Homemade Brownies with Strawberry Frosting

Now that a month has passed since the holidays, I’m getting excited about Valentine’s Day! Shane is pretty into Valentine’s Day so after Zac’s birthday this weekend, we’ll be putting out a few decorations. We’ll probably whip up a few treats, too, like these homemade brownies with strawberry frosting that my friend Brittany made!

I consider myself to be a good cook, but baking is always hit or miss with me. This recipe looks easy enough though- I’m even going to have Shane help me out since he’s on another kick of wanting to be a chef.

Homemade Brownies with Strawberry Frosting for Valentine's Day! A great weekend activity to get your kids in the kitchen- or a nice surprise for an after-school treat

Supplies Needed:

Brownie Mix {recipe below}
Strawberry Frosting
Powdered Sugar
6 Heart Silicone Baking Tray {I recommend this one}
Homemade Heart Brownies with Strawberry Frosting

Brownie Mix:
-1 cup white sugar
-1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon baking powder
-1/4 cup water
-1/2 cup vegetable oil
-2 eggs

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and start the mixing process.

2. Grab a medium size mixing bowl and pour in all the dry ingredients followed by your water, vegetable oil and eggs and mix it up until all ingredients are blended.

3. As soon as all clumps and powder are gone your mixture is complete.

4. Spray some pan in your heart shaped muffin tin and pour a big spoonful of brownie mix into each heart cut out.

5. Place your brownies into the oven for 20 minutes and once they are done remove them from the oven and let them cool for about 5 minutes.

6. Once they’ve cooled place them on a piece of parchment paper and refill the hearts again and place in the oven until all the mix is gone.

7. Once on the parchment paper take a sharp knife and cut off the top of the brownie to make it a smooth and flat surface.

8. Once all the brownie hearts have been cut and smoothed down it’s time for the frosting.

9. Fill the Strawberry Frosting into a piping bag and pipe the frosting in a heart shape in on the top of your brownies.

10. Now add the other brownie piece onto the top of the brownie and press down. Top the brownies off with some powdered sugar and they’re ready to enjoy!

Homemade Brownies with Strawberry Frosting for Valentine's Day! A great weekend activity to get your kids in the kitchen- or a nice surprise for an after-school treat!

Whether you’re baking for your own special Valentine or having fun with the kids in the kitchen, be sure to give these brownies a try!

What’s your favorite thing about Valentine’s Day?

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Slow Cooker BBQ Pork Sandwiches Recipe

This post is brought to you by Lunchbox. All opinions are my own.

Justin and I love trying new foods, so I’m always on the lookout for new recipes. I find some in magazines, many on blogs, and most of them on Pinterest! They say we eat with our eyes first, so it’s no wonder that Pinterest has become such a hub for recipe sharing. You can find anything and everything, from party appetizers to budget dinners to decadent desserts.

I’ve been trying to find some fast but delicious meals lately because we’ve had a lot going on, and one of the biggest hits was this Slow Cooker BBQ Pork Sandwiches recipe from Kraft. It’s one of their most pinned recipes, and it’s easy to see why! Not only is it super easy to make, but it’s perfect for every member of the family. Plus, can you really go wrong with BBQ Sauce?

Slow Cooker BBQ

5.0 from 1 reviews
Slow Cooker BBQ Pork Sandwiches
Recipe type: Slow Cooker
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Boneless Pork Shoulder {2 lb}
  • 3 Onions, sliced, separated into rings
  • ½ cup KRAFT Original Barbecue Sauce
  • 8 Kaiser Rolls, split
  • 8 KRAFT Singles
Instructions
  1. PLACE meat in slow cooker; top with onions and barbecue sauce. Cover with lid. Cook on LOW 8 to 10 hours (or on HIGH 4 to 5 hours).
  2. REMOVE meat from slow cooker; cut off and discard excess fat. Chop meat into small pieces or shred with fork. Return to slow cooker; stir to coat with sauce.
  3. FILL rolls with meat mixture and Singles just before serving.

If you’re always looking for delicious recipes too, be sure to check out the Kraft Foods Hub. There you’ll find Kraft’s top-pinned recipes- there’s something for everyone and lots of dishes for the whole family! The website also has a video that includes tips for making delicious mac n’ cheese bites!

BBQ Pork Ingredients

Once you’ve chosen a recipe, don’t forget to visit Walmart to find all the Kraft Foods products you’ll need! To make shopping easier, you can enter to win a $100, $250 or $1,000 Walmart gift card when you create a collection of your favorite Kraft Recipes. Not only does your eCard enter you into the sweepstakes, but you’ll also have a collection of yummy recipes that can easily be saved and shared on Pinterest. Score!

Recipe 14

Want another way to win? You can enter below for a chance to win one of five $50 Walmart gift cards. Good luck!
Kraft Foods Hub January

Where do you find recipe inspiration?

12 Healthy Smoothie Recipes to Start the New Year Right

This post is brought to you by Foodie. All opinions are my own.

Just like everyone else, Justin and I have rededicated ourselves to eating better. While we’re definitely cutting down on the junk we eat, we’re even more focused on making sure that we get enough of the good stuff! It’s so much easier to take care of your body and eat the right things when you’re making sure that you reach your daily quota of each healthy food group, rather than denying yourself the bad stuff.

One of my favorite ways to get enough produce in is to drink smoothies. There are all different kinds of smoothies of course, and some are healthier than others, but a good smoothie full of my favorite fruits & veggies is the perfect solution for on-the-go or busy mealtimes. I also use smoothies as a way to “hide” vegetables that I’m less fond of so that I can get the benefits but don’t have to actually eat it! {This trick works on kids, too.}

12 Healthy Smoothie Recipes

Below are 12 smoothies that are next on my to-try list. Some of them are from some of my blogger friends and others were finds from Foodie.com. If you’re looking for a good smoothie recipe to try, start with the slideshow below and check out even more options over on the Foodie website!

[Read more...]

Getting Back to Balance and Taking a Moment for Me {& Paleo Almond Apricot Breakfast Bar Recipe}

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BackToBalance #CollectiveBias

Last month was crazy around here. I’m sure you can relate- the holidays throw everyone into chaos. Justin’s job is the busiest in December, so he often worked 12-16 hour days back to back. Of course that was the hardest on him, but it wasn’t easy for me, either. In addition to caring for the kids all day, it also meant I was responsible for all the holiday stuff, from baking to gifting to decorating to wrapping. Then I had to make sure Shane did his homework and got to school, and had to help Zac through the cutting of his first two teeth. Plus, I had my own work to do- and it’s my busy season, too. To say I was stressed would be an understatement! Once Christmas came and the madness was over, I promised myself that I would get back to balance and find a way to take care of myself while juggling all the crazy.

Most of us, especially moms, don’t take enough time for ourselves. We are always running around trying to get stuff done for everyone else, and leave our needs for last. One of my New Year’s Resolutions this year was to put some more focus on me! That said, I do still have two small children to take care of, so it’s not like I can run off to the spa every weekend or enjoy long, leisurely walks on the beach. Instead, there is one simple but efficient trick that I have been using that helps me keep my life balanced. Want to know my secret?

Coffee-mate natural bliss Hazelnut #shop #backtobalanceI take a moment in the morning for myself. I set the kids up with some toys, make a hot cup of coffee, pull out my calendar, and go over my plan for the day. If I start the day chaotic, I feel like I’m running to put out fires all day long. I’m lucky in that Shane doesn’t go to school until the afternoon, so our mornings are pretty relaxed. However, if your mornings are currently too crazy to do this, try waking up five minutes earlier whenever possible and go over the upcoming day. I know sleep is precious, but five minutes is less than one more “snooze” session, and it can help shape your whole day!

In order to carve out those few precious minutes, I’ve switched to eating homemade, paleo breakfast bars {recipe below} that I can make ahead so I can cut down on time in the kitchen in the mornings. I pair them with my secret weapon: a mug of my favorite coffee, with a splash {or three} of NESTLÉ® Coffee-mate® natural bliss® Hazelnut or NESTLÉ® Coffee-mate® natural bliss® Sweet Cream from Walmart. Each one has just the right amount of sweetness to help me start my day off with something just for me- and that coffee keeps me going once the chaos begins!

If you’re sick of stressful mornings or just want a healthy take on breakfast, be sure to try these bars:

Paleo Almond Apricot Date Bars ingredients #shop #backtobalancePaleo Almond Apricot Breakfast Bars #backtobalance #shop9

4.0 from 1 reviews
Paleo Almond Apricot Breakfast Bars
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (unsalted) almonds
  • 1 cup pitted Medjool dates
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Optional: Shredded coconut to taste
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, combine almonds, dates, and apricots. Process until they are completely chopped up and then continue until they just barely begin to form a “dough” ball. {I promise you’ll know when this happens.}
  2. Add in the salt and vanilla extract- and coconut if you’re using it. Continue to process until it’s mostly one big clump. You may have some lingering bits, you can use your hands to press them into the mix.
  3. Lay out a piece of plastic wrap or foil and lay the mix down onto it. Using either your hands or a rolling pin {I use my hands because the mix is sticky}, flatten the mix and shape it into a rectangle.
  4. Place it into the fridge to set until cold- at least 20 minutes should do the trick. Remove from fridge, cut into bars and enjoy!

Even if you don’t have time to set aside every morning, don’t forget to take small moments to yourself when you can. Whether it’s a minute to rest your feet or an hour to catch up on a favorite show, you’re worth it!

Where to find Coffee-mate natural bliss creamer #shop #backtobalance

{Oh, and seriously try that creamer. It makes for an awesome cup of coffee. It has the perfect amount of sweetness and natural flavors- such a great way to start the day!} For more great recipes and ways to help you get back to balance, check out walmart.com/nestle!

How do you find balance amongst the chaos?

 

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Muffins Recipe

Shane’s in kindergarten this year, and at his school that means he starts class at 1pm. Of course I don’t want to send him to school hungry, so I give him some food before we go. However, he’s a late riser {he gets up at 9am} and a slow eater, so by the time we’d need to start lunch he’s practically just finishing breakfast! That’s why on school days, he gets a yummy and filling snack like these Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Muffins to tide him over until after school.

These muffins may be called cookies, but they include healthy ingredients like whole wheat flour, rolled oats, eggs, and raisins {one of Shane’s favorites}, so they’re pretty guilt-free. As an added bonus, these are easy to eat on-the-go, so we like to take them with us to the park to burn off some energy before school!

oatmeal raisin cookie muffins

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Muffins
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ½- ⅔ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1 ½ cups raisins
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. Grease 12 hole muffin tin with coconut oil
  3. Combine flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt
  4. In a separate bowl whisk eggs, maple syrup, milk, vanilla, and coconut oil
  5. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture well
  6. Fold in raisins
  7. Fill muffin tins ⅔ full
  8. Bake for 16-18 minutes until tops are browned
  9. Cool slightly before serving

What are your favorite on-the-go snacks for kids?

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