So sorry if you’re still sticking to your resolutions.
I, however, am not.
Yesterday I had Ruffles for breakfast AND lunch and half a pint of Jeni’s Whiskey and Pecans for dinner.
I don’t even have an excuse. I just wanted to.
I swear I’m eating healthy today. Hopefully.
I could really go for some orange chicken and fried rice though.
Anyway, I cleaned out my pantry the other day (because my real resolution is to declutter) and realized I have a ton of cake mixes. It’s become the “just in case” thing I buy every time I’m at the store because I can never remember if I have white, yellow, chocolate, funfetti, etc. at home. I have somehow collected 15 cake mixes in the 9 months we’ve lived here.
No frosting. Just cake mixes.
So one of my favorite things to do with cake mix is to make cookies. It has to be the easiest way to make cookies! You just need the cake mix, eggs, and oil! Plus whatever you want to mix in!
For this version, I started with a devil’s food cake mix for a rich chocolate cookie and then mixed in chocolate chips and walnuts, like classic fudge.
They are so soft and so delicious! Chocolate cookies are usually my last choice but man, these are good.
Healthy and delicious Granola Cookies! Filled with flax seeds, cranberries, sunflower seeds, oats, and chocolate chunks. No guilt required with these cookies!
I’m currently doing that annoying thing I do at least once a year. You know, where I decide I’m over buying boxes of cereal, crackers, cookies – fun packaged food that my kids go through like crazy, in other words.
So I’ve decided that I am just going to make everything.
Why do I do this to myself? WHY?!
I swear it was only a few months ago that I did this same thing and by the end of the week I was at Target buying a cart full of goldfish, pizza rolls, and Cap’n Crunch.
But we’ll go with it for now.
I have also decided that the kids aren’t buying lunch anymore after the school allowed one of my kids to spend NINE DOLLARS on lunch one day.
On a school lunch.
So they’ve been taking super boring (super healthy) lunches because I’m not buying granola bars and their other lunchbox faves and – surprise! – I don’t have time to make homemade crackers and fruit snacks.
Because who really does?!
I finally got my life together enough this weekend to make these yummy Granola Cookies for them!
The school is weird – like, you-can’t-send-a-chocolate-granola-bar-for-snack-but-sure, bring-a-couple-dozen-chocolate-cupcakes-for-your-kid’s-birthday weird. But I think these cookies are healthy enough that I won’t get into too much trouble
They’ve got oats, ground flaxseeds, cranberries, sunflower seeds, chocolate – everything you love about granola but portable! They’re so soft and delicious! And the salty sunflower seeds were perfect with all the sweet components!
I am SO not ready. It doesn’t feel like Christmas here in Texas (after 4 winters in Colorado) and therefore, I kinda don’t believe that Christmas is next week. I’m in denial.
Nothing’s been wrapped. I still haven’t mailed the gifts that need to be mailed. I have definitely not planned food for the holiday.
So I thought, in honor of me being a mess this year, we could talk about these easy Chocolate-Peppermint Waffle Cookies and 10 ways to make the holidays less stressful.
Because I need both cookies and less stress right now.
10 Ways to Have Less Stressful Holidays
Make the holiday dinner easy! Skip the fancy sides and opt for ham or turkey on fancy rolls! Minimal work required and who doesn’t love a sandwich? Pick up a variety of mustard and mayo to keep things interesting.
Wrapping Santa presents for more than 1 kid? Use a different wrapping paper for each kid – they AND you will be able to see who’s is who’s at a quick glance.
Enjoy the cookie/chocolate/cake/whatever. It’s okay to indulge sometimes.
Pick one or two easy Christmas cookie recipes (like these Chocolate-Peppermint Waffle Cookies or these or these!) and stick with it. Fight the urge to make 15 varieties!
Stay home! I know, I know, we all want to see family but traveling is stressful! Skip the cross country flight and use Skype instead.
An easy way to add cute decor to your living space? Kleenex® Perfect Fit holiday canisters are super cute and something we all could use in our home this time of year!
Go for a quick run. Ugggghhhhh, I hate myself for including but dang, don’t you feel better after a workout?
Say no. It’s okay to skip the cookie swaps, the Christmas parties, the gift exchanges. I promise it’s okay.
Use Viva® Vantage® paper towels have a scrubby texture to clean up all your holiday messes. A Viva® paper towel is also perfect for catching sprinkles while decorating cookies for Santa!
If you need an easy cookie recipe, this is it. It isn’t really quick unless you have one of those fancy waffle makers that makes 6 at a time but it was kind of mindless work – you know what I mean? Like, I was doing dishes and wiping the counters in between cookies.
I also really love using a waffle iron. So.
They’re really delicious and depending on how long you cook them, they can either be cakey or crispy. If you want cakey, do only a minute. If you want a more crisp cookie, cook closer to 2 minutes.
The glaze is absolutely delicious. If you love peppermint this time of year, these are definitely the cookies for you!
If you’re not using the Ibotta app to receive cash back from just buying groceries, DOWNLOAD IT NOW. I’m not kidding, I’m up to $193.50 cash back. Cash. In my paypal account. Or on a Starbucks card if I’m feeling frisky that day.
Right now you can find cash back offers on Kleenex, Viva, Scott and Cottonelle at Walmart, your one stop shop for all your holiday needs! On the Ibotta app, you’ll find $1 off Cottonelle 12-count or larger, $1 Scott 12-count or larger, and $1 Viva 6-ct or larger. Plus, buy two products and get an extra $1 back!
My ultimate favorite type of cookie is any kind with crunchy coarse sugar on top.
Related: whenever I go to a coffee shop, I always go for the drink with coarse sugar sprinkled on top. Why is crunch in a drink appealing? I don’t know.
I just love it.
The best sugar to use for that kind of thing is Sugar In The Raw®. It is perfect for topping cookies, pies, muffins, anything that needs a little sweet crunch on top! Plus, it’s unrefined and unbleached which I appreciate.
It was especially delicious on these Soft Gingerbread Cookies! It added a bit more sweetness to the spicy cookies and that crunch that I love so much.
I really don’t like crunchy gingerbread cookies so every year I make soft ones and these are my favorite. They stay fat and really soft and I can’t get enough.
If you’re working on your holiday baking, look out for the 2 pound bulk box of Sugar In The Raw if you’re on the East Coast. West Coasters, key an eye out for the 24 ounce bag!
Fair warning: this is going to be an image heavy post. Like, for real.
But there’s a good reason, I promise!
Over the past few years, I’ve stopped carrying my camera around. Yes, there was actually a time when I carried my ginormous dslr in my purse. Sometimes with an extra lens. #firsttimemom
But that got old real quick and my dslr hasn’t left the house since summer of last year. I drug it all the way to Alabama on vacay and only pulled it out once. So I’ve been relying on phone pictures since and I always kick myself when I take cute pictures of the kids or the dogs and then print them and the quality is awful.
So I got a new camera and I’m obbbbbsessed.
It’s the Olympus PEN E-PL7 with 14-42mm II R Lens and it is incredible. It’s so much smaller than my dslr, so much lighter, and still allows me to manually control everything, just like my dslr would.
I’ve been carrying it in my purse in a padded makeup bag and every time something fun happens or I see a cactus that I love, I get so excited when I remember that I have it with me.