What A Crazy Concept

I’m pretty sure that last night was the first night in at least a month where we actually ate dinner at our dinner table and not on the couch. What a crazy concept?!

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As you can probably see, we were actually having company over for dinner so I figured we’d give the usual TV trays a break for once. My in-laws came over for the evening for dinner, dessert, and a viewing of The Voice. Winking smile

You guys already saw that I was making Mal’s Easy Chili for dinner, so to go along with that, I baked one of my favorite homemade breads: French baguettes.

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I couldn’t remember which size loaves I usually make, but I realized that these definitely turned out smaller than the last time I made them. Luckily, there was still enough for everyone so I didn’t have to worry…but now I don’t have many leftovers either. Booo.

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Along with my homemade bread, I enjoyed a big ‘ol bowl of chili for dinner, topped with a generous helping of shredded cheddar.

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And then…we had dessert.

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I made a batch of Lightened Up Fudgy Oreo Brownies, but substituted toffee bits for the Oreos. They turned out SO. GOOD. and paired perfectly with a couple small scoops of light cookies and cream ice cream. Heaven.

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Despite everything we ate last night, I actually woke up starving this morning, so I wasted no time in making breakfast.

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Today’s breakfast du jour was two whole grain waffles (not pumpkin spice, sadly) topped with peanut butter, pumpkin butter, banana slices, chia seeds, and a drizzle of syrup.

I ran out of regular PB so I had to substitute in my Planters Nut-rition PB which, surprisingly enough, I actually ended up enjoying more than the other one.

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Not only was breakfast great, but my coffee was fantastic…yesterday, Michelle left a comment saying how she’s been putting some of the TJ’s Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte mix into her coffee. Genius, right?! I added about half a scoop into mine this morning and it was deeeeeelicious.

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Thanks for the idea, Michelle!

I’m off to a doctor’s appointment this morning, running a few errands, then hopefully getting in some yoga since I have yet to do any sessions so far this week. Yikes!

I’ve got no good questions to ask this morning…so Happy Wednesday to you!

Few Things Are Better Than This

If there is one thing that I have learned since this past Christmas, it’s that there are few things in life that are better than fresh baked, homemade bread!

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It wasn’t always pretty, but thankfully, I think I’ve finally found my go-to loaf: French Baguettes!

If it wasn’t for my bread machine, I don’t know if I’d have ventured into bread-baking. I seriously just LOVE this thing. It’s such a snazzy contraption. Smile

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I have yet to venture outside of using the recipe booklet that came with the machine, but there are some incredible-sounding recipes in there.

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Would you believe that there’s a chocolate chip cookie bread recipe in there? Ummm yeah, that’s definitely a must-try…along with those cinnamon rolls. Winking smile

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Tonight’s baguettes came out just as good, if not better, than my last batch. Here they are just after rising and getting ready to hit the oven…

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Mmmmm…warm, crusty French bread is my paradise. Smile

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To go along with my bread, I cooked up the Potato Corn Chowder soup mix that we bought this past Saturday.

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And I must say that, despite being a pre-packaged soup mix, this chowder had some serious flavor! The recipe called for using 2% or half and half, but I only had 1% on hand, which is why mine looks a little thinner. Nonetheless, it still tasted great AND was a little more “healthified.” Smile

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Not to mention the fact that it acted as the perfect base for some bread dunkage!

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Topped with a little butter…

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This meal was definitely the whole package! Smile

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Of course, as soon as we sat down to eat, somebody was ready to play some fetch

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So we played a few rounds until he tired out.

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But before we knew it, he was back once again…

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but this time, to cuddle. He’s my perfect cuddle buddy!

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And I intend on cuddling with him all night. Smile

Question for Tonight…Fill in the Blank:

Few things in life are better than _________________.

Busy Baker

Happy, Happy Sunday everyone! How’s your day been so far??

Jay and I actually spent some time sleeping in this morning, since we didn’t get to bed until almost 2am last night.

Oh yes, we were too busy dancing our faces off once again…

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I’m telling you, this Just Dance 2 game is hilarious! Smile

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This morning, I’ve been hard at work in the kitchen. My mom asked me if I could bake up a batch of Chocolate PB Cup Cupcakes for her to bring to work tomorrow, so I’ve been working on those, along with some Butterscotch Blondies for the winner of Katie’s bake sale.

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Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure I undercooked the blondies a little too much, so I think I’m going to have to make another batch. I guess these will just have to stay here…

Awww shucks. Winking smile

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Since I got right to work, I actually really never sat down for a breakfast, and had been nibbling throughout the morning. Of course, I had some coffee.

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But I also snacked on some toast.

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Now this toast isn’t just any toast. This is from a homemade French baguette, made by yours truly!

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I baked this bread up on Thursday, using my bread machine to mix the dough. It may not look too fancy, but I was surprised at just how good it came out. Who knew! Smile

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We’ve both been snacking on it the past few days, and today I topped mine with some peanut butter and some peanut butter cream cheese.

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Say WHAT? Peanut butter cream cheese?!? Yes, I kid you not…

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I got two lovely containers of this Trader Joe’s PB cream cheese from a lovely reader, Shayla. The two of us did a little bartering back and forth, and in return for some of the PB cream cheese, I sent her a jar of my favorite Blizzard Butter.

Thanks again, Shayla! Smile

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Now I’ve gotta get my act together and get moving so I can head to the grocery store, maybe (hopefully) squeeze in a workout, and finish up those cupcakes, all before heading to my parents house for dinner a little later on.

It’s a busy one!