Back To The Kitchen

October 1, 2012

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Nothin’ like pumpkin pancakes to start off October right!

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On Saturday Matt was up at 3am to do sweets at the bakery, so I had Maze the whole night and was on my own for breakfast. Once we were all fed and dressed, I put him in the wrap and decided Saturday deserved a special breakfast, sleep deprived mom of a newborn or not!

I made our Great Harvest pancake mix and added 1/3 cup canned pumpkin to the mix. Pumpkin makes the softest, most tender pancakes imaginable! I topped my 2.25 cakes with granola, Barney Butter and coconut flakes. Note the Barney Butter melting + oozing out from the middle layer!

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Decaf!

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Matt may have started his day early, but it meant he was home by 10am, and we walked to the market for some excitement.

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I have completely changed my tune about the Bugaboo basinet! Now that Maze is a little bigger with much better head control, the jiggling of this is great and I LOVE that we can swaddle him in it and don’t have to mess with buckling him in = better naps. We’re a little embarrassed at how huuuuge it is to push around, but he certainly looks more comfortable and enjoyed a long nap during our walk.

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He couldn’t wait to meet his No Bull Aunties!

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We look forward to seeing them at the market every Saturday : )

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Somebody woke up from his nap and wanted to eat.

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In some ways, leaving the house is terrifying. What if he starts screaming? But in other ways, it’s kind of liberating to think: “If he cries, I just have to find a place to sit and feed him. That’s all!” Thus, my plan for the market is always if he cries I’ll go sit in our Great Harvest truck to nurse.

But since we were at the No Bull booth, they offered to let me feed him in their truck. 30 minutes later, we were ready to continue our adventure!

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Mushroom Madness!

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When the market ended, Matt and I stumbled upon the Cville Vegetarian festival –

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He soothed Maze while I walked around by myself for a bit. (It was weird to be aloneeee!)

Isn’t this a sweet picture?

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Back home for lunch, I reheated up our Dr. Ho’s pizza

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Served with my favorite salad of the week – baby spinach, squash (the last of it!), Bleu D’Auvergne and Woodstock dressing

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And a local apple!

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When Maze when down for a nap with Matt, I decided to BAKE!

I have never been much of a baker. For a bunch of lame reasons – like I don’t want to dirty up the kitchen and it’s too tempting not to eat too many of whatever I make and because we own a bakery and if I want a cookie, I’ll eat one of ours! When I was pregnant, I didn’t want to spend much time in the kitchen baking or cooking. It was like food just lost my interest and I wanted to eat what other people prepared as much as possible. I have no idea why!

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But now that I’m no longer pregnant, something within me is dying to bake + cook! Maybe it’s mom hormones gearing up for birthday parties and mothers groups!? And ironically, now I can’t spend much time in the kitchen because I have a little one to care for : ) But while he napped, I decided to start a recipe and if need be, Matt could finish it if I had to go nurse.

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I’ve been bookmarking recipes like these all week: Pumpkin Cookies, Cinnamon Oatmeal Date Bars, Pea Cookies!

But today I decided to make Alex’s Apple Crumb Bars!!

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I [hygienically] nibbled on ingredients while I cooked for afternoon snack, but I didn’t get to taste the bars until after dinner.

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[Also inspired to be in the kitchen, I hard-boiled some eggs for weekday lunches : ) ] You guys who told me eggs are easier to peel if you crack the shells before putting them in the ice bath were spot-on right!

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At 6, Karen came over for dinner and brought ingredients to make quesadillas! I turned her on to them after making her one for lunch one day.

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We used Whole Foods whole wheat tortillas and stuffed them with WF black refried beans, salsa and lots of white cheddar cheese – baked in the oven until nice and crispy at 350*.

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On the side we had salads topped with tomatoes, guacamole and greek yogurt.

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And Karen’s sweet tea to drink.

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All through dinner, my mind was on the apple bars. The verdict is that I LOVED them! The crust is kind of like shortbread and they are not too sweet at all. They are on the dry side, but I absolutely loved the texture. I’d give them about a 50% healthy rating for having lots of whole grain oats and apples and coconut oil for the topping but some points knocked off for a good amount of butter and brown sugar.

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In fact, they were so tasty I was curious to know the nutrition information, so I plugged the recipe into the Sparkpeople calculator. They are denser than you would think!

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We were only missing a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

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{ 88 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kaila @healthyhelperblog! October 1, 2012 at 8:04 am

Mmmm lots of delicious eats! The apple crumb bars are perfect for fall! Very festive :)

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2 Anele @ Success Along the Weigh October 1, 2012 at 8:09 am

Looks like you guys had fun at the market and who cares how big the stroller is, as long as the lil man is comfy. :) The apple bars look so good and you’re right, a scoop of ice cream on top would be a good addition. HA!

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3 Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio October 1, 2012 at 8:10 am

I bet it felt great returning to the kitchen! Quesadilla looks awesome, as always :) Happy Monday!

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4 Katie @ Peace Love and Oats October 1, 2012 at 8:20 am

Those bars do look delicious, and I love your leaf table mat/towel for your breakfast! Very fall!

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5 Erica { EricaDHouse.com } October 1, 2012 at 8:21 am

That pizza is making my mouth water!

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6 Sarah October 1, 2012 at 8:23 am

When you add pumpkin to pancakes like that, do you change the proportions of the mix and water (or other ingredients) or just add the pumpkin in addition?

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7 Sarah October 1, 2012 at 8:23 am

p.s. meant to also say that your breakfast looked delicious!!

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8 KathEats October 1, 2012 at 8:25 am

Nope, I just add the pumpkin – although I’ve found if I add too much (which I do when I get really excited about pumpkin!) it does make cooking them harder, so use less than you think you need.

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9 Dusty October 1, 2012 at 8:25 am

This made me feel so hungry!

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10 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) October 1, 2012 at 8:26 am

I have to agree with the nursing conundrum…it is scary to leave the house knowing that at some point the baby will get hungry, but on the other hand, you have food with you everywhere you go! Looks like you are finding a good groove with it. Sounds like a perfect fall day Kath! I’m so glad things are settling in so nicely for all of you! I hope it’s a great week!

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11 Ella October 1, 2012 at 2:01 pm

It gets so much easier with time, no worries :)
Once you get to know your little tiger better and better you can anticipate his needs and he learns to wait a bit.

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12 Leslie October 1, 2012 at 8:26 am

Yum! I might have to add quesadillas back into our dinners. (For years they were so simple to make that I made them too often and the family started to complain.) This weekend I made my own pintos in the crockpot. Can’t remember if you have a crockpot but it was so easy I can’t wait to try it with other kinds of beans. They would be great in or with quesadillas.

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13 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More October 1, 2012 at 8:27 am

Welcome back to the kitchen! Those apple bars look super yummy!

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14 Sarah October 1, 2012 at 8:33 am

And on the baby front, looks like your trip to the market was a success! As the mom of a newborn I found it liberating when I finally realized that I could take her anywhere as long as I was prepared to nurse or change a diaper (or both). Once you get used to it, it’s not that hard to be prepared for either of those possibilities, and at least for me, being able to get out more was great.

Also, if you have a hankering to bake more (which I did, before and after baby!) there are a lot of things that can be prepped in stages and left for indeterminate amounts of time while taking breaks to tend to baby. I remember a few batches of muffins I made where I mixed the dry ingredients and left them on the counter, later mixed the wet ingredients and stuck the bowl in the fridge, and eventually got a chance to mix it all up and get the muffins in the oven.

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15 Elizabeth October 1, 2012 at 8:35 am

Yum-looking apple bars! With the fall colors in full swing in Wisconsin, I decided to make apple pies (with my Little Sister from Big Brothers Big Sisters). We did them with an oatmeal struesel on top. Found a new portion control trick yesterday–we served the slices of pie with ice cream and I used my 1TBS cookie scoop to serve ice cream instead of the big scoop. Made it easier to serve just a tiny portion.

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16 Spice Chicken October 1, 2012 at 8:29 pm

Hey Elizabeth, I’m hoping to get started with Big Brothers Big Sisters soon — I have my interview next week. Apples sound like a fun project with a Little Sis. Thanks for the idea and let me know if you have any BBBS tips.

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17 Nikki October 1, 2012 at 8:37 am

Geez, those No Bull burgers must be really good if they need some kind of steel-enforced police-looking van to drive around all their goods:-)

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18 KathEats October 1, 2012 at 8:43 am

They have lots of equipment to bring!

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19 Khushboo October 1, 2012 at 8:37 am

Everything tastes better a la mode ;)!

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20 Cher @ Weddicted October 1, 2012 at 8:41 am

I just made a pumpkin banana bread and put it in the oven. I love to bake, but, like you, my biggest aversion is having all of the goodies in the house! There is only two of us and it’s always too much. Our families are all close so usually I pawn most of my baked goods off on them!

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21 Laura October 1, 2012 at 8:44 am

I am type-A+, and I also tend to shy away from baking because of the mess! So silly – life is not about tidiness. :) Those apple bars look really yummy – might be worth the kitchen clean up!

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22 Vivi @ My.Beautiful.Air October 1, 2012 at 8:46 am

Those apple bars look amazing! Perfect for Fall!

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23 Diane October 1, 2012 at 9:07 am

My love of cooking and baking started after I had children. I think that I like preparing food for my family because it is a way to show them love and when you become a mom your heart just expands and there is more love to give.

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24 Ana October 1, 2012 at 9:10 am

Your pancakes look absolutely amazing! I noticed the barney butter oozing even before you mentioned on the post and it made me really crave some… goodness I love pumpkin, gotta make me some of those pancakes for breakfast tomorrow!
Ana

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25 Amy October 1, 2012 at 9:11 am

Both recipes look delicious! I gotta try the pumpkin pancakes pancakes because it’s just too easy to pass up. Thanks for the inspiration :)

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26 Ashlee October 1, 2012 at 9:11 am

Those apple bars look amazing! I am not sure what it is, because boiled eggs are so simple, but I have the hardest time perfecting them! Mine are always over or under cooked. Any tips?

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27 KathEats October 1, 2012 at 10:25 am

I once had dinner with Sara Moulton who shared Julia Child’s hard-boiled egg recipe with me. I wrote about it here! http://www.katheats.com/julia-childs-eggs

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28 Ashlee October 1, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Perfect! Thanks! I will give it a go tonight.

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29 Ali @ Peaches and Football October 1, 2012 at 9:27 am

Tis the season for pumpkin pancakes! I’m finding I like the taste of cooked pumpkin more than uncooked stirred into things, so pancakes are definitely on the thumbs-up list.

Love the pic of the “boys” on the park bench. I bet they’ll get into lots of trouble together in the years to come. :)

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30 Sam October 1, 2012 at 9:34 am

There is nothing bad about butter…as long as its grass fed! Vit. A, D, E, K and K2 Omega 3 rich! CLA! Eat it up!

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31 KathEats October 1, 2012 at 9:53 am

:) overall, agreed!

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32 melissa (fitnessnycblog) October 1, 2012 at 9:39 am

Wow, those pancakes look like autumn. Congrats on getting back in the kitchen.

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33 Life's a Bowl October 1, 2012 at 10:02 am

SO MANY tasty eats and treats!!! Sounds like a wonderful weekend :D I’m lovinggg the VA fall this year!

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34 Susan H. @ The Food Allergy Chronicles October 1, 2012 at 10:10 am

Such a decadent looking breakfast…perfect for fall! I am up to my ears in apples…made a Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Apple Crostata this weekend, Baked Apples and next on my list is Dairy, Egg and Peant/Tree Nut Free Apple Kuchen and apple sauce…love it! Also just loving our beautiful fall weather…looks like you are too!

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35 Carly @ Snack Therapy October 1, 2012 at 10:13 am

I think the baking bug comes with the change of seasons! I ALWAYS want to be in the kitchen during the holidays : ). Those apple bars look divine! So perfect for fall.

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36 Jessie October 1, 2012 at 10:22 am

That .25 pancake is the topper on a perfect breakfast :)

Yay for autumn baking!

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37 Maureen @ Organically Mo October 1, 2012 at 10:57 am

I’ve never thought of putting squash on a salad…clever!

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38 Robyn October 1, 2012 at 11:08 am

So enjoying following your days as a new mommy! And those apple bars look delicious!

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39 Melissa October 1, 2012 at 11:13 am

Wow Kath, all of that looks deeelish! Yay for fall flavors! I was curious, on the pregnant and not wanting to cook/food just doesn’t have the same appeal anymore thing, are you feeling back to normal in the tastebud and eating department? I am a week away from my due date, and one of the things I am most looking forward to having back are my tastebuds, that and no heartburn…oh an my body…haha. Mazen is looking like he is thriving under your expert care, congratulation!!!

Thanks!!

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40 KathEats October 1, 2012 at 11:41 am

Yup! Feeling very normal… Even like bleu cheese again!

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41 mary @ minutespermile October 1, 2012 at 11:21 am

what a massive, delicious blog post! so many things i want to eat now. thank you. ps did i mentioned i tried no bull burgers per your guidance? they’re a bit pricy, but way better than any other veggie burger i’ve had to date. thank you!

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42 KathEats October 1, 2012 at 11:40 am

Glad you like em!

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43 Laura @ She Eats Well October 1, 2012 at 11:28 am

You are totally in Fall mode over on your side of the US! Meanwhile it’s 80 degrees in San Francisco, ha! Regardless, I am loving your incorporations of pumpkin into stuff – looks so yummy! And that picture of Matt with Maze is super sweet – definitely a framer!!

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44 Bridgette October 1, 2012 at 11:53 am

Hi Kath!
A few friends and I made a day trip to C’ville on Saturday! So nice there! We stopped by Great Harvest for lunch!! So good! And then went to Carter Mountain for apples and a few winerys as well! Perfect fall day!

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45 KathEats October 1, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Fun! Glad you had a good time! Hope the bakery treated you well.

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46 Bridgette October 1, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Oh they did! Great, friendly staff! I had the pimento cheese :)

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47 Bridgette October 1, 2012 at 1:17 pm

oh and also picked up a bag of Autumn Spice Granola….yummo!

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48 KathEats October 1, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Oooo fun!! Glad you like it! I’m totally hooked on the buttery toasted walnuts with the cranberries!

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49 KathEats October 1, 2012 at 1:56 pm

My favorite : )

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50 Averie @ Averie Cooks October 1, 2012 at 11:57 am

Thanks for linking up my date bar recipe! And those apple bars just look incredible! I love baked apples – very little smells more heavenly than the scent of apples and cinnamon baking! Glad that the baking bug has bitten you. When I was pregnant, I wasn’t into cooking or baking at all either. I was just…very meh about it all and content to eat other people’s goodies just like you mentioned.

Glad that you’re liking the Bugaboo better now, too!

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51 Morgan October 1, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Wow, that is one delicious post! I am now officially excited for pumpkin pancakes in the morning. Although, I usually get a little over-zealous with the pumpkin and the pancakes come out very soggy. I’ll have to try the 1/3 cup measurement. Thanks, Kath :)

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52 Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) October 1, 2012 at 12:10 pm

That pizza looks yummmmmy!

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53 Tonya October 1, 2012 at 12:14 pm

I wasn’t too interested in this recipe until you said the word “shortbread”!! My tastebuds wake up for shortbread!

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54 kim@hungryhealthygirl October 1, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Pumpkin pancakes are my favorite and your’s look delicious! Maze looks so comfy cozy in his bugaboo. Have a great week!

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55 Ellen @ Wannabe Health Nut October 1, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Everything looks so delicious as always! Great egg boiling tip, too. I usually try to peel it while it’s still hot without much success. (It hurts too!) And you’re right…little dab of ice cream would be perfect on those apple bars. YUM I love fall!

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56 coco October 1, 2012 at 12:44 pm

what an amazing spread of food! I can’t believe you can manage to do all these and take care od M!
sleepless nights leave me enerygless during the day. I wonder what’s your night routine? does M sleep long stretches? you mentioned that Matt akes half f the night? what does he give him to eat? do you pump?
I am thinking about letting my hubby to take part of the night.

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57 KathEats October 1, 2012 at 1:57 pm

We have been working in shifts, with makes SUCH a difference! One of us is on baby care and sleeps in the nursery. I’m still breastfeeding 100% of the time, but just having to feed him and not worry about soothing him back to sleep means I get much better sleep during those hours. Matt cares for him from about 9pm – 12am and then I do 12am to 8ish. We’ve had 2 four-hour stretches, but typical is 1.5-2 hours. Hoping to start pumping soon!

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58 Coco October 1, 2012 at 6:01 pm

Thanks Kath! That’s a great idea, I will implement it tonight. I think I can have much better sleep in another room.
2hrs stretch? You mean including feeding time or just sleep time?

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59 KathEats October 1, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Sleep time!

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60 Rachel October 1, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Everything looks great! And so do you! That is such a sweet picture :)

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61 Annette @FitnessPerks October 1, 2012 at 12:54 pm

I made apple chunk protein muffins–I felt in the mood to bake too! Hah.

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62 Stephanie @ Legally Blinde October 1, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Love your breakfast set-up! Perfect for fall :) And the pumpkin pancakes look absolutely delicious.

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63 Meagan October 1, 2012 at 3:39 pm

I didn’t know the cracked shell tip! THANKS for sharing :D

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64 Alisha @ Alisha's Appetite October 1, 2012 at 3:57 pm

That’s great that you’re getting the urge to be in the kitchen again!

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65 Brie @ Impatient Baker October 1, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Glad my egg tip worked! It’s a charm.

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66 KathEats October 1, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Oh good – you get all the credit!

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67 Katie@Real Food Katie's Way October 1, 2012 at 4:37 pm

I was planning on making tacos on Friday for supper but now I am officially making quesadillas! It’s truly amazing how often I leave this blog inspired!

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68 Amy Wiginton October 1, 2012 at 5:36 pm

LOVE, love, love the picture of Matt holding Maze on the park bench…if you crop out the dude doing yard work, its a total keeper.

I was the same way when pregnant with all the kids. Dinner and food prep was such a huge chore and I normally love it. It all comes back when you’re back to normal.

Do you miss being pregnant and all the excitement of getting ready to deliver? It was a little bit of let down (no pun intended) but mostly i LOVED holding all the babies in real life :)

You are such a cute mom!! And a total testament to healthy living and eating while prego…so lucky you could do all of the things you did to keep up with your growing belly.

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69 KathEats October 1, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Let down – haha. I don’t really miss being pregnant at all, but I am in disbelief that it’s over. It ends so abruptly!

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70 Vhangie October 1, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Those recipes are really amazing. Your pancake is really perfect for breakfast, cant wait to try this. Thanks for the motivation to eat the healthy foods…

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71 Aja October 1, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Sigh, your day looks like so much fun with so much fun food!

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72 Ellen October 1, 2012 at 6:40 pm

=) Glad you liked the looks of those pumpkin cookies. I’m gonna need to try these apple crumble bars.. yum! Also, I just have to say…I can’t get over your sweet little boy. He’s beyond adorable. You’re a lucky mama!

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73 KathEats October 1, 2012 at 7:50 pm

Hiii!

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74 Spice Chicken October 1, 2012 at 8:34 pm

So glad to see you cooking again. Those pancakes look amazing. Your gorgeous salads inspired me to compose my own epic creation this afternoon: lettuce topped with a little leftover grilled chicken, quinoa, grilled onions and squash, and sliced cherry tomatoes and bell pepper, dressed with a bit of sherry vinegar and olive oil.

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75 Chelsea@Ahintofhealthy October 1, 2012 at 9:15 pm

You just got me so excited for the fall! I love that tablecloth and mug!

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76 Diana October 1, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Aww, that picture of Matt and Mazen? SO cute!

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77 Kelsey October 1, 2012 at 10:43 pm

Those apple crisp bars look so delicious!! I am a sucker for autumn flavors. When you bake the quesadillas do you use any sort of oil? I haven’t tried them prepared that way. They look great!

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78 KathEats October 1, 2012 at 11:59 pm

Nope, no oil needed

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79 Amelia (Eating Made Easy) October 1, 2012 at 11:57 pm

All the food in this post is downright beautiful!

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80 Sarah October 2, 2012 at 7:36 am

Yeah, someone else who felt as I do now. I used to love being in the kitchen and cooking, but since I’ve been pregnant I just want someone else to cook the meals for me and to eat anything other than what I’ve prepared. Weird.

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81 Heidi kokborg October 2, 2012 at 7:41 am

Wow! Those pancakes look amazing! You make me crave pancakes :) I need a little practice though to make mine look as delicious as yours :)

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82 Alyssa October 2, 2012 at 7:59 am

Glad you are feeling like your normal self again! I can’t imagine how much your life changes after you’ve had a baby, definitely for the better, but change is tough any way it comes! I think one of the reasons I’m hesitant to bake, as you relayed, is that I have this compelling tendency to need to eat all of the dessert all of the time until it is gone :-) I hate letting things go to waste and it seems fresh baked treats go bad more quickly. I commend you for your self control!

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83 The Many Thoughts of a Reader October 2, 2012 at 9:20 am

Can I ask how you did the quesadillas? Did you just put the ingredients in and fold over on a baking sheet or did you spray the sides or whaaat? I’m trying to figure out how to re-create it. It looks soo good!

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84 KathEats October 2, 2012 at 9:57 am

Yep! The refried beans and cheese helped them stick (you could consider using a toothpick) and we just baked them – no oils – for 10-15 minutes (ours actually kind of burned because we left them unattended too long!)

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85 Christina @ The Beautiful Balance October 2, 2012 at 3:31 pm

I am obsessed with pumpkin anything. Those pancakes look incredible.

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86 Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count October 3, 2012 at 5:19 am

Everything looks delicious, Especiallythe apple bars! Love the photo of Matt holding the baby.

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87 Alex October 5, 2012 at 7:34 am

So glad that you liked the apple bars! Next time I would be happy to bring you some if it means that I can snuggle Maze for a little.

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88 KathEats October 5, 2012 at 8:38 am

Haha. Come by anytime!

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