July 31

Sooo.... You guys. I think I'm kinda obsessed with this stovetop popcorn and might just make it every day. I will go out on a limb and state that it is the single BEST bowl of popcorn I've ever had. You have to try it!! As the kids {and I} were shoving it in our mouths this afternoon, I told them to slow down a little, and Clayton said, "we can't help it!! It's just sooo good!" Thankfully, I'll be so full of popcorn tonight that I won't feel the need to order another pizza. I did get one last night, but I only ate two pieces {it was already 10pm} and we finished the rest for lunch today. I got a Large 3-topping pizza from Papa John's for $8 with the promo code SAVE50 if you feel like pizza tonight. :) It's good for 50% off any regular-priced pizza. And today we had a FREE pizza in our account. :)

May 7

Well, I ended up being in the kitchen a lot today. We needed to make a little bit of everything, it seemed! And I just have to say, thank goodness for my food processor!!! It has easily ranked as my favorite kitchen appliance (next to my KitchenAid mixer) since I got it. It's worth every penny if you're thinking about investing in one.

Clayton is having a cultural week at school and they are learning about Bolivia. Tomorrow he is allowed to bring in food from Bolivia to share with his class. My first thought was, what in the world do they eat in Bolivia?? Well, it turns out that fruit, coconut, and chocolate are prevalent in their desserts, so we decided on cocadas--coconut cookies. They turned out pretty good! Here's the recipe:

Cocadas {Coconut Cookies}
{adapted from this recipe}

3 1/3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup {1 stick} chilled, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup honey
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
10 oz. dark chocolate {at least 65% cacao}

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place coconut, salt, & baking powder into a food processor and process until finely ground. Add butter & process just until no lumps remain. Add honey, egg, & vanilla & process just until smooth. Add flour, pulse until dough forms {do not over mix so the cookies have a light texture}. Scoop out level tablespoons of dough and place balls 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Makes about 40 cookies. Bake until lightly golden, 18-20 minutes. Allow cookies to cool a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. Once they have cooled completely, melt the dark chocolate & drizzle on top. Voila! And enjoy!

May 5: Cinco de Mayo!

Crock Pot Refried Beans on homemade Whole Wheat Tortillas
Fresh Salsa
Sneaky Chocolate Mousse with Strawberries

I'm so very incredibly stuffed. Still. It was soooo good! We have some leftovers, so I'll continue to enjoy this yumminess the next few days! I don't know about you, but one of my favorite, easy lunches during the week is refried beans on a whole wheat tortilla, topped with grated cheese, tomatoes or peppers, some sour cream, and hot sauce. Perfect. On that note, here's the recipe I use for the refried beans. Now you can have some for lunch, too!! :) 

Crock Pot Refried Beans
{adapted from this recipe}

4 cups rinsed pinto beans {Aldi's sells 2lb bags for cheap!}
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and quartered
6-8 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
12 cups of water

Place all ingredients in a large crock pot and cook on high for 7 hours. Scoop beans and onion/garlic pieces out into a heat-safe container, reserving some liquid to achieve the desired consistency. Mash with a potato masher. Beans will continue to thicken as they cool.

As always, my recipes yield a large quantity. Make it for dinner and then you have some easy lunches for the week, or use the leftovers to make this yummy taco dip:

Taco Dip

16 oz homemade refried beans {above}
8 oz. sour cream
8 oz. mayonaise
taco seasoning to taste
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced
1 can black olives, sliced

Spread the refried beans in a single layer on the bottom of a 9x13in pan. Combine the sour cream, mayonaise and taco seasoning and spread in a single layer on top of the beans. Top with the cheddar cheese. Sprinkle the green onions, tomatoes, and black olives on the top. Serve with tortilla chips.