Weekly Meal Plan 2.23.14

by Lisa on February 24, 2014

This is my last full week on maternity leave with my kids. I can’t believe 5 months has flown by as quickly as it has! We have a lot packed into this week, so let’s get right to our meal plan.


Sunday: dinner at friends’ house
Monday: chicken quesadillas
Tuesday: dinner at Mom & Dad’s house
Wednesday: slow cooker pot roast and sautéed spinach
Thursday: leftovers {I’m going out to dinner with friends}
Friday: pasta with cauliflower and bacon
Saturday: roasted duck {we’re preparing the duck and friends are preparing the sides!)

Over the next week and a half I’ll be working on how to get our family’s meals prepped and packed in a tiny refrigerator for a full week. It’s going to be a challenge. Needless to say, I cannot wait until we move into our new house and I have a kitchen to work in again! Drywall went in last week so hopefully we’ll be moved in by mid-May. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

What’ are you making for dinner this week?

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Chocolate Chocolate Baked Donuts

by Lisa on February 13, 2014


We’ve made a conscious effort to keep unitaskers out of our kitchen, but I’m not always a stickler for this rule. For example: a donut pan. I love my baked donut pan. So when I saw a heart shaped donut pan at JoAnn’s on sale for $2.97, you know I had to buy it. With Valentine’s Day on Friday, I thought it was the perfect time to share this recipe. Every time I go to Dunkin’ Donuts, I get 2 chocolate munchkins for Caroline. She loves them. She also calls them polka dots, which I think is adorably cute. It only made sense that our first heart shaped donuts be of the chocolate variety.


For the recipe I turned to (Never) Homemaker, and made only slight modifications to the cook time based on the size of my donut pan, I used an egg rather than egg replacer and I used almond butter in place of peanut butter. I was happy to see that all of the ingredients I already had on hand! No need to run to the store—especially if you’re snowbound on the East Coast right now.


I loved the flavor of these donuts—there is a hint of nuttiness from the addition of pecans to the batter. Typically I don’t seek out recipes that are gluten-free, but this recipe ended up being that way because I only had gluten-free oats on hand—they come in the largest bag at Trader Joe’s, and we go through oats very quickly so I have been buying the largest bag lately. I also loved that the only sugar in the batter came from maple syrup but it doesn’t seem like the donut is lacking in sweetness at all. It made it a little easier to give Caroline one to eat. If you’re looking for a better-than-junk-food treat for the loves in your life on Valentine’s Day, make these donuts! Then make these for dessert.


Next up on my list of essential unitaskers? A polka dot pan.

Chocolate Chocolate Baked Donuts

by The Splattered Apron

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 8-10 minutes

Keywords: bake breakfast snack gluten-free almond butter chocolate

Ingredients (10 donuts)

    For the Donuts

    • 1 cup rolled oats {I used the gluten-free variety from Trader Joe’s but any type will work}
    • 1/4 cup pecans
    • 1/4 cup maple syrup
    • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • pinch salt
    • 1/2 cup almond milk
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 egg

    For the Frosting

    • 2 tablespoons almond butter
    • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
    • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
    • 1 to 1.5 tablespoons almond milk


    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a donut pan.

    Using a food processor, combine the oats and pecans and process until they resemble a coarse flour.

    Add the oat and pecan mixture to a bowl along with the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

    Fill the donut wells with the batter. If you want to get 12 donuts, fill the donut wells 2/3 full.

    Bake for 8-10 minutes until the donut sides start to pull away from the pan and the donut is slightly firm.

    Allow to cool in the pan before turning out onto a cooling rack.

    While the donuts bake, combine all of the ingredients for the frosting in a bowl with a fork until smooth. I used almond butter which has more of a liquid texture than peanut butter, so I used less almond milk to achieve the spreadable texture.

    Once the donuts cool, generously frost them. Store in the refrigerator.

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    Recipe from (Never)Homemaker.

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    I’ve been sitting on this recipe since New Year’s Eve. I know. I’m sorry. Pretty much whenever salted caramel is combined with chocolate, I’m gonna be a big fan of the results. So let’s just say that putting two brownie cookies around a dollop of salted caramel buttercream was most definitely a good way to ring in the new year.


    If you’re like me, you love Pinterest. I’m constantly pinning recipes that I want to try and I used to put them all on a catchall board called, “To Make, Eat and Drink!” Well, that board grew and grew and I had a hard time finding recipes that I had stuck on there to try. Talk about a first world problem. But I’ve had a little time on my hands at night so during the month of December I reorganized that catchall board into categories {I’d love for you to follow along on my boards!}. As I did that, I came across these cookies and just knew I had to make them. As luck would have it, we had a potluck neighborhood party for New Year’s Eve, so I brought these.


    I had intended to make my own caramel for the buttercream but ran out of time and had to use melting caramels from the store. DO NOT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE I DID. Please, I beg you, if you make this recipe, take the time to make the caramel sauce too. In fact, make a batch of this caramel sauce and keep it in your fridge a day or two before you make these cookies. I did that once and it was a really good decision.


    These cookies were a huge hit at the party and in our apartment in the first few days of the new year. You know, the days when you’re supposed to be swearing off sweets and going to the gym  every day? Right. I was eating these.

    Brownie Cookie Sandwiches with Salted Caramel Buttercream

    by The Splattered Apron

    Prep Time: 25 minutes

    Cook Time: 8-10 minutes

    Keywords: bake chocolate cookie

    Ingredients (18-24 cookie sandwiches)

      For the Cookies

      • 12 oz. chocolate, chopped and divided into 7 oz. and 5 oz. portions
      • 3 tablespoons butter
      • 2 large eggs
      • ⅔ cup sugar
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      • ¼ cup all-purpose flour, sifted
      • ¼ teaspoon baking powder, sifted

      For the Buttercream

      • 1 cup butter
      • 2 cups confectioner sugar
      • 1/4 teaspoon salt
      • 1/4 cup caramel {this is my favorite homemade caramel recipe.} If you use this caramel sauce, omit the teaspoon of salt called for in this recipe.


      Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

      For the Cookies

      Using either a double boiler or the microwave {I used the microwave} melt 7 oz. of the chopped chocolate and the butter until smooth. If using the microwave, heat for 30 seconds, then stir. Continue heating in 15-30 second intervals and stir in between each until completely melted and smooth.

      In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, add the eggs, sugar and vanilla and beat for 15 minutes. Do not take a shortcut here! Beat for the entire 15 minutes.

      After 15 minutes, add in the flour, baking powder, melted chocolate and butter, salt and remaining chopped chocolate. Stir to combine. Allow the batter to stand for 10 minutes before scooping the batter onto parchment lined baking sheets–a little under a tablespoon per cookie.

      Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cookies have puffed up and cracked. Cool completely on the baking sheets.

      For the Buttercream

      Cream the butter until pale and fluffy. Add the confectioners’ sugar and salt and beat until just combined. Add in the cooled caramel and beat until combined.

      To assemble the sandwiches, spread the buttercream on the bottom of one cookie and sandwich with another cookie.

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      Recipe from Bakers Royale, adapted from Donna Hay.

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      Weekly Meal Plan 2.9.14

      February 9, 2014
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      It’s Sunday! Meal Plan day! I love being able to look at a plan for the week and seeing how our days are going to go. This week is a doozy, we have something to do pretty much every day. After the past few weeks of laying low/potty training/being sick, I’m excited to get us […]

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      Weekly Meal Plan 2.2.14

      February 2, 2014
      Thumbnail image for Weekly Meal Plan 2.2.14

      Hey there! Last week I had planned to take the kids to my parents house for a couple of days, just to get us out of the apartment. We had been cooped up potty training and because of the cold for over a week. And we were going crazy. So we went down on Monday […]

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