easiest christmas treats ever

dark chocolate grahams with white chocolate and sea salt

these are seriously the easiest “cookies” or treats for christmas or any late night chocolate craving. i have a weird obsession with graham crackers but paired with chocolate and sea salt, they are over the top. they are so great for kids to help decorate, because all it takes is a little melted chocolate and sprinkles. believe it or not, emmett (2 year old) did most of the white chocolate drizzle on these… future cake decorator! he had the best time decorating and eating sprinkles and this is just a really easy and fun activity for toddlers and then *bonus* they get a sweet treat after. plus not a ton of clean up for mom.

ingredients

honey or cinnamon graham crackers
semi sweet chocolate chips
white chocolate chips – my favorite are ghirardelli
1/8 tsp coconut oil
flaked sea salt – i used maldon
optional – sprinkles to decorate

instructions

melt semi sweet chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl in increments of 20-30 seconds, checking and stirring frequently until they are mostly melted. then stir them vigorously until all the chocolate chips are uniformly melted. add a tiny bit of coconut oil into the white chocolate chips and melt them the same way as the semi sweet chocolate chips. spread onto the graham crackers, sprinkle with toppings and pop them into the freezer for a few minutes to set them. they will harden at room temperature, but i always stick them in the freezer because i just can’t wait to eat them 🙂

nugget life

veggie chicken nuggets

kid approved and mom-approved, kind of a pain in the butt to make, but as my 2-year-old would say, “so delicious and so healthy!”

ingredients

1 lb ground chicken
3-4 large broccoli florets
1 medium-sized carrot
½ red bell pepper
¼ large yellow onion (If it’s a small onion, use a half)
1 large egg, beaten
¼ tsp kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/8-1/4 tsp garlic powder
Few shakes of smoked paprika
1/3-1/2 cup italian seasoned breadcrumbs, plus more for coating
panko breadcrumbs
olive oil

instructions

pulse broccoli, carrots, onion, and red pepper in a food processor. saute over medium heat with some olive oil until veggies start to soften. in a large bowl, beat egg and add chicken. once veggies are softened, add into chicken and egg. add salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. add in 1/3-1/2 cups of the italian breadcrumbs until meatball consistency. You want it to be able to hold its shape together enough to form into nugget shapes. mix together about half and half panko bread crumbs and italian seasoned breadcrumbs in a separate bowl. form meat mixture into nugget shapes (I just grabbed about as much as I would need for a meatball, rolled it into a ball and pressed it flat). it’s easier to do with wet hands so the mixture doesn’t stick. coat each nugget in breadcrumbs and set aside. heat oil over medium heat in a skillet. cook nuggets for about 4 minutes on each side. i’m a crazy person and put the lid on the pan while they were cooking on the first side, just to make extra sure i wouldn’t give everyone salmonella (but this probably isn’t necessary). 🙂

the pork speaks for itself

instant pot pulled pork

…the two year old ate his entire serving (unheard of), and the 8 month old couldn’t stop shoveling it in. enjoy!

ingredients

6-7 pound bone in pork shoulder

dry rub:
¾ cup packed dark brown sugar, 1 ½ tbsp kosher salt, ½ tbsp fresh ground black pepper, 1 tbsp smoked paprika, 1 tbsp ancho chili powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, a few shakes of cinnamon (to taste).

braising liquid: 1 can of beer (i used blue moon), about ½ cup of water, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp soy sauce

olive oil

instructions

the night before, mix together dry rub and cut pork into 2-3 large pieces. add pork and dry rub to a bowl or gallon sized plastic bag, along with dry rub and a few glugs of olive oil. mix together so all the pork is coated in the dry rub/olive oil mixture. refrigerate overnight. next day, add pork and braising liquid to instant pot. cook on manual mode, high pressure for 90 minutes. let pressure cooker naturally release for at least 10 minutes, then you can manually release steam. enjoy tender, juicy pulled pork 🙂