Tuesday, April 8, 2014

chickpea chocolate chip cookies.

I recently started following Lauren Brimley on instagram (Eating_Whole). I'd definitely recommend following her. She's a young mom with one baby who has committed to feeding herself healthy and clean foods. Her pictures are incredible and make healthy eating look delicious (not the easiest, in my opinion). 

With four kids and a husband, I don't think we will be eating 100% clean and/or whole any time soon, but I have started trying to include more of this type of eating into our meal plan. Baby steps :) I'm shooting for an 80/20 ratio in the long run, with the 80 being clean/healthy.

I've seen a few versions of these cookies floating around the internet and pinterest. I have alway been intrigued and wondered if the people making them were just so far into eating clean that their palate had changed enough to "think" these tasted like a real cookie. 

Today I realized I had all the ingredients on hand and we decided to try them out as an "experiment".  If I'm being honest, as I dumped all the ingredients into the food processor I couldn't help laughing. There's not a snowballs chance these are going to be good. And then I tasted the dough, under my breath I may have mentioned there were not enough chocolate chips in all the world to save these bad boys, and then I turned to my two sweet helpers and said... "Let's hope the oven makes some magic" and that's really what I thought. 

The oven did in fact make some magic.. I'm not really sure how, but out of my oven came a dense, chewy and soft chocolate chip cookie. Not overly sweet but also not bean-y or cardboard-ish. My four kids ranging from 10 to 2, ate them and asked for seconds, and I won't mention how many I have put down.. they are healthy.. right? 

The moral of this story, while not your typical chocolate chip cookies, these are a pretty incredible substitute. We will definitely be making these again and again. Our experiment was deemed a success.

Without further ado, I give you Lauren's version of the 

Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookie...

1 1/4 cup rinsed chickpeas
1/2 cup almond butter
1/4 cup unsweeted coconut
1/4 cup oats
1/4 cup pure maple syrup OR honey (I did half and half)
1 tsp baking powder
dash of salt

Mix all ingredients together in a food processor until creamy like a cookie dough. Add 1/2 - 3/4 cup chocolate chips depending on how chocolatey you like your cookies. With damp hands form into cookie balls and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. 

Makes 12-15 cookies 

Let me know if you try them out and what you think. Also note, that I enjoyed these even while eating plenty of refined sugar on a nearly daily basis.. baby steps, remember :)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

ashley's shower.

My cute friend Ashley is pregnant with a little girl after 3 boys. While boys are wonderful, we were excited to throw her a shower with lots of pink and ruffles to celebrate! 

This was a fun little project. I ordered a light pink plastic tablecloth and cut it into strips. I gently pulled the edges to ruffle the strips. It was super fast, easy and I loved the results. Tutorial found here.

No little girl library would be complete without some Fancy Nancy books. We had this one on the front table for guests to sign. 

Small envelopes were also waiting for guests to provide wishes for baby.

Lots of fresh flowers scattered around. An easy way to make things feel festive.

The shower was at 7pm so we didn't want to do a full blown dinner. Instead we had a caramel apple bar, with apple chunks, warm caramel and toppings.

It was really pretty and delicious!

In addition to the carmel apple bar we had lots of mini bites and desserts. Including... hummus cups, blt bites, sweet pork sliders, queso, 7 layer bean dip, fruit skewers, mini pies, mini meltaway cookies, raspberry punch and water.

And we can't forget about this yummy chocolate bundt cake from the bundt shop.

The Mom-to-be. Doesn't she look great? We sure can't wait to meet this sweet baby girl.
And a big thank you to everyone who helped make this shower a success!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Balloon Birthday!

Scarlet turned one! We celebrated with a Balloon Birthday Bash. 

When planning, I tried to think of something Scarlet loves, besides food and her blanket I wasn't coming up with much. Then I remembered that my mom had gotten her some balloons while we were at her house this summer and Scarlet loved them. An idea was born and with the help of pinterest (seriously.. what did we do in the days before pinterest?) a balloon birthday party was in order.

It started with an invitation downloaded from here and then tweaked in photoshop to be the colors I wanted.

The entry way table.

Candy and balloons.. what more could you want?

My sad attempt at the dream cake I wanted. I had a someone set and willing to do it, but we figured out that she was going to be out of town... and so I attempted it myself. I won't be quitting my day job anytime soon, but it worked. In a moment of desperation, I emailed my super talented cousin and after reading her long and detailed email with tips on how to make it out of fondant, I realized I didn't have the time to make the balloon a week ahead... and I improvised with... airheads. They worked okay and Scarlet will never know her cake wasn't a work of art.

The beginning stages of the dessert table. An idea also seen on pinterest.

 I've been wanting to have an italian soda bar at something I put together. Somehow it never ends up happening, so this was a perfect time to throw one together. It was a total hit with the kids and adults.

Pictures of Scarlet's first year in a lopsided #1 :)

 Lion House rolls with meat and cheese

 fruit, dip, veggies and chips to go along with the sandwiches. Not my finest menu, but it worked.

Ryan also made homemade ice cream. Cookies and Cream and it was delicious!

A slide show of Scarly bug and lots of balloons everywhere.

 I think this was my favorite part of the night. We don't have any family around, so I thought it would be fun to invite some of our friends that had babies around Scarlet's age. It was her birthday after all, why not invite her friends. We lined them up to take pictures with the balloons. It would have been far more entertaining in video form, but I still think they turned out really cute.

 I think Sam and Scarlet are making a love connection

Cute babies. I love these pictures!

We gave her a cupcake instead of cake.

She loved it.

Happy Birthday Scarlet! We sure do love you.

Book Theme Shower.

From the day I met Lauren, I knew I had to throw her a book-themed shower. She's in the process of trying to publish her first novel, and has had multiple pieces published in magazines and on websites. She's a beautiful writer and there is no one more fitting than Lauren to have a shower centered around books!

Before moving to Denver I co-hosted a similar shower but seeing as it wasn't hosted at my home, and not wanting to poke holes in someone else's ceiling, my flying book idea fell short. I was happy to sacrifice my own ceiling to have my dream of flying books become a reality :)

Stacks of cloth bound books and framed quotes from children's books were all over the house. We got The Little Prince for everyone to sign and send home for the baby. We thought it was fitting since it's a boy coming in after three girls!

 Papers for BOY book suggestions to help build a library for a little boy.

I found an Alternative Name game for children's books on pinterest. Things like 
Fedora wearing Feline
Evening Salutations to the Celestial Orb

were translated by guests into Cat in the Hat and Goodnight Moon.

Blank board books and sharpies were turned into personalized books for baby Gillespie. 
I think the final versions included
"Why the Y" (as in BYU)
"What Little Boys are Made Of"
"Little Boy Advice"
"What to Expect with Older Sisters"

The shower was in the morning so we had brunch type food. Each food had a book that matched..

The Stinky Cheeseman (Thanks Jenn!)

Pumpkin and Blueberry Muffins

Mini stacks of pancakes (If You Give a Pig a Pancake) were the cutest thing ever with Orange, Buttermilk and Strawberry Syrup
Mini Quiches - Green Eggs and Ham

Tomato Basil Tart.. SO amazing!

Fruit and doughnut hole skewers
yogurt parfaits - Fancy Nancy
lemon bites - Lemon the Duck

The cutlery

Instructions on the chalkboard

Pretty Flowers

Finally we had bookmarks hanging by the door for guests to take on their way out.

It was a fun shower, and I'm so thankful to all the people who helped out with food and lending books, etc. We couldn't have done it without them!

Now to sit back and wait to meet this sweet baby Boy. We can't wait!!

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