Themed Eating Mini Series: Free Saturday (Cheat Day)

January 25, 2014

Guest Post By Amy Hill


I'm Amy Hill, and I started blogging at the HillHuddle about a year and a half ago when my husband and I began the adoption process to bring our twin sons Ezekiel and Gabriel home from Ethiopia. 

What began as a great way to keep friends and family up to date, stuck. Blogging is fun! If I had time, I think I would blog about food that's pretty to serve, DIY projects, and deep thoughts about life and the hereafter. But I'm a mom. So mostly I blog about milestones and throw-up, and my faith all mixed up together. However, my friend and sister-in-law Astleigh is super at blogging about all the sorts of things on my first list, here at Tales of Two Hills. I have loved this week's meal plan shares. Fun, easy, and inspiring... (I might even try to find a portobello mushroom at the grocery store next week.) I'm excited to contribute! But y'all, my post lands on "cheat-day" Saturday for good reason. My nutritional knowledge (or dedication) is kind of lacking, but I am WAY-GOOD at splurging. Of course we're coming off of the turn-it-all-around New Year, so I tried a little... and when I told my husband I'd be making something yummy for Astleigh's birthday (YES - it's today!), he was desperate for sweets and quick to nominate his own favorite dessert recipe. In the name of pinterest, elegance, and pioneering, I shut him down. I surveyed decadent new recipes on my pinterest board and raked through tried-and-true ones, but low and behold, after I surveyed the birthday girl to find out what she might LOVE for her birthday, I reached the same conclusion as Cary (sometimes you should just listen to your man - no, that is not the conclusion I meant). Today we'll be making CARMELITAS.

Everything you need, you probably have in your pantry. (Unless you typically eat healthy. Nevermind.)

  • Ingredients: 
    • Base: 
      • 2 cups flour 
      • 2 cups quick cooking oats
      • 1.5 c. brown sugar
      • 1.75 c. butter, softened
      • 1 t. baking soda
      • .5 t. salt
    • Filling: 
      • 1 jar (12.25 oz) caramel topping
      • 3 T. flour
      • 1 c. chocolate chips
  • Steps:
    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
    • Mix base ingredients in mixer until crumbly. Reserve half of the mixture (about 3 c.) for topping.
    • Press remaining mixture into sprayed 13x9 in pan. Bake 10 minutes in oven at 350.

Now... While those are baking, let's take a minute to celebrate the BIRTHDAY GIRL!

I mentioned Astleigh is my sister-in-law. She's a beaut' inside and out - but you already knew that. I love that Astleigh's passions overflow. She's always adding new goals (just look at all she's done with the blog since she decided it would be her vessel for doing what she loves, and her latest decision to eat clean which she is beasting!). I love what she's added to the life of my brother-in-law who I'm also extremely fond of. I love to see them happy and spurring each other on in all things. Astleigh is exploring the person she was created to be, and I love getting to watch and be a part of that. Of course I could go on and on, but look: time's up! It's been a fast 18 minutes, our carmelitas are golden brown on top, and it's time to pull our final product out of the oven.

Voila! (A little raspberry garnish never hurt anything chocolate....)

Happy birthday, Astleigh! And before I sign off, out of guilt for possibly wrecking what has been an otherwise healthy and productive week for you readers, here are some of my favorite "better choices" that I will (maybe, try to) gravitate toward while my husband demolishes the leftovers of our second batch. Hope you enjoy. It's been fun!


  • Fave Snacks:
    • FRUIT! (Need a new go to? Try frozen grapes!)
    • pistachios
    • almonds (I prefer the dark chocolate variety. What?! Dark chocolate is good for you.)
    • apples and peanut butter
    • raw veggies and hummus
    • sherbert with sliced fruit or berries