Anytime Fudge!

Happy 5th of July!

I know I know…this is why I can’t ever be a serious blogger. Serious bloggers start posting potato salad recipes during the last week of June to ensure that you have time to make their recipe before the actual holiday. Serious bloggers also post more than once every two months so there’s that too…

I guess I will be relegated to occasional, fun blogging for the time being. I’d like to think my lack of posting is because I am now spending all of my time being the World’s Best Mom like the t-shirt I felt certain I’d get for Mother’s Day would say. Instead that t-shirt never came and I am still stumbling through most days. I did get a t-shirt from my friend Justice that says “Doing My Best” which is actually a much more apt sentiment for my current life state.

Sams Dessert
What someone actually ‘doing their best’ at 4th of July blog worthy desserts looks like…courtesy of my brother-in-laws sweet mother

On the 3rd of July my best looked like me making TWO desserts for the 4th as Robert watched WWF (WWE?) wrestling on the couch. If you are like me and are now thinking, wait a second…WWF wrestling is still a thing? The answer is yes, yes it is. Now before you start questioning my taste in men, I’ve never known Robert to watch pro wrestling before. I say I’ve never known him to because I’m pretty sure everyone went through a pro wrestling phase at some point, no? I recall it being sometime around late elementary/early middle school that pro wrestling was ‘cool’. I don’t think I ever actually watched any wrestling matches, but at that point I was still desperate to be cool like everyone else so I sure acted like I did and had a ‘favorite’ wrestler. I couldn’t just choose The Rock or Stone Cold Steve Austin like all the other girls though, I had to go for eccentricity. So I chose Ric Flair “The Nature Boy”, WOOO! That was his tagline, anyone remember that? Needless to say, desperate as I was, I was never really that cool.

So enough about my awkward middle school years, lets get back to those TWO desserts for the 4th of July. I really shouldn’t capitalize two because the first dessert was my Snicker Bar Salad which although delicious, isn’t really all that festive and is even perhaps better suited for Fall. Whoops.

Parade
Clearly too busy decorating for the 4th of July golf cart parade to be a serious blogger

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Waiting…& Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies

In case you can’t tell from the title of this post…. no baby yet ūüė¶ We are now only 3 days out from our due date and not much seems to have changed, although according to my doctor things are still moving in the right direction, so at least there’s that! I’ve cleaned all I can clean, run all the errands there are to run, done all the laundry there is to do and the nursery is completely finished. Nesting is officially complete so now we wait…and wait…and wait.

Ingredients

If our girl doesn’t arrive before her due date we are going to discuss inducing (induction?). My OB doesn’t like for you to go more than a week over your due date, and although I was initially very reluctant, I am becoming more open to the idea of being induced. I am not terribly uncomfortable physically but emotionally the anticipation and waiting has taken a toll and I am ready for a change. Above all else I am thankful for a still healthy and growing baby girl and that is the most important thing!

Wet and Dry

One thing that made the waiting slightly harder (but also so very exciting!) is that my good friend Lindsay who was due a few weeks after me had her baby boy a few weeks early on Tuesday! He is absolutely darling and they are both happy and healthy despite his early arrival. Seeing her little one definitely made me more ready for the arrival of our own, and I think finally made it more real for Robert! I’m still not sure he quite knows what he’s in for (um do I even know? Probably not) but I think he’s going to be great in the moment!

Chocolate Chips

When my friends give birth or are going through a major life event I am a big believer that the most helpful thing you can do is bring a meal. Bring a meal, then leave, to be precise. Not bring a meal and stay to share it or bring a meal and stay to be entertained for a few hours. I imagine that new parents have quite enough going on and often family around to entertain so I like to drop something hot off, hold the sweet babe for a minute if they so wish and then merrily be on my way. It’s been a tried and true formula that most people seem to appreciate so I highly recommend it.

Dough

I have a few go to recipes for times like these; Chicken and vegetable casserole, Sausage and Tortellini Soup (Can be prepared Gluten Free if need be!) and most recently Chicken and Poppyseed Casserole. None of these recipes qualify as health food but all are delicious and comforting which is exactly what you want during a time like that. I typically add a bagged salad to the casseroles to be made at their convenience, or a loaf of fresh bread to the soup and in the case of new mamas, I always bring lactation cookies. Continue reading

Cool Summer Treat: Snicker Bar Salad

Wow, the last few weeks have FLOWN by! Mid May already? How did that happen? The end of the school year is quickly approaching which means work has been crazy (and jam packed with state testing..ugh) and summer is in the air! I am counting down the days because the end of school means it’s time for Thailand!!

Crazy to think that my dream trip is only a few weeks away! Craziest of all is that after the initial planning was completed, I’ve barely had time to think¬†about it with everything else going on in our lives! In the last few weeks Robert and I have been out of town, had friends and family in town, bought a new house (ahh) and started down the road of a career change for me next year (more on that later). All very exciting but nonetheless, BIG life changes in less than a month! In the midst of all of that I am also the proud new owner of a very pricey mouth guard since my stressful¬† err “busy” schedule has caused me to start clenching my teeth in my sleep. Thank you anxious brain.

Last weekend we had some extended family in town to watch my darling niece perform in her school musical and to celebrate¬†Mother’s Day. My niece and nephew are both incredibly well rounded, amazing kiddos. They are both part of a language immersion program at their school which means that 80% of their school day is taught in a foreign language… Chinese! I struggled all the way through my high school and college Spanish courses so I can’t even imagine!

On top of being geniuses, they are also very talented little performers. My niece had a solo in her school musical, “Dear Edwina”. It was about a little girl who gives her neighborhood friends and family advice in a live musical show from her garage. It was really cute and the kids did a great job! Especially my niece who played a fairy godmother who sang about how to properly set the table. Adorable.

Superstar
With the star of the show!

Notice that she is taller than me in the above picture. She was a toddler in diapers when Robert and I first met and now she is going to be giving me her hand me down clothes instead of vice versa! Crazy how fast they grow!

After the show we all went back to my sister in law’s house to have a family cookout. I was tasked with bringing dessert, typically my least favorite thing to make since I am not a baker. Luckily, I remembered this Snicker Bar Salad recipe and thought it would be perfect. The combination of diced apples, snicker bars, pudding and cool whip basically tastes like a candy apple that is 1 trillion times easier to eat. It has been in the 80’s around here lately so this is one dessert that fits the categories of ‘refreshing’ and ‘light’ and is perfect for summer! ¬†It also could not be any easier and there is zero hot oven involvement, win win!

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Almond Lace Cookies

I am interrupting your regularly scheduled Italy recaps to bring you a recipe.

Finished Cookies decorated

And it’s not just any recipe, it’s a Valentine’s Day recipe!

Dry ingredients

Yep. You heard that right. For once and maybe the last time so don’t get used to it¬†I am attempting to be a good food blogger and give you a seasonal recipe. How people are on top of it enough to start giving you football food recipes a month in advance of the super bowl is beyond me, teach me your ways! So lets just start with this admittedly anytime cookie recipe that I have dressed up in pink and red thus qualifying it as a Valentine’s Day treat¬†and agree that I’ll work on it. Ok?

Full disclosure: I kind of love Valentine’s Day. First of all, I’m a sucker for greeting cards so that makes me a fan by default, but there’s more to it than that. There are so many Valentine’s Day haters out there that it’s easy to jump on the anti hallmark bandwagon, but I refuse. I mean really, who can honestly say that they hate love? ¬†Maybe you hate being single on Valentine’s Day, but you can celebrate any kind of love, and you should! Even if you are significant other-less, Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to¬†drink wine and eat chocolate with your friends! Heck, treat yourself to a fancy dinner with your best friend, or your mom! I mean, you love her too right? So why not celebrate it! There is more than enough hatred and criticism to go around on this earth. When given the chance to celebrate love and pass out cheeky conversation hearts, take it!

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Healthy(er) Chocolate Chunk Banana Oat Cookies

Hi! Happy Labor Day Weekend! I have had quite the interesting last few days….

Butter-sugar  Creamed banana and egg

I went to the gym on Thursday after work to run and had a big time treadmill accident ūüė¶ Before you start laughing, it was only half my fault and apparently happens a lot more often than people realize. Or maybe people are just trying to make me feel better by sharing treadmill horror stories? If so, it’s working, keep ’em coming!

wet  mix

In a nutshell, I was waiting for a treadmill (all full of high school kids since one of our local school’s track teams practices there) and a boy jumped off the front of his and jogged away. The treadmills at my gym are all in a row so you can get on/off from either the front (a squeeze) or the back. I saw him hop off, thought “oh good, an open one!” and hopped onto it from the back. I didn’t look down (my mistake) and thus failed to notice that he hadn’t stopped the treadmill, and had instead left it running at a very high speed (his mistake). Needless to say I was immediately flung off the back of the treadmill and skinned both ankles and my knee in the process. The treadmills also back up to a wall with only about a foot of space in between wall/treadmill so once I was flung off, I basically became trapped in a sitting position between the wall and the still running treadmill until I was able to stand up. It was only for a few seconds but it managed to take a lot of skin off several areas of my back and leave some nasty treadmill burns. I would share a photo but it’s pretty yucky and no one really wants to see that. So the moral of the story is… working out is hazardous to your health!

Oat Mixture

Only kidding of course ūüôā The REAL moral of that story is always look down before you hop on a treadmill! And NEVER leave one running when you get off… SO dangerous!

Dark Chocolate  Finished Mix

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