Chocolate Peanut Butter Oh My! (A recipe inspired by, and dedicated to my peanut butter loving husband who’s currently deployed)

Just last night I was sitting at the kitchen counter with my munchkin, day dreaming about chocolate and chocolate covered everything! I was talking about how amazing Nutella is and how I wish her Daddy would eat it with out worrying about the sugar content and how unhealthy it is, even though it’s made with hazel nuts.

Thats when the light bulb went off…what if I finally got around to making home made peanut butter for my little munchkin and her Daddy, but instead of regular I could make it into chocolatey deliciousness! I had the peanuts and lots of them, would it really hurt to experiment?

Well this is what I ended up with…”num num Mummy” is what my daughter said, so here it is!

IMG_8291

This is what you will need:

IMG_8304

4 cups peanuts (I used dry roasted, but any kind will work, use what you have on hand)

1/4 cup honey

2 tbsps Cocoa powder

1 tbsp water

Here’s the fun part, we get to watch the peanuts crazy transformation. Depending on the strength of your food processor it could take you more of less time, mine took me about 10 minutes to prepare, including all the stops to take pictures and scrape the edges.

It started like this…

IMG_8305

Run your food processor on a low settling to get that initial grind going, about 30 seconds and you will have this…

IMG_8306

Then another minute and you will see the (powdered) peanuts starting to stick to the sides, you will now begin scraping them off so they all get an equal go at those blades!

IMG_8307

Before long it will starts releasing its natural oils and start looking more like a crumble.

IMG_8308

Keep going and you get a dough consistency…

IMG_8310

Now let that processor go on high till you finally get it to a crumbly paste like the picture below. I waited till this point to add the honey because I didn’t want the stickiness of the honey to slow down the process. But this is also my first crack at this and I’m sure I may improve on it at some point, but it worked this way.  So get that honey in…all of it!

IMG_8311

Get that processor running just to combine and then add your cocoa powder and water, then run it for a minute and it should look like this.

IMG_8314

At this point I was just stopping occasionally to scrape the edges and check the consistency.  Honestly you can make this as thick or as creamy as you like. I was going for a happy medium, so after about 3 minutes this is where we stopped.

IMG_8317

And my daughter was waiting spoon in hand to dig into it…she saw what went in and knew there was no way this could be bad!

IMG_8295

Hope you all have a chocolatey peanut buttery night after you taste this goodness!

IMG_8318

When you read this my love (Boyd) I hope you know there is a bottle of this goodness already on its way to you with love…this recipe is dedicated to you and your love for peanut butter!

Hope you all enjoy!!!

Jayna🙂

Gratin de pommes de terre

I grew up on this stuff. This is my mom’s specialty and after a long visit, she got us hooked on the stuff. We even shook things up and added sweet potatoes to the mix, which make it even more delicious!

So here it is, an easy 6 ingredient recipe for the best gratin de pommes de terre you’ll ever make!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 small white potatoes (I went with red potatoes, but yukon gold work as well)
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • salt to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (any blend)

My mom’s original recipe called for only white potatoes and no milk, but I’ve substituted some of the heavy cream for milk as to make it a little less fattening😉

10003258_10202953089165846_966877885_n

1899820_10202953162247673_1138401791_o

Start by cleaning, peeling and slicing your potatoes. Now, sweet potatoes are my least favorite potato to cut. They’re hard and oddly shaped so don’t fret if you can’t get perfect round cuts from them, we’re gonna eat them, not frame them!

1903014_10202953095406002_1861198922_n

I always end up with more sweet potato than white potato, I like it that way, but if you want an even amount of both I suggest using 1 sweet potato and 3 white potatoes.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and now, let’s start assembling:

1903988_10202953091205897_1784127627_n

One layer of potatoes, sprinkle some shredded cheese and a little bit of salt and repeat.

1794651_10202953100886139_1489662984_n

1982349_10202953092405927_1559061374_n

Excuse my big chunks of cheese. I attempted to shred my own cheese since I ran out of shredded cheese🙂 It’ll melt and all come together the same either way!

Now let’s add the heavy cream/milk mixture. I mix it together in a measuring cup and then pour it all over the potatoes.

You want it to just barely cover everything. The more you put the creamier the potatoes, but you don’t want them to have to much liquid either. I measure by looking at it. This is what you want:

1939683_10202953097606057_1850475138_n

It’s now ready to be popped into the oven!

45 minutes to an hour later, it’s ready!

1800436_10202953500856138_861467305_n

10001348_10202953522096669_174584047_n

Serve and enjoy!

Bon Appétit!

Daddy be back soon…

Daddy Be backFor a couple of weeks now my little pumpkin has been saying to me every night at bedtime, “Daddy be back soon”.  It has warmed my heart to know at her wee two years of life she understands so much more than I expected.  I have shared these moments with my hubby, who’s currently deployed now three months, and he has questioned me about the circumstances in which she is saying this…have I mentioned him coming home, have I said those words to her and is she just repeating what I say, am I just trying to make him feel better.  His constant concern about his little girl not remembering him is worn right on his sleeve and he cant do anything to hide it from me.  We both have wondered just how much she understands and what she thinks of him being away from us.

But tonight it all changed, tonight I realized this little Angel of mine understands more than I could ever imagine a little two year old could.  Tonight as I tucked her into bed and she jumped back out for that one last hug before she snuggled up with her owl, she pulled away from me and held my face in her two tiny little hands.  She gently stroked my face and smiled that perfect angelic smile of hers and she said “its okay Mummy, Daddy be back soon”.  She may have gazed for just a second so deep into my soul I felt our connection stronger than I had ever before.  At that moment I realized what she had been doing these past few weeks.  December being such a huge month for us, her Birthday, Our Wedding Anniversary, Christmas…I had been running circles around myself trying to make it all just perfect, trying to keep up my spirits for her and make every occasion as special as I could, so that we wouldn’t feel that empty spot, that missing piece to our puzzle.  But she saw right through me, I may as well have been wearing my emotions on my sleeve too…’Daddy be back soon’.

Those four words that I had been hearing as a question were in fact a statement.  All this time she was comforting me and letting me know I didn’t need to be sad.  Well of course its impossible to not be sad, but she was just trying to show me what I needed to see, which was her.  As much as I was doing all that I did for her I was doing it for me too, where all she really needed or wanted was me.

How did I come to this conclusion?  Well after I lay her down and sat in the glider watching her slowly drift to sleep I thought about what she said and our day started to unfold in my mind.  After our very busy Christmas we took today to be lazy and watch movies.  Given I also managed to clean and re-organize my house to get it back to some sort of normalcy, but it was a lazy day.  However as I did dishes this morning she came over to me and said “Mummy come dance”, and when I told her I would in just a second, she insisted I leave the dishes and dance with her.  So I did, and it felt great, just skipping and twirling and laughing, all to the sound of her sweet voice and contagious laugher.  Later on I was mopping after lunch and she came over and asked me to sit, she took my face in her tiny little hands and said “I love you” and kissed me and pranced away.  It’s the little things that matter, little reminders that she’s here, she’s here for me not the other way around.  That she has an unconditional love for me that can with stand anything, no matter what I do!

laying in bed

I sit here typing this up thinking of all these emotions flowing through me and I am unable to express them all…all I hear is ‘Daddy be back soon’.  I sit here on the glider in her room as she sleeps so soundly, oblivious of the howling wind outside or the tapping of keys on my laptop as I type out my emotions and thoughts to the best of my abilities.  I can’t bare to get up and walk out just yet, I want to be near her, to hear the sound of her breathing.  I know that when I get up and leave the room I will miss her and want to go back in and climb into bed with her.  Oh how love that I get to spend every day with her and I don’t have to leave her side unless I choose to.  When I do leave her I miss her terribly and hurry back as fast as I can!  I have been telling myself that I need to be there for her as Mother and Father and not be away from her for more than a tiny bit so she doesn’t feel like her Mommy has left too.  But tonight I realize it has all been for me.  I need to be with her so I don’t feel completely alone.  I miss her Daddy so much that I can’t bare to let her go for very long.

‘Daddy be back soon’…she sees right through me, my sweet little two year old has me all figured out!  She is truly my little Angel.  Her sweet disposition and polite mannerisms are just a few of her many amazing qualities.  I have been asked by so many how I am coping, as a single Mom with the stress of a deployed husband and being so far away from my family.  Well besides my amazing support system right on my street and family and friends who do so much to keep me going from all over the World…there are days when I want to go home and lay my head on my Mum’s lap and let her smooth my hair back and tell me everything is going to be ok.  But then I think of how I need to be here and let my sweet Angel put her head on my lap and I can smooth her hair back and tell her everything is going to be ok.  The truth of the matter is, in theory, I am laying my head on her tiny lap and she is smoothing my hair back and telling me everything is going to be ok…’Daddy be back soon’.

My little Rock, wise in her two years of life, has opened my eyes so much tonight.  I know for a fact that when her Daddy does in fact get back she will race back into his arms when she sees him and erase all doubts he has of her memories of him and love for him.  I picture that day every day and will do so for the coming six months till he returns home to us.  I know he will have his little girl finally safely nestled in his arms and she won’t have to play the big role she is playing right now of being Mummy’s little Rock. Yes my sweet Angel…Daddy will be back soon…

– Jayna

Daddy and hammock Daddy story

DIY Kid Friendly Gender Reveal!

This being our third pregnancy, we decided to have a little fun sharing the news of our baby’s gender with our friends and family. Living far away from everyone can present a bit of a challenge though (those cute gender reveal parties that are all over Pinterest are sort of out of the question😦 )

So I decided to get a little creative. A lot of the folks we are close to have young children, so we thought it would be fun to get them in on the action!

So here it is, our little baby turtle reveal!

DSC_0531

To make some of these yourself you will need

  • small tupperware containers
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Glitter (optional)
  • sand( optional)
  • a variety of rocks, shells, grass, etc
  • a small object to represent baby’s gender. We used Sea Turtle shaped beads🙂

First, place a few rocks/shells etc in the bottom of each container. I didn’t get any shots of this, as I was mixing the plaster while my little lady helped with the rocks

DSC_0533

Next you will need to mix up the plaster of paris according to package instructions. I opted to add a little sand and glitter to dress it up🙂

DSC_0549

Pour a little of the plaster over the rocks on the bottom and let harden for 5 minutes. Then place your gender reveal object in the center of the container and cover with remaining plaster. we also added a few more rocks and some grass to give it a little ecosystem look🙂

DSC_0550

Once it sets, you can decorate your container! I typed up  little message and taped it to the top, and added a few question marks around the sides.

DSC_0551 DSC_0552

Place the lid on top and they are ready to ship out! Im looking forward to hearing how our friends helped our little turtle “hatch”🙂

Have fun crafting!

-Sarah