Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

Can you tell I've been home a LOT since I have been posting so many recipes?  I really was craving granola with my greek yogurt yesterday, and this was very quick and easy to whip up!  Our whole family loves it, and since it's made with honey/agave nectar instead of sugar it makes a "better for you" snack or topping! 

Peanut Butter Granola
What you'll need...
1/3 cup peanut butter 
1/3 cup honey/agave nectar (i used a combo of both)
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 teaspoon vanilla
chocolate chips, raisins, craisins, white chocolate chips....whatever you want to add in!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper

Melt the peanut butter and honey (or agave) in the microwave at 30 second increments until melted.  Poor over the oats and coat completely with the mixture.  Spread on a baking sheet.  Bake for 10-15 minutes until the oats are golden on top, stirring them up halfway through.

Allow the granola to cool and ENJOY!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

My Hope...

"I'm exhausted."  I think I might have said that phrase countless times in the last few weeks.  Like many of you, our family has passed around several viruses since the beginning of December.  We traveled to San Antonio for Christmas and the girls came down with a very bad respiratory virus while we were there.  They didn't eat, didn't sleep and didn't play most of the time we were there. Christmas was just very solemn for my sweet girls.  We made the very hard decision to leave early so we could get home and get them in to their Doctor.  It was a long lasting virus that we gave as a Christmas gift to three out of four of the grandparents.  We have spent a lot of time at home trying to recover, and I thought we were finally out of the woods, when over the weekend Lily developed a terrible wheezing cough and high fever.  Monday morning we found out she has RSV as well as an infection in her right lung.  We did a breathing treatment in the Doctor's office, and took home a machine to continue the treatment every 4 hours for the next few days.  Lily is my strong girl - she is taking it like a champ, and I'm so thankful for that!  In this photo she is comforting Lauren (who is terrified) during her first treatment at home.  Melts my heart!

I have to be honest I haven't had the best attitude through all of this.  I have been sick myself and have felt lonely, discouraged, tired and frustrated. I just didn't know if I could take care of one more person, clean up one more mess or even find the energy to make dinner.  I woke up this morning at 2:30 to give Lily a breathing treatment and just cried...I haven't been seeking my strength and comfort from the only person that can give that to me.  I haven't been embracing my privilege of motherhood with joy even when my children are sick.  I'm thankful for God's forgiveness and the chance to start over again today.  I'm thankful that He will give me strength on only a few hours of sleep and give me comfort when I feel alone or discouraged.  The girls and I sang worship songs all morning and played.  One of my favorite songs was a huge encouragement to me today....

My Hope Is In You (Aaron Shust)
I meet with You and my soul sings out
As your word throws doubt far away
I sing to You and my heart cries, HOLY!
Hallelujah, Father, You're Near!

I wait for you and my soul finds rest
In my selfishmness, you show my grace
I worship You and my heart cries Glory
Father You're here!

My hope is, in YOU Lord

All the day long
I won't be shaken by drought or storm
A peace that passes understanding is my song
And I sing
My hope is in You, Lord

I will wait on You
You are my refuge

I wasn't able to go to sleep for a while and thought about all my friends and family that needed prayer.  This is such a little trial compared to many of the trials they are going through.  It's for a season and I can choose what kind of attitude I will have.   I'm thankful for the opportunity God has given me to take care of my children (healthy or sick), but I'm also thankful that His mercies are new each morning! I am thankful for all of our friends and family who have been praying for us, called to check on Lily, have offered to help or bring such a huge encouragement to our family!

Monday, January 14, 2013

mini apple pies

I love making food "cute".  I made these special little pies for my sweet little girls!   The only thing that would make these little pies taste better would be a scoop of bluebell vanilla homemade ice cream....

Mini Apple Pies
Recipe from "she wears many hats"

What you'll need...
1 pastry crust recipe (I used pillsbury pie crust)
1/2 cup butter
 4 apples diced
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt

for the topping...
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon flour

Preaheat the oven to 425.

Roll the dough out to 1/8" thick and cut into circles that are a little larger than the cupcake pan circles. 
Line the greased muffin tin with the dough circles.  Bake these shells in the oven for 10 minutes or utnil the shell is no longer raw but pale.  Remove and reduce the heat to 350.  

In a saucepan melt the butter.  Add the apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt.  Coat the apples well and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Scoop a little of the mixture into each pastry shell.  Mix the topping ingredients together and sprinkle on top of each pie.  

Bake for 25-30 minutes until slightly golden brown.  


Sunday, January 13, 2013

"puffy" peanut butter cookies

Well the girls are sick again today so we have been baking to help fill our time at home.  I pinned these the other day and decided we would make these today!  They are thick and soft bakery style cookies.  It's a great recipe!  Hope you had a great weekend!!!

Puffy Peanut Butter Cookies
{Recipe from "how sweet it is"}

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
8 Tablespoons of butter, melted and cooled
6 Tablespoons of creamy peanut butter, melted and cooled
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg and 1 egg yolk, at room temp
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips {i used half chocolate/half peanut butter}

Preheat the oven to 325.  Melt the butter and peanut butter in the microsafe bowl and let cool.  

Mix the flour and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.  In a seperate bowl or mixer, mix the butter, peanut butter and sugars until combined.  Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla and mix.  Gradually add the flour and mix until the dough forms. It will be pretty crumbly.  I added a few splashes of milk to smooth it out.  Fold in the chocolate Chips.

Shape the dough into golf-sized balls.  Flatten the tops slightly and place on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart.  Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are brown.  The centers will still be soft and puffy. 


Makes about 18 large cookies

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Looking back at 2012...

It seems like just yesterday I was writing this post to review 2011. Here's our year in review picture "collage style"!

January - Landon graduated from college - I am SO proud of such a hardworking husband/daddy!
February - We celebrated Grandpa & Grandma's 50th wedding anniversary - I also had the opportunity to make my first "wedding cake"!
March - My Dad & Mom came up to visit and we were outside enjoying the beautiful weather. We all enjoy when they come to visit since we don't get to see them as often as would like!
April - Brooke played on the "Y" soccer team.  Don't ask Landon how that went...
May - This picture of Landon & Brooke just makes me smile.  If I could choose anywhere to live it would be by the ocean.  The twins don't share that love, but Brooke and I both teared up when we waved "good-bye" to the ocean at the end of the week.  We had a wonderful family vacation to Destin with some of Landon's side of the family.  
June - We celebrated Lily & Lauren's TWO year birthday.  These two just make me smile SO much.
July - We love the USA!  We also spent a LOT of time inside since it was a very HOT month here in Oklahoma.
August - I turned 30!  It's not as bad as I thought it was going to be....
 September - We celebrated my beautiful Brooke's fourth birthday.  She is a very tender-hearted girl - always taking care of me and letting me know she loves me.  I'm so thankful for her.
October - A pretty cute cowgirl and two adorable little indians LOVED all the candy they got!
November - We spent a lot of time as a family this month and I really enjoyed that.  Landon and I spent a weekend away in Branson for our 5 year anniversary and spent Thanksgiving with his side of the family!  I have so much to be thankful for!
December - December we celebrated the birth of our savior.  We went to the Christmas Train which will have to be a tradition for our family.  We got to travel to San Antonio to spend a few days with my parents and enjoyed spending time with them. It was a bit of a rough month for us as most of our family was sick (and very sick on christmas), but we got to spend A LOT of quality time together.  The down time really gave me the opportunity to think about my goals for 2013. 

Blessed....that is how I would describe 2012.  It was a hard year for me personally and spiritually, but God taught me a LOT about His love, strength and forgiveness.  My hope for this year is that I will learn from those trials and grow to be more like Him...which will ultimately help me be a better wife, mother, daughter, daughter-in-law and friend.  I'm excited about this year and what God has in store for our family!