Thursday, April 25, 2013

"Almond Joy" Bars! (Clean, No Sugar Added!)

I started my day with a delicious bowl of Almond Joy inspired oatmeal, which totally hit my chocolate craving spot. 

After lunch, while my daughter was napping I had planned to throw some kind of granola bars together. I knew I was going to use oats (duh) and bananas because I have plenty that are pretty ripe. And since the coconut was still out on the counter (oops) I just threw everything together!


2- Cups Oats
1- Cup unsweetened Coconut
1- 1/2 tsp Unsweetened Cocoa 
(I actually did not measure the cocoa, but it's bitter so don't add too much)
2 Large Ripe Bananas
1/3 Cup Coconut Milk (or milk of choice)
1-1/2 TBS Pure Vanilla Extract

Optional: Almonds, Chocolate Chips
(If needed, add a little pure maple syrup to your mixture.)

Feel free to mix in anything you'd like. I added my almonds on top, but you could mix them in. Or added chocolate chips in, as well. I only laid mine on top with the almonds.


Mash up your bananas then mix everything together. If you want your mix-ins on top then wait until later. Prepare your baking sheet or pan. I used parchment paper that I lightly greased. I shaped my mixture into a square and flattened with a fork. I then neatly laid my almonds and chips on top. 

Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes and then cut up. I am storing mine in a container in the fridge.

He was in awe and couldn't wait to dive in. ;)

If you're not already a follower, please feel free to become one! And as always, I'd love to hear if you try these and what you think! Have a great day!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Emmelyn is Now Two!

A lot has happened in the past month. We have been super busy, so I have been slacking in the blog world, I apologize for that. 

On April 9th, Emmelyn turned two years old! Hard to believe, but it has come and gone already! 
She had a great birthday party on the 6th with a few friends. I tried really hard to make the menu for her party clean, and I succeeded in doing so... except for the PBJ sandwiches. Even her cake! That was the hardest part... I made three test cakes in the month leading up to her birthday before deciding on my  banana muffin recipe baked as a cake. I made a strawberry cream cheese frosting for it, and called it a day. My family loved it! Especially the birthday girl, who loves bananas and strawberries! 

The Cake!

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting:

Three blocks of soften cream cheese
1 cup of fresh strawberries, cleaned and stems removed
Pure maple syrup, to taste

Blend up your strawberries then add your cream cheese and maple syrup in. I added the syrup in a TBS at a time until I liked the taste and consistency of the frosting. I probably used about 3 TBS. It may will depend on your strawberries and their tartness.

I forgot to take a picture of the food set up... Oops! But the menu consisted of:
(All I can remember off the top of my head)
Peanut butter and Jelly sandwiches for the kids
Veggie tray
Salsa roll-ups
Fruit Kabobs (huge hit!)

Tortilla chips

 (What was left of the lemonade)

When Emmelyn woke up in the morning she was thrilled to see all of the balloons!

For the party, I set up a wall for a fun "photo booth," and it was so much fun! All of our guests seemed to enjoy this part and it really fit in with her "dress up party" theme. I had a lot of costumes and such out for the kids to wear, but we also had a playset and bounce house in the back yard and it was such a beautiful day out, no one was inside much. 

 A great start to her party. ;)

 Probably my favorite.

                Sometimes one fork isn't enough!                 Working on her second piece of cake.

Here is a close up of her hairband for anyone interested. I made this a week or so before her party! I love it!

Since her birthday fell on a Tuesday, we celebrated on Saturday. On Monday, we explored the National Harbor in D.C., including the Children's Museum for their 1/2 price Military day. They had a real pig's lung on display for us to touch and play with, what a great surprise! We took a picnic lunch with us and ate it on the Harbor. Afterwards, we found Ben & Jerry's and the four of us shared a banana split! Sometimes you just have to indulge a little.

On Tuesday, we went to the National Zoo in D.C., we were pretty rushed though and didn't get to see the whole thing because Emmelyn had a well baby check up. But, we still had a great time! 

All-in-all it was a great birthday week for my angel bug! 

(My birthday banner letters came from here. I just cut out triangles to place behind the letters and used brads to hold them together)

Stay tuned, we have been refinishing our kitchen (why we've been so busy) and I will be writing a blog post about that, soon!

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