s better to do something, or just relax and recuperate.  Learning to take naps has been a challenge at times, but I’m working at it.

Since I went no where yesterday and Hunter napped pretty well, I got to do both.  A long nap + TV time, and some good old time in the kitchen.

I didn’t wait until Hunter went down for his nap to get busy in the kitchen.  He was just loving the bouncy chair (finally!).  He just watched the elephant (not the rhino one bit) the entire time as the music played.

I made a new version of an old favorite yesterday – no bakes.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I love no bake cookies!  I don’t know why, but they tempt me so much every time.  Maybe it’s the usual combo of peanut butter and chocolate?

While these bars have peanut butter, there’s no chocolate to be found.  Instead I swapped in coconut and cinnamon.  Because I just love cinnamon.

Having a baby around has made me really enjoy easy to grab snacks.  Once these are made they hang out in the fridge until I’m ready to enjoy them.  With one hand full with a baby, these are the perfect grab and go snack.

Peanut Butter Coconut No Bake Oat Bars
Makes 8

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup large unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Direction

  1. In a small pot over medium heat add the peanut butter, honey, coconut oil and vanilla. Heat until everything is melted together, then stir in the remaining ingredients.
  2. On a parchment or wax paper shape the oat mixture into 8 equal squares.
  3. Store in the fridge.

Do you have a favorite easy grab n go snack you like to make? 

Heather