Eat. Drink. Love.

Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

Christmas is about a week away! How is this happening? I’m not ready. We have all been sick pretty much since Thanksgiving. All bad colds that turned into infections. Poor Maddie has an ear infection so needless to say, it has not been a restful couple of weeks for us. Instead of thinking about how much I still have left to to do before traveling next week, I’m going to lay on the couch and eat more Christmas cookies!

How do you guys like your cookies? Are you team soft and chewy or team crispy? I love them soft and chewy. I just don’t care much for really crispy cookies, which often ends up being the consistency of gingerbread cookies. And while I love gingerbread things, I don’t like super crispy cookies!

Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

So, today, I’ve got a gingerbread cookie that is incredibly soft and chewy thanks to a good dose of butter and brown sugar. My other secret to big, soft cookies is to chill the dough before baking. I recommend at least three hours if you can stand the wait, but it’s so worth it! I kicked up the spices in this cookie recipe, so feel free to use less if you want. And then I decided to top these with some homemade cinnamon buttercream frosting. Yes, all of the butter. But, it’s the holidays so we’ll just have to work that butter off later, sound good? Oh, and don’t forget the sprinkles!

Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

Bread Dipping Seasoning Mix

Bread Dipping Seasoning Mix

If you asked me to tell you a dish that is pretty much the death of me when it comes to self-control, I would tell you dipping warm bread in seasoned olive oil is one of them. I mean, I seriously cannot be stopped. It’s so bad, but so good all at the same time. You guys know what I mean, right?!

Bread Dipping Seasoning Mix

I finally decided to mix up some homemade bread dipping seasoning mix to have handy last month, and I’m in love. This mix has oregano, thyme, rosemary, parsley, garlic powder, and salt and pepper…all things you might already have in your spice cabinet. I love having this mix ready to go so I can just spoon it into some oil to serve with bread for a quick appetizer or side. It’s the perfect amount of flavor, without being too much in the oil. It’s just perfect for dipping fresh and warm loaf of bread in!

I always like to give you guys a fun little homemade gift idea every holiday season and I think this seasoning mix would be perfect! You can easily double, triple, or quadruple the recipe, put it in some cute little jars with nice ribbon and pair it with a nice bottle of olive oil.

Bread Dipping Seasoning Mix

Homemade Gingerbread Latte

Homemade Gingerbread Latte

The Gingerbread Latte. I wait for it every year. I could honestly skip the Pumpkin Spice Latte. I know to some of you, that seems crazy, but as much as I love all things pumpkin, I just don’t love that drink. But, the Gingerbread Latte? Gimme gimme!

Too bad they are so expensive! If you’re an addict like me, I’ve got a treat for you today. You can make your own gingerbread lattes right at home and they are surprisingly easy to make too! First, we make our own gingerbread syrup with just some molasses, brown sugar, and spices. Then you just brew some espresso, steam some milk, and you’re done!

Before you get started, I have just a few things to note. First, I’ve included a suggested recipe below, but ultimately, you can customize this latte however you want using as much or as little as the gingerbread syrup or more or less milk. The recipe for the gingerbread syrup makes more syrup than you need for one drink, so you will have leftovers for lattes all week long! And lastly, while warmed milk will do just fine, if you want to be fancier like your coffee ship, I highly recommend getting a milk frother! I have this one from Aerolatte and it’s only $14!

Homemade Gingerbread Latte

Moroccan Chicken Stew

This post is sponsored by STAR Fine Foods

Moroccan Chicken Stew

I have been obsessed with making soups and stews lately. It’s actually been pretty chilly these past couple of weeks and I’m soaking every bit of this wonderful weather right up. I made this Moroccan Chicken Stew a few weeks ago and instantly fell in love with the flavors!

Moroccan Chicken Stew

First, it’s full of cinnamon, paprika, and cumin spices. I love the balance between the cinnamon and cumin. The stew is also really hearty with chicken, carrots, diced tomatoes, and the chickpeas. For a little something extra, I also added the STAR Fine Foods Lemon Stuffed Olives. I love the lemony undertones in these olives and the flavor they added to the stew.

Moroccan Chicken Stew

Pumpkin Coconut Soup

Pumpkin Coconut Soup

I know it’s December and you guys might be over the pumpkin recipes, but I have just one more recipe to share! If you’re anything like me, you might still have a few cans of pumpkin left in your pantry. I always buy too many in fear of a the “pumpkin shortage” I seem to hear about every year. I made this quick and easy Pumpkin Coconut Soup for lunch one day and was pleasantly surprised with the flavors.

This is a soup that only requires six simple ingredients and is ready in 30 minutes or less. You can also add in some curry powder for extra flavor if you want, or just leave it out! This soup can also easily be made vegan with veggie broth.

Pumpkin Coconut Soup

Madeline: Twelve Months

Madeline 12 Months

Twelve Months. One Year Old. Holy crap, I have a toddler!

I’m still in denial that my sweet girl is one year old. This year has been such a whirlwind of happiness and indescribable love, but also exhaustion and tears. Keeping it real here folks. Having a child for the first time definitely changes you. Here are some things I have learned during this first year as a parent:

1. I have learned how to be more patient. Nothing tries your patience more than having a baby. There are challenges at every month whether it’s your baby refusing to sleep or keeps waking up every hour at night, or when they won’t stop running over to that pile of dirty shoes to eat them, or pulling every single book of the shelf at least five times a day. My husband and I still struggle with this but we work hard to keep each other in check.

2. I have learned to be more flexible. When Maddie was first born, it was really difficult for me to accept that tasks on my to-do list might not get crossed off when I wanted them to. There’s never a guarantee what our days or nights will look like anymore. Some babies are more flexible than others, but ours thrives on her routine so we plan our days around her because that is what works best for her and ultimately for us too.

3. Your best is truly good enough. Being a mom is not easy. I really beat myself up when I first realized breastfeeding wasn’t going to work for us. I cried and cried about it and felt like a failure. I now realize that was kind of silly because Maddie has been growing just fine and is a happy and healthy little girl. I also sometimes feel really bad if I feel like I’ve lost my temper, but it happens sometimes and that’s okay too.

4. Still make time for YOU. I think this is really important. While becoming a parent changes you in so many ways, you are still your own person with your own wants and needs. This is really difficult for us because we don’t have any family near us, but I still try to make time to get my hair done, for example. We also put Maddie to bed by 7-7:30 each night which gives us a few hours of “us” time every night. Making time for yourself and with your partner ultimately will make you a better parent.

and 5. Being a parent is the best thing in the entire world. Nothing beats waking up and going into her room and seeing her little smiling face every morning or when I come home from work and she reaches for me to hold and hug her. Her laugh brings me more joy than anything else I have ever experienced. I fall in love with her more and more every single day.

Madeline: 12 Months

Ok, here are some quick updates!