Friday, July 31, 2015

Enjoy Life Muffin Mix + Fresh Raspberries = YUMMO!

Georgia and I started off our Friday morning at our favorite local farm, Butler's Orchard, to get a jump on early season raspberry picking.  The fields were quiet and there were plenty of berries to pick if you didn't mind hunting around a bit.  I spotted the taller fruit, while my short little buddy found us the low hanging raspberries hiding behind the leaves.




As soon as we got home, we washed them and let them air dry while we made a quick run to the library for a book swap.





Then, my sous chef and I got started on a little baking project.

We decided to use one of our new Enjoy Life baking mixes... the muffin mix!  Free from the eight most common allergens, they're perfectly safe for our dairy/nut allergic kiddo.





The best part about using a box mix was the 7 minutes total it took for us to put these muffins together and get them in the oven (and that's with a 4 year-old "helper" in the kitchen!).  I added the 1/4 cup of oil and decided to cut back and only use 1 cup of water so that I could add 1tsp of vanilla extract and 1tsp of almond extract for some extra flavoring.





Once the mix was combined, the real tough decisions needed to be made.... what to add to the mix????  We definitely wanted to use our freshly picked raspberries, but Georgia also voted for chocolate chips!  A quick look around the kitchen also revealed some bananas that were just about past their prime, so they got added to the pile too.





Georgia and I decided to split our muffins - 6 banana/chocolate chip and 6 raspberry/chocolate chip.  The box stated that the mix would make approximately 10 muffins, but we easily filled up a dozen liners.  I added about 1/2 cup of raspberries to half of the batter mix and 2/3 of a mushy roughly chopped up banana to the other half of the batter.  A few tablespoons of mini chips were added to both.





We dusted a little sugar on the top of each of our muffins and threw them in the oven for 20 minutes.  The house smelled delicious as they baked away.



Raspberry chocolate chip muffins

Banana chocolate chip muffins

We gave them a few minutes to cool off because Georgia voted to try a banana muffin with her lunch.  







The toughest critic in the house gave it a giant thumbs up... and promptly started begging to try the raspberry chip!



video



The remaining muffins are headed to the freezer for a few weeks until our upcoming FL trip.  I think they'll make the perfect (and safest) early morning breakfast treat for Georgia!


Disclosure: We were provided the new Enjoy Life baking mixes in order to try the new products.  Our family's thoughts and opinions are always our own!




Wednesday, July 29, 2015

What's Up Wednesday - July 2015...

I loved participating in the last What's Up Wednesday link-up party in June, so I'm linking up again today to catch up on all this week's happenings!


What we're eating this week...
 
Eating ice cream in the summer is a given for most families.  However, when you're dealing with food allergies, especially a dairy allergy, going out for ice cream is not an easy feat.  No fear - I picked up some strawberry coconut milk ice cream (Thank you, So Delicious!) at the grocery store last week along with some mini ice cream cones and Georgia has been in heaven!




What's I'm reminiscing about...
 
I'm in full blown Disney planning mode for our trip next month, so I've been looking through all my posts from last spring's trip and I just can't get over how much Georgia has grown since that vacation! 


April 2014 right before her 3rd birthday!  That dress is so small on her now.

I've also been reviewing my own Disney Tips post to remember all the things I learned from our first family vacation there!


What I'm loving...


I don't have many summer specific decorations for the house, but I do keep my little lobster out all summer long and I've decided to keep out the 4th of July/Americana decorations until the first week of August.  Maybe it's because I just don't want July to end...







I'm also still loving all the beautiful warm summer nights that we've been having here in Maryland.  This week, we managed to squeeze in a little riding practice...


 
 
 
video



What we've been up to...


We finally managed to get to the splash park last week and Georgia had lots of fun running around with her friends and Mimi on a blazing hot day...





Another carnival was in a neighboring town this weekend, so we went for an hour one night for a few rides and some fireworks... until we were told the fireworks were going to be launched at 10:45pm?!?!  Sorry, that's a tad past bed time in our house.  Luckily, someone was easily entertained with the promise of rides.





The little daredevil added another crazy ride to her list... the tornado!  She survived and Nick came off stumbling like a drunk man.






What I'm dreading...


August... I really don't want to flip the calendar to August!!  How can summer go by so fast?!?!


What I'm working on...


We were so grateful to receive an amazing package from our friends at Enjoy Life last week with all their newly released baking mixes.  I can't wait to come up with some creative recipes using these new products!  Enjoy Life has also started a new hashtag #tothefullest, so keep your eye out on Pinterest and other social media sites for new recipes and uses for these mixes.









What I'm excited about...

 

Georgia had a great appointment at the allergist's office last week.  We wanted to verify that she didn't have any shellfish allergies, so we went ahead and did some skin testing while we were there (her blood work has never revealed any seafood allergies).  G was very brave!







I got a tad bit nervous about that bottom right spot until the doctor came in and reassured me that was just the control.  We left the office with great news - no allergies to any shellfish!!  As I said to Nick, "One less thing that can kill her!"

We've also been told to start trying out some new tree nuts at home, so I'm off to the grocery store this week to find us some cashews, pecans, walnuts, and hazelnuts without any peanut cross-contamination.  Fingers crossed!

 
What I'm watching/reading...


Now that the neighborhood "Bachelorette" nights are completed and Kaitlyn has chosen her man, we're moving onto "Bachelor in Paradise."  Let the drama begin!

I've also been catching up on all the past seasons of "American Horror Story."  Nick and I originally watched the first season, but then skipped out on the following seasons.  The episodes are the perfect length for a treadmill workout, so I've been watching them during my runs.  So far, I think "Coven" has been my favorite season, but I'm a huge NOLA fan, so that might be swaying my opinion.



 


What I'm listening to...

I desperately need to make a new running Spotify mix.  Any suggestions???? 

Nick's latest Go Pro video production is from our trip to the lake for the 4th of July.  He worked on the editing for so many days/nights that I think the song to the video will be permanently stuck in my head...




Highlights from the 4th at Keuka Lake with great family and friends!
Posted by Nick Thoman on Sunday, July 19, 2015



What I'm wearing...


I tried my best to resist the Nordstrom anniversary sale, but I couldn't escape the constant reminders about it on my favorite blogs, Facebook, Instagram, etc.  So, I caved.  I know, I'm weak.  But, I did invest in some staple pieces like a few high quality t-shirts that I wear all year long, including under sweaters in the winter.  I also invested in a few new pairs of running shorts since they were a great price and nothing motivates me more than pretty new workout clothes!  My one mini "splurge" was on a Nadri double pendant necklace that I adored and couldn't resist the price cut.









What I'm doing this weekend...
 

According to the local meteorologist, the hottest weather of the season will be upon us the next few days, so I'm sure it will be pool, pool and more pool around here!


What I'm looking forward to next month...


I wasn't sure how I would feel about booking our big summer trip at the end of August, but the nice thing is that it still feels as though we have some "summer" left before we go back to the daily grind.  I can't wait to head back to Disney and take Georgia on some new rides, try some new restaurants, and meet some new character friends.  She is OVER THE MOON about meeting Anna and Elsa and keeps talking about what she is going to say to them. 

As Mimi was heading to the airport last week, Georgia yelled, "See you in Disney, Mimi!"



 

What else is new...


Georgia and I went to Green Meadows Petting Farm last week, which led to my texting Nick to ask if we could adopt a baby cow...




This poor guy was only a few days old and was rejected by his Momma.  He was so friendly and just kept head-butting me and nuzzling up against me.  He made the saddest little moos when we left his pen!  For some strange reason, Nick was anti-cow adoption.







 

What will you miss most about summer?


Pool days, no rush mornings, the freedom to do what we want whenever we want, staying in our pajamas all day long, farm fresh tomatoes, late sunsets, no alarm clocks, grilling, cold drinks on the deck, etc .  In short, I'll miss everything about summer!  It feels like all year we count down to these long warm days and when they're here, they just fly by.  So, we just need to keep enjoying them every day!