Stubbs Pumpkin Slow Cooker Chili

Stubbs Pumpkin Slow Cooker Chili

Hey look! I have a recipe for you! Actually it’s more like I have a dinner idea that includes using Stubbs new Chili Cookin’ Sauce and a bunch of yummy add-ons.  I was excited to get my recent Stubbs package and see that it included some of their new products including this “Chili Fixins” kit.  I’m so into chili right now that the weather is cold.  Just throw a whole bunch of stuff in the slow cooker and a few hours later your house smells all spicy and cozy and you have a big bowl of healthy goodness to dive into at dinner time.  I’m sure this probably would have been good as is but in true food blogger fashion, I had to doctor it up with some extra goodies.

Stubbs Pumpkin Slow Cooker Chili

I’ve been loving pumpkin purée lately so I’ve been throwing it in everything.  I’ve read its nutritious for the babies and of course its delicious and its fall and we have to make pumpkin everything all the time.  SO, of course I threw the pumpkin in here as well.  It doesn’t give it a super strong pumpkin flavor but I think it adds a little complexity to the flavor and richness in texture.  My other favorite way to enjoy pumpkin lately is to mix it up with plain greek yogurt, a little maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice and top it with some crunchy granola, yum!

Stubbs Pumpkin Slow Cooker Chili

The Stubbs Cookin’ Sauce bag comes with a packet of sauce and a spice pack.  Just mix it up with meat in the slow cooker, turn it on and forget about it.  I wanted a little more texture and chunkiness in mine so this is what I added:

1 lb ground beef

1 small can diced green chiles

1 can organic pumpkin

1 can organic black beans

1 can organic kidney beans

1 tablespoon cocoa powder (not pictured)

I used a little over half of the spice pack and it was HOT! Like holy moly spicy! It was good but it may have been too hot for many peoples taste since I like stuff pretty hot.  I would suggest using only half of the packet and then taste it before you serve it, you can always add more then if you prefer more heat.  It’s a lot easier to add spice and flavor than to mellow it out if you make it too hot.

Stubbs Pumpkin Slow Cooker Chili

This was SO good, I didn’t mind having it for leftovers 3 days in a row.  I served it with some shredded cheese and a dollop of plain greek yogurt.

Stubbs Pumpkin Slow Cooker Chili

If you see these at your store, I recommend picking up a few bags, it makes an easy dinner even easier! Perfect meal for a big crowd!

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

My baby shower :)

BabyShower

I had my baby shower last weekend and it was so much fun.  It made me realize how lucky I am to have so many amazing friends and family members in my life, I was so overwhelmed by all of their love and support! It’s always fun to have events like this that bring together friends you’ve made during all different parts of your life; childhood, college and beyond! Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate with us and to all those who couldn’t make it for sending your love and thoughts, these are going to be two lucky boys!

P.S. The nursery is almost done! I’ll check back in soon with some photos since I don’t have much food stuff to share these days :)

 

 

 

 

WIAW #96

Breakfast

Hey there! Since I’m sucking it up in the recipe creation/cooking department lately I figured I would at least check in and partake in a good old What I Ate Wednesday.  Everything is going well here, I’m just trying to take it one day at a time and take it easy as much as I can without going absolutely bonkers.  I feel like my stomach is resting on my face and have no idea how my skin is going to stretch any more to make room for these growing babies but apparently it will, it’s slightly terrifying to think about.  I hate to focus so much on the pregnancy thing since I know some people just don’t care to hear about it but I totally get it now, why people talk about it all the time when they’re going through it. It’s not something that you can just switch off and then suddenly remember, oh yah, that’s right, I’m pregnant! Its something that is a part of your being 24 hours a day, it pretty much effects every thought you have on a daily basis and it becomes ALL you can think about.  It feels as if aliens have invaded your body and you’re slowing being transformed into something you don’t even recognize.  As weird as it is, I’m so grateful to be having this experience and grateful that my body seems to know what to do (that makes one of us, cause I have NO idea what’s going on in there). I’m also grateful that my two boys seem to be growing well and they’re happy in there, let’s hope they can hang on for another few months!

Anyways, what were we doing here? Oh yah, my eats for Wednesday.  For breakfast I had a piece of toast, some sausage, apple slices and scrambled eggs with cheese & artichoke dip.  YUM.

MidmorningSnack

I’ve been having a mid-morning snack recently even though I’m not really that hungry.  In fact, I don’t really get hungry at all anymore, I don’t think there is any room left in there for my stomach to operate. I’ve noticed that as the day goes along I have less interest in eating so I try to get my calories in during the first part of the day so I make sure I get enough nutrients in there to help them grow.  I used to ALWAYS need an afternoon snack to make it through the day and lately I’ve had no interest in one, it might also have to do with the fact that my activity level is below that of a sloth these days so I guess I’m just not burning the calories I used to.  I had a bowl of honey almond flax cereal for my mid-morning snack.  Again, something else new – I’ve never really bought cereal before but since I’m trying to consume more milk these days, cereal seemed like a decent choice.

Lunch

For lunch I had some Pumpkin Beef chili. I’ll be posting the recipe for this one soon, I got another package from Stubb’s recently and they sent me some of their new Cookin’ Sauces, one of which was a slow cooker chili packet. Holy freakin’ yum, I’ll talk about it more when I post the photos.

Dinner

For dinner i was craving something bad and there was this massive pizza crust that has been assaulting me in our freezer for weeks so I decided it was time to whip that baby out and make a buffalo chicken pizza.  It was pretty freaking good. Oh and of course, the spinach salad on the side for good measure.

Happy Wednesday everyone! Head on over to Peas & Crayons to say hi, grab some recipes, share some laughs…

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

Feeling the little duders move around in there.

Belly

I’m pretty sure that one of them is going to be a boxer since he likes to punch my pelvis over and over like its a punching bag and the other one is going to be an American Ninja Warrier because he likes to practice his karate kicks on my stomach all. day. long.

It’s completely fine with me though, it always makes me smile.  I love feeling them move around having a ball in there, they’re just working on getting big and strong so they can come out on time and then come right home with us so they can keep us up all night and poop everywhere cuddle with us and show us those cute little baby smiles.

Butternut Squash Ravioli topped with Sweet Sausage

ButternutSquashRavioli1

HEY!!! Sorry I’ve been MIA lately!  I’ve reached the point in my pregnancy where I’m starting to learn the limits of my body and I’ve had to take a huge step back from living my normal active life.  I’ve slowed it down to a snail’s pace and had to spend more time resting which as a result means a lot less time laboring over the stove in the kitchen, and as you can guess, not a lot of recipes to share with you (sorry!!).  I hope you’ll forgive me during this hiatus but I need to do everything I can to keep these little guys baking in there as long as possible :)  I’ll still be stopping in here and there to say hi and share anything I have but it just may not be as frequent as usual.

Anywho, despite my lack of recipe creation lately, I do have one killer recipe to share with you.  I make these ravioli every fall without fail.  The second I see those first few butternut squash showing up at the market, I start dreaming of making these.  It takes a little assembly time but they are pretty foolproof.

Butternut Squash Ravioli topped with Sweet Sausage

Want to know the secret trick?  Instead of trying to make my own pasta dough, which I WILL try some day, I use these wonton wrappers you can buy in the store.  Just fill them up, fold them over and then boil them for a few minutes and you’ve got yourself a pretty killer ravioli.  You can play around with the fillings if you want to get creative but I usually stick to this butternut squash because it’s just so good.  The wontons create a really nice delicate ravioli, they aren’t quite as heavy as your normal pasta ravioli.

Butternut Squash Ravioli topped with Sweet Sausage

Make sure you don’t overfill them or else it will all start gushing out the side and it will turn into a mess that you’ll want to throw on the floor.  Full disclosure: after I took this photo I realized I had overfilled them so I had to take a little off each one.  See that one ravioli that’s one row down, three from the left? That’s about how full they should be.

Butternut Squash Ravioli topped with Sweet Sausage

Simply brush 2 edges of the wonton wrapper with some egg, fold over and pinch the sides together.  After they are all assembled you just drop them into boiling water for a few minutes and they’re ready to be demolished (by your mouth).

Butternut Squash Ravioli topped with Sweet Sausage

I’ve played around with different sauces for these and I usually just end up making a little browned butter with sage and topping with parmesan cheese.  This time I sautéed up some sweet italian sausage and then made a sauce using that and the remaining squash mixture from the ravioli.  It was super quick and added great flavor & texture.

Butternut Squash Ravioli topped with Sweet Sausage

You’ll want to plan on eating these pretty soon after you make them, if they sit too long they start to stick to each other.  I ate the leftover as one giant mass.  It was still just as delicious but the presentation isn’t quite as nice.

Hope you are all having an amazing fall!

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

Fuzzy winter baby clothing.

BabyOutfit

 

One of the most exciting things about planning for the arrival of babies is all the cute little clothing.  Especially these fuzzy winter outfits, AHHH, I can’t even handle the cuteness.  I just imagine them all bundled up on a cold winter day with their cute little faces poking out of this baby snowsuit.  Why don’t they make these for adults? I’d totally rock one of these!

Butternut Squash Ravioli topped with Sweet Sausage

Allergy Egg, Milk
Misc Serve Hot

Ingredients

Ravioli

  • 12oz wonton wrappers (1 package)
  • 1 Large egg (beaten)

Ravioli Filling

  • 1 Medium butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt & pepper to taste

Sauce

  • 1lb uncooked sweet italian sausage
  • 3/4 cups milk

Directions

1. Cook the butternut squash until soft & tender. You can either cook in the slow cooker with a little water, boil in water or roast until tender.
2. Scoop the flesh from the squash into a bowl and mash together with the remainder of the filling ingredients.
3. Whisk the egg in a small bowl and set up an assembling station with the wonton wrappers, egg wash & ravioli filling. Assemble each ravioli by placing a small dollop of filling in the center, then brush two sides of the wrapper with egg wash. Fold the ravioli in half and pinch to close. Set aside on a plate while assembling the remaining ravioli. You should have plenty of butternut squash mixture left over for the sauce.
4. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Cut the casings from the sausage and add the sausage meat to the pan, crumbling as you go. Cook until nicely browned and completely cooked through.
5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the ravioli and boil for 3-5 minutes until translucent. Depending on how many you make, you may have to boil in batches. Remove the ravioli from the water using a slotted spoon and carefully lay in a single layer on a plate lightly sprayed with oil. They will stick together easily if you stack them in layers.
6. When sausage is done cooking, add the milk and the remainder of the squash mixture and stir well. Cook until heated through. You can add more squash or milk to reach your desired consistency. Serve ravioli topped with squash and sausage mixture. Garnish with parmesan cheese and toasted sunflower seeds (optional).

WIAW #95

breakfast

I’m all messed up on days right now, it feels like it should be Tuesday but in reality, the work week is halfway over already.  Not complaining here!  I’m actually surprised I remembered to take pictures of my eats yesterday for What I Ate Wednesday!  We had an awesome weekend in Nantucket with friends but I’ll share more about that later.  For now, here are my eats.  I had the (now usual) steel cut oats for breakfast with apples, dried cranberries, chia seeds, flax and milk.

snack1

I had a little snack around 10:30 to hold me over until lunch; some popchips with cottage cheese.

lunch

For lunch I made a caesar salad with spinach & baby kale and then had some indian paneer over quinoa & brown rice.

snack2

For an afternoon snack I had some carrots dipped in hummus and a huge crunchy apple!

dinnerI almost forgot to take a picture of my dinner but I had a lightbulb moment about halfway through so I snapped this picture for you.  I had another salad, some butternut squash risotto and a Dogfish Head Espresso Habanero sausage.  It was good but SPICY!  The boys were having a dance party in my belly after that one.

Happy Wednesday!!

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

This weekend!

Nantucket1

This is probably our last trip we’ll take before the babies arrive so we soaked it all up and enjoyed sleeping in, going out to dinner and packing only 2 bags for the entire trip.  Tom & I (mostly me) have an issue with overpacking so I’m frightened about how much stuff we’re going to bring with us when we have two little ones in tow.

Nantucket2

Nantucket3

Friday was absolutely gorgeous, we spent some time getting settled in to the house, stocking the fridge with beer (and seltzer), and then we went out to a FANTASTIC dinner at The Sea Grille.  This may have been one of the best pasta dishes I have ever had.  The pasta was homemade and it was topped with grilled lobster, a fresh tomato garlic sauce and some drizzled pesto.  Holy guacamole, I’ll be dreaming about this one for years to come.

Nantucket4

Unfortunately the weather on Saturday was a bit of a bust, it was POURING rain with lots of wind; the type of day where you just want to stay inside.  So, that’s exactly what we did.  It was nice though, its been a long time since I’ve had a completely lazy day like that and it makes it much more fun when you have great friends to share it with.  We put together this puzzle which pretty much took all day.  I think we put the last piece in the sky at about midnight and literally cheered out loud, it was a doozy!

Nantucket5

We were blessed with a gorgeous day on Sunday so we all went out to brunch to celebrate Steph & Alicia’s completion of the half marathon and then spent the rest of the day walking around town shopping and eating.

It was a great weekend with great people!  Looking forward to making it back to Nantucket again some day, my heart is in Martha’s Vineyard where some of my best friend’s live but Nantucket certainly had its own special charm.

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Ok, so here’s the deal folks.  Its Thursday night, I’m exhausted, this week has completely kicked my ass.  I’ve been completely bombarded with work to the point where I literally (without hurting myself of course), banged my head on the desk a few times out of frustration. Don’t these people know I’m pregnant and these hormones can’t deal with the stress right NOW?? Anywho, I’m ready to go relax and enjoy a fun long weekend with friends, BUT, I feel like I’ve been thoroughly neglecting you guys and need to share some new recipes with you.

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

SO, I’m stopping in briefly to share this one with you.  The only wrinkle is that I didn’t copy my steps down carefully enough to write down an actual step-by-step recipe so I’m hoping you guys can take this as inspiration and go navigate your way through it and create a bowl of creamy squashy bacony goodness on your own.

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

I decided to try making the spaghetti squash in the slow cooker which totally worked apart from the fact that it was a little more mushy and less stringy.  So, it tasted delicious but didn’t have that same spaghetti-like texture I’m used to.  If you’re ok with the mush, make it in the slow cooker, if not – make it in the oven like normal.

SquashCarbonara4

So in nutshell, this is how I made this:

I cooked about 5 slices of bacon in a pan, then removed it to drain on some paper towels.  Then I added diced onion to the bacon juices, cooked until soft and then added 1 1/2 cups frozen (thawed) peas.  When those were heated through I added 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, some salt, pepper & nutmeg and simmered it briefly.  Then I stirred in the cooked spaghetti squash, chopped bacon and topped it off with some more parmesan cheese & bacon bits.  It was yum-o-yummy!

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Hope you all enjoy a beautiful long weekend!! Love to you all!

 

WIAW #93

breakfast

Hey there, Happy Wednesday!  I’m realizing that my eats for What I Ate Wednesday are a little messy looking and not very colorful but they were pretty delicious so here we go!  I’m going to call this the yellow day.

For breakfast I had a big bowl of steel cut oats with apples, cinnamon, flax seeds, chia seeds, coconut and dried cranberries along with a pumpkin spice waffle with peanut butter on top.  It seems like every time I go into Whole Foods, their stock of these things are cleaned out pretty well so its obviously a popular flavor.  I hope they stick around for a while because they are SO GOOD!

silhouette

I’m starting to get quite the baby bump growing, I caught my silhouette the other day on the wall as the sun was setting and it took me a second to realize how big I was getting.  Its so weird to see you body changing like this, every time I pass by a mirror or my reflection I have to stop & pause, holy crap! That’s me!

I’ve officially stopped Cross Fit for the remainder of the pregnancy.  I could have probably gone a few more weeks but they say you should stop all rigorous exercise by the 2nd trimester or 24 weeks at the latest with twins.  I’m currently 23 weeks so I figured it would be best to just be safe and cut back now so I don’t increase my risk of preterm labor.  I’ve been taking afternoon walks with Oto and doing some stretching and light weights at the house for now.  I’m realizing how hard its going to be to go back after all of this and see how far behind I am but I’m also excited for the challenge to build my endurance and muscles back up.  I’m hoping we can find a way to fit it into the schedule once the twins are born.

lunch

 

Anywho, on to some more eats.  I froze some of the chili from last week so I reheated some of that for lunch and had it alongside some leftover mashed sweet potatoes.

snack

For an afternoon snack I had some multigrain chips, a wedge of garlic herb cheese and an apple.  People keep asking me if I’m having any weird cravings and although my diet has stayed mainly normal I’ve been wanting chips like something bad.  I could eat chips for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I could.  Of course I’m trying to keep it under control and just snack on them occasionally but I guess that’s my one weird pregnancy thing.

dinner

For dinner I made a 1/2 chicken in the slow cooker and then made a little chicken salad out of it and ate it over some spinach, carrots and roasted delicata squash.

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

A fresh clean room!

guestroomWe’ve been working on rearranging the house to make way for the nursery.  So far we have cleared out Tom’s man cave (sorry love), moved my office in there and then moved the guest room into where my office was.  I love starting a room off fresh and clean and spending time setting everything up.  Now we just need to hire someone to paint the nursery and get started on the furniture buying process.  So much to do and so little time!  I’ll post some pics when the nursery is done, we’re going to do grey walls with yellow, white & acqua accents.  Can’t wait to get it all done!

 

Mexican Sweet Potato Puff Pie

Mexican Sweet Potato Puff Pie

Ok guys, I hope you’re ready for this one, it’s a keeper!  This is somewhere in-between two previous recipes I’ve posted: my Shredded Chicken Mexican Pie & my Mexican Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie.  The thing I love about these is that you get all of those awesome Mexican flavors in a dish but you can skip the whole tortilla thing to hold it all together.  The tortilla is just a vessel for the goodness and this time we’re just throwing all of the goodness right into a pie dish.

Mexican Sweet Potato Puff Pie

As we were eating it, Tom asked me what made me think of doing this.  I admitted that I was actually going to make the same Mexican Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie I’d made in the past but when I was at the grocery store shopping, I had made it all the way past the produce aisle without getting sweet potatoes and really didn’t feel like walking back to get them.  Then I looked in the freezer case and remembered my awesome friends at Alexia had these sweet potato puffs that I could use as a substitute.

Mexican Sweet Potato Puff Pie

If you haven’t tried them before, you seriously need to get on it and throw some Alexia items next time you’re at the store.  They’ve been a design client of mine for over 5 years now and they are some of the best people to work with.  They put a lot of care into the products they create AND they’re working on getting a lot of their products Non-GMO Project Verified which is pretty awesome as well.

I was so excited when they came out with these sweet potato puffs, nothing is better than a good potato puff and to fill it with the healthier sweet potato? Sign me up!  I actually get a little nostalgic when I think of potato puffs, they bring me back to my college years. Saturday mornings at the dining hall, you would see all these zombie’s walking around with trays full of 10 glasses of water and a HEAPING pile of tater tots.  I’m surprised our bodies survived those days, talk about resiliency!

Mexican Sweet Potato Puff Pie

Ok, this is how freaking easy this is.  First, cook the potato puffs according to the package directions.  Then sauté some peppers & onions until soft and season with a little taco seasoning.

Mexican Sweet Potato Puff Pie

Then you sauté some ground beef with the remaining taco seasoning and salsa and add in a layer on top of the peppers & onions.

Mexican Sweet Potato Puff Pie

Then you pile all those crispy sweet potato puffs on top of the ground beef.

Mexican Sweet Potato Puff Pie

Then you make a layer of shredded cheese on top, throw it in the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted & bam! You’ve got dinner on the table!

Mexican Sweet Potato Puff Pie

I really wanted to top this with some chopped scallions but I didn’t have any on hand so I clipped some chives and threw those on top for a little greenness.  Just serve this with a simple salad and the family will be oh so happy!

Mexican Sweet Potato Puff Pie

Leftovers of this were pretty delicious as well even though the potato puffs weren’t that crispy any more, the flavors were all still there.  Hope you guys love this as much as we did, this one will be going into the make-again category!

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

Eating on the water.

LunchLast weekend I popped over to Marblehead with some friends and we ate lunch at a restaurant with a deck right on the water.  It’s so nice to soak up the sun while watching the boats go by in the harbor.  I had a huge spinach salad with lobster on top and it was summer perfection.  I’ll be holding on to that simple summer memory as the snow drifts and wind move in this winter.

Mexican Sweet Potato Puff Pie

Serves 4-6
Allergy Milk
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Serve Hot

Ingredients

  • 1 bag Alexia Sweet Potato Puffs
  • 1 Medium Onion (sliced)
  • 1 Medium red pepper (sliced into strips)
  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • shredded mexican cheese

Directions

1. Bake the Alexia Sweet Potato puffs according to the package instructions. Keep oven on at 400 F after they are done cooking.
2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Add peppers & onions and sauté for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until soft & lightly browned. Season with 2 teaspoons of taco seasoning. Transfer the mixture to the pie dish.
3. Add the ground beef to the pan with the remaining taco seasoning.
4. Cook until nicely browned and cooked through. Then stir in the salsa. Add the meat mixture to the pie dish on top of the peppers & onions.
5. Create a layer of sweet potato puffs on top of the ground beef and top off with a sprinkling of shredded cheese.
6. Transfer the pie dish to the oven and cook until the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes.
7. Serve topped with diced chives or green onions (optional).

 

 

WIAW #92

breakfast

Happy Fall everyone!  I know it was officially fall like last week or something but with the hot weekend we had, I feel like it’s actually starting this week.  I’m bringing out the sweaters and starting to crave things like hot oatmeal and soups.  The vibrant leaves are changing and the days are getting shorter.  This is probably the first year that I haven’t been sad for the end of summer. Reason number one is that NONE of my summer clothes fit me any more and its pretty miserable being large and hot, I’m so glad I skipped out on that really pregnant in the dead of summer thing!  Reason number two is that there are so many exciting things coming up in the next few months.  We have a TON of stuff to prepare before the little monsters arrive but I seriously cannot wait! The next 3 months are going to fly by!

Anyways, since its fall now and I’ve made my mental shift, let’s look at some of my fall eats from yesterday.

For breakfast I had a big bowl of steel-cut oats that I made with a mixture of water & apple cider, then I added a little maple syrup, cinnamon, chia seeds, coconut, dried cranberries, diced apples & a splash of almond milk.  YUM.

morningsnack

I usually eat breakfast around 6:30 and don’t get around to eating lunch until around 12 so I usually have a little mid-morning snack to hold me over.  This time it was a few bites of cottage cheese.

lunch

For lunch I had a salad and some leftover Thai meatballs which I made in a red coconut curry sauce along with some brown rice & quinoa.

snack

snack2

For an afternoon snack I had some Sweet Potato yogurt with KIND peanut butter granola and cinnamon on top.  This was my first time trying this yogurt and it was really good.  I was mostly drawn in by the nice packaging design, that black really stood out among all of the white yogurt containers.  Plus they had some pretty cool unique flavors like carrot and beet, how cool is that?  Check them out if you can find them in your grocery store, I picked them up at Whole Foods.

dinner

For dinner I made a big batch of chili in the slow cooker.  No special recipe, just ground beef, fire roasted tomatoes, black & kidney beans, zucchini, onions and LOTS of yummy spices.  I’ll be eating this for a few more meals this week for sure!

I forgot to take a pic but I also had a little granola before bed.

Happy Wednesday everyone!

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

The farmer’s market in the fall.

farmersmarket

There are so many awesome things at the market this time of year, I love seeing the booths all decked out in pumpkins, apples and squash, I just wish I could bring a shopping cart or something, I never seem to have enough room in that little bag I bring!  Make sure you guys get out there and support your local farmers this fall!

 

Fudgy Espresso Blondie Brownies

Fudgy Espresso Blondie Brownies

Since you all now know that I’m in full-on pregnancy mode, it’s completely acceptable for me to write a post FULL of sugar and bad stuff, right?  In my defense, I brought these to Newport this weekend and did not eat all of them!  Bad stuff aside, these things might seriously be one of the best brownies you’ve ever tasted.

Fudgy Espresso Blondie Brownies

I stole this recipe from my mom, she used to make them and the smell that filled the house would bring everyone out of hiding and we would be waiting by the stove for them to be ready.  They are so rich and delicious, you really only need to eat one (or maybe five).

Fudgy Espresso Blondie Brownies

Unfortunately there is one really hard thing you have to do in order to make these.  You have to let them cool when they come out of the oven and its pretty much pure torture.  The center is so soft and fudgy, they won’t be easy to cut until you let them cool.  For this batch, I put the pan in the refrigerator until it was cooled and then I popped it out onto a cutting board and cut into small pieces using a chef’s knife.  Cutting brownies can be a little difficult and I’ve found this is the easiest solution.

Fudgy Espresso Blondie Brownies

If you haven’t seen them yet, one of my favorite brands – Immaculate Baking Company has ventured out of the refrigerated aisle and they are now making products you’ll find in the dry baking aisle.  I worked with them on designing all of the packaging for these items so its exciting to see them come to life!  They sent me a case of the items to try and they are SO good! They have new cake mixes, cookie mixes and dry ingredients like a pancake waffle mix and this unbleached, unbromated Organic All-Purpose Flour.  I’m sure I’ll be posting other recipes using the other items soon so stay tuned for those!

Fudgy Espresso Blondie Brownies

If you need more friends in your life, just whip up a batch of these and watch them come running, you may want to have some glasses of milk standing by.

Enjoy!

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

The smell of fresh brownies baking in the oven. What are you waiting for? Go make them!!

Fudgy Espresso Blondie Brownies

Ingredients

  • 16oz brown sugar
  • 3/4 cups unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Spray 9" x 9" or 11" x 8" baking pan with cooking spray.
3. In a small sauce pan heat brown sugar & butter until melted. Dissolve the espresso powder with the hot water in a small bowl. Add to the brown sugar mixture and stir to combine well. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
4. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder & salt.
5. Beat eggs & vanilla with a mixer. Add the cooled brown sugar mixture and combine well. Slowly add the flour mixture until combined well and then add chocolate chips.
6. Pour into the pan and cook for 30-40 minutes or until the edges and top are lightly browned (center will be soft).
7. Let cool for 10-15 minutes, minimum. For best results, refrigerate until cooled completely and then cut into small squares.

 

 

 

WIAW #91

Breakfast

Hey there!  Since its Wednesday and we’re looking at my eats for the day, I figured I’d talk quickly about how my eating has changed since this whole preggos thing started.  I’ve been extremely lucky to have avoided the whole morning sickness and food aversion thing but that isn’t to say that my eating habits haven’t changed slightly.  I’m still eating similar things, like this breakfast for example or my usual salad at lunch, but I’ve been trying to add more whole grains, proteins and dairy to the mix.  In the past, I’ve tried to limit my intake of bread and full fat dairy, but I know these little guys need some extra fuel to grow big and strong so I’m trying to give them what they need.  I’ve read a few books on having a healthy twin pregnancy and much to my dismay, a lot of them stress the importance of gaining weight.  There are so many preterm births with twins but they say you can drastically reduce your chances by putting on the prescribed amount of weight.  Of course, you’re supposed to do it eating healthy stuff like vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, nuts & oils.  Easier said than done!

Belly

So, there it is! The pregnant belly!  People are no longer guessing that I might be pregnant, now it’s turned to “When are you due?”  I’m into my 21st week now and obviously showing about double what you would be showing in a singleton pregnancy.  The checkout lady at the supermarket yesterday asked if I needed help getting groceries into my car and wherever I go, benches clear out for a place for me to sit down, its kind of a funny thing to get used to.  I realize I should be taking advantage of those benches but at this point, I still feel like a normal active person, just with a much larger belly and the need to make a bathroom break every 2 minutes.  I’ve continued CrossFit up until this point at a very scaled pace but I think I may only be able to continue for another few weeks, I’m just getting a little too uncomfortable at this point and I don’t want to risk anything.

So, gaining weight and being ok with it? It’s a hard thing to get used to, it’s like I’m erasing everything I’ve learned in this lifetime.  I’ve gained 16 pounds so far which I guess is right on par with where I should be, they say you should gain 4-6 pounds in the first trimester and then 1.5 pounds a week during the 2nd and 3rd trimester.  It’s still hard not to cry when I see these numbers popping up on the scale, I’m just trying to think that it’s mostly babies and fluid, right? right??  Whatever, my main goal right now is to grow two healthy boys and carry them to term and if that means weighing in at more than I ever thought I would, I guess I’m going to have to deal with it!

Anyways, let’s get on with some eats for the rest of the day!

Lunch

For lunch I had a salad with broccoli, cauliflower & feta along with some leftovers.  I’m hoping I can post this recipe for you because it was really good, the texture didn’t come out as I was expecting but the flavors were great.  It is a spaghetti squash carbonara.  I decided to make the spaghetti squash in the slow cooker but it was a little overcooked and didn’t have that stringy spaghetti-like texture.  Either way, it was delicious, a blend of squash, peas, bacon & parmesan. Yum!

Snacks

I had quite the variety of snacks today.  I was out of the house for a little while yesterday afternoon and needed a quick fix so I had a dark chocolate sunflower butter cup to hold me over.  For a snack before Crossfit I had a (hand-picked :)) honey crisp apple and a few bits of Cocomama Crunched Out.  I also had a little spritzer that has been my afternoon treat lately.  This one was black cherry seltzer with a splash of apple cider.  My favorite from last week was mandarin seltzer with coconut water and a splash of orange juice, it tasted like a less sweet Orangina.

Dinner

Tom & I were pretty hungry and exhausted by the time we got back from our workout so we just made up a quick dinner of some buffalo chicken salad sandwiches and a green salad.

Head on over to Peas & Crayons for more yummy eats!

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

This past weekend.

Fam

We went down to Newport this weekend for a little get together with my family from the west coast.  It is always so great to see them, they recently bought a house in Newport so we’re lucky to get to spend more time with them now.  I feel so lucky to have such a great family and not one single person that I don’t get along with.  We also got to spend some time with my brother-in-law, sister-in-law and new niece who were visiting from Guam where they’re stationed with the Navy.  Overall, it was a fantastic weekend full of sunshine, laughs and great times.