Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Nap time with Hot Cocoa!

I don't think I've said it on here before, but crazy baby is a terrible sleeper.  Seriously.  She fought an hour long nap yesterday for 3 hours!  I'm not even kidding.  She sleeps in a carrier(Lillebaby complete) because if I try to lay her down she wakes up.  Instantly.  Then there is NO HOPE of getting her back to sleep for hours!  This carrier is a lifesaver.  I would die without it.  Not even kidding.  She is asleep in it right now.  After a half hour nap this morning, was up for 3 and a half hours, yawning and rubbing her eyes the whole time.  And fussing.  And crawling in my lap.  Anyway.  Crazy is asleep.

I am freezing today!  Two cups of hot tea, oatmeal, hot cheese covered cauliflower; none of it helped.  Hot chocolate seems to be doing the trick. However, while I was trying to get the champion sleep fighter out, it cooled off.  I would microwave it, but that would most likely wake her up and I would rather chew off my arm than wake her up.  Which really wouldn't do any good since she is attached to me.  Back to this hot chocolate.  It is amazing.  The original recipe came from here /Best-ever Hot Cocoa Mix Recipe- Cooks Country.
You have to log in for some trial or subscribe or something.  I didn't have time for that, so my dad just emailed the recipe to me.  I love my daddy!  I changed the recipe, because that's what I do.  I'm sure it would have been great the way it was, but I wanted a creamier cocoa.  I find that adding pudding mix makes it just the right amount of creamy.  Also using whole milk powder instead of low fat whatever stuff.  My recipe!

3 cups Nido Whole milk powder (found at Wal-mart in the international food isle)
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 cups Dutch-processed cocoa powder  (I used Hershey's Dark Chocolate cocoa powder)

1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
1 box chocolate fudge pudding mix**

Combine ingredients in large bowl. Working in two batches, pulse ingredients in food processor until chocolate is finely ground. Store in airtight container for up to 3 months. 

To make hot cocoa, stir 1/3 cup of this mix (give or take depending on how chocolaty you want it) into 1 cup of hot water (or hot milk if you used non-fat dry milk powder). Top with whipped cream or mini marshmallows. (or a bunch of ghost marshmallows left over from Halloween ^_^)

**  I have also used Cookies and Cream pudding mix- Yum-O  It doesn't matter if there are chunks of cookie in it because you run it through the food processor anyway.   You can really use any kind of pudding.  White chocolate, cheesecake, what ever tickles your fancy.  

I used all of the mix.  I need more; stat! 

Peace, love and hot chocolate. 

P.S. as I type this I am eating Gooey S'more cookie dough.  I will post that recipe later ;)  Amazing.  

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Back to crazy land

Hello, blogging world.  It's been almost a year since my last post, life got crazy. A year ago tomorrow I started this blog to share recipes.  I feel like it's weird that I thought about the blog today, just about to the day that it was started.  Anyway, back to why I'm here.  Like I said, life got crazy.  Baby girl was born on 3 March 2013.  A beautiful 7lb, 2oz, 20 inches long, bundle of crazy.  She will be 6 months old here in a few days.  It has definitely been a crazy 6 months with her.  She's been a very high needs baby.  She spends a lot of the day in a carrier attached to me because it calms her down and keeps her happy.  As I am typing this, she is asleep in it on me.  I love the carrier too.  It makes my life so much easier because I can keep her close, calm her down and still have 2 hands to do what needs to be done around the house. Yup, house!  We bought a house, in Michigan! No more apartment life for us, at least for a while.  Navy life. Also, I can kiss her a million times a day.  She is in the carrier when we go to the store and we get so many comments on how good of a baby she is all of the time.

We moved out of the apartment in June, baby girl was 3 months old.  Let me tell you, that was HARD!  She was still colicky and would scream and want to be held all the time.  Needless to say, I wasn't very effective, for that I am very sorry and very appreciative to the help we had.  After that, I stayed with my in-laws until we moved into the house, about a month.  The hubby was at a school in Florida for the entire month.  Super tough!  We closed on the house the first part of July, then we moved in!!!  Yay for having a house!  Its so great to be able to do what ever we want without having to ask anyone.  We are still working on getting everything unpacked and settled.  Its pretty hard with a demanding baby and long hours at work.  I love being back in Michigan.   It feels really good to be home. 

In the last year, we have tried a lot recipes. Some better than others, but all edible and at least ok.  Today, I made three things.  Kale chips, Chocolate Latte cookies, and a chicken pasta skillet thingy for dinner.  The kale chips were a whole lot better than I expected.  I have no idea why I didn't try them earlier!  I took kale, removed the center stem, washed, dried, put in a bag and shook in alittle bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Then I spread out the kale pieces on the trays of my dehydrator, sprinkled with salt to dry away.  In about 2 hours, I had crunchy delicious salt and vinegar kale chips.  Let me tell you, they were the perfect mix of salty, vinegary, crunchy with a little bit of sweetness. 

After those, I decided that I wanted cookies.  A couple weeks ago, I made these Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies .  They are amazing and I definitely recommend that everyone make them.  I wanted to try something like that, but different. Chocolaty with a little kick of coffee.  I played with the recipe and came up with one for Chocolate Latte cookies.  I used white whole wheat flour instead of the all- purpose, half brown sugar and half Stevia in the Raw, added some cream to make up for the dryness from the wheat flour, some instant coffee granules, Hershey's Special Dark pudding mix, then white and dark chocolate chips (edited recipe below).  They turned out super tasty.  I did all of this with baby girl in the carrier (I feel so talented sometimes =P).  The hubster should be home in a few minutes and I will make him try them, but I'm pretty sure that he will love them too.  Chocolate and coffee anything is right up his alley, along with anything buffalo chicken :)  I have an awesome recipe for a buffalo chicken pasta bake too, but that will wait for another time. 

The skillet pasta thingy was good too.  I used the Savory Lemon and Herb Philadelphia Cooking cream.  Green beans, chicken, pasta, cooking cream and a few other things.  It was good, but I don't know if I would make it again though. 

That is all for tonight, I have to get this little girl in her bed so I can sleep too.  Good night all :)

Chocolate Latte Cookies

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Stevia in the Raw
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant Hershey's Special Dark chocolate pudding
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350° F.
Combine flour, dark chocolate cocoa powder, instant coffee and baking soda and set aside. In the bowl of electric mixer, cream together butter, brown sugar, Stevia in the Raw and pudding mix.  Beat in eggs, whipping cream, and vanilla.  Add flour mixture until combined.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Roll into 1" balls and place on a greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown