The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream!

*These are hands down the yummiest, fluffiest, and most fresh tasting strawberry cupcakes ever!* 

Valentines Day is kind of a big deal at our household, and to top that off my little baby has a birthday a few days before! We’ve got pink thrown up all over the house, heart pictures and talks of boyfriends, valentine notes attached to sugar…

And cupcakes. The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes!

Now, before we get to the recipe, let’s talk about my wonderful experience with Valentines during…High School.

The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva DishThe BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish

When I was in High School, our school did this thing where we could purchase a Valentine Gram for a dollar, and then during one of the periods a bubbly student from student council would deliver you a personalized card to your class. I think there was candy attached or a balloon. Something obnoxious, in which I wanted so bad.

It was the most painful thing every year.

 

The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish

The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish

Each Valentines Day the same girls/guys would receive Valentines Grams as they laughed it off as kind of a, “who, me?!” mentality.  Meanwhile I would sit there counting down the minutes until lunch time so I could purchase a BRC (bean, rice, cheese) burrito. Priorities right?

One year I received a Valentines Gram. I don’t exactly remember it, but I’m pretty sure everyone in class looked at me like, “Do you even go here?”

And then one kid shouted, “Yes! She’s the burrito girl!”

The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish

The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva DishThe BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish

I remember sitting there with butterflies in my stomach thinking that maybe, just maybe it could be from so and so. Or maybe that other so and so…He was totally hot.

As I ripped in half that little heart sticker that held it together I began to feel flush in the face. Kind of like the same feeling I get just before that burrito hits my mouth. I had visions of my whole life changing and that maybe my life would turn out to be a Mary-Kate and Ashley Movie after all!

The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish

The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish

This is what the Candy Gram said,

” Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, Sugar is Sweet and So Are You! Happy Valentines Day! Love….”

The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva DishThe BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish

The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish

…Nicole!”

The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish

Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
Serves: 13
 
Ingredients
  • For The Cupcakes
  • 1½ c. flour, unbleached white
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ c. buttermilk, or ½ c. milk + 1 tsp. vinegar mixed together
  • ¼ c. strawberry puree*
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 c. pure cane sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 TB. vanilla extract or 2 tsp. vanilla bean paste
  • Opt: 3-4 drops red food coloring
  • For The Frosting
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened, room temperature.
  • 4 c. powdered sugar
  • 4 TB. strawberry puree
  • 1 TB. Vanilla extract, or 2 tsp. vanilla bean paste
  • (Opt: 2-3 drops red food coloring)
  • dash of salt
Instructions
  1. (For the Cake)
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a mixer bowl add butter and sugar. mix together until fluffy on low speed for 30 seconds. Next add in eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla.
  5. Add your strawberry puree to your buttermilk.
  6. Add ⅓ of the flour mixture to the batter, followed by ⅓ of the buttermilk mixture. Continue doing this until the flour and buttermilk are gone. Do not over mix the batter.
  7. Add in the food coloring if you prefer. You can mix it in, but not fully to give it a swirled look.
  8. Add batter to prepared muffin tins, filling ⅔ of the way full. It will make about 12-14 cupcakes.
  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until done.
  10. (For the Frosting)
  11. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting.
  12. Beat the butter until fluffy. Add in the rest of the ingredients and beat until fluffy.
  13. (opt:) You can tint half of the frosting mixture and pipe both frostings together in one piping bag. Just add one color to one side, and the other color to the other. Then pipe the frosting onto the cupcake! Top with sprinkles and enjoy!

 

The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish

The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish

Moral of the story…Burritos before Bros.

Happy Birthday to my little baby! I can’t believe you are one!!

Life with 3 Divas

Did you know that putting Barbie’s hair in a pony tail is harder than it seems?

It can’t be too high where her hair sticks out straight, and it can’t be too low because then it just doesn’t look right. And then what happens if you do it wrong? Tears… Followed by Barbie gettin’ knocked upside the head and chucked across the room.

Damn bad hair days, especially when it happens to Barbie.

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I get asked roughly 30 times a day to assist in wardrobe changes, help with hot pink lipstick application, and “Mom, come see this picture I made!” Putting on shoes sometimes requires a tranquilizer, and so does brushing through morning bed head. Don’t brush the part wrong, and definitely don’t brush all of the hair back! Learn from my mistakes.

But amid the emotional attachments my girls have to every piece of item in their room, like gum wrappers and 180 little princess figurines, I have to remind myself to well…take a break. It’s hard not to settle down when Olaf’s carrot nose poked you right in the center of your foot as you walk down the hall. Or when you find your make brushes thrown in the toilet, lipstick smashed in the container, and bronzer crumbled on the floor. There is work to be done, and i’ve got to soak my white bedding in bleach due to the blue nail polish spilled all over…

But I’ve got to stop and tell the messes to wait. Then tell my OCD to calm down, and just be there with my girls. We spent the afternoon putting together Valentines for friends, talked about class boyfriends (say wha?!), and I showed them how to eat a fun dip. We snuggled and loved on our sweet little baby, laughed about silly things, and read Pinkalicious 5 times.

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Sometimes I feel like my life is a broadway show. Constant singing. Constant. Followed by a fight scene or 35, lot’s of emotions and feelings being hurt, not really sure how much more intense the afternoon can get because ‘so and so isn’t my BFF anymore’…

But then there is a moment.

Not a moment of silence…But a moment of perfection. Moment’s where I realize there’s more to life that organized toy bins and neatly brushed hair. That no matter how clean my house is, the most important thing in my life is changing and growing right in front of me. And they need more more than my ‘to-do-list’.

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So what is life like with 3 little divas?

Exciting, edge of your seat, full of so much love, never want it to end!

Excpet olaf. He’s in a better place.

 

Healthy Caramel Popcorn

Due to the fact that Monday night’s around our house are basically a national holiday, being Bachelor night and all…How about the perfect trash TV treat to go with it, eh? Eh?

Healthy Caramel Popcorn via The Diva Dish

I know it’s ridiculous to how much I look forward to a scripted once in a lifetime romantic television, and I probably should end my night reading a book that will makes my brains all smarts n’ stuff…But, like have you ever seen the Bachelor?! How could you not love it?! Everyone is emotional, drunk, bat shiz crazy, and after a day of messy kitchen’s and back talking toddlers, it’s just what I need.

Is that sad?

No, no It’s not. Because today my 5 year old told me I was ruining her life because her pony tail was crooked.

BRING ON THE CRAZY!

Healthy Caramel Corn via The Diva Dish

The best way to watch the Bachelor in my opinion is with a group of girls. Everyone’s dressed in yoga pants bringing forth delicious goodies, and we all pile together on a couch to judge other crazy women. I’ve tried watching it at home with my husband, but he just mocks me. Especially during the scenes where the girls are in bathing suits…OH he just can’t leave the room because he HAS to tell me how ridiculous this show is!

He doesn’t get it.

It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, and people are working on themselves and really finding out who they are! Pure gold.

And trust me, I’m pretty sure we would all find out who we really are as we traveled the world with our Boyfriend and his 16 other girlfriends. LIKE…Oh crap. I’m awesome.

Healthy Caramel Corn via The Diva Dish

Healthy Caramel Popcorn
 
Ingredients
  • ½ c. popcorn kernals
  • 2 TB. coconut oil
  • ⅓ c. coconut sugar
  • salt
Instructions
  1. Get a large baking sheet out and set aside. This will be used to pour the popcorn on once done.
  2. Add coconut oil, coconut sugar, and popcorn kernels to a stove top popper. Turn the heat on medium/low and stir the popcorn mixture together continuously. (This allows the coconut sugar not to burn.)
  3. As the popcorn begins to pop, continue to stir the mixture slowly until the popcorn begins to decrease to a slow pop.(If you open the lid, the popcorn will have made it's way to the top.)
  4. Pour the popcorn on the baking sheet, and spread it out. Let it cool, then enjoy!
  5. Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

This popcorn was amazing! The second It was ready to eat, I couldn’t stop. I love the fact that it’s made with a natural sugar, and there is a little bit of crunch and caramelization on there. I had this on the counter in a jar while family was in town and people could not get enough of it!

Now…Before we get to this weeks dinner menu and workout schedule, I thought I would leave with this…

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Basically how we are when it’s time to eat, right?

weekly dinner

Monday: French Bread Pizza, using whole wheat french bread, veggies + fruit

Tuesday: Cilantro Lime Chicken Burgers w/ Roasted Corn, and fruit

Wednesday: Slow Cooker Chickpea Curry w/ Brown Rice or Quinoa, Naan Bread (Recipe to come!)

(Use THIS recipe as a substitute!)

Thursday: Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes, and scrambled eggs +spinach

Friday: Turkey Meatballs (sans tomato sauce), Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Carrots

Saturday: Night off!

workout

Monday: Run (I started a couch to 10k app!), 10 minute stretch

Tuesday: Walking kids to school, HIITilates Booty Workout, via Blogilates. Quick Leg & Butt Sculptor, via Blogilates, stretch

Wednesday: Run (Couch to 10k app.) 10 minute stretch

Thursday: Walking kids to school. Instense Ab Burn, Via Blogilates. Bikini Arms, via Tone It Up!

Friday: Bikini Yoga Flow, via Tone It Up

Saturday: Run, (Couch to 10k app), 10 minute stretch

Sunday: Rest

 

Enjoy your week! May it be the most romantic and exciting week of your life!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vegan Blueberry Lemon Muffins, Sweetened w/ Honey

 *These are the perfect breakfast or snack muffins, as they are made with whole grains and naturally sweetened with honey! Add a little butter and honey to a warm muffin, or top with honey peanut butter for breakfast!*

My daughter LOVES muffins. Whenever I make them, she can easily eat 2-3 in one sitting, and then request them at her next meal.

Vegan Lemon Blueberry Muffins, Sweetened with Honey! Via The Diva Dish

She’s also my candy child, and some days I wonder if she will turn into a blueberry like Violet from Willy Wonka. I have a ‘secret’ stash of candy, and I usually have to find a new hiding spot for it each day. When I’m not looking, I’ll find her climbed up onto the counter, almost on top of the fridge just so she can have a jelly bean.

Jelly bean?…Broken leg?…

Totally worth it.

Vegan Lemon Blueberry Muffins, Sweetened with Honey! Via The Diva Dis

She’s also the first child awake, the most opinionated, wears her headbands on her forehead, and loves to wear bright red and pink lipstick every single day!

Life is never dull with her.

Vegan Lemon Blueberry Muffins, Sweetened with Honey! Via The Diva Dish

Which is why I dedicated these muffins to her. They are never dull, naturally sweet with burst of tartness, and perfect for very early early mornings :)!

Vegan Lemon Blueberry Muffins, Sweetened with Honey! Via The Diva Dish

Vegan Lemon Blueberry Muffins, Sweetened with Honey! Via The Diva Dish

Vegan Lemon Blueberry Muffins, Sweetened with Honey! Via The Diva Dish

Vegan Lemon Blueberry Muffins, Sweetened with Honey! Via The Diva Dish

Vegan Lemon Blueberry Muffins, Naturally Sweetened
Serves: 12
 
This is the perfect breakfast muffin, as it's made with whole grains and naturally sweetened with honey!
Ingredients
  • 2¼ c. white whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ c. melted coconut oil
  • ⅔ c. honey
  • ⅔ c. non dairy milk
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ⅔ c. blueberries, plus more for topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together lemon zest and juice, milk, vanilla, and honey. Once whisked together, slowly whisk in the coconut oil. Add wet to dry, and mix until combined. Don't overheat.
  4. Fold in the blueberries.
  5. In a prepared muffin tin, scoop batter into 12 regular sized muffins. Top the muffins with 1-2 blueberries.
  6. Bake for 18-22 minutes, rotating the pan halfway though.

 

Vegan Lemon Blueberry Muffins, Sweetened with Honey! Via The Diva Dish

They would also taste good at say…9:30 in the morning…in case you happen to start your morning then…

Homemade Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

 **Homemade bread is probably one of my all time favorite things in this entire world, besides my family obvi! This Homemade Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread is hearty and filling, and best with butter:).**

I’m the type of person where I have to have a really belly filling breakfast. I’ll never understand people like my husband who are good with a class of milk and a granola bar. I’m just…I mean, like aren’t you hungry 30 minutes later? Don’t you feel shaky like you haven’t eaten in 4 days and start to  have a better understanding of those hungry snicker bar commercials?

Homemade Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread via The Diva Dish

My staple as of late has been toast and runny eggs. I could eat it everyday, unless the runny egg makes me gag. Let’s talk about this for a second. When it comes to runny eggs, the only part I want runny is the yellow yoke. No joke.

But if there is white running on my toast, gag. Barf. I’m done. I can’t look at a runny egg for at least a week out of being traumatized.

(Light Bulb Moment: Now I see where my kids get it…#diva)

Homemade Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread via The Diva Dish

Back to this bread. Due to the fact that bread is a staple in my life, I really try my best to make sure it’s a healthier bread. Obviously I would LOVE a sourdough bread with the yellow yoke only runny egg  breakfast…And I’m sure I’ll make that sometime soon…But the majority of my days are spent with hearty whole wheat bread.

I find that it’s more filling, and I’m not hungry again 9:30. (9:45, different story.)

Homemade Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread via The Diva Dish

Homemade bread is scary, especially when whole wheat is involved. There are chances the bread turns to brick, or simply doesn’t rise. Getting that water temperature just right for the yeast was my biggest problem. Here are a few things I’ve learned:

-Get a candy thermometer.

I know that sounds weird, but if getting the yeast to rise is your problem, fill your glass cup with hot water, stick the thermometer in, and when it cools down to 110 degree, whisk in your yeast mixture. I’ve got it down to where I don’t need one, but a thermometer helped so much in the beginning.

-Buy Vital Wheat Gluten.

I know a bag is expensive, but you only need a few TB. per recipe. It really helps when baking breads with Whole Wheat, that way you don’t get that ‘brick’ texture!

Homemade Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread via The Diva Dish

Now, let’s get to the recipe shall we. All this bread talk/pictures is making me hungry :).

Homemade Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread via The Diva Dish

Homemade Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread
 
This is a hearty and filling bread!
Ingredients
  • 3½ c. warm water
  • 3 TB. honey
  • 2 envelopes active dry yeast
  • 5-6 c. 100% whole wheat flour
  • 3 c. bread or white flour
  • 1 c. wheat germ
  • 2 TB. salt
  • 4 TB. sugar, or coconut sugar (optional)
  • 3 TB. vital wheat gluten
  • 4 TB. plain greek yogurt
  • Oil for greasing the bowl
  • Butter for topping the bread
Instructions
  1. Mix the honey and yeast with the warm water. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the wheat flour (start with 5 cups), bread flour, wheat germ, salt, sugar, and vital wheat gluten.
  3. Using a stand mixture, add the yeast mixture and greek yogurt. Mix together, then gradually add in the flour mixture, ½ c. at a time.
  4. Add enough flour until the dough isn't sticky to the touch. You might not use all of the flour mixture. If you need more, add the rest of the whole wheat flour gradually, using only the amount you need.
  5. Remove the dough and form into a ball.
  6. Rub olive oil on the dough as well as on the inside of the bowl.
  7. Return the dough to the bowl, cover lightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled.
  8. Once doubled, punch down. Cut the dough in half, roll into a loaf. Add loaves to greased loaf pan, and set in a warm place until doubled.
  9. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  10. Bake bread for 20-40 minutes, or until golden brown.
  11. Brush tops with melted butter.
  12. Enjoy!

 

Homemade Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread via The Diva Dish

If getting your kids to try ‘brown bread’ is a challenge, just simply ask if they want warm bread with butter and honey. So simple.

Kids are so easy.

Also, simply ask what vegetables they would like for dinner too. I’m sure they will simply tell you a list of their favorites…

Homemade Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread via The Diva Dish

Homemade Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread via The Diva Dish

Have you made homemade bread? Do you have a tried and true recipe?

Also, runny egg thing? Just me?

Do Over + Weekly Menu and Workout Schedule

Ok my friends!

I’ve been planning this post FOR A LONG TIME.

But I have been procrastinating because of FEAR. It’s so scary to put yourself out there, expose your faults, share your passions, and express your feelings. But I’ve had this little voice in my head that has told me not to be afraid, and that’s why this post exist today.

I’ve explained a lot in this crazy video that follows, but here is a quick summary. I have not been the best healthy living/lifestyle gal for a while… I just haven’t. I think when we experience hard times/good times, we grow and we learn from these experiences. Having babies, going through personal struggles, being a mama, and everything in between hasn’t always been easy, but I have loved every.single.part. My life, my kids, and my husband are my greatest blessings. But a long the way, especially having 3 kids under 5, I have had to do some ‘re-learning’ so to speak. Figuring out how to live healthy when things are different or challenging.

So watch the video to get more of the details! I feel so happy to share this with you, and I hope this brings us closer and lets you know that we all struggle, and we all aren’t perfect! And we can come back!

So, what do you think!

Do over

In order to be held accountable, and to show you what I’ll be doing to get back on track, I’ve decided that on Monday’s I’ll include my weekly workout schedule and our family’s weekly dinner plan. Planning is key, and when it’s all written out for you, I know it can be a lot easier to succeed. It may not be a perfect workout week, or the best menu, but it’s the reality of what I’m doing. I’m not going to sugar coat it and tell you I’m doing 1 thing, when I’m really not. :) Not cool guys. Not cool.

So let’s do this together!

weekly workout.

Monday: Cardio

-5/10 minute warm up

-30 minutes elliptical

-5 minute cool down

Tuesday: Tone It Up Legs for Days Workout (Choose 2 workouts)

Busy Babe Abs

Wednesday: Cardio

-5/10 minute warm up

-20 minute jog

-5/10 minute cool down

Thursday: Blogilates 6 minute arms

Blogilates 6 minute abs

Friday: Rest Day (But do moms really rest?)

Saturday: Family Walk

weekly menu

Monday: Pizza Night with Salad & Fruit

Tuesday: Hearty Chicken Tortilla Soup

Wednesday: Slow Cooker Chili with Cornbread

Thursday: Cheese Enchiladas w/ Homemade Sauce, Rice, Roasted Corn

Friday: Breakfast for Dinner! (Mama lifesaver!)

Saturday: Night off cooking!

 

Can’t wait to start this week! Thanks for all of your support!!

 

Kale and Quinoa Sweet Potato Salad

*If you are looking for the perfect salad to go along with your holiday meal to balance out all of those unhealthy goodies, this Kale and Quinoa Sweet Potato is perfect!*

You guys, I can’t even explain how many times I think about what I (we) will eat next when we are on vacation. Mix that vacation with a HOLIDAY vacation, and basically all I think about is what I’ll have for breakfast, where we are going for lunch, is there a dessert place near by, how about a holiday dinner, and will there be a chocolate fountain that I can lay under before I go to bed?

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Obviously I should see a doctor about this obsession, or be put in a straight jacket, but let’s put all those issues aside for a second to talk about this salad.

This is the salad that you make if you want people to eat kale.

This is the salad you make if you’ve had too many bites of gingerbread cookies, even one that you found on the floor.

This is the salad that you bring to a holiday dinner so that you can have your garlic butter cream cheese mashed potatoes sitting next to it on your Christmas plate.

This is THE salad.

Kale & Quinoa Harvest Salad via The Diva Dish

Will it cancel out the chocolate cake or the ‘we stopped counting at 7’ rolls you’ve had.

No.

But at least you had kale on Christmas, and for some people that just might be the Christmas miracle.

Especially if your my husband, because that fool has a serious Christmas roll problem. And yet he maintains that 150 pound figure so well…

Kale & Quinoa Harvest Salad via The Diva Dish

Kale & Quinoa Harvest Salad via The Diva Dish

Kale & Quinoa Harvest Salad via The Diva Dish

Kale & Quinoa Harvest Salad via The Diva Dish

Kale & Quinoa Harvest Salad via The Diva Dish

5.0 from 1 reviews
Kale and Quinoa Harvest Salad
 
Ingredients
  • 1 head of kale, rinsed and chopped/thinly sliced and chopped
  • ½ c. dry quinoa, cooked according to package directins
  • 2 sweet potatoes/yams, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 TB. olive oil
  • salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg
  • ½ c. dried cranberries
  • ½-3/4 c. crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ c. chopped pecans, roasted and salted
  • (dressing)
  • ½ c. olive oil
  • ⅛ c. balsamic vinegar
  • ⅛ c. red wine vinegar
  • ¼ c. dijon mustard
  • ¼ c. pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. chopped garlic
  • salt/pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. On a baking sheet, add the chopped potatoes. Coat with the olive oil and toss. Sprinkle with a good toss of salt, pepper, a little bit of cinnamon, and a few dashes of nutmeg. (No measuring, just coat.) Toss the potatoes around, and roast in the oven for 10-20 minutes, occasionally tossing them. Roast until the potatoes are soft.
  3. While the potatoes are roasting, assemble the salad.
  4. To a bowl add the kale, quinoa, cranberries, feta, and pecans. Toss.
  5. Once the potatoes are done and COOL, add them to the salad.
  6. When you are ready to serve, make the dressing.
  7. Whisk all of the dressing ingredients together and coat the salad. (you might not need all of the dressing.)
  8. Serve immediately.
  9. (If you are making this for a party, add the dressing before eating the salad.)

 

Kale & Quinoa Harvest Salad via The Diva Dish

Kale & Quinoa Harvest Salad via The Diva Dish

Kale & Quinoa Harvest Salad via The Diva Dish

Kale & Quinoa Harvest Salad via The Diva Dish

Kale & Quinoa Harvest Salad via The Diva Dish

Kale & Quinoa Harvest Salad via The Diva Dish

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and holiday season!! May your hearts and belly’s be full!

 

 

Mom’s Gingerbread Cookies

*This is not an exaggeration. Hands down, these are the best Gingerbread cookies I’ve ever had. And many friends and family agree!*

Not many grandmas have Facebook pages created on behalf of things they’ve said…But mine does.

The BEST Gingerbread Cookies via The Diva Dish

I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about her before on the blog, and her name is Grandma B. Every so often she will come out to visit my little family and spend a few days. It’s always an adventure. There are always memories made. And you never forget when Grandma B. visits. Ever.

From the second you open the door you hear squeals of delight from three tiny girls, and a “Ooooooohhhh hellOOO!”, from Grandma B. herself. Her slight Argentine accent peaks through as she talks about the weather in Las Vegas and how beautiful it really is. She then proceeds to walk around the house stating, “Ok, let’s see what’s new around here.”, as she examines each piece of furniture/decor debating whether that was here last time she stayed with us.

The BEST Gingerbread Cookies via The Diva Dish

She brings with her chamomile tea, english muffins, and orange marmalade for her to have for breakfast each morning, alongside the LA Times. She talks about uncomfortable positions in politics and asks if I need eye makeup for Christmas since she hasn’t seen me wear any in the 2 days she’s been here.

My girls love to get her attention by making the loudest noise possible, which of course she loves. She always asks the right questions, like about my breasts and time of the month schedule. Quickly followed by remarking in front of the kids how hard it must be for me to hide the elf on the shelf every morning. Don’t worry, they didn’t catch on. They also missed when she asked them if they saw the real Santa at our church Christmas party or a pretend one…

The BEST Gingerbread Cookies via The Diva Dish

And each times she visits, we laugh, we play, and we eat lots of food. (She also folds my laundry!!) It might be uncomfortable at times, and I probably will never use the word breasts again, but isn’t that what the holidays are all about?! Awkward, fun, memorable, uncomfortable, family togetherness.

And dessert.

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Because if there is one thing I did inherit from my grandmother it’s that there must always be something to eat for dessert after breakfast lunch dinner. No matter what.

And what better way to honor that than with my mom’s gingerbread cookies! After all, it’s all about family.

And breasts.

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Mom's Gingerbread Cookies
 
Ingredients
  • (Royal Icing)
  • 6 cups all purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 c. dark brown sugar, packed
  • 4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1½ tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. finely ground black pepper
  • 1½ tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 c. unsulfured molasses
  • (Royal Icing)
  • ¼ c. merengue powder
  • 4 c. powdered sugar
  • ½ c. cold water
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
  2. In a mixer, beat together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Mix in the spices and salt, then the eggs, followed by the molasses.
  3. Add flour mixture slowly.
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll out a portion of the dough, cut into desired shapes, and place on baking sheet. (Use parchment paper!)
  6. Chill the shapes for 20 minutes.
  7. Bake for 8 minutes, or until golden. Do no overtake!
  8. Cool on a wire rack, and frost when completely cool.
  9. (Royal Icing)
  10. Beat all ingredients together. Dye your color of choice.

Obviously my girls inherited my impeccable cookie decorating skills, not to toot my own horn or anything…

The BEST Gingerbread Cookies via The Diva Dish

The Best Gingerbread Cookies via The Diva Dish

I promise you, despite the heavy sprinkle gear and hot pink frosting, these cookies are irresistible to anyone! Even when Grandma B. says, “well I’ll be the judge of that!”

The Best Gingerbread Cookies via The Diva Dish

I hope your holidays are as awkward as mine! 😉

Spiced Chocolate Banana Muffins

I’m trying my hardest to type this blog post all about the most delicious Chocolate Spiced Banana Muffins, but my daughter has Peppa Pig on in the background, and now I’ve somehow developed a British accent with pig snorts shoved in-between. You want to know what’s worse than regular writers’ block? British accent pig snorts writers’ block…

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So about these muffins…

Ever since I started decorating for Christmas in October last week, I’ve been fully embracing the holiday baking season. I also started going back to the gym to counteract all of the calories I’ve been eating baking. In fear that my maternity pants may have to make their way back out of the garage, I’ve decided to start distributing baked goods out early this year to our friends.

They win and I don’t look pregnant.

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Although, I’ve always wanted to be the friend who dropped off kale salads to the neighbors during the Christmas season because that’s what everybody really wants! Right? Yup.

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The second these came out of the oven, my girls each had two and then didn’t eat their dinner. I’d say that means this recipes is a winner and I’m a top notch parent! Snort!

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Spiced Banana Muffins
Serves: 24
 
Ingredients
  • 2¼ c. white whole wheat flour
  • ¼ c. cocoa powder
  • 1½ tsp. baking soda
  • dash of salt
  • 1½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground cloves
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger
  • ¾ c. softened butter, can sub room temp coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ c. coconut sugar
  • 1 TB. vanilla
  • 5 mashed bananas
  • 1½ c. dark chocolate chopped, or dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients including flour, baking soda, and spices.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until combined and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  3. Next add in the eggs, slowly beating one after the other. Then the vanilla.
  4. Next add in the bananas and combine.
  5. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients, and then fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Try not to over beat.
  7. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and scoop batter into the muffin tin using a medium ice cream scoop to create even baking.
  8. Bake for 18-22 minutes, depending on oven.
  9. Makes 24 muffins.
  10. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.

 

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Sidenote: These are probably a ‘healthier’ treat than other Christmas treats, so it’s basically like dropping a kale salad.

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