Monday, January 25, 2016

Frosted Vanilla Blondies

Last week we were invited to a birthday party play date for a friend.  Not one to arrive empty handed, and always one to use any excuse to make a sweet treat, it was the perfect reason to make blondies.  These are so quick and easy, a one dish treat that comes together in no time.  They have a whole lot of butter and sugar, so best to share them with friends as opposed to eating them all yourself.  I tortured my poor, deprived children by refusing to let them eat more than the ugly corner piece beforehand, so I think Colin had 4 at the party.
These are delicious as-is, with or without frosting, and amazing with the addition of chocolate chips.

From Smitten Kitchen

8 Tablespoons butter (1 stick), melted
1 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare an 8x8 pan by lining with parchment or buttering.
Beat melted butter and brown sugar until smooth.  Add egg and vanilla.
Mix in flour and salt until just combined.
Pour into pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, until set.
Allow to cool before slicing.

Vanilla Buttercream

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat butter until fluffy and smooth.
Add in sugar and beat well.
Add vanilla and mix until smooth and spreadable. If necessary, add a splash of milk to thin.
Spread frosting over cooled blondies.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Lunch for the Kids

If I'm prepared for lunch, it's ready at the precise moment when the kids realize they are absolutely starving.  It's a healthy and delicious mix of foods that they eat in their entirety and give them energy for the rest of the day.

Other days, we walk in late.  They both start rummaging through the pantry for snacks while I'm trying to get lunch ready.  James is hungry and tired and clings to me like a baby monkey, so I'm trying to do everything with one hand.  Lunch is a random assortment of things I pull out of the fridge and pantry.  We're all usually back in the kitchen hungry a few hours later.

Not this week, though.  This week I'm on top of things.  Nothing groundbreaking, but we're trying a few things we haven't had in a while to avoid the boredom of getting into a rut, and I'm armed with plenty of fresh fruit to round it out.

Mini Pizzas
Whole wheat sandwich thins
Tomato Sauce
Mozzarella cheese

Heat under the broiler until cheese is melted and edges are crispy.

Pumpkin Muffins 
Recipe from 100 Days of Real Food (which has great lunch ideas).

Peanut Butter with Cinnamon Apples and Pretzels
This was after a birthday party, so no one was very hungry because they'd filled up on treats and snacks.

We can't go a week without this one - Grilled Cheese.
On James' plate, you can see that I offered him some of my greek yogurt with spinach and artichokes.  He was not impressed.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Lemon Garlic Baked Salmon

Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season, and ate all the cookies.  I'm not big on New Year's resolutions, but all the treats I've been eating for the past month have been making me feel a little sluggish.  When I saw a one day "cleanse" I thought I'd give it a try.  Loosely, it called for drinking hot lemon water first thing in the morning, a Glowing Green Smoothie for breakfast, Ginger Lemon Cayenne Detox tea and vegetables for lunch and dinner.

My day went like this:
First thing after my run: Hot Lemon water - This is a nice way to warm up.  I do this all the time.
Breakfast: Glowing Green Smoothie - I liked it a lot.  Very refreshing and hydrating.  Wished I hadn't baked donuts the night before as they were staring me down on the kitchen counter.
Lunch: Spicy Mulligatawny Soup - I'm pretty sure that's not what they meant by "salad," but I went with it.
Snack: Ginger Lemon Cayenne Detox tea - Zingy and invigorating. It helped with my lingering cough from the epic preschool cold that won't quit.  I gave some of the aforementioned donuts away to my brother in law and told everyone how great my one day cleanse was going.
4PM: Snuggled with the boys for a New Year's Eve movie on the couch.  I'm starving.  James literally pushes a pretzel into my mouth.  I eat several more, cursing the stupid cleanse.
Dinner: Roasted vegetables with tahini sauce.  And the last Godiva.

I think the takeaway here is that I need food, and plenty of it.  However, I loved the Glowing Green Smoothie, and had another one for breakfast today.  Although today I drank it alongside a bagel with cream cheese and lox.  So, instead of starving yourself, eat this delicious salmon.

Lemon Garlic Baked Salmon

1 lb. wild salmon
4 Tablespoons softened butter
Zest of one lemon
One garlic clove, grated or finely chopped
Juice of one lemon

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Prepare a baking sheet with parchment or foil.
In a small bowl, combine butter, lemon zest and garlic.  Spread on salmon.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until salmon flakes easily with a fork.
Pour lemon juice over salmon after cooking and top with parsley.

And, lest you think that picture above depicts a calm meal while leisurely enjoying this salmon along with a nice glass of wine, here's what dinner actually looks like at our house.

photo 1-1 photo 1-2