Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Nutritious Toddler "Cookies"

My little guys has a HUGE appetite so I am constantly looking for new, healthy snack ideas to satisfy his belly while making sure he is getting all of the nutrients he needs. Let's face it...if I put a box of Ritz crackers in front of him he would eat the entire thing and probably sit there still asking for more. The same goes for bananas. He loves his bananas. So my challenge has definitely been finding ways to change up snack time instead of just falling into the routine of giving him the same things everyday, day after day.
Of course, I turned to Pinterest and have started a healthy toddler snack Pinterest board there you can check out.
The very first thing I tried were these Healthy and Organic Toddler Cookies from the blog Twitchettes. They were a HUGE hit!

Here's how my turned out and I even have a few fun additions to this already great recipe!

What You'll Need:
1 banana
1 Tbs Coconut Oil, melted
1/2 cup Rolled Oats
1 1/2 tsp Honey (honey is not recommended for children under 1)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
other optional additions: diced apples, spinach (I sneak spinach into everything), chocolate chips, anything else you think your toddler will love!  

How You'll Do It:
Mix it all together, spoon onto baking sheet or I've been preferring to into muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.

Thank you very much to the ladies of Twitchettes for this great idea! Make sure you head over and check out their blog!

Can't wait to share the next one with you...Quinoa Veggie bites!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Chicken, Apple, Butternut Squash and Sage Bake

This is my absolute favorite dinner at home right now! It's delicious, nutritious, my baby can eat it and I only need 4 ingredients and 1 baking dish. (If you haven't caught on yet, I like my recipes as easy and scrumptious as possible). I was in a real dinner making slump a few weeks ago and adapted this recipe from one I found on MyRecipe.com. 

My struggle has been adapting my dinner menu (and timing) to fit the needs of our growing baby boy. Gone are the days when he was two weeks old, laying on the couch beside us at 8pm as we scarfed down pizza and chicken wings. Long gone.

He's now a 1 year old with a big appetite, who wants to eat with us...at 6 p.m. cue major life adjustment. For the better, obviously. 

This dinner is all that for me. Chop up a few apples and some butternut squash, throw some sage and chicken on top and you have yourself a dinner and an hour of playtime while it bakes. We love it and baby loves it. What more could I ask for?

Chicken, Butternut Squash and Apple One Dish Dinner

What You'll Need:
2 Split Chicken (bone in) for some reason it's just not the same with boneless chicken breasts
3 Fuji Apples
Butternut Squash
Fresh Sage
Canola Oil
Your Favorite Chicken Seasoning (optional)

How You'll Do It:
1. Cube apples and an equal amount of butternut squash.
2. Toss into baking dish with 1-2 tbsp canola oil. 
3. Sprinkle with sage.
4. Lay chicken over the top (seasoned to your liking).
5. Bake at 400 for 1 Hour and 15 Minutes.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Snowflake Cookie Recipe

Since our first big snowstorm of the year is predicted to hit this weekend (maybe), I thought it would be fun to share my mom's Snowflake Cookie recipe! This light and crisp cookie is a lot different from other "cookies" you might be used to baking. I think you will be pleasantly surprised! But be careful...they are addicting!

So while your at the store stocking up on bread and water...

You'll Need:
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup of sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup chocolate chips
Pinch of salt

How you'll do it:
1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Beat egg whites adding vanilla and salt. Continue beating until fairly firm. Add sugar gradually, beating until very stiff.
3. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips.
4. Drop from spoon onto a cookie sheet covered with greased aluminum foil.
5. Put in oven and turn off heat immediately. Leave in oven several hours until oven cools completely.
6. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Bacon and Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

These bacon and blue cheese stuffed mushrooms are SO yummy!!!

This Christmas was actually the second time I've made this recipe but only the first time I got to try it for myself...my family has a tendency of over preparing for holiday appetizers, so these mushrooms never made it out while I was still there last year [aka my sister hoarded them at the back of the fridge until everyone left ;) ]. But they got phenomenal reviews so I had to see for myself.

Side note: I made up for it this year and ate more than my fair share. They really are so yummy. And surprisingly easy! And also low-carb if you are looking for a good low carb or diabetic friendly appetizer. 

They are a little messy to transport once stuffed so this year I pre mixed the blue cheese and bacon stuffing and just filled my pre cleaned out mushrooms once we were there. If that's an option for you if you are bringing these on the go I would recommend doing it that way to save some mess! 

What You'll Need:

16 Oz package of whole baby Bella mushrooms  (2 8oz packages)

8oz (1 small tub) reduced fat spreadable chive and onion cream cheese

1 cup crumbled blue cheese

4 green onions, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

3/4 cup bacon bits

How you'll do it:

1. Clean and remove stems from mushrooms.

2. In a bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients. 

3. Once thoroughly mixed, stuff into mushrooms. 

4. Place on a greased baking pan and sprinkle with bacon bits. 

5. Bake uncovered at 375 for 18-22 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. 

6. Enjoy! 

This recipe was adapted from one I found on Taste of Home.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Italian Beef Recipe in the Crockpot

YUM. Just, Yum.

If Italian Beef Sandwiches aren't already on your dinner rotation, add this recipe immediately! It's easy, delicious and makes your house smell sooo good for the 12 hours of slow cooking.
Even my 11 month old devoured the pieces of beef I put in front of him! I am now actively searching for a onesie that says "Where's the Beef."

Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwich Recipe

What You'll Need
  • 3 - 4lbs Beef Chuck Roast Boneless
  • 1 tsp dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp dried Parsley
  • 1 tsp dried Basil
  • onion salt
  • garlic powder 
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 (.7 ounce packages) Dry Italian style salad Dressing Seasoning
  • 3 cans Beef Broth
  • Cubed Parmesan Cheese (for toppings!)
  • Buns

How You'll Do It
  1. Put everything in the Crock Pot except for the Cheese and Buns.
  2.  Cover and cook on Low for 10 to 12 hours (this is how I did it). Or on high for 4 to 5 hours.
  3. Remove bay leaf and shred meat with a fork, save extra juice to serve for au jus.
  4. Spoon meat onto roll >  top with cheese > dip in au jus > Devour.

Suggested Side Dish = Homemade Sweet Potato Fries!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Sweet Potato, Feta, Red Onion and Arugula Salad

Hey guys! I'm so excited to share this recipe with you all. It's a new copycat creation and my first one in quite a while...and it turned out exactly how I wanted it (the second time I made it 😉)!

The inspiration for this recipe came from Simon's Marketplace, a great little lunch spot in Chester, CT that I used to go to when I worked closer. If you are in the area, I highly recommend checking it out. With the Mezze plate, you can get two salads of your choice (this recipe is considered a salad) and a field green salad with a baquette. Their bread is also AMAZING. Also a must-try on the menu is their Thanksgiving sandwich on the daily menu. It's delicious any time of the year!

If Chester, CT isn't within your lunch driving range, then you will have to do with this recipe. I'm sure I don't do it exactly how Simon's would, but it's SOOOO GOOOD anyways! It's great by itself on a Meatless Monday or a wonderful side dish for chicken, fish or beef!

Sweet Potato, Feta, Red Onion and Arugula Salad

What You'll Need
Sweet Potatoes, cubed
Red Onion, sliced long and thin
olive oil

How You'll Do It

1. Start by cooking the sweet potatoes. This can be done 1 of 2 ways.
    a. roasting cubed sweet potatoes in the oven at 350 degrees until soft, about 15 minutes.
     b. cook in olive oil on stovetop on medium heat until softened.

2. In a pan on the stove, start with red onions in a little olive oil over medium, low heat.

3. Once red onions have softened, add in cooked sweet potatoes.

4. Remove from heat and stir in feta cheese and arugula.

5. Enjoy!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Chicken, Butternut Squash and Kale Quesadillas

Chicken, butternut squash and kale quesadillas became one of my favorite dinners last year when I had gestational diabetes. It's delicious, easy to prepare and oh so healthy. Win, win, win! And now I can whip up this dinner for my baby to eat along with us (in puree form for now!) and feel good that he is getting a healthy dinner too...and he loves it!!

Last time I made this, I shared the photo on instagram not even thinking to do a blog post and it has gotten so many likes, I figured I better share it with everyone! So without further ado, here is the healthy, scrumptious recipe!

Chicken, Butternut Squash and Kale Quesadillas

What You'll Need:
Chicken, bite sizes
Butternut squash, bite size cubes
Kale or spinach
Parmesan cheese, shredded
large tortillas (I love whole wheat!)

How you'll do it:
*You can do steps 1 and 2 at the same time in separate pans to save a little time, but who wants to do all those dishes?!
1. Cook the cut up chicken on the stove top in a little bit of olive oil. 
2. Once the chicken is fully cooked, move aside and put in cubed butternut squash, adding oil as needed. 
3. When that is fully cooked, mix chicken back in, add in kale or spinach and Parmesan cheese until kale/spinach has cooked down.
4. Spoon generous amounts onto a quesadilla. Cover with another quesadilla (or you can just stick with the bottom one and serve this as an open face quesadilla) and place under broiler for a few minutes until it crisps up.
5. Enjoy!