My little man and I had a great weekend together while my husband worked. I had already decided it was going to be a crafting weekend so that we could start getting ready for the fun fall season ahead, but at the last minute we threw in a play date for good measure. My good friend Amber and her super sweet kiddos came over, and everyone had a blast. Our two boys (only five months apart) couldn’t stop talking about one another after the play date was over, and I even got a “That was fun!” from her spunky 6-year old who we worried would be bored.

While the kids played, Amber and I did some much needed catching up over coffee and these yummy sausage, egg, and spinach muffins. YUM. We had a side of her delicious zucchini/banana bread that was to die for. Amber, consider this cyberbullying, directed at you – POST. THAT. RECIPE. For my part, here is the muffin recipe.

Egg Muffins with Sausage, Spinach, and Cheese (adapted ever so slightly; thank you, Two Peas & Their Pod!)

Ingredients

  • eight sausage patties (this is more than the original recipe)
  • 5 egg whites
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1/4 cup 2% milk (we hate skim at our house, which is what the recipe calls for)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped spinach
  • 1/4 cup shredded mild Cheddar cheese (the original calls for sharp)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium skillet, brown the sausage patties on medium-high heat. When brown all the way through, cut into small pieces (about 8-10 per patty).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together egg whites and eggs. Whisk in milk and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the spinach.
  3. Grease muffin tin cups with cooking spray. Pour egg mixture evenly into muffin cups. (I used all 12 but a couple of them were pretty small, so you can use less) photo 1 (2)
  4. Distribute cheese and sausage equally between each muffin cup.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the muffins are cooked all the way through. Serve warm.                                                         photo 2 (2)
  6. Enjoy with coffee or orange juice. Almost always coffee, in my case. Can we just look at how adorable my nephew is on that mug?! He was only one in this picture, and I have to stifle a sob when I think that he will be FOUR this Friday. I got a picture of him on his first day of preschool today! AHH.

             photo 3

During the course of the play date, cookies that I had made were discovered and promptly devoured. These were a last minute decision when dinner guests were sprung on me an hour before their arrival. My favorite thing about them is that they contain things that I always have on hand. I promised Amber I would post the recipe, so here you go!

Brown Butter and Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies (Source: Rustic Brooklyn)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2  sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 2 1/4 cups flour (original used whole wheat)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chunks (original used milk chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 tbsp coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Directions

  1. Brown butter: heat 1 stick of butter in a pan over medium-high heat until it melts. Continue cooking and stirring the pan constantly until the butter is dark golden brown with brown flecks on the bottom.
  2. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool completely (I cheated on this a little, it was still a smidge warm).                                                               photo 1 (3)
  3. Mix the other stick of butter, softened, with the brown sugar and granulated sugar on medium speed for a few minutes.
  4. Add vanilla to the mixer.
  5. Slowly add the brown butter. It will have this amazing nutty aroma. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  6. Add the egg and egg yolk and mix some more.
  7. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Add mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low until just incorporated.
  8. Add chocolate chips and mix briefly.                    photo 2 (3)
  9. Cover and chill the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  10. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and place dough balls a couple inches apart.
  11. Sprinkle each ball with some sea salt.
  12. Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating tray(s) halfway through.
  13. Allow to cool and then eat far many more of them than you intended.

          photo 3 (2) photo 4

My son and I weren’t the only ones who ate well this weekend. We made these easy peasy bird feeders using honey nut cheerios and pipe cleaners. Not only was this clean fun, it kept my son entertained for close to an hour, and provided him with a snack. One cheerio for the birds, one cheerio for his mouth, and so on.

Bird Feeders (by Stephanie Lynn)

Materials

  • A couple cups of Honey Nut Cheerios
  • Pipe cleaners

Directions

  1. Bend the end of the pipe cleaner so that the cheerios don’t fall off.
  2. Feed the cheerios onto the pipe cleaner.             photo 1
  3. When finished, bend pipe cleaner into shapes. My little guy is working on circle shapes at daycare, so we kept it simple.
  4. Hang them on a tree and watch the birds enjoy! photo 2

We did some other crafts that I’ll post about in the weeks to come, but all in all, a pretty successful weekend, creativity wise. Otherwise, I was pretty much worthless this weekend. Let’s just not talk about the laundry.

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