Autumn Bark

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Happy Halloween Week!  It’s funny, I was never really a fan of this upcoming holiday until my kids came along.  But now, for me, it’s basically pure excitement.  It’s a fun excuse to dress my kids in hilarious outfits (please, just pray Jude allows me to put his costume on him for at least one photo.  one, thats the goal this year, just one little itty bitty photo is all i ask for.  pray friends, pray.)  Not to mention this holiday is perfectly placed among the most GORGEOUS time of year.  Crispy Autumn.  Ahh.

So on top of the costume thing and the beautiful time of year thing I’m pretty sure most of my excitement stems from the fact that it’s a perfectly wonderful opportunity to get fun and creative in the kitchen.  Holidays equal special food.  Always.  Continue reading

Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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I’m in full recovery mode over here.  From a sleep-deprived, exhausting absolutely amazing weekend with family.  We headed down to my hometown in Iowa to celebrate something pretty darn major in my family.  My parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.  Can you handle it?  I can’t.  I can’t handle so much about it; how quickly time flies, how much they have accomplished in 50 years and, more than anything, how they define what marriage is all about.

I’ve told you before and I’ll tell you time and time again, friends, I am blessed to no end to have been brought up by these parents of mine.  Not because of how much they have done for me or how selfless of parents they are, but because of how they do it TOGETHER.  And so well.  Nick and I have enormous shoes to fill in that department; and from what my eyes have seen it all comes down to teamwork.  And empathy. And respect.  And simply learning that it isn’t all about ourselves and that it is okay to let things go and pick your battles-thank you, Mom and Dad, for teaching me all of these values by example.

So, needless to say, this weekend involved a lot of celebrating.  My five siblings, myself, spouses, 17 crazy-amazing grandchildren and some top notch aunts and uncles.  And as you are aware, in my family, celebrating and food tend to go hand in hand.  These Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Chunk cookies were one of my contributions to the  celebrating.  I’d say they were graciously accepted by all-there was not a morsel left of the double batch I made.   Continue reading

Coconut Almond Chocolates

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If you are looking for the perfect Valentines Day gift to make this weekend these may be of interest to you.  They are so delicious…and much more nutritious than any other chocolates you could buy in store.  I positively love to give homemade gifts…theres nothing better than knowing that you put valid thought, care and effort into what you have done for someone you love.  They’re rich and decadent and so fun to give! Continue reading

Nourished Brownies

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Listen, friends.  This recipe right here?  Write it down.  Take a picture.  File it away.  Send it to a friend.  I don’t care what you do but just don’t forget about it.  It’s one of my favorite “back pocket” treats.  Yes, its just a brownie.  Thats rich.  And gooey.  And indulgent.  With no refined sugar.  Or flour.  I know!  And the ease?  I literally let Georgia, my almost three year old, make them herself.  Start to finish.  The mess she makes takes longer to clean up than getting them in the oven.  Your new company-stopping-over-at-the-last-minute staple.  Just make sure you remember what you did with the recipe…they’re going to ask you to share it with them. Continue reading