This time of year it can be challenging to live by the saying “stop and smell the roses”. Between the parties, end of year work assignments, children’s performances and holiday shopping there is little time left to really stop for anything.
Funny thing is that it is also the best time to appreciate all that is around you. Here is an idea, take a look at your schedule and pencil in times to just sit by the fire, gaze at all the lights, play board games in the early evening, and keep it simple.
Keeping it simple can be the solution to having all that you want without all the stress. What do I mean by that? Well, a nice family night listening to music by the fireplace can bring you the joy of family fun without the stress that preparations for a big family party brings. As your days fill up with commitments, do one thing at a time. Even though you are a pro at multitasking, allow yourself to focus on one task at a time and recharge your mind. Make lists but don’t worry if you don’t check each item off, be nice to yourself and allow for the less important tasks to go undone. If time doesn’t allow for all your holiday traditions this year, no worries! Make some new ones, adapt and renew. Instead of planning a fancy party, try a holiday pajama gathering and invite your guest to bring a dish; there is no need for one person to do all the cooking. It will be the most comfortable party and the main idea is to spend time together!
Dust off one your family’s favorite movie, get the fire going and gather your snacks! Or how about playing cards while sipping on some Hot Chocolate? Keeping it simple means you don’t have to prepare your hot chocolate from scratch!
1 cup chocolate milk
1/2 Tbsp. cacao powder
1 Tbsp. Once Again Creamy Peanut Butter
Start with chocolate milk and place one cup per person on a sauce pan on medium heat, add half a tablespoon of cocoa powder (optional) and a tablespoon of Once Again Creamy Peanut Butter per cup of milk. Whisk until smooth and enjoy! It’s simple and delicious! And you’ll have left over time to make some popcorn and drizzle it with chocolate and almond butter too.
The New Year is just a couple of weeks away, to this is the perfect time to wish all of you a wonderful holiday season, and that 2015 brings you peace, joy and success. It has been a pleasure to share my thoughts and recipes with you, looking forward to so much more. Thank you!
Keep it simple,
Right along with my peanut butter obsession goes my new found love for pumpkin puree. How did I not discover the versatility of this vegetable before? (check out our previous post where I exposed the truth: pumpkin is indeed a vegetable). Pumpkin adds so much moisture and flavor to recipes, and for baking it lessens the need for added oil and sugar. It is perfect for cupcakes, muffins and as I just discovered for quick bread recipes too!
This recipe is a twist on my traditional banana bread recipe. You can double up the measurements for 2 loafs, or just make it as is for a single loaf. I usually like to make “smaller” quantities recipe first to test it out. After all, when you are using top quality ingredients you don’t want to waste anything in case the recipe doesn’t turn out the way you hoped. Most recipes adapt well to this trick and will save you money and time as you try them out.
This Pumpkin Bread recipe was tested in both the half and full quantities, so you know it will work! Also as an added bonus it freezes well! I have a couple in my freezer right now, you never know when you’ll need a homemade gift or have a last minute visit from a friend! My mother raised me to always greet your guests at the door and serve coffee or tea as well as a baked good no matter what time of the day it is. And I happen to love carrying on that tradition! Although this is technically a “quick bread” recipe it tastes more like a cake to me, but I’ll let you try it and let me know what you think.
Quick Pumpkin Bread
½ cup Once Again Crunchy Peanut Butter
½ cup raw sugar
½ tsp pumpkin Spice
¾ cup pumpkin puree
¾ cup flour
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
Mix Once Again Peanut Butter with sugar, then add egg, pumpkin puree, mashed banana and mix together well. Add the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt and pumpkin spice) and mix until smooth batter. It will be a thicker batter, place in loaf pan sprayed with butter or coconut oil. Place in pre-heated oven at 375F for 45-50 minutes or until done. Note: I used half of the flour as wheat and half as regular. You can also use creamy Once Again Peanut butter instead of crunchy.
For freezing: wrap in parchment paper and foil before freezing to preserve moisture. This recipe will make one loaf, you may double it for 2. The banana was added for a sweeter bread, but you may leave it out and just increase the pumpkin puree by ¼ cup.
…have a wonderful weekend!