Special Additions

A New Me!! Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Well if your a follower of me on Facebook you must know by now that I’ve jumped on the BeachBody band wagon. It’s not that I never wanted to. I just always used time as my excuse. I didn’t have time. Who has time to workout when I barley have time to pee some days!

Then I was introduced to my coach Kelly. We were laughing the other day because we forget how we got connected but we did and that’s all that matters. I then joined a free Abs and Butt Challenge for the month of May with Kelly. Each day she’d post a round of exercises and off I’d go to fit them into my crazy life. Doing a plank here, a wall sit there, and situps as I watched TV at night. As the month went on I jumped back onto my CoreBody Reformer and started walking/jogging with my son on nice days. Then I contacted Kelly with a simple problem. Every sit up I did past 10 I peed myself.  Yes I’m openly admitting that. You can laugh. It’s funny and gross all at the same time.  I knew she had two kids and I wanted to know if I was the only one who seemed to have bladder problems since having children. I know it gets worse the older you get but wasn’t expecting all that pressure with every sit up I did. You want to know what she said? “So What!!!!!” “No pain no gain” and who cares if it helps you get in shape. All very good points. That’s when I knew I was going like this girl!

ShakeAt the end of the month I got a job offer that now allows me to work a few hours a week at home. Doing something I love. Working for a Blog and a Mission that means a real lot to me. You know my #SundaySupper Family. Well now I have the pleasures of working for Ms. Isabel!!! It’s been a crazy two week since starting but I feel like a different person! Between using my brain again and working out regularly I feel great! However lets rewind back to how Kelly got me to commit…….. Now instead of working out during nap times I’m faced with yet another problem, when do I work out? So the first week of working I didn’t. I had way too much on my plate there was no way I was working out. Then one day while I was sitting at my desk working Kelly instant messaged me asking how the new job was going. It was so nice of her to check in with me soooooooo with that I vented away with how I’m trying to juggle working a few hours a day, taking care of my family, writing on my own blog, caring for my house and yah, NOT working out. She gave me a pep talk and within 24 hours I ordered the 21 Day Fix Challenge pack! I’m only day 8 into this program but I’m 110% committed. As Kelly so nicely reminded me, it’s not a bad thing to take 30 minutes to myself a day, in the long run it makes me a better Momma. My husband wakes me before he heads out to work. I do a 30 minute routine, jump in the shower and the kids are faced with a happy Momma instead of a grump who has been woken up out of a dead sleep. I always knew waking up to my kids everyday wasn’t the right way to wake up. It didn’t give me a chance to open my eyes and just think for a second. Now I have plenty of time to become that happy Momma in the morning. Now……..to get my butt in bed earlier than 10 is another story! Maybe I won’t have to, because in the past 4 days I’ve had more energy than I have in the past 4 years. YES!!

I want my kids to see me being healthy. I want them to know it’s important to take care of yourself physically and mentally. So with this new lifestyle change I’m making you know that it has to come along with some yummy meals so stay tuned as I post my favorites coming your way!! I’ll tease you first thought, here is a few good ones on the menu for the next few weeks. Glazed Sesame Chicken, Skinny Spinach Chicken Bake, Spaghetti Squash & NOT-A-MEAT Sauce. And of course some yummy Shakes too! Once I’m done the 21 Day Fix I’ll be starting another challenge, that’s what’s great about Beach Body, their is so much variety and this Momma needs variety! If you’d like to get in touch with Kelly please contact her group via Facebook. She’s a fantastic coach who has longed to help people get healthy. She’s the Mom of two beautiful baby girls and she will help you find your balance I promise! Thank you Kelly for helping through this!

For now I’ll start you off with some healthy breakfast ideas to start your day!

Granola & Yogurt Parfaits To Go: One of my favorite snacks is Non-Fat Green Yogurt and Granola. Make these in a to go container and be set to go the next day! Perfect breakfast or late afternoon snack!

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Avocado Toast – I don’t remember where I saw this idea, I made it my own so I needed to share it with you since I have a new Avocado obsession! Made with the new Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese and topped with Avocado’s and tomatoes and you’ll be set for hours with this filling breakfast.

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Pear and Cottage Cheese Breakfast - I made this awhile ago from a Eat Healthy Cook book, I’m glad I’m writing this post so I can be reminded to make this again because I remember how yummy it was!

Momma’s Ultimate Oatmeal – Now that I’m looking at this dish it’s not the healthiest but Oat Meal made with fresh fruit is!! It’s super filling and though steal oats are plain and boring fresh fruit, cottage cheese, or non-fat greek yogurt can “dress” it up!

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Protein Pumpkin Pancakes - Need some protein after a good workout, craving some carbs? Mine as well blast them with protein! These pancakes freeze great too so make them for the week!

Protein Pancakes

The BEST Grilling Recipes

It’s officially Grilling season here in New England. Memorial Day weekend usually starts it off for us. The weather hasn’t been all that great I have to admit. Spring has been slowly making it’s way, and Summer is taking it’s sweet time too! However it hasn’t stopped us from removing that grill cover! Or even eating outside a few time already. So, I thought it would be a good idea to share with you some of my favorite grilling recipes.

Here’s the kicker. I came across some notes from last year, on my “list to do” one week was to do a post on Grilling recipes. Well here I am a year later finally getting to it! Ha! I’m not busy at all :) I am here to prove to you all that chicken, pork and steak isn’t the only thing you can cook on a grill! A few summers ago when my daughter was 9 months old I lived up at our camp for the summer. Going back and forth every weekend proved to be more work than I thought so I just decided to pack it up and live there for the summer and my husband commuted to work from there. It was one of the best summers of my life. Why? Well peace and quiet in the woods with my baby girl! Well, we had cable, internet, AC, don’t worry we don’t rough it in our 40 ft trailer! What I really loved about it was it taught me think “outside” the box as far as cooking went. I didn’t want to heat our trailer on an 80 degree day, we did have a full sized stove, however I destined to really figure out certain dishes on the grill. So I’m here to teach you how to make anything and everything on the grill! From a meatloaf to a breakfast pizza! Ready? Here we go!

The BEST Steak Marinade – Yes I’m addicted to making my own marinade. I have a problem. Hi I’m Tammi and I have an addiction to making my own marinades.

Steak-Marinade

Caprese Griled Meatloaf – YES folks you can grill ANYTHING!! A few summers ago when Madison was only 9 months I lived up at our summer camp because it was just easier rather than going back and forth every weekend. I got pretty creative with dinners, who wants to put the oven on in a 30 foot trailer when it’s 90 degrees out? Not I! I mastered the meatloaf on the grill and why not make it Caprese because yes……I have a Caprese addiction too. Stay tuned I have a Caprese Stuffed Chicken to share with you soon! Oh and check out the tip I’ve shared on how to make any meatloaf just “Perfect!”

Caprese Meatloaf

Taco Turkey Burgers – FINALLY a turkey burger that isn’t dry and DOES NOT lack flavor. My trick is the toppings! Pile it on high and bite into this baby, you will not be disappointed. I’ve also used a Fajita packet too however this Momma is cutting out a lot of things these days to make healthier dishes , my next goal is making my own rubs, dressings, marinades and spices! I am saying good bye to the packaged stuff!

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Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad Sandwiches – OK I’m starting to see that I have a lot of addictions here guys. I’m also addicted to Caesar salad anything! I made these last summer and now that I’m looking back on this recipe I realize I have to make my own Caesar dressing ASAP!

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Herbed Chicken Kebobs - These were just posted this past weekend when the #SundaySupper family joined American Family Insurance to our dinner table with 20 outstanding recipes straight from the Garden! I’ve made a version of these with Pork a few summers ago, how ironically it was my very first #SundaySupper post. However this time I added in some fresh basil and it made this marinade THAT much better! This is by far the best marinade I’ve ever made, try it with chicken or pork tenderloin!

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Pizza on the Grill – What is summer without Pizza on the grill?? Don’t be one of those people that won’t put pizza on a grill! Come on! Here are two recipes I made one summer that are sure to knock your socks off. Grilled Breakfast Pizza and Sauteed Corn and Spinach Pizza. Trust me………try it!

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Stuffed Turkey Burgers – This one was inspired from a foodie friend of mine! Who wouldn’t want to stuff a burger??!!! It’s genius! Pickles, bacon and cheese come on now!!!

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Grilled Caprese Sandwiches – AGAIN yep another Caprese favorite, clearly you can throw any sandwich on a grill but this is one of my favorites! Here I made it at home but last summer I was obsessed with making these on our grill! Fresh mozzarella cheese, Fresh tomatoes from the garden and YES Fresh basil from the Garden too! A whole bunch of freshness going on here folks!

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Chicken Satay Skewers with Spicy Thai Dipping Sauce- I made this one for a Featured Friday awhile back, I was blown away at this dish! Gourmet right here at my own camp!

Curry & Comfort

So now that I’ve proved to you that you can make ANYTHING on a grill are you going to go and try one of these?? Which one would you start with??

 

Herbed Chicken Kabobs for #SundaySupper #ChooseDreams

It’s Spring, the sun is finally making an appearance, windows are starting to open, and the sound of kids playing in the neighborhood fills my house. I love preparing dinner while listening to my kids play. I gather all of the things we need to eat, condiments, napkins, utensils, plates, I glance out the window and see our neighbors chatting. I smile. I grab the chicken marinating in the fridge, the cutting board and of course the veggies, I take a peak at my husband pushing my kids on the swing set. I smile. I head out onto the porch and I do what I love doing the most. Prepare dinner for my family.

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AmFam Choose Dreams LogoToday we are celebrating around the family table with recipes from the garden. We are joined by our sponsors, American Family Insurance and our wonderful host Jennifer over at Peanut Butter and Peppers.  I had the pleasure of working with American Family Insurance back in November.  I’ve enjoyed getting to know this family insurance company and discovered that AmFam are true believers of each and everyone’s dreams. Dreams are what forever makes our lives full and complete. So I encourage you to follow AmFam’s “Choose Dreams” Pinterest board. You’ll find a variety of recipes coming from the garden!

I always wanted to grow my own herbs and then once I succeeded in doing that maybe even grow fresh vegetables. Well last year madisongardenmy husband bought me a few plants and I successfully had sage, rosemary and chives for the whole summer. This Summer I’m adding oregano, parsley and basil to my list. If I can manage to keep these fresh herbs going throughout the summer I will surely be starting the vegetables next year. I want to teach my children the importance of growing fresh herbs and vegetables. Last summer my daughter spent a lot of time with her grandmother and grandfather. Grampy Gary would take her out to his garden and they would pick all kinds of vegetables. She would come home on Sunday afternoon all smiles, with big bags of fresh green beans, zucchini galore and potatoes to last us all week. She took such pride in picking them herself. That’s when I realized I have to at least try to grow my own herbs and vegetables because seeing my child this happy over picking vegetables is enough to make any mother happy.

So research I did! I wanted to know which plants grew better inside so I could start in the early Spring, and I wanted to know how to care for each different kind. Here are some tips I learnt a long the way that I wanted to share:

1. You have to play mother nature to indoor plants. They stay healthy and strive with four to six hours of natural sunlight. Keep them growing in the kitchen or the bathroom where they are most likely to stay slightly warm and humid naturally.

The next one surprised me because I thought you couldn’t water a plant enough, but I guess the watering is just as important as the location of your plant.

2. Never let your plant sit in standing water. The roots will rot! Grow all herbs in a pot that has holes for drainage. You want to keep your soil moist being sure to not over water.

This last tip was a good one, I’ve read a lot but this one I discovered last year with my sage, it grew the best out of the three herbs I had and it took me awhile to realize why.

3. When pruning your plant don’t always pick the larger leaves. Plants need those large leaves to continue the growth process. So no matter how tempting it is to reach for those large leaves that you can visualize in your recipe, make sure you mix it up by pruning some large ones and small ones.

Herbed Chicken Kabobs

I think using fresh herbs really completes a dish. It adds so much flavor no matter what you’re making. One of my favorite things to do with fresh herbs is make marinades!! I made this one easy yet fresh and that’s exactly the result I got. I think the key to this one was allowing it to marinate for 24 hours in the fridge.

Ingredients:

1- 1 1/2 lbs. Chicken Breasts
2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. of chopped fresh rosemary
3 tbsp of chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and Pepper
Assorted Veggies of your liking (We used peppers, zucchini & summer squash here)
Skewers

Directions:

Chop chicken into large chunks and season with salt and pepper. Place in a large zip lock bag.

In a small bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients except the veggies. Add to the bag and mix well to make sure all of the chicken gets coated. Fold bag in half and marinate for at least 6 hours. The longer the better. Another good tip is allowing the skewers to soak in water for a few hours, this prevents them from burning while they cook on the grill.

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Add chicken and veggies to the skewers and cook for 15-20 min or until chicken is cooked through, turning the skewers periodically. I even grilled the leftover veggies I had on the top rack which gave us great leftovers. The chicken was so moist and just burst with fresh flavor.

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Do you need more idea’s and inspirations for cooking fresh from the garden??? Go and check out AmFam’s Choose Dreams Pinterest board now! Here is how you can connect in other ways:

Linkedin / Youtube / Google+ / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest

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Don’t forget to check out all the other recipes that the Sunday Supper family has put on the table today:

This post is sponsored by American Family Insurance. All opinions are my own.

8387592742_f6164fd5a8_oJoin 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.

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!

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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!

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 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.

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 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!!

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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:

Healthy Green Pasta for #SundaySupper

Pea Pesto (5)This is the time of year where we are all thinking GREEN! For a few reasons. One because it’s almost St. Patrick’s Day and two because who isn’t dying for Spring right about now? Sprouting plants, flowers peaking up over the recently mowed grass, the bright sunshine, shall I go on?? Maybe I should since we are expecting another storm in a few days here. I don’ t know how much more cold and snow I can take so for now I’ll just keep dreaming of GREEN things. As I’m dreaming of GREEN things you can check out the list below of all the wonderful green dishes the #SundaySupper has whipped up for this weeks “Eat Your Greens” theme. Thank you Foodie Stuntman for hosting this great event!

When choosing a dish for this theme I had to think long and hard, I eat a lot of greens on a daily basis but I wanted to go a “different” route. I’ve been experimenting a lot lately with making my own sauces and dressings so I thought why not make some pasta fun for my daughter. She’s three and a half and is like every other toddler out there, picky!! She loves pasta so since I’ve been trying to get myself and my family to eat “cleaner” so to speak, I’m trying to limit canned and processed foods. Don’t get me wrong I still reach for the jarred Alfredo sauce on occasion when I’m busy running out the door and my family needs a quick something to mix with pasta but I’ve since started making my own Light Alfredo Sauce and Healthy Cream of Mushroom Soup. I make a big batch and freeze them so hopefully I’ll always have one on hand. I have more I have yet to actually post but the one I made for you today is a new favorite because it’s healthy and is bursting with flavor! I search the web for recipes then I just go with it and dive in to make my own, luckily as I’m making it I write down what I’m adding so I can share it! So here we go! Defrost a bag of frozen Peas and whip out your food processor because this is one Pasta anyone will eat up. This is truly a tested recipe, meaning as your making it, taste it! Make it to your liking.

Pea Pesto

What you’ll need:

1 Bag of frozen peas, thawed
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced (use your judgement, my husband isn’t a garlic fan like me!)
1/2 cup of glazed walnuts, chopped (regular is fine but these are a little sweeter!)
Salt and Pepper to season (I use a lot of pepper, use what you like)
Juice of a half of lemon
1/2 Cup of olive oil
1/4 Cup of reduced Parmesan cheese, shredded
Water
Pasta of your choice

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What to do:

Add the thawed peas, minced garlic, walnuts lemon juice, oil and top it with the cheese. Blend and pulse a few times alternating between the two. Open, add salt and pepper and little water starting with a few tablespoons. Now it’s all about seasoning and thinning it out to the consistency you prefer.

I did this a few rounds, tasting in between and adding water here and there to thin it out, you can add oil, but again I was trying to stay healthier.

I can’t believe my daughter bought it! She ate peas and had no idea she ate them! The whole way home from school my husband talked about the “green” pasta Momma was making for dinner so she was pretty excited to try it.

This made one canister, I used half of it for a half a box of elbow’s and froze the other half for another time. Use water and oil to thin it back out if you decide to freeze it. Don’t forget to see what the rest of the group brought to the table this week. Lots of green idea’s here!

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Green Light Appetizers and Sides

Getting Greens Through Salads

Entreés That Will Leave You Green With Envy

Desserts and Beverages That Will Make Others Turn Green

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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.

Savvy Eats – Featured Friday

Happy Friday everyone! Another week towards Spring is the way I see it! Or Another week of sleepless nights here in our home. Another week of not knowing what is going through my three and a half year old’s head these days!! On a more positive note, another week until I can feel the sunshine on my face and replace my boots with flip flops. Let’s go the positive route seeing as I need that these days. As I sit and type when I should be napping. Nope I don’t nap. Weeeeellll, I did nap twice last week, that’s how tired I am.

savvy eatsHowever, Julie needs my 100% attention right now! Julie is the blogger over at Savvy Eats. Where she writes a little about everything. I love that the most about blogs I find these days, getting a little bit of everything while visiting a new blog is one of my favorite things to discover! She has a section on Gardening! Gosh I hope I get to start a garden of our own this year. Last year I was at the end of my pregnancy and the last thing I wanted to do was garden, however my daughter loves being in the garden with her grandfather and I’d love to see if it’s something her and I could start together. I for one want my own herbs at least, then maybe within a few years we can go bigger! So I’m pretty excited that Julie has a few posts that will help me in this department. Like How to Grow a Herb Container Garden, I love the idea of being able to bring the pots in when the temperatures dip in the Fall. Planning Your Garden Space is another good one because obviously choosing the right spot is key in gardening.

Julie doesn’t stop at just Gardening or Food folks, she’s also got some great DYI Home Projects. Like How to Make the Most of Your Kitchen Space, I was just thinking this last night actually. My new present for myself arrived. My new food processor. It’s HUGE, a lot bigger than I thought it was, I assumed I was going to have to move something or put something away because I don’t have a lot of counter space, but we always find a way don’t we Julie!! She’s got some great idea’s! I have about 5 more years that I have to make this kitchen work before I can get the kitchen of my dreams. Another favorite of mine is Julie’s section called Brain Food 101. Here she teaches us how to store anything and everything! How awesome is that! For example whenever I buy a fresh herb, which isn’t often because by the time I use it once or twice the rest has died and it’s a waste of money (hence why I want to grow my own) but on the occasion that I do buy a bunch of fresh basil or cilantro I run to look up how to store it so I can at least keep it fresh as long as possible. Julie explains how to stores Basil here.

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I got so excited talking about all the things on Julie’s site that I forgot to tell you a little about her, I did meet her through the #SundaySupper group. She lives in Upstate New York with her husband and two doggies. She has an undergraduate degree in Biological Systems Engineering–Food and Bioprocessing however she believes that everyone should persue their passions and do what truly makes them happy. So with that she focuses her energy on recipe development and food writing, including writing about the science behind food. Sounds like my dream job if you ask me, and don’t even get me going on the photograph of these gorgeous dishes she creates.  So what did I make??? Are you dying to know?? Well I searched and searched her Recipes, again I always end up focusing on something my family would enjoy, or a breakfast item to make for my daughter or even a snack or appetizer for my husband and I. Her Cocktail section enticed me that’s for sure. However I had Spring on my mind this week…..fresh vegetables and warmer weather! So that led me to her Spring Steak Stir-Fry.

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I’m not just saying this because it’s a feature, but this is one of the best stir fry’s I’ve ever had!! My husband thought it was the best I ever made and even my daughter ate it! As picky as she is, even if I have to separate the food because I know she wouldn’t eat it if I hadn’t!

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Here are a few things I did differently, and I didn’t go off the path too much keep in mind. When I make any stir fry I’m not a fan of my veggies being crunchy. I like a tad bit of a crunch, but not much. So I prepped my veggies and steamed them for about 3 minutes in my steamer before adding them to the dish. I also used shaved steak which I’ve never done before, It was a great decision!! I also didn’t have fish sauce so I omitted that, I also didn’t realize I was out of rice wine so I looked up substitutes and decided to use the white wine vinegar to water ratio. My favorite ah ha moment was when I realized I was out of rice wine (I thought my dish was destroyed!) I saw I had a bottle of ginger & garlic marinade in the fridge, so I used that in place of the fish sauce! Genius! Not only did it taste so yummy it made my house smell amazing!! Don’t mind my daughters dish.

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No go check out some more yummy recipes, DIY Home projects and Garden tips from Julie now. Or connect with her in via:

 Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest / Google+

Mardi Gras Recipes for #SundaySupper

Mardi Gras Cajun Rice (6)Happy Sunday everyone! I don’t know a lot about Mardi Gras to be honest with you. All I do know is that it’s a carnival/party of some sort that is thrown most famously in New Orleans. I have often seen some crazy outfits, out of control people doing silly things but one thing is for sure, like most parties, it comes with great food!! I had to look up recipes most commonly celebrated with Mardi Gras I have to admit. I was surprised to discover that a lot of Mardi Gras food choices consist of Cajun or spicy foods! I was super excited to discover this because well we love a good kick in this home! Sooooooooooooo let’s thank Leslie from La Cocina de Leslie for hosting this super fun event! I seriously can not wait to check out these recipes and Pin some of them to my new “MUST TRY” pinterest board!Hurricane

I actually made two things for this event but decided on the food one verses the beverage one because well it was awesome!! So good that I had it for lunch 3 more days later that week as an actual dish when it was meant as a side dish. I pulled out the Baked Chicken Egg Rolls I made a few months ago to have for dinner and just needed that perfect side dish to go along with it. My new favorite thing to do is make all different kinds of rice pilaf’s from scratch. I don’t know why but I love doing it. I then came across a recipe from a fellow friend blogger of mine that is a nutritionist, so when this girl says it’s healthy and filling, I’m going to trust her. Plus, she lives in New England like me so I like her that much more! Thank you Julia for giving me inspiration for this dish!!

Serves: 4 Main 6 Sides
Recipe Adapted From: Juggling with Julia
Cook Time: 15 Min

Cajun Rice & Beans

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
One 14 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups prepared mild salsa
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 tbsp of Cajun seasoning (depending on the kick you’d like less or more)

Mardi Gras

What to do:

In a medium sauce pan sautee the onion and yellow peppers on medium heat tossing to coat for 5-8 min. Add chopped garlic and sautee for 3-5 more minutes. Add the salsa, beans, rice, seasoning and stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Cover, turn to low and let simmer for 5 minutes allowing the flavors to mingle. Then you get this deliciousness!

Mardi Gras Cajun Rice (5)

This had the perfect amount of heat for me, I like medium. You can always add less or more Cajun seasoning so use your own judgement. My husband recently asked me for more bean dishes so this one was created with him in mind, this can easily be a main dish or add some chicken to it if you’d like!

Mardi Gras Cajun Rice (7)

Sunday Supper MovementJoin 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.

So let’s go check out what everyone else brought to the supper table today! Let’s get this party started!

Cocktails & Other Beverages:

Appetizers:

Main Dishes:

Side Dishes:

Desserts:

Valentine’s Day Rice Krispy Treats

Looking for something special to make your sweetie for Valentine’s Day? Looking for a snack that your kiddo’s would like to help you make?? Well then this one is for you. Super easy and super fun!! I even have a special trick up my sleeve that will help you make these just perfect!! Madison loves them and she loved helping ughhhm I mean….eating them while I made them!

Heart Rice Crispy Treats (2)

What you need:

A heart cookie cutter
1 10 oz. bag of mini marshmallows
6 cups of rice crispy’s
3 tbsp of unsalted butter
Non-stick spray
Parchment paper
Baking pan

Heart Rice Crispy Treats (4)

Optional:
White chocolate
Dark chocolate
sprinkles
Candies
Popsicle sticks

What to do:

Grease a 13×9 baking dish (I used a 13×9 baking sheet). Place a sheet of parchment paper to the side.

Melt the butter in a sauce pan, once it’s melted pour the bag of marshmallows into the pan and slowly stir. Keep stirring slowly so the marshmallows don’t stick or burn to the bottom.

Heart Rice Crispy Treats (5)Madison LOVED this part, she was so fascinated that the marshmallows melted! Of course I had to pull a handful out for her to enjoy while I did most of this part, but if your kiddo has no interest in helping show him/her how they melt, it’s really cute!

Once the marshmallows are melted, add the rice crispy’s and stir to combine, be gentle but make sure you stir completely or you’ll have clumps. Immediately transfer to the greased dish. Before spreading it out (I had a hard time with this part until I found this secret) Spray your hands (yes your hands) with non stick spray. Push down the crispy’s with your hands and spread all the way to the sides. Use more spray if you need it!! It really helped. Let it sit for 5 minutes.

Use the cookie cutter and cut out the hearts as close together as possible. You can try to push some spare rice crispy’s together to form another flat surface for another cut out, if you do it quick enough you can salvage a few more this way. I did!

Melt the chocolate in a microwavable safe bowl at 30 min intervals stirring between each one until fully melted. Using a spoon drizzle on top of the treats, I chose to use milk chocolate chips, I would have loved to use sprinkles then I even saw some dipped and made into pops!! So much creativity here folks!! Use it! What do you make with your kids for Valentine’s Day??

Heart Rice Crispy Treats (8)

2014 Superbowl Snacks

I remember the highest traffic day I had last year was for Super Bowl Sunday. Though I appreciate the audience I’m not banking on that this year. I’m writing this post to offer my readers the very best Game Day foods this Momma has to offer! These are my own picks, from my own experiences, snacks that I’ve made for my friends and got great feedback on. Making appetizers is one of my favorite things to do. Nothing beats a little bite of yumminess. I serve them a lot at my get together’s because I love making a bunch of little dishes!! It gives me the chance to try new recipes because instead of making an actual dinner for our guests I get to make a few different picky dishes! I have what’s called an Appetizer Night a lot for my husband and myself or even when we have another couple over. This allows me to make them ahead of time, I always choose food that I can either prep ahead and finish quickly when people arrive or something I can actually make a head of time and reheat when people are hungry and ready to chow down!!

Party Fav #1

Good Ol’ Fashion Pizza Bites: These are super easy to make and you can make them with either crescent rolls or actual pizza dough, I’ve tried them both ways. You can really fill them with whatever toppings you like on your pizza. What I would do with this party pleaser is prepare them, roll them and get them on a baking sheet before your guests arrive so all you have to do it pop them in the oven for 10 or so minutes! Make a fun dipping sauce to go with them, put some spice in your sauce!!

Pizza Bites

Party Fav #2

Spinach Cups: I actually made these for the Super Bowl last year and they were a hit. The actual filling for them was to die for! I haven’t  made them since and now that I’m writing about it I want to try them again!

Spinach Cups5

Party Fav #3

Salsa Roll Ups: I made these last year too, I’ve also made them for a few other occasions too. Oh and they are made for Weight Watcher peeps too!! BIG hit. Super simple. Make ahead. End of story. If you want to make another version of this snack with a little meat to it, check out my St. Patty’s Day Party  from last year, same gist but it has some meat in it!! YUMMY!

Superbowl2 (5)

Party Fav #4

Wings and Things: Who doesn’t want Wings on Game Day?????? I don’t even eat them and they are must have in this house……I would do anything for my hubby, he’s been working so hard lately making our new house a home that on Game Day I’m spoiling him rotten with either Drumsticks with Heat, Spicy Fried Wings or Baked Sweet Chili Wings, I haven’t decided on which one, but all three are worth mentioning here because he LOVED all of them, I probably won’t do the Fried ones just because they are SOOO bad for you, BUT what he wants he gets that day!!

Chocolate Moosey (10)

Party Fav #5

Meatball Sliders! Not just any Meatball Sliders guys, Cheesy Stuffed Meatball Sliders!!! These were to die for, serve them in a slider bun or as is with some tooth pics! If you want to go all out, use ground beef instead of Turkey, I try to stay a little on the healthy side so I do ground Turkey. These will be sure to please any crowd!

Meatball Sliders (17)

Party Fav #6

Puffs Puffs Puffs!! Puffs of Pepperoni, these neat little snacks I made called Pepperoni Puffs. I’m making these for game day this year because it’s been awhile since I’ve made them and they are super easy. They are also super easy to make a head of time too. You can make these the day before and refrigerate them, pull them out on game day and heat them up in your oven! Wala-Simple!  Not to mention the quick and easy 6 ingredients it has!

Pepperoni Bites (8)

Party Fav #7

Sausage Rolls - This is a quick and easy make for Game Day. I’m actually attempting to make a Ham & Cheese Roll just like this for my daughter tonight for dinner! (Stay tuned) this is a great snack for everyone and anyone! Serve it with a side of sauce and dip as you eat!

Sausage Rolls (1)

Party Fav# 8

Cheddar Bacon Bites - I made this one on a whim one day for something to snack on with my husband one night when the kids were gone. Super easy with the help of Pillsbury! You can’t just eat one of these!

Cheddar Bacon Bites (9)

Party Fav #9

Humus and Cucumber Dip - I know it doesn’t sound appealing, if you don’t like humus you won’t like this dip, but if you do, you will LOVE this dip….sounds like an odd combo but it tastes awesome together and it’s healthy!!!! Snack away on Game Day
and feel good about it!

Humus & Cucumber

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Party Fav #10

Monkey Bread 4 Ways - I’ve made this dip quite a few times now, it’s always a hit and you really pick and choose your toppings for this picky bread! Dip with some seasoned oil and call it dinner!

Appetizer Monkey Bread (7)

Party Fav #11

Baked Chicken Egg Rolls - I made these from a Co-Host a few months ago and it’s worth sharing with you even though it’s not my actual recipe. I still have some in my freezer that I hope to pop in the oven for Super Bowl Sunday this year! You want to try these and there is a Sweet and Sour Sauce that’s perfect for dipping! Cheeseburger Bites – These were a big hit last year, I remember making these for a #SundaySupper post, it’s like a bite of crunchy goodness that tastes like a cheeseburger!! How can you not like that!

Chicken Egg Rolls-Fearlessly Creative Mammas (2)

Party Fav #12

Vegetable Spring Rolls - It looks intimidating, it looks hard, but I promise you, it’s EASY!!! VERY EASY. EASY PEASY!! They cooked awesome in the oven too, they are healthier when you bake them in the oven, I was hesitant on how they were going to come out but they were awesome. OK. Now. I. Want. Some.

Vegetable Spring Rolls (8)

Party Fav #13

PIZZA!! Who doesn’t love Pizza! How about a healthy Pizza?? A Vegetarian Pizza that is NOT boring. These are seriously addicting! They are made in little bite size pieces for the convienance of your guests! You can’t just have I promise you that. Super easy and a great snack you can make ahead of time, actually I advise you to make this ahead of time, it’s better chilled!!

Veggie Pizza (10)

Well there you have it my friends!! I may not like football, but I love cooking for friends and family so I can’t wait to get my butt in the kitchen and make up a bunch of these picky foods! What’s on your menu for Game Day????

Momma’s Favorite Fall Dishes

Ahhhhhhhhhhh Fall is here!!! I have been cooking up some new recipes in the kitchen but I couldn’t help but go back on all of my favorite Fall dishes from the past. Then I thought…..why not share them with you!! Here are my favs, these remind me of cool crisp mornings and evenings but warmer days. Those soups that warm you up as the sun goes down, or those baked goodies from the fresh apples or pumpkins you’ve picked! Start pinning folks because some of these you are going to want to try. Or heck, try em all!

Get your Fall decorations out and jump into your kitchen……….I did!

Welcome Fall

End of Summer Pasta Primavera- Use up all those farmers market veggies and make this for dinner on a busy night!

End of Summer Pasta Primavera (8)

Baked Potato Soup - This will warm the soul on any night of the week!

Baked Potato Soup (3)

Apple topped Sweet Potato - An awesome autumn side dish with any meal your planning, use those apples you’ve picked!

Apple Topped Sweet Potato (7)

Green Chili Corn Chowder- Great way to spice up the regular old fashion corn chowder! Great kick!

Baked Potato Soup (5)

Hearty Beef Stew - Great taste wth every biteful!

Hearty Beef Stew (1)

Pork Stew - Want something different? This is the perfect fall dish and it’s super healthy!

Pork Stew (6)

Chicken Pot Pie - Easy as pie, make it right in the crock, top with a biscuit or your favorite pastry dough!

Chicken Pot Pie3

Pork Tenderloin Fall Style - Make your normal Pork Tenderloin dance with this fall dish!

Pork Tenderloin Fall

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies - Perfect sweet treat for your sweatheart! Or your little one…so moist!

Pumpkin Choc Chip Cookies (3)

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes – Start your day with these babies, moist and delicious!

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes8 (4)

Vegan Banana Nut Bread - Healthy but yummy! Make a loaf for yourself and bring one to a friend!

Vegan Banana Nut Bread (1)

Magic Maple Muffins - A little piece of magic at the bottom of these muffins! A mouthful of maple!

Magic Maple Muffins (9)

Apple Cinnamon French Toast- Make your breakfast the day before and enjoy this apple cinnamon goodness!

Apple Cinnamon French Toast (1)

Pecan Crusted French Toast Sticks – A nice way to make any normal french toast a bit different! Great crunch!

Pecan Crusted FT (2)

Meatball Broccoli Rabe Stoup – Healthy and so tasty! Each bite will make you come back for more!

Meatball Broccoli Rabe3

 Trick Or Treat-Bleeding Devil Cakes   Make these babies for the babies in your life! 

Bleeding Devil Cakes

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