Just Can’t Stop

From now on when people ask why I run, I’m just going to answer with one word: Sally.

SALLY! What are you doing to me?!?!?!

I CANNOT stop making your recipes. And you have no idea the anticipation I have for your cookbook. I will be pre-ordering the first day that I can.

Yesterday was my Bible study (LOVE), and it was my week to make treats. I got my chance to dive into my ‘must make’ list of Pinterest recipes. By the way, that ‘must make’ list is about a mile long. Looks like I need more people to bake for, anyone interested?! Craig will probably kick me out of the house if I keep baking like this.

Of course more of the baking involved Nutella.

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With the way I’m going through it lately, I should buy stock in the company. Smile At least I could feel good about my constant need to purchase it.

First up, I felt the need to share the Puppy chow love, so I made MORE Salted Nutella Peanut Puppy Chow. Come to my house & this is what I will feed you. You will never want to leave because you CANNOT stop eating it.

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And once again, I had to make sure Craig stayed away from it. I came downstairs after putting Gabriella to bed & I looked at the batch that I had just made & noticed a TRAIL of powdered sugar…and then I looked at Craig. He was being unusually quiet for some odd reason. …his mouth was full of the stuff. Boy is HOOKED. He’s lucky I saved him a little container of it. Wife points Winking smile

And yes, more Nutella recipes.

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There was one recipe I had been eyeing for a while, but didn’t want to make it for just Craig & I only because I KNEW we would eat the whole loaf in a day. YEP, ONE day.

Nutella Swirled Peanut Butter Banana Bread

A recipe worth EVERY.SINGLE.CALORIE. I promise.

Can you see how amazingly delicious this looks?? And even though I really hate the word ‘moist,’ it’s the only way to describe it.

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If you like banana bread, I HIGHLY suggest trying this. And then grab your stretchy pants, because you won’t be able to stop at one slice. Hey, it DOES have whole wheat flour instead of white…so it IS healthy, right?! Winking smile

Last but not least, blueberry muffins.

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Not just any blueberry muffins, but sparkling blueberry muffins. They are ‘sparkling’ because they are topped with sugar. I didn’t have any course sugar like the recipe called for, so I just used regular granulated sugar. I thought they turned out just as well.

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I like how fluffy this muffins were, a nice complement to the heavy (but delightful) Nutella bread. The recipe is intended for jumbo muffins, but Sally also gives instructions on how to make them for smaller muffins- regular size & mini. I used the recipe for regular size, but had extra batter left over so I got 10 mini muffins as well.

As I was taking that picture above, this happened immediately after:
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Oops. Life of a blogger Winking smile 

Remember those extra wife points I earned from the puppy chow? Well, I cashed them in for making SUCH a mess in the kitchen. It’s a good thing Gabriella loves being in the kitchen with me- we had PLENTY of dishes to wash & counters to clean!

After a busy day of running errands & baking, Gabriella was a sleep little thing! We are currently doing ‘sleep training’ with her- more on that in a different post- but she is doing really well & woke up in a happy mood.

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I love a happy baby!! Open-mouthed smile 

Happy Friday to you!

Any fun plans for this weekend? My Mom is coming down to spend the weekend with us, and I’ll be taking her to a ‘CSI’ exhibit- it was part of her Mother’s Day gift. We are looking forward to seeing her & letting her have some Grandma time with her ‘little peach pie.’

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How to Win Over Anyone

I’ve been holding out on you all.

I have a recipe that I MUST share. It’s too good NOT to share. If you ever need to get on someone’s good side, or need some extra brownie points, just feed them this.

Before leaving for the beach I made a snack that had been on my ‘must make’ list for a while. Sally’s Salted Peanut Nutella Puppy Chow. When I first told Craig what I was making he looked at me like I had three heads. ‘Puppy chow?! You mean the stuff that comes in the can that you feed to dogs?!?!?!’ Yes Craig, that is EXACTLY what I plan on making & serving to humans. Winking smile

He then tried a handful…verdict? I had to HIDE IT FROM HIM, otherwise we wouldn’t have any left for the beach trip the following day.

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You guys…I am NOT lying when I say you CANNOT eat just one bite. There is NO possible way. I PROMISE you. Not only did we polish off nearly the entire batch, Craig has been begging me to make it again nearly everyday since we have been back. It’s just THAT good. I’m being honest here when I tell you this is one of the BEST recipes I have EVER made. Not only is it incredibly easy to throw together, but I can guarantee everyone will be going back for seconds, thirds, fourths & fifths! That is a very bold statement, but I stand behind every word!

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I have copied the recipe directly from Sally’s blog below, only because my Mom wanted the recipe & I know her well enough that she won’t click the link above to it. So here ya go Mom Open-mouthed smile 

Sally’s Salted Peanut Nutella Puppy Chow

makes approximately 7.5 cups. This recipe is gluten free.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter (or unsalted)
  • 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons Nutella (or the entire small container of Nutella)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/4 cup salty peanuts (dry roasted, honey-roasted – whichever you prefer) (I used salted, dry roasted)
  • 6 cups Rice Chex cereal
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. In a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat, melt the butter and Nutella.  Stir constantly until smooth.  Add salt. Remove from heat.
  2. Pour the peanuts and cereal into a large bowl.  Top with warm Nutella mixture and gently mix it around to coat each piece of cereal.
  3. In a large zipped top bag or covered container, add the powdered sugar. Pour the Nutella covered cereal into the large bag or container. Seal the bag or container and shake until all the cereal is coated with the powdered mixture.
  4. Discard excess powder and enjoy. Store at room temperature up to 2 weeks. (I kept it in the refrigerator, and it was EVEN better cold Smile)

Notes

RECIPE SOURCE: SALLYSBAKINGADDICTION.COM

This is my new go-to snack recipe. I CANNOT wait to break this puppy chow out during some Ravens games this fall!

And of course because any blog post would not be complete without it, I must give you a Gabriella update. Smile

The only thing I have to say is she is getting WAY TOO BIG WAY TOO QUICK.

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^ does she not look like a little girl there, rather than a baby?! GAHH! Slow down G, slow down.

This weekend we put away her ‘baby’ stuff, like her swing & her bouncer. She has just outgrown them. The swing we could of maybe gotten another month out of, but she really doesn’t use it anymore…and because she is about 18lbs. (if not more), the things sounds like it is really straining to even swing an inch left to right!

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^teeny tiny baby Gabriella. ❤

When I put her in her bouncer, this is what I would come back to:

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Her legs were EVERYWHERE. And she was just not really entertained by it anymore. She preferred to eat the little bird on the top of the light display.

We also decided to lower her crib completely down. There are three settings, a high, middle & low, but since she is trying to pull up on it, I told Craig we should probably just skip the middle & go straight to the low. Otherwise we would probably have to adjust it again in a month, if that.

She also enjoys just sitting in her crib when she doesn’t want to nap. She will just sit there & play with the bumpers.

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I know it’s hard to see, but she is just sitting in the little corner staring at the monitor. Girlfriend knows exactly where to look for the camera. Winking smile

I definitely miss the ‘infant’ days, just watching her lay there & squeak (baby squeaks are the BEST!), but everyday gets more & more fun!! You can just see her soaking up the world ALL the TIME! It’s SO COOL! … I did ask her if she wanted a baby sister or brother & she just looked at me & smiled.  Good sign- guess this just means we’ll have to work on that for her soon Winking smile

And that was our weekend, spending time as a little family & enjoying every second of it! These are the BEST days. ❤

I hope that you have a wonderful day- I know Monday’s are often hard, but just remember Monday means it’s time for a fresh start!

Last, but not least, I HIGHLY recommend you go out & buy this today.
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I promise your Monday will probably be the greatest Monday ever. Oh, and I dare you to just eat one serving. HA! Good luck with that one Winking smile

Ever had puppy chow? If you have, what’s your favorite kind?

The kind above is my new favorite, I used to really like the ‘limited edition’ kind that came out around Christmas time, but now I don’t have to wait all year for that one!

Best thing about your weekend?

Watching Gabriella find a new favorite toy. She got a new hand puppet & whenever she sees it she just laughs.

Brown Butter Peanut Butter M&M Blondies

Good Morning!

I have come to realize that my blog has slowly turned into more of a Mommy blog. I apologize, kind of, for that. You see whenever you have children, they do turn into a HUGE part of your life. So it’s hard to NOT talk about Gabriella whenever I write a post. I also realize that not everyone is interested in what my daughter is up to on a daily basis. 😉

But I will do my best to try to mix it up a bit more- with some recipes & workouts. I have a whole list of workouts that I have made up, I just haven’t put them on here yet. They are coming!

Today I have a recipe to share with you. It’s not my own, it’s from one of my favorite baking websites that I have mentioned on here many times…Sally’s Baking Addiction. Trust me, just one look on her site & you will want to make EVERYTHING.

To be honest, I really don’t bake often, only because it’s just Craig & I and the last thing we want is a bunch of sweets laying around. But this week we have guests, my in laws are in town, and I always like to have some kind of goody! 🙂

After spotting some Easter M&M’s in the store this past weekend, I knew I had to find a recipe to use them in.

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After searching around on Sally’s site, I found THE recipe- Brown Butter Pretzel M&M Blondies. Now, I was wondering after reading the recipe what kind of impact the brown butter actually made. Let me tell you, it’s HUGE. Seriously. You MUST brown the butter. It gives the blondies SO MUCH FLAVOR. I really had no idea what a difference browning butter makes to the flavor of butter.

The only thing that I changed about the recipes was the I used peanut butter M&M’s instead of the pretzel M&M’s. And to be completely honest, the only reason was because Craig & I did a number on the bag of pretzel M&M’s that I had. Oops 😉

Brown Butter Peanut Butter M&M Blondies

makes 16 blondies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter M&M’s

Instructions

  1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly. Remove from heat immediately when the butter begins to turn brown (about 6 minutes). Pour browned butter into large mixing bowl. Stir in brown sugar. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8×8 square baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. To the cooled down butter/sugar mixture, stir in egg and vanilla extract. Add flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in peanut butter M&Ms.
  4. Pour into prepared baking pan and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned. Allow blondies to cool for at least 1 hour and cut into squares. Store in an airtight container for up to 10 days.

Notes

RECIPE SOURCE: sallysbakingaddiction.com

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These were FANTASTIC!! Like I said before, the browned butter is KEY!

And of course, because I CANNOT go a post without a Gabriella photo…I had to show you what she did when I put the blondies next to her, she was longingly looking at them.

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(PLEASE notice her belly button. It’s mandatory 😉 )

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Poor girl wanted to try one SO bad.

Then she got mad at me because I wouldn’t let her have one, and look what she did. Knocked them RIGHT over. Notice that hand mid swing.

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That’s the it wasn’t me Mommy! look.

Love that girl to pieces.

If you are looking for an Easter dessert, I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend these. I think they would be a hit with anyone, which is sometimes hard to find with a dessert.

Have a great Thursday…some of you may have off tomorrow- ENJOY!! 🙂