Monday, January 25, 2016

A dozen M&M cookies

I'm baaaaaack. In addition to 80's movie references, I am also here to bring cookies. 

These cookies are quick to come together and quicker (more quick?) to be devoured. They are full of smashed M&M candies. For smaller batch recipes like this one, I like to do the mixing by hand with a wooden spoon, but feel free to use an electric mixer! 

Dunked in coffee, it is the only way. 

M&M cookies
makes 12

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
¼ c brown sugar
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
¾ teaspoon vanilla
½ c + 2 Tablespoons flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon instant espresso (or coffee) powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ heaping c chopped M&Ms candies
- - -
pre-heat oven to 375F; line a baking sheet with parchment 
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, soda and coffee/espresso powder, set aside
2. In another medium bowl, use a wooden spoon to cream together the sugars and butter (or use a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment)
3. Add the egg and vanilla to the sugar mixture, stir to combine
4. Add dry ingredients (minus the M&Ms) and stir until dough forms
5. Fold in chopped candies until evenly distributed
6. Scoop dough by the Tablespoon onto your prepared baking sheet
7. Bake at 375F for 9-11 minutes (edges will begin to brown)

Monday, January 11, 2016

Life with Rose: 6 months in

Six months in and I am feeling... humbled.  Oh, so humbled. Truth be told Rose is now seven months old and I have honestly not had a free moment to write in almost two months. In between the holidays (always a busy time for me and Jeff at work) and a baby who is crawling all over the place, time for myself has been non-existent. Real talk: from Thanksgiving to New Years I have felt like I have been running non-stop from thing to thing, only stopping at regular intervals to simultaneously pump milk and shove some sort of food in my mouth. I am ready for the post-holiday lull for sure!

Rosemary is just the sweetest, happiest girl. Jeff and I are so lucky to be her parents. Let's see, in the past few months she has started crawling. She also is teething like mad and so far has her two bottom teeth in. She likes eating "popsicles" made with either breast milk or apple juice, they seem to help the pain a bit. Speaking of eating, Rose has been trying out different solid foods and it is so much fun to feed her new things (probably because Jeff and I both love to eat so much.)

I have been making her food, mostly fruits and veggies with a few grains and starches thrown in. We are also trying to give her different spices. Her favorite foods are squash (acorn or butternut) with cinnamon and mango mixed into plain yogurt, She also enjoys the occasional spoonful of peanut or almond butter (our pediatrician told us to expose her early to try and avoid an allergy.)

I like to eat with Rosemary as much as possible so that she learns it is something we do together.

Rose is tall and lean (like Jeff) with little chubby cheeks (like me!) She is obsessed with crawling and has just started to pull  herself up to stand. She spends most of her day trying to pet the cats (read: grab handfuls of their fur.) Jeff and I sometimes call her Lenny, like the character from Of Mice and Men. Hey look, I just used my English degree!

Always after that Little Man...

We haven't had any real words yet, but Rose is sure talkative (especially in the evenings.) Most nights are spent with her crawling around our bed, playing and babbling.

First time seeing snow... she was a fan, especially of how it felt on her gums!

I really miss making recipes and taking the time to photograph them, but realistically there are not enough hours in the day right now. I hope to get back into it soon! I have actually been cooking quite a bit lately which is so nice. Jeff and I have been on the pescatarian diet for a few months now and are really happy with the change. I eat mostly vegetarian with the occasional meal of fish thrown in.

It is a new year and as much as I love the holidays, I am looking forward to spring and summer a lot. I don't really make New Year's Resolutions, but I have been trying to do more yoga lately. This year I want to focus on my family and take a few trips (Cannon Beach is calling to me!) I am going to write more both on this site and in a journal. Oh and more donuts. I will forever need more donuts. Old fashioned/glazed, please/thank you.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Fall Inspired

I don't know about you, but I am in serious need of holiday baking inspiration. It is in times like these that I like to go back through old recipes and re-read what was going on in my life when I made them. This, coupled with the "Pumpkin Spice State of Mind" playlist on Songza helps me get my mind right. Ready... set... bake!

I need to make these blondies again stat. 

Gigantic ginger cookies... make them and tie them up with a bow for the holidays.

Crinkle cookies with a minty twist are a good decision.


I don't particularly enjoy drinking eggnog but I do like eating it in the form of bread.

If pumpkin isn't your thing, try these sweet potato scones.

If pumpkin is your thing, try these cinnamon rolls.

Or this pie...

...or these muffincupcakes.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Life with Rose: 5 months in

Five... wait for it... months!

Food: I wish I had more time to bake! I am really looking forward to next month when I start holiday baking... Christmas cookies are pretty much my favorite dessert. Our schedule has been really kicking my butt lately so any/all free time has been spent with Rosemary or sneaking in a little exercise. Jeff and I went out for his birthday to a restaurant in Tacoma called Marrow and had a really wonderful meal. We had a melon salad that came with marinated figs and hazelnut hummus (aka what I would eat for every meal if I could.) He got a steak and I got their mac and cheese with apples and pretzel breadcrumbs. Basically all of my favorite things. Oh and there have been a few donuts here and there. On the Rose front: we have introduced her to rice cereal (she hates) and bananas (she loves.)

Drinks: Coffee with cream. Tons of water. At Jeff's birthday dinner I tried a life changing old fashioned featuring orange oil.

Activity: Rose is moving constantly, reaching for everything. She discovered our cats and is especially taken with Little Man (our chubby black and white kitten.) She tries to pet him but winds up mostly tearing out handfuls of his fur. He is terrified of her. Rose has also began flipping over at night. When she isn't eating or sleeping, Rose can be found doing push ups and trying desperately to crawl.

Rose's Halloween costume, inspired by Flashdance. She kicks her legs like a maniac. Maaaaaainiac. OK I am done.

Growth: My little chunk is filling out 9 month clothing. Her hair is growing a lot right now too... it will be interesting to see if she gets my curls! It looks like her hair is going to be lighter initially (Jeff had light hair as a baby.)

Sleep: We hit a little rough patch with sleep these past few weeks. Since Rose started rolling over at night, we have had to unswaddle her arms (she needs to be able to use her arms on her belly.) Having her arms free has meant she wakes herself up constantly. She seems to be favoring sleeping on her stomach and her pediatrician said that as long as she can flip over and keeps her head to the side she will be fine. Buuut because we are first time parents, Jeff and I check her constantly.

Workouts: Earlier this month I ran a half marathon and it went great! I finished in 1:42 and 3rd place in the women's race. However, the week after my race I couldn't seem to recover. I was so tired and just felt depleted no matter how much I ate/drank. I think running (especially long distances) will have to wait until I am done breastfeeding Rosemary. In lieu of running, I have started the T25 program recommended to me by my dad. It is 25 minutes a day which is perfect. I just plop Rosemary onto her activity mat and I exercise right next to her while she plays.

This next month I am looking forward to having Rose try more foods! We are also planning on getting some family pictures taken for the holidays. Spoiler alert: Rosemary will be in a turtleneck onesie.

Monday, September 28, 2015

A year ago today (Life with Rose: 4 months in)

A year ago today I was recovering from a friend's wedding. I was nursing a beer/cupcake hangover with cup after cup of coffee in our small studio apartment. Today? Today I am sitting in the bedroom of our house, drinking cup after cup of coffee with a baby in my lap. This past year has been... a ride. A challenging, exciting, scary, wonderful ride. We are four months into our life with this girl and couldn't be happier. It is a little ridiculous.

Food: There is finally more cooking happening over here! I have been meal planning a little more because time (especially in the evenings) goes fast! I have found it is easier to cook a few nights a week and just make enough for leftovers so we aren't trying to figure out meals everyday. Jeff has been making different soups that we eat all week (his chicken tortilla is the best.) Rosemary doesn't seem to be bothered by dairy anymore so Greek yogurt and cheese have been back in the rotation.

Drinks: So much coffee (sometimes with a little chai tea powder mixed in for spice.)

Activity: Rosemary is so active. She has started rolling onto her belly and back so that means we have to constantly watch her. She wants so badly to crawl, she gets on her stomach and kicks her little legs like mad. Once she gets the mechanics down she is going to be off! I am not ready for that. She loves going on walks and to the grocery store in her sling. She is just taking it all in, it is fun to watch her look at things. She has also gotten grabby so we have brought out some more of her toys for her to try. Also new this month: noises. She is trying to communicate, it is pretty much the sweetest thing ever.

We tried out the Bumbo seat. Rosemary is not sure how she feels about this whole sitting thing.

Growth: We have an appointment early next week for more measurements and shots so I am not sure how much she has grown since her last appointment. She is wearing 6-9 month outfits and feels like she is gaining weight... I carried her on a walk recently and was definitely feeling it by the end!

Sleep: Rose is such a good sleeper- she has started to get sleepy earlier lately so I will put her down around 8:30 and she will sleep until 6:30 or 7:00. This is wonderful, but means that daytime naps are brief or non existent. I'll take it.

Workouts: Exercise is definitely on the Rosemary schedule... if time allows for it I am all about it, but it is definitely not as big of a priority as it used to be in my life. I am gearing up for my race in a few weeks, trying to go for one longer run and a few shorter ones throughout the week. Also walks with baby and some yoga.

I am really enjoying this stage of Rosemary's life- time is flying but I am doing my best to soak in every minute I have with her. I am starting to make her a baby book so that we can look back at photos/memories of this time. 

I think Rose looks a lot like both me and Jeff as she gets older. However there are times when she will make a face and I will just laugh because it is like looking into a mirror. Exhibit A: The Glare.