Chocolate Recipe RoundUp

Hey! I’m back with another fun roundup of recipes. This time, it’s all about chocolate. Some recipes are all about it, while other just have a small touch of the good stuff. Either way, they’re all delicious and worth a try. I’m thinking it’s about time I try the chocolate mousse once more…

Oatmeal Energy Bites

You had to have seen this one coming from a mile away. This is such a quick and great recipe, plus it has just the right amount of chocolate. Great snack option!

Oatmeal Energy Bites

Trail Mix

Another great on-the-go snack. The chocolate in this recipe might come accompanied by raisins, but it’s still there. Plus, you can definitely add some extra white chocolate chips if your craving calls for it.

IMG_2273

Chocolate Covered Banana Bites

This one is so easy, I have no idea why I don’t make it more often. Healthy and delicious, perfect for these hot summer days too. Popo a few of these banana bites and you’ll be in heaven.

BananaBite

Paleo Brownies

There’s two brownie recipes in this link, but the paleo ones are my favorite. I don’t follow a paleo diet, but I was just playing around with the recipe and it turned out delicious. Plus, anything that uses almond butter is OK in my book,

Brownies Regular vs Paleo

Peanut Butter Blossoms

This is a classic cookie which is enjoyed by many. I’ve had them a few times and even though I’m not a fan of peanut butter, these cookies are addicting. Honestly, if you add a bunch of sugar to anything I’m bound to eat it. Crunchy and creamy, these cookies are good year round.

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Chocolate Mousse

My all time favorite dessert. There’s nothing better than a good chocolate mousse. Amazingly enough, making it was not as hard as I thought it would me. It takes some time, but you don’t have to be a nuclear engineer to get this right. Simply the best!

Chocolate Mousse recipe

A little bit of chocolate is always good for the soul.

Little Sis in Town

Good morning! Hopefully you had a better night’s sleep than I did. Olivia was up quite a bit and not too happy about it. That tooth that she’s working on better come soon! We spent all weekend with my little sister, Tania, who is taking care of my little girl today. We went out and about both Friday and Saturday and stayed home on Sunday to wrap up the weekend.

Friday, we had a simple breakfast, some coffee with a piece of bread from back home. It is delicious and I love that my family indulges me whenever they visit.

Friday breakfast

After getting ready, we hit the stores. We stopped by the outlets to pick up some items for the little lady. And of course, some for us as well. They actually had some great deals going on. Plus, Olivia got a lot of love from Tania.

Kisses for OMA

We had lunch at the Saucy Foccacia at NewBo. It was pretty good, but honestly, I thought it was too hyped up. Yes, the sandwiches were tasty, but nothing out of this world.

Friday lunch

We went back home and just hung out until dinner. I made lasagna and was pretty proud of my broiling outcome. They looked perfect. Made two because I sent one over to our neighbors who have been having some health issues, so thought they could use a little pick me up.

Lasagna perfection

Saturday was another day dedicated to shopping, Target this time, and hanging out in the afternoon. The weekend was so warm that all energy was drained from you by the afternoon. No problem though because hanging out with Olivia is quite fun anyways.

All smiles

Sunday, we went out for breakfast and then came back to enjoy the day. It was perfect for the pool and Olivia loved it! She was jumping around and trying to grab/eat the balloons. She loves the water and I love the fact that she does.

Pool Party OMA

After a quick cat nap, we hung out on the blanket for the rest of the afternoon and had diner outside. Olivia loves spending time on the floor exploring her new skills. She’s currently exploring with planking and rocking. She’ll be an expert by the end of the week.

blanket afternoon

We finished the night with some blackberry cobbler (our neighbor made it for us with berries from her garden) and ice cream.

Blackberry cobbler

Then it was off to bed and waking up a few times in the night to console my little peanut.

Hoping for a good week!

Making Baby Food at Home

Last week we started feeding Olivia solid food. She’s been eating her oatmeal cereal pretty well, so we decided to try solid foods. Her first one was sweet potatoes and she loved them. It was pretty fun to see her reaction to this new flavor. Right now, we’re feeding her oatmeal during the week and a veggie or fruit during the weekends, to give her enough time in between to see if she creates any allergic reaction to these new foods. So far, I’m working on making my own baby food at home and I hope to do this until it gets too overwhelming. Food prepping and freezing is the way to go right now. It might take a little bit of time, but it’s actually quite easy.

Baby Food pear mold

This last Sunday, I dedicated some time to do some baby food prepping. To make pureed apple, you first have to peel the apple and cut the meat in chunks. No seeds or core go into the baby food.

Baby Food apple prep

Then you place these in a pan with a bit of water. Cover and simmer until apples are soft, about 30 minutes.

Baby Food apple steam

Two apples gave me about 1 1/3 cup of fruit and water up to the 3/4 line.

Make Your Own Baby Food

I blended these using my Cuisinart Immersion Blender, which I love and made this super easy. No bulky blender needed here.

Baby Food apple puree

Then, the puree gets transferred to an ice cube tray and frozen. Done!

Baby Food apple mold

I also made some pear puree which pretty much follows the same steps as with the apple.

Baby Food pear prep

Two pears came to 1 1/3 cups of fruit plus water up to the 1/3 cup line.

Baby Food pear amounts

Once pureed, it was about 1 cup worth of food.

Baby Food pear puree

The batch of peas was a little bit more work. I used frozen peas and microwaved them according to package directions.

Baby Food peas prep

Once cooked and pureed, I strained them to separate the meaty flesh. This is only necessary for younger babies. Once a bit older, she’ll be able to eat the flesh just fine.

Baby Food peas strain

Once again, they got frozen in an ice cube tray.

Baby Food peas mold

Once frozen, remove from tray and place in a freezer bag or container.

Baby Food bag

Make sure to label with the name of the item and date, since these will only last about 6 months in the freezer. Once ready to eat, just thaw out and water down with breast milk or formula if consistency is too thick. Feed to baby at room temperature.

Baby Food

Once she’s done with single flavors, I’m excited to try out some flavor combos!

Getting outside

Well, we really didn’t do much this weekend, but sometimes that’s a good thing. Saturday was quite nice so we spent plenty of time outside, while Sunday turned out kinda stormy and we spent most of the time inside. Olivia still has a bit of congestion, but with no other signs of illness, she was her happy and attention demanding self.

Friday night turned out to be quite pleasant, so we took Olivia’s high chair outside to feed her oatmeal cereal while we enjoyed the fresh air.

Eating outside OMA

Ryan and I had some pork for dinner with steamed green beans straight from our neighbor’s garden. They were delicious.

Friday dinner

We stayed outside hanging out and entertaining our little lady, until her bedtime. She’s been having some issues falling asleep, so the bedtime routine has been taking anywhere from 1-2 hours on and off. Maybe she’s teething? Whatever it is, she is very needy at night.

Friday hangout

Early Saturday morning I went on a two mile run which was a great way to start the day. It coincided with Olivia’s nap time, so I went all by myself, just like old times. Felt pretty good afterwards and I’m looking forward to reaching my end-of-the-year goal of six miles.

Sat run

Then, we headed to the Farmer’s Market to enjoy some time outside and pick up some produce. We got some tomatoes, sweet corn and a strawberry rhubarb pie. All delicious.

Farmer Market CR

After grocery shopping, Olivia and I spent some time outside while Ryan worked on the yard. If she’s in a crabby mood, going outside usually works wonders.

under the tree

When dinnertime came around, we once again hung out outside. This time, Olivia got some sweet potatoes and she loved them. She was quite happy afterwards.

Silly lady

Sunday was a pretty uneventful day. With Olivia’s runny nose, due to teething or a mild cold, she was very sleepy, so I used the opportunity to snuggle with her and let her take naps on me instead of the crib.

nap sundays

Ryan was out golfing for the morning, so it was just Olivia and I hanging out on the floor while she rolled all over the place. She’s getting very good and moving from one end of the blanket to the other.

all smiles

Once Ryan got back, I used the time to wrap up some housework and them relax before starting another work week. My little sister Tania is coming into town Thursday, so it’ll give me something to loom forward to.

Have a good week!

From Pinterest With Love #1

Don’t know about you, but I have a nice collection of saved projects on Pinterest that I haven’t done yet. I might have done a few, but not all of them. So, I decided to start a new series where I try to make a project I found once a month. Let’s see how it goes…

The first one is for a Chocolate Cake from Nellie Bellie. Seeing as I had all the ingredients and it was my birthday, I decided to go for it. So, last Sunday I got to work.

Chocolate Cake chocolate garnish

Somewhere along my baking experience, I transitioned to making things from scratch. Nothing wrong with boxed baked goods, but I just rather try the old-fashioned way now. Some recipes can go terribly wrong, and some can be great. This one is right in the middle.

Chocolate Cake cocoa

The cake was pretty good and had a subtle chocolate taste. Personally, I would have loved a richer cake with a bit more moisture, so next time I might add  some chocolate chips to the batter. It all depends on your preference. The batter was pretty easy to get perfect and it was quite smooth. Great start to a recipe!

Chocolate Cake wet ingredients

It baked pretty perfectly. no burnt edges and had the perfect rise. The taste just needed to be more chocolate-y for me.

Chocolate Cake bake

As far as the frosting goes, it was way too buttery for me. I like my frosting sweet. Sometimes so sweet that you can’t really eat it all.

Chocolate Cake frosting

This butter based frosting had a good consistency, but the butter taste ended up being too overwhelming. A cream cheese frosting would have been a better option for this cake.

Chocolate Cake frosting cake

I did add some chocolate chips to the top, because more chocolate makes everything better.

Chocolate Cake from Pinterest

Was the cake good? Yes.

Will this become my go-to chocolate cake recipe? No. The quest will go on.

For now, have a good weekend!