Salted Espresso Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s summer! And the kids are home! I don’t know about you, but for me, that means I need more coffee. Ahem.

So, Alison of Writing, Wishing was generous enough to share her AMAZING recipe for Salted Espresso Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies with us. Espresso, oatmeal, chocolate chips…perfect!

Salted Espresso Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

1½ cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons instant espresso powder

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, softened but still cool

1 cup light brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1½ cups semisweet chocolate chips

Fleur de sel, for sprinkling

 

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

Whisk together the flour, espresso powder, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

Beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Add the sugars; beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.

Stir the dry ingredients into the butter-sugar mixture with a wooden spoon or large rubber spatula. Stir in the oats and chocolate chips.

Working with a generous 2 tablespoons of dough each time, roll the dough into 2-inch balls. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Sprinkle the tops with a pinch of fleur de sel.

Bake until the cookie edges turn golden brown, 22 to 25 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes. Transfer the cookies with a wire rack and let cool for at least 30 minutes.

EAT THEM FOR BREAKFAST.

 

Father’s Day Recipe: Steak with Blue Cheese Sauce

Hello fellow work-at-home moms! Would you like an idea for dinner that takes ten minutes to make and will have your husband thinking you are a rock star? Introducing . . . steak with blue cheese sauce!

 

You’ll need a thick steak for each of you. Like this.

Steak with blue cheese sauce from A Lady in France

 

This recipe is just for two people, and I tend to make this for a romantic dinner, rather than to serve it as a family meal. You’ll also need some oregano, salt and pepper, as well as sour cream and blue cheese.

Alright, getting on to what to do! Heat up a lightly-oiled skillet until it just starts to smoke. It’s important that the pan is hot.

Put the steaks on, and sprinkle the salt, pepper and herbs.

Steak with blue cheese sauce from A Lady in France

Steaks usually taste better rare, but if you have an aversion to it, you can cook your steak longer. For this steak, rare would be 2-3 minutes on one side and 1-2 minutes on the other. Once you turn the steaks over, add salt to the other side as well.

While the steak is cooking, put 2 tablespoons of blue cheese and 2 tablespoons of sour cream in a bowl. Microwave it for 45 seconds to a minute. After that, your sauce is ready!

Steak with blue cheese sauce from A Lady in France

Spoon your sauce over your steak, and serve it hot.

Steak with blue cheese sauce from A Lady in France

 

See how the juice from the steak blends with the sauce? You can mop that up with bread if you really want to be in culinary paradise.

Steak with blue cheese sauce from A Lady in France

Really, truly, you cannot go wrong with this. Unless you’re a vegetarian.

You can serve the steak with green beans, or oven French fries, or bread, followed by a green salad. If you are a wine drinker, you serve this with red wine, room temperature.

You’ll love the no-fuss approach.

Steak with blue cheese sauce from A Lady in France

And your husband will love you.

 

Jennie Goutet is the author of A Lady in France, a memoir of grief, faith and hope. And she blogs at aladyinfrance.com about faith and French stuff – including food.  Jennie is a work-at-home mother of three, who feels like she can never seem to get anything done.

 

Candy-Coated Popcorn Party Mix (Gluten Free)

I whipped this up for my girls’ Easter parties at school, but because of all of the seasonal M&Ms, it would be perfect for any holiday or party. I was inspired by this recipe I found on Pinterest, but because both girls are gluten free, I adapted it a bit. It’s so versatile, though, you could really add in anything you wanted! It’s really quick and easy to whip up, too. Here’s my recipe for (Gluten Free) Candy-Coated Popcorn Party Mix:

Candy-coated popcorn party mix

 

The following instructions make about two cookie sheets worth of mix, or about 15 treat bags. I doubled the recipe in order to make enough for both classes.

Ingredients:

One package plain M&Ms

2-3 cups Corn Chex cereal

1 bag popcorn, popped (I used Act II light butter popcorn)

1/2 package Candiquik Vanilla Candy Coating (I used the package with the microwaveable tray)

Candy-coated popcorn party mix

Instructions:

Carefully pour popcorn into a large mixing bowl (in order to keep the unpopped kernels from falling in, or just pick them out if they do), top with cereal and M&Ms.

Cnady-coated popcorn party mix

Melt the candy coating according to instructions on the package. Carefully drizzle the melted candy coating over the mix in the bowl, then stir thoroughly to coat all of the ingredients and distribute them evenly.

Candy-coated popcorn party mix

Spread the mixture onto one or two wax paper lined cookie sheets, and place into the refrigerator until candy coating is hardened.

candy-coated popcorn party mix

Break party mix into pieces and enjoy! (Or try not to enjoy TOO much, and fill treat bags for a party. Ahem.)

Be careful…this mix is super addicting! But so, so easy to make. 

Baked Pizza Tortilla Cups

I’m always looking for easy, new, kid-friendly lunch and snack ideas, especially the kind that can be customized to everyone’s different tastes. These little baked pizza tortilla cups are simple to make, perfect for little fingers to pick up, fulfill the pizza craving for lunch or a snack, and are the perfect little bites for appetizers, too.

Faster than you can cook a frozen pizza, you can have these bite-sized cups done, with simple, wholesome ingredients and way less expensive for what you get.

twahm baked tortilla pizza cups

Use a glass or round cookie cutter to cut circles out of flour tortillas.

pizza cup 1

Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray, and stuff a tortilla round into each section.

Fill with your preferred toppings and bake for about 12 minutes at 425 degrees.

For the kids, I just used sauce and cheese. For the adults, I used cooked ground beef, sauce and cheese. But you could add anything to them, and you can fill a few with one flavor combination, a few with another.

Baked pizza tortilla cups

baked pizza tortilla cups

 

Experiment with your favorite pizza toppings...the beauty of this recipe is that you can make a few with spinach, chicken, and feta cheese, even if you’re the only one that will eat it, and you won’t waste three-quarters of a pizza! Or bbq chicken and onions, spicy pepperoni and green peppers….use your imagination.

You can even make this for dinner and get the kids in on the action…set out a “pizza topping bar” and have them add their own topping combinations before you bake them! Wouldn’t that be perfect for a slumber party, too?

Easy peasy!

This recipe originally appeared on Gfunkified and is reprinted with permission.

Easy Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta

The other afternoon, I was trying to find something to make for dinner. We only had three frozen chicken breasts left, and with a family of six, that isn’t going to cut it unless I put it in something. I remembered pinning this recipe the other day, though, and thought I might be able to try it out.

I made a couple of small changes to the recipe, and ended up with something easy but impressive and something that I wouldn’t normally make (but will definitely be making again). I also made it gluten free by using gluten free pasta and brown rice flour.

We also had plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day, but it would also be really simple to divide the pasta before baking it…bake one dish for supper, and cover the other (unbaked) pan with a double layer of foil. Freeze it to thaw and pull out for dinner another day!

Easy Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta

Ingredients
  • 1 package penne pasta (I used Tinkyada gluten free penne)
  • 3 cooked, chopped chicken breasts
  • 8 slices cooked and crumbled bacon
  • half stick butter
  • ¼ cup flour (I used brown rice flour)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 ranch seasoning packet (I used Hidden Valley)
  • ¾ cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions

1. Cook and drain the pasta according to package directions.
2. Add about a teaspoon olive oil (to keep pasta from sticking), chicken, and bacon. Stir together.
pasta, chicken, and bacon

3. In a saucepan, melt the butter on medium heat, then stir in the flour. Stir together for a minute or two, and pour in milk, whisking it all together. Continue whisking until sauce thickens, then stir in ranch seasoning.

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4. Pour sauce over pasta and mix together, then add the cheddar cheese and stir.

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5. Pour into baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

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Notes

I cooked the chicken in the crock pot on low for a few hours with about a half cup of chicken stock and ¼ packet of the ranch seasoning so it was done when I was ready to make the dish. You could also use a rotisserie chicken from the deli.

To save even more time, warm a jar of alfredo sauce and add the ranch seasoning in place of the roux (butter, flour, and milk).

Easy Beef and Black Bean Quesadillas

Jennifer Williams shared this recipe over on her blog, and I wanted to share it with you all so you can add it to your meal plan for next week…trust me, you’ll want to. (Recipe reposted with permission)

And if you don’t meal plan, we’ll be sharing the money-saving benefits of it soon!

Easy beef and black bean quesadilla recipe

Anyway, they’re delicious and super easy. Here’s the recipe from Jennifer:

Ingredients:
– 1 pound of lean ground beef
– 1 can of black beans
– 1 taco seasoning pack
– Large flour tortillas (not the huge ones, but not the little ones)
– Sliced Colby/Jack cheese

Instructions:

1. Brown your ground meat and add the taco seasoning with 2/3 cup of water.
2. Rinse and drain the black beans while the meat is browning.
3. Add the black beans to the seasoned ground meat and stir. Turn to low.
4. Spray a pan with non-stick cooking spray and put on medium heat. Lay a tortilla in the pan. Fold a piece of cheese in half, tear, and place both halves on one side of the tortilla. Spoon about a 1/2 cup of your seasoned beef and black bean mixture. Add another halved piece of cheese on top of the meat.
5. Fold the tortilla over and cook until the cheese is melty and the tortilla is lightly browned. Flip and do the same with it on the other side.
6. Remove to a plate and slice down the middle. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, and/or hot sauce.

Beef-and-Black-Bean-Quesadillas-Instructions

Jennifer also has a post chock full of easy ground beef recipes over on her blog!

 

Healthy Lunch Ideas For Busy, Working Moms

As a mom, one who works at home and that has to make sure she eats throughout the day (or my sugar drops drastically), I have to try and make a healthy breakfast and lunch that sustains me. We all know how easy it is to grab some chips, drink your lunch or skip it all together. With that being said, do not forget that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but skipping lunch is just as bad.

Besides your hunger being satisfied, eating a healthy, balanced lunch will keep you focused, alert, energized, in a better mood and will assist you in your healthy weight goals, while keeping money in your pocket.

Sandwich

The first thing to remember is never skip lunch, no matter how busy you are. Studies show hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) can slow the speed at which people process information and shorten their attention span which will effect daily activities at work, plus slow your metabolism and send you running for the candy at 3 pm.

Salads are great options, but remember these tips:

· Top your salad with lean protein like wild salmon, grilled chicken or calamari, beans, or tofu. This will ensure your body is building healthy muscle that will help you burn more fat and keep you feeling full longer.

· Limit your salad dressing or use a good balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Try to “dip” your greens vs. pouring on the dressing.

· Skip the croutons and processed cheeses – instead add veggies, the more colorful the better.

Sandwiches can help you get in your veggies and lean protein. Here are some options:

· Greek sandwich (lettuce, tomato, olives, feta cheese, oil & vinegar- leftover grilled chicken)

· Turkey breast, lean ham and roast beef on a tortilla with roasted veggies

· If you are a seafood lover, mussels, grilled calamari or fresh seafood salad on some whole grain bread

· Find a whole grain bread that has fiber and protein in it. Add some grilled leftover veggies from the night before, tuna in water, canned wild salmon, some olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Last night’s dinner:

· Don’t be afraid to prep some the night before – It doesn’t take a lot of time to chop extra vegetables, wash and dry extra lettuce, and reserve a portion of the evening’s lean protein while you are preparing dinner.

· Such items can be stored in individual containers in the fridge. When lunch rolls around the next day the ingredients are already prepped and just need to be assembled.

· Quesadillas and Tacos are great because you can put almost anything between tortillas and call it a Quesadilla or Taco without needing a recipe. Just take a look at what vegetable, meat or bean, and cheese options are available in your refrigerator and get creating!

· Pasta is easy to make extra…add some olive oil to it and then stir in some veggies and lean protein the next day.

Don’t forget, breakfast can be served anytime of the day! Scramble some eggs with salsa, cheese and serve on an English muffin. Add some Canadian bacon, grass fed bacon or tofu and make an omelet or scramble.

Try to avoid ordering out; pizza, Chinese, burgers, fries and drive-thrus are all going to go straight to your butt and you will regret it at 3 pm when that slump hits.

Water, lots of water – drink it all day long. Flavor it with fruit, lemon, cucumber or mint.

Avoid living on caffeine – when you do that you are asking to crash and burn. Instead take some time and take a walk around the house, stretch your legs, do a few burpees, sit-ups, push-up or whatever it takes to get your blood circulating through your body. Try and get those 10,000 steps in/day. Just because we work at home, doesn’t mean we can’t move it!

Here are some links to my favorite Pinterest boards and websites with recipes, in home workouts and suggestions for your lunches.

Pinterest – Quick & Easy Lunches

Pinterest – Paleo Lunches

Pinterest – Breakfast for Lunch

Pinterest – Jody Morgan

Pinterest – Food Babe

Pinterest – Wellness & Workouts

Honeybear Lane

The Kitchn

7 Minute Workout

The 7 Minute Workout Challenge

High Intensity 7 Minute Challenge

I hope that as moms who work from home we can help each other and share ideas and suggestions to help keep us all healthy! Feel free to contact me or connect to me via social media so we can swap ideas.

Jody Morgan is a SAHM/WAHM in Columbus, OH. She runs Gemini Health & Nutrition as a Holistic Health Practitioner. In her free time she enjoys cooking, baking, crafts, photography, nature, fitness and entertaining. She blogs over at Now There Are Five where she talks about her journey to become a successful blended family and all things fun.

Blueberry Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

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Blueberry Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

Engage your sweet tooth with you fall spirit, while enjoying these muffins.

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I enjoy using things I have on hand when I get the urge to bake, and I always have a variety of goodies on hand.  Decided to dig out a few things and whip up something unique.

Ingredients ~

Box of Betty Crocker Wild Blueberry Mix  ~ Can use any kind, but must have wet blueberries
1 Egg
1/2 C Almond Milk   (can use regular milk)
1/2 C Pumpkin Solid Pack
1 1/2 TBLSP  Oil

Drain and set aside the blueberries.  Mix above ingredients together till well blended.  Fold in blueberries.
Scoop into muffin tin coated with non stick spray.

Topping ~

1/3 C Brown Sugar
1/4 C  Oats
4 TBLSP Melted Butter

Mix topping ingredients all together, sprinkle on top of muffins.

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Bake muffins at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool 10 minutes or so before removing from pan.

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You can see how the topping got nice and carmalized on the muffins.
Perfect with or without butter as they are so moist.   They have the perfect mix of pumpkin and blueberries.

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Fall Recipes from Pinterest

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Fall is just around the corner and when I think of fall I think of heart warming foods.   The foods that Grandma used to make.

The smell of fallen leaves, a cozy campfire in the evenings and fresh baked goods.  Ahhh… Fall…

Check out this amazing round up of Fall Recipes from Pinterest.

1. Sweet Potato Casserole Bundles
2. No-Knead Onion Rolls
3. Roasted Broccoli and Zucchini
4. Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Crispy ParmesanFries
5. Spinach and Celery Soup
6. Sweet Potato Casserole Bites
7. Autumn Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette
8. Persimmon and Pomegranate Salad
9. Roasted Harvest Soup
10. Broccoli Gouda Soup
11. Pumpkin and Bacon Risotto
12. Chocolate Hazelnut and Pear Mini Cakes
13. Pumpkin Molasses Sandwich Cookies
14. Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts
15. Homemade Maple Pumpkin Butter
16. Savory Pear Walnut Pizza
17. Date and Fig Rolls
18. Slow Cooker Butternut Squash and Coconut Chili
19. Pear Crumble Pie
20. Creamy Pumpkin Pasta
21. Horseradish Slaw
22. Creamed Corn Casserole
23. Balsamic Roasted Carrots
24. Warm Plum Clafoutis
25. Root Vegetable Mash

Want more? Check out this recipe for Easy Bacon Ranch Chicken. It’s SO GOOD. And follow me on Pinterest for tips for working at home, fall recipes and DIY, and so much more.

Absolutely Delish Coffee Recipes

TWAHMCoffeePinterest

Coffee lovers unite ~ Check out these amazing coffee recipes.  Can you feel the caffeine rush ?

1. Chocolate Espresso Oatmeal Cookies
2. Cheesecake Filled Black Bottom Cupcakes
3. Coffee Cheesecake Sopapillas
4. Coffee Marshmallows
5. Healthy Starbucks Mocha Frappe
6. Ricotta Cappuccino
7. Mini Banana Cupcakes with Mocha Buttercream
8. Moch Chip Cheesecake
9. Cappuccino Cheesecake Bars
10. Brownie Chocolate Coffee Cake
11. Mocha Latte Frozen Yogurt
12. Vanilla Coffee Fudge Bars
13. Almond Coffee Green Smoothie
14. Coffee Bacon Waffle Sandwiches
15. Espresso Chip Cookie Dough Bars
16. Coffee Chipotle Pulled Pork
17. Ice Cream Coffee Cheesecake
18. Colavita Olive Oil Crinkle Cookies
19. Coffee Ice Cream Cupcakes
20. Bacon Coffee French Toast
21. Easy Coffee Milkshakes
22. Hazelnut Chocolate Tiramisu
23. Buckeye Coffee Brownies
24. Coffee and Kahlua Chip Brownies
25. Chocolate Chip Coffee Muffins