Oatmeal Cream Pies

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I loved, loved, LOVED as kid, Oatmeal Cream Pies. You know the Little Debbie ones. Oooh, just the thought of that mouth watering, chewy texture…full  of sugar.

Well I haven’t had one since I was a kid, but then I saw this recipe on Food52 yesterday, after my cupkeiki asked if we could make oatmeal cookies, and couldn’t resist going for it… I mean its got brown butter (all the rage right now) and Bourbon in it. I of course made my own dietary changes and you know what…they are soooooooooo good. I’m not exaggerating, make them please. Take your childhood or current guilty pleasure in sweet treats and step it up a level…a whole grown up and boss status level.

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Ingredients:

Cookies:

1 C. Flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 C. Unsalted butter

1/2 C. loose filled brown sugar

1 Tbs. Molasses

1 egg

2 tsp. Bourbon

1 tsp. Vanilla

1 C. Rolled Oats

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix together the dry ingredients, except oats. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer. Add, Egg, Molasses, and other wet ingredients and combine well. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mix well and then add oats and mix. Use the drop cookie method (rounded spoonfuls) create an even number (you’re making sandwiches) and bake for 8-12 minutes or until set in the middle. Let cool completly before trying to add butter cream…otherwise you get a cookie sandwich with melted butter!

Brown Butter Cream:

1 1/2 Stick unsalted butter

2 Tbs. heavy cream

1. tsp. vanilla

1/8 tsp. salt

3/4 C. powdered sugar

What to do:

Brown half the butter on medium high heat. This requires full attention!! Swirl the butter around in a small sauce pan constantly. Watching as you swirl for the color and smell to change. It goes from yellow and buttery smelling to light brown and nutty. Some will stick to the bottom , that is your cue to take it off the heat!! Let cool, put in a bowl that can be placed in the freezer and once butter is cool enough transfer from pan to bowl and put in freezer until solid-about 20 min for this amount of butter. Once solid, not frozen!!, beat remaining butter into brown butter, then add remaining ingredients, mix well. Once cookies are completely cooled add butter cream to the flat part of one cookie and sandwich with another!!

Here is a link to the original recipe: http://food52.com/recipes/31276-oatmeal-cream-pies

Have You Zojirushi’d yet?!

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This lunch tiffin has been a serious lifesaver. I mean serious! With 4 sizes of containers, an insulated canister, zip up carrier and spork it’s like winning the sack lunch game by 1000 points. It keeps hot foods nice and hot, cold foods cold and allows you to bring enough food to keep your husband/child//wife or self well fed for the day.

I’ve been sending my manimal with this tiffin since the beginning of December and I love it! I don’t mind all the parts because it allows for lots of food options. Sometimes he gets chili, spaghetti, rice and protein bites all in one!!! It’s amazing and a great way to beat the fast food for lunch or snack dilemma hard working men can run into!

Chocolate Banana Coconut Chia Pudding

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The title says it all. The taste makes you forget about pretty much everything going on around you. The fact that it only has 1 tbs agave and a banana for sweetener, all the great fiber from the chia and the cocoa’s added fiber and minerals makes you want to eat it by the gallon and not feel guilty. But don’t go crazy because although unsweetened cocoa powder has all that great fiber and minerals it’s also high in saturated fat…so take it easy and eat like you’ve only been missing chocolate for like a week and not a month. This is also a fun dish to make with your keiki! My cupkeiki enjoyed mashing and stirring but not waiting for it to be ready!

My recipe:

1 1/4 C. Milk (whole)

1/4 C. Chia Seeds

1 Mashed Banana

3Tbs. Fine Quality Cocoa (baking) I used Nuance Chocolate’s Dutch Process Cocoa

1 Tbs. Agave

Less than an 1/8C. Unsweetened Shredded Coconut

~Mix it all together, and let it set up for a couple hours or overnight. Top with sliced fruit, coconut, cinnamon, whipped cream…I could go on here!

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The Ingredients

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Chilling

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This mornings leftovers, I topped with sliced banana and sprinkled on some coconut (see picture at the beginning of the post!)

Denver Botanic Gardens

Yellow Orchids

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I love Orchids. I love their varieties, their fragrances (yes some smell, and some smell like chocolate…need I express my love any further?) I love their colors, their unique growing conditions, their stalks, leaves, stamens….I simply love their elegance. I miss having a bountiful collection of orchids growing right outside my door.  That’s why, when I read that the Denver Botanical Gardens had an Orchid Showcase happening I knew I had to go. I also had no idea that there even was a botanical garden in Denver, and that it was open during the winter!!! So yesterday we decided to go check out the the exhibit, and you know what?? I fell in love!! The gardens are amazing, and I can’t wait to go back in the summer!!! I of course could have spent hours just lounging in the Orangery (which is blossoming right now with Oranges, Grapefruits and Lemons and their sweet fragrant citrus scents….run don’t walk to it!!) and the greenhouses filled with bromeliads, bananas, ferns, anthuriums and other tropical plants. My cupkeiki loved that there were flowers to look at and then tons of spots (outside) to run wild and free, it probably helped that it was a winter weekend and there were not many people there!

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Right now there is a photo contest, on Instagram, for their orchid showcase. Three lucky winners will win an orchid from the gardens, I’ve got my fingers crossed that one of my photos will be chosen.

Here are some of my pictures of the amazing orchids! I highly recommend going, the contest runs through February 23.

Orcid 3 Orchid1 Orchid 6 Orchid 5 orchid 4 Orchid 2

Here is a link to the Gardens: http://www.botanicgardens.org/

Cost:

Adults: $12.50

Children 3-15: $9.00

Children 2 and under: Free

I seriously can’t say enough about how relaxing and fun it was, especially for a winter time activity.

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Nuance

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I’m addicted to chocolate.
I’m addicted to delicious chocolate.
I’m addicted to rich, creamy, slightly bitter, deeply colored, aromatic, takes you to another place far far away, chocolate.

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Tbt

I’ve been surrounded by babies lately. Well, ok I’m exaggerating that. I’ve met three cute little fellows, all under the age of two, over the last month.

That’s got my brain having all kinds of…you know…baby thoughts.

To ease that, I stare at pictures of my own baby, my cupkeiki. Looking back it’s amazing that she’s grown so quickly in three short years.

My tbt, my everyday, my cupkeiki.

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