Virtual Coffee Date

Mmm how I love coffee dates. It’s been a reallllly long time since we’ve all had one, so this is how I’m easing back in to Dutchsisters. >insert coffee with just a tad too much creamer here<

Gosh, life has really been so sweet lately. Gabs is basically a toddler now (when do babies officially become toddlers??) and turned one last week. I get a little teary-eyed just thinking about it. She’s just a lot of fun and totally hilarious. It really makes spending the next couple decades together sound super awesome. Plus, she’s sleeping like an adult lately- a really good adult who values sleep. **AWESOME**. She looks just like Joey and acts just like me. Loves books, and playing with dirt, flour, and things that make noise. She talks all day long, and can kind of dribble a soccer ball. And sometimes stays quiet during prayer (its a start, right?).

We had her first birthday party last Saturday, and honestly, I just enjoyed the whole thing so much. Pretty much the only thing I enjoy about throwing parties is the actual party. I am not a planner, organizer, creatively minded person. It takes a lot of copying/website browsing and trips to Staples for me to even come close to being called ‘creative’.  I was worried about relaxing & enjoying the party because I get a little anxious before events I throw- just ask my slaves sisters. Here’s how events go for me:

Phase One: “I’m going to just get everything done 2 months beforehand, so it’s super relaxed and easy the week of.” (= do a few DIY things for decorations, plan party menu, guest list, fabulous creative touches, avoid pinterest because even THAT isn’t original anymore, etc.)

Phase Two: “I can’t believe I’m already planning this thing. She’s ONE, not a freakin’ princess.” (immediately desist all party planning activities, consider having NO party to teach humility (ha), figure all things will come together one way or another)

Phase Three (week of party): “OMG I haven’t done anything since 2 months ago and the party is this Saturday” and things get done FAST. I hear it’s pretty universal.

Despite the pre-party nerves, the thought that kept me {mostly} grounded was that the party wasn’t about me or how cute the decorations were. It was just a get-together celebrating that Gabby survived a year of our parenting, with people that we care about. I could spend an hour writing about how blessed we are with our community of family and friends, but I’ll just say this. It is a majorly AWESOME and unique thing to have a network of people who genuinely care about your family and kids. It’s something I thank God for daily.

The party was relaxed and fun, and I was (selfishly) super happy with how the decorations turned out. They seemed to match Gabs’ personality (and the fact that she IS going to be a world traveler this summer) but… the whole time, I was just thinking… too bad none of our other kids will ever have a party like this one. 🙂

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1794756_10151901637146493_1719182071_n~M

p.s. below I listed all the links to what we used for the World Traveler party- pretty cheap and super fun!

PARTY LINKS

Inflatable Globe Party Favors

Cake Topper- globe stress ball with printable glued on

Party Printables

Cake recipe

Party Layout

Map shower curtain (given to me by a friend)

PVC pipe backdrop stand- borrowed from a coworker

Earth Balloons

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Breaking the Silence

WOW that was a long time of no communication, and for that, I really must apologize. I can only speak for myself here, I totally  got absorbed in the craziness of last semester, and then decided to be lazy during Christmas break. And then continued being lazy about the blog, so I’m really sorry. That’s the last time I will apologize, however, because my next story will make you wonder how I got this far in school, let alone in making desserts. I’m breaking the silence with a K-Shaming post.

In my internship, my unit was responsible for hosting a potluck this month and I chose to do dessert! Mainly because I force myself to do something from scratch, desserts are easier than making lasagna (my other option), and- honestly?- I thought I might be able to convince my hubby to make it for me. No go on that last one though, so I asked for suggestions  and chose Famous Wafer Dessert. It’s so delightfully delicious, as well as low in ingredients so it was a perfect solution.

Here’s the recipe quick, so you can understand my mistake later:

Famous Wafer Dessert:

-Two boxes Famous Wafers (a chocolatey wafer)

-One Quart of Heavy Whipping Cream

– Your choice of fruit as a garnish (I recommend berries of any kind, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries)

That’s it.

Whip the heavy cream in the blender until it turns to whipped cream, and then one by one using a knife, gently spread about a quarter inch of the whip on the wafers.  Put them together on a platter so they are standing up, perpendicular to the platter. The way I prefer to do it is in a circular shape around the edge of a round plate, and then I serve the fruit in the middle of the dessert. Don’t use all the whipped cream for this! Once you’ve got all the cookies ‘glued’ together by the whipped cream, use what’s left to do a final coat all over the wafers, completely covering them. Once you’ve done this, cover it with Saran Wrap (use toothpicks to hold up the Saran Wrap and protect the frosting) and let it set in the fridge for a minimum of two hours, adding the fruit right before you serve it. The way it works is the hard wafer absorbs some of the moisture in the whipped cream and expands into a cake-like texture by the time it’s ready to serve, and just melts in your mouth. It’s light, fresh, and a huuuuuge crowd pleaser.

My problem happened when I realized I had no toothpicks to stick in the cake to keep the saran wrap off the whipped cream- I searched high and low and found none, even though I swear we had a whole jar in the cabinet. Since I was sure I had some somewhere, I decided not to go to the store because, well, that’s just silly! I knew I’d find them as soon as I get home from the store anyways, so I decided to use uncooked spaghetti instead. Genius! Who needs toothpicks when you have uncooked spaghetti? Perfect. Let’s do that.

In the morning, when I got up (late, I might add), I went to put my dessert in the car only to discover that the moisture in the cake had also done its work on the spaghetti. Every piece was totally limp and the saran wrap was resting nicely over every inch of my gorgeous cake.

Curtis got a kick out of my muttering while I started yanking out the spaghetti thinking I’d just have to re-frost the top of the cake before serving. But that was before the spaghetti broke apart in my hands, leaving pieces of noodle in the stupid cake. By this point, I was hyperventilating with frustration, and started cutting the cake into slices to try and neatly dig out each individual noodle left in it.

After ten minutes, I was pretty sure I had it spaghetti-free, but it was no longer my pretty masterpiece….nevertheless I brought it to the potluck, and decided to be grateful that it was an Italian themed potluck. That way, if anyone found spaghetti in their dessert they’d assume that it somehow found its way from another plate, not that the baker had spent twenty minutes playing ‘Operation’ that morning.
And…….everyone loved it! Thank goodness. It was not the relaxing potluck I thought it would be, as I was peering at everyone’s plate hoping to not see a noodle sticking out.
Success….?
Maybe, maybe not. But I bought some toothpicks and started blogging again, so maybe it wasn’t all bad 🙂
-K

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Filed under Baking, Dessert, School, Work

Lunches Lately

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Am I the only one who feels like Christmas is next week? I’m frantically brainstorming Christmas gift ideas and we haven’t even sliced the Thanksgiving turkey yet. Well, we sliced the ‘Friendsgiving’ Turkey yesterday with a few of our close friends- a new tradition I’m adoring. A gal I love invited a bunch of people over and cooked us a feast complete with homemade cranberry sauce all while keeping a deliciously adorable 3 month old happy. Gabs can barely keep her hands off him. Gah! My baby is 9 months old!

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Later this week we are party-hopping to both sides of my family on Thanksgiving Day- the main feast with my husband’s side and then dessert with my side later in the evening. {Who am I kidding- we’re snagging pie at both feasts} it should be a wonderful day of family and focusing on all the good things in our life. It’s my favorite! Loving this idea from Pinterest for when I host my first family Thanksgiving.

I heard somewhere once that lunch is supposed to be the biggest meal of your day- not sure what the science is behind that, but rarely is that the case for me, especially during Thanksgiving week! I like a hearty breakfast and a light lunch usually. Gotta save room sometime. Here’s what I’ve been having for lunch lately:

1. Whole Wheat toast // almond butter // my sister in law’s homemade (&home harvested) pomegranate jelly

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2. roasted sweet potato // hummus // low fat cottage cheese20131125-070711.jpg

3. beets // goat cheese // spinach // balsamic  {{ordered this by accident the first day on my honeymoon- then had it daily for lunch!!}}20131125-070602.jpg

4. whole wheat toast // peanut butter // sliced cukes // sliced tomatoes {{ another weird but DELICIOUS combo a friend discovered for me in college}} hey. living on a budget, okay?20131125-070549.jpg5. roasted sweet potatoes // roasted brussel sprouts // crumbled trader joes sausage-less sausage // spicy thai peanut dressing


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These are my easy go-to lunches – what are yours? Off to get owned at spin, yet again.

~M

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Filed under Family, Favorite Things, Food Stuffs., Holiday, Uncategorized

Move It Monday

A couple months ago, someone lit a fire underneath my post-baby butt. Instead of doing my usual elliptical/freeweights, I started going to a few classes at my gym- and the instructor somehow learned my name and has pushed me to my max every. single. class. I am loving the accountability, and also am finding that I have a new love for group fitness.

I tend to be the type that likes to just focus on my own workout alone, go hard, and then be done. I am not the person chatting it up at the gym, in between machines. However, these classes have really pushed me out of the box as far as pushing different muscle groups and breaking out of my plateau. The two classes I attend regularly now are spin and muscle blast {BodyPUMP is getting there}. Each class, I think I’m not gonna make it through- but I always do and I always manage to push myself a LITTLE further. It’s exciting AND it’s addicting. I find that scheduling my workouts and having people notice when I don’t come are HUGE motivators. Also, I’m not going to be the only one that can’t do 8 million lunges- if SHE can do it, SO CAN I!

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On days when we don’t hit the gym, Gabs and I work out together. Usually its a walk or run with the stroller, other days she and I do core stuff. And other days, we eat chocolate chips and salad and cuddle on the couch. This may or may not happen more often than I’d like.

Gabs’ workout compilation comes to you, free of charge.

Planks: She held this for 25 sec.20131116-094805.jpg

Bicycles & Push-ups : She’s laughing at me because I still do modified ‘girl’ push-ups. Wimp.

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There ya have it. She is next Jillian Michaels, and I’m pretty proud. Scared, but proud.

What do you do to stay in shape? I love hearing what others do for exercise!

~M

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Borgmeier Brussels Sprouts

Hallelujah! I’m typing now on a full night’s sleep and haven’t felt so good in a long time! Gabs has had (what we think is) allergies for the past month or so + teething + daylight savings time change… all which means a little less sleep for me. But I never thought having babies meant full nights of sleep anyways, so we’re all good. Just better, now. Just look at her adorable chiclets.

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Last night we had an unexpected winner of a dinner. I had pulled some forgotten flank steak out of the deep freezer and marinated it in our FAVE recipe that I probably got from somewhere originally, but have been winging it ever since (hoisin sauce + honey + ginger + garlic + salt/pepp + red wine vinegar) . We also had some week-old bread that turned into garlic bread, and then Joey’s famous brussels sprouts. I’m pretty sure Gabs loved the brussels sprouts so much that she dreamed about them all night, thus forgetting to wake up every few hours. All I need is one reason to make those veggies every. single. night! Causes baby to sleep through the night? I’ll take it.

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My hub spent a semester in Europe in college, and lived with a host family of four while he was there (now 5!). He absolutely loved his time there, and the Borgmeiers too. I got to meet them when I went to visit Joey for 10 days (eek, how rebellious… I didn’t realize ’til now how crazy that was- traveling Europe with my then boyfriend. We behaved Mom and Dad! Promise!) They were invited to our wedding- but couldn’t come because they had a little kiddo on the way. It’s on our bucket list to go visit them again someday. Anyways, Joey’s host dad was a chef (um, awesome) and made amazing meals for him while he was there. One of Joey’s favorites was his brussels sprouts. Hence the name, “Borgemeier Brussels Sprouts”.

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Sidenote: Gabby, don’t get any ideas. You are never traveling to Europe alone OR with a boyfriend. Even if he’s as nice as Joey. Never gonna happen. 

So enjoy these Brussels! I hear they improve your sleeping habits.

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~M

Borgmeier Brussels Sprouts

Recipe from Coen Borgmeier

Ingredients

18-20 brussels sprouts, washed with ends trimmed

1 TBSP butter/EVOO

3/4 to 1 cup stock

Directions

Wash the sprouts well, then cut the bottoms off of each one. In a large saute pan over high heat, melt the butter and place each sprout cut side DOWN in the pan. Let them get a nice sear on the bottom. After about a minute or so, pour in the stock, reduce the heat to the lowest setting, and cover the pan.

After about 15 minutes, lift the lid and if the sprouts are fork tender, they are ready to eat!

By covering the pan, the brussels sprouts get steamed in the stock and soak up all that delicious flavor. And then they melt in your mouth, and you wonder why you’ve never loved this little vegetable before now.

🙂

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Filed under Food Stuffs., Fridays, Vegetables

Healthy Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Cookies

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Ahh.. I just love fall. Love it. I love being cold, and bundling up. I love the crisp cool air, and running without hardly sweating.
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I love pink noses and space heaters. I love thermals and thick socks. I love the early sunrise and pumpkin flavored everything. I love the colors of fall and soups of all kinds.

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And I looove these cookies. They aren’t the melt in your mouth ohmygoshineedanotheronebutfeelguiltyaboutit type cookies. There’s no butter and minimal sugar! The pumpkin, oats, and spices and cinnamon chips make these cookies chewy and satisfying as a snack.

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Cinnamon chips have got to be the best invention for fall baking. Cinnamon scones… Coffee cake… Cinnamon rolls… Muffins… You could put ’em anywhere and they’d be good!

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I’m finally getting on top of my snacking and grazing- and these cookies are the perfect slightly sweet craving smasher. Plus, cinnamon chips are not nearly as good by the handful as the chocolate variety. Just sayin.

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Later this afternoon we are doing a photo sesh with my precious Gabsy- believe it or not, Joey had a great idea for this year’s Christmas card! You ain’t seein’ it til Christmas though… IF it works out.

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🙂 Recipe below!

~M

Healthy Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Cookies
adapted from two peas and their pod

Ingredients:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup pumpkin purée
3 cups oats
1 cup cinnamon chips (I used one cup but 1 1/2 cups would be perfection)

Preheat oven to 375.

Whisk flour, pumpkin spice, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt together in a bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the sugars and oil together until combined, about 3 minutes. Add in the eggs and vanilla, scraping down the sides as necessary. Then fold in the pumpkin purée.

After the pumpkin, slowly incorporate the flour mixture. Fold in the oats and chips.

Drop by tbsp onto greased baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes. They do not flatten at all- they maintain the exact shape you dropped them as! Let cool on sheet for 2 minutes then transfer to wire rack. Enjoy without guilt!!!

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Filed under Baby, Baking, Cookies/Bars, Food Stuffs., Holiday Baking

I Don’t Even Know

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I don’t even know where to start! We took a little breaksy from the blog for no apparent reason other than…. I don’t even know. Busy? Definitely yes. But when isn’t life busy? Eh, anyways, we are back and just in time for Halloween/ Reformation day!

Here’s my little pajama calf.

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Speaking of my little moo-cow, Gabs has learned quite a few things during the past few weeks! Crawling… “SO BIG”!…  waving, has two teeth…and holding her own bottle (= LIFE CHANGING) it’s all pretty exciting. I realize I’m fawning over everyday things, but hey- I’m the mom, I get to freak out with excitement over the little things. But seriously, her teeth are the cutest.

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I haven’t really tried many new recipes lately either, we’ve been sticking to familiar, tried and true dinners lately and it’s been a little boring, but hey. It’s food. Speaking of tried and true, have ya’ll made this yet? Or for you meat-lovers, this is always a favorite. I promise you’ll thank me later. OR you can check out this lady’s instragram for endless and beautiful meal options- she’s been the inspiration for my grocery list this week!

That’s all for today, we do so appreciate whoever takes the time to read {and hopefully enjoy} our blog about random things- I have a couple surprises for ya’ll and you’ll be pretty floored.

I’ve been crafting. Yeah. More on that later.

~M

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