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    House and Home, Recipe, Uncategorized

    Starbucks Copycat Vanilla Scones

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    My toddler has been whining more and more lately about wanting to go to Starbucks. Wait hold on…my toddler?! Yup you heard that right. He loves Starbucks more than me and his love for scones has become quite the negative influence on my own eating habits because when he doesn’t finish his scones, who ends up eating them? ME!!!

    His favorite thing at Starbucks are the Petite Vanilla Scones. He always requests two for him and one for his sister. He holds his pudgy little fingers up and shows me two fingers on one hand and one on the other. How can I resist? Whenever we are on the way to see friends he asks if we can stop and get them for him and his friend. 

    There are two simple reasons that I despise these little scones.

    They are incredibly expensive.  Even when you order one you get greeted with the “you get a discount if you buy three”. These little babies are not cheap.

    They are not nutritionally good for you at all. Lots of sugar and obviously carbs. It’s a waste of food and something my little guy just does’t need. 

    Today was a rainy day, and I decided we were going to stay inside today. This coupled with my New Years goals fresh in my mind, I couldn’t imagine making a trip to Starbucks without ordering something delicious for myself too. I decided why not make the scones ourselves and let the kids have fun with it? We made do with the ingredients we had in our kitchen and they turned out divine. Such a scrumptious little treat and I think my little guy liked them better than the real thing. The best part about these scones - they are gluten free, dairy free and PALEO! So they are healthy in small doses.

     A few notes..

    We didn't have baking powder so I created a substitute. For 1 teaspoon of baking powder, combine 1 tsp of baking soda and 1/2 tsp of lemon juice. 

    The dough is supposed to be thick! Keep mixing and it will form. 

    What's your favorite guilty snack?  We would love to try to make a copycat for you! 

    House and Home, Recipe

    Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas

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    I feel like I am so late on the Instant Pot train! We bought our Instant Pot last year and so far I have only used it to make hard-boiled eggs, steam veggies and make chicken super quick. We had yet to try anything fancy in it. Why? I have no clue. It’s practically the best invention since the microwave and you can have warm delicious food almost at the snap of your fingers. 

    I knew I had to try something different and exciting for dinner, but after opening our fridge I quickly realized we were limited on ingredients.  It was pouring rain out and the last place I was going was the market. I pulled out our sad looking onion, still good under a couple layers and 2 red peppers that were almost past their due date. My first thought was to chuck them and order take out, but with a little more digging in the freezer I found some frozen chicken. Hmmm.. FAJITAS! I knew it! I had been craving Mexican food all week and this was just the ticket.

    This is my healthy version of fajitas but are they really that bad for you anyways?! It’s so incredibly simple you will laugh that you hadn’t thought of it yourself.

    Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas 

    Cut chicken into long strips and place in Instant Pot. Add spices or taco seasoning packet and mix. Slice pepper and onion and place on top of chicken. Add 1/2 cup of water and quickly mix everything. Place lid on and make sure the vent is closed. Set manual timer for 30 minutes. 

    Once time is up let the instant pot vent for 10 minutes or if you’re in a hurry go ahead and release it. 

    I placed fajita mix onto of rice and added some fresh tomatoes and avocado! ENJOY! 

    New to the Instant Pot? Looking for some other great dinner ideas? Check out these yummy and simple recipes! 

    The Instant Pot has quickly become one of our favorite tools to use in the kitchen.  We use it for boiled eggs, oatmeal, dinner and everything in between. What is your favorite thing to make in the Instant Pot? Let me know what we should try next in the comments below! 

    House and Home, Recipe

    Healthy Chocolate Haystacks

    My son has a serious sweet tooth. It’s probably due to the fact that during my pregnancy with him any and all things chocolate went straight into my mouth. Since Christmas we have been trying to cut back on sugar. I have been searching for recipes that still taste yummy, but have less sugar and maybe, just maybe have some hidden health benefits. 

    I was recently introduced to Cacao powder. Smells like chocolate and tastes like chocolate, but is full of good things! Cacao is the purest form of chocolate which sets it apart from Cocoa, and it is considered a superfood. It is packed full of antioxidants, calcium and magnesium. It is the ultimate sleep and happiness nutrient. 

    To check out more of its wonderful benefits check out this great post here. 

    Austin’s all time favorite thing to eat is cookies so we decided to make some super simple Healthy Chocolate Haystack Cookies. The best thing about these cookies is they require no baking, which I alway seem to mess up! 

    The Ingredients you will need: raw Cacao powder, peanut butter, honey, ripple or almond milk, coconut oil, vanilla extract, salt and rolled oats

    You will notice the recipe calls for Ripple milk. We love ripple milk. Ripple milk is made from pea protein. For us, it is a great substitute for regular milk because it isn’t as thick as almond or coconut milk. It also contains tons of protein, zero sugar and lots of good nutrients. We use it in our cereal, baking and cooking. It makes for an awesome dairy supplement as well. 

    Let me know what you think of this new recipe and what your favorite “healthy” desserts are! 

    House and Home, Recipe

    Homemade Fruit & Nut Bars

    “Happiness is homemade”. This new year is all about health, happiness and embracing togetherness in the kitchen. My kids especially love mixing and eating our newest creations. This recipe is all about replacing unhealthy, sugary snacks that you buy at the market with outrageous price tags with healthy alternatives that you probably already have in your cupboards. I am not one to throw taste and satisfaction completely out the window for a healthy treat, but I am always striving to feed my kids healthier foods on a daily basis. Foods they love, energize them and get their little hands working in the kitchen.

    I can’t take full credit for our homemade healthy fruit and nut bars. My husband was the one who made them with the kids and prepared them. I was sick in bed fighting off the first cold of the New Year. I could hear him in the kitchen giggling with the kids as they spilled things on the floor and dirtied bowl after bowl, cup after cup and spoon after spoon, knowing quite well that the mess would be there for me when I rolled out of bed. But what good is a house if it goes unused? Something I am trying to get more patient at is the idea that a house without the temporary mess is really not a house at all. I believe it’s all how we manage the mess and our possessions that helps us stay sane. So as I hear them dropping each and every little thing on the the floor I can’t help but smile. 

    These Fruit and Nut bars have become one of my favorite things. They are so delicious, slightly sweet and very filling. They are the perfect snack time treat. Our kids love them, we love them and they disappear quick. The best part is you can create so many different variations. 

    What are your favorite homemade bar recipes? Let me know in the comments below! 

    House and Home, Recipe

    Ima’s Rolls

    This is my husband’s all time favorite side dish! Rolls are such an amazing addition to any dinner and these ones are everything you would expect and more, buttery, soft, and sweet! I learned about these “famous” rolls during my first Thanksgiving dinner with my in-laws. My husband really talked them up. I couldn’t imagine they would be any better then the delicious Costco rolls (no joke 2nd best to these) that my family gets every year. But I was blown away. These rolls are THE rolls. They take first place. 

    Four years ago my in laws invited my family to spend the holidays with them and since then we have spent every single one together. My family and my husband’s family are all under one roof for the holidays. Talk about being blessed. 

    Three years ago my mother in law suggested I make the rolls. Me?! The person who prefers to follow simple recipes and burns half of what she makes? I was wondering if she was losing her mind, but I also was up for the challenge, as I knew it was the way to my husband’s heart.  Three years later, I am still making these rolls!  Every year I ask my mother in law for the recipe and every year I forget how to make them! Enter this blog post. I will NEVER forget how to make these delicious amazing rolls.

    Things that will always remind me of these famous rolls: My mother in laws giant green bowl with lid, trays and trays with towels draped over them and a sweet smelling kitchen <3 

    Disclosure: Last year I made these for Christmas with my toddler. He loved helping and rolling them. BUT he unfortunately decided to sneak a few handfuls of dough. Let’s just say he spent most of his 2nd christmas on the pot! Let your toddlers help, but maybe save the taste tests till after they bake. 

    What’s your favorite Holiday side dish?? Let me know in the comments below!

    Crafts, House and Home, Parenting, Recipe

    Gummy Bear Slime

    Austin has been asking everyday to make play dough again. You can find my post here for Edible Play dough. He loved making it and eating it. It was by far one of my favorite crafts that we have ever done and occupied him for a couple days. Anything that can keep his attention and help him be creative is worth my time! 

    I was so excited about our play dough venture that I thought we would try some slime. I’ve seen the obsession with slime. It’s so fun and slippery and some how doesn’t stick to your fingers. If you haven’t seen slime Instagram videos you must, they are absolutely addicting.

    I showed Austin a few different “recipes” I found and he immediately was drawn to the Gummy Bear recipe. Who wouldn’t be?! The original recipe that we tried was FAR too sticky and was meant for older kids. Austin got tangled in it and we ended up tossing it. So this is our altered version of Gummy Bear Slime! 

    The slime is messy and gooey! Ours lasted maybe an hour and then it went in the trash. It’s a fun rainy day craft, but requires more hands on help than the marshmallow playdough. 

    I don’t make these crafts for my kids to eat, but it is definitely a peace of mind knowing that if they do eat it they won’t get sick.

    Do you have a favorite slime or play dough recipe? Let me know in the comments below! 

    Crafts, House and Home, Parenting, Recipe

    DIY Marshmallow Play Dough

    Today I stumbled upon the perfect rainy day activity. It wasn’t rainy but the Nor Cal fires have been keeping us indoors for most of the week. I have been pulling out old toys, puzzles with a million pieces and lots of pots & pans to keep them entertained. Somehow the days spent inside always seem to last forever, naps never happen, and we all get cranky. But today we made something sweet to keep our spirits up!! 

    Marshmallow play dough!!! It was the perfect mix of creativity and endless play. The best part was they could eat it! It was almost too simple to make (somehow we still messed it up) and super easy to clean up.

    Marshmallows, ​coconut oil corn starch and food coloring - super simple and convenient ingredients, all of which we had in the cupboard.  We found a few recipes online, but decided to create our own little mix. It’s almost impossible to mess up, but we still did! 

    The first batch we made was PINK play dough. We added 12 large Marshmallows, 4 tablespoons of coconut oil and 1/2 cup of ​corn starch. Heat this mixture in the microwave for 30 seconds then add in as much food coloring as you want. We started with 4 drops and stirred it all up. You may need to knead with your hands to get it mixed really well. Our mistake was TOO much coconut oil. We had a bowl full of oil! So much so that after we mixed a good ball we could squeeze out the oil. To save this batch I had to add an extra 1/4 cup of corn starch to soak up the rest of the oil.

    We balanced out our ingredients in our second batch. Our BLUE play dough turned out perfect!! Here is the combo we found worked out best.

    Austin loved rolling it out on his silicon playmate placemat and using his play dough toys to cut out different shapes! He is becoming a professional play dough man! Do I see baking in his future? Yes please!

    Things to remember for next time? Start with less oil, add corn starch throughout play to make sure it doesn’t get too sticky, and don’t eat so much you get a belly ache!!