Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies {recipe}

Nursing has gone very well for us thus far, for which I’m incredibly grateful.

These cookies can’t take all of the credit, of course, but I believe in the power of food right down to my core.  I trust the research on certain ingredients, specifically oats, flaxseed, and brewer’s yeast, and how they can help a nursing mother’s body keep up its milk supply.

Whether you’re pregnant and due in the near future, or you’re a nursing mama already, I highly recommend these cookies.  The best part is they freeze perfectly so all you have to do is make one batch, place them in a sealed container in your freezer (after eating a couple fresh from the oven first, naturally), and then pop one or two out of the freezer just a few minutes before you’d like to eat them.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies


  • 1.5 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup almond meal/flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup brewer’s yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (or almond butter)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips/chunks


  1.  Preheat the oven to 350*F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (or grease it with coconut oil or butter).
  2. Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir until combined.
  3. “Drop” the cookies onto the baking sheet (they hardly spread out when baking so you can place them close to one another).
  4. Bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies begin to brown slightly.
  5. Enjoy!

Favorite Fall Dinners

I love Fall.  It’s right up there with summer for me.  I love how cozy it feels, but the season also hasn’t taken away every last ounce of sunshine and heat yet.  Obviously this was more true for me when I lived in MN, but even where we’re at in CA it’s starting to feel like Fall.

Whenever the weather cools down I really crave time in the kitchen, cooking hot dinners and baking new recipes.

To relish the new season, I thought I’d share some of my favorite Fall dinners with you today.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

If you’re looking for a good recipe, this one is the base I typically follow.  And if you’re interested in a slightly different version, try out this one for bean and butternut squash chili.

homemade chili and cornbread - dinner

Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce

love spaghetti squash – it’s super easy to make, too (just be cautious when slicing the beast, I’m a little amazed I haven’t lost a finger in the process yet).  While it’s roasting in the oven, I combine some cooked beef or brown lentils, sauteed onions and garlic (or whatever veggies I have on hand), and marinara sauce.  Combine the sauce with the squash and it’s a delicious, healthy meal.

spaghetti squash with veggie-filled sauce topping dinner

Butternut Squash Mexi-Bake

I love this recipe!

butternut squash mexi-bake dinner recipe

Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, or Squash Quesadillas

such a simple meal: two good tortillas filled with either mashed pumpkin, sweet potato, or squash, plus some leafy greens, corn (or whatever other veg), plus cheese.  once cooked, top it with some salsa, avocado, and maybe a little sour cream or fresh cilantro and you’re good to go.

pumpkin quesadillas


Creamy Pumpkin Pasta with Peas and Toasted Walnuts

This dish has a unique blend of flavors and is the perfect comfort food for anyone who loves pumpkin.

pumpkin pasta with peas and walnuts




What are your favorite dinners to make this season?

Almond Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies {recipe}

I’ve made a batch of these cookies at least five times now (and I plan to again tonight) and they didn’t survive past a few days in our kitchen.  Trust me, they’re delicious.  Enjoy!

Almond Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

(and for anyone with food specificities, these cookies are gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free, as long as your chosen chocolate is free of those ingredients)

Almond Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies


  • 1/3 cup almond meal/flour
  • 3/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or molasses (or both if you’d like)
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (or a dark chocolate bar cut into chunks, as I did)


1.  Preheat the oven to 350*F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (or grease it with coconut oil or butter).

2.  Except for the chocolate, combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Stir until combined.

3.  Fold in the chocolate chunks.

4.  “Drop” the batter onto the baking sheet by the spoonful, though don’t place them too close to each other because they’ll spread out a bit as they bake.

5.  Bake for 10-18 minutes, or until the cookies look ‘set’ and are done to your liking.

6.  Allow to cool for a few minutes on the pan, then…

7.  Enjoy!

Twins games, Church, Baby Watch Update

This month can just about slow down as far as I’m concerned.  I can’t believe it’s July 20th already?!  We’re on round 2 of having company this month and I’m certain that’s making the time fly all that much faster.  Trying to soak in these days before our lives change completely.

Jesse’s youngest brother Scott is here!  He arrived on Thursday night and will be here for the first half of this week.

Before he arrived on Thursday, I did some baby laundry for the first time.  I nearly broke into tears as I was sitting on the floor of his room folding all of these tiny adorable outfits, socks, hats, washcloths, towels, burpcloths, and blankets.  I have all of his newborn clothes washed (see below) and plan to wash all of the 0-3 months sized clothing once our dresser arrives and is assembled, which should be before the end of this week.

laundry - washing newborn clothes

Jesse was able to take Friday off from work so we spent the day hanging out with Scott, mostly poolside, and then went to the Coliseum for the Oakland A’s vs. Minnesota Twins game.  We won!

twins vs. oakland a's baseball game

Saturday was a pretty similar day, ending with another baseball game, the Twins just didn’t quite pull off a win that night.  (and let’s not even talk about how their game went on Sunday.)


scott, jesse, danica - twins game in oakland

(my energy level was awfully low by Saturday night – it was all a lot of fun though and completely worth it)

We attended church on Sunday morning (after two weeks of visiting, I think we may have found a keeper…answered prayer!) and then went out for crepes for lunch.

what is means to be a Christian - salvation explained in a diagram

This is such a simple yet powerful way to explain salvation and Christianity, isn’t it?  Sunday’s sermon was all about what it means to be a Christian, how to become a Christian, and how to explain to others what being a Christian means.  Amazingly enough, I’ve never heard a sermon on this exact topic before, and I loved it.

savory crepes - lunch

We had our final meeting with our doula in the afternoon, and by that point I knew I just needed to rest for a bit.  Jesse and Scott headed to San Francisco to do some fun touristy stuff, but I called it a day and stayed home.  Quality brother time for them :)

37 weeks 5 days pregnant

Baby Watch Update:

I’ll be 38 weeks tomorrow…I’m having light menstrual-like cramps off and on throughout the day and some strong low pressure occasionally, but I don’t think any of this is labor, just my body preparing for labor.  Those moments of cramps and/or pressure are really uncomfortable, but when I don’t have them I feel really good.  My body just requires a lot of rest right now it seems, even though I (mentally) want to be going going going.  So thankful for baby boy’s kicks and squirms.  I’m still predicting he makes his arrival around the 41-week mark, so that means just a few weeks to go!


Do you have a prediction of when the baby will arrive?!

I’m honestly tempted to make a post solely dedicated to this for-fun prediction, offering a prize for whomever gets closest…would that be fun?

Crepes – sweet or savory?

What’s your favorite baseball team?  Have you been to a game this season?

Fun 4th of July Recipes!

Independence Day is nearly here!

Since we’re moving tomorrow, I won’t be around the blog much between tonight and Monday, and who knows when we’ll get internet set up at our new place.
(I may or may not have just thought about this whole internet setup thing while typing this paragraph…whoops.)

Growing up, my sister, mom, and I always made a red, white, and blue dessert to bring to our big family picnic.  With a few days to prepare, I thought I’d share some fun 4th of July-themed recipes I’ve seen floating around the internet.

Easy & Healthy Fruit Dessert Pizza

from Happy Healthy Mama

(can someone please make this one for me?)

healthy 4th of july fruit pizza

Red White & Blue Sangria

from Punchbowl

Red, white and blue lemonade

Patriotic Taco Salad Recipe

from Taste of Home

patriotic taco salad recipe

Blueberry, Strawberry, & Jicama Salsa

from Two Peas & Their Pod


Patriotic Watermelon & Feta Flag

from Wenderly

(so easy and fun)

watermelon and feta flag

Lattice-Topped Blackberry Cobbler

from My Recipes


or maybe a

Classic Sour Cherry Pie with Lattice Crust

from Epicurious


and last but not least…

Red, White, & Blue Blondies

from Pink Cake Plate


Let me know what foods you’re making for/eating this weekend!

Wishing you a wonderful weekend and a happy Independence Day!

July: Seasonal Produce

Happy July 1st!

This means we’re halfway through 2015 already.  How crazy is that?!

A new month means I have a new list of now-in-season produce for you.  This is quite possibly the best time of year for fresh produce.  Let’s take a look at what’s available in July…

When you eat fruits and veggies that are currently in season, you consume produce that contains an even higher nutritional value.  The produce is also more flavorful, fresh, and cost-effective!

farmers' market strawberries

Be on the lookout for the following fruits and vegetables at your local farmer’s market and area farms, food co-ops, and grocery stores this month!


  • Apricots
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Melons
  • Peaches
  • Plums & Pluots
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries


  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Basil
  • Beets
  • Bell Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Chard
  • Cilantro
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Green Beans
  • Green Onions
  • Greens (various varieties)
  • Kale
  • Lettuce (various varieties)
  • Mushrooms (various varieties)
  • Okra
  • Parsley
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Radishes
  • Scallions
  • Spinach
  • Summer Squash
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini

**if you’re searching for a farmers’ market in your area, check HERE – this is also a great site for learning about local-to-you produce since the above lists can’t be completely accurate for every geographical region**


June: Seasonal Produce

“I can’t believe it’s (insert new month name) already!”  <–what I say at the beginning of every month.  Time flies, people!

For many reasons, I’m excited the summer is here, or nearly here at least.  The weather in northern California certainly doesn’t feel like it, however – it’s been cool and cloudy for weeks now – but I know the warmer weather will come around.

Strolling through the farmers’ market on Saturday mornings has become a weekend must for us, and I love seeing what’s new and fresh each week – the tables full of produce are always beautiful!

When you eat fruits and veggies that are currently in season, you consume produce that contains an even higher nutritional value.  The produce is also more flavorful, fresh, and cost-effective!

farmers' market strawberries

Be on the lookout for the following fruits and vegetables at your local farmer’s market, food co-op, and grocery store this month:


  • apricots
  • avocados
  • berries…
    strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blackberries, boysenberries
  • cherries
  • figs
  • grapes
  • limes
  • melons…
    honeydew, cantaloupe, watermelon
  • nectarines
  • peaches
  • pineapple


  • asparagus
  • beets
  • cabbage
  • carrots
  • corn
  • cucumber
  • green beans
  • leafy greens (several varieties, including kale)
  • lettuce (several varieties)
  • onions
  • peas
  • potatoes
  • tomatoes
  • zucchini


The fresh produce that’s currently available certainly varies by region…what’s catching your eye at the farmers’/grocery market lately?

May: Seasonal Produce

I love the month of May…flowers are blooming, wedding season begins, schools are wrapping up and graduations are fast-approaching, the weather is becoming warmer and sunnier, summer is nearly here, and there’s more and more fresh, delicious produce becoming available each day.

Here’s a look at what foods we’ll be seeing more of this month…

When you eat fruits and veggies that are currently in season, you consume produce that contains an even higher nutritional value.  The produce is also more flavorful, fresh, and cost-effective!

May farmers' market haul - strawberries and peaches

Be on the lookout for the following fruits and vegetables at your local farmer’s market, food co-op, and grocery store this month!


  • Apricots
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Honeydew
  • Lemons
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Raspberries
  • Rhubarb
  • Strawberries (my favorite!)


  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Beans (fava and green)
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Fennel
  • Greens (collard, mustard, arugula, dandelion)
  • Kale
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Peas, particularly Snow Peas
  • Radishes


What’s your favorite in-season produce this time of year?

April Recipe Roundup

I hope you had a good weekend!  Ours isn’t over yet so I’ll be recapping it later this week :)

April is coming to a close so it’s time to take a look at the recipes I made this month to keep on point with one of my 2015 goals.  I made quite a few this month!


Blueberry Spelt Muffins
from the Whole Foods Market website

Blueberry Spelt Muffins from Whole Foods Market

These turned out pretty well – both of us liked them – but they were a little on the drier side and weren’t anything impressive so I doubt I’d make them again.


Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast Loaf
from He and She Eat Clean


This recipe turned out great!  I loved the ingredients list.  The bread was pretty moist so I’d recommend storing it in the fridge.


Spinach Pancakes
from Weelicious


I made this as waffles for brinner last week and they turned out really great.  It’s definitely a recipe I’ll make again because the spinach was totally unrecognizable so, I figure, why not add it to waffles?


One Pan Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas
from the cookbook “more peas, thank you” by Sarah Matheny


These were really good – interesting to have a slightly sweeter taste to a dip that’s typically very savory and cheesy.  Pretty easy to make and we enjoyed leftovers for a several meals afterward because it makes a full pan.  Come to think of it, this would make a great freezer meal (noted for when it’s closer to baby time).


Spinach Artichoke Calzones
again from the cookbook “more peas, thank you” by Sarah Matheny

spinach artichoke calzones

WOW these were good.  The filling alone was fantastic.  I’m sure I’ll make the filling, at least, again because it would make an awesome dip.  This was my first time eating a non-dairy spinach and artichoke dish and I liked it more than any cheesy one I’ve tried.


Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies
from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen


YUM.  I highly recommend this recipe.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls
from Nutritious Eats


I made these on Easter and they were just as good as I’d expected they’d be.  They lasted in the fridge for just over a week – the batch made several so I snacked on one or two a day.


Peanut Butter Avocado Cookies
from The Lean Green Bean


I’ve actually made these once before but they were so good I had to make them again after spotting them on Pinterest.  I recommend storing them in the fridge and dipping them in whatever kind of milk you like.  The recipe also makes quite a few so I put about half the batch in the freezer – they’re delicious cold, just minutes out of  the freezer.  Another one I’d definitely recommend you make sometime!


*click on any picture to be directed to its original source


What recipes have you recently made?  
Feel free to leave a link in your comment!

Marathon Monday! plus scenes from the weekend 4.20.15

Happy Marathon Monday!  I’m so excited to watch all of the runners in Boston today.
I’m not promising anything right now, mostly because I’m pregnant and miss running like crazy, but I kind of want to run the Boston marathon one day.  It’s quite a lofty dream, but I just know that it would be a challenge like no other with a reward like no other.  We’ll see what the future holds!

Anyway, back to the weekend…here are a few scenes from it….

Jesse snapped this picture on Friday night…Zida was really hoping to feel the baby kick! :)

Zida and pregnant baby belly

Saturday morning scripture reading

Bible scripture reading

oh my goodness, you guys…
these strawberries!!
I told Jesse the one thing I really had my heart set on for the weekend was to go to a farmers’ market and find strawberries – they’re my absolute favorite food and I was really craving them – success!  (and they’re already gone.)
Plus we also scooped up some lemons and avocados.  I think this is just the start of an awesome summer of produce and great market finds.

April farmers' market - strawberries, lemons, avocados

the Wild didn’t quite pull off a win for game 2

Wild game on tv

we went out for Greek food for dinner on Saturday night – this gyros wrap was delicious.

Greek food - gyros wrap

a little work on Sunday

Wellness with Danica work

picked up a few groceries on our way back from our childbirth class, and then spent the evening at home watching the ACM awards

whole foods trip


Are you watching the Boston marathon today?  Do you personally know anyone that’s running?

What’s your absolute favorite food?