Gluten Free Caramel Pecan Pumpkin Bar Bites with a Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Bar Bite

I look for ways to make gluten free foods taste normal and delicious, this mission was no different. I was happy with the results! Best of all, it’s super simple. Recipe below!

Ingredients:

  • 1 box Betty Crocker Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1 Can of Pumpkin (15 oz)
  • 1/2 cup milk (my first batch I missed this and it turned out fine)
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup crushed pecans
  • 4 eggs (or 2 eggs, 4 egg whites)

Frosting

  • 1 can of Betty Crocker Whipped Cream Cheese frosting
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup gluten free caramel sauce. Check around, some sneak wheat starch or flour in as a thickener, I found mind in the gluten free section of my grocery store.

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix all ingredients together (no heavy duty mixer required).
  • Pour into mini-muffin tins (greased if going straight into the tin, not greased if using a mini-cupcake wrapper).
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  • Mix ingredients for the frosting.
  • Allow to cool, pipe frosting over the cupcakes, and done!

Simple and delicious. Give them a try today!

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Dad of the Year

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You guys. I have been thinking about this a lot lately…so bear with me. But, I have to take a second to brag on my husband…then to break things down a bit.

As you know…our family expanded exponentially this year. Our twins were a big surprise and the work that it now takes to keep our four kids healthy and happy (and you know…fed, clean, etc) was an even bigger surprise (read: blessing!).

That multi baby wearing and holding dad up top stepped up to the plate in huge ways. On top of working 60 hour weeks and pursuing his MBA, he took fathering to a full-time level and is only continuing that trend.

The babies are five months old now. When John gets home from work he throws his things down (much to my clean freak chagrin) and takes a baby while wrestling the older two and putting his full focus into hearing about their days. While I make dinner, he entertains, then lets me take me time for a shower…often forgoing any time for himself.

The babies mostly sleep through the night these days. But when they don’t, he’s up…usually letting me sleep. He functions on little sleep, I do not, so it’s an easy equation. Seriously, he makes it all seem easy and I couldn’t be more grateful and couldn’t have found a better partner in this life.

But, I do want to step back and look at a few of the facts.

First, his fathering makes me a better mom and wife…more like the Proverbs 31 example I strive for! We both recognize this. Because I’m not worn ragged by the kids, and because I know I have support, I can handle my own responsibilities with more grace (I hope) and joy (I reminded myself of this while scrubbing questionable brown substances off the kids toilet this morning…ugh! 😉 ).

It also allows me to find myself. I run a writing/social media marketing business from home and have recently jumped into the independent sales ring with Perfectly Posh…with my husband’s complete and utter support. If that doesn’t instill confidence, which I can then pass on to my kids, I’m not sure what does.

Second, he’s setting an example for our kids, whether they know it or not. Raising kids, especially boys, is a huge responsibility. There are studies all over the place about what happens when Dads don’t step up to the plate. My kids see everyday what true fatherly love means, and how a dad should treat his wife. I want my boys to grow up to be men that are present, who put their families first. I want my daughter to know exactly what men who partner with their wives are and to never settle for anything less. These lessons are of the utmost importance and there’s no better way to learn than by example. My husband loves his family sacrificially and is a provider. What an example!

Lastly, he’s not alone. When talking with friends I realized I am far from alone…often to all of our surprise! I’m sharing all of this because this NEEDS to change, and women need to be catalysts to this change! Share what your husband is doing to support you…Let’s take away that feeling of surprise!

As I’ve already shared…we learn by example. If men think their role is to provide and to leave child rearing to their wives, it’s what they’ll do. This leads to emptiness, resentment and hurt.

But if men hear and read stories of other men stepping up to the plate (not in a Mr. Mom role necessarily) but in an “I’m here and I’m going to love my family with all I’ve got” sort of way…this “unusual” trend could become reality.

Ladies…you deserve your own man of the year so you can be exactly who you’re supposed to be, so you can pour all you’ve got into your kids and your marriage. Start small…share when your husband goes above and beyond. Look for ways to compliment him for stepping up. Thank him for the way he supports your family. So often we are negative and look for ways to break things down…Let’s start to build instead!

Who’s in? Who has their own Dad or husband of the year? Thank him, love him, appreciate him and share your story!