Sweet Mango Refresher

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I had a sick little boy last week.  Poor guy had a super sore throat and it was such a struggle to get him to eat because of the pain.  So thats when this Sweet Mango Refresher was born.  Complete success.

I wasn’t quite sure what to call this one.  It’s like a cross between sorbet, frozen yogurt and a slushy all in one.  My kids call it ice cream.  I call it a bowl of refreshing bliss.   Continue reading

Dark Chocolate Chip Spice Muffins

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Man can breakfasts get mundane in my home.  Finding something thats quick and healthful while still tasting yummy for the kiddos can be quite the challenge.  I am thankful they love eggs in all shapes and forms but, as it is, we darn near need to buy a family of chickens to keep up with that whole deal.

Sweet treats can be so fun for breakfast…and these muffins fit right in that category.  My kids love my pumpkin muffins and sometimes for something fun I add in chocolate chips. So I thought…if pumpkin is so yummy in a baked good, why wouldn’t sweet potato be? Continue reading

Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Clusters

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These are a real thing, you guys.  They happened in my kitchen just yesterday.  I saw them with my own two eyes.  I tasted them with my very own tastebuds.  I shared them with a few small grateful children and a couple friends.  And now, they are gone.  Today, no more.  So I’ll be making another batch just as soon as I get this recipe into your hands.   Continue reading

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