Farmer’s Market Pasta for #WeekdaySupper & #ChooseDreams

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One quick trip to any Farmer’s Market or ingredients from your own garden and you’ll have a fresh and delicious meal prepared in minutes. This dish comes together including fresh herbs and veggies finished off with a creamy yet healthy sauce.

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A restaurant up the street from our Summer camp has always been a go-to place for my husband and I for a night out. Lucky for us when we moved last year it was close enough to our summer camp that now we get to enjoy this restaurant year round. It’s a Pasta place and I always get the same dish whenever we go.  It’s a dish full of vegetables, fresh herbs, mixed with a light sauce topped withGarden shaved Parmesan cheese.  I had to guess what the ingredients were. I know it’s not exactly the same, but I did well because I’ve made this dish three times now and it’s a new hit with the husband and both kids! Yes even my picky eater!

I love that I got to partner with American Family Insurance and #SundaySupper again this month to talk about gardening for their #Choosedream campaign.  Encouraging any child to be involved in knowing where our food comes from is so important to me. I didn’t realize just how important it was until this year now that my almost four-year old understands so much more now.  I encourage you to talk about gardening with your children, or any child in your life. I think it’s a great way of getting them more involved in what goes into their bodies. Since my daughter has helped her grampy in his garden and has watched me dig and water my herbs everyday she is so much more curious. Let your kids dig with you, have them help you put the plant in, water your plants together everyday, these are just some of the ways to get your kids involved. My daughter loves helping me water all of the plants. I have proof that by teaching your kids to grow fresh fruits, veggies and herbs it will eventually get them asking questions and pondering just where our food comes from. Here is the question my daughter asked the other night when we sat down to eat our dinner. “Momma did the meatballs come from the garden??” After I burst out laughing, I explained that no they didn’t, however the fresh herbs in them did!

Don’t forget to start following Recipes from the Garden! Click Here for #Choosedreams pinterest board.

Here is how you can connect in other ways:

Linkedin / Youtube / Google+ / Twitter Facebook / Pinterest

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Ingredients:

1 medium zucchini, chopped into bite size pieces

1 medium summer squash, chopped into bite size pieces

1 cup of cherry tomatoes, chopped

1/2 red onion, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

2-3 tablespoons of fresh basil

1 sprig of fresh rosemary

1/2 cup of shaved Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup of olive oil, divided

1/4 cup of reserved water from pasta

6 oz of whole wheat pasta (I chose rotini so the herbs would really stick!)

Directions:

Boil water and cook pasta until al dente.

Meanwhile in a large pan using half of the olive oil saute the garlic and red onion for about 5 min. Add in zucchini and summer squash and saute for another 5 minutes.

Add in the reserved cooking water and cherry tomatoes. Saute for another 5 minutes. Pour in the cooked pasta, sprinkle the basil and rosemary over the top and stir around for a few minutes. Add the remaining olive oil and Parmesan cheese mixing until the cheese is melted and you have formed a thin sauce.

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Within minutes you have a delicious and healthy dinner! If you grow zucchini, summer squash and tomatoes imagine how more than half your dish was grown by you! Here are the other dishes from this week, don’t forget to go and check them out.

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

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Monday – Zucchini Noodle Salad with Arugula, Burrata and Tomatoes by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen

Tuesday – Zucchini Rice Gratin by Delaware Girl Eats

Wednesday – Shrimp Alfredo with Spaghetti Squash by Yours And Mine Are Ours

Thursday – Turkey Spinach Salad with Herb Vinaigrette by Magnolia Days

Dear Madison – Learning Big Girl Feelings

Dear Madison,

I can’t believe how big you’re getting. You are so busy learning how to be a big kid. In the past few months you’ve been faced with so many  new things. Big girls feelings takes the top though. Your forming your own little personality and I couldn’t be happier seeing you become you. I want what any Mommy would want. To see her little girl grow to be a beautiful young lady inside and out, a person who is strong and confident in the world, and just plain happy! Gosh you look like a little girl in this picture

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Keep in mind Mommy is learning along the way too. I’m learning to watch you from afar and see your imagination evolve. I’m 1 158learning to let you feel what YOU are feeling and allowing you to be YOU. It is all about you after all. You are at the age where you pretend play on a daily basis. I love cooking in the kitchen hearing you play with your ponies about being dropped off at school and Daddy picking them up. I hear you play fireman running around shooting/splashing “water” around the house. I love knowing that you are pretending, learning and just being you. You are eating us out of house and home these days, you could live on fruit and your FINALLY trying new things that we cook. You love doing puzzles these days, your coloring and staying in lines is incredible. Your learning your letters and I’m always amazed at the artwork you bring home from school.

We opened the camp and you are LOVING it. You love the campfires with Uncle Mick and those darn cheese balls you have to have! You ask for the bouncy house and swings every second of the day. You are being a terrific big sister and sharing your bunkhouse with Drew, you are showing him how to go to bed like a big kid and you guide him around like the best big sister that you are. Don’t worry we will keep working on that sharing thing you’re not so good at ;) Summer has finally shown its bright side and blessed us with some gorgeous days so far as we swing into June. We’ve had play dates with Jack, Jude, Layla and our new friend Joshua. You love the beep beep and gator that Daddy has given you this year, you ride them all around the yard like the big girl that you are. Here you are after a play date with your best friend Jack…..

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So with a heavy heart as I sit here writing to you with tears streaming down my face. I realize that I can’t always talk about the good times. I have to tell you about the heartaches and obstacles you and I are learning along the way. Lately you’re not enjoying going to school. I’m not sure you ever really LOVED it, I sent you two days a week when you were 18 months because you were so attached to me and wouldn’t go to anyone else, I wanted you to learn to play and trust in others. You may have been sad but once I dropped you off you always had a good time. Now each morning you wake up, the first thing you ask is “Is it a school day?” Today was the first day you cried when I told you it was a school day. Mommy hurts so much when I see you hurting, it’s a feeling I can’t quite explain and you probably won’t understand yourself until you are a Mommy. I try to make it fun by talking about your friends at school, activities your working on because I have a calendar that shows what your class does each week. I get excited talking about playing outside because it’s a beautiful day! However nothing is working these days. Here you are being a good big sister on a day you get to stay home with Mommy! We call them, Stay home with mommy days!

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You idolize your Daddy, you always have. I think it’s wonderful because your Daddy is such a good person, a strong individual and loves you more than life itself. Here you are with Daddy and your favorite Thomas the Train T-Shirt.

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However your starting to see that boys are boys and girls are girls and that there is a difference between them. You’d rather wear shorts, sweat pants, t-shirts and hats. I even took you shopping and let you choose your own summer cloths this year. After a few pushes towards the girls department I realized you were so happier with the boys t-shirts so I went with it. Seeing you happy is what matters and for the first time I looked around the store and realized how bad it is that there is such a difference between boys cloths and girls cloths. I’ve never known it any other way. Mommy loved being girly. I loved dresses, I loved pink and anything sparkly and grown up. Now that I have a daughter who doesn’t like those things I’m learning so much more about letting my child be who they want to be. Here you are with your new shorts on :)

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When I picked you up from school last week you told me that the older kids were telling you that your t-shirt was a boys shirt and you couldn’t wear it because you are a girl my heart literally sank. A feeling I’ve never felt before. Someone hurt my babies feelings. Someone else told you that it was wrong to wear a boys t-shirt and with every fiber in my body I wanted to pick you up and tell you that everything was going to be OK. Instead I put you in the car and I carefully thought about what I should say. I walked to the other side of the car fighting back my tears and I leaned back and said “The next time someone tells you can’t wear a T-shirt because it’s a boys shirt you tell them that as long as you like it and that your happy in it, that’s all that matters.” I looked at Daddy and we continued to talk about TT’s birthday dinner we were about to go to.

I know that story had something to do with why you cried this morning when it was time to go to school. I held back my tears and dropped you off. I thought the whole way home about how this is just the beginning of things. I couldn’t believe I was already hurting for you at the age of almost 4 because of things other people say. I want you to be strong and confident, I want you to learn to stick up for yourself and be you because Mommy never did. It took me 32 years to learn to stick up for myself and be stronger.  I let kids push me around all through high school. I was never confident enough to stick up for myself and believe in who I was becoming. Still at the age of 35 Mommy struggles with confidence and I don’t want you to battle that too. However you will learn in your own way, and I will be right here to hold your hand through it all. Right now the most important thing is to show you that you can always talk to me. That no matter what you tell me, good or bad, we will work on it together and Mommy will do her best to guide you along the way.

Your smile lights up the room, your giggles and laughs are contagious, your imagination brightens my dark days, and your personality shines on me to make me see that I’m doing something right my sweet girl. This is one of the most beautiful pictures of you sweet girl.

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Red Wine Meatballs Subs for #SundaySupper

When I think of my husband and a dish he would really love I tend to think of two things. meat and…..any kind of meat. He’s that kind of guy. He had a meat and potato dish every night for dinner when he was a kid. I make him steak for almost every special occasion we celebrate. When Gallo Family Vineyards reached out to partner with #SundaySupper with a theme of “A Father’s Day Feast, I couldn’t help but do something different for him.

GFV-family-logoI lost my father over ten years ago so when I met my husband he easily became the favorite man in my life. However, when he became a father, a whole different kind of love was born. We all have our different kinds of things we love to do for those special men in our lives. Nothing makes me happier than cooking for my husband, Isn’t he a lucky guy? I instantly thought of him and this theme when I bit into these little balls of goodness one night last week when gathering with friends. A few couples I’ve met over the years since having children get together every once in a while for different occasions. Whether it be a play date,  a birthday party or even my annual Christmas Cookie Swap I started this past year. We all have kids the same age so it may be madness when we gather but the kids have fun, the adults get to sip on wine and we share our favorite foods together. One of these lovely Mothers I happen to be talking about brought a plate of meatballs to serve with our Pasta that night. She then proceeded to tell me that she loves cooking with wine! My eyes lit up when she told me her secret ingredient was red wine! I immediately thought of Gallo and how I could make these meatballs using one of their red wines! The next day she gave me the rest of the ingredients and I got to work on creating these for my husband using Gallo’s Pinot Noir. I believe that the Cafe Zinfandel would work great in this recipe too. You can visit the Store Locator to go pick up a bottle, or two! Father’s Day is the perfect day to celebrate with family so don’t forget your wine and the $1 off Digital Coupon Gallo was so nice to offer. I also want to share a little about the Pinot Noir:

PINOT NOIR:
You can never go wrong by serving a bottle of our Pinot Noir. This medium bodied wine provides a smooth and light finish with aromas of cherry and sweet fruit flavors.

FOOD PAIRING NOTES:
Ripe berry and subtle earthy flavors stand up to meaty fish like salmon, and pairs well with port, roast chicken, and mushrooms.

I altered a few things from the recipe my friend gave me go with what I had in the house and what my family enjoys. Play with the seasoning if you’d like, you can always use dried herbs, I just happen to have fresh herbs growing on my back porch.

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Makes: 2 dozen meatballs
Ingredients:

1 lb. of ground pork
1 1/2 lbs. of ground sirloin
1/2 cup of red wine (I prefer Gallo’s Pinot Noir)
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup of bread crumbs
1/2 Cup of Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. fresh Basil, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh Parsley, chopped
Salt & Pepper
2 tsp. Garlic Salt
Sub Rolls
1/2 Cup of shredded Gouda cheese

Instructions:

Preheat Oven to 350F.

Mix all of the ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl. Form into balls and place on sheet pans lined with parchment paper.

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Bake for 20-25 minutes. Broil the rolls while the meatballs sit for 5 minutes. Feel free to eat them as is. I did. Feel free to freeze some. I did. Feel free to add them to your favorite pasta dish. I did!

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Nothing beats a crunchy roll! Place as many meatballs as you like in the roll and top with Gouda cheese (Yes it adds a fantastic smokey flavor!) What’s that under the meatballs you ask?? Well I wondered what to serve on my husbands rolls because I prefer nothing however I knew he would want something and since this dish was all for him I had to think of something “Manly” so I scanned the fridge and yes folks that’s Salsa! Perfect for him.

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Don’t forget to connect with Gallo and read more about their family and wine.
Facebook   /    Twitter   /    Instagram    /    YouTube

Compensation was provided by Gallo Family Vineyards via Sunday Supper, LLC. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Gallo Family Vineyards.

As you plan your Sunday Supper to celebrate that special Dad or Man in your life, feel free to check out Gallo’s Food & Wine Pairing Tool online. I know the best way to win my husband over is through a full belly so scroll down to see what other delicious meals were made this week using wine!

Father’s Day Salads and Main Dishes:

Father’s Day Sweets and Treats:

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.

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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.

I Love My TEA-cher Gift

Yes it’s that time of the year…..time to celebrate those people that have such a huge impact on our children’s lives. Those special people that guide and mentor the most important part of us as parents. Teacher’s appreciation week was a few weeks ago and I wanted to share with you what Madison and I made for her teachers at Pre-School. I wanted something she could help me with, but also something the teachers would know was especially from her but also something they could really use too. I have a lot of people involved in the school systems in my life and I reached out to them to ask what teachers enjoy getting from their students. Most of them responded with home made items and gift cards. So I decided to do a little bit of both! I got creative and made these with Miss Madison a few weeks ago.

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What you’ll need:

Mason Jar with cover and straw (or also a clear plastic ice coffee cup will work too!)
Construction Paper
Glue
Scissors
Assorted Tea Bags and Iced Tea packets
Markers
Gift Card of your choosing
Ribbon or any kind of tie
4×6 picture of your little one Use a close up you’ll be cutting a circle from chest up.
Whole puncher

What to do:

Fill those cups up with tea bags and tea packets. Put the gift card right on top so the teacher sees it.

Trace your child’s hand print on construction paper . Mom you cut it out. Be creative, let your child choose the colors. Madison loved picking the colors for each specific teacher, I then let her draw my hand on the scrap part so she felt included. By the time she ran and found her scissors, I was done cutting them all for her.

Cut the picture of your little one in a round circle. Together with your child glue the picture of the child on to the hand print and allow to dry.

Punch a whole somewhere in the hand print. On the reverse side write I (HEART) MY TEA-cher. Get it……it’s filled with tea! It’s just too cute for words. You don’t even have to write who it’s from because the picture says it all. Using the ribbon, attach each hand print to the cup. I got creative and used a few of her beads to attach to the cup as well.

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Light Chipotle Ranch Dressing

I’m actually a little embarrassed to share this one with you, well only because it’s so easy!!! A friend of mine shared with me an awesome low-fat Ranch Dressing awhile back. I wanted to make it again recently but as I was making it, I thought why not add some Chipotle seasoning to it! Well I’m a genius because this was amazing. I kept it in my fridge for about a week using it numerous times for my salads. I especially liked it on my salad that had steak on it. Perfect fit! I used my Pampered Chef’s Dressing Mixer to make this and just kept it in my fridge until it was gone! I just happen to have a party open so feel free to click here and order one now!!! I’ll get it to you no matter where you are located! I love love love their product and have at least one party a year!

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Ingredients:

2 Cups of non-fat plain Greek yogurt
1 pkg. of Ranch Seasoning such as hidden valley
2 tbsp. of skim milk
1 tsp. of chipotle seasoning (or more if you’d like!)

Directions:

Combine all of the ingredients saving the milk for last and whisk together. You wan to add this in slowly you may need more or less depending on the consistency you like. Also feel free to add more seasoning depending on what you like.

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Easy Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie for #WeekdaySupper

I’m happy to close off the week with another fabulous #WeekdaySupper for you all! This easy, quick yet hearty dish was made for me a few months ago by my best friend. Once a month we try to get together whether we head out for a meal and drinks or to save some money I leave the kids with my hubby and take off to her house where she cooks for me! Yes cooks for me! How lucky am I?? It’s nice to sit back with a glass of wine and enjoy girl talk without the sounds of cries and shreaks in the background. So after the first of the year my bestie wanted to try eating no meat for three weeks. She wanted to try a challenge and see if it bettered her body and mind. She said it was a lot easier than she thought it would be. After the three completed weeks of going meatless she did go back however she realized that she felt better and healthier cutting down her red meat to once, once every other week. You go girl! So with that being said one of those nights during her challenge I went over for dinner and she made me this dish!! I put my own spin on it by adding the pasta because it’s my Mom’s tradition and was always in our Shepard’s Pie growing up. I also added it because I have a picky toddler and I knew she’d eat the pasta! To my surprise she also ate the veggies. I know your probably thinking that it’s crazy to add pasta to Shepard’s Pie but I’m telling you, give it a shot, you won’t be disappointed.

Ingredients:

1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 cup sliced mushrooms (any kind)
1 cup frozen carrots (smaller the better), thawed
1-1/2 (10.5 ounce each) cans cream of mushroom soup (or try my healthy cream of mushroom soup)
3 cups mashed potatoes
3 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
3/4 cup french fried onions

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Directions:

Cook pasta to al dente and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 13×9 baking dish with non-stick spray and set aside. Place all of the veggies in a bowl and mix with the cream of mushroom soup.

Add veggie mixture to the baking dish, spreading it out evenly. Spread cooked pasta evenly over the veggie mixture. Add Mashed Potatoes on top of the pasta spreading evenly.

Bake for 20 minutes or until you see the liquid starting to bubble in the bottom of the dish. Add french fried onions to the top and bake for another 5-10 minutes.

**Tip: I also threw in a 1/2  cup or so of cooked broccoli that I had on hand, this is where you can use any veggies you want!

Easy Vegetable Sheppard's Pie

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Be sure to check out the rest of the Weekday Supper Recipes this week:

Monday – Gluten Free Flank Steak Salad by Gluten Free Crumbley

Tuesday - Fettuccine with Tomato Cream Sauce by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks

Wednesday - Pasta w/ Black Garlic, Kale, and a Poached Egg by girlichef

Thursday - Easy Cheesy Mac with Chicken & Broccoli by The Foodie Army Wife

Mother’s Day 2014

Mother's Day

I didn’t have time to put together a Mother’s Day post this year…I know, no excuses but since trying to squeeze in working out to my daily routine, I’m struggling with finding the balance, but I am! And it feels fantastic! I should have stayed this loyal a long time ago. I’m not going to lie, I don’t have a routine. I can’t commit to arms one day legs the next, I can only commit to the 10, 15, 20, 30 and 40 minutes routines on the core body reformer. I commit to 10 minutes here when the kids are sleeping, or 20 min here when my daughter is at pre-school and my son is happy playing with his toys, I’ve become totally OK with the up in the air routine (very unlike me!) I just know come 9pm at night when I go to bed, I’ve done something for “MY” well-being.

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So since I didn’t have time to put together a Mother’s Day post like I have in the past, last year, or the year before. I decided to just share my wonderful day with you all. Before I do, just a few shots of my baby boy who joined us after Mother’s Day last year!!

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Madison was such a proud big sister that day, this picture, this moment, will last forever in my heart.

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So here is how our day went. Daddy made me breakfast of my choosing. Got both kids dressed and allowed me to shower and get dressed in peace (with two kids this NEVER happens) That alone was gift enough, never mind the two new candles I got, and these beautiful handmade gifts from my baby girl!

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Then off to lunch at my new favorite place. The Tuscan Kitchen. Yeah the big foodie that I am forgot to take a picture of the wonderful dish of Potato Filled Gnocchi that I had! I guess I really was taking a day off! When my restless toddler couldn’t stand still any longer my wonderful husband, picked up both kids, and yes my purse you see there and took them outside so us ladies, yes my husband braves lunch with his mom, my mom, myself and my sister each year. (Hey some day he will a boy to join in on the conversation!) How great is he, doesn’t that purse look good on him??

Mothers Day 2014

Then we headed home for a family nap, don’t laugh, they happen a lot. Normally I use that time to write or clean the house but It was Mother’s Day and I was feeling a bit down with a sinus cold so we proceeded to sleep for two hours. Then we joined my mom’s family at my aunt’s house for a very nice cookout.

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And that my friend….is a perfect Mother’s Day in my eyes.

Ps. Should I mention that come 2pm Daddy had a hard time handling both kids and collapsed on couch at 8pm saying “I don’t know how you do this everyday!” That never grows old.

Taco Turkey Burgers

So if you haven’t noticed I’ve taken a break from Featured Friday’s. I miss it. However It was a long winter and I was too overwhelmed with trying to do Featured Friday, #Sunday Supper , Letters to my kids and some sponsored events. If you missed them here are a few I’ve done this year! Stay tuned because I have a few more coming your way!! Don’t worry I’ll be bringing Featured Friday’s back soon!

The Miracle Blanket – A Review

Yogurt and Granola Parfaits with Ladera Granola

Poached Pear Bread with Dixie Crystals

Pork with Moscato Sauce & Veggies

Taco Turkey Burger (5)a

So it’s not the ingredients of this burger that makes this one of the best turkey burgers I’ve ever had it’s more about EVERYTHING in between the buns! Who would have guessed that avocado would go awesomely on a burger! Genius! Wish I could take credit for it, I researched the “perfect” turkey burger and found all different tips but most of them did not include turkey so I was destined to make this a healthier version that did dry out the second it hit the grill! I think the chili’s and salsa helped that. I find refrigerating homemade burgers for a few hours before popping them on the grill helps as well. However the avocado, tomato and lettuce kept this baby super moist when biting into it! My husband LOVED it. He loves everything I make don’t get me wrong. He just doesn’t go on and on about many dishes, so when he does…..I like to brag a bit!

Ingredients:

1 lb. of ground turkey
1 pkg. of taco seasoning
1/2 small can of green chili’s
3 tbsp of Salsa
4 hamburger buns (we used fresh rolls from the bakery)

Toppings:

Smashed avocado
Salsa
Lettuce
Remaining green chili’s from above can
Ranch Dressing (trust me!)
Tomato
Cheese of your choice

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What to do:
Combine the ingredients and shape into 4 large thick patties. Refrigerate for at least an hour. (that’s my secret)

Another secret to pull these off without falling apart (most of my homemade burgers fall apart) I’ve learnt to let them cook longer that first initial time you throw them on your grill. I did roughly 8-10 minutes then flipped and did 5 on the other side.

For the healthier option:

I went through the bakery and looked (and looked) at all the rolls and chose one lower in carbs and calories. I chose 2% part-skim american cheese, avocado (lots of it), a little salsa and lettuce.

Taco Turkey Burger (1)

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