In between overdoing it

Posts tagged ‘chocolate’

What a Mom Really wants on Valentines Day

heartI have seen others address that this is a greeting card holidays and I kind of agree. St Valentine was a Roman catholic priest who secretly marrying couples in defiance of the Roman Emperor. He was discovered and beheaded in February 14. So yes we are celebrating a beheading. Well, not so much. St. Valentines has become a day to celebrate Love.

It started off as a celebration of romantic love but has morphed, through clever makerting into a celebration of all things hearts and candy.  School age children now create Valentine’s Day boxes to collect all the heart-shaped goodies and friendship notes from classmates. So it has become a celebration of “Love” with a capital L, in a family friendly way. So Dad’s (pay attention here!) instead of purchasing chocolates and jewelry here are a few ideas of things a Mom REALLY wants for Valentines day.

1) To have someone else do the laundry and put it away
2) To have a home cooked meal… cooked by someone else
3) A sweetly packed lunch for work with a hand written love note.
4) Amazon gift cards for all the online shopping without the guilt
5) Quiet time by herself that does not require hiding in the bathroom.
6) The chance to take a nap. (We would all kill for this!)
7) A paid maid service for a day
8) Family members to pick up after themselves without having to be asked to do it
9) Cleaning out mom’s car of all the toys, papers and miscellaneous things left there by family members, that she lacks the time to remove.

10) Spending quality time as family doing something she wants and had probably asked for before.

You would be surprised how simple and small these things could be. Sometimes it is just to go for a walk, do a family craft together, or just watch her favorite movie. But it can mean a lot to an overstressed mom and would go a long way to showing her how much you “Love” her.

Meringue Candy Cookies

cookie

This is a recipe that developed by happy accident. I bought a large container of powdered egg whites to use in a cauliflower pizza crust recipe. Well, that recipe was a resounding flop. I came to realize I just don’t like cauliflower pizza crust. So the dilemma became what was I going to do with all this powdered egg white? wp-1453643486595.jpg

When I googled egg whites recipes, meringue cookie recipes kept popping up. I figured I would give it a try. Meringues are just liquid egg whites whipped up with some sugar. Why would powdered egg whites work differently? So I gave it a go. This recipe is adapted from one I found on Food.com.

4 tsp egg white powder

4 tbsp. water

1/2 cup sugar or granulated stevia

1/2 tsp of extract of your choice. I used vanilla.

You could leave the cookies here and eat them just plain. But I went the extra step.  I still have leftover candy from Christmas so I decided to use some of them up and the reslts put this cookie over the top!wp-1453643549253.jpg

4-5 fun size candy bars, chopped

Mix first 4 ingredients in a bowl and then get to whipping. I used a hand mixer this time but it took what felt like forrrrreverrrr to get to stiff peaks, (about 7-8 minutes.) Next time I will try the stand mixer and see what happens.

Once stiff peaks are formed, slowly and gently fold in candy pieces. Drop onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 55 to 60 minutes and 275 degrees. Low and slow people! the tops should be lightly browned.

The result is sweet, crunchy and melt in your mouth yummy. wp-1453643292032.jpg

 

 

Tea and Cake Tuesday

This is probably the only week this year where drinking hot tea is actually ok in South Florida. Here the temps have dipped into the 50’s. A rarity, but nice weather to enjoy tea and cake in.

wp-1453224234877.jpgMade this cake for my cousins birthday. Did not really have a plan just wanted to try something I had seen in a cake video from  Sharon Zambito. Was pretty happy with how easy and unfussy this one was.

thLOMYQ3GT Also, really enjoying this tea right now. Maybe because Valentine’s day is on the horizon but I love the hint of strawberries and cocoa. Have to try this one as an iced tea. Think it would be wonderful.

 

Holiday Cookie Round-up

tray2I have to say there are some amazing holiday recipes floating around the blogging community right now. I wish I had time to make them all, there are so many I want to try. I figured I would do a round up of some of my favorites and some I hope to have the time to make this holiday season.

My favorite holiday cookies

  1. 4 Ingredient cake cookies – Easy, yummy and versatile.
  2. Gingersnap cookies – A holiday favorite. I like mine chewy. This recipe seems perfect!
  3. Here is another Gingerbread Cookie that looks delicious! Sorry couldn’t post just one.wp-1449355965839.jpg
  4. Old Fashion Sugar Cookies – My own personal favorite. So classic and delicious. A must to leave for Santa.

Ones I want to try out this year

  1. Chocolate Mint “Mud” Cookies – Mint and Chocolate are one of my favorite combinations and these look delicious.
  2. Salted Caramel Turtle Thumbprint Cookies – These look like a lot of work but totally worth it! OMG they look good.
  3. Peanut Butter Reindeer Cookies – These are just so stinkin’ cute
  4. Shakeology No Bake Cookies – Can’t forget about all the 21 day fix challengers (Including myself) trying to stay fit this holiday.

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Christmas Mess

The minions about three years ago. Best picture ever!

The minions about three years ago. Best picture ever!

It’s the weekend before Christmas…and all through the house…ok, ok I won’t go there. After my mid-week meltdown I’m feeling like I have a better handle on things and have planned some fun, easy activities to help me enjoy the holidays more. Get this… I’m spending time with family…on purpose. They are really not that bad and I actually do love them.wp-1450576169288.jpg

Tonight we went to a local chocolate factory called Hoffman’s. (I actually Periscoped my crazy family and kids) It’s pretty famous in these parts. Every Christmas behind the store they have a walk thru display of lights and holiday vignettes. They also have a Santa and Mrs. Claus meet and greet. It’s a fun time and there’s chocolate. How can you really go wrong.

Anyway on to what I really want to post about. Sometimes holiday mess-ups make the best memories. One of my Facebook friends posted a picture of their grandchild who wanted nothing to do with this Santa guy or his lap. I was thinking that the unconventional, Santa refusal pictures make some of the best holiday memories and funniest photos.wp-1450576210628.jpg

Christmas should not be perfect, flawless event. It should just be natural. A kid hating to sit on Santa’s lap, the neighbors dogs eating the Christmas turkey (a la a Christmas Story), and forgetting to put stamps on the Christmas cards. (yes, I totally did that.) Sometimes what seems like a holiday catastrophe is what is remembered, laughed about and cherished for years to come.

 

Chocolate Waffles

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I have been on kind of a waffling kick lately. I started off with just regular waffles and they were so quick, surprisingly easy to make that I decided to try making waffles out of other ingredients. I experimented and came up with coconut sweet potato waffles. Now I have chocolate waffles. These are still pillowy and soft with nice crispy edges and have a subtle chocolate flavor which is not too overpowering.

2 eggs

1 1/2 flour ( I use unbleached or whole wheat)

1/2 cup cocoa powder

2 tbsp. flax seed (optional: you don’t even notice it is in there but you can get some added nutrition)

1 3/4 cup milk (**thought you could bump up the chocolate flavor if you used chocolate milk here)

1 snack size cup of apple sauce (I use this in place of oil)

2 tbsp stevia baking blend or granulated sugar

4 tsps. baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

Beat eggs until fluffy. Add all other ingredients. Mix until well combined. Add batter to iron per waffle iron direction. Bake about 5 minutes

Top with chocolate chips, strawberries or powdered sugar if desired.

 

 

 

Can’t… stop… eating… Halloween candy…Help me

-candies-1505050If you are like me you have been overdosing on Halloween candy and need some help getting the little nuggets of chocolate, nougat and caramel out of your house. Here are some tactics I have heard about to get a handle on the candy overload.

  1. Donate candy to the troops – Operation Gratitude is one of the organization that will ship donated candy to the troops. My son’s old preschool use to take up a collections. Each year they would attempt to beat the weight of the prior years collection. It was a fun event for a great cause.
  2. Dentist Buy Back- There are a few dentists in my area that are actually trading money for candy!!! That is a totally win if you ask me.
  3. Reincorporate them into healthy recipes – This morning I made a batch of Weelicious spinach pancakes and added in some M&M’s for fun. I also added some candy into my Go-to Lunchbox Cookies.
  4. Bring them to the office – Worked for me. When I realized I could not control my urge to eat Halloween Candy the best thing to do was get it out of the house. So I brought it to work, left it in a bowl on a counter and by the end of the day it was gone. Many people came by the counter and took a piece here and there and the cool thing was it made them wpid-wp-1446902243527.jpghappy, where it was only causing me dismay. It brought a little bit of sweetness to their day and made me feel good.
  5. Freeze it – This was a suggestion a co-worker had which I think would be a good one for anyone who is not like me. If I feel the chocolate need bad enough… yes I would end up microwaving the candy, or even eating it rock hard frozen. (I told you I overdue things, chocolate is one of those things.)
Hopefully, these suggestions will help turn candy overload into a sweet success.
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