Maple-Glazed Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

For Brendan’s birthday this year, I decided to make him something special. I searched for the best recipe for bacon chocolate chip cookies, and I found this one. I wasn’t sure about the combo of flavors, but I knew he’d love them! He truly believes anything is better with bacon. Surprisingly, they are delicious! I took them into his work to surprise him, and it didn’t take long for them to be gone!

I’ll share the recipe with you, it was fairly easy and the outcome was better than I’d hoped for!

What you’ll need:

2 cups plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
12 tbsp unsalted butter room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 lb package of bacon strips- cooked until very crispy and cut into small bits (I sprinkled the bacon with brown sugar before cooking

Maple Glaze:

1/2 cup powdered sugar and maple syrup

Preheat oven 325°.  Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Mix flour, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.  With a hand mixer, mix butter and sugars until thoroughly combined.  Beat in the egg, the yolk, and vanilla.  Add flour mix and beat at low-speed just until combined.  Stir in chocolate chips and 1 cup of the bacon bits.

Roll about a half-cup sized ball of dough.  Holding dough ball in fingertips of both hands, pull apart into two equal halves.  Rotate halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, place formed dough onto cookie sheet, leaving ample room between each ball.

Bake approximately 11-14 minutes, reversing position of cookie sheets halfway through baking, until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft and puffy.

Transfer to a wire rack  to cool cookies after they’re able to lift without breaking. Sprinkle with bacon bits and drizzle with maple glaze.

*To make glaze –  in a small bowl, add 1 tablespoon of maple syrup to the powdered sugar and stir. Add more maple syrup as needed until the glaze is a good, thick drizzling consistency. Sprinkle with remaining bacon bits.

Happy baking!!

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him,  rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” – Colossians 2:6-7

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Show Me Your Teeth!

Ladies and Gentleman, we have our two front teeth, and we didn’t even have to wait ’til Christmas to ask for them!! Actually, I was sort of hoping it would be closer to Christmas for him to get them, but since he’s not complaining, I won’t either!! I want to breastfeed for at least the first year, so the longer he goes before sprouting those tiny shards of glass (that’s how they feel, at least) the better!

I can’t believe how amazingly he’s handled it! Aside from a bit of extra drool and a few nighttime wakes, he has been such a trooper! We’ve given him some Hyland’s Teething Tablets sometimes when it’s really obvious he’s a little uncomfortable. Other than that, lending him our fingers to gnaw on is the most we’ve had to do for pain!  He’s been his happy, charming little self and I couldn’t feel more blessed. Not only does it make life a little easier because he’s not cranky or fussy, it makes it easier because when he hurts, Mommy’s heart hurts. Here’s hoping the rest of the teeth are just as easy as the first! *fingers crossed*

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13

Best Brussels Ever!

If you are a fan of brussel sprouts, this is a recipe you cannot pass on trying this Fall!  We have a favorite restaurant in our area called Tin Roof Bistro, where we’ve fallen in love with their amazing brussel sprouts appetizer. They were so unbelievably delicious the first time, that we have returned many, many times to enjoy them again. We love bringing out-of-town visitors to this place, for more reasons than just the brussels, but my mouth is watering just thinking about them! One day, I decided to google the recipe and came across this website that offers the ingredients and directions to make them, so I tried it out and they turned out amazing!! It’s so easy and so few ingredients, I just had to share.

What you’ll need: (I tweaked a few measurements from the recipe I found online, but I’ll tell you what I used)

about a pound of fresh brussel sprouts (cut in half long-ways)

extra-virgin olive oil

4 Tbsp unsalted butter

3-4 cloves of fresh garlic (minced)

About 1 oz minced anchovies

1-2 lemons (depending on size and taste)

2-3 Tbsp whole capers

salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400° then rinse and cut brussel sprouts. Toss in a large bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper. Begin roasting brussels, it takes about 20-30 min. I like mine nice and caramelized, so I move them to the broiler for about 5 minutes after they’re roasted.

While the brussel sprouts are roasting, begin by melting butter in a small sauce pan. Add minced garlic and anchovies, let them brown and soften. Then, add juice of lemon and capers. If you’re like me and you really like strong flavors, go with 2 lemons and 3 Tbsp of capers… otherwise, try just 1 lemon and 2 Tbsp of capers and see how it tastes to you.

When the brussel sprouts are perfectly caramelized, pour into serving dish, then add the amazing sauce you’ve just created. Toss and serve immediately!

I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! Happy Fall!

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9

Say Dada!

Baby J is amazing. He is trying and learning new things all the time, we literally cannot keep up with the leaps and bounds he takes every, single day! Whether it’s tasting new foods, learning to scoot his way to grab what he wants with his out-stretched fingers, expressing his emotions and showing us his sense of humor, or in this case, saying his first word!

He is already so smart and curious, he has such a quirky and unique little personality. He is a daily reminder to us of just how quickly life goes by and of the incredible amount of  love and thought God put into making each of us who we are. I am so thankful He chose us to raise this beautiful little boy, he brings so much joy and excitement into our lives. We are truly blessed beyond measure.

 

May the Lord cause you to flourish, both you and your children. May you be blessed by the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. – Psalm 115:14-15

FALLing For Red

I’m feeling ready for a change. With all the new things in my life combined with the change of season, I think I’m ready to do something different! I’ve always been a huge fan of changing my hair color, but it’s been a while since I’ve done something bold!

I don’t even know if I’ve ever had all-over red hair (which is insane since I’m a hairdresser) so I’m thinking about doing it just in time for Fall! What do you think?

I have the pale skin and light eyes that a lot of the celebrities sporting red hair have, so, I’m hoping I can pull it off!

I’ll post pictures of my new do soon! Wish me luck!

So Long, Swaddle!

It’s been over a month since we said goodbye to swaddling! The morning came that I awoke to him completely swaddled, but face-down and on his belly! It was quite an alarming sight. I knew he was able to roll during play-time, but I had no idea he could roll with a swaddle on! Needless to say, I think J was ready to be free to move as he pleased while he slept.

It was easier than I anticipated. After just a few sleepless nights of  increased startles and shifts, baby J quickly got used to the idea and stopped waking himself up so often! He’s now happily going to sleep on his back, eventually makes his way to the side, and on some occasions rolls all the way on his belly to sleep. He shifts and rolls, but rarely wakes anymore, he just drifts back to sleep on his own. I’m not so scared now of him ending up on his belly. During a minor panic attack, my Mom gently reminded me that if he got himself there,  he can also get himself back.

Baby J has always been strong, he was holding  his own head up literally the minute he was born. I’ve never been afraid he couldn’t move his head, but more afraid that he wouldn’t. But, after watching him sleep a few times (speaking of those sleepless nights), I was able to see him, first-hand, lift and move his head to the side to breathe. For my own sanity, I had to see it for myself before I was comfortable letting him stay that way.

Naps and bed times are much more simple now. If he drifts to sleep before bed time, I don’t have to sneak him into his swaddle and hope he doesn’t wake. Swaddling served a huge purpose in the first 4 months of J’s life. It was such a calming, comforting way for him to sleep, but as wonderful as it was, that chapter is now closed for us. It’s a relief, and it’s a little sad, because it reminds me how quickly he’s growing up! Next step: moving him from the bassinet to the crib in his nursery! That might be a bigger adjustment… not just for J but for Mommy as well! Let’s just cross that bridge when we come to it ; )

Ready for Solids

Five months ago today, this world became a better place. It was the longest, most amazing day of my life, I just can’t believe it was already that long ago. I guess time flies when you’re having fun!

To celebrate, we’ve decided to give baby J his very first taste of solids. He’s been eyeing our food for about a month now, so we think it’s time to let him see what all the fuss is about!

We decided to go with Happy Bellies brown rice cereal mixed with good ol’ breast milk. He LOVED it!! He just kept going back for more, it was adorable!

I knew this day was coming, but I can honestly say I didn’t expect for it to seem so soon! As sad as I am that we’re already at this stage, I am so excited, because he really loved it! I can’t wait to start trying vegetables and fruits! I’ll post some of his favorite homemade baby food combos as soon as we try a few.

Happy Friday!

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 15:13