Loaded Cookie Bars - this easy recipe starts with a boxed cookie mix and are stuffed with chocolate, peanut butter, candy, and coconut!

I recently had a really fun opportunity to participate in a baking Blog Hop. So I baked something, sent it off to Becky of Somewhat Simple, and received the yummiest Double Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies from Jenny of Picky Palate.

This Blog Hop featured the new Pillsbury Purely Simple baking mixes. They contain simple ingredients, no colors, no preservatives, and no artificial ingredients. Have you tried them yet?

Loaded Cookie Bars - this easy recipe starts with a boxed cookie mix and are stuffed with chocolate, peanut butter, candy, and coconut!

I used the Pillsbury Purely Simple for these Loaded Cookie Bars and it was fabulous. The mix only requires a stick of butter and an egg if you want to make sugar cookies. I, of course, added more than that! This bars have white chocolate chips, semisweet chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, coconut, and milk chocolate candies!

I would’ve added more but I ran out of things in my baking cabinet!

Loaded Cookie Bars - this easy recipe starts with a boxed cookie mix and are stuffed with chocolate, peanut butter, candy, and coconut!

I love these kinds of bars! Something fun and different in every bite! Plus the chewy cookie itself!

And since I started with the Pillsbury Purely Simple baking mix, these took no time to whip up! The hardest part was waiting for the butter to soften!

Loaded Cookie Bars - this easy recipe starts with a boxed cookie mix and are stuffed with chocolate, peanut butter, candy, and coconut!

Click for the full recipe

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Well guys, it’s time to start another week. Hopefully you at least got to sleep a little late today. And I hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day.

We spent our Valentine’s morning at the park. The husband took the kids to the playground and I took the dogs to the dog park, like we usually do. And then we spent a couple hours texting each other photos of the kids and the dogs and others people’s dogs. #crazydoglady

I always forget how awkward the dog park is. Like, I’m bad at small talk to begin with but small talk while also picking up poop and politely looking away when someone’s dog tries to get frisky? 

The worst.

We went to our fave Mexican place for dinner and then I forced my husband to go to REI to get new running shoes because he’s been complaining about his since before this last deployment. A full year. Of hating his running shoes. And telling me about it. 

So he got new shoes and then we got Dairy Queen because I haaaad to try the Red Velvet Blizzard before it went away. 

It was pretty perfect. 

After all the Mexican food and the mojitos and the ice cream and the entire box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates, I need a small detox. But I cannot detox without at least a few treats in there and this Paleo Strawberry Crumble is amazing for situations like that.

There’s nothing bad in it and it’s absolutely scrumptious. I can’t get enough coconut flour so I used that in the topping and then some shredded coconut. The top gets all crunchy and the strawberries get juicy and delicious. 

Also, why are the strawberries so good so early in the year? We can’t get enough!

Click for the full recipe

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I’m sorry, guys. I had no intention of posting another Paleo recipe this week but the cheesy, white floury bread I made yesterday totally failed. I think I must’ve burned the yeast or something because it just refused to rise. At all. 

Gahhh.

So you get these Paleo Chocolate Chip Blondies! And I really don’t even feel that bad because they’re awesome. My husband had 7 of them last night. Yeah, that’s pretty much the entire pan.

And btw, how unfair is it that men can eat 7 blondies on top of meals and other snacks and not gain weight? 

Anyyyway, we’re all sorts of iced/snowed in right now which is fun because I can stay in sweatpants all day and only go outside when the (idiot) husky opens the gate, lets herself out of the yard, and then makes me chase her around the neighborhood before finally making the circle and ending up back at our porch. But it’s not so fun because the kids and the husband are all driving me crazy.

If I have to hear, “HE WON’T GIVE ME A TURN!” one more time…

I don’t even know what I’ll do. But it won’t be pretty.

I’m going to have the blondie I hid from my husband for breakfast and then lock myself in my room and binge watch all the Madam Secretary episodes on the DVR. 

You should make these even if you aren’t Paleo. They are really delicious and so full of coconut and chocolate chips – you will hardly even notice that the actual blondie part is made from almond flour instead of regular flour! I promise.

Click for the full recipe

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As if it hasn’t become really apparent over the years, I get bored really easily. Not like, sitting on the couch flipping channels bored but I get bored of things quickly. Hobbies, books, tv shows, etc, etc, etc.

So on our epic roadtrip earlier this summer, it’s really no surprise that by hour 4 I was done with my playlist. I hated every song. I never wanted to hear them again. I’m still kind of hating it a month later.

I’d been saving podcasts, though, because I know myself and knew I’d get tired of music. I started marathoning Dave Ramsey, Elise Gets Crafty, and Balanced Bites.

My children hated every minute of it.

I really got into Balanced Bites which is a paleo/overall health podcast and after many, many hours of listening, I got really excited about paleo living. I was all YES! WHEN WE GET HOME, EVERYONE’S GOING PALEO! THE KIDS, THE DOGS, EVERYONE!

This lasted about 5 minutes once we actually got home but I discovered a really awesome waffle recipe so… I call it a win.

I dig what coconut flour does for recipes. Especially these waffles. They’re really light and fluffy and the coconut flour adds just a little extra texture and a very slight coconut flavor. Plus coconut flour is high in protein, fiber, and good fats!

Click for the full recipe

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Blueberries and Cream Granola - the most delicious granola recipe! Dried blueberries, almonds, coconut, and white chocolate chips!

Did you know that September is Better Breakfast Month? Well it is and I’ve teamed up with California Almonds to make sure your breakfast is better than ever.

It turns out that 50% of women skip breakfast when they are crunched for time. Studies show that those who eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight, will maintain better cholesterol levels, and live an overall healthier life. So if you are one of those 50% that skip breakfast, almonds are a quick way to get a boost of fiber, protein, and healthy fat.

I have a great almond gift pack to give away to one of y’all but before we get to that, I have the most delicious granola recipe to share. It calls for all my favorites: almonds, dried blueberries, coconut, coconut oil! You could make this over the weekend and have a fantastic breakfast all week long.

Blueberries and Cream Granola - the most delicious granola recipe! Dried blueberries, almonds, coconut, and white chocolate chips!

The gift pack comes with:

  • One $20 Visa gift card to buy anything else that makes your breakfast better – fresh fruit, oatmeal, almond milk, etc.
  • One pound of whole natural almonds
  • One jar of almond butter
  • One pound of sliced almonds
  • One reusable, insulated travel pouch for breakfasts on-the-go
  • One double-sided recipe card for better breakfast inspiration

And by the way, that almond butter is the best almond butter I’ve ever had.

Enter below!

(Giveaway will run from 09/17/13 to 09/23/12. US only, please.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blueberries and Cream Granola - the most delicious granola recipe! Dried blueberries, almonds, coconut, and white chocolate chips!

California Almonds wants to see how you’re making your breakfast better. Head over to almondboard.com/BetterBreakfast and submit a photo of your breakfast made with almonds and you will be entered to win a year’s supply of almonds.

Blueberries & Cream Granola
adapted from The Messy Baker Blog
Ingredients
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 cups sliced almonds
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup coconut oil melted
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dried blueberries
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 300F. Spray a large, rimmed baking sheet with oil.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together oats, coconut flakes, almonds, salt, and brown sugar.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Slowly pour the mixture over the oats. Fold the wet mixture into the oat mixture until the oats are evenly coated.
  4. Transfer the mixture to your prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the granola is golden brown in color. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
  6. When the granola is cool, stir in blueberries and white chocolate chips.
  7. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
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