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The easiest Easter treat you can whip up! I shared this on my Instagram, but wanted it to live here too. These subtle sweet Waffle Cookie Pops are so fun to make and eat. Your little ones will love them. I jazzed them up with white chocolate and bunny feet candies. Though truthfully you can add anything you'd like! Get creative, dare I say this could be added to your families Easter activity list? Dye eggs, make waffle cookie pops, egg hunt ...
The printable recipe card is below. Happy Spring Friends!
Photos by Lily Ro Photography
WAFFLE COOKIE POPS
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 24 Mini Waffle Cookies
2 Cups Flour *We used Bobs Red Mill Gluten Free flour, but feel free to use any kind you like
2 sticks softened un-salted butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 cup white chocolate chips
Microwave Safe Bowl
Lollipop Sticks *You can get these at any craft store or Target in the baking section
Bunny Feet Candies Are Optional - I found these specific ones in the Easter section at Target
A Waffle Iron - Mine is a mini one from Target that makes one waffle at a time. If you have a larger one you can add more dough and make more waffle cookies at a time!
In a mixing bowl sift your flour, cinnamon and salt together.
In a separate mixing bowl whisk together your softened butter and sugar until smooth. Be sure to make sure that the sugar is fully dissolved.
Now, whisk in your eggs and vanilla into the butter and sugar mixture.
With a wooden spoon add half of your flour mixture into your wet mixture and mix until combined. Once all the flour is mixed in, add the last half of your flour mixture. Keep mixing until you get a smooth dough.
In a microwave safe bowl melt your white chocolate in 30 second increments stirring each time until smooth. *If your white chocolate becomes stiff while you are still making the cookies, just warm it again for 30 seconds.
Start to heat your waffle iron. While your waffle iron is warming up, set out your lollipop sticks.
Once your waffle iron is warm spray with non-stick spray. Use a tablespoon measure or a tiny cookie dough scoop to add your waffle dough to the waffle iron. Cook until golden brown.
Once the waffle is done, dip a lollipop stick into the white chocolate and stick it into the waffle cookie. Set them aside to cool. You'll notice that the waffles will be soft at first and then the outside will harden a bit, leaving the inside nice and soft.
Continue to make your waffle pops and use non stick spray in between cooking each waffle.
Use the rest of your white chocolate to drizzle over the waffle cookies. You can use some white chocolate to act as glue when adding festive decorations.
Enjoy! Story in an air tight container for up to a 3 days. You can also skip the white chocolate and just dip them into syrup!
Last week I announced that I created a moccasin collection with Freshly Picked and they have officially launched this morning! I still can’t believe this is real life, as I’ve been a huge fan of Freshly Picked since I became a mother. They make the most adorable baby and kids moccasins, shoes and sandals. Each pair comes in vibrant prints and gorgeous colors. I am thrilled to have joined their team and have my hand at designing moccasins with a little Baby Boy Bakery flair. I am so grateful for the love everyone has shown the collection so far, I hope you and your little ones love my moccasins as much as I do!
A little walk down memory lane, I first saw Freshly Picked moccasins on Instagram. My friend Lauren shared a photo of her son wearing a tan pair and I loved them immediately. I bought the same color for my own son Ryan and my obsession began. When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter I bought a pair of teal Freshly Picked moccasins for her to wear when coming home from the hospital. Mila wore those teal moccasins all the time and now they sit on a shelf in her bedroom as a little memento. To me, the moccasins have become much more than just shoes. I believe they are signs of a life well lived and each pair carries with it a story.
I’ve always held Freshly Picked and the founder Susan Peterson in high regard. Simply because Susan built her company from the ground up and hustled so gracefully to the top. As a mother of two herself, she is inspirational on many levels. When my son Ryan passed away Susan was one of the first people to reach out to me and my family. She sent me a large clear glass vase full of white lilies and a card that simply said "I am here for you. I love you. Susan" I had only met her once before that and ever since our friendship has been that of support on every level. As a small business owner myself, having the support of Susan Peterson was quite a big deal to me and something I sort of keep sacred.
As I mentioned before, for me, Freshly Picked has always been more than just a cute shoe. I love that my children's shoes support the stories that frame their life. When I look at the soles of each moccasin and see dark footprints I see memories ... I hear laughter. Freshly Picked has the ability to support children with adventure and I love that a simple product, a shoe, can do that. When I look my daughter's moccasin collection I don't just see shoes, I see; her first steps, our camping trip to the Redwoods, that time my husband bought her a vanilla ice cream cone or when our family cheered her on while she danced.
My daughter Mila just turned two and Freshly Picked has been along for the adventure. Mila has been in a pair of moccasins for just about every memory and if I am being truthful, Freshly Picked has also been a part of the hard times too. Like a few memorable tantrums and the first time Mila took a big fall and scraped her knee. We adore Freshly Picked, the colors and prints highlight our weekly Disney trips, cooking together in the kitchen, our camping trips and our Saturday pancake dates. As a family we crave adventure and are constantly dreaming up things to do together, big or small. Sometimes it can be a trip or making a fort in our living room to watch a movie. Whatever it may be, Mila seems to be wearing a pair of moccasins.
Adventure awaits and I hope we can inspire families to spend time together, through a shoe?! The concept may seem crazy, but if you own a pair of Freshly Picked moccasins then you are familiar with the nostalgic adventure they induce. I can only hope my own Freshly Picked collection will convey the same feeling for others!
Here is a bit of how my designs were inspired and came to be …
I have a habit of seeing beyond a product. My husband says I am too emotional, too personal. But I believe that everything ought to begin by being personal and have emotion tied tight to it. When I begin thinking about designing products I am inspired by what I know best. And what I know best are my own children and my own motherhood. You know those two things look different on everyone, but at the very core they are similar. My children inspire everything that I do, but as a mother I am drawn to children and never just want the best for my own. I want the best for every child. The very best thing you can do for your child is to spend time with them and take them on adventures big or small. If you follow along with me and my family on social media, you know that most of our adventures take place at home, within our kitchen or in Mila's bedroom playing make believe. As parents we help narrate their little lives until they can do so on their own. So yes, my children inspire me and what I create. But it its that want to inspire other parents to live a life full of adventure and to make memories daily that drives the design for all that I create.
Motherhood and childhood although messy, it is the very best journey. It was with that notion my moccasin designs were born. If you look closely to my designs you can see the mess, you can see the beauty and you can see the adventure that motherhood and childhood hold alike.
Photos by Lily Ro Photography
To me this shoe encapsulates my daughter. It is soft and beautiful floral print shoe, but it also packs a punch with pops of bright pinks and yellow. The scattered florals remind me of how my baby girl can be messy and gorgeous all at once.
It's My Party!
I think children live a life free of judgement and inhibition. They truly love deep and play hard, they dance, they laugh all as if no one is watching them. Their life is their party, day in and day out. I wanted to created to a shoe that truly brought to life the way children live. A party isn't a party with out balloons. And if you know me, you know the red balloon within this design signifies my own son living his party as well. Shining bright upon me and my family. I also love the subtle beige background that mimics clouds in the sky, but also represents that beautiful mess life can be. Dare I say, this shoe is my most favorite? I see many kids wearing this shoe and living their party!
This design in one word is 'childhood'. It is all over the place, with overlapping colors and scattered dots it screams that disaster childhood can be at times. Though the print overall has a gorgeous quality and weaves within it that feeling we as parents get when we look deep into our child's eyes. That warm love mixed with overwhelming awe. This design takes you by surprise but doesn't back down until you fold and say "yes". It was the best way I could emulate my children within a design. Beautiful. Bright. Messy. Poppyseed is an artistic approach in describing childhood.
It is finally time to share with you all my third and final memory journal! This memory journal is dedicated to capturing your child's birthday each year and the traditions + events centered around that special time. 'Celebrating You - A Birthday Journal' is evergreen, meaning parents can pick it up at any age their child may be and use it every year or even skip a few to only capture the major birthday milestones. This memory journal is full of pages where parents can write down special things about their child as they turn a year older, pages for photos, your child's famous quotes and party/event specifics. My personal favorite pages are the interview style questions various family members are to ask your child and fill in the blanks. I though that was such a special idea. I can't wait for my grandpa (Mila's great-grandpa) to "interview" her and write down her answers in his own handwriting. I think that will be such a treasure.
Birthdays in our family are celebrated quite loudly. The sounds of our celebrations stifle the bittersweet sadness I tend to feel as I watch my children grow older right before my eyes. It is a tender time as our children learn and morph into these incredible human beings. As a mother, I try hard to hold on to these fleeting moments; writing down moments, savoring photos,and memorable quotes to satisfy my need to keep my babies, babies. My hope is that this journal can act as a tool to help parents interview their children, record celebrations, capture their ever-changing handprints and have family members write doting letters to be read in the future. This journal is a beautiful time capsule for parents to help capture all those special moments.
In our family, we're privy to costume parties and Disneyland trips. We eat cake topped with ice crem and follow the lead of our children. Every year we have a special breakfast full of our child's favorite this to eat. Once year all we ate were vanilla frosted scones because out son Ryan insisted. Our daughter, Mila, only wants Mickey waffles with nothing but powdered sugar. We've dressed as pirates, circus performers and Trolls. I look forward to sharing all this with my children when they are older (and I'll secretly be looking through it whenever I feel a hankering for those moments when "my children were little," as mothers sometimes crave).
My hope is that parents everywhere use my memory journal to capture their child year to year and they celebrate their life. You can learn more about my newest memory journal HERE or the shop link down below.
Motherhood is a journey worth capturing in every way.
Photos by Lily Ro Photography
Today I have a recipe that I know your family will love, at least I hope they will! We make these tasty rolled tacos a few times a month and every time feels like the first. They are so flavorful and beyond simple to toss together. PLUS, they are vegetarian meaning zero animals were harmed in the making of this dinner. Which don't get me wrong, I love meat. But it is nice to enjoy a meal or two with out it sometimes. I think there also is a common misconception that a vegetarian meal can't be hearty since there is no meat. Though I am here to tell you, that isn't case. The recipe I am sharing with you today is a perfect example!
I am sharing this recipe in hopes of inspiring you to get in the kitchen and kick off your year with a healthy, hearty vegetarian meal. I've actually partnered with Hedley & Bennett and their Get In The Kitchen Challenge. Which is a 3 part cooking challenge with a giant grand prize. One part of the challenge is to cook a vegetarian meal (my idea ;) and if you make the recipe I'm sharing today you are nearly halfway there! If you are interested in more kitchen inspo check out the challenge HERE. I am thrilled to start my year off with the Hedley & Bennett crew and I honestly love these rollled tacos so all in all today is GREAT DAY!
I hope you all are enjoying your January. Let me know if you roll up some of these tacos in the near future and what you think! Recipe down below
All Photos By - Lily Ro Photography
Apron - Hedley & Bennett
SWEET POTATO + BLACK BEAN ROLLED TACOS
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12-15 flautas
12-15 small flour tortillas or corn tortillas. *See note about working with corn tortillas.
3-4 large sweet potatoes peeled and diced.
1 can black beans drained and rinsed.
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro chopped.
1 tablespoon taco seasoning.
1/2 tablespoon cumin.
1/2 an onion chopped.
2 tablespoons olive oil.
1/4 cup water.
2 garlic cloves.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil. *To be used with a pastry brush
Optional (Use a cashew cream to keep meal vegetarian) - Add 1 teaspoon of taco seasoning and a few drops of hot sauce to 1/2 cup of sour cream. Mix well and drizzle on top of the warm flautas!
*Be sure your flour tortillas are made with out lard. You can also use corn tortillas. TIP - If you use corn tortillas warm them in the microwave for about 10 seconds to make them more "rollable".
Begin by prepping all your ingredients and lay them out for easy access. This will help things go quickly and with ease.
In a 10 inch fry pan with a lid, start by warming up 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil is warm add the chopped onions. Use a grater to grate the two garlic cloves into the oil and onions. Or a garlic press. With a wooden spoon cook the onions down until they are soft and opaque.
Add the diced sweet potatoes into the cooked onions and stir. Add in 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning and 1/2 tablespoon of cumin. *Notice I don't add any additional salt, because the taco seasoning has it already. Though you can add salt and pepper to your liking.
Once the sweet potatoes have a bit of color on them add in the water and place the lid onto the pan. Cook the sweet potatoes down until they are fork tender.
Once the sweet potatoes are cooked through, add in the black beans and 1 tablespoon of freshly chopped cilantro.
Turn off the heat. Now with a potato masher, mash the sweet potato + black bean mixture until well incorporated. You are looking for a smooth texture with just a few lumps within it.
Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Set up a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat. Pour your vegetable oil into a small bowl and grab a pastry or BBQ brush. Create a space to fill and roll your tacos.
In each tortilla add 2 tablespoons of the sweet potato + black bean mixture. Tightly roll up each one and lay onto the baking sheet. Use the pastry brush to brush on a light coating of oil onto each rolled taco. *If you are using corn tortillas you may have to secure each one with a toothpick to keep them rolled.
Bake the flautas for about 10-15 minutes or until the tortillas are golden brown on the edges. Serve warm with salsa, flavored cashew cream or sour cream.
Friends! I posted this recipe on my Instagram a few weeks ago, but a lot of you were asking for it. I've posted it here on the blog and you can even print the recipe portion! This recipe is so quick and simple to bake. These delicious cookies have a crisp coating and a chocolate fudge center. I love adding a marshmallow to the top to make it extra yummy, but they do taste great with out it. I did use gluten free flour but you can also use regular flour too. Another tip, try adding 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract to the batter for a festive flavor. This recipe is such a great go-to recipe ... hope you enjoy!
Photos - Lily Ro Photography
FUDGE MARSHMALLOW COOKIES - GLUTEN FREE
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2 dozen cookies
1 cup chocolate chips
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup gluten free flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
20 large marshmallows cut in half
You can make these cookies with regular flour.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt butter and chocolate in 30 seconds increments in the microwave. Be sure to use a heat safe bowl and stir with a spatula every 30 seconds until melted smooth.
In a mixing bowl sift together the flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
In another mix bowl beat together the eggs, brown sugar and vanilla until fluffy. You can use an electric mixer or a regular whisk.
Slowly add the melted chocolate and butter mixture into the egg and sugar mixture. Mix together until well combined.
Lastly, add the flour mixture and stir until a cookie dough forms. The dough may be a little loose. Let the dough firm up in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes. Be sure to keep the dough chilled in between baking the cookies.
On a baking sheet lined with a silicon matt or parchment paper scoop a tablespoon of dough for each cookie.
Bake cookies for about 8 minutes.
Pull the cookies out and place a half marshmallow on top each one. Place back into the oven and finish baking the cookies for about 5 minutes more or until the marshmallows are golden brown.
Let the cookies cool a bit on a baking rack, but enjoy warm. Store in an air tight container for up to 5 days.
It is that time of year where most are hustling around stores trying their best to achieve holiday cheer. Whether that be preparing for gift giving or get togethers everyone is doing what they can to be festive and fun. This time of year is special, a time for reflection I think and also a time to give back to those around you. Not to say giving back shouldn't be done year around, though the holidays make us most aware of people and the good each of us deserve. Even if all we can give is something small. I commend everyone who finds the time to volunteer or donate money to charities this time of year. Giving back is honestly one of the best things one can do for the soul. But I will say, it can be a bit intimidating when you and your family don’t really have the means to give back like the others can. I hope this little message comes to you and inspires even the tiniest spark of giving back. Find some small way, make it into a family tradition and do good for those who may need it.
I know one of the best ways I can give back to those around is through food. Baking during this time of year is so nostalgic and floods memories in my mind of when I was a little girl baking with my mom and grandma. Sugar cookies of course were always something in the oven and it wasn’t just so we could leave them out for Santa. We used to bake them and my mom would leave one in my lunch every day during December. I also remember fondly of the few times my son Ryan and I baked sugar cookies together. Truthfully it wasn’t even the baking that I remember, it was the cookie decorating and the beautiful mess we created with frosting, sprinkles and marshmallows. With those memories in mind, I’ve decided to bake sugar cookies and decorate them in festive ways to hand out to my neighbors. Baking something delicious and giving it to friends or even people you may not know personally is a great way to give back and spread that holiday cheer. Again, giving back can be something as small as this and still make a grand impact.
It is that very notion that created the ‘Holiday Treat Truck’ by the Southern California Honda Dealers. I love this idea of spreading joy through baked goods and holiday themed treats to the community. I absolutely adore working with brands that do good for others and when I heard about the ‘Holiday Treat Truck’ and the SoCal Honda Dealers Random Acts Of Helpfulness campaign, I asked to jump on board! The SoCal Honda Dealers and the Helpful Guys in Blue will be giving away holiday treats to SoCal residents all over in their very own blue truck. How fun is that?! SoCal residents (Orange County, Los Angeles, Ventura, San Bernardino and Riverside) can get involved and tweet @HelpfulHonda to offer tips on where they should drive the truck next. The ‘Holiday Treat Truck’ will be handing out popcorn, candy canes, gingerbread cookies and a bunch more. If you live in Southern California be sure to follow the SoCal Honda Dealers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for hints as to where they’ll be! Check their Facebook page for updates and other fun things they are doing to give back to the community.
Now, if you don’t live in Southern California I’ve got you covered ;) I’m showing you here how to create the easiest sugar cookie PLUS two ways you can switch up the flavor. You can take your sugar cookie dough and create either a chocolate or cinnamon flavor people will love. I hope you make them with giving them away to others in mind. If you make them let me know who you will be giving them to this season.
Enjoy Friends! Sending a huge Thank You to the Southern California Honda Dealers for all the great work they are doing this holiday season and for sponsoring this blog post.
A topic I have been addressing all year is self-care/taking time for myself. It isn’t something that comes easy for me. In fact, last year shortly after Mila was born I found myself knee deep in all things baby and “mom-life”. Which isn’t terrible, until it consumes you and becomes the only thing on your plate. I devoted my entire self to my baby and things like my marriage, my health, my friends and most importantly my mood all suffered greatly. Rest assured the baby was perfection, but I on the other hand was a hot mess. So, after Mila’s 1st birthday I decided to take a step in the direction of self-care. Doing this meant that I had to let go of the baby and trust she’d be OK in someone else's hands. Which for me (and maybe most other moms) is really hard to do. I don’t know, maybe I feel a little more over protective given the fact that I’ve lost my three old son and life just seems all to fragile now. Though I know, a mother’s heart is one fierce machine and for a mama bird it can be hard to leave the nest. Of course, leaving Mila with my husband was fine but the truth was, I didn’t want to leave. Anyways, long story short, in order to better myself and become a better mother I needed to start leaving and taking time for myself.
I started off slow and to be honest going out for ‘Girls Night’ or ‘Date Night’ with my husband are few and far between. Maybe once a month my girls and I can plan a get together. ‘Date Night’, well we need to be better at planning those more often. But I started to find other ways to take time for myself and also reconnect with my husband while staying at home. I think also I’ve learned, I am a total homebody. Over this past year I’ve learned how to recreate things I love all in the comfort of my own home which has been helpful. We’ve also sleep trained Mila and her bedtime is 7:30pm every night. Once she is asleep I take about 30-45 minutes to myself, which has helped me tremendously in the self-care department.
My husband knows as soon as Mila goes down for bed I retreat to our bathroom and wash my face, put a face mask on, read, eat some ice cream or write. I do whatever I want and it has become MY time to reflect on the day/week. No one is talking to me, asking me to do anything, clean anything. I look forward to this time of day now and it is like my tiny reward. A couple months ago Breyers reached out in hopes of working together to promote their newest ice cream Breyers Delights. I honestly couldn’t say “Yes” fast enough because during my evening self-care routine I’d almost always indulge in some ice cream. I thought it would be so fun to tie in Breyers Delights and create some fun content to share. I also am pretty passionate now about taking time for myself so adding in ice cream and sharing how I reward myself after a long day made sense. We’ve actually come to love Breyers Delights (the Cookies & Cream flavor is my favorite) and the fact that the pints have between 260-330 calories is a bonus! My husband also loves that the Breyers Delights has 20 grams of protein. We enjoy a serving in the evening either together on the couch or I’ll sneak mine in when wearing my face mask.
The most important thing here is that self-care starts with you making the decision to do good FOR you. So often we as moms are pulled in a million directions, doing things for others. Taking care of our children, making sure our partners have what they need. It comes easy to do good for others and for some reason it feels hard sometimes to do things for us. I get that mom-guilt heavy sometimes but I’ve learned to push it aside as hard as that is. I’ve also learned that taking time for your self doesn't have to be going out to the spa or regular ‘Girls Night Out’. Find a time during that day to do something indulgent at home. It could even be an afternoon coffee and a few chapters read from your book. It was skin-care and ice cream for me, that reinstalled my faith in myself as simple as that sounds! Start today and do something nice for yourself.
Thank you to Breyers Delights for sponsoring this blog post.