Wednesday, March 30, 2016

What's up Wednesday--Quinoa chocolate chip cookies

It has taken me a while to get on the "quinoa train."  I bought a big bag of it 2 years ago, and it just sat on my pantry shelf for a long, long time.  Finally, I saw this cake recipe that I really wanted to try.  I made the quinoa for the cake, and the cake was divine!  And it looked as good as in the original recipe pictures too which is always a plus.  I have made the cake 3 times now--sooooo good!  Then I saw the recipe for these quinoa chocolate chip cookies.  When I had made the quinoa for my cake I had a little left over and thought, oh I will try these.    
I adapted the recipe a little to fit what I had on hand and what my family likes.  These cookies did not last long.  Yum!  I made them for my Dad (twice) and he also loves them.  Have made them a few times, and they are big hits!  So, I now have 2 quinoa recipe in my cookbook and going strong.  Yes they are both desserts, but that is ok :)  I will slowly branch out--maybe :)  I am very happy with the 2 recipes I have :)    Enjoy!

Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup solid coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup aguave (original recipe calls for honey, but we prefer aguave, but both work)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa, cooked only in water, not broth
2 Tablespoons ground flaxseed
2 Tablespoons wheat germ
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 375.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat mat or spray with cooking spray.
In a large bowl beat together the melted coconut oil and aguave with an electric mixer.  Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined. Stir in the flour, salt, baking soda until just combined with a few flour streaks left.  Add in the oats, quinoa, flaxseed, wheat germ, and chocolate chips and mix gently by hand.  The dough should be light and fluffy and mix lightly until ingredients are evenly mixed.
Drop by spoon or cookie scoop in about 2-3 tablespoons sized balls onto cookie sheet.  They will be pretty thick, so you can flatten them slightly before you bake if you want a flatter cookie.   
Bake 8-10 minutes or until bottoms are brown but sides and top are soft. 

Adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe recipe here

Monday, March 28, 2016

2016 Blue Jeans Week 12

Big week---I turned 40--crazy.  But that isn't old.  40 is the new 30 right?  It was a fun day regardless of my age :)  We enjoyed a short week because of Good Friday off, and had a very nice long weekend home together.  Here is a look at our week. . .
A few Sunday evenings a month we volunteer as a family at a local soup kitchen.  It has been a good experience for all of us.  We are getting ready to serve here this last week.

Happy Birthday to me!  I got a homemade cheesecake with a lemon curd topping which was divine!  Birthdays aren't so bad with a cake like this!

We have this funny little blue bird that has a nest under our side porch.  It likes to fly up and hit our windows. . . all day long.  I constantly hear tapping sounds at the back windows and look to see the blue bird hitting up against it.  You would think after a week of this it would figure out they are windows, and it can't go through them, but no.  It still taps all day long.

Here is the pretty blue bird as it gets ready to fly up and hit our windows :)  Not the smartest bird out there I guess. . .

Mr J's class had a "Boston Tea Party" this week and I got to be there to help.  We don't drink tea, so he was excited to bring hot chocolate :)  

Good Friday we got to work--got the garden cleaned out and tilled so we can actually plant something this year.  Last year we just never got around to doing anything with it--without hard work nothing grows but weeds--so true!

Saturday we had a quick little impromptu egg hunt with some dear friends.  We normally host a big luncheon and egg hunt but were out of town most of the day, so we just did a quick little one with these friends.  These little and big kids were all about the candy!  It was a gorgeous day for an egg hunt too!  

And what is the best part after an egg hunt?  Going through your candy and trading!

Hope you all had a blessed Easter!  So grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ and that He lives!  
Thanks for visiting!  Come back soon!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

What's up Wednesday--peanut butter no bake cookies

Who doesn't love no-bake cookies?  Divine.  These are especially divine because they are peanut butter--not your typical chocolate no-bake.  Sooooo good!  My girls made these last Sunday.  They freeze well if you have any left over.  We like to eat them straight out of the freezer.  Enjoy!

Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies

3 cups white sugar
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups peanut butter--either smooth or chruchy will work, we have used both
4 1/2 cups quick oats

In a big sauce pan over medium high heat combine the sugar, butter and milk.  Bring to a rapid boil and hard boil for one full minute.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and peanut butter.  Mix in the oats stirring until the mixture begins to cool slightly.  Drop batter by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper and let cool until set.  You can cool them in the fridge if you are in a big hurry to eat them like we normally are :)


Monday, March 21, 2016

2016 Blue Jeans Week 11

Spring break week was very needed here!  Sleeping in was a priority every day.   Cannot tell you how nice it is not to get up at 5:30 every morning.  Sleeping in until 7:30 was divine!!  We enjoyed great weather which was nice to get out and do things.  Ben and I enjoyed some alone time while my kids went to my sisters for a few days too.  Ben got me tickets to see The Piano Guys in concert--amazing!  And we enjoyed some couple time in the city together.  All-in-all a great week!  Now, only 9 more weeks of school left!!!!  Here we go!
Had a picnic one evening this week when the weather was divine!

Enjoyed some frisbee golf.

Celebrated Pi day with my parents.  We had peanut butter pie, strawberry pie, and lemon cream pie.  Yum!  

Enjoyed showing Nana and Grandpa around the hiking trails by our house.

My kids had a great couple of days with my sister and her husband--They went practise shooting for fun :)

Ben and I at the theater where we saw The Piano Guys.  It was an older and very fancy theater.  Lots of fun!

And The Piano Guys were amazing!!!  If you haven't heard of them, check out their you tube channel here---just awesome!  Love, loved, loved the concert!!!

After the concert we spent the night in the city and were able to go to the Temple the next day.  Awesome day!

Thanks for visiting!  Hope you have a great week!

2016 Blue Jeans Week 10

Have 2 weeks to catch up on today.  Spring break was last week, and I just never made it onto the computer with all the kids home all week.  Oh well.  Life goes on.  Spring has finally started to show itself here!  Yeah!  Here is a look at two weeks ago. . .
My first daffodils came out this week!  Spring is on its way!

Miss A working with the cub scouts as part of her Life Smarts competition requirements.

Game night for the girls at church.  Apples to Apples is just a classic you can't beat!  We have the junior edition and love it!

Our chickens are starting to be more consistent layers again now that winter is leaving us, but we were surprised by this tiny egg this week.  Never seen a chicken egg like that before!  We broke it open and it had a yoke and everything--like a normal egg only tiny :)

Been enjoying some warmer spring weather and getting some family walks in.

We are blessed to have these beautiful trails close to our house.  Love the sky in the picture, a storm was coming in.

And sure love cookies at our house too!  These two made peanut butter no-bakes which are sooooo good!  Will share the recipe Wednesday.

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, March 7, 2016

2016 Blue Jeans Week 9

Exciting week for Miss A--her Life Smarts team won state and is headed to Nationals, and she won a statewide writing contest!  We have enjoyed very warm weather lately which we have loved!  Life in general has been a little slower this week, but that is quickly going to change next week as track starts and the general crazy of spring starts.  Every weekend is booked from now until May--every weekend.  Help us, here we go.  This time before graduation is going to fly by.  We just made it to the top of the roller coaster and are ready to fly down.  Hold on, it is going to be a crazy fun ride!!!
Miss A and her Life Smarts Team--it is like a quiz bowl team that focuses on 5 specific areas. They won state last year and were so excited to repeat this year.  Nationals here they come!!!

Miss E and Mr J enjoying the nice weather on the trampoline--shorts in February--crazy!

This is the picture from the front page of the newspaper with the article about Miss A winning the state writing contest.  She did an awesome job, and I love this picture of her.

Happy Dr. Seuss day!  In honor of his birthday we had green (scrambled) eggs and ham :)  with pancakes for dinner.  Yum!  Love Dr. Seuss! 

Lots of homework going on at our house these days. . . busy, busy!

Our garage door broke, so Miss A and Miss E help Ben hold it up while he fixes it.  That was not an easy job.  It is a heavy door!  So nice to have it fixed.  We take things like that for granted!

The girls babysat for some friends at our house this weekend.  It was fun to see them readying to the little boy one of their favorite books when they were little "Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?"

Thanks for visiting!  Hope you have a great week!  Come back soon!