For the Home


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Blog, Home Decor

How Our Home (and Our Antique Radio) Tell Our Story.


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Music has always been a healer for me. There is something therapeutic in getting lost in a melody. In finding lyrics that just fit. Music lifts moods, relieves stress and heals heartbreak, it fixes bad days and enhances good ones. Music can’t be touched, but it certainly can be felt. It brings back old memories, and creates new ones. Music mends wounds, it empowers, it encourages. My love of music is what kept me huddled for hours around a brand new “boombox” when I was 10, and ultimately what led me to a career in (and love for) radio. There’s a thrill that comes with finding a new band, a new song, a new genre, even that I fall in love with immediately. 

Awhile back, I was gifted a 1930s Majestic radio that belonged to my Great-Grandparents. It sits in the middle of our great room and is much more than a conversation piece. It is a piece of my ancestry. A link to the past and the heart of our home. I’ve always loved to daydream about the legendary music and historical news stories that must have come through those speakers. Tommy Dorsey. Glenn Miller. Elvis. The beginning and end of World War II. Those trusty speakers have since gone silent, but a bluetooth speaker inside lets that beautiful music box live again. It’s the center of barefoot dancing in the kitchen with my babies. The soundtrack to Saturday morning pancakes, a glass of wine with Jimmy on a Thursday evening, or an afternoon Reds game.

It once again brings family together and fills every corner of our home with a hand-picked playlist that matches the rhythm of our day. It is one of my very favorite pieces in our home and a daily reminder of the importance of a second chance. 

Home Decor, Interviews, Shop Small

The Pursuit of Happiness: Our Visit with Blume


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Confession, this was not our first time in Blume, a quaint and quirky little shop in Lebanon, OH and often our first stop when we’re in town. Hospitality comes naturally to owner Amanda Marsh and her employees — we talked, we laughed, James spit pretzels, a close friend and employee bounced Franklin and we felt right at home and found we had quite a bit in common with Amanda, which might just be what draws us to her store so often.

<Blume is toddler approved … but not toddler proof. Thank goodness for stroller restraints!

Amanda was working as an accountant when her passion for nature, home decor and music pulled her out of her cubicle and led her straight to Lebanon’s Broadway. She was serendipitously presented with the opportunity to rent her dream storefront and with the support of her husband, friends, and family she went for it. After six months of renovations, what was once Reid Pharmacy was up and running under its new identity: Blume Home.

<Don't you just want to live here? We'd like to move in.

Walking through the eclectic collection in her store you are bound to find inspiration for your own home. Every space, every piece seems to serve a purpose — from the tea towels to a small butterfly dish, to handmade quotes and lyrics hand picked by Amanda, every item just seems to fit together, despite how unique they may be.

Handmade signs and canvases are hung throughout her store, most of them from the songs and artists who inspire her. Her musical tastes? A little bit of folk and a little bit of jazz, a little Frank Sinatra with a glass of wine when she wants to page through a favorite cook book (a woman after our own heart.) or her “pre-Pinterest” book of inspiration – a binder full of magazine clippings and photos.

And her advice to all you aspiring store owners and dream chasesrs? “Do it for the right reason. If you’re making plans to open your own business and you’re still getting excited, keep going.”

Of course we highly recommend stopping into the store, but you can also catch Amanda and her team for the third year in a row at this years Charm at the Farm:

June 21, 2019 4:00 pm – June 23, 2019 3:00 pm 4953 Bunnell Hill Rd. | Lebanon, OH 45036

Recipes

3 Sweet Treats That Won’t Sabotage Your Health Goals


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If you’ve been following along with us, you know I just had another little boy about 4 months ago. You, likely, also know that Jess and I both have an insatiable sweet tooth. I’ve been doing my best to ditch the last of about 45 pregnancy pounds, but of course am having a hard time declining desserts. So I enlisted the help of fellow blogger, and holistic health coach Amanda Guld from Babies and Barbells to track down a few recipes for sweet treats that won’t wreck my new year resolution. She came back with Chocolate Chip Cookies, Peanutty Bars and Paleo Banana Nut Muffins. Um. Yes please!

Amanda is a special education teacher turned work-at-home mom with two little ones and a third on the way. She has turned her passion for health and fitness into a career as a virtual accountability and holistic health coach.  Upon graduating from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Amanda holds space for both individuals and group coaching.  

To learn more and to connect with Amanda
e. amandarguld@gmail.com 
w. http://www.amandaguld.com
instagram: @babiesnbarbells
community for women: https://www.facebook.com/groups/babiesandbarbells/

Check out her recipe suggestions below:

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Do snowy days just make you want to bake?

I don’t know if it’s the smell of chocolate chip cookies or brownies that bring me back to my childhood or wanting an escape from feeling cooped up inside all day, but the urge is real!So, how do you stay committed to your health and wellness goals, while also enjoying some of your favorite past indulgences?

Simple, with a few easy substitutions! These 3 quick, low sugar recipes are sure to be a hit with young and old alike!

Chocolate Chip Cookies


(Recipe from the Fixate Cookbook – link to purchase:  https://www.teambeachbody.com/shop/d/fixate-cookbook-FixateCookbook?referringRepID=518144  )

Serves: 26 (1 cookie each) Prep Time: 20 minutesCooking Time: 16 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or raw honey)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites (1/4 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet (or dark) chocolate chips

How To:

  1. Preheat oven to 375* F
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. Combine almond flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; mix well. Set aside.
  4. Beat oil and maple syrup in a large mixer bowl until creamy, approximately 4 to 5 minutes.
  5. Add egg, egg whites, and extract; beat for an additional 2 minutes.
  6. Add almond flour mixture to egg mixture; mix until blended.
  7. Add chocolate chips; mix until just blended.
  8. Drop by rounded Tbsp onto prepared baking sheet.  Flatten cookies with a spatula if traditional cookie appearance is desired.  Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, or until golden brown.
  9. Store in an airtight container.

Nutritional Information (per serving): Calories: 126, Total Fat: 10 g, Carbohydrates: 8 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugars: 5 g, Protein: 3 g

Peanutty Peanut Butter Squares 

(Recipe from the Fixate Cookbook – link to purchase:  https://www.teambeachbody.com/shop/d/fixate-cookbook-FixateCookbook?referringRepID=518144  ) 
Serves: 16 (1 square each) Prep Time: 20 minutesCooking Time: 23 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1.5 cups all-natural smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup raw honey (or pure maple syrup)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, gluten-free

How To:

  1. Preheat oven to 350* F.
  2. Lightly coat 8×8-inch baking pan with spray. Set aside.
  3. Combine peanut butter, honey, extract, eggs, and baking soda in a large bow; mix well.
  4. Evenly spread batter into prepared pan.  Smooth top with a spatula.
  5. Bake for 20 to 23 minutes.  Squares may be a little sodt when coming out of the oven, but they will continue to cook.
  6. Cool. Cut into squares.

Nutritional Information (per serving): Calories: 182, Total Fat: 13 g, Carbohydrates: 13 g, Fiber 1 g, Sugars: 10 g, Protein: 7 g 

Paleo Banana Nut Muffins


( Recipe from https://paleogrubs.com/ )

Serves: 12 (1 muffin) 
Ingredients:

  • 4 bananas, mashed with a fork (the more ripe, the better)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

How To:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with cups. In a large bowl, add bananas, eggs, almond butter, coconut oil, and vanilla. Using a hand blender, blend to combine.
  2. Add in the coconut flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Blend into the wet mixture, scraping down the sides with a spatula. Distribute the batter evenly into the lined muffin tins, filling each about two-thirds of the way full.
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm or store in the refrigerator in a resealable bag.

Nutritional Information (per serving): Calories: 161, Total Fat: 10.3 g, Carbohydrates: 14.1 g, Fiber 4 g, Sugars: 5.6 g, Protein: 5.2 g 
Enjoy!

Recipes

Baked Apples: Sweet Tooth Fix with a Lighter Twist


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I’ll be the first to admit it. I have a sweet tooth. A big one. It’s an insatiable, uncontrollable little voice in the back of my head saying, “one cookie is not enough.” Whatever people are born with that makes them capable of passing up a table full of desserts … I certainly don’t have it. My only hope is to try to lighten my favorite treats in hopes of shaving off a few calories where I can because, if I’m being honest, I wasn’t blessed with a ton of discipline when it comes to portion control either.

Last year for Thanksgiving I wanted to provide myself my guests with more dessert options so I decided to make Paula Deen’s Apple Pie which came out even more delicious than I had expected. However, this year the though of hosting Thanksgiving, and making apple pies from scratch, all while trying to keep a two year old out of the Christmas tree and a 1 month old baby in one arm sounded more like a recipe for disaster. And so I took to Pinterest for some easier dessert ideas.

I came across this Baked Apple recipe from skinnytaste.com and decided to just make a few changes to make it my own. With the help of our cousin (okay, a lot of help from our cousin. She actually made these for me since I had my hands full.) these came out PERFECT and the best part is they absolutely hit the spot when you need something sweet, but without a helping of caloric guilt that seems to nag at all of us around this time of year. We skipped the vanilla ice cream (although we’re sure that would make these even better) and opted for a generous dollop of whipped cream and a little caramel drizzle instead. We also added some chopped walnuts to the filling and used anything left over as a crunchy topping. 

     These little delights come in at just over 150 calories (if you forego the whipped cream/ice cream and caramel) in comparison to the average slice of apple pie which nearly doubles that number. Check out the recipe below! 

Ingredients:

  • 2 Granny Smith apples cut in half, cored and stems removed
  • 2 TBSP butter, melted
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 2 TBSP all purpose flour
  • 2 TBSP quick oats
  • 3 TBSP chopped walnuts
  • 1 TSP cinnamon
  • Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream
  • Caramel sauce

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Combine butter, brown sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon and walnuts in a small bowl
  • Top the apple halves with the mixture and place apples on a lined cookie sheet
  • Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes
  • Top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, chopped walnuts and a drizzle of caramel sauce and serve warm
Recipes

Healthy Holiday Habits: Fill Up and Feel the (Self) Love


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We’ve all experienced what Maggie Hauser, Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Em’s college roomie at Xavier University calls “ the food guilt” train. You want a cookie, you eat said cookie, and then remember your fitness goals and wonder why you caved. Newsflash, one cookie is not going to ruin it all. The good news … you can have your cake and eat it too! Maggie’s here to tell you how to fill up and feel your best this holiday season!

  1. Eat a nutrient-dense breakfast.

Instead of starving yourself before a holiday party, focus on a solid breakfast 1-2 hours after you wake. If you go too long without eating, your blood sugar will drop and you’re much more likely to make poor food choices. We’ve all done the pantry raid. Protein, fiber, healthy fat, and complex carbohydrates will control your cravings and keep you full.

Try this:

An egg scramble with veggies, avocado toast with an overeasy egg, a green protein smoothie, or steel cut oats with nuts and berries.

2. Choose fiber-rich foods.

Not just for breakfast, but as often as possible! Fiber is the part of a carbohydrate (in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains) that cannot be digested which means it has no calories. That’s right: high fiber foods fill you up without filling you…out. Fiber also slows digestion and helps stabilize your blood sugar to keep satisfied longer. The key is to choose the right kinds of carbs with high fiber content.

Try this:

Quinoa, oats, oranges, blueberries, beets, and sweet potatoes.

3. Bust out that pretty Christmas china you thought you’d never use…

The party buffet is where portion control goes to die. If you park yourself next to the cheese boards or cookie station, you’ll nibble and graze until you’re lookin’ like Mr. Claus himself.

Try this:

Make a well-balanced satisfying plate and then take a seat and socialize with your family (step away from the snack table!)

4. Control what you can control

Hosting at your place? You can still present traditional, crowd-pleasing holiday dishes with sneaky ingredient swaps. Insert Pinterest here. This is also a great opportunity to introduce a new healthy dish to everyone you love!

Try this:

Make a big, beautiful veggie, fruit, seed and nut board on the table. (like the one we found here) Not hosting? Offer to bring a dish so that you’ll have a fresh go-to to share.

5. Drink water. Morning, noon & night.

Pay attention to staying well-hydrated, especially when you know you’re going to eat rich foods and sip seasonal drinks. Your gut will appreciate it, your skin will likely be clearer, and you may be more likely to dodge whatever virus is being bred by your nephew’s uncovered coughs near the cookie plate.

Try this:

Challenge yourself to drink a full glass of water (or hot water with lemon …my personal favorite!) every morning when you wake up. Keep a water bottle or tumbler with you and refill it throughout the day

6. Keep moving

Yes, we all love the generous stretch of our favorite yoga pants, but you’ll feel a lot better if you don’t veg on the couch watching that third Lifetime movie. Daily movement helps with digestion and makes for better sleep at night – not to mention the extra calorie burn.

Try this:

Go for a quick walk after meals or walk an extra lap in the mall while shopping, just for the extra steps! Don’t do it for the scale but think of it as well-deserved “me time”

7. Speaking of movement… increase B Vitamin + Magnesium.

If you’re feeling a little too full and maybe haven’t been – ahem- regular as of late, make sure you’re getting enough B vitamins and magnesium in your diet. Magnesium regulates your stress hormone, aids in smoother digestion and sleep ( low stress, no cramping and a sound nights sleep? Count me in!)

Try this:

Give your overworked liver a boost by increasing your B vitamin intake ( chickpeas, bananas, shellfish, or grass-fed meat). Up your Magnesium with leafy greens, sunflower seeds, or even chocolate (Yep, you read that right) and an epsom salt bath!

8. Ask for help if you need it

The holidays can bring up a range of emotions for people: joy, sadness, excitement, and exhaustion are just a few of them. Our state of mind largely affects our relationship with food. Many people seek comfort in the pleasure of eating, even when they know it’s not going to make them feel better in the long run.

Try this:

Ask a friend to be your accountability “buddy” if you are afraid you’ll really get off track. If you’re interested in a more formal coaching relationship, I think I know a Health Coach… (psst, it’s me!)

And the biggest tip from Maggie? Remember the spirit of the holidays! We wanted to do a post like this not to food shame you, but to help take away the guess work if you, like us, are trying to keep yourself from completely derailing for three months. We’re big fans of moderation around here. Eat the cheesy potatoes BUT make sure the serving size doesn’t double the plate-space of those veggies! You control your attitude and actions, and they are contagious! If starting a healthy lifestyle is your 2019 goal, get started now!

Let’s start the holiday season happy and healthy, together. Who’s with us?!

Maggie Hauser is a current student at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). As a health coach, she has guided several accountability groups and is beginning to work with individuals to achieve their health goals. Interested in obtaining more resources, working with Maggie, or finding out more about IIN? Contact her at maggiephauser@gmail.com and @maggie_p_h on Instagram. 

Organization

Holiday Binder: Thanksgiving Prep Checklist


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It’s October folks! While we’re certainly not trying to rush through fall to get to winter, we’re starting to think ahead to preparing for “the holidays.”  A couple weeks ago, I posted a template for starting a Holiday Binder for your family to streamline your Thanksgiving and Christmas preparations. I also promised you a more detailed guide to preparing for Thanksgiving weeks in advance to avoid the last minute mayhem that can come with hosting Thanksgiving in your home. (I’ll also be posting a Christmas Prep Checklist early-mid November so stay tuned!) 

Click here for our Sincerely Doris Jane Holiday Binder – For Post!

A few tips and suggestions before you get started:

  • I like to use plastic page sleeves for each page to protect pages while I’m cooking. This also allows you to check things off with a dry erase marker as you complete them and provides a pocket for handwritten recipe cards.
  • What is a “set-up space?” (see 6 weeks to go) Whether it’s holiday prep or preparing for a vacation, I like to designate a corner of a room, or a whole room to gathering all my supplies, checklists or any packing that needs to be done. I like to be able to put things in this space as I think of them and then shut the door behind me to keep my toddler away.
  • Give yourself an extra page sleeve to start holding your coupons as you find them.
  • Use extra pages to make notes and reminders for the following year as things come up.

So tell us, did I miss anything? Has this been helpful to you? Comment below and tell us how you stay organized during what can be a crazy time of year, but doesn’t have to be.

Home Sweet Home

5 Fall Favorites for Your Home


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      Now that it’s finally starting to cool off here in Ohio, we’re finally ready to embrace the fall season that seemed to start months ago on social media. Fall was my favorite season before it was all #fallyall and pumpkin spice lattes (which I actually hate, am I the only one? ick.) I’ve always loved the crisp air and changing leaves and carving pumpkins. AND October is my birthday month, so what’s not to love, right?

     Aside from all the outdoor opportunities that come along with a chill in the air is the chance to decorate indoors for a cozy, bowl-of-chili-and-college-football feeling. Speaking of college football, while my husband’s been rooted to the couch every Saturday (and Sunday, if I’m being honest) I’ve been shopping….and shopping small/local, which you guys know is where we always find the best stuff. So let’s get down to (small) business here shall we? Here’s my top 5 fall favorites for your home:

  1. A cozy candle from Flores Lane’s NYC line will bring autumn goodness into your
    home. Bye bye pumpkin spice candle, helloooo warm fall scents like bayberry, basil, grapefruit, tobacco and sandalwood.

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    photo cred: @joi.knows.how
  2. Sara’s House has these adorable vintage paper placemats (remember the Santa placemats we were going nuts over last winter? These are the fall version) and these terracotta pumpkin lanterns would be the perfect centerpiece or accent to your kitchen or dining room. and how cute are those teeny little pumpkins!
  3. Handmade wall decor from Designs by Dor is the perfect way to bring a little handmade flair to your home. We love these two wall signs … now all you have to do is decide which one to order! 
  4. Miller Street Boutique is a beautiful little boutique in Fairfield, OH that has a little bit of everything. The antique touches perfectly complement the gift items, boutique clothing and, of course, home decor.
  5. DIY Lemon & Rosemary Stovetop Potpourri from Rachel Schultz is another great way to make your whole house smell heavenly without the open flame (in case you have curious little counter climbers like I do.) 

….and of course a couple great big mums and a couple pumpkins on the front porch to greet your guests. What’s your favorite way to decorate for fall?

Organization

Holiday Binder: Getting Started


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     I’m a list maker. I always have been. Packing lists, cleaning lists, grocery lists, to do lists. You name it – it’s probably on a post it or in a notebook somewhere in my house. It’s truly the only way I keep my life in order. Without a list and my planner I’d be wandering around in circles in my kitchen asking myself what it was I came in there for. I have binders and folders and itineraries for just about everything we do.

At about this time every year I start thinking about preparation for the holidays. I know what you’re thinking – lady, it’s barely September. Hold your sleighbell-slingin’ horses…but we all know once the pools close and the kids go back to school it’ll be November before we have a chance to blink.

My husband and I entertain a lot around the holidays. Whether it’s having both of our families over for Thanksgiving every year or having friends over for Christmas parties we keep ourselves rather busy. However, with all that fun comes a good deal of preparation in the weeks prior. Lots of grocery shopping and coupon watching and trying to find specific recipes in the unsorted mess I call a recipe box.

     So this year I decided to try to simplify things a bit and put everything into one place. Enter … the Holiday Binder. A place to put everything you need to keep yourself organized and make your holiday prep a piece of cake … pumpkin pie.

Click the link below for our printable table of contents page.

We’ll be posting our Thanksgiving section in a couple weeks. 


What you’ll need:
– Sincerely, Doris Jane’s table of contents printable
– Dividers (we like the kind with a pocket for stashing original recipe cards)
– Recipes printed on 1 sheet (print them in a Word doc to make them easy to read)
– Sheet protectors (to keep those recipes clean)
– 1 2″ binder
– Sharpie
– Family recipes
– Calendar / Planner
The holidays don’t have to be hectic. Let us help you control the chaos and follow along as we build our holiday binder over the next couples months! We’re excited to hear how you’ve adjusted this to fit your family!
Recipes

Healthy Grab’n’Go Breakfasts and Snacks


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We’ve all been there. You’re running late, your hair is wet, and your clothes are a wrinkled mess. So, what do we all sacrifice to get out of the house on time? Breakfast. Then, before we know it, its 12 PM, we haven’t eaten and we are the mayor of grouch city.

The best way I’ve found to keep myself away from the last minute grab at the Cheez-It box (aside from actually keeping track of time) is to have a tastier/ healthier option ready to go. So, without further ado here are a couple of my favorite grab’n go breakfasts and snacks, perfect for those busy mornings or back-to-school lunches.

Ps. I have a bit of a sweet tooth if you’re wondering why the majority of these contain some sort of Cocoa powder.

  1. ‘Dude Approved’ Copy Cat Rx Bars: This ones a bit of a hodge podge. I’m not one for exact measurements so just know that this consistency should resemble that of one that can be rolled OR pressed into an 8×8 pan– I personally prefer the rolled option. Both are messy but the rolled version is a tad less of a mess. 
  • 1 C (ish) – Dates
  • 1/2-1 C – Egg White Protein
  • Handful of Raw almonds
  • Unsweetened coconut flakes
  • A spoonful of coconut oil
  • Splash of almond extract
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder

** My boyfriend, who never ever admits to enjoying anything labeled healthy, had more than one of these after claiming that they tasted like cherry cordial ice cream … I’ll take that as a win 😉

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2.  Flourless Blackbean Avocado Brownies (Vegan and Gluten Free) 

I know what you’re thinking because I thought the same thing. “If you’re going to eat a brownie, just eat the brownie”. But when Shelby, from @move_gently, introduced me to these tasty treats, my hardened heart was melted.

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3.  Protein shake/ smoothie 

Having a sensitivity to whey, I stick to plant based proteins. One that I have come to know and love is Garden of Life’s Raw Organic Protein (the chocolate one of course). Emmy’s fav is EAS chocolate protein powder.

  • Quick tip: I love to mix mine into a smoothie with spinach, frozen bananas, strawberries, and almond milk. Em likes her spinach/banana/peanut butter smoothies with protein powder and whole milk or almond milk.

4. Shelby’s Cafe Coffee

  • 1C brewed coffee
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1-2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp honey

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Curious where you can get the recipe for the pancakes? Follow the link to Shelby’s instagram, @Move_gently

Blend in a blender or Nutribullet. Pour into favorite mug and top with a sprinkle of cinnamon

5. Oatmeal Bake

Easy ingredients, easy baking, and delicious. Plain and simple.

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6 . Banana Oat Blender Pancakes

Gluten and dairy free for all you sensitive tummied people !

We’re all busy and we’re all hungry so … what are your favorite grab ‘n go recipes?

Recipes

Grandma Hutchinson’s Polish Pierogies


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We have a guest today! Emily Fagan of thiswifestyle.com was kind enough to share her Grandma Hutchinson’s Polish Pierogie recipe with us – We can’t wait to try it! Check out the recipe, as well as a little information about Emily, her blog and her Grandma below!

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Hello! My name is Emily Fagan and I am the writer of the blog This Wifestyle. I am so honored to be sharing a recipe today from my Grandma Hutchinson’s food splattered recipe book. Something I love about this blog is that stories and principles from our grandparents’ time are cherished and shared with the world! Today I am going to let you in on part of my family, and share one of my grandma’s recipes.

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Heritage is a part of every family. Where do we come from? What is our story? I remember being around 7 years old when my Grandma Hutchinson started sharing her heritage. She proudly told me that she was 100% Polish and that her family came to the United States in the early 1900s. Both her parents could speak Polish and it was a HUGE deal (and disappointment to my great grandparents) that she married a man who was NOT Polish. Nevertheless, she has made sure to pass down some parts of her heritage to my mother, and to me.

Pierogies has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Whenever we would visit my grandparents for a holiday, pierogies were always at the dining table. Over the years, I have been able to help my Grandma Hutchinson make pierogies and she would always talk about how this dish was a part of her upbringing as well. Her mother would also make pierogies on holidays to share with the family (pierogies are very labor intensive, so they are not the easiest dish to serve every night with dinner).

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According to the Culinary Arts Institute’s Adventures in Cooking series, Polish food is liked because it is hospitable. And although it has traces of German and Russian characteristics, it is something entirely of it’s own due to this hospitality.[1] The Polish people make a big deal of Christmas Eve and serve a huge feast on this day. It is customary that a seat is left empty at the table for any guests that may choose to arrive (even if none are expected). [2] Finally, Polish food is heavily influenced by natural resources in Poland. Smoked sausage is common due to the abundance of juniper wood, sour cream is a staple because of the successful dairy industry, and cabbage frequents the dinner table due to plentiful crops.[3]Growing up, I was not aware of all of this. I DID know that my Grandma Hutchinson loved making pierogies because of her Polish heritage and as a result, I developed a connection with pierogies and plan on sharing this part of my heritage with my own children one day. I believe we are entering into a time when families are losing sight of where they came from. I cling to my heritage because I think it’s important to know where I come from. I hope you enjoy my grandma’s recipe!

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Grandma Hutchinson’s Pierogi Recipe

Ingredients for Pierogi Dough

6oz of Cream Cheese

4 Cups of Flour

1 Cup of Water

Ingredients for Sweet Cheese Filling

1.5 Cups of Ricotta Cheese

1 Egg

3 Tablespoons Sugar

¼ Cup Raisins

½ Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

¼ Teaspoon Cinnamon

Directions

  • The first task you’re going to do is pour 4 cups of flour into a bowl (Kitchen Aid mixing bowl or regular bowl that you can use a hand mixer with).

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Slowly mix in the cream cheese and the egg. Mix together until the ingredients resemble a doughy consistency. Set aside.

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  • Next, add 3 cups of water to a cooking pot. Add in ¼ cups of raisins and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes.
  • While waiting for the raisins to boil, add all of the other ingredients needed for the pierogi filling to a bowl and mix together. Once the raisins are done boiling, drain the water and add the raisins to the cheese mixture.

Set this mixture in the freezer for about ten minutes while you complete the next task.

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  • Take your pierogi dough and separate it into four sections. With each section, you are going to follow the steps below until you are out of dough.
  • Spread flour out onto the countertop and then add one section of dough. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a very thin layer ( like sugar cookie dough).
  • Using the top of the bowl, cut medium sized circles out of the dough. After your dough is cut into circles, pick up the excess dough and place it with your other piles.
  • Fill a large cooking pot up with water and add a little olive oil and salt. Set the burner to high and wait for a boil.
  • Take your pierogi filling out of the freezer and use a tablespoon to scoop some out and place in the middle of each dough circle.
  • Using some tap water, wet a brush or your fingers and coat the outside of the pierogi circles with a thin layer of water. This will create an adhesive to close up your pierogi. Fold one side over to the other and press down on the sides.
  • Once your first batch is done, add your pierogies to the boiling water. Let your pierogies boil for 10 minutes. Remove one at a time and set on a plate to dry. Repeat these steps until all of your pierogies are cooked.
  • After your pierogies have been boiled, you’re going to need to cook them on a skillet. Add butter and place your burner to medium heat.

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Add a few pierogies and flip them back and forth on the burner until they start to brown. Finally, use a sprinkle of sugar on top of your pierogi before you eat! I hope you enjoyed this family recipe! Check out my blog for more recipes, DIYs, and random millennial thoughts!

-Emily Fagan

thiswifestyle.com

[1] Culinary Arts Institute Adventures in Cooking series, 7

[2] Adventures in Cooking, 8

[3] Adventures in Cooking, 9