Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Best Brownies Ever

Seriously, they really are. The easiest, too! I've had requests for these at parties; I've watched one of my friends devour almost a whole pan himself. They are gooey and rich and just about perfect with an ice cold glass of milk.


Makes approximately 24 brownies

2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
6 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine sugar, oil, eggs, cocoa and vanilla and mix well with electric mixer. Add flour, mix well. Spread into a greased 13 x 9 inch pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Peas for Your Sweet Pea

This was Jules' first green veggie - again, she could not get enough. She LOVES peas! She eats better than her mother! This puree takes just minutes and is so much prettier than the peas in the jar...it should be bright green, not drab in color. I used one 10 oz bag of frozen peas, which made this all the more easy for me!

Makes 1 1/2 cups

Bring approximately 1 inch of water to boil in a small pot. Put peas in the pot and bring back up to a boil. Cover and steam until bright green and tender, 5-7 minutes for frozen or 3 minutes for fresh. Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking.

Puree peas in a food processor until smooth. Add breast milk or formula to the pea puree to a consistency that your baby can handle.

This will keep in the fridge for 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. I split this and used 1/2 for those 3 days and froze the other half for another time.
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Sweet Potato Puree

We were so excited to find out Jules was ready to start eating solid foods! I knew from the get-go that I was going to make her own baby food because I wanted her first tastes to be fresh, delicious and wholesome.  


Sweet potatoes were her first real food!  Our Jules...she kept grabbing the spoon and obviously could not get enough.  It is SO easy to make baby food at home.  Too easy not to do!   


Sweet Potato Puree

2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed
dash of cinnamon, optional

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Pierce the sweet potatoes with a small knife and place on a baking sheet. Roast until wrinkled and tender when pierced with a knife, 45-60 minutes. Cool.

Halve the sweet potatoes and scoop out insides.  Add to a food processor or Baby Bullet, with the cinnamon (if using) and puree until smooth. Add breast milk, formula or water to the consistency your baby can handle.

The puree will stay in the fridge for 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

My Great Aunt Libby's Chocolate Cake

Or this is my attempt anyway! Before I go any further, you need to fully understand how amazing Aunt Libby's cake is. Whenever our family would get together, for any holiday or party, she would always make this cake and it was the only thing we could focus on! "Aunt Libby's cake is here..." you would hear in hushed whispers around the room and we all knew to snag a piece before it was gone. I called my mom to see if she had the recipe, although I was sure it was some sort of secret that wasn't even written down. Surprised, she had it but couldn't locate it! Ugh...so close! We put our heads together, and she filled me in on a few things, including a secret ingredient (almond extract!) and off I went to recreate. This is an incredible cake for those of you that have not had the pleasure of trying Aunt Libby's, and to me, comparably, I am pretty pleased with myself (and this cake!).




My Great Aunt Libby's Chocolate Cake

1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream

For the vanilla frosting:
3 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup milk 
1 teaspoon vanilla

Dissolve cocoa in water, let stand until cool. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add almond extract. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well. Add cocoa mixture, beat well.

Pour into a well greased 9 x 13-inch cake pan and bake for 25-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  While it is cooling, make the frosting by combining all of the ingredients and mixing with a hand mixer.  Spread on completely cooled cake.

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Snickerdoodles

I love sugar cookies and these Snickerdoodles are a cinnamony, drier crumb version of those. Typically I make Snickerdoodles around Christmas time, but there's no need to wait until the end of the year to enjoy these! Fantastic with coffee, they are soft on the outside and crumby, almost flaky on the inside. These are small, almost bite size so be sure to help yourself to a few (and maybe, if they're lucky, save some for your family)!


Makes 2 1/2 dozen

Snickerdoodles

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, nutmeg, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and mix until well blended.
Spoon the remaining sugar and cinnamon onto a plate. 

With your fingers, squeeze out pieces of dough and roll between the palms of your hand into walnut-sized balls. Roll each ball in the cinnamon-sugar mixture and place on a greased baking sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown. Let cool for 1 minute and then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
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I'm a super busy mom of 3 and a Beachbody coach. Follow along as I try to find a balance between eating good food and keeping my family healthy and happy! We eat mostly clean with a few fun treats thrown in every once in awhile. Thanks for stopping by!

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