Tammi Forcier

Skinny Chicken & Veggie Stir-Fry for #WeekdaySupper

I have another quick and easy dish to share with you all today. Not only is it quick and easy but it’s healthy! I tend to make a dish like this on Sunday or Monday and eat it for lunch during the week when the kids are eating so I’m forced to eat healthy and not snack on frozen fries, turkey dogs or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches since that’s all my toddler likes these days! Then I thought why not make this for dinner on a night where you may need dinner ready in less than 30 minutes! Well I know, what night do you not want dinner ready in less than 30 minutes!?? This is a fabulous recipe to use up that leftover chicken from another recipe because it’s already cooked and if you throw this all together you will literally have a healthy, easy and filling dinner in minutes!

Broccoli Stir Fry (7)

Ingredients:

1 pound cooked chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces **See Tip Below**
Juice of 1 lemon
Cooking spray
3 teaspoons olive oil, separated
6 cups fresh broccoli, cut into florets
1 can of bean sprouts (I use LaChoy)
1 cup snap peas or Chinese pea pods, sliced
1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup of orange pepper, chopped
1 cup scallions, sliced
5 tablespoons water
1 tablespoons grated ginger
2 tablespoons fresh garlic, chopped
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ cup rice vinegar

Broccoli Stir Fry (3)

Instructions:

Heat 2 teaspoons on medium heat in a saute pan or wok.  Add broccoli and stir-fry for about 3 minutes until broccoli softens.  Stir in bean spouts, scallions (reserve some for topping)  and remaining veggies. Add ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes. Continue to cook and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add chicken, soy sauce, brown sugar and vinegar. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.

Serves: 4
Serving Size: 2 Cups
Recipe Adapted by: Skinny Kitchen

**Tip**for cooked chicken use any kind of leftover chicken, I used chicken that was seasoned from another recipe. If you don’t have leftover chicken, I usually cook a lb of chicken in my crock pot for 5 hours or so seasoned with something different every week.

Broccoli Stir Fry (6)

Don’t forget to go and check out the other dishes that are being featured this week for #WeekdaySupper!

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Monday – Cheeseburger Wraps by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings

Tuesday – Spicy Black Bean Wraps by The Dinner-Mom

Wednesday – Skinny Chicken & Veggie Stir Fry by Momma’s Meals

Thursday – Gluten Free Chicken Salsa Bowl by Gluten Free Crumbley

Friday – Honey-Mustard Chicken and Arugula Wraps by girlichef

 

Individual Cakes w/Peanut Butter Whipped Frosting #SundaySupper

8387592742_f6164fd5a8_oHappy Easter everyone! It’s one of my favorite holidays for a few reasons. First and foremost because I love getting together with my family. My cousins and I are slowly having kids so it’s so exciting to get together. Last year my cousin and I were pregnant together, this year my son and her daughter will be able to join my oldest in the Easter egg hunt!  It’s our second year hosting in our new house and I enjoy it more than any other holiday because it’s an easy meal for me to plan and make. I make the main course and desserts and everyone else brings the side dishes. Oh and of course because it means Spring is coming, even if it was 78 one day and 2 days later it snowed where I live! That’s New England at it’s finest! So today I decided to bring a dessert to the #SundaySupper table because I’ve been experimenting a lot with baking lately. Cupcakes are by far my favorite thing to make but I wanted to try something different so instead of cupcakes I poured the contents into a sheet pan and cut circles out of them, it didn’t go as planned because I wanted to stack them with a layer of the Peanut Butter whipped topping in between however the sheet pan I used made them just as thick as cupcakes! Soooo I went with it. The whole point of making these was to incorporate a healthier version of peanut butter into the topping. I’m making dessert for my family and we all are trying to eat less sugar and a bit healthier this year so using powdered peanut butter is the way to go!

Easter Cakes w.pb whipped topping (3)P

Powdered Peanut Butter?? I know what your thinking, crazy, strange, well it cuts the calories and fat by a TREMENDOUS amount! Does it taste exactly like Peanut Butter, no of course not, but it’s darn close and it’s a great healthy alternative! You can find all different kinds of brands out there, I happened to find mine at Walmart. I also know a lot of health food stores caries and you can buy it on Amazon too. When making regular peanut butter to spread on toast you simply add water, in this recipe you are adding the powder directly to the cool whip and mixing it together to give it that creamy peanut butter taste!

Easter Cakes w.pb whipped topping (10)P

 Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • one container of frozen light whipped topping, thawed
  • 3 tbsp. of powdered peanut butter (I used PB2)
  • M&M’s or decorations of your choice

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard cupcake tin that holds 12 with cupcake liners. (or you can use a larger sheet pan than I used to stack them like I planned to!)
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.  Mix milk and vanilla in a measuring cup and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With mixer on low speed, add half of dry ingredients, followed by milk-vanilla mixture, then remaining dry ingredients. Be sure to not over mix here.
  4. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups, a 1/4 measuring cup is a great way to make these perfect.
  5. Place tin on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool cupcakes 5 minutes in tin, then remove and cool completely before frosting.
  6. While the cupcakes cook, add 3 tablespoons of powdered peanut butter to the thawed whipped topping. Just keep stirrung for a few minutes to make sure it mixes well. Frost cupcakes and decorate with M&M’s or any other candies! I also used a plastic bag with the tip snipped to make these pretty instead of frosting by hand.

Easter Cakes w.pb whipped topping (8)P

 I hope my family enjoys these, feel free to use any cupcake recipe with this topping, for my family I plan on going sugar free! My mom said the sugar free ones were really good!! It just makes me feel a lot better indulging or allowing my kiddo’s to indulge when they are lower in sugar! Trust me, you don’t want to see my three and a half year old after a bunch of sugar!!

Easter Cakes w.pb whipped topping (7)P

Let’s see what everyone else brought to the table for this wonderful Easter/Passover event:

Breakfast/Brunch

Appetizers:

Savory and Sweet Breads:

Sides and Salads:

Main Dishes:

Desserts:

Parmesan & Basil Orzo

We all know that I’m obsessed with making rices and different combinations, but this one, so simple yet so fresh! This dish convinced me last week that I must get on growing own herbs. I’ve already been to the greenhouse down the street to check out what they have and I’m doing my research on how to care for these plants because let me tell you, I kill any plant or flower that comes into this home. If my husband doesn’t water it, it dies. However I’m destined to do this because I believe the fresh basil really made this rice dish! It’s combining two of my favorite flavors!

My daughter ate this two nights in a row, she is the pickiest kid I know and I was so happy she ate something fresh and not out of a box! I’ll be making this again very soon. Stay tuned because next month I bring this side dish together with something that will knock your socks off!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups of uncooked orzo
2 cups of chicken broth
1 cup of water
3/4 cup of grated Parmesan Cheese
3-4 tbsp. of fresh basil
2 tbsp. of margarine
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Salt & Pepper

What to do:

Drop the margarine in a large saute pan and let it melt. Pour in the orzo. Mix it around and allow it to toast for a few minutes, be sure to keep moving the orzo around with the melt.

Slowly pour in the chicken broth. Continue to stir. Slowly poor in the water. Continue to Stir. Bring to a boil.

Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the liquid has absorbed. Remove from heat, stir in basil and Parmesan until the cheese is melted. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder to your liking.

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Crock Pot Chicken Quesadilla’s for #WeekdaySupper

8403137561_3bf910954c_oI know what your thinking!! How can you make a Quesadilla in the Crock Pot?? Well you actually don’t, but you make the insides of it and assemble after a hard day at work! Wouldn’t you like to just come home, warm up a saute pan or preheat your oven and be ready to go?? I remember reaching out to my friends the day I decided to give this a go asking what everyone’s tips and secrets were on how to make a successful quesadilla! Every time I make them I try it a different way because every time I flip them, all the stuff falls out. Maybe I don’t use enough cheese to hold it together (hey I try to cut calories and fat anyway I can!) or as my husband says, “I’m too rough!” Well you have to move fast! I’ve never gotten the “art” of flipping down, I still can’t make a decent pancake because I can’t flip them very well. I try, they always end up tasting good, however they don’t look pretty. I also received a quesadilla maker one year for Christmas, I’ve used it plenty of times, but it’s still messy, things still fall out, however you do not have to flip anything! When I order them a Quesadilla while dining out I always take note of how they are cooked in hopes to bring home a new secret, I’ve even tried buying the large tortilla’s and I fill them half way and fold them over, pop them in the pannini press and wala, cut them into four pieces. Another friend suggested using a pizza pan (with the holes in it) lie out one tortilla, fill, top it and bake it, I haven’t tried that one yet but that’s next on the list! What is your trick? Share please.

I wanted something simple here, something I could throw in, just assemble on a busy night and put out all the toppings for everyone to make to their own liking. Of course I had to make one with just cheese for my picky daughter, I even tried sneaking in some peppers but nope…….it didn’t work!  Oh and make sure you scroll down and see my great idea on what to do with the leftovers! Well besides make more Quesadilla’s of course!

What you’ll need:

2 large chicken breasts
Assorted bell peppers, sliced (I used one each of yellow, red and green)
3 oz of reduced fat cream cheese
Salsa
Tortilla’s
1/2 envelope of Taco Seasoning

Toppings of Choice:
Salsa
Sour Cream
Shredded Cheddar or Montrary Jack Cheese
Green Onions
Hot Sauce

In a crock pot add the chicken and pour the salsa over it. Sprinkle the seasoning over the mixture. Dollop the cream cheese on top of the mixture. Place peppers on top, cover and and cook on low for 5 hours.

Chicken Quesadilla in the Crock (1)

Take chicken out and shred it. Add it back to the crock pot stirring the rest of the ingredients together.

Place a skillet over medium heat, spray with non stick spray and add a tortilla. Add mixture on top and sprinkle cheese to your liking. Add another tortilla on top and cook a few minutes, let the cheese melt! Carefully flip the tortilla and cook on the other side for a few minutes, making sure you don’t burn them. Remove and continue with as many as you desire.

Chicken Quesadilla in the Crock (4)

Serve with whatever toppings your family enjoys! Wala simple dinner!

Chicken Quesadilla in the Crock (5)

I had some leftover and I didn’t want to make more quesadilla’s the next day for lunch so I had this brilliant idea to make a sandwich/pita out of it. It tasted amazing cold so I thought why not make it a sandwich!

Chicken Qusadilla in the Crock (2)

Check out what other speedy and yummy recipes are being featured this week:

Monday | MealDiva: Thai Portabello Mushroom Wraps

Tuesday | Melanie Makes: Skillet Stuffed Peppers

Wednesday | Momma’s Meals: Crockpot Chicken Quesadillas

Thursday | Take A Bite Out of Boca: Mediterranean Pita Pockets

Friday | Gluten Free Crumbley: Skirt Steak Salad

Cannoli Stuffed French Toast for #SundaySupper

Cannoli Stuffed French Toast8387592742_f6164fd5a8_oHappy Sunday everyone!! Spring has Sprung where we live in New England! I don’t know about you but when the Spring weather is upon us I get the jitters to bake and make breakfast! I know I know, crazy but this is my fourth Spring since I’ve realized how happy the kitchen makes me so I must admit I’m guilty of these Spring time treats I must whip up! When #SundaySupper came up with the theme of Stuffed, Roll or Wrap I knew exactly what I was going to make!! So a special thanks to Amy of kimchi MOM!! I’ve had this recipe in mind since I saw it on a cooking show I tune into every now and again called The Hungry Girl. I made some changes to make it to my families liking so feel free to adjust to what yours would love!  I’ve made a few recipes of hers, and this one I knew my family would fall all over. Though they tasted like a piece of heaven in my mouth, the pictures aren’t so great so I apologize for that. I realized that they weren’t easy to photograph. I decided to go with this recipe and share it anyways because I think it’s a fabulous idea and it was super YUMMY! So yes I bounded down the stairs Sunday morning after laying in bed for an hour (my husband treats me to that every week aren’t I a lucky Momma bear??!!) I could hear my children happily playing with Daddy so I said, how about breakfast guys!?? Of course I got clapping and yes pleases all around.

Serves: 3
Ingredients:

1/2 cup of reduced fat ricotta cheese
6 tsp. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used peanut butter chips)
3 tsp. vanilla extract, divided
3 tbsp. of stevia (or sugar)
3 hot dog buns (or low calorie buns)
1 egg
3 egg whites
Sprinkles of cinnamon & sugar (I used my Dixie Crystals shaker)
4 tsp. light whipped butter
powdered sugar for decorating

What to do:

In a small bowl mix together the ricotta cheese, sugar, and cinnamon sugar. Fold in chocolate chips. Set aside.

In a separate bowl beat the egg with the egg whites. Set aside.

Stuff the hot dog rolls with the ricotta cheese mixture and slice them into 4 nuggets.

Place the butter in a sautee/frying pan and place on medium heat. While the butter melts start dunking the nuggets into the egg mixture and add them to the pan one by one. Flip them cooking all sides, yes the mixture will come out here and there.

Canoli Stuff French Toast (3)

Keep flipping until all sides are cooked, remove them and place them on a serving plate. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy!

Canoli Stuff French Toast (4)
 Now let’s see what everyone else WRAPPED, ROLLED OR STUFFED this week!!

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our#SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Starters and Snacks

Entrees and Mains

All things Sweet

Mom’s Lets Stay United!! And…..A Week Of Photo’s!

a6b880325e72b19c9a0b1f0d70ff9212Something I do to capture my days and stay positive as a SAHM is take a lot of photo’s. They aren’t good photo’s. Most of them are taken with my phone, however they are my life. It makes me stay positive during days that are frustrating. Those days that challenge me to answer the question of why I became a SAHM. I have friends or sometimes complete strangers that say they could never do it. I have friends that must work to support their families. We all contribute to our families as mothers, it’s just all done in different ways. I’ve come to realize over the past year that becoming a mother changes you. I used to think it was in a way that made me a cranky bitch of a person to be around, however I’ve discovered in the last few months that it’s more in a way that has made me a stronger person. Not a better person, a stronger person. It’s made me see that us mother’s really need to stick together. A lot of people do not like my honesty. I’ve come to see that it’s a part of me that has changed, I cared (and sometimes still do) way too much of what people think about me. The decisions I make as a person, as a wife, as a mother. Time is only showing me that I no longer care. Us mother’s need to stick together because in the end we all end up doing the same thing, we do what’s best for our families. End. Of. Story.

There was so much controversy on the radio/TV last week on a statement that Gweneth Paltrow made about how hard it is to be a working Mother on the set of a movie. How it’s harder for her than most working mother’s. I didn’t get all huffy and puffy and say “how dare her!” OK well maybe I did for a second, but in the end she gave an opinion about her own situation just like everyone else out there does. What’s hard for me as a SAHM might not be what is as hard for another SAHM. Or what is hard for a working Mom may not be what another working Mom battles, or vice versa.  I don’t deal with Momma guilt, I deal with guilt that I don’t make enough time for myself and then when I do I feel bad for that too. How about the grass is always greener effect.  Someone called up and spoke about the comment Gweneth made. She said “Why can’t all of us Mothers just stick together and stay united.” I found myself screaming in my car “YES!!!!!!!!! WHY CAN”T WE??!!” We all have our battles that’s all I’m saying. Gwenth has her battles I have mine, the neighbor has hers with teenagers, my other friend has hers with a newborn, etc etc etc. We are all moms, we all have our battles, times are great, times are tough, can’t we all just accept that and stand behind one another?? I’ve never been a working mother…. Gosh I even hate saying it like that because yes, my everyday life is work, I don’t hang in PJ’s all day, watch soap opera’s and eat popcorn, well maybe the PJ part, but a working mother that has never been a SAHM doesn’t know what my battles are, so call it whatever you want but I’ve never had a job to get to everyday, responsibility outside of my home, honestly it stresses me out even thinking about it so I can only imagine how hard it is to have that on top of everything else we have to take on. However I’m not going to lie and say it doesn’t upset me when others think SAHM’s have it so easy, it’s a sensitive subject with me, my husband’s career gives me the option of staying home however don’t think I don’t have credit card debt or that I don’t cut coupons because trust me I do! I put off food shopping some weeks because the money isn’t there. So what I’m getting at is we all have our struggles, I get it, I can see the working mother’s side…..or I can only imagine the side. I’m just wondering why some don’t seem to see mine? Being a mom is hard work for anyone whether you work, travel, are black, white or stay home!! Don’t you agree? It’s hard work but I bet there is one thing we can all agree on………it’s well worth it.

So, back to Gwenth’s statement, I’m not saying I agree or disagree with it, all I’m saying is I respect it because as people, never mind mothers wea8134fd8c677315ba24c95f676c0c1d3 should respect people. Accept them for who they are. I often make the comment of I don’t love everything about every single person in my life, but I was raised to be respectful and accept people for who they are whether I agree or disagree with their actions or decisions. It’s OK if everyone isn’t like that, everyone is different and it’s what makes the world go round that’s for sure. While driving and letting someone have the right away, I feel good, I did something nice for someone, they wave, I wave back. Then when it’s my turn and someone cuts me off instead I find myself saying (Besides F-You buddy!!) “Gosh if the world were full of nicer people maybe this said world would be a better place to live in!” Then I remember how different we all are.

When I read blogs or comments from people about motherhood I laugh at the honest stuff. The stuff when people are elbow deep in poop and think “this is what my life has become”, because let’s face it, we’ve all thought it at least once in our everyday lives of parenting it’s just some people are bold enough to say it and some are not. It’s OK. For me it’s been about it REALLY BEING OK to admit it. For the first time in my life I believe I am.

ea6140a2b0ce137ac3717aed918a407cI may decide that going out to dinner with a girlfriend or going for a walk refreshes me and resets my patience so I can get back home and be the best possible Momma I can be.  Where as another mother may decide to curl up with her husband or simply crawl into bed! Neither is right or wrong, we are both mothers. My husband tends to read a magazine or listen to music after we put the kids to bed, me I choose to watch any Drama I can on TV because it zones me out. I usually  ”need” to leave the house more during the week to get away from the kiddo’s and he feels the “need” to do something special with them one night a week because I’m home with them 12 hours a day and he is home with them for only two. Sometimes I opt to go shopping after dinner kidless and I’ll say I’ll try to get home before the kids go to bed, but he says, no don’t worry about it, take your time. Or for example this week I felt bad having two nights in a row of appointments after dinner that left my husband putting them to bed two nights in a row. He said so what, I said well it’s not an easy job. Feeding one, bathing another, dealing with my toddler who won’t poop until she gets a diaper on at night so she then proceeds to poop 4 times a night, oh and don’t forget those stall tactics each night she dishes out! I make myself feel horrible for not “Loving” that part of the day, while my husband doesn’t “Love” it,  he also hasn’t been at it all day with both of them, so come 6 my patience are shot and the real nice mommy voice is fading! Hey if that makes me a bad Momma in your eyes, it’s OK, to me it makes me just “Momma.”

So I take you to a week of photo’s. A week of photo’s I snap when I see a moment I want to remember…..photo’s I want to look back and on see wow, we had a really good week and I can’t wait to make it even better next week. Or wow I’m a lucky lucky woman to have such beautiful children, a healthy family and a husband who adores me. Capturing those moments makes me go on, it makes me stronger, it makes me. What do you do to recharge and feel truly blessed?

We may start our mornings at 5am sometimes but how can it not start great with this handsome man!

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And yes this new cream cheese and coffee makes me glad to start my days at 5!!

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Then a quick snapshot of my babies as Madison heads to school for Red Sox day!!

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Three days a week I spend one on one time with my little man. I’m reminded of how blessed I am to have this time with him as I had all the one on one time in the world with MM. My little man and I have nice walks on a nice day! Some days we meet up with friends and other days we just snuggle and cook. What’s a walk in the park without a snack!

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Or if Madison is home with us we do crafts. Here we are getting ready to host our second annual Easter Dinner so we are making place settings with everyone’s name on them. This year she did each one herself!

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Or when my baby girl comes home from school proud as can be with this:

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Or a random Sunday when Daddy takes Drew out for some Daddy Drew time. I sat in my office working and this is the view I got. He sat in this swing for a good hour or more just watching Daddy do yard work, he was so happy.

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Then later that same night it was warm enough to have our first grilled meal! Bring on the Spring!

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Nothing makes me happier than seeing this kid eat! He loves food! Not junk either, real good nutritious food!!

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I can’t forget about how happy it makes me to share my children with my family. Watching their faces light up and smile when they are in the same room with them.

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How each and every person in our lives can make them smile in their very own little way!

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Seeing snuggles just makes my day.

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Then of course there are those nights when “someone” won’t go to sleep, so a few extra minutes of snuggle time with Daddy may just do the trick!!

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Last but not least, when both kids do nap on the same schedule, Momma FINALLY gets a late breakfast and some meal planning time!!

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Oh I can’t forget when Daddy decided to buy Mommy a few new books while out one night……I love that he always thinks of me.

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And at the end of the day………I look at these two precious lives and I thank god for them!!

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I’ll leave you with one more article that I’ve found recently that just about summed it up for me. Sometimes someone else’s writing just says all the words we need to hear. Check it out. Why Being a Mom is Enough. 

Oven Fries – Date Night Vol. 5

I’ve never been able to master the art of “baking” fries. I won’t fry them because I’d rather just order take out fries. I’ve tried baking them at all different temperatures, time lengths, I just couldn’t see how everyone else got them to be anything but mush. I love fries, rather they are mush or now because, well they are potatoes and I love all kinds of potatoes, every which way! I’ve followed numerous amounts of recipes to a T and they still wouldn’t come out the way I wanted them to. Sooooooo I reached out to my Facebook Foodies and there was a suggestion of soaking the fries (all cut up) an hour before you bake them. Genius! Why didn’t I think of that!! I always jacked up the temperature in hopes of crisping them but then they would just burn and get soggier!

Now I’ll be honest, this failed when I did the sweet potatoes, however I believe it’s because of the size I cut the potatoes. I have a special blade in my new food processor that is specially made for cutting french fries, I had to try it. How ever they came out really small like McDonald’s style (or as Madison would say Old McDonald’s) sooooo with that being said I do believe if I had cut them into large chunks like my other ones this would have been a success. I’m sharing because, well I’m a sharer, but also because the seasoning on them were awesome! For the Parmesan seasoning, I used a seasoning that came in one of those jars I got as a gift awhile back, it has 4 different kinds of spice blend, well one of them was a Parmesan and Garlic blend, it was soooooooooo good, so good that I’m going to try make my own, I was wondering if you combined the ingredients below and just pulsed some parmesan cheese in a blender if that would give me the texture I need for seasoning. Or of course the kind you sprinkle on your pasta! I’ll let you know how it turns out when I do it, but use your favorite seasonings for your fries if you don’t want to try it!  For the sweet potatoes, I used Dixie Crystals Sugar and Cinnamon shaker! Love that thing! You can just use sugar and cinnamon of course.

Date night

Baked Parmesan Potato Fries

4 baking potatoes ( I used just plain brown ones, not thick skinned but not thin either)
Olive Oil
Plastic Zip Lock Bag (call me crazy but trust me)
Water
Seasoning Blend:
Parmesan Cheese (grated, the kind you sprinkle on your pasta!)
Garlic Powder
Salt
Parsley

Date night2

Baked Sweet Yet Spicy Fries

3 large sweet potatoes
Olive Oil
Plastic Bag
Water
Seasoning Blend:
Cinnamon
Sugar
Pepper
Red pepper flakes
Dip:
Dip these babies in an amazing new creation. Mix together some BBQ sauce a little dijon mustard!! Holy yummy! Sprinkle some more red pepper flakes for more of a kick!

Sweet Yet Spicy Fries (2)

What to do with both recipes:

Cut the fries in large strips, you want them in the size of steak fries. Place your fries in a bowl of water for an hour before baking.

Preheat oven to 425F. Drain your fries. Add them to a zip lock bag, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the seasoning, I go heavy because go heavy or go home! Use your judgement their is no right or wrong.

Sweet Yet Spicy Fries (1)

Shake them up, make it fun, dance around the kitchen! :) Once they are all coated let them sit while the oven finishes preheating. Dump on a baking sheet and spread them out, no piling high on these babies. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn fries once and bake another 20 minutes.

I’m going to experiment with other seasonings but the Parmesan one was awesome and the crispiness of the fries were awesome! Now if your wondering what those meatballish things are from our date night it was my Southwest Meatballs I made a few months ago and froze. Nothing like taking out a bag and throwing together a meatball sub for a date night in!! I highly recommend it. That’s the beauty of Date Night In. Sometimes it’s takeout, sometimes it’s pulled out of the freezer like this one, sometimes I go all out, sometimes we go out! Though the last 3 times we’ve made plans to go out for a nice evening, a place I’ve been dying to get to since we moved here a year ago, they’ve gotten cancelled due to some kind of illness running rapid! So yes I stopped making plans because then maybe we won’t get sick anymore this season! HA! This night we enjoyed these subs, a glass of champagne and a movie. I don’t even remember what movie it was so I can’t even give you a review! Sorry!!

However Volume Six of Date Night is happening tonight as I practice my dish for the Gallo Event I’ll be taking part in next month!!! How exciting, I get to drink….uchhm…I mean cook with wine again!!!! Stay tuned!!

 

The Law Student’s Wife – Featured Friday

Happy Friday! Did you miss me last week? Well the truth is I’m beyond a busy bee. I don’t write half as much as I’d like to, I may cook every night and 4 out of the 7 nights it’s usually something different so I have my camera on my shoulder, my iphone on the counter as I cook, however I never get to sharing these awesome dishes I’m making! Some of them I’m duplicating from foodie friends, hey what’s the point of having foodie friends if your not going to try their dish! I’m also experimenting in the kitchen these days myself and adding my own spin to recipes I’ve made in the past.

I don’t have any new Featured Friday’s lined up after today, I know I can get them, I have pretty awesome foodie friends and who wouldn’t want to be featured!!?? I may have to start doing them every other week however because Spring is coming, my babies are dying to get outside and this Momma is dying to hit the track and loose the last ten pounds of this Momma weight!! Don’t worry though, I’ll have plenty to share with you.

Guess what else is new?? I’ll be sending out newsletters weekly!! Well I’ll start weekly but it may end up being monthly because it took more work than I thought…..but we shall see how it goes! How exciting, hey you guys are busy and can’t always get to my posts, I get it……..I’ll be here to remind you!!

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Soooooooo who are we featuring today?? Well that would be Erin from The Law Student’s Wife. I don’t remember how I came across her blog I want to say it was while searching for a recipe. I loved her design, I loved the theme and name of it of course, who wouldn’t want to support their hubby by writing a blog come on! Her blog was born as a need to be a budget-friendly cook, to find her way and hobbies while her hubby is stuck in the library, so this is how Erin shares some of their adventures together. Like me the dinner table is where her and her husband spend some quality time together.  She believes in creating healthy yet delicious dishes. Creating lighter twists on the classic comfort foods is what Erin enjoys the most, she loves when her friends and family try a dish and find out it’s actually “good for you” because she incorporates fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Erin and her Law Student husband reside in Wisconsin and are perfectly happy in their cramped downtown apartment. By day Erin is a Business Analysis Consultant and by night she describes herself to be an urban explorer, Thai-food junkie, grammar nerd, and sloppy runner. (Oh no…..don’t look at my grammar Erin I’m terrible!) Yikes!

Law Student's Wife2Let’s talk about some of her recipes…..I made her dish a few weeks early anticipating some busyness coming my way, however then she went and created this dish that I HAVE to try  now! One Skillet Spicy Ranch Chicken, OK OK I’m kind of having a skillet obsession these days so this one jumped out at me! We all know how much I’ve been fantasizing about making homemade granola bars and such, I haven’t quite jumped on the band wagon yet but as soon as I’m done typing this I’m headed to the kitchen to whip up Erin’s Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars. Also, if you know me you know once a week I make a new healthy dish and leave it in my fridge for the week so I always have a healthy lunch to eat when I’m on the go during the week. Well here is one I’m making ASAP! Quinoa, Chickpea and Almond salad with Roasted Scallion Sauce.

Oh and before I share with you what I did make from Erin’s blog let me mention a few other things she’s got going over there. Tips & Trips. This is an awesome sections featuring “How to make the perfect carmelized onion.” or “How to make pizza dough from scratch” which I have yet to accomplish! She also has a section called Trusted Baking Tools, which everything she mentions is “Law Student’s Wife” approved, and she’s even included helpful notes for each item as well! AWESOME! OK OK I know you want me to share what recipe I made! Let me tell you that I got to enjoy this meal all by myself on a weeknight…….HOT! Yes hot fresh right off the stove top. My husband offered to take my daughter out for dinner, my son was hmmm….somewhere, I’m assuming with my mother because I actually got to sit down, read, and have a glass of wine with it! So he must have been spending sometime with his Nunny!! I made this dish especially for me. I will start calling these dishes “Healthy go to Lunches.” Since I realized I didn’t have to cook that night for my family I quickly thought what I’d actually enjoy. I then remembered this dish I had searched out on Erin’s blog weeks ago! Success!! It was creamy and delicious! I ate it all week for lunch too. I’m not embarrassed to admit that to you all.

20-Minute Healthy Ricotta Pasta

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The only things I left out were artichokes and the capers. I don’t know why, I have yet to try either of these additions that I hear people speaking such great things about! Capers are in Chicken Picatta and I love that dish, so go figure! I also didn’t use fresh parsley because I didn’t have any on hand. I have yet to figure out how to keep fresh herbs on hand and have them last more than a few days. Besides grow them myself, which I am looking into by the way! I wish I had the fresh parsley, though it was still a delicious meal I just bet that would have been a great finishing touch!! OH and I added peas and scallions! I love peas and my husband doesn’t so I like to add them to whatever I’m making when I’m cooking for myself! Scallions, I don’t know I just felt like it!

Law Student's Wife

It was a super simple dinner to make. I don’t get to eat a hot meal often, or one of my choosing for that matter so it was nice to do this for myself. I also think my daughter would have liked this because she loves creamy pasta’s and peas too so the next time maybe I’ll save some for her. Maybe……

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Don’t forget to go visit Erin and let her know this Momma sent you over for some yummy recipes! Or connect with her:

** Facebook**Pinterest**Twitter**Instagram**

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Healthy Chicken Tetrazinni

Now this is a dish that is sure to please anyone in the family. It’s healthy yet hearty. Has your vegetables already in it for a one dish meal! However…….you will have a lot of dishes at the end.

Healthy Chicken Tetrazzini (9)

Not so pretty huh, but don’t let that scare you because I have a few reasons as to why this dish is worth all of those dishes above! The first reason is because it’s good of course! Healthy but GOOD! I can’t even believe my picky kiddo ate this. Another reason is because I was able to make two casseroles out of this, we ate one that night (it served a good 4 adult portions) and then I froze the other one for a busy weeknight dish! Another reason is because after I made this recipe, I had an Ah-Ha moment if you will. Healthy Cream of Mushroom was born!! YES!!!

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So thank you to Melissa who blogs over at Bless This Mess because her recipe inspired me to create this Tetrazinni dish and my new addiction to Healthy Cream of Mushroom, which by the way I will be experimenting with Healthy Cream of Celery and Healthy Cream of Broccoli too because I’ll never buy a canned soup again! So stay tuned for that.

Have I convinced you yet that this dish is worth making? Hey make it on Sunday and store in the fridge for a busy night! Wala dinner is served in about 30 minutes!

Healthy Turkey Tetrazzini (1)

OK let’s talk ingredients:

  • 1 pound whole wheat thin spaghetti, broken in half
  • 1 bunch of fresh broccoli, chopped
  • Cooking Spray
  • 1-2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups cooked chicken
  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 7 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups low sodium fat-free chicken broth
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup part skim mozzarella cheese

Healthy Turkey Tetrazzini (3)**Tips**
Throw  a pound of chicken breasts in the crock pot with a little chicken broth and seasoning and you have your cooked chicken for this dish. Use leftover chicken if you desire or even rotisserie chicken will work!

You can use frozen broccoli if you’d like you would just skip the first part of the directions for the sauteing the broccoli with the mushrooms.

I started with step one first. While I started step two I got all of the ingredients measured out for step three because it happens fast and I like to have everything ready to just poor in.

 

What to do:

  1. Saute broccoli,  mushrooms and garlic in olive oil for roughly 5-8 minutes. Preheat Oven to 400 Degrees.
  2. While the veggies are cooking boil water and cook pasta, but drain before it cooks all the way. Set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan melt the margarine over medium heat. Add the flour and salt and stir to combine. Cook the margarine and flour mixture for roughly 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the chicken broth to the flour mixture. Stirring constantly, gradually bring the mixture up to a boil, keep whisking away!! Probably another 2 minutes This thickens your sauce. Turn down the heat, and then simmer for an addition 2 minutes until the mixture thickens even more. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the milk and Parmesan until the cheese melts.

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Spray 2-two quart baking dishes or one large baking dish with cooking spray. Add sauteed veggies to the drained pasta. Pour most of the sauce into the mixture (leaving about 1/2 cup sauce).

Healthy Turkey Tetrazzini (2)

Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese evenly over the top and pour the remaining sauce around the edges of the dish(es).
Cover and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and cook for another 5 minutes.

Healthy Turkey Tetrazzini (8)

This is what my life has become…..And I love It!

As a mother of two little ones I often find myself completing this sentence……A LOT.

“You know your a mother when…” Fill in the blank. I’ve got some whoppers I’ll tell you. I’ll just share a few of my favorites with you so you get the gist.

“You know your a mother when you kiddo spits up, you use your glove to wipe it up, rub it on your pants and be on your way, and then forget to throw the gloves in the laundry.”

“You know your a mother when your picking up after your kids have gone to bed, you pull a toy out from under the couch, along with the cat fur and old cherrios that come with it, and proceed to push that fur and old Cherrios back under the couch since you just vaccuumed……4 days ago.”

“You know your a stay-at-home mother when putting on make up and a pair of high heels makes you happier than you were on your wedding day.”

OR have you every had the conversation with your husband that starts with “Is this what our lives have become??” Call me ungrateful or whatever you may but we have had a few silly moments that have started with that because if you can’t keep it real (or funny) with your husband than who can you keep it real with?? Our moments usually come when one of us are elbow deep in poop and we both look at each other and say……”Really….is this what our life has become??” OR how about when you finally sit your butt down on the couch after cooking dinner, cleaning up, bathing the kids, reading stories and tucking them in and all of a sudden both of them start crying. Yes I turn to him and say “Really…..is this what our life has become?? Then I finish it with, “I”ll see you in about 18 years.”

Where am I going with this post? Eh probably no where besides a good ol’ fashion bitch fest but hey, it’s why I blog, because I can. I wouldn’t change my life for all the money in the world and yes when my husband and I started our family we knew we were going to have to give things up and that our lives were going to forever change, however, we just had no idea how much, you never do until you suddenly there.

Let me take you through a typical Saturday night before we had kids:

Hubby works, comes home, takes a shower, puts on some really nice smelling stuff, gets dressed in 15 minutes and is ready to take me out. I, who have already showered before he got home, puts my make up on, has already gone through 5 outfits, picking the one I feel the best in, slides my coat on and we are out the door and headed to either our favorite restaurant for dinner or out to meet friends for drinks. We stumble in say around 11-1130, I have one more night cap by myself because, even then I still loved that alone time sitting on the couch while I absorbed myself in my favorite drama filled show. Crawl into bed around 1230-1, snuggle up against the love of my life and fall asleep dreaming of our happy life we are headed for. Wake up Sunday morning around 930-10 and say, yah let’s go get some heavy greased breakfast, want to call blah blah blah and see if they want to join us.

Here was my Saturday night last night:

Date night

Hubby works, comes home (now normally he stumbles onto the couch because he’s dead tired from working 60 hours this week so I can stay home and raise these beautiful children of mine) skips the shower and tries to have a 15 minute nap before I pull something out to make for dinner, however last night was…….nice. He said he was going to make an effort on not being so tired all of the time. Not sure you can really work on that hunny but I’m going with it. So where was I, yes, he came home with a bottle of champagne, a few $1 toys from Walmart and a smile that I could have just kissed off his face, he turned on the hockey game and I took both kids down to my sisters place to give him that last 20 minutes of the game in peace. My sister feeds my oldest Mac N Cheese and I’m totally OK with it because I’d rather eat a hot meal once my kids are in bed and we can actually taste it and enjoy it. Back upstairs to start and pull out dinner that I’m making for my husband and I while he takes both kids upstairs to play to give me an hour to myself. Ahhhhhhhhh an hour. I whip out my cooking magazines, open my laptop and start planning what’s for dinner this coming week, yes I plan, I plan a lot because I want the food to be in the house, and I want it to be healthier prepared meals as well. I pour myself a glass of wine and and hear the buzzer from the washer go off, time to switch the load. As I’m switching the load I remembered I needed something in the pantry (in the office, yes my food pantry is in my office) as I’m in that closet (where the cat food also is) All 3 cats come whizzing in, “OK OK guys yes I will feed you.” Now the oven preset beep for it being preheated goes off, I arrange the potatoes and put in half of our dinner. I sit back down, crap, forgot my wine, get back up to get it, as I’m about to plop down yet again I can hear my youngest whining and I realize it’s 5:30 one more hour to go buddy before you can have that bottle, better get him a snack, then it dawns on me that my oldest had her Mac N Cheese dinner at 330 so she’s probably going to need a snack too, off to the kitchen, I pull out some veggies (that I thank god had already cut up earlier in the week) place them on a plate with some low fat ranch dressing and bring them up to my husband so the kids can have a snack. (Hey at least it was healthy) I finally plop down on the couch again and start flipping through my magazines. I plan dinners for the week, look at the clock and realize it’s time to start our bedtime routine…..even if it a little early, one because my kids have been up at 5am these days and two because, well I’m ready to have that alone time I still long for at the end of the day.

Nope never did get to sip on that wine.

We get the kiddo’s in bed by 6:45 I finish our mini meatball subs, I’m happy with the fact that I FINALLY made great french fries in the oven without having to fry them, sit down to watch the 8pm lifetime movie, I barley keep my eyes opened to finish this movie, I climb into bed with 10 minutes left, hubby is sewing (yes folks he sews) and I fall asleep before the movie even ends. ”Yup this is what our life has become” And I love every second of it!!

Date night2

It’s just so funny to think back and compare the things that used to make us happy before we had our family and the things that make us happy now. How those screaming, dirty clothed, smelly children have become our everything, how I never even have 5 minutes to my damn self these days, however I wouldn’t change it what so ever. The everyday hectic world around us goes goes goes and we just go go go with it. I often sit back and just watch my children. My husband is on his phone, my oldest is running around but I sneak a quick peak at my 9 month old as he reaches for toys and I see him scoot himself over to get it, we have to remind ourselves to stop and cherish those moments. I just witnessed my son learn how to get a toy….seems so minimal but it makes my day. It makes those long days of changing dirty diapers, counting to ten and wondering if the winter germs are ever going to end give a small little bit of meaning to them. If it’s one thing you can take home from reading this post it’s, who would have thunk that soaking your french fries in water for an hour before baking them would give you a crispy french fry!!

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