ninjago cookies

two things we love in our house:  lego ninjago and sweets.

i got this idea from an etsy shop.  they are basic sugar cookies cut with a gingerbread man cutter.  i let the boys decorate these and i thought they did a great job!  (i helped with the belts and eyes.)

next time, we'll make superheroes. :)


coconut rice pudding

1 1/2 cups cooked rice (i've used plain, brown, and jasmine and of the three, 
jasmine is the best by far.)
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
2 cups 2% (or whole) milk
1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla

combine all ingredients together in a saucepan and simmer uncovered over medium-low heat for 40 minutes. this is best when it's warm, and my oldest and i are addicted to it.  it makes a perfect breakfast, snack or dessert!  i sprinkle it with cinnamon for him, but i like it plain so that i taste nothing but the coconut.  

from ffffood.


almond butter and larabars

almond butter and an apple: a perfect after school snack!

i had no idea that nut butters were so easy to make.  (thanks again, melissa!)  i've made peanut, cashew and my new favorite, which is almond.  all you do is roast 1 or 2 cups of raw nuts in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes.  (i just stock up on whatever nut is on sale in the bulk bins at sprouts.) put in the food processor and let it run and run and run. at first you don't think it will make it, but as the oils are released from the nuts, it becomes creamy and wonderful!  it took about 10 minutes for me.  i did have to transfer it to my small processor because it kept sticking to the sides on my large one.  no other ingredients are needed, just salt to taste.  i add less than 1/2 tsp per 1 cup nuts.

this led me to something else i've been wanting to try:
aren't these good...and expensive? :)  they make a perfect little breakfast.

i had leftover almonds, almond butter and a huge bag of dates from sam's.  i love dates as a snack or chopped into a salad, but no one else in the house will eat them, and i have a 3 pound bag.  what was i thinking?  so to help use up my dates, i decided to experiment with homemade larabars.  i think larabars really might be just the 3 or 4 ingredients listed on the wrapper (i've always been VERY suspicious) because these homemade ones taste like the real thing for a fraction of the price!

dates, raisins and almonds

1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/4 cup homemade almond butter (any nut butter will do)
drizzle of honey to bind
*makes 8 bars*

add all ingredients to the food processor and mix for 1-2 minutes until the nuts are finely chopped.  spread to about 1/2" thickness on wax paper, wrap, and freeze for 30 minutes.  
cut into bars and store in the refrigerator.

i can't wait to play around with this recipe!  other varieties could include cashews, nutella, dried prunes, coconut, dried cranberries, apricots or blueberries...

i made this recipe up with a little pinspiration.  :)