Warm Vanilla Milk {Healthy Alternative to Hot Chocolate}

11/06/2014. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.

Vanilla Cinnamon Milk

I posted this recipe a long time ago in a cold version for lunch boxes and wanted to revisit it in a warm version that is so perfect for fall and winter.

This recipe is crazy fast and crazy simple and a healthy alternative to hot chocolate.  We absolutely love vanilla milk in this house- I like to give it to the girls as an afternoon treat or during movie night.  It is slightly sweet but doesn’t have the sugar that you find in hot chocolate.

Plus it takes seconds to prepare- I hope you give it a shot!

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Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

10/29/2014. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.

reese's peanut butter cup cookies

Earlier this year our family took a little trip to Monterey, CA. It is a beautiful place to visit and we spent an afternoon at the Aquarium and then treated ourselves to the Nestle Tollhouse Cookie store right across the street. (Skip freshly baked cookies? No way!)

We shared a sampling of cookies and by far the one we were practically arm wrestling over was the Reese’s peanut butter cup cookie. I actually bought a few extra to bring home for our pet-sitter and low and behold there were only crumbs left by the time we got home.

This is a really simple cookie to make and I made a mental note to be sure and post it before Christmas for those that like to exchange Christmas cookies.

These are an absolutely delicious combination of peanut butter and chocolate gooey-ness and they are bite sized.

These are incredibly easy to make– I prefer homemade peanut butter cookie dough but in a pinch you can always grab premade dough from the grocery store.

You can also make the peanut butter dough well in advance and freeze it if you want to have an easy dessert in the freezer or you want to get a jump on the holidays.   You can absolutely modify this recipe to include flavors you love.  If you want to use chocolate chips instead of the Reese’s cups, that would be delicious.  You could also pipe in Nutella and that should be wonderful too.

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Homemade Pumpkin Butter Recipe

10/18/2014. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.

Homemade Pumpkin Butter Recipe

Oh I have something delicious for you to try.  I love, love fall and all the flavors that go with it.  Pumpkin is one of my most favorite things though and this recipe is full of pumpkin-y goodness and so simple to make!  It is a lovely gift idea and compliments so many different things- french bread, cakes, waffles/pancakes, oatmeal or even just spread on a cracker. My girls love this in lunchboxes- either spread on a sandwich or I put a small container of pumpkin butter and a few slices of french bread to dip. Just delicious!

I have tried numerous ways to make pumpkin butter- typically it is spices, pumpkin puree, water or apple juice and either white or brown sugar.

I tend to prefer the flavors of apple cider and brown sugar so I have tried many times making pumpkin butter with those ingredients but I come back to plain old white sugar and water with a hint of citrus over and over again.

So here is the recipe I tend to like the best- you can adjust this a little to suit your tastes.  Add slightly more sugar for a sweeter pumpkin butter- I try to use the least amount of sugar that I can (even though this recipe still calls for quite a bit) so I got it down to 1 cup but you can add as much as 1 1/2 cups to suit your taste.

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Parmesan and Rosemary Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

10/16/2014. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.

Rosemary Parmesan Roasted Potatoes


This is one of our favorite side dishes and it is so crazy simple to make.  Whenever I make these potatoes it turns into a bit of a fork fight around the table because everyone is diving in at once trying to get just a few more.  Let me tell you my kids are so picky that rarely happens.

If you haven’t tried fingerling potatoes they are really fast and just delicious- we love them with rosemary and melted Parmesan cheese.  They are a perfect side dish with a simple roasted chicken.

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Homemade Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits (Copycat Milk Bones Recipe)

09/30/2014. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.

Homemade Peanut Butter Dog Treats- super easy copycat Milk Bones recipe

I thought it would be fun to post a recipe for homemade dog treats.  Now you might be saying- well I can buy treats for a few dollars at the store so why should I bother making them myself?

For a few reasons- first of all there was a recall last year with certain dog treats from China that were leading to illnesses in dogs.  By making your own treats you can control exactly what goes into it and feel confident that you are giving your dog something wholesome and nutritious.

Second we absolutely love our dog – literally like a family member in this house.  My kids adore him but more often than not his needs tend to get pushed down the priority list.  When it comes to checking off the to do list each day, a walk for the dog or trip to the dog park is more likely to get skipped than say homework or say making dinner. :)  So why not do something special for your pet!  This could be something your kids really get out a kick out of- my girls loved the idea of making treats for our dog.

Third is the price consideration- really good quality treats at a pet store can be fairly pricey.  I just went to the groomer and found small-ish bags of treats priced at $15+.  This recipe is very inexpensive.

And last, what a fun homemade gift idea!  If you know someone that adopted a dog recently, how sweet would it be to put these in a cute jar and drop them off?

Plus how do you say no to this face?


Hopefully I have convinced you to give this a shot :).   This is for dog treats like you see above that are similar to a Milk Bone except I sneaked in a little peanut butter which makes these smell like fresh baked cookies when they come out of the oven.

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Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Muffins

09/27/2014. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.

White Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins


Oh I have a delicious recipe for you to try that is a perfect welcome to fall!  Mix these up and I bet your family absolutely devours them.

These are pretty fast and easy to make and they have the wonderful sweetness of brown sugar and chocolate chips and pumpkin pie spices. You can use either chocolate chips or white chocolate in this recipe.

This recipe is a tiny bit sweet so you can cut back on the brown sugar if you’d like to make it a little bit healthier.

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Crock Pot Baked Potatoes

09/25/2014. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.

Crock Pot Baked Potatoes- perfect fast and comforting weeknight dinner

Now that fall is here and the weather is finally getting cooler, I am totally in Crock Pot mode.  Especially since our evenings are filled with dance classes and soccer practice and lots of homework assignments.

I just don’t seem to have the time to deal with complicated dinner menus yet I still want warm, comforting meals at the end of a busy day.  So Crock Pot to the rescue!

So if you haven’t tried making Crock Pot Baked Potatoes I thought I’d post about it today.  I do this fairly often in fall and winter because really what is better then a baked potato?  So delicious and a great opportunity to clean out the fridge by topping it with broccoli or red peppers, various cheeses, salsa, leftover chili — whatever you have on hand.

Crock Pot baked potatoes are incredibly easy and they turn out perfectly cooked.  I am not a fan of microwaving potatoes- they always get a gummy taste to me- but putting them in the oven can take so long…. Not really practical for quick dinners.  By cooking these in the crock pot you will get a perfectly cooked Steakhouse style baked potato and literally dinner is done in just minutes.

Oh and you can actually make these to go- that is nice for those of you with kiddos in sports and such.  Keep them tightly wrapped in the foil and they will stay warm for awhile.  Pack a small tupperware container with whatever toppings you like- just slice the potato open and add the toppings and it is delicious.  The foil can even serve as the plate.

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No Bake Monster Treats

09/22/2014. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.

Monster Treats

I make treats all the time for my girls and these little Monster treats have to be one of my favorites plus they are so incredibly easy!

I absolutely love how they turned out and if you are curious about the taste– have you ever tried White Chocolate Flipz pretzels?  They taste just like that- so I had a hard time not sneaking one or two of them myself :)

No Bake Monster Treats

To make these requires just a few super simple steps- the beauty is that you can make as many or as few as you like.

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