Category: appetizers/snacks

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am so excited to introduce you to  Sally from the blog, Sweet Peas and ABCs, a blog focused on not only cooking for your kids, but getting them involved in the process!  I have known Sally for what seems my entire life.  She is the younger sister of one of my Best Friends and if I wasn’t at my house, there was a good chance I was at theirs.  Sally has always had a love for cooking (I believe it was in High School that she asked for a pasta maker for Christmas) and has created some pretty amazing things in the kitchen.  Sally was a teacher in Chicago until she decided to stay at home with her beautiful daughter and bring both her cooking creativity and teaching to the kitchen and create her blog.  What a perfect way to merge her love for both while sharing it with her daughter!  She is going to be contributing to JIH each month with some amazing recipes and I am so excited to share.  This lady needs some kitchen inspiration (as we all do some days!) and I am so grateful for Sally who can provide it!  I hope you enjoy her contributions as much as I know I will!  And now I will hand it over to Sally…


Hello Juggling in Heels readers! A huge thank you to Sarah for asking me to contribute today so I can share my love of The Great Pumpkin. Gosh, it really is great, isn’t it?!

It’s almost Halloween, so I had to sneak in ONE MORE pumpkin recipe for you. I just can’t get enough of it and will quite honestly be baking and making meals with pumpkin for many months to come. It’s so delicious AND nutritious AND doubles as a great egg-substitute (a huge bonus in my book!).

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

These super soft egg-free pumpkin chocolate chip cookies have been stocked regularly in our house lately. I changed up the original recipe from Baked by Rachel by upping the spice factor a bit and using mini chocolate chips.

The minis in these cookies are a must! They disperse much more evenly throughout the cookie so that each bite is equal parts spicy pumpkin flavor and gooey rich chocolate. Plus, anything mini is just cute.

Mini Chocolate Chips

If you’re in the soft-cookie-loving camp, these are for you.

If you’re in the pumpkin-in-everything-until-Christmas camp, these are for you.

If you’re in the but-I-still-love-my-chocolate-chip-cookies camp, these are for you.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

And if there is such a thing as “The Great Pumpkin,” shouldn’t we leave him a plate of cookies and a glass of milk this Halloween, like a certain big guy in red? Only seems fair.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies


Little Hands Can…

  • Measure out both wet and dry ingredients
  • Older kids can operate the mixer
  • Stir in the chocolate chips
  • Scoop the cookie dough onto baking sheets
  • Gently press down on the dough balls before baking

Mixing Cookie Dough

Mixing Cookie Dough


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips (We like the “Enjoy Life” brand, as they are allergy-friendly)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat baking liner.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar and brown sugar together. Using a handheld mixer, or stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the ingredients together until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes).
  4. Add the pumpkin puree and vanilla to the bowl and mix until incorporated.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: flour, salt, spices, baking powder and baking soda. Incorporate the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until it just comes together.
  6. Stir in the mini chocolate chips.
  7. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until chilled.
  8. Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon, scoop out 1-2 tablespoons of dough and drop onto your cookie sheet. Use your hand to press down slightly on top of each dough ball.
  9. Bake for 10-11 minutes, or until slightly golden brown.
  10. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Recipe adapted from Baked by Rachel

On the Side

Besides being delicious, I love this recipe in particular because of it’s egg-free ways. My little one has an egg allergy, so during these holiday times when treats abound, it’s nice to have an allergy-friendly treat ready to go. We’re always checking labels and unfortunately often saying, “I’m sorry sweetie, you can’t have that, it has egg in it.” She understands as much as a 2-year-old can and with each situation, she understands a bit more about why she can’t eat certain things. I know things could certainly be worse and when it comes to food allergies, Em’s is pretty mild, but for a 2-year-old, it’s a big deal and my heart breaks a little each time we have to say no.

That’s why we’re supporting the “Teal Pumpkin Project” this year, and for many years to come, so that ALL children can enjoy holidays like Halloween. The “Teal Pumpkin Project” is an initiative by FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) to raise awareness about food allergies and promote practices that allow ALL trick-or-treaters to have a fun and safe Halloween.

Teal Pumpkin Project

  • Did you know that approximately 1 in 13 children has a food allergy? On average, that’s two students per classroom, so chances are there are kids with food allergies in your child’s class and in your neighborhood.
  • Did you know that eight foods account for nearly 90% of all allergic reactions? The top eight are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish.
  • Did you know that the rate of food allergies among children increased 50% between 1997 and 2011 and continues to rise? There is no clear answer why.
(Statistics from FARE)

Teal Pumpkin Project

We painted our pumpkin this past weekend and will display it in front of our home this Saturday night as an indication that we have both “treats” (food) and “tricks” (non-food) for trick-or-treaters that come ’round. Shout out to Target for their great stash of super-fun, non-food items for such an occasion!

Teal Pumpkin Project non-food treat ideas

How can you participate? There are many ways! Sign the pledge at FARE, grab some non-food trick-or-treat items to hand out on Halloween, and paint a pumpkin teal, or print out a free sign from FARE to hang in your window, to show that you have non-food treats to share.

Teal Pumpkin Project

Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!


To learn more about the Teal Pumpkin Project, visit FARE.

For more delicious recipes and learning activities to try with your kids in the kitchen, check out Sweet Peas and ABCs.

You can also find me on:

I know I am jumping on the trend bandwagon with this post but I do not care because I am obsessed with Avocado Toast.  For breakfast, lunch or dinner, I just cannot get enough.  As a mom, it does make the EASIEST lunch ever, allowing you to get some great nutrients in with very little time.  The only difference between mine and perhaps the uber healthy version is that I like cheese with it, because cheese is my favorite and I see no reason not to add it.  Here is what you need to do…

Two slices of cheese
One Avocado
Two pieces of bread
Salt and pepper

1. Turn your broiler on.
2. Toast two pieces of bread in your toaster and then set on a baking sheet with a slice of cheese on each piece.
3. Still the toast and cheese under the broiler just long enough to melt the cheese on top.
4. Remove from the oven and place on a plate.
5. Slice the avocado and lay slices across each piece of toast.
6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

I have been absolutely terrible with recipe posts lately.
It is not that I haven’t been cooking, it is just that I haven’t been planning appropriately and am usually enjoying the meal when I realize that I should have taken some photos.

With Spring on its way, I am going to be better at this and begin sharing some yummy recipes that are perfect for some nice weather (which I swear is coming soon for those outside of California.  We will stop monopolizing I promise!)

The hubby has an affinity to eating Paleo right now.
I do not.
In fact, I turn B*tch when I eat Paleo.
This lady needs her carbs, bread and chocolate.
But this is totally off subject.

He has been following it pretty well lately and so I was looking for some recipes that would be Paleo but that I would also eat.
 And then I found these Zucchini Parmesan Crisps.
I mean, they are just zucchini!
Well, after making them I was told that since I used cheese and bread crumbs, they are technically not Paleo.
So I ate them alone.
And they were FABULOUS.
He totally missed out.

One of my favorites foods in France were crepes.  I cannot tell you how many ham and cheese crepes I ate while I was there but I just could not get enough.  Every time I find them on a menu, they will be ordered.  Every time I find a cafe that serves crepes, it becomes an instant favorite.  I do not know why it took so long for me to finally purchase a crepe pan and try them out for myself.

I picked up the Cuisinart Classic Crepe pan and figured there was no better way to try out my crepe making abilities than by making nutella crepes for the kids after school yesterday.  They are obsessed with nutella crepes and something a little different.  I used this recipe for crepes and got to work.

The treat was incredibly delicious and so easy to make.  The pan made it entirely too easy to spread the batter around and make a perfectly round shape (which I thought was going to be the hardest part).  The recipe was a no brainer and in just a few minutes, crepes were being served!  Next up?  My favorite ham and cheese of course!

I would also like to give a big shout out to the best father, husband and friend a girl could know.  
Happy Birthday Hubby.  
The kids and I adore you!  

With Halloween just a few days away, I thought I would share my most recent Shoptopia Clip.  In this video I make three different and EXTREMELY easy ways to season and bake your pumpkin seeds.  Whether you prefer traditional, sweet or savory, there is a recipe here for you.  My favorite one?  The sweet (typical), but all three are fantastic.

What am I wearing?
The sweater is T by Alexander Wang (similar), the cords are Gap and the necklaces are Stella & Dot and CEEK.

Happy Monday.

Yesterday the kids and I got into the spirit of the 4th and decided to make some rice krispy treats with a red, white and blue spin.  We followed the basic recipe for rice krispy treats but added some red and blue M&M’s and candy sticks to make them less sticky to eat.  They are an incredible easy dessert to make for the 4th and who doesn’t love a good rice krispy treat?

3 Tablespoons butter
6 cups Rice Krispies
40 regular marshmallows
Red and blue M&M’s (pulled from a regular bag)
Star cookie cutter
Candy sticks

How To Make:
1. Melt the butter in a large sauce pan on low heat.
2. Add the marshmallows and mix continuously until they are all melted.
3. In a large mixing bowl, mix the cereal and marshmallows together until all the cereal is covered
4. Mix in the M&M’s
5. Flatten mixture on a rimmed baking sheet that has been lined with butter or nonstick cooking spray
6. Let cool until completely cooled
7. Cut out star shapes with the cookie cutter
8. Place the candy stick into the star and enjoy!

If you are interested in some more 4th of July fun, I am over at My Thirty Spot today sharing a little wardrobe inspiration for the holiday!  Come visit here.

My kids love sweets.  Surprise surprise right?  Ice Cream, cookies, cupcakes, candy.  They love it all.  This is to be expected with a mother who also has a slight addiction to all things chocolate.  I seem to always be walking the tightrope of not indulging them with sweets but also not being too crazy about it that one day I find candy bars hidden under the mattress.  

To help with the balance I am constantly looking for recipes that offer the sweet flavor my kids love but are not filled with SO much sugar and fat.  I came across a recipe for this lighter Chocolate Milkshake, and thought I would try it out.  
It was a hit with two out of three of the kids (Middle Man is SO picky that this was no surprise at all) and I enjoyed it myself.  With coconut milk, agave, bananas, peanut butter and cocoa powder, it created  a blended drink that provided some nutrition AND tasted like a dark chocolate milkshake.  Is it an In and Out shake?  No.  But it did curb that craving for something sweet and was a refreshing drink on a hot day.  With summer right around the corner this will be a running staple in the house when the ice cream cones feel like they are on overload.

After spending the day inside on Saturday, I was itching to get out of the house for a bit and pull together a good meal for dinner.  Whole Foods is one of my favorite places to go shopping and I casually roamed the aisles with a friend (yes, it was Girl’s Day at Whole Foods), taking in my little bit of escape.  One item I was grabbing ingredients for was Jalapeno Cheese Bread.  When I came across the recipe it just looked too good to pass up and I was right.  It was SUPER EASY to make and had so much yummy flavor.  Served with filet skewers and sauteed kale, it was the perfect spicy addition to celebrate everyone being healthy again.  Still crossing my fingers no one gets sick…

What you need:
2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
3/4 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 jar pickled jalapenos
1 loaf sourdough bread
salt, pepper and paprika

1. Mix mayonnaise, cheese and 1 tablespoon brine from the jalapeno jar; season with salt and pepper
2. Broil 4 slices of bread on a baking sheet until golden
3. Flip slices over and spread cheese mixture across
4. Top with chopped pickled jalapenos and a dash of paprika
5. Broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly, then cut each slice in half

* recipe courtesy of Food Network

Gone are the days of a few crackers and fruit as an after school snack.  My boys come home HUNGARY and it seems, eat our entire kitchen.  I cannot even imagine what the teenage years are going to be like.  I have been trying to come up with some heartier snacks for them to get them until dinner and these Grilled Peanut Butter-Banana Fingers from Cooking Light: Real Family Food did the trick.  A little protein, a little fruit and a little sweet.  They were perfect and not to shabby for me either.  What is not to love about peanut butter, chocolate and banana?  I will tell you.  NOTHING.

2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
4 slices white bread
1 small banana, halved crosswise
cooking spray
1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
2 tablespoons honey (optional)

To Make:
1. Preheat pan or panini grill
2. Spread peanut butter evenly over 2 bread slices.  Cut each banana half lengthwise into three slices.  Layer banana slices over peanut butter on bread slices.  Top with remaining bread slices. ( I actually put the peanut butter on all four slices because I hate when I have a grilled sandwich and it is not evenly spaced.  Blame my OCD).
3. Coat outside of sandwiches with cooking spray and grill, about 1 min on each side.
4. Cut sandwiches into 4 slices.
5. Drizzle sandwich slices evenly with chocolate sauce.  Serve with honey for dipping (one son liked this, the other didn’t.  I did not think it was necessary and sweet enough without the honey)

On Tuesday Baby Girl and I spent the morning at the Sambazon Acai Cafe in Newport Beach, learning about the company, their commitment to sustainability, their products and of course, their incredible Acai Bowls.  I have had Acai Bowls in the past but it has not been anything I have ever tried to make at home.  They actually walked us through, step by step, how to make the perfect Acai Bowl and I could not believe how easy it is.  It was too good not to share and so I am.

The Perfect Acai Bowl

1/2 banana (1/4 if it is ripe)
3 oz. milk, coconut milk, almond milk, or juice (I used almond milk)
Toppings (strawberries, chia seeds, bananas, coconut, almonds….really, anything you want!) 

1. Pour the liquid in your blender.
2. Add the banana
3. Add the two packets of frozen smoothie
4. Blend just enough to create a thick, smooth texture (around 30 seconds, depending on your blender)
5. Scoop into a bowl or cup and sprinkle with granola
6. Add your toppings!

Baby Girl loved the Acai Bowl we made at the cafe enough to not share much with me but I made my own to make up for it.  I topped mine with strawberries, bananas, coconut, and almonds.  Also, feel free to add protein powder, superfood greens or anything else to the blender.  It really is the perfect breakfast or snack!  

You can pick up the Sambazon smoothie packets at your local Costco, grocery store or health food store, depending on your location.  You can search here