Vegan chocolate chip pumpkin muffins

I’d like to think that for the most part JonPaul and I have a pretty good balance in our life.  Being present as parents with our little guys, making time for friends and family, and even making sure to carve out time for each other.  But this week, man, it was a doozy and our balance was really off.  A story I’m sure so many of you can relate to.

Nothing in particular that made our shift feel so tilted to one side – but rather a combination of so many little things.  Isn’t that always the case?  It’s never just “one” thing, but rather the combination of “everything”.  Kids that were sick, over scheduled, and tired –  and two parents who pretty much felt the same.

JonPaul and I actually had a trip planned to NYC for this weekend as well, that we ended up canceling because things just felt too overwhelming at home.  We love traveling together and it’s usually a priority we can work into our schedules.  But not this time.

We were both really disappointed having to cancel our trip.  I think it just felt symbolic though of the phase we’re in.  When our little people were younger it was somehow easier to make those trips happen.  But now as they’re getting older it feels harder to get away.  Like they almost need us more the older they get.  Either way, we needed to be home.  And I’m so glad we were.

I can’t say that this weekend was smooth, or relaxing, or the NYC weekend I had envisioned.  But I’m so glad we decided not to go.  Instead of strolling the big apple in what has to be my favorite New York season, I was able to be at lacrosse tournaments, soccer games and take little people to the doctors.  Tuck kids in, wipe noses, give hugs and just be “mom”. I even managed to sneak in a little baking and recipe testing…including these delicious vegan pumpkin muffins.

And although food may not be the cure to our currently over scheduled life, or help heal sick babies, theres is something deeply comforting about freshly baked muffins, the smell of homemade bread, or even having our family gathered around the table for dinner.  Food just makes everything….well, better.  Especially when it’s something as sweet, warm and cozy as these muffins.

So while I may not have been able to find the perfect balance for JonPaul and I this weekend, I did find what I consider to be a pretty darn perfect pumpkin muffin – and I’ll take the win.

Read More

Pasta with sausage, sweet potatoes, & swiss chard

The dreaded question of “what’s for dinner?” is a tough one for almost ALL of us.  But in our house, we have an extra layer added to our dinner challenge.  While I am primarily a plant based eater, the other five people in my family…..well, not so much.  As much as JonPaul and the kids

Read More

No knead artisan bread

Over the past few weeks I’ve had a major bread baking obsession.  I’m talking almost daily.  It started with a recipe I found on Pinterest for a basic loaf of white bread.  While it was ok, I knew we could do better.  And if there’s anything I love, it’s a challenge.  So of course the

Read More

Basmati rice and black lentil salad

I love a good recipe that is full of flavors and textures.  One that can be eaten hot, cold or even better the next day.  And especially one that is tasty and delicious, but leaves me feeling great as well.  Which is why I love this basmati rice and black lentil salad.  It’s easy to

Read More

Vanilla baked oatmeal

A little over 12 years ago JonPaul proposed to me in our small Chicago apartment just as the sun was rising.  He caught me completely off guard.  I can remember feeling so foggy, still in my pajamas without even my glasses on, and so confused as to what was happening, but at the same time

Read More

Summer corn chowder

It’s not quite the end of summer yet.  In my book, summer isn’t over until all the sweet corn is gone ( what can I say I’m a midwest girl through and through). My parents came to visit last week from Ohio and brought us so much sweet corn.  My dad loves to stop at

Read More

How I’m starting this school year

Can we get real for a second?  This back to school stuff is hard, for all of us.  Yes, there is so much excitement, and it feels great to get into a new routine.  But the reality is, this time of year can be hard ( for kids and mommas alike).  New routines, new expectations,

Read More

Roasted tomato & grilled corn maftoul salad

Our kids go back to school this week.  Crazy. right?  I feel like this summer has flown by.  I say it every year, but this year it really feels like it went by too quickly.  Thankfully, even though my crew is starting school this week, summer is not officially over.  We still have a few

Read More