cookie butter pretzel chocolate balls

cookie butter pretzel chocolate balls Cookie Butter Pretzel Chocolate Balls
makes approximately 18 cookies

3/4 cup Trader Joe’s Crunchy Cookie Butter
1 1/2 cup crushed pretzels
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, combine the cookie butter and crushed pretzels together. Chill for about 10 minutes, then using tablespoonfuls, form into 1″ balls onto a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Place the pan in the freezer for about 30 minutes. About 5 minutes prior to removing from the freezer, melt all your chocolate chips, so it is warm and gooey, and ready to coat your pretzel balls. My preferred way of melting chocolate is to use the double boiler method. Remove the pretzel balls from the freezer, and quickly dip each one in the melted chocolate to coat, then place back on the parchment paper. Put all the pretzel balls coated in chocolate back in the freezer or another 30 minutes, or until set.

cookie butter pretzel chocolate balls cookie butter pretzel chocolate balls cookie butter pretzel chocolate balls cookie butter pretzel chocolate balls Oh this is so delicious, but I’m easy please when it comes to dessert. The girls and I made this together and it is inspired by this recipe. I changed it because True is allergic to peanut butter, and I thought cookie butter would be a good substitute. Also, since I made the switch to cookie butter, I decided to leave out the sugar and butter the Martha Stewart recipe called for because it just didn’t seem necessary, and indeed in my version it definitely wasn’t needed. These cookies are totally not healthy, but they are so good! If you want to indulge in a little bit of “low-nu” (low nutrition), make these!



family meals: week 86

family recipes family recipes Caprese Salad. After picking up Ben from work one day, I realized how I hadn’t enjoyed any tomatoes with mozzarella and basil, so we stopped by the store to pick up some mozzarella. The girls and I were chowing down it!

family recipes family recipes Lavash Pizza. We use Trader Joe’s lavash bread, marinara, and some mozzarella (and turkey pepperoni) and this is the best quick pizza ever. I make it often for lunch too.

family recipes family recipes Korean Kale. It’s a recipe for spinach, but I had kale, so I used that instead. The sauce is so good. I’m making this more often!

family recipes family recipes Oven Fried Chicken with Angry Sauce. I used this recipe, but used chicken breast instead of wings, and coated them with a panko and chili pepper mixture, then baked them in the oven. That sauce is oh so good! It’s spicy, savory, and sweet all rolled into one. I will definitely be making this recipe often!

Week of 9/1 – 9/5
Monday: Homemade Sushi Rolls
Tuesday: Spaghetti & Stuffed Garlic & Herb Meatballs
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Spicy Korean Pork Taco
Friday: Ceviche on Crispy Wontons

I’m loving the food blog Beyond Kimchee, I want to eat every recipe she makes! This Kimchi Udon will be made soon too. If you have never tried Korean food, you must. It has a lot of bold flavors, but it’s absolutely delicious and so many dishes are spicy (or can easily be made spicy)!



stuffed garlic & herb meatballs

herb stuffed meatballs Stuffed Garlic & Herb Meatballs
approximately 8 servings

1 lb. lean ground turkey
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic head, finely chopped
1 cup fresh herbs, chopped (I used sage and chives from our garden)
1 – 8 oz. package of panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 tsp salt
1 egg

herb stuffed meatballs Directions:
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and combine together well (I find it is best to combine it with my hands). Using a tablespoonful, form into balls about 1″ – 1 1/2″ in diameter and arranged onto prepared pan. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until browned.

herb stuffed meatballs herb stuffed meatballs herb stuffed meatballs We serve ours with whole wheat spaghetti and my favorite marinara sauce from Trader Joe’s. I also love mixing some sage with mixed garlic and butter to make my garlic bread spread. That sage is so fragrant and really tastes delicious, and I think it’s that giant bundle of herbs that I chop up and throw in that really makes it absolutely delectable. I’m not typically a meatball fan, but I do love these ones filled with lots of herbs and garlic (oh how I love garlic!). True, on the other hand, does not like my meatballs, she likes meatballs plain with no onions and herbs.

I don’t make marinara sauce from scratch because I really love the ones from TJ’s, but does anyone have a simple and delicious recipe to share? Maybe I can try it from scratch next time.



family meals: week 85

family meals family meals Hainanese Chicken Rice. I attempted make this recipe healthier and use chicken breast, not as much oil, and it tastes close enough to what we remember from Singapore. I think what makes it is the spicy chili sauce. I quadrupled that recipe and we poured that stuff all over our chicken. You know us and spice, we love things spicy!!!

family meals family meals Spicy Roasted Bok Choy. I pinned this on pinterest this week and it sounded easy enough to make, so I did. It’s a great vegetable dish to add to our repertoire.

family meals family meals Spaghetti & Stuffed Garlic & Herb Meatballs. I will have the recipe for my meatballs for you this week! Basically, I throw in a lot of herbs and I think that’s what makes it so delicious.

family meals family meals Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Lemon Relish. I’ve made it numerous times before (see here), and it’s always good.

Week of 8/25 – 8/29
Monday: Leftovers (we still have plenty from last week)
Tuesday: First day of school dinner
Wednesday: Seafood Pasta
Thursday: Chicken Wings with Angry Sauce with Korean Spinach (made healthier of course)
Friday: Sushi night

I’m so happy that I started meal planning over 85 weeks ago. It’s made such a difference in our family dinners and made me feel more comfortable in the kitchen. I actually think cooking is fun! When I’m cooking, the girls usually are playing together and that’s how I’m able to get time to cook. Ben and I really want to start including them in the preparations though, so I need to plan for that time for them to join me in the kitchen. We usually eat dinner around 5:45pm, and I start cooking between 4:30-5:00pm. If I want to get the kids to join in, I probably should start a little earlier so I don’t feel like I’m rushing around. Do you get your kids involved in the meal preparations?



strawberry milkshakes with funny face straw toppers

strawberry milkshakes with funny face straw toppers Strawberry Milkshakes
serves 4

3 cups milk (we used skim, but go with your preference)
2 1/2 cups frozen strawberries
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Using a blender, blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour in a tall glass and serve with a straw.

strawberry milkshakes with funny face straw toppers strawberry milkshakes with funny face straw toppers strawberry milkshakes with funny face straw toppers strawberry milkshakes with funny face straw toppers Funny Face Straw Toppers

Funny Face Straw Toppers Template 1 and Template 2, printed on white card stock
Bendable straws (the bendable ones work better to get the funny face lined up with your face when drinking)
Crayons (markers, colored pencils)
Hole puncher

Cut out the faces, including the inside of the glasses, and the small rectangular pieces (1 per funny face). Color and decorate the faces. Punch a small hole on the dotted line of the mouth and on the dot of the small rectangular piece. On the small rectangular piece, fold the opposite end of the punched hole down 1/2″ from the end. Glue that 1/2″ to the back of the face, right above the punched hole of the mouth. Insert your straw through the hole in the mouth and through the hole on the back rectangle piece. Place straw in your milkshake and drink.

These straw toppers make drinking any glass of milk, shake, or smoothie so much more fun!

strawberry milkshakes with funny face straw toppers strawberry milkshakes with funny face straw toppers strawberry milkshakes with funny face straw toppers strawberry milkshakes with funny face straw toppers strawberry milkshakes with funny face straw toppers My mom would make me a similar milkshake when I was a child, but I think it was loaded with sugar instead of honey. The honey adds a tinge of sweetness, but you could probably even do without that ingredient too. Using frozen strawberries is a much healthier way to make a milkshake, since then you can do without the ice-cream, and blended with milk it makes the perfect shake consistency.

My girls don’t have any trouble drinking milk (they have a glass every morning, but True is mildly allergic so she has a glass of soy milk in the mornings), so they get extra excited when they see me blending up a shake for them (and they had two helpings for snack time this particular afternoon).  Between their glass of milk at breakfast and their milkshake this afternoon, they sure got a load of calcium, protein, and vitamin D (and other good stuff milk has) in them.  Then, add the funny face straw toppers and we were all laughing at the silliness that was ensuing from all the silly characters. We had a librarian, professor, cool guy, and a glamour girl, and everyone was getting into it, but it was especially funny to watch Glow because she was being the funniest of them all

This post is brought to you by got milk? Drink to a brighter future.




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