The Best Peanut Butter Cookies

Jan 26, 2015

Wow can you believe its Monday already?! We had a super crazy week this past week and it seemed to just fly by! Between fitness class, book club, splurge group and a jewellery party I held I had something going on 4 nights in a row! By Sunday I was kind of peopled out.. do you ever feel like that?

Not only that but Sunday my wonderful husband caught the flu and spent most of the day/night and even today laying on the couch in the basement. I kinda kicked him down there because the kids and I #1 don't need to get sick, and #2 don't need to listen to him in the bathroom every 5 minutes! YUCK!

I will say that I had a great time all week with my many different groups. It's so nice to have different groups of friends with nothing in common. I'm not a "clicky" person and enjoy the company of anyone who wants to sit and visit. I'm getting really good at putting myself out there! A year ago I probably would have came up with a lame excuse to not go out..

Our weekend started on friday when we decided to take Maddox sliding. We were lucky Maely slept in her carseat for the full 4 hours we went out! Fresh air is good for kids.. tires them out and makes everyone feel better right? Friends of ours met us there and brought this big semi hood turned sleigh. It was so much fun! We all piled into it and then flew down the hill and got picked up at the bottom by the skidoo! We had even packed a snack/lunch and came home around 2pm for naps all around!

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Anyway, I know Christmas is over, but I'm still on a good cookie kick! After all, who doesn't love a nice yummy chewy cookie?! I'm pretty sure these two (well at least the one that eats solids!) love cookies as much as I do.

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So we set out one morning, after a full nights rest now that everyone is somewhat healthy, to make cookies. We made these peanut butter cookies. I know they aren't super healthy, and have a tone of sugar in them, but all good things in moderation right?

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I tend to go towards recipes that say "the best" or "worlds best". If they have that, usually the writer of the recipe has tried a million different recipes and this is the best one they found.. right?? I found this recipe here.
The Best Peanut Butter Cookies

by Renee Pihowich
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 mins (per batch)
Keywords: bake snack peanut butter

Ingredients (3 dozen cookies)
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed firmly
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup shortening
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 ¼ cups flour
Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray cookie sheets with a non-stick spray.
Cream together the sugars, shortening, butter, and peanut butter.
Add the eggs and vanilla, mix until well combined.
Mix the dry ingredients together, add the dry ingredients to the cream mixture.
Roll the cookie dough into tablespoon size balls.
Roll the cookie balls into sugar.
Place on the cookie sheets- DO NOT mash with a fork in normal “peanut butter cookie” fashion.
Bake for 11 to 13 minutes.
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Doing it All

Jan 23, 2015


I read a post today, that SkinnyMeg wrote (check it out here) called "Doing it All". Now, I would like to talk to you about my life a little bit. It is by no means perfect, or even close to being ideal sometimes, but it (usually) works for me and my family. SkinnyMeg had the quote "create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside" and I couldn't agree more with that quote. Every person deserves to be happy and feel good. I have had a lot of people tell me that I am a huge inspiration, and when people tell me this it usually surprises me. I am so used to being shy and not putting myself out there and I'm so glad I'm starting to get out of that rut! Now...

Keep in mind that I have this little adorable thing and her toddler brother keeping me on the tips of my toes!

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First off, just like SkinnyMeg, I have a wonderful husband that helps out when he can. I try to leave him alone during the 9-5 hours and not expect him to help out too much because those are usually when he's busiest even if he works at home. But, he does usually help me unload the dishwasher, and load it after meals, he has been known to fold laundry for me and tidy up the house. He will also watch the kids if I need some downtime or need to grab groceries, go to my exercise class, do a photo session, etc.. all in all he's pretty great. He is my support most of the time, as well as his parents who live only 20 mins away.

His parents usually take Maddox one night a week, and all day Thursday. This gives my husband and I some downtime together, even with the adorable baby around, we usually watch a movie, eat supper on the couch or catch up on each others lives. Its definitely much needed! Maddox also still goes to daycare two days a week. He needs the energy burn, and social interaction with other kids and even if it is a hassle to get him out the door in the morning, it's so worth it at the end of the day!

There are lots of things in my life that I have given up, these include... going to the bathroom alone, finishing a warm meal, or drinking a whole cup of coffee while it's hot. I don't very often get to have a bath, or finish getting ready within an hour (hello healthy air dried hair!). I also gave up sleep. Have you ever heard that saying "you can sleep when you're dead"? I am a pretty good morning person, and it doesn't bother me to wake up around 5:30am and watch the news, drink my coffee and browse the net. I sometimes don't shower in the morning and go for a run during Maely's first nap on my treadmill. I also stay up late sometimes and write on my blog or just watch some mind numbing tv. Maely is on a pretty awesome schedule right now..

8:30pm - kids go to bed
11:00pm - parents go to bed
2:30am - Maely wakes up for a feed
6:30am - Maely wake ups for a feed and I get up for the day
8:30am - everyone else up for the day
9:00am - Breakfast
10:30am - 12:30pm - Maely's first nap
12:30pm - Lunch
2:00 - 4:00pm - Maely's second nap
6:30pm - supper
7:30pm - baths and stories
8:30pm - kids go to bed and repeat!

I have a bit of a cleaning schedule, I try and do a 10 minute tidy every night before bed, and wipe down one room a day. I also try and do at least one load of laundry a day. I find this works best for us most of the time, and let me have weekends with my family!

Maddox has taken an interest in exercise videos and lots of times he will pick one out for us to do. It makes it super fun for both of us, and it's nice to see him having fun and getting active with me! He also makes sure we do one just about every night before bath time!

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So thats it, I think it's important that we stop comparing ourselves to other moms and other people. I have learned that I can't do it all, I'm not a superwoman and I don't have super powers that make me be in three places at once. Lots of times if I focus a lot of energy in one area another slips. You need to find balance in your life, but remember nobody is perfect and what works for someone else may not work for you!

Super Quick Bacon Carbonara

Jan 20, 2015

I have started to become the master of quick and simple meals. My freezer is packed full of casseroles, and breakfast staples. I'm a new mom (more on this later!) and quick simple meals are a necessity. My husband has hockey two nights a week, I have exercise class one night and this week I also have book club, splurge club and I'm hosting a jewellery party on Saturday! This usually seems to happen once a month, our schedules are crazy busy all in the same week!

At least our kids are back to themselves, and no longer sick!!

Anyway, back to food right!

I've always been super intimidated by using egg in cooking like this, I mean does it cook? What happens if it scrambles? Do I throw it out? Then what do I serve?

I was feeling fairly brave and after a couple google and pinterest searches on "how to properly cook carbonara" I felt pretty confident I could do it! And you know what, turns out it's super easy!

Here is the recipe.. I have heard of people adding white wine, however I don't know how that works with little kids? Maybe that will be my next step!



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Quick and Easy Bacon Carbonara
by Renee Pihowich
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Keywords: saute side 30 minute meal

Ingredients (Serves 4-6)
  • 8 ounces spaghetti
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup real bacon bits (I keep chopped, cooked bacon in my freezer for occasions like this!)
  • 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
Instructions
Cook pasta (remember to reserve about ½ Cup of pasta water to thin out sauce if it gets too thick!)
In a large skillet saute bacon, garlic.
While all that is cooking in a bowl, whisk oil, eggs, and parmesan cheese together.
Once the pasta is cooked place in the skillet with the bacon and keep the heat low/medium.
Slowly add in the egg mixture and make sure to keep everything moving you do not want scrambled eggs.
Add in seasonings and parsley.
Enjoy!
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 Bon Appetit!

Jan 17, 2015

Well, my posting once a week New Year's Resolution isn't going very well.. I've spent the entire week on the couch with sick kids, with Bubble Guppies on repeat. Have you ever noticed the things on that show that are underwater? Like.. hair dryers for instance.. what are they teaching our kids these days? Just kidding. Lets just say it was a bad week for Dan to be gone, and my in-laws to leave to Mexico for two months.. I had no back-up!

Today we needed a much needed break from the couch and television and numerous kid cartoons we've been watching, so after a rare nap for both kids that happened at the same time we went outside and played. Maely has the horrible cold still and didn't want to be outside too long, but Maddox had a blast! The best part? The weather was absolutely gorgeous!

After our little play outside I made us some curly fries using my vegetable spiral cutter that I bought a couple months ago and haven't used yet! Interested? Click here to see it!

Even Dan had to try out the spiralizer and cut one of the potatoes for me.. I can definitely see myself using this neat contraption a lot in the future! Was an awesome and super affordable purchase!

curlyfries
Home-made Curly Fries
by Renee Pihowich
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Keywords: bake snack side potato

Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 2 large white potatoes, peeled
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp cajun seasoning, or seasoning salt
Instructions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Spiralize both potatoes, using the blade with the smaller triangles.
Using scissors or a knife cut the potato "strings" into smaller bite-sized fries.
Add to a bowl and add the oil and seasonings you prefer. Toss to coat.
Spread out over two parchment-lined baking sheets. You will need to use two as you do not want to overcrowd potatoes.
Place trays in oven and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven, flip fries as best as you can removing any fries that have already crisped up. Swap trays before returning to oven so tray that was originally on the top is now in the middle and vice versa.
Bake for another 8-10 minutes.
Remove trays and serve hot.
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Welcome 2015

Jan 1, 2015

Well, another year has come and gone.. and I figured since I didn't post much this past year maybe I should fill some of you in with this;

2014
Things I loved...
Wow, where do I begin. We had so many new experiences this year! This year was totally about family.. from expanding ours and spending 4 solid weeks in a camper together, to moving out to the family farm. We did many things I loved.. some of them are; announcing our pregnancy in February and getting a call from hubby's parents in mexico when they got the message, going to the demolition derby, buying the camper and then camping, swimming lessons, taking two weeks off work to be there for Maddox's swimming lessons, participating in a 3km marathon while 8 months pregnant, cheering on a friend running a 3km marathon with her 4 year old son on my due date, welcoming our baby girl Maely on Oct 5 and moving out to the farm in December and hosting my very first Christmas supper!

Things I am thankful for...
I am so thankful for great friends and family this year. Without them I would have been a complete disaster the last three months of the year! Between going on mat leave, having a baby, buying a farm, moving to the farm.. I would have lost my marbles somewhere had I not had an amazing support system. Thank you to all the amazing people in my life!

I am thankful for our amazing health care system, and my nurses during my labor with Maely. I was so sure I was not going to be able to handle it without anything for pain but because they were so awesome we did great! I am also thankful for my Dr who left a conference early to come deliver my babe!

Favourite Memory...
My favourite memory this year was welcoming Maely into our lives. She was almost a week overdue and I was so tired of being pregnant I almost jumped for joy when I finally went into labor on a Friday night! She was born that Sunday at 3 in the afternoon. Yes it was a long labor, but it never got to the point where I was in too much pain until the very last 10 minutes.

Greatest Lesson Learned...
Another labor memory... I learned that I am strong and can do almost anything. I gave birth with no pain medication except gas at the very end. If I set my mind to something and concentrate I can do it. I am strong!

Hardest Thing...
I really struggled this year with feeling like I was enough. I always felt like I needed to do more, to prove more, to be more than I am. I wanted to be someone bigger and better. This was good and bad for me. I feel like because of this I did put myself out there more and have overcome my shyness in groups and really feel accepted in our small community. But I also feel like it wore me out.. like I did to much and didn't say "no" when I should have. When I needed down time I was usually working on something for someone and I need to learn to say "no" and take care of myself.

Best Thing...
The best thing this year is that I feel like I have overcome my shyness and feel accepted in our small community. I feel like people look at me now and see who I really am.. not just this shy girl that lives here.

Looking forward to this year


Things I want to do...
This year I want to believe that anything is possible. I want to start each day with goals, eat more real food and drink more water and tea. I want to hug the ones I love, start exercising and stick to it. I want to run a 10km marathon and participate in a muddy donkey run. I want to shop for quality not quantity when it comes to clothes. I'm tired of filling my closet full of cheap clothes that don't stand up to more than 5 washes! I want to find the best in others and show the best in me and what I am.

Things I want to get better at...
I want to get better and communicating, especially when it comes to my feelings. I want to pick up the phone and visit with friends and family. I want to get better at spending time with my husband. We lack downtime together, even if its just finding a tv show we can get into together.

Things I am looking forward to...
I am really looking forward to having this summer off and being able to go camping. We are thinking of taking a week or two long trip to do a tour of saskatchewan and alberta to visit friends and family we don't get to see very often. I am really looking forward to getting back into shape as well and feeling great!

And so there you have it!

A lot can happen in a year, today is page 1 of a 365 page novel.. write it!
 

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