Friday, September 25, 2015

The most delicious pumpkin chocolate chip cookies!

I found this recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction and am obsessed.  These cookies are so good, its ridiculous and be careful because they are super addictive!  I think between Lawson and I, together we have finished off a dozen within 24 hours!!!  

I also love that they can easily be made vegan, with simply using a vegan butter substitute and vegan chocolate chips.  I kept rereading the recipe, thinking that she had forgotten to add eggs to it, but nope, that is how it is supposed to be made, no eggs needed for these delicious fall goodies :)  Which is good because I frequently am out of eggs but still have every other baking ingredient on hand, so this will be a great go to recipe for when that happens. 

I also attached some photos of Lawson.  He is really loving the new house and has learned how to smile for the camera.  It is the cutest thing ever!  I tell him to "Say Cheese" and he turns around and looks at me and smiles a big grin while saying his version of "cheese" hahaha!  

He is almost 19 months and his vocabulary is really expanding.  On the top of his word list is "no" (and he fully understands the meaning and thoroughly enjoys telling me no), "garage" and "outside" (his two favorite places to go, such a boy) and "Peppa Pig" (his absolute favorite show to watch, he loves it!).

On the home front, Prescott and I are slowly getting everything put up in its place, just a few more things to hang and then we have a laundry list of things we want to buy and do to the house, but we are on hold for now.  Gotta be patient :)

Here is the recipe for the yummy pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.  Hope you make them and enjoy them as much as we did!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (or vegan butter, if making vegan)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar (use brown sugar or vegan white sugar, if making vegan)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons pumpkin puree
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (use vegan chocolate chips, if making vegan)
Preheat the oven to 350.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  In a medium bowl, whisk the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla and pumpkin until smooth. Then whisk in the flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda and pumpkin pie spice. Fold in 1/2 cup chocolate chips.  Roll the dough into a balls, about 1 1/2 tablespoon each. Slightly flatten the dough balls and press a few more chocolate chips onto the tops. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Refined Sugar Free, Fat Free and Dairy Free Banana Nut Muffins!

Baking in the kitchen with my little helper!  This is the first thing Lawson asks me for when he wakes up now.  His new favorite word is muffin, haha!  

This is actually a version of one of my favorite recipes that I blogged about a while ago but have made numerous times since (a recipe has to be really good in order for me to make it again and this one fits in that category!).  Normally I make it in a loaf pan and it is even more moist when you bake it that way, but this way is so much easier to serve and with a toddler on my hands, I am all about ways to make anything easier these days.  

Also, this time instead of using chocolate chips, I replaced it with pecan pieces and added some cinnamon for an even healthier and more fall like flavor :)  They turned out delicious and the best part is they are totally guilt free and I don't feel bad about feeding them to Lawson.  However, I still made half of them with the chocolate chips just in case the other way didn't work, so I can write both versions for you and you can choose which one you want to use or make both, like me for a nice little variety!

3 overripe bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup no sugar added applesauce
3/4 cup honey
2 eggs whites
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional, but definitely suggested for the pecan version)
1/2 cup chopped pecans or dark chocolate chips plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling on top

Preheat your oven, get all of your ingredients measured out, then in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the overripe bananas until blended.  Then add the egg whites, vanilla, applesauce and honey with the mixer on low speed.  Next, add the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon (if you are using the pecan version), all with the mixer on low speed until incorporated.  Fold in 1/2 cup pecans or chocolate chips and sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup evenly dispersed on top.  

Use an ice-cream scoop to scoop out each cupcake into a lined muffin pan or pour in a loaf pan.  Bake at 350 for 16-18 minutes for cupcakes or for 50-60 minutes for a loaf.  Don't over bake!

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Move, Renovations and Lawson at 19 Months!

Hooray! We did it.  We survived the 108 degree move!!!  

It was definitely a scorcher, but nonetheless, we pushed through and made it all happen.  It has been an absolutely insane past month!  I had no idea what an undertaking moving was.  I seem to always underestimate these types of things?!? 

I'm not sure who buys a brand new house and then rips everything up and renovates it within the first day of receiving the keys but that is exactly what this crazy Van Buskirk household did and I think we might have gone a little nuts in the process, but the good thing is that it is all done now.  

At least the main renovations, like the floors, cabinets, countertops and landscaping, are finished, so we don't have to live through that anymore.  We literally had four different crews all working in the house at the same time and I'm pretty sure they all hated me for that :/  Oops!  This is why I am a bakery manager and not a construction manager, haha.  

There have been endless projects since we moved in and so many more on our wish list but they will have to wait.  It is so hard moving into a new house, you just want everything to be done all at once and in a sense we did but Prescott and I have to restrain ourselves from going overboard, which is oh so easy to do!

Lawson has been a total handful recently as well, which has not helped maintain our stress level along with constant issues at the bakery and Prescott's job.  We have definitely overloaded ourselves once again, but are also starting to see the end of the rainbow and are ready to get there!  For now we just have to remain patient and do what we can when we can.

Here are some photos of the pre move, mid construction and post move with post renovation photos to come soon once I get everything in order :)

Lawson and Daniel having their last spin around the old house

Having fun boxing everything up

Hey look mom, look, I found my shoe (Lawson's FAVORITE word to say)

All of the construction crews, all at once!

Kitchen Before

Kitchen During


Every hard or bad day I have, I just remind myself that this is my range

Lawson ready to "GO" (Also his favorite word, we don't know where he gets that from)

Installing the hardwoods

Installing the baby gates, which Lawson was less than fond of!

Lawson enjoying his new playroom

Patio Before

Pouring the Concrete

Sodding the yard

Lawson's abode.