‘Brunching’ It

Happy Mother’s Day!!

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Happy Mother’s Day Mom, I love you! Not just for what you have done for me, but for loving my daughter just as much…if not more than you love me. 😉 I wish we could spend the day together, but we will as soon as you get back in town. ❤

Hope you are off to a good start. It’s a girls kind of morning!! Best way to spend Mother’s day is with my little lady!

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Gabriella is like her Momma, we have to star the day with our coffee!!

We read some books (not this book, I figure it’s best not to start the day off sobbing 😉 ), bounced in her jump a roo, and she’s now crawling around…

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but all of her crawling is tiring her out! ^notice that big yawn!

Shortly it will be nap time for G, and while she naps I am going to get everything ready for brunch! My sister, brother in law, nephew & niece are coming over later this morning to celebrate Mother’s day together!! I’m SO excited because we haven’t seen them in what feels like FOREVER!

On the menu (so far) is Sally’s Super Crumb Coffee Cake, (<—Sally NEVER disappoints, so I know we are in for a treat!), Mini blueberry scones, cinnamon twists & fruit with Chobani fruit dip!

I also made a banana bread, which is a recipe that I got off of Courtney’s blog. It happens to be her favorite banana bread recipe. I saw it on one of her posts earlier this week & I couldn’t get it out of my head.

It was funny she happened to write about it, because I had a bunch of browned bananas just sitting on the counter. I ALWAYS have a problem with having way too many bananas.

I am picky about banana and really don’t like when they even have one brown spot on them, believe it or not, I prefer them with a hint of green. Call me crazy..?

Without further ado, here is the recipe- I changed very few things from her original recipe.

Courtney’s Banana Bread

(adapted from Courtney at Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life)

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45- 50 minutes
  • Servings: 10-12

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup Truvia baking blend
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×5” loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars until crumbly, 1-2 minutes. Add egg, then egg white, beating well after each. Beat on high speed until light and fluffy. Stir in mashed bananas, applesauce, honey, and vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, combine flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon & ground flax seed; stir into wet ingredients until just moistened (do not over mix).

Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 45- 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Slice and enjoy!

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I think this may be my new go-to banana bread recipe! The reason that I enjoyed it so much was that you don’t need any oil, and the sweetners are all natural. I swear you can actually taste the honey in each bite- delicious!

I also had a little helper in the kitchen.

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^THIS little lady loves to be in the kitchen whenever I’m cooking. I just put her in her little bumbo seat & she just watches. Let me tell ya, one of the BEST tips I ever got regarding teething was from my sister in law- Stephanie. She told me how much my nephew just loved chewing on a cold spatula. Just put one in the freezer for a bit & then let them bite away!

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She pretty much attacks it the minute I hand it to her. It is quite funny. 🙂

Enjoy your Sunday, I hope you get to spend it with loved ones. ❤

From My Phone

I’m sure you have all figured out that I ‘m just a little bit obsessed with my daughter…and yes, that may just in fact be the biggest understatement of the year.

I would say I take at least 10 pictures a day of her…just from my phone. Often I break out my big camera too. My girl already knows how to pose for pictures. I love it. Whenever I go to take a picture of her with my phone she almost immediately looks right at it. It’s actually pretty funny, she’s learned her Momma already. 🙂

I thought it would be fun to show you some of the pictures I have of Gabriella from my phone. And these are just a few from the past week. Currently there is over 900 pictures of her on my phone…and please keep in mind she’s only 3.5 months old. My poor phone & it’s lack of storage.

Here’s one of my very favorite pictures that I ever got of her from my phone:

(*Grandma N, you are going to recognize nearly everyone of these pictures 🙂 )

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She looks so proud of herself for holding her little head up so well. It’s the background on my phone. 🙂

I also thought it would be fun to show you HOW much my daughter fights sleep. One thing I know for sure is that when she gets older she will be GREAT at whatever she decides to do because she is SO very strong willed! She refuses to give into ANYTHING…especially sleep.

If you notice my workout log, you will probably see that I am doing stuff in the morning & afternoon. I’ll tell you why- the morning run/ weight workout is my normal workout- the one I plan on doing. The afternoon one is typically when Gabriella wakes up from her afternoon nap (she loves being outside) or when she won’t nap, so I take her for a walk & hope she goes to sleep.

That’s what happened yesterday. She absolutely refused to nap. She was in her swing for about an hour- not crying or anything. But yawning, rubbing her eyes & getting heavy eyelids. So instead of just letting her sit there, I decided to take her on a walk. It was a nice day & I figured she would probably fall right asleep.

I should of known better 😉

Here she is at the start of our walk, bright eyed & bushy tailed.

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This is about 10 minutes into it:
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And here’s about 20 minutes in:
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And FINALLY SUCCESS….only took about 45 minutes …
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She even drooled a bit:
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Then after 20 minutes, she was awake yet again.
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Hey, at least I got 20 minutes out of her. I’ll take it! What a fighter I have, right?!

She also started teething about 2 weeks ago, and she’s become quite fond of her little giraffe, Sophie.
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^that one is actually from my big camera, but I had to share it. Craig loves this one because he said it looks like she is imitating the giraffe. Cracks me up!

She loves that thing! Her other favorite thing is when I just sit & rub her gums with my finger. She will just smile at me, it’s the best. 🙂

The little lady also developed a bit of eczema the past week. Totally normal, and Craig had it as a kid too. Not sure if she got it from him, or because of the bath wash we were using. We are no longer using any kind of bubble bath, just Mustela for soap & shampoo. When I called the doctor & explained what the rash looked like, he recommended I get Cetaphil.

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I went & bought it yesterday and it ALREADY seems to be helping her skin. I’m so glad! It wasn’t bothering her, but I still felt bad.

You’ve probably had your fill of Gabriella for the day! 😉 Hope you have a good Thursday…you’ve almost made it to Friday!

Sunday Dinner + Whipped Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter Pie

Boy do I have a treat for you guys today. I promise it will banish those Monday blues.

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But before I get to that…let me tell you about our dinner last night.

On occasion Craig’s Italian roots really show. For example, he loves pasta. But not just any pasta, Craig LOVES just plain pasta. I think it’s odd, but I make it for him when I’m not hungry for dinner, or when he’s having a rough day. He likes it that much. I other on the other hand need some kind of sauce with it.

Another thing is that he is obsessed and I mean OBSESSED with Italian movies- Goodfellas & The Godfather. I know most guys are, but he is EXTREME. He will quote both movies (well, all of The Godfather movies) LINE BY LINE. He says he can relate things growing up to the movie…not quite sure what that means, considering all of the blood & guts…but hey, whatever floats his boat. 😉

Recently he decided that he wanted to create a new tradition for our little family of three. Big Sunday dinners. But not just any type of dinner, an Italian dinner. Full of pasta, bread, cheeses, you get the picture.

It works out because we usually eat a big breakfast, skip lunch & then have a large dinner. So then we have plenty of room for a feast!

We started it last Sunday, with the Rigatoni Pasta Pie.

This Sunday was another type of pasta- Crunchy Oven Fried Cheese Ravioli.

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I will not be surprised if I immediately get a phone call, email or comment on this post as to WHY on earth I have not made these for her yet. It is one of her FAVORITE foods to order out, and since she was just down her for a girls weekend with me & G, I know she is saying right now WHY didn’t Holly make these for me then?!! Well, Mom it’s because I just found the recipe & I do apologize, I promise to make these for you soon! 🙂

Now the best part of these is that they are NOT at all fried, as the recipe may imply. They are 100% baked! Gotta love a pasta recipe that is somewhat ‘healthified.’

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I followed Jessica’s recipe exactly- no changes were made. No need to mess with a good thing!

I served them, as suggested with a side of marinara for dipping.

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And because it’s necessary to get our greens with every meal, I made a side Caesar salad (with light dressing). Oh, and don’t laugh at my Valentine’s placemats, they are being replaced with St. Patrick’s Day ones tomorrow. 🙂

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Now onto dessert. I mean that’s the part you were really waiting for, right?! Isn’t that WHY we eat dinner, so that we can have dessert?! 😀 I know that’s what I did as a child, my parents said ‘Three more bits & then you can have dessert.’ Oh boy! It was like dangling a carrot in front of a horse. 🙂

This recipe was one that I just came up with on the fly. I saw a big container of Vanilla Chocolate Chunk Chobani in my fridge & decided to run with it.

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And then I got to thinking…which lead to pulling random ingredients out of the pantry and refrigerator. I swear I was just grabbing whatever sounded good.

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Favorite part about this pie? How EASY it is to make. It’s literally dump everything in, mix it up & freeze.

Whipped Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter Pie

Ingredients:

For the crust:
-1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
-2 tbsp. vanilla chocolate chunk Chobani (or just plain vanilla Chobani)
-2 tbsp. brown sugar
-1 tbsp. smooth peanut butter, melted
-1 tbsp. butter or margarine, melted

For the pie:
-16oz. (one large container) 2% Vanilla Chocolate Chunk Chobani
-8oz. Cool Whip
-3/4 cup chunky peanut butter (can also use smooth)
-1/4 cup light chocolate Silk Soymilk
-1/4 cup powdered sugar
-1/4 cup mini chocolate chips, optional
-Reese’s peanut butter cup, chopped (optional)

Directions:

1. Make the crust. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9” pie pan. Take all of the ingredients for the pie & mix together well. I used a potato masher to really mix it up well. It will NOT be smooth, be course, but that’s how it is supposed to be. Bake for 5 minutes.

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2. While the crust is baking, take all of the ingredients for the pie EXCEPT the Reese’s peanut butter cup & mini chocolate chips. mix well in a stand mixer. I mixed everything for about 3-4 minutes on medium low. It was a nice smooth texture. I then poured in the mini chocolate chips & mixed it by hand, until combined.

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3. Pour the pie mixture into the baked pie crust. Top with chopped Reese’s’ if desired. Freeze for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

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I drizzled melted peanut butter & chocolate syrup over the top….makes for a prettier picture 🙂

**Notes about the pie: ”
-The is PLENTY of filling, it will almost look like too much, but it should JUST fit in the 9” pie pan. It may look like it is about to overflow, but it end up all fitting in the crust.
-I recommend that you like Greek yogurt if you decide to make this pie. Since it is a main ingredient, it definitely does taste like Greek yogurt. Just a heads up!

Now I do NOT normally make dessert for dinner when it is just Craig & I. But yesterday I just felt like baking, and I thought Craig deserved a treat. I mean he does have to live in a household with two crazy girls. 😉

Poor little Gabriella is teething & she has been pretty fussy for the past couple of days. She is too little to use Oragel, so we are just giving her lots of things to chew on. Her favorite is my finger though, and she LOVES when I rub her little gums. She just smiles at me. Craig has been awesome with her, and I really appreciate it. I had to run a few errands yesterday, and although I normally do them with her, it’s MUCH quicker if I can run them without her. Nothing like a little chocolate &peanut butter to show him my appreciation. …the way to a man’s heart…;)

I hope that you have a great Monday, if you are working! For those that have off for President’s Day, ENJOY every moment!!