Pirate & Pixie Birthday Party

My plan was to have this post up two weeks ago…

But if you follow me on social media, you know that we just bought a house (WOO HOO!), but we had two weeks to be out of our rental and move and clean everything (Boo!!).

This year for the girl’s birthday I really wanted to keep it simple, unlike THIS one…or THIS one…or THIS one…

But I have this problem where I like to plan parties for little kids who won’t remember it and spend a lot of money and make it cute…I blame pinterest. So this year I halved-it. I did some cute decor, a few games, but I still kept it simple and had the party at the park and let the kids run wild on the play ground.

I have to say, it felt good to take it easy and not put TOO much stress into it! I think next year will be even more relaxed!

After all…I should save my stress (and money) for the three weddings I’ll have to plan in the years down the road right??

The girls really wanted a Tinkerbell Party this year, but they have a lot of boy friends and I figured fairy wings and wands weren’t really up their ally. So we changed it to Pirate and Pixie! I loved this theme so much, you really could have so much fun with it!

Pirate & Pixie Party-The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

Pirate & Pixie Party-The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com Pirate & Pixie Party-The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

Pirate & Pixie Party-The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

Pirate & Pixie Party-The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

Pirate & Pixie Party- The Diva Dish http://thediva-dish.com

Pirate & Pixie Party- The Diva Dish http://thediva-dish.com

Pirate & Pixie Party- The Diva Dish http://thediva-dish.com

Pirate & Pixie Party- The Diva Dish http://thediva-dish.com

Pirate & Pixie Party- The Diva Dish http://thediva-dish.com

Pirate & Pixie Party- The Diva Dish http://thediva-dish.com

Pirate & Pixie Party- The Diva Dish http://thediva-dish.com

Pirate & Pixie Party- The Diva Dish http://thediva-dish.com

Pirate & Pixie Party- The Diva Dish http://thediva-dish.com

Pirate & Pixie Party- The Diva Dish http://thediva-dish.com

Pirate & Pixie Party- The Diva Dish http://thediva-dish.com

Pirate & Pixie Party- The Diva Dish http://thediva-dish.com

Pirate & Pixie Party- The Diva Dish http://thediva-dish.com

Here are some party details:

Food: (We had a lot of adults/family too!)

Pirate Booty

Berries

Orange ‘pirate boats’ (Saw this on pinterest too! Not sure where it originally came from though.)

Garden Salad-Kale salad from Costco, which is my FAVORITE!

Berry Marshmallows in cups

Pizza

Tinkerbell cupcakes- I used my Cricut machine to cut flowers and designs for the toppings

Pirate Cupcakes

Decorations: 

Fans/Lanterns (Minted.com)

Utensils/Straws/Plates/Napkins etc. (Partypail.com)

Games:

Walk the plank

Pirate Hook Ring Toss (Not sure where this idea came from, but it’s all over pinterest)

Piñata

Playing at the park

 

I just love being a mommy to my two darling baby girls, and every year I get a little sad that they are growing up! So grateful to have them in my life!

Thanks again for your patience friends! Love you all so much!

 

Mother’s Day Menu: Just Desserts

 There was a time a few years ago where I wanted to open a restaurant dedicated to just chocolate & desserts. A place where you could order the best chocolate cake with rich chocolate ganache frosting, or a decadent chocolate fudge filled brownie with warm ice cream and hot fudge sauce…

And when you left said restaurant, it would be similar to a scene from Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory. No, you wouldn’t get a dip in a chocolate waterfall/lake, although that would be fantastic. Instead, you’d need to be rolled out of the restaurant like a large blueberry.

 Sounds incredible right?

This Mother’s Day, I decided to put together something that would speak directly to my love language. Food & chocolate. (Another love language of mine is a day at the spa, a nap with my sleeping babies, a new wardrobe, a facial, a haircut, time to shave my legs, a bubble bath in a clean bathtub, new shoes, eyebrow wax, and a nap. Did I say that already?)

 

On The Menu:

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes w/ Fluffy Vegan Vanilla Frosting

Dark Chocolate Ganache Covered Frosting

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chunk Crispy Bars

Rich Chocolate Truffles

So this Mother’s Day, do those woman in your life a favor. Screw a nice candle light steak dinner. Send her straight to a table full of chocolate.

Trust me.

1 million points for you!

(P.S. All of the recipes for the desserts will be up on the blog in the next few days!)

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A special thanks to Party Pail for sending me such adorable party accessories to make this Mother’s Day Dessert Party perfect! The table cloth, napkins, straws, streamers, and plates were all from Party Pail!

Easter Recipe Roundup!

Easter is just around the corner, roughly two days away, and I’ve yet to plan our Easter Meal. This growing up thing sometimes is hard. Usually we visit family and they do all the cooking…But this year it’s just my cute little family, aka me and three picky eaters, so…I’m at a loss as of what to make right now!

I’ve scrolled through some of my recipes, and decided I’d share some Easter Worthy Recipes from The Diva Dish! Maybe we can discuss in the comments what everyone is making? Or maybe someone could come cook Easter Dinner for my family and then clean the dishes after? Or maybe we could go to Del Taco…

Either way…Discuss amongst yourselves.

 Blueberry Greek Yogurt Pancakes

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Tomato Basil Quiche

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White Bean Sun Dried Tomato Hummus

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Strawberry Broccoli Salad

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Maple Sage Glazed Carrots with Maple Toasted Pistachios

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Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Veggie Gravy

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Cilantro Lime Corn on The Cob 

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Lemon Parsley Spinach Pasta

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Guacamole Kale Salad

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Layered Cous Cous, Egg Plant, and Zucchini Casserole

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Chicken Spring Rolls w/ Crunchy Almond Butter Dipping Sauce

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Crock Pot Indian Spiced Lentils

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How To: Roast Chicken

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Hearty Whole Grain Basil Bread

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Banana Cake w/ Chocolate Fudge Frosting

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Rich Chocolate Banana Bread w/ Strawberries

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Chocolate Sun Butter Pretzel Cups

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Chewy Easter Egg Truffles

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Cinnamon Sugar Cups

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Chocolate Beet Cake

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Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade

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Orange Carrot Juice

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Pink Princess Party Part 2-The who, what, when, where, and how-to

As promised I gathered all the how-to info from the girls Pink Princess Party!

I will start off by saying I am a hoarder…I love to go thrift store shopping, and a lot of times I buy a lot of crap for no reason what so ever. BUT when a party rolls around I am able to put all the crap to use :). So I would say 90% of the stuff I used for the party was bought either at a thrift store or on clearance! Otherwise my kids would be eating canned beans for the next 6 months due to party expenses… :)

I think it goes with out saying that my goal for this party was to make it pink PiNk PINK! That was including the food :)!

So here it is! If there is anything I missed or anything you would like to know just comment below or email me! :)

Sweet Pea’s Frilly Dress: I found this at a kids boutique in Las Vegas // Boo’s Lace Dress // Matching Headbands

A lot of my decorations were either re-used from last years birthday, OR I bought them on clearance or at thrift stores. For example, the pink crystal circles in the vases were only 50 cents on clearance at Hobby Lobby :). The sticks were a house decor item that was in my garage not being used. I spray painted them pink and used them for the center pieces.

I also used $1 store table clothes and draped them from the ceiling. Note: if you use a staple gun…it will make holes! 😉

The chandeliers were made from lampshade that I bought at the thrift store. You just take off the fabric from the lampshade, and wrap ribbon around the wires.

I also tied beads that I stranded, ribbon, and tulle bows.

 

These candy filled jars I originally saw on Pink Pistachio. I of coarse gave them a pink makeover! :) I used old baby food jars that I had been saving, spray painted the lids pink, and glued silver crowns on top.// Silver Crowns from Party City.

The pink drink table was thrifted, and I seriously contemplated whether or not to paint it because I loved the original! We spray painted it pink and my mom dressed it up in fancy tulle!

The mason jar cups were tied with a piece of tulle and a strip of burlap. We then made tags to go along with it.

Princess Crown Stamps // White Tags // Pink Stripped Straws (I found them at marshalls, 100 for $5!)

Cinderella Stamp // Princess Cookie Cutters

Princess Cake Mold //

Princess Wands from the $1 store // Fruit Princess Wands

Strawberry Basil Chicken Salad: I didn’t really measure but I added chicken, strawberries, dried cranberries, grapes, chopped basil, and strawberry puree to make the dressing pink. I also added mayo and a little honey and dijon.

Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Wood boards from Michaels // Paint Pen from Michaels // Wood Stain from Home Depot // Yard Sticks from Home Depot

I think my princesses, included me, are all partied out for a while! Maybe when they are 16 right?? :) I have to give a special thanks to my wonderful family that helped a lot, especially taking care of the kids while I turned my parents house into party central. And I’m sorry dad that I used a staple gun in your walls to hang almost everything. I’m such an awesome daughter… :)

Now…Let’s get back to some healthy living shall we??

 

 

 

Pink Princess Party!!

Time truly has gone by too fast and I now have  precious 1 AND 3 year old little girls! I’m blessed beyond measure, and I love spoiling my girls in every way!

This years birthday was all about the color pink and princesses. My oldest is obsessed, (to say the least) with princesses, and she had been asking for a princess party for months. So I did my best to create any princesses dream party…I may have gone overboard…and next year’s party will probably be at chuckie-cheese…

But in the end it was all worth it! And now I hope you are ready for a photo dump of pictures!

(I also plan on doing a part 2 of this party with all the food recipes, and some how-to info on some of the decorations! So for now, just enjoy the pictures! :) )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easy Simple Salmon

For as long as I can remember, I’ve never been a fan of eating fish.

Between the smell, the scales, and it’s oogly eyes….no way. Not happening.

I remember growing up my mom would make it occasionally, and each time I would SWEAR that the whole house smelled like a fishy ocean…I’d then proceed to whine and complain, while throwing myself on the couch in agony…Poor little me.

Nothing really changed until I went on a 6 week study abroad program through Central America, and a lot of times we had to eat the food we were given. I remember one night we ate at a little restaurant in Guatemala and our whole class was being served Salmon.

Obviously I wasn’t thrilled that I had to eat it, but when my plate arrived I was pretty shocked.

My salmon was drenched in some sort of sauce that looked like gravy, and then there was a handful of fresh lemons on my plate. I proceeded to squeeze juice on the Salmon and take a bite…

I died.

I don’t know exactly what that sauce was made of, but I have an idea it rhymes with nutter. All I can say is that it tasted like Christmas morning and Paula Deen was in the kitchen melting butter.

Some day I’ll recreate that salmon…As soon as I figure out how to make a pound of butter healthier…

For now though I’ve learned to stomach salmon, just as long as it falls under certain guidlines.

It HAS to be fresh. The fresher it is, the less fishy it taste. It also has to have a little flavor. I know some people can eat it with just a squeeze of lemon, but like I said before…Not happenin’.

Ingredients:

Filet of Salmon

melted coconut oil

salt

pepper

lemons

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking dish with foil, and place salmon fillets on the dish. Coat salmon with melted coconut oil, just until fully coated. (Not too much oil.) Then liberally salt and pepper salmon. (Can do both sides if the other side isn’t skin, otherwise you don’t have to coat skin. Also, have salmon be skin side down.)

2. Bake for 10-20 minutes, or until salmon is light pink and flakes easily with a fork. Squeeze a little fresh lemon juice over the top and serve.

We ate it over caramelized brussel sprouts and brown rice!

Of coarse Boo didn’t touch the sprouts, but she did eat the Salmon.

I told her it was pink chicken…

Best mom advice like ever.. :)

Oh, and I never shared our Halloween costumes that we had this year! If you can guess what I am, I would be So surprised!

I am not a hooker…

My husband was that one guy…from LMFAO…

And no I’m not a clown hooker…wrong again. I’ll give you a clue:

Kay-dollar sign-Ha.

Boo was an owl, and she was sooo excited to flap her little wings! Except, I don’t think she is going to be excited about this picture come 15 years…Her dad=wanna be gangsta=wanna be cool=totally not.

And Sweet Pea was a freaked out Pumpkin…

Ok now onto the month of November, which came out of no where!!

Who is ready for Christmas?

Homemade Pumpkin Puree + Video Tutorial

So here’s the deal.

Pumpkin season is like a food bloggers Christmas…Am I right?

We load up on canned pumpkin, bake muffins, pies, cookies, pasta dishes etc.

We freakin’ love it.

Then the other day at Costco when I was considering buying the 90 oz. of canned pumpkin puree they were selling, I realized that the pumpkin in the can obviously wasn’t fresh. And who knows how long it had been sitting in those cans.

More importantly I was planning on loading up on the puree for baby food in the future, but then I realized that was definitely not ok…

Canned pumpkin puree is great … But fresh pumpkin puree that’s in season…

It’s phenomenal. I mean, it’s practically a different color than the canned puree. That right there should say something.

So for those of you interested in how to make your own puree, whether your going to cook with it or feed it to your baby, here is a simple how to.

And if the pictures aren’t enough, I put together an incredibly embarrassing video tutorial for you to see.

Merry Christmas.

First your going to start with a small pumpkin. I believe they are called sugar pumpkins, but I really don’t know. Neither did the guy  working in the produce section…So it’s all good.

Just make sure they aren’t the large jack-o-lantern pumpkins.

After you have washed the pumpkins, cut the stems off the pumpkins.

My knife is about as sharp as a butter knife, so this counted as an arm workout for me.

Then cut the pumpkins in half.

Next your going to scoop out the seeds, or as Baby Boo calls it, the yucky stuff…

Save the seeds people…save the seeds.

Roast them, and then coat them in chocolate. Then buy me a diamond ring because after that you will love me forever.

Next preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place the pumpkins face down, or face up, on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 45 min to an hour…or until the pumpkins are soft and you can poke them with a fork.

They will brown and the skins will shrivel a little when they are done!

Using a spoon or your hands, peel off the skins.

Discard the skins and add the rest of the pumpkin into a blender or food processor and process until creamy.

Note #1: Some pumpkins are more dry then others. Don’t worry, this is perfectly normal. Just add a few TB of water until you reach the desired consistency!

Note #2: Some pumpkins are more mushy than others and when blended into a puree it might seem TOO watery. Don’t worry, this is normal too! :) Just strain puree through a cheesecloth!

Store in the fridge for about a week, or store in the freezer for 6 to 8 months!! Just add about 1 c. of the puree to a plastic bag and flatten it out and lay it flat in the freezer!

Perfect for baby food!

Check out the wacky video to go along with it:

And don’t you worry my little pumpkins, I’ve got pumpkin recipes coming up to go along with this puree!

But in case you can’t wait, here is a favorite one from last year!

Pumpkin Hot Chocolate

Be back soon for more pumpkin madness!

No Bake Dark Chocolate Almond Balls

Life has definitely changed in our little household since Sweet Pea made her arrival.

Luckily I’ve had my husband off work all week to help me, but today is his first day back and I’m worried that he’s going to come home and find me covered in breast milk and Boo’s lunch, wearing what I’ve worn since thursday. (Wait? I’ve been like that all week…)

For those of you wondering how Boo is doing, I would say she is adjusting as expected.

She has gotten WAY louder, and I find that she screams at the top of her lungs even when she is just playing. Not to mention she has refused to sit down and eat any meal, and today she told my husband he was ‘Pissing her off…’

Luckily she hasn’t taken her anger out on Sweet Pea, but instead her bedroom door, which she slams a few bazillion times a day. I swear she was two before the baby was born, and now she is 16 year old me. I’m almost tempted to take her door off the hinges, just like my mom did.

I’m just afraid to ‘Piss her off…’

Luckily, Sweet Pea is one sweet and innocent baby girl. She sleeps a lot, and I’m not really sure how to handle that. I keep expecting her to wake up all the time, but she just continues to sleep. I pray it continues, but I’m expecting it to stop once the husband goes back to work…Did I mention I never slept as a child?

Karma.

As for cooking and spending time in the kitchen, I haven’t really done much besides making quick breakfast and lunches. I’ve had a wonderful bunch of friends who have been bringing me dinner since we got home from the hospital, and I don’t want it to end. I’m considering paying them to bring me dinner every night.

I have however been craving chocolate like it’s nobody’s business, and I obviously blame it on the hormones. After giving birth, you basically go through ‘that time of the month’ symptoms times a bazillion. My husband can vouch for this because today I cried just reading stories to Boo.

Dang you Mickey Mouse books…So fllippin’ touching.

I think I need a long nap and chocolatey cookie.

It’s the right thing to do.

No Bake Dark Chocolate Almond Balls

Makes 12-16 mini balls

Ingredients:

1/2 c. honey

1/2 c. Dark Chocolate Almond Butter (or homemade nut butter of choice)

3/4 c. brown rice crisp cereal

1/2 c. chopped pretzels

1/4 c. diced craisins

1/4 c. cocoa powder (could sub chocolate protein powder)

(Optional to roll balls in: shredded coconut, cocoa nibs, cocoa powder, grated chocolate, etc.)

Directions:

1. In a microwave safe bowl, heat oil and nut butter for 45 seconds to a minute. Whisk together until creamy, then fold in the rest of the ingredients until fully combined.

(This will be an effort since it’s pretty thick and sticky.)

2. Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop mini balls and place on cookie sheet with parchment paper. The balls will be really sticky. To help with this, you can either roll them in cocoa nibs, cocoa powder, grated chocolate, shredded coconut, etc…

3. Place in the freezer for 10-15 min, then transfer to fridge and store in a covered plastic/glass container.

These have been a life saver! They are so rich and decadent, I almost feel like I’m eating a piece of Sees Candy.

Almost. :-)

Have a great start to your week! I’ll be back soon with a new series of Toddler food! Can’t wait to share the details!! :-)

Sweet Pea

Never in my life would I imagine feeling the overwhelming love that I feel now.

I’ve been blessed in such a tremendous way to be the mother to now TWO precious Daughters of God.

After waiting for what seemed like forever, 40 weeks and 5 days to be exact, the day finally arrived where Sweet Pea came into this world.

After thinking the day would never come, we decided to take a weekend trip up to my parents house and relax. And of coarse when one finally let’s go and realizes it’s probably not going to happen when wanted….It happens.

So at 6:50 A.M. when my water broke we knew that our plans were going out the window and we were going to have this baby…Even if it wasn’t in the place we had originally planned.

It was a fairly difficult labor, but luckily it only lasted 10 hours with about 15 minutes of pushing. (Boo was 20 hours of labor and 1 1/2 hours pushing…)

After a few hours of my labor not progressing, they decided to put my on pitocin to see if that would get things moving along. After a few doses of pitocin, we soon realized my body, and Sweet Pea, wanted nothing to do with the medicine. My blood pressure was dropping all the time, and my heart rate was fluctuating uncontrollably. Nothing about me was stabilizing. Then Sweet Pea’s heart rate started to drop, so we decided it was best to turn off the medicine to see what happened.

Within minutes my body kicked in, everything stabilized, and I began to progress perfectly.

Only thing was now the epidural wasn’t working.

I applaud any mom willing to do the birth the natural way. As for me, I would prefer no pain whatsoever.

But my body had a different plan for me, and rejected practically every form of medicine. So with each contraction becoming closer together, I would try and breath my way through it…Only instead I would cry through each one. I’ll never forget that pain…

And if I do remind me before I think of having more kids…

Then the time came to push, which went rather quick. When she came out the umbilical cord was wrapped around her and her neck several times and she was blue. They took her away quickly, and for a few minutes I was freaking out. But soon enough she was in my arms, nice and pink! :)

I’ll never forget seeing Boo ‘s face when she came into see Sweet Pea. Having our little family together felt so complete and wonderful. I truly am the luckiest wife and mama out there!

Over the past few days our little family’s life has changed dramatically. We all have lost sleep and are going stir crazy, but never before in my life have I felt this happy. The spirit in our home is so strong and happy I truly feel blessed.

Boo is adjusting as expected. She loves her baby sister so much, but I can tell it’s difficult for her. We’ve been told to leave her alone and go away, followed by a door slam, for the past couple of days. I know it will get better, and I look forward to the day when I can hear them laughing together.

For now I am perfectly fine watching Boo give Sweet Pea multiples love hugs and kisses!

Dear Sweet Pea,

I am so glad to finally be holding you in my arms! You are precious in every way, and I can tell you will have a very sweet and loving personality. Thanks for making our family complete and bringing lots of love into our little family.

I Love You! xoxo-

Mommy

Thank You for all your sweet comments, tweets, etc. on Sweet Pea! I have the greatest and most supporting readers!

( Also a special thanks to certain readers out there who helped me pick the name Sweet Pea for our little gals blog name!)

Be back soon with some food!! :-)

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookie Ice Cream

I’m going to take a break from my obsessive whining about Baby #2 not here yet, and focus on one of my most precious chickpeas.

Yesterday Baby Boo officially turned TWO, and she technically isn’t a baby anymore.

(Although I have no problem wrapping her up in a blanket and cuddling her in my arms…)

It’s hard to believe that two years came and went so fast, and now I am the mama of a sassy and sweet toddler. One that has no problem telling me no, slapping me in public, wearing tutu’s 24/7, playing with mama’s makeup, singing Justin Bieber and pointing out his picture wherever it is…

Yes my friends, she is no longer my little baby.

She now demands chocolate milk with every meal and is easily the boss in our tiny little family.

(I’m this close to teaching her how to ask Daddy for money…)

Unfortunately for the hubby’s sake, she’s 100% Diva and takes a lot after  her mama. Everything is 10 times more dramatic than it should be and she can cry at the drop of a penny.On top of everything else, she is addicted to sweets.

I will take the blame for that because half the time I’ve got my face shoved into some sort of chocolate particle…And if you open my pantry, i’ve got enough dark chocolate bars to feed Canada.

But I’m not complaining one bit. I look forward to Mommy-Daughter dates when we can spend daddy’s money and check out different sweet treats around the city. (Although…Technically we do that now.)

Which is why I knew that on Boo’s birthday she wouldn’t consider a special ‘treat’ a basket full of fries, but more like a big bowl of ice cream. Of coarse alongside of a day spent full of using daddy’s money!

That’s what birthday’s are all about!

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookie Ice Cream

Ingredients:

(For the Ice Cream)

5-6 frozen bananas processed and blended into ‘ice cream’ w/ 1 tsp. vanilla

OR

1 pint vanilla non dairy ice cream (we prefer coconut)

(For the cookie mixutre)

1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour/spelt flour/GF flour/vanilla protein powder for a protein version

1/2 oats

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

dash of nutmeg

dash of salt

1/4 c. peanut butter

1/4 c. 100% maple syrup

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c. dark chocolate chopped/chocolate chips

Directions:

1. To make the cookies, beat nut butter, vanilla, and syrup together until combined with a mixer. Add flour, oats, spices until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. The mixture will be a little crumbly:

2. In the mixer bowl add your ice cream:

3. Mix together until cookies are incorporated throughout ice cream.

4. Eat right then, or place in freezer safe storage and save for later!

This dessert is almost as sweet as my precious two year old!

Unless you take into consideration that she’s 100% diva like her mama…

And in that case, it’s not always a sweet bowl of ice cream! :-)

I love you Baby Boo! You keep me on my toes, make me smile and laugh every day, and I’ve never loved anything so much as much as I Love You!

I’ll Love you Forever Boo!

XOXOXO-

Mommy