Recipe: Yogurt Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Both Bobby and I have a major weakness for really good oatmeal raisin cookies. I also happen to have a jar of homemade yogurt in my fridge from my dad’s girlfriend (she makes it from raw milk they buy in PA!) that I wanted to do something with aside from yogurt breakfast bowls.

So I set out to experiment with a yogurt based oatmeal raisin cookie. It came out GREAT. I will warn you – these are not very sweet (on purpose) and could probably be eaten for breakfast or a healthy/hearty snack – but in my mind they are also the perfect dessert.

I haven’t gotten Kurt into these yet (to be honest, he doesn’t like ANY sweets, and thank goodness – have you ever met a 20 month old boy who doesn’t want candy? That’s my son) but that’s ok… more for us.

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Here’s the simple recipe:

Yogurt Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2.5 cups whole oats
  • heaping 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Mix together the yogurt, sugar, egg, vanilla.
  3. Separately, mix the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  4. Add the flour mix into the wet mix; mix well.
  5. Add the oats, raisins, and coconut – mix well.
  6. Make large (1/3 cup or so) scoops of the dough into round cookie shapes and bake for 13-15 minutes on a baking pan sprayed with Pam.

This made 8 very large cookies. If you prefer smaller ones, reduce the cooking time by about 2 minutes to accommodate that!

Hope you get a chance to enjoy these yummy healthy yogurty oatmeal raisin cookies!

And Happy New Year if I don’t check in before then!

A Day in the Life – 20 Months

As we near near the middle of December, Kurt and I are finally starting to get into a routine. I have been off of work since just before Thanksgiving and I am spending 2 full days a week with him as well as 3 afternoons (he is still in preschool/daycare 3 days a week, 6 hours a day).

Kurt is 20+ months now and growing and learning more each day. I do love getting to see how much he changes in such a short time.

On our full days together, our day usually goes something like this (this is what happened today!):

6:30-7:15 – Wake up time. I get Kurt from his crib and bring him back for snuggles and nursing in our bed.

7:15-8:00 – Hang out together in the living room, read books, snack on some berries, drink coffee or tea (me!) play with cars and trains and ramps, etc… while we both fully wake up.

8:00-8:30 – Bobby gets up and hangs out with Kurt while I start on breakfast. We usually have some combination of eggs, yogurt, bacon or veggie sausage, toast, fruit, or oatmeal. Today we happened to have scrambled eggs on english muffins with melted cheese. Kurt just had the eggs and a yogurt.

8:30-9:00 – Breakfast time! Bobby leaves for work somewhere between 9-9:30 and then it’s just me and Kurt.

9:00-10:00 – Straighten up the house, get dressed and ready for the day.

10-11:45 – My cleaning lady came today so I let her in and walked her through what needed to be done. Then we went for a walk to the main street in Hoboken (Washington Street) because I needed to pick up a few presents. After that we went to the playroom in our building and played with toys for a while.

(In the morning we usually do an activity such as: walk to the park, cook something in the kitchen, draw with crayons or finger paint, read books, play with trains some more. If Kurt is entertaining himself I might get into some heavier cleaning, organizing, or – gasp! – reading or do work of some sort.)

11:45 – 2:00 – We headed into the city today to meet up with Bobby and another couple (our former neighbors) plus their ten month old little girl. We ate lunch at BCD Tofu House in Koreatown. So good! I got the Bibimbap lunch special which also came with a small soondofu seafood soup. Kurt fell asleep for a few minutes at the start of lunch but was awake the rest of the time. He ate a lot of fish and rice.

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(Kurt usually naps from 12:30-2:30 or so.)

2:00-3:00 – We headed back to Hoboken, stopped at another store to pick up another present, and came home. I took a short work call that ended in Kurt crying (because his car fell off the table, how TERRIBLE) and then I nursed him briefly to get him to take his nap. It worked.

3:00-5:00 – Kurt naps. I work, write this post, answer some emails from my lawyer (we’re in contract on a home out in central NJ), and will probably try to get in a little bit of reading. Sometimes I do a work out video or take a nap myself during his naptime.

5:00-6:30 – I prep dinner, Kurt plays with various trains, puzzles, cars. At this point I will sometimes put on Little Einsteins for him so I can focus if dinner prep is particularly demanding. We are doing Blue Apron so I cook that three nights a week; the other four nights I will either make something simple like pasta or we’ll order in or go out with friends. If Bobby cooks he likes to make something more interesting than my simple meals 🙂 Sometimes Kurt “helps” me in the kitchen on his Learning Tower. I chill out and read if there’s time. Tonight’s dinner is Spiced Pork Chops with Charred Poblano Salsa & Sweet Potato Mash (YUM).

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6:30-8:00 – We hang out, dinner is usually ready around 7 (which is when Bobby normally gets home), then we eat and have more storytime after dinner.

8:00-9:00 – Bobby does bedtime routine – bath and then bed. He sits with Kurt until Kurt falls asleep (which sometimes happens in 5 minutes and sometime a lot longer).

9:00-on – If I’ve managed to stay awake this long, Bobby and I will hang out and maybe watch something on Netflix (sometimes while eating ice cream). (I have NOT been able to stay awake lately due to the fact that I am – surprise! – pregnant again, so this does not happen often… what usually happens is I pass out on the couch or in bed just around when Kurt does. By the way, I am nearing 13 weeks now and my due date is in late June.)

I give major major kudos to those who are stay at home moms. The job of being a mom is way harder than the job I had when I was full time in the office. I am treasuring it now because I will probably go back to work at some point in the near future!

Would love to hear your ideas for activities to do with a 20 month old. They are so inquisitive 🙂

Did you catch my sneaky announcement in this post?

Until next time!

Corn Chowder Soup Recipe – Lightened Up (Lower Calorie, Lower Fat)

Happy Monday eve! I started writing this post nearly two weeks ago and finally wanted to finish so I could share this awesome recipe with you all.

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These past two weeks have been a doozy for me – this is my first few weeks off from work and I still feel like I am going nonstop between errands, watching Kurt, and learning how to exist without going into an office every day.

(Recap: I’m taking an indefinite work leave as of December 1st; we’ll be moving out to a more suburban area in February; Kurt is on a decreased preschool schedule.)

I should really be doing a Thanksgiving recap because I made the amazing Vegducken that was making the rounds this year BUT it’s now almost a month past Thanksgiving and I made this light version of a cream of corn soup and I simply cannot deny you the recipe; it’s just that good.

I was at Whole Foods and saw this SOUPS & stews special magazine by BH&G; one of my goals for December is to make more soup so I picked it up.

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They had a version of corn chowder but it called for two cups of half and half and Bobby can’t eat something like that (creamy soups upset his stomach). So I made a few changes. Here’s my take on this – it’s a whole lot lighter than the original, but really really tasty. I found it super creamy and rich even with my changes.

Lightened Up Corn Chowder

Ingredients

  • 4 slices reduced sodium bacon
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 14-oz can of whole kernel corn
  • 14.5 oz chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 2.5 cups plain unsweetened almond milk

Instructions

  1. Cook the bacon in a large skillet or soup pan; pat excess oil off the bacon with paper towels. Keep the drippings in the pan. Crumble the bacon (it will be sprinkled on top of the soup when serving).
  2. Heat the bacon drippings to medium. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Cook about 10 minutes or until the veggies are soft, stirring frequently. Add the butter; stir until melted. Add the flour, stir, and cook another minute.
  3. Add the corn, broth, thyme, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in the half and half and almond milk. Bring to a boil once more, then remove from heat. Top with the crumbled bacon. Serves 4.

I hope you get a chance to try this… I will definitely be making it again!

Hopefully will be back later this week with more updates and maybe another recipe or two 🙂

Can’t believe it’s less than two weeks to Christmas. I am so not done with my shopping!

Must Haves for Baby’s First Year

In the first year, we relied on a number of things to keep both us and baby happy, healthy, and thriving. I originally started writing this post in June, when Kurt was just 14 months old. He’s now coming up on 20 months. I cannot believe how quickly the time has flown. I will keep this post solely focused on must haves for the first 12 months of baby’s life, but I am not saying that some of these items can’t continue on past the one year mark.

This list is not exhaustive but it is a good rundown of helpful items that will get you through those first 12 incredible months. If year one is amazing, the second year is even more so… it’s so incredible how little babies turn into little toddlers and little people of their own.

A note – I tried to include prices where I could; they are accurate as of today, December 3rd, 2015.

Whole Foods natural baby wipes (price varies; inexpensive) – these wipes have the best consistency of any I’ve tried (and I’ve tried a lot). These are a natural product but I have tried non-natural ones in a pinch as well (Huggies, etc). These Whole Foods wipes are still better than any non-natural wipe I’ve tried. They are moist, soft, and wipe smoothly over baby’s bottom. They are not rough, and do a great job of cleaning every last nook and cranny down there. #1 Wipe! I will specifically note that they are better than the 7th generation wipes, hands down.

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phil&teds Lobster Highchair ($79) (ours is in red) – called a “sassy seat” by some; it replaces a high chair. It’s super convenient and not just because we live in a small apartment. The “lobster” claws hook onto the table and you screw them in to tighten. It’s easily transportable and way sleeker looking than any high chair I have ever seen. It does come with a tray to protect the table but we always forget to use it. It’s one of the things I had on my registry that I continue to recommend to people.

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KidKraft Sling Bookshelf, in Natural ($46.19) – I will caveat that this doesn’t hold a TON of books (and we have a ton), but it’s a great storage system that kids can actually use themselves. Kurt can see the covers of his books and pick the one he wants me to read. He can also put the books away which is totally the best part.

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Munchkin Xtraguard Dual Action Multi Use Latches ($10.91 for 4) – Okay these are possibly my favorite invention. I tried a few different baby proofing solutions before I found these but these are just the best. I use them on all my lower kitchen cabinets, bathroom cabinets, the front door (!), and the panels on my wall heaters that cover the switches (otherwise Kurt will turn the heat on full blast in July). I first got the 4-pack and then reordered in a 12-pack. A must have once baby starts crawling.

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Kabrita Non-GMO Goat Milk Toddler Formula ($22.99; you can also get this at Whole Foods but it’s more expensive – IIRC about $30) – I exclusively breastfed and pumped for Kurt until he was one, but then I replaced my pumping with formula and Kurt really took to this one (it’s the first and only one I tried). Unfortunately the company is not US-based and there isn’t a Kabrita baby formula that’s been approved by the FDA (yet) but this toddler formula was great for us (it still is; Kurt still has a bottle each night). They also make goat milk fruit pouches but Kurt does not like them at all.

formula

Safety 1st Wide Doorways Fabric Gate, in Natural ($38.32) – we have two of these and we blocked off our living room/dining room area to keep Kurt in one area which is mainly baby proof. So helpful not to have baby going into the kitchen and getting underfoot!

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New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Multivitamin – 192 ct ($42.74 for 2 month supply) – so this is something for mom, but worth including anyway. During pregnancy and breastfeeding your body loses a lot of its own mineral stores and continuing to take prenatals even after giving birth can be really important! These ones are very high quality and I’ve felt great taking them.

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Evenflo Tribute Sport Convertible Car Seat ($68.51) (this is the one for after the infant stage but before booster) – Kurt outgrew his infant seat pretty quickly and we ended up getting this Evenflo model for the next carseat. It’s inexpensive and a little smaller than some of the other models out there but we really really like it. We don’t have a huge car and to be honest, almost none of the other models would even have fit in our back seat (when I told this to the guy at Kids R Us he – unjokingly – told us that we should just get a bigger car – wtf?). This car seat can be used for rear facing (in our state, NJ, you should stay rear facing until you are at least 30 pounds or 2 years old) and then front facing when kiddo is ready. We are keeping Kurt rear facing until he’s two even though he just broke the thirty pound mark in the last month or so… it just seems safer that way.

evenflo convertible carseat

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(I know he is not buckled in fully, we were not moving yet!!)

Sleep Sack: Baby Deedee Sleep Nest Lite Baby Sleeping Bag ($34.99) – We loved this sleep sack. I got the medium (6-18 months) and was able to use it for all of Kurt’s first year. It’s great because babies do tend to kick off blankets (and you don’t even really want blankets near them anyway in case of smothering) but they don’t kick this off and in fact Kurt liked it. I got the Mocha Heather color because it’s gender neutral and could be used for another kid.

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The First Years American Red Cross Deluxe Nail Clipper with Magnifier ($2.99) – You do need a small set of baby nail clippers for those tiny soft nails. I got these as an Amazon add-on and they’ve lasted 20 months now. I don’t use the magnifier on them (it doesn’t have to be used) but it does look cool.

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Alaffia EveryDay Shea Moisturizing Shea Butter Bubble Bath for Babies AKA BUBBOOO ($16.49) – We love this 100% fair trade bubble bath. We like Lavender, Coconut Chamomile, or Coconut Strawberry flavor. It’s all natural and Kurt loves the bubbles! An added bonus – all sales of Alaffia products contribute to empowerment projects to help break the cycle of poverty in Togo.

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So there you have it – a good list of baby products to get you through baby’s first year! I hope this list is helpful for someone 🙂

*This post was not sponsored by anyone – these are just products that I love – but most of the Amazon links are affiliate links and I may earn a small commission if you buy the product via my link. These commissions help keep this site up and running. Thank you as always for the support!*