Almond Butter Banana Bread (Coconut Flour + Almond Flour)

The word threenager is totally a thing. So is a man cold. So is exhaustion due to a teething baby.


These are just a few of the things that’s been going on in the Crazy People Household. (I wish I could have come up with something a little more clever than CPH, but rememeber…exhaustion.)

We also had our hot water heater break, followed by water damage and mold, followed by 15 loads of laundry, followed by..where was I? Oh that’s right! Exhaustion.


So banana bread huh? Yes. Because there are not enough banana bread recipes on Pinterest.

And because I’ve decided that if I post a ‘not so healthy recipe‘ of something, then I have to follow up with a healthy version of that same type of food. It’s ONLY fair. I haven’t thought of a clever name for this series just yet, but as soon as I’m not exhausted…

I’ll get right on that!




Grain Free Almond Butter Banana Bread (Coconut and Almond Flour)
  • 1 c. + 2TB. + 1 tsp. Almond Meal
  • ¾ c. coconut flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • 1¼-1⅓ c. mashed bananas (2-3 bananas)
  • ⅔ almond butter
  • 2 TB. maple syrup, pure
  • 1 TB. vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • ½ c. milk, or almond milk
  • 1 TB. chia seeds or ground flax
  • ¾ c. chocolate chips plus 2 TB. for topping
  1. In a bowl whisk together the dry ingredients, then set aside. (Not the chia seeds.)
  2. Ina separate bowl whisk together the wet ingredients. Gently mix together the wet and dry ingredients until incorporated.
  3. Then fold in the chocolate chips and chia seeds.
  4. In a greased bread pan, add the batter. Sprinkle the extra chocolate chips on top.
  5. Bake in a 350 degree oven about 45-55 minutes, depending on your oven!



The good news is my husband has fully healed, the laundry is done, the threenager is asleep, and the teething baby didn’t bite me while nursing tonight.

I’d call that a success if you ask me! :)

Happy Monday friends, have a great week!


Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies (Muffin Tops & Ice Cream Sandwiches)

Let me share with you the conversations that a household of girls might experience…

Healthier Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies (Muffin Tops)

Conversation between the 5 year old and 3 year old while getting ready for school in the bathroom:

5 year old: “Is Jack going to be at school today? Don’t you think he’s cute?! Is he your Boooooyyyyffrriiieennndd?!!!”

3 year old: “HE’S NOT MY BOYFRIEND! We are just friends! We are JUST FRIENDS!”

5 year old: “No, he’s your boyfriend. OOOOOHHH! You have a boyfriend! You have a boyfriend!”

3 year old:”(Inaudible screaming) Moooooooom! Tell Gia that Jack is just my friend. You can have boys and they can be friends, but not be boyfriends!! Mom, tell Gia!”

5 year old: “Boy friend! Boyfriend! Boyfriend! Boyfriend.”

3 year old: (More inaudible screams) “AHHHHHHHHHH!!! NOOOOOOOOO!!!”

Baby: (Sitting and staring)

I’ll spare you the rest of that scene.


Conversation between the 5 year old, the 3 year old, and myself after school:

5 year old: MOOOOOM! I don’t have ANYTHING to wear. I have NO clothes! I just want a shirt that doesn’t have a print on it, but has pretty things on it! Can I wear one of Myla’s shirts?

3 year old: NOOO! Those are my clothes! (Starts crying) Don’t take my clothes! You are too big and they don’ts fit you! (Yes. Don’ts)

Me: Gia, you have plenty of clean clothes hanging in your closet. Go find a shirt in there, you aren’t wearing your sisters shirts. And why are you changing anyways?

5 year old: Ahhh! Why can’t you just let me do what I want?! All I want to do is have a cute shirt to match this skirt!

3 year old: (Crying. Loud.) DON’TS TAKE MY SHIRTS! THOSE ARE MINE!

End scene.


Conversation with the 5 year old, 3 year old, and myself:

Me: “Girls, I made cookies! Come have one and tell me about school today.”

Girls: (Grab cookies and sit down and eat)

Me: “So what did you do? What is one thing you learned?

Girls: (Eating. No response.)

Me: “Were you nice to everyone, and kind?”

3 year old: (Takes the last bite of her cookie.) ” Mom, I look like you don’t I?

5 year old: “No, you look like daddy.”

3 year old: “NOOOOOO! I don’t want to look like daddy!!”

Me: “Here, have another cookie.”



Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies (Muffin Tops & Ice Cream Sandwiches)
  • 1 c. pumpkin puree
  • 1 c. coconut sugar
  • ½ c. melted coconut oil
  • 1 TB. vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups. white whole wheat flour, oat flour, or unbleached white flour
  • 1½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. milk + 1 tsp. baking soda, mixed together
  • 1½ c. chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 375. In a bowl mix together the puree, sugar, oil, vanilla, and the egg.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour spices, and baking powder.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, along with the baking soda mixture, and mix until combined.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper and using a medium cookie scoop, scoop the batter onto the baking sheet. Slightly press down the cookie a little.
  6. Bake for about 10 minutes.
  7. The cookies will resemble a soft pillow/muffin top texture!

Cookies adapted from here.

You don’t have to make ice cream sandwiches out of these cookies, but they are the perfect texture for them! I made the ice cream out of frozen greek yogurt ice cubes, and the recipe can be found HERE!


So what did we learn today friends?

Giving your kids cookies will shut them up.


Just kidding. I mean, kind of. Maybe for a second it will…


Conversation between my 5 year old, 3 year old and myself while tucking them into bed:

5 year old: (Squeezing my arm) “Mom, I just want to lay here and cuddle you. You are just the best mom.”

3 year old: (Reaching her arms out) “Hugs. Hugs. Hugs.” (Gives me a big hug) “Kiss. Kiss. Kiss” (Gives me a big kiss)

5 year old to 3 year old: (Hugging each other) “I love you little sister.”

3 year old to 5 year old: (Looking at her sister, then gives her a big kiss.) “I love you.”

Me: (Tears)

3 year old to 5 year old: “GIIAA, those are my pajamas!!”

Me:  “Is it too late for cookies?”


And ya know what…

I wouldn’t change anything.

THE Banana Bread

Chocolate chip banana bread is probably one of my favorite carbs.

Besides sourdough bread, restaurant bread, garlic bread, breadsticks…

Oh and cookies and cakes and muffins. Those are carbs too right?

THE Banana Bread

My mom would make banana bread ALL the time, and still does. Whenever I would visit her house with my girls there was bound to be banana bread somewhere stored on the counter. Or if she wanted to deliver a baked good to someone, it was always banana bread. That and chocolate chip cookies, which always felt like home.

I learned from her to always add cinnamon and other spices to banana bread, and never ever ever forget the chocolate chips. Now, when my bananas ripen on the counter I can’t help but get a little excited knowing what the outcome will be. Unless your husband throws them away because he thought they were ‘bad’. Don’t worry, he only did that once when we were first married. Oh the silly things he thought he could do in our early years of marriage…#whowearsthepants

(If you’re wondering who wears the pants, it’s our kids.)


Probably my favorite thing about this banana recipe is the amount of bananas. Some days we will have just 2 bananas, and others I’ll have a whole bunch go bad before we use them. This recipe calls for about 5 bananas, which I think is the reason why the bread is so moist! (Don’t you love that word?)

Make your kids mash the bananas while you prepare the other ingredients, and make this ASAP! You won’t regret it!


THE Banana Bread
  • 2½ c. flour (You can use white whole wheat, unbleached white, whole wheat pastry, etc.)
  • 1½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. sat
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • 5 mashed ripe bananas, about 2¼ to 2½ cups.
  • ¾ c. softened butter
  • 1½ c. pure cane sugar
  • 1 TB. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. mini chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 325. Spray a bread pan with baking spray.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside.
  3. Mash bananas in a small bowl, and then set aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Next add the eggs one at a time, and then vanilla. Then mix in the bananas.
  5. Next slowly add the dry ingredients until incorporated, and then fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Add batter to the bread pan and bake for 60-70 minutes. If needed, add foil on top of the bread the last 30 minutes to avoid over browning on the top.

THE Banana Bread, via The Diva Dish

Now, this isn’t healthy banana bread, as you can tell by the ingredients. This is comfort food banana bread. The kind that you make for your kids after a long day at school, as you talk about what happened that day. Or the treat that bribes said kid to sit down and do the stinking’ homework.

Or maybe you survived bedtime with your kids, and you deserve a reward. Catch my drift?

THE Banana Bread, via The Diva Dish

By the way, if you can’t tell, these pictures may look a little different than my others. My DSLR camera decided to quite on my AGAIN, so I was using a regular camera. UGH. A REGULAR camera ;).


Happy Weekend Friends! Treat yourself a little :).


Reality vs. Expectation

The other day I was walking with one of my mom friends and we were discussing some of the ‘crazy-ness’ that goes on in our every day life. Whether it be motherhood, wifehood, cleaning the house-hood…We talked about it all.

After the conversation I had this constant thought in the back of my mind that I couldn’t shake. I feel like I’ve always known this thought to be true. But convincing myself of it’s reality some days can be hard.

Just like me, this friend has a messy house. Just like me, this friend has crazy kids. Just like me, this friend has struggles and trials. Just like me, this friend eats ice cream. Just like me, this friend doesn’t have 6 pack abs.

Why do we have this ‘expectation’ that others have it/are doing it better?

Why do we believe what we see? Why do we believe what we read? And honestly, why have we become SO focused on things that are of little importance.

On a daily basis we SEE not only how the Jones’ next door are living, but we also see how the Smith’s in Idaho are living, as well as the Millers in California too. It’s no longer keeping up with the dang Jones’ next door, but now we’ve got to keep up with the neighboring states as well?! FU-REAK!

Trust me. We think ‘so-and so’s’ house is always clean. And that person never has to worry about money. Or her kids are dressed so cute, and so is she! Love the dress, hate her right? And I bet that mom is a fun mom, all my kids ever do is watch movies and play iPad. Oh look! Another romantic getaway for her and her husband! And COME ON, do those kids really like asparagus and eggplants?! Like seriously?

You guys. It’s not really that real.

It’s a filter of reality. It’s a filter of pretty things. And trust me, our eyes are just drawn to pretty, shiny, clean things! (Like clean kitchens! OMG! So hot.)

Part of living a healthy lifestyle, in my eyes at least, is not being drawn to the shiny, grass is greener on the other side aspect. It’s all about finding happiness in today, finding gratitude in what we have now, and realizing that although someone might look like they have it all, they don’t. No one does, and that my friends is ok. What fun is having a perfect life anyways?

I mean, isn’t it more fun to spend 45 minutes a night just trying to get 3 kids to bed?! Now that’s an adventure!

I won’t lie though. I love pictures of white kitchens and cute outfits. I’m a sucker for a dessert covered in sprinkles, kale salads, and running workouts. I find joy in these things, but we have to remember one thing…

It’s okay to find joy in these things, but it’s not the main source of joy. These things bring instant gratification but not everlasting happiness. Except I’m pretty sure dessert brings everlasting happiness…

Now, here is where it’s going to get real…Here is a peak as to what filters I could have used just this week:

photo 5

I recently finished decorating the babies room and it’s SUPER cute. I wanted to take a picture of the crib against the ‘THIS IS MY FAVORITE COLOR TURQUOISE” wall, and put it on instagram. The picture would have been cute, but I was having a hard time positioning it to where you couldn’t see my dirty laundry…Literally.

Bam, brick to face. Nothing wrong with pretty pictures of beautiful rooms, trust me. But what might look like a pretty clean room, is really hiding a week (or more) of laundry just begging to be taken care of. (I know you guys, laundry is of the devil. We’ve had this conversation before I feel like…)

But still. That wall color though…

photo 4

This one is pretty hard for me to post, being a ‘healthy eater’ and all. I was seriously about to post a picture of my lunch on instagram, but I had to move the Burger King Kids meals bags and milkshakes out of the way. Um…HYPOCRITE much?! “So you feed your kids shiz, and you eat healthy?!”


In that moment, yes. I make 3 meals a day for my family (expect my husband is only 2), and I rarely take them to fast food. BUT, we’ve done it. Do I hate it? Totally. But my kids love it, and it’s a treat to them. This particular day, my oldest had started her 2nd week of Kindergarten and needed a little pick me up/treat. We had construction guys in our kitchen and I didn’t want to go down and make 3 lunches, so I told them I would get them hamburgers and milkshakes. It was a fun outing for them! I had some of their milkshake and came home and made myself this lunch.

Of course you would have never have known the back story had I just ‘shoved’ the BK bags to the side…


I think I’ll end on this because well…

Love you friends!!


Lemon Roasted Broccoli

Wait what? Am I blogging? Are pigs flying?

(Check out the end of this post to find out why I was kind of absent!)


Are you guys mad at me? I hope we can still be friends, despite the fact that I’ve been THE worst. But I feel like, or at least I’m hoping, that we have one of those relationships that we can pick up where we left off. Kind of like I never left? Kind of like I wasn’t being a crappy blogger? Good. Glad we are on the same page ;).

I’ve had this Lemon Roasted Broccoli Recipe sitting on my computer desktop for a long time just begging to be shared! I usually make a version of this once a week, and I’ve played around with the flavors a lot too. So far, my kids AND my husband eat this every. single.time.

Like I said, it definitely needed to be shared!


Broccoli has always been a safe vegetable in our family, and if I want to feel like super mom I will whip up a batch and proudly watch my kids eat those little trees. Ignore the fact that they called the chicken I made disgusting, that’s not important.




5.0 from 1 reviews
Lemon Roasted Broccoli
  • 2 heads broccoli, stems removed
  • Olive Oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Coat the broccoli with olive oil, just a few TB. until the broccoli is lightly coated.
  3. Sprinkle with a good amount of salt and pepper, and then the lemon juice.
  4. Bake in the oven for 15-25 minutes, tossing every so often. (Depending on how crunchy you like the broccoli, you can adjust your cooking time. We like it super crunchy!)


What’s the one vegetable your family enjoys eating?!



We’ve had a great and relaxing summer, as I hope all of you have! I’ve been learning the ropes with 3 littles, and each day brings new, exciting, AND crazy moments! Just recently, as in this week, our little baby started to sleep more solidly. (AKA that’s why I’m able to blog right now.) She falls asleep and stays asleep for longer than 30 minutes!! I also had my two older kids start school, so I feel like a whole new woman! I’m hoping I can maintain a better blogging schedule!!

Have a great week!



Find Joy In Today

As I laid in my bed Sunday night and reflected on the day, tears began to fall down my face. It was 11 p.m. and the baby was nuzzled up next to me. If she or I moved, she quickly searched for me to nurse  and then would fall back asleep in a matter of seconds. Uh oh. “This is going to be a long night.”

The day was not too drastically different than any other Sunday, except I didn’t go to church because the baby had come down with either a cold, or teething. Not sure which, but something was bugging her, so I decided it was best to stay home. “Maybe I’ll actually be able to straighten up a little, pick up the toys, start the laundry…”


As soon as the older girls left with my husband for church, I sat on the couch and immediately felt overwhelmed. Not just with the messy house, but with life. I began to feel like I was not on top of things lately.

I got up and began to collect the toys. They were everywhere. Like in every room and corner of the house. It can be annoying to be constantly stepping on them, but in a way I love it. I started to think about my two older girls and how forgiving they’ve been to me over the past year. Being sick and tired every day through the pregnancy, and now reliving the new born years, I haven’t been as attentive as I wish I could be. But man, they’ve become the best of friends (and sometimes the worst), and they’ve adapted really well. Seriously, I love them.


I didn’t get too far in picking up the toys when the baby seemed fussy/hungry/tired so I went up stairs to rock her. It was not an easy task but she finally fell asleep. As she laid there I thought about the million things I needed to do, and kept telling myself I could finish them just as long as she took a good nap. I laid her down, shut the door, and went down stairs. I peeked at the monitor and noticed two big eyes staring right at me. “Well, that didn’t last long.”

I ran back up stairs hoping I could put her back to sleep before she fully woke up. I scooped her in my arms and realized, yea she’s fully awake. But I continued to try to put her back to sleep hoping it would help. As I rocked her I thought about my family, extended, and how much I missed them and wished they were here. Having my husband gone so much for work is rough. (Don’t you hate bills?!) Not a week, and maybe even never longer than 2 days went by when I was younger that I didn’t see my cousins or my grandparents. I started to get sad about my girls and how they are lucky to see their family only every few months, and cousins are non existent, (and probably will be for a very long time.) “Arielle, stop being such a debbie downer!”


I got up since the babe decided 5 minutes was enough rest time and went back to the chores. I didn’t accomplish much due to the fussy baby, and before I knew it the rest of the family was home.

The day continued and then soon enough, it was time for bed. I tucked the girls in and laid the baby down. I cuddled up next to my husband, but once again that little bebe was wide awake and not happy. I pushed the piles of clean folded laundry off my bed, held my sweet baby in my arms, and got her back to sleep. That’s when the tears began to flow.

So, why am I sharing this (pretty personal) day with you?…Because Monday, even though it wasn’t much more of a different day, was much better. And here’s why.


Sunday night as I held my baby right up next to me, trying so hard not to move, I scrolled through my phone. I happened to come across a blog post from In The Head of AL and it was exactly what I needed to hear.  I’m going to take a quote right out of her post. Here is what she said…

‘Love where you are. A perfect reminder when things are hard to not spend your time looking ahead pleading for things to be over and things to be different. But just to stop. Stop looking backwards. Stop yearning and waiting forwards. Today, where you are right now, is a joy. Because today, right now, is the best place to be. Because happiness does await us in this day. Because His blessings and promises are here, right now.’

Bam. Like a ton of bricks right to the gut. I had spent practically my whole day being sad. Being frustrated about things in the past. Being overwhelmed with how I wish certain things were different because if they were, life would be totally easier right? I had totally avoided the Joy that I had THAT day. I missed it. I had overlooked the tremendous blessings that I had in that moment, and my friends, I have SO many blessings. So many things currently to be thankful for RIGHT NOW.


I had a messy house, but I so quickly forgot that I HAD A HOUSE, that we OWNED thanks to the extremely hard working husband I have! We are free from worry because of him! There were toys everywhere, but I didn’t focus on the fact that I had three beautiful daughters of god that were healthy, smart, creative, and beautiful. Each ‘mess’ resembled a time where they sat together and played. The baby was fussy and not sleeping, but I was holding my baby. A baby that I was able to have, a baby that was healthy and growing. A baby that has brought so much joy and togetherness to our family.

It’s easy to look past what we have and focus on things we wish were easier or different, but let me tell you…It’s easier to find the blessings we have now. There are so many things to find Joy in today.

Monday was so much better, and I was so much happier. (Including my family)

Find Joy in Today.

Blueberry Chocolate Chip Greek Yogurt Ice Cream

Have you ever been to a Cold Stone? Do those even exist anymore?

Blueberry Chocolate Chip Greek Yogurt Ice Cream

Besides paying an arm and a leg for a scoop of ice cream, cold stone was THE place to go way back when. There was one right by my house and a lot of times all the cool kids would be like, “Let’s meet at cold stone?” In my mind I was thinking, “Hell to the yea!” , but what came out was, “I mean, sure yea that’s cool. If ice cream is your thing.” I couldn’t let people know my TRUE love of food, although the size of my JLO booty might have said otherwise…So I had to play it cool.

Blueberry Chocolate Chip Greek Yogurt Ice Cream

Founders Favorite.

I can still remember the taste to this day. Cake batter ice cream, soft and rich brownie chunks mixed with caramel and chocolate sauce. It’s definitely a girls night/stress eating/my boyfriend just broke up with me kind of ice cream.

And to think they rejected my application to work there…

Blueberry Chocolate Chip Greek Yogurt Ice Cream

This ice cream I made doesn’t taste anything like a Founders Favorite. You’re welcome.

I really do want to re-create/health-ify that ice cream some day, but for now there is this Blueberry Chocolate Chip Greek Yogurt Ice Cream. Waaa Waaa. (Way to sell that one Arielle.)

It all started when Jessica from How Sweet It Is shared her Blackberry Chip Ice Cream which sounded and looked delicious! I knew I was going to make it for our Fourth of July Party! Then the night before I completely spaced and hadn’t purchased any of the ingredients. What’s new?

So I searched through the fridge and realized I had multiple containers of plain greek yogurt and a ton of blueberries. Light Bulb!

Blueberry Chocolate Chip Greek Yogurt Ice Cream

Blueberry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
  • 4 cups plain greek yogurt ice cream
  • 1½ c. blueberries
  • 2 tb. water
  • 1 TB. vanilla
  • ¾ c. pure cane sugar*
  • heaping ½ c. dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • *If I were making this for myself I would be fine with ½, but greek yogurt can be pretty tart so if you are making this for a crowd I would keep the sugar at ¾ c. You could also sub a liquid sweetener to taste, but it will change the taste a little. I haven't tried this with coconut sugar, but it's a possibility.
  1. In a food processor, blend the blueberries and water until pureed.
  2. using the back of a spoon, push the mixture thorough a fine strainer to remove all of the skins.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, vanilla, blueberries, and chocolate.
  4. Let cool in the fridge for about an hour.
  5. Make your ice cream in your ice cream maker according the makers instructions.
  6. Serve immediately or freeze in the freezer.
  7. If it's frozen in the freezer, allow it to thaw for about 15-20 minutes before serving.

Blueberry Chocolate Chip Greek Yogurt Ice Cream

Greek yogurt ice cream might be my new favorite thing! Can you imagine all of the flavor possibilities and combinations?!

Maybe, just maybe, there will be a Founders Favorite Greek Yogurt on here some day…

Watermelon American Flag Sheet ‘Cake’

I cannot believe the 4th of July is tomorrow! It feels like I just took my Christmas tree down, when in reality, it’s almost time to put it back up again!

4th of July Watermelon Flag Cake

I really wanted to make a fun dessert for tomorrow, but wanted to keep it pretty healthy and light. I’m sure many of you have seen those watermelons cut into the form of a cake and then frosted with whipped cream right?

So let’s pretend that watermelon cake had a baby with a patriotic flag sheet cake, and well..

This is what I came up with! :)

First thing, cut your watermelon. I cut mine into rectangular strips so they would be easy to assemble in the baking dish.


4th of July Watermelon Cake

First you add a layer of watermelon, and then frost it with a layer of whipped cream. You can make this vegan by using Coconut Whipped Cream if you would like.

4th of July Watermelon Cake

Then add more watermelon…

4th of July Watermelon Cake

And then a nice generous spread of more whipped cream.

4th of July Watermelon Cake

Then using blueberries and raspberries, assemble the good ol’ American Flag!

4th of July Watermelon Cake

Watermelon Flag Cake
It may look like your typical 4th of July sheet cake, but it has a nice 'healthy' surprise that's used instead of cake! Fresh Watermelon!
  • (This recipe makes an 8x8 or 9x9 size sheet cake)
  • ½ watermelon, cut into strips
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 8TB. powdered sugar
  • 1 TB. vanilla
  • Blueberries, raspberries
  1. Make the whip cream by beating the whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla until peaks form. Set aside.
  2. Assemble the cake by first adding a single layer of watermelon over the entire bottom of the pan.
  3. Frost the watermelon layer.
  4. Then add another layer of watermelon.
  5. Then top it off with another layer of whipped cream. Be sure to cover the entire watermelon so it doesn't show through.
  6. Make an American Flag with the berries.
  7. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve!


4th of July Watermelon Cake


Happy Fourth of July friends!!

Chopped Thai Salad with Peanut Dressing

Salads have become my mommy life saver recently.


This is not a fabricated sentence at all, so believe me when I say this…

My baby slept 45 minutes total during the day yesterday. That’s right. 45 minutes. Not a solid 45 either, I just added all the minutes she slept and it was 45.

I had a little heart to heart with myself and realized that maybe it’s not a coincidence that all three of my children are horrible sleepers. I think I sleep trained them that way.


That being said, when it comes to meals for myself, I need them to be quick. Obviously a s’mores pop tart would do the trick, but seeing that I’m trying to kick my butt back into shape I’ve been stuffing my face with salad beasts!

I love salads! Even the simple ones like lettuce and tomato :). But since I’m nursing and I’m hungry 90% of my life, I need it to be filling.


I’ll usually prepare a large salad/salad ingredients once or twice a week and have it last me a few days for ‘quick mama lunches.’ Then I’ll sometimes use leftover proteins from dinner to add on top, and if I’m lucky and have a ripe avocado I will throw that on too!


But my favorite part of a salad is always the dressing. Always. A good salad dressing can make or break that salad beast, and I wish I was the kind of girl that was good with a little lemon juice and EVOO…


Just like I wish I was good with just eating a strawberry and calling it dessert. I.Just.Can’t.

Unless it’s covered in chocolate. That’s a different story.


5.0 from 1 reviews
Chopped Thai Salad with Peanut Dressing
  • (For the Salad)
  • ⅓ green cabbage, thinly sliced, roughly chopped
  • ⅓ purple cabbage, thinly sliced, roughly chopped
  • (opt.) ⅓ ice berg lettuce, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, cut into thin slices
  • 1 large carrot, sliced into thin pieces and roughly chopped
  • ½ cucumber, skin removed, diced
  • ½ c. baby tomatoes, I used yellow, cut in halves
  • ⅓ c. diced peanuts
  • 2-3 small avocados, diced
  • (opt.) chicken, grilled or shredded
  • (opt.) crispy wontons or Chinese noodles
  • (For the Peanut Dressing)
  • ½ c. peanut butter
  • 3 TB. soy sauce
  • Juice of one lime
  • 2 TB. coconut or brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 chopped garlic clove
  • ½ c. water**
  • **If you refrigerate the dressing for a few hours it will become thicker as it sits. You may need to thin in out with a little water before adding to the salad.
  1. Assemble the salad on a platter with all of the ingredients. Leave out the chicken and avocado for those that don't want it. (If you are planning to use this salad over the coarse of a few days, don't use the avocado until you are ready to eat it, that way it doesn't brown.)
  2. In a small blender or food processor, add the salad dressing ingredients and blend until creamy.
  3. Add the dressing to the salad and toss,before serving. OR, if saving the salad for the next few days, use salad dressing on your individual salad and keep dressing covered in the fridge.
  4. Enjoy!




Someone tell me how to properly sleep train, otherwise, this mama just might start eating s’mores pop tarts for dinner.

Chocolate Birthday Cake

Every year on my birthday, I go all out on Dessert. I indulge in something sinfully delicious, and it’s been a tradition that I really really really enjoy. Like really.

Of course I don’t wait a whole year to have dessert, but if I do happen to be in a situation where dessert is present, I usually don’t eat a big (regular) serving. (Even though I’d be all over that warm brownie and ice cream.)

But on my birthday, I eat a nice big serving of my favorite dessert…

And usually, I’ll eat it for dinner.

Chocolate Ganache Birthday Cake via The Diva Dish

It all started in 2010  when I was 8 months pregnant with my first baby. It was my birthday, and my husband and I went to the Del Mar fair in San Diego. We had been walking all day and I’d watched my husband eat one fried treat after the next. I was insanely jealous because at that time, I was still really careful with what I ate.

As we drove home that night, I got a little sad because I hadn’t allowed my self to enjoy a treat, even on my DANG BIRTHDAY!! I decided that night I wasn’t going to restrict my self so much, and I would allow my self to enjoy dessert here and there without feeling so much guilt.

So I made my husband stop at In N Out for a chocolate milkshake.

Chocolate Ganache Birthday Cake via The Diva Dish

I remember enjoying that milkshake SO much, almost feeling a kid who had no shame in pounding down a few pieces of birthday cake without their parents noticing.

Since then, I’ve made it a tradition to have a rich dessert each year on my birthday. And for the past 4 years I’ve made it a tradition to have it be an insanely rich chocolate cake.

This year I asked my mom to send me chocolate cake recipe from my grandmas cookbook. She sent me this one:



(If you’ve ever made The Pioneer Woman’s Chocolate Sheet Cake, you will notice the recipe is pretty dang similar.)

Now, let’s talk about oleo!

Just kidding. Do they still make oleo?

Chocolate Ganache Birthday Cake via The Diva Dish

I decided that my grandmas PTA cake would be the best base for my birthday cake. But I didn’t stop there.

Next, I made a Whipped Chocolate Buttercream. Back in the days when I used to make cupcakes for people, buttercream was my most requested frosting. I could make it with my eyes closed, and could eat it with my eyes closed too!

Then to top it all off, I poured a dark chocolate ganache over the entire cake.

Chocolate Ganache Birthday Cake via The Diva Dish

Chocolate ganache IS my favorite food, in all seriousness.

If I read chocolate ganache on a  dessert menu, I order it. No matter what.

Now, You could leave the cake as is, but I think we all know that sprinkles on birthday cakes are a requirement. Bonus points if you use chocolate jimmies! My grocery store didn’t have any, which practically sent me into depression, but I recovered quickly.

Rainbow sprinkles work wonders.

Chocolate Ganache Birthday Cake via The Diva Dish

5.0 from 2 reviews
Chocolate Ganache Birthday Cake
  • (For the cake)
  • 2 sticks butter (or 1 cup coconut oil)
  • heaping ¼ c. cocoa powder
  • 1 c. water
  • 2 c. flour (can use white whole wheat, spelt, or oat flour)
  • 2 c. sugar (can use coconut sugar)
  • dash of salt
  • ½ c. buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 TB. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • (For the Whipped Chocolate Buttercream)
  • 3 sticks softened butter
  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 3 heaping TB. cocoa powder
  • 5-6 TB. heavy whipping cream
  • 1 TB. vanilla extract
  • (For the Ganache)
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 1 c. chopped dark chocolate
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and sugar, then set aside.
  3. In a sauce pan, add the water and bring to a boil.
  4. In another sauce pan melt the butter and cocoa powder. Once the water is boiling, add it to the butter/cocoa mixture and let boil for about a minute.
  5. Remove from heat and let it cool for a minute.
  6. Fold in the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture. Don't over mix.
  7. In a bowl, whisk together buttermilk, then eggs, vanilla, and then baking soda.
  8. Slowly fold it into the cake batter.
  9. Grease two round cake pans, or a jelly roll pan, and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  10. Allow the cake to cool COMPLETELY before removing.
  11. (Make the Whipped Buttercream)
  12. In a mixer, whip the butter until it's creamy. Add in the rest of the ingredients and beat on high until whipped and all combined.
  13. Spread the frosting on top of one cake layer, then place the other cake on top. Spread more frosting on top and all around the sides. Use all the frosting, mostly in the middle and on top. Place in the fridge for a few minutes to set while you make the ganache.
  14. In a small bowl add the chocolate.
  15. In a sauce pan, heat the heavy cream on low/medium heat until it is about to boil. (Don't overcook.)
  16. Pour the heated cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 2-3 minutes, then stir it slowly till the chocolate has melted and it's creamy. Let it sit for about 5 minutes so it cools.
  17. Pour the ganache over the entire cake, top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!
  18. (Keep cake refrigerated, but let it sit out for about 20-30 minutes before serving.)


Chocolate Ganache Birthday Cake via The Diva Dish

Chocolate Ganache Birthday Cake via The Diva Dish

Chocolate Ganache Birthday Cake via The Diva Dish

So the moral of the story is, eat dessert on your birthday. No if’s, and’s, or big butts about it.