Two Ingredient Pancakes

Two Ingredient Pancakes

IMG_2906Like pretty much everyone else out there I try to eat as healthy as I can. Now don’t get me wrong, I love chocolate and desserts, just ask my husband… But over the past several months I have spent quite a bit of time perusing Pinterest trying to find new and creative healthy recipes for our family. I kept coming across these recipes for “two ingredient pancakes” and thought they sounded too good to be true. Two ingredients only? Really?

Well come to find out, they actually really good and do require only two ingredients: bananas and eggs. I have to admit, they are very heavy on the banana taste so if that’s not a pleasant flavor for you, these might not be your favorite. However, I found that adding in two additional ingredients really helps with the flavor profile.

Instead of just the two ingredients, I also add in cinnamon and vanilla extract. This just helps add a bit more sweetness and warmth to the pancakes without decreasing the healthy value. Also, if you have dietary restrictions these can be a good alternative to regular pancakes as they are gluten and dairy free.

I have made these several times now and my 14-month-old loves them! I’m happy that he’s willing to eat them and that I’m getting some sneaky protein and potassium into his diet.

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Ingredients:

2 bananas

1 egg

Optional Ingredients:

Dash of cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon of vanilla

Heat a non-stick frying pan or griddle on low to medium heat. Mash the bananas and mix them into the egg until both are as thin as possible. Try to remove as many of the banana lumps as possible, a small whisk can help with this. Add in cinnamon and vanilla if interested. Pour the batter onto the pan in small increments, about 1/4 cup each. Flip once bubbles start to form. Cook for another few minutes until golden brown. Repeat with the remaining batter and top with your choice of maple syrup. Enjoy!

xo,

Hillary

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Accidental Spicy Chili

Accidental Spicy Chili

IMG_2876I was reading through a recent post of one of my favorite fashion bloggers and she shared this chili recipe. She said that it was the best chili she had ever made and I know that she liked it as this wasn’t the first time she mentioned it in a blog post. Well it sounded good to me and was something different so I decided to make it for dinner earlier this week.

Everything was going really well that afternoon, until I realized that there were these green items in my can of diced tomatoes that I was adding into the pot. Not exactly what I was going for. Unfortunately, I noticed a little too late that the diced tomatoes that I had purchased also contained green chili peppers in them! This caused me to panic for a few seconds; then I started to contemplate how I could reach in and somehow remove all the green chilis from the hot pot. Well that idea quickly became futile and I just left them as they were and just hoped for the best…

To be honest, the chili was way spicier than what I was hoping for but it was still really good and flavorful. I think it helps that I was cautious with the amount of heat I initially added. The recipe calls for 3 Tablespoons of chili powder and I only added one to err on the side of caution. This was probably my saving grace in making the chili still edible and not a fireball in the end.

I was really happy with the result of this chili dinner even with my tomato/green chili can mishap. This recipe also makes a huge quantity for two people, which I really like since it was great for multiple meals. If you make this recipe, leave comment below and let me know how you like it!IMG_2879IMG_2882IMG_2883IMG_2889IMG_9325 (1)

xo,

Hillary

My Top Three Baking Tips

My Top Three Baking Tips

IMG_2808 (2)Fall is my favorite time of year for baking. It’s finally cool enough to turn on the oven but it’s not yet the holiday season so I have more leisurely time to bake. I find baking relaxing and enjoyable so when I have the time to bake I am pretty content.

In light of this, I thought that I would share with you my top three baking tips and what works well for me. I started this blog five or so years ago to encourage myself to cook more. While I think it definitely has served its purpose, I find that I still love to bake more. Here are my top three tips and I hope you find them useful!

Tip #1: Oven Temperature 

One thing that can be a bit tricky is understanding your oven. It really can make a difference in how you bake. I would say this is one part of a recipe that you may need to adjust in order to achieve a perfect bake. For example, I have found that my oven runs slightly hot, but just barely. Most of the time I find that I can just bake cookies or cake at just slightly under the allotted baking time in the recipe and they will turn out perfectly. You may try adjusting the temperature you bake at as well to see if that helps you achieve a better baked final product.

Tip #2: Follow the Recipe

When it comes to baking, following the recipe exactly is an absolute must. Since most of the recipe is based on chemical reactions the measurements need to be fairly exact in order for the result to end up tasty. I think this might be why I enjoy baking so much more than cooking, there are a set of rules that must be followed, and I like to follow rules! It keeps everything organized and in order.

Tip #3: Use an Electric Mixer

If you bake a lot and find that you can invest in a stand mixer, do it!! I promise you will love it and your arms will be so grateful. Unless you enjoy the arm workout from mixing! But I have found that I can’t beat things as well, or nearly as efficiently as with a stand mixer. A hand mixer is a great option as well and is usually a less expensive choice than a stand mixer. This is my stand mixer and I love it, but there are other options out there too that work just as well.

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I find these three tips to work well for me and I hope they help you as well!

xo,

Hillary

Train Birthday Cake

Train Birthday Cake

As promised in a previous post, here is the train birthday cake I made for my baby’s first birthday party. It actually turned out to be pretty cute and in better than I had expected!

To start, I baked two 9×13 inch funfetti cakes. I wasn’t sure initially how much cake I would need for the train, and I thought one would be enough but I didn’t want to make a mistake with a cut or shape and run out of cake. That is why I baked two sheet cakes the day before his birthday party. I didn’t want to bake them any earlier because I didn’t want to serve dry cake at his party.

My mom was a huge help in creating the cake and she traced out several of the train parts onto paper as a template and then I cut the cake pieces based on that. We crafted the cake from the train image that was on the plates, napkins and decor to keep the theme and decor colors consistent throughout. IMG_2667IMG_2652As I cut the pieces out of the cake, we started to assembly them on a simple tray. This made it much easier to transport to the park for the party. Luckily we were able to use just one of the 9×13 inch cakes for the cutting up of the train so we brought the other cake in case guests wanted more cake. Once all the pieces were placed I started to frost the cake. I had been searching for the specific colors for a while and finally found the black frosting at Hobby Lobby. You can also use food coloring as well with white frosting to develop the colors you need.IMG_2659IMG_2658I did use some frosting in between the pieces to help glue the cake together. I also filled some small bags with frosting and cut a hole in the corner to draw in some of the finer details on the train. The only other items I used to finish off the cake were sprinkles, a Mike and Ike for the front headlight and Twizzlers for the train track below.  IMG_2663IMG_2661IMG_2666And there you have it! The whole train cake creation process took us probably three hours total, including baking the cakes, but now that I’ve made one I feel like it would be much faster the next time. At least I have a full year now to start planning the theme and cake for the next birthday party!

xo,

Hillary

S’mores Dip

S’mores Dip

IMG_2759When I think of an All-American treat, I think of either apple pie or s’mores. I’ve shared a delicious carmel apple crisp in the past, but I have a new recipe that you will love. This s’mores dip is warm, gooey and very easy to make, especially when you don’t have access to a campfire for roasting marshmallows.

As a young child I remember that we would have a couple of campfires near the beach throughout the summer and always roast s’mores. As I’ve gotten older and busier we haven’t made the time for such a relaxing evening summer activity as much as I would like to. Plus, with how hot it was this summer and the immense amount of wildfires in the Pacific Northwest, I have no desire to have a campfire right now.

So when my husband mentioned how much he would like to have a s’more the other night, I decided to make them but in a much simpler way. You only need a few ingredients and about 15 minutes to indulge in the perfect S’mores Dip!

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Ingredients:

1 bag of marshmallows

1 bag of chocolate chips

Graham crackers

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease the bottom of a glass pan (I wouldn’t use a size bigger than an 8×8 inch pan, unless your making this dessert to serve more than four.) Place enough chocolate chips to just cover the bottom of the dish completely. On top of the chocolate chips place several marshmallows to cover the chocolate chips. Miniature or large-sized marshmallows will both work. Place in oven and bake for 12-14 minutes. Remove from oven when marshmallow tops are golden brown and serve immediately with a side of graham crackers. Enjoy!

xo,

Hillary