Monday, November 26, 2012

Freezer Black Bean Burritos

I found this recipe on pinterest (and added cheese...b/c a burrito needs cheese!) because we were spending $4 a piece on those Red's Burritos for Andrew to take to work for lunch. That starts to add up! So I was super happy when I tried this recipe and Andrew told me to stop buying them and just stock the freezer with these - they taste just as good, if not better.
You can used any sized tortilla. I went with the soft taco sized because the burrito sized was too much for me. Andrew can easily grab two of this size, but I would always end up wasting half of the big ones.
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp olive oil
pinch of crushed red pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
half of a red onion, diced
2 bell peppers, diced
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 t cumin
2 cups cooked brown rice
1/4 c chopped cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
8 oz package shredded cheese
10 soft taco sized tortillas

In a food processor, process half of the black beans and the can of diced tomatoes until smooth. Set aside.

In a large heavy skillet, warm olive oil, garlic and crushed red pepper over medium heat until fragrant. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Add onion, and saute for 3-4 minutes. Next add the peppers, paprika and cumin. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until veggies are tender. Add processed bean mixture and whole beans. Heat through, and add more salt and pepper to your taste. Mix in brown rice and cilantro.

Fill each tortilla with 1/2 cup of the bean mixture and some shredded cheese. Roll up burrito style and serve them now or freeze for later.

When reheating from frozen, wrap in tin foil and warm up for 1 hour at 350° or heat in microwave.

Weekly Meal Plan

  • Breakfast for Supper: Oatmeal waffles, eggs, sausage, fruit
  • Pineapple chicken (new pinterest recipe) with rice
  • Black Bean & Zucchini Taco Quinoa Salad (new pinterest recipe)
  • Crockpot Ravioli Casserole and broccoli
  • Leftover ravioli casserole
  • Black Bean Burgers, fries and salad
  • Pantry meal/Leftover night

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Golden Grains + Flax Fruit Bars

I just made these and wanted to post this recipe before the box got thrown away. It was on the side of a Publix Greenwise cereal and they are so good. The recipe was written with cherry preserves, but I am not a big cherry fan. So I used strawberry. Next time I am going to try blueberry or raspberry.
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups Golden Grains + Flax Cluster cereal, crushed (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup strawberry preserves (or other flavor)

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 9 x 9 baking dish with parchment paper.

In a bowl, combine flour, cereal, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Stir in butter until blended. Reserve 3/4 cup of cereal mixture. Press the remaining cereal mixture into the bottom of the lined baking dish.
Spread preserves over cereal mixture. Evenly distribute the reserved cereal mixture over preserves.

Bake 23-25 minutes or until top it light golden brown and preserves are bubbling. Allow to cool for 30 minutes before cutting. Cut into 3 rows by 4 rows and serve.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Juicy Apple Pork Chops

I somehow manage to ruin pork chops when I make them in the oven. But I started searching for recipes to make them in the crock pot and this one is excellent. The cinnamon, nutmeg, and apple flavors give it a fall flavor.
4 pork chops
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
1 large onion, sliced
1/2 package of French onion soup mix
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup apple juice
nutmeg to taste
cinnamon to taste

Place apples and onions on the bottom of the crock pot and place the pork chops on top. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over top. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bruschetta Chicken

This is an easy chicken recipe I found on pinterest this week. It went really well with steamed green beans and fresh toasted garlic bread.
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup crushed garlic croutons
1 Tbsp butter, melted
2 large tomatoes
3 Tbsp minced fresh basil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375°. Grease a 9x13 baking dish. Place flour & beaten eggs in separate shallow bowls. Dip chicken into flour, then into the eggs and place in baking dish.

Combine parmesan cheese, crushed croutons, & melted butter then sprinkle on chicken. Loosely cover with foil and bake for 30-40 minutes or until top is browned and chicken is cooked through.

Chop tomatoes and combine with the last ingredients. Spoon mixture over chicken and return to oven for 5-7 minutes or until tomato mixture is heated through.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan

Monday, October 1, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan

  • Homemade veggie noodle soup and grilled cheese
  • Chicken Philly Sandwiches, Fries, & fruit
  • Baked Cream Cheese Spaghetti (bumped from last week!)
  • Tilapia, angel hair pasta, veggies
  • Homemade Pizza
  • Zucchini Quesadillas with salsa
  • Dinner at the airport - we are flying to Chicago for the week!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bean, Spinach, & Quinoa Burritos

This is a recipe from Real Simple Magazine. I love having the freezer stocked with ready to eat healthy meals and this recipe fits the bill. We added cumin to the original recipe to give it a little more flavor. This is a great way to add some quinoa to your diet!

1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
salt and black pepper
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
2 15.5-ounce cans pinto beans, rinsed
3/4 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 10-ounce packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess liquid
10 burrito sized tortillas
12 oz sharp white cheddar cheese, grated (about 3 cups)
salsa, sour cream, and sliced avocado, for serving

Heat the oven to 400°. Cooke the quinoa according to the package directions.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the chili powder and cumin and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the beans, broth, and garlic and simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has been absorbed, 2 to 4 minutes more. Fold in the spinach.
Dividing evenly, top the tortillas with the quinoa (about 1/2 cup each), bean mixture (about 1/2 cup each), and cheddar (about 1/3 cup each). Roll up into burrito; wrap each in heavy-duty foil and place on a baking sheet.
Bake the burritos until warmed through, 15-20 minutes. Serve with salsa, sour cream, and sliced avocado.
 The uncooked wrapped burritos can be frozen in freezer bags for up to 3 months. To reheat, remove from foil and microwave on high until warmed through.

Weekly Meal Plan

Some things didn't get made last week for various reason, so they got bumped to this week's menu.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan

Monday, September 10, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan

Last week I had a new recipe to try: Eggplant Lasagna. It was terrible. I won't be sharing that recipe. I have a new one on the menu to try this week so I am hoping it will turn out better.
  • Orange Chipotle Chicken with Cilantro Rice, veggie, and fresh fruit
  • Black Bean Soup topped with avocado and cheese, served with tortilla chips
  • Spaghetti, veggie, and bread with dipping oil
  • Crockpot Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos (this is the new recipe for the week - fingers crossed!), black beans, fresh fruit, and chips & salsa
  • Eggplant Panini, couscous, and fresh fruit
  • Date night - dinner out
  • Turkey Burgers and fries

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan

Going back to my weekly meal planning. I realize I don't blog much otherwise!

On this week's menu:
  • Paula Dean Tacos, chips with salsa and guacamole, and Fiesta Black Beans
  • Black Bean & Sweet Potato Chili topped with cheese and cilantro, served with corn chips and fresh fruit
  • Crockpot Chicken Parmesan with angel hair pasta, roasted brussel sprouts, fruit, and bread
  • Pizza
  • Eggplant Lasagna - a new recipe off of pinterest so it is not up on my blog, green beans, fresh fruit and bread
  • Black Bean Burgers topped with avocado (or guacamole), tomatoes and cheese, served with chips or potato wedges and broccoli
  • Sunday is still TBD
Sweet Treat: testing out a chocolate cupcake recipe. =)

Update: Picture of my cupcakes (from my phone - so lame picture). They turned out pretty stinkin' good!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Eggplant Panini

I've seen so many eggplant sandwiches on Pinterest and they all look so good. Recently Skinny Taste posted an eggplant sandwich recipe that looked easy and delicious, so I started with hers and made a few adjustments to make it our own. I used a different bread and added some greens and red onion. I even made my own pesto for the first time and it turned out great!

Tomato, sliced
Red onion, thinly sliced
Mozzarella cheese, sliced
Spinach/Arugula mix

Peel eggplant and slice. You can lay on a paper towel lines cookie sheet and season with salt for about 30 minutes to absorb the excess moisture.

Preheat your panini press. Spray a little cooking spray and sprinkle each slice of eggplant with salt and pepper and grill in the press. Repeat with remaining eggplant slices.

Assemble sandwiches: eggplant, greens, tomato, red onion, mozzarella cheese, and a spread pesto on the top piece of bread.

Grill in the press until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Strawberry Icebox Cake

Original recipe found here. This is easy and so good. Terrible for you. But so so good.

2 pounds fresh strawberries,w ashed
3 1/4 cup whipping cream, divided
1/3 cup confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 sleeves (about 19 ounces, or 24-28 whole crackers) graham crackers
2 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped

Take out a few of the best looking strawberries and set them aside for the garnish. Hull the remainder of the strawberries and slice each berry into thin slices.

With a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer, whip 3 cups of cream until it just hold stiff peaks. Add the confectioners sugar, and vanilla and whip to combine.

Spread a small spoonful of whipped cream on the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan, or similarly-sized platter. Lay down six graham crackers. Lightly cover the top of the graham crackers with more whipped cream, an then a single later of strawberries. Repeat three times, until you have four layers of graham crackers. Spread the last of the whipped cream over the top and swirl it lightly with a spoon. Add a few more strawberries.

To make the ganache, heat the cream until bubbles form around the edges, then pour over the chopped chocolate. Let it stand for a few minutes, then whisk until the mixture is thick and glossy. Drizzle over the layered dessert with a spoon or use a squeeze bottle.

Refrigerate for at least four hours, or until the crackers have softened completely. Garnish with additional berries.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Three Years Old

My little boy turned THREE on July 1st! Thanks to Pinterest I found the idea to list some of his favorite things on his 3 year picture.

I look forward to using it in his newest scrapbook that I'll be getting started on soon. I have to finish up last year's and order it first.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

No-Knead Focaccia

I found this on Pinterest and it has to be one of the easiest and tastiest bread recipes I've found. And it is cheap to make. I love to use it to make turkey, avocado, and swiss paninis. Andrew loves to make caprese sandwiches cold on it - tomato, mozzarella, basil, and balsamic vinegar.

Keep in mind that you start this recipe the night before and bake it in the morning.

1 cup whole wheat flour
3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups water
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
2 Tbsp corn meal

The night before, combine flour, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Stir until everything is combined and then stir in water. The result should be one sticky, shaggy lump of dough. If there is still dry flour in the bowl or everything isn’t sticking together, add a bit more water. Loosely cover and let sit overnight at room temperature (about 14 hours).

The next day the dough will be wet, fluffy, and maybe even bubbling. Use a spatula and scrape down the dough from the sides of the bowl and turn the dough over on itself.

Prepare a baking sheet with foil and non-stick spray and a generous sprinkling of cornmeal. Dust your hands with flour and sprinkle a little on top of the dough to keep it from sticking to your hands. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet. Stretch and pat the dough out into a large rectangle. You may need to dust your hands with flour throughout this process to keep the dough from sticking. It will be very wet and sticky.

Drizzle olive oil over the surface of the dough and use a soft brush to spread it evenly over the surface. Sprinkle the Italian seasoning (or any type of herbs) over top. Let the dough rise for another hour.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Using your fingers, press dimples into the risen dough. Bake the focaccia for 20-25 minutes in the preheated oven or until the surface is golden brown. After removing from the oven, transfer the focaccia to a wire rack to cool.

Spicy Black Bean Burgers

This is a recipe from the Skinny Taste blog. I make them without the mayo she has on her post. We aren't mayo people. These have become a house favorite. I double the recipe and keep them in the freezer and we have a quick and healthy lunch or dinner at a moments notice. We even tried freeze some buns so that we always have them. It worked well for us! When I am down to one or two in the freezer I make up another batch and it takes no time at all.

I top mine with a little cheese and avocado slices. Andrew like to add some hot sauce to his.

I seriously eat these about twice a week. They are filling, healthy, and budget friendly. You can't go wrong.

16 oz can black beans, rinsed & drained
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped scallions
3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 egg
1 Tbsp cumin
1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup quick oats

Dry the beans well after washing, extra moisture keeps the burgers from sticking. In a medium bowl, mash beans with a fork until thick and pasty.

In a food processor, finely chop bell pepper, cilantro, onion, and garlic, then add oats, then eggs and spices. Then stir into mashed beans.

Divide mixture into four patties (using slightly oiled hands helps) and place them onto a flat surface covered with wax paper. If the mixture is too wet, chill for 30 minutes or add another tablespoon of oats.

Freeze at least 2 hours before cooking or keep frozen until ready to cook.

Heat a lightly sprayed skillet to medium heat and cook frozen burgers about 7 minutes on each side.

If grilling, preheat grill over medium heat, and lightly oil a sheet of aluminum foil; grill 7-8 minutes on each side.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Zucchini Quesadillas

4 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium zucchini, about 1 lb, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
2 cups grated pepper jack cheese

Preheat oven to 400°. In a large skillet, heat 3 Tbsp oil over medium heat. Add onion and 1 tsp salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic; cook 1 minute more.

Add zucchini and frozen corn kernels; cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is soft and corn is tender, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro, if using.

Brush one side of all tortillas with remaining Tbsp oil; lay 2 tortillas, oiled side down, on a baking sheet. Place half of the filling on each, and sprinkle with half the cheese. Place remaining 2 tortillas on top, oiled side up; press down gently with a spatula to seal.

Bake until cheese has melted and tortillas are golden brown, turning once, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool slightly. To serve, slice each quesadilla into wedges.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Meatless Mexican Lasagna

I've been MIA lately. I didn't realize how much time I would not have to post recipes once I started staying home. Mostly becuase Colin is dropping naps and so that limits my nice quiet alone time. I am going to try and get back to posting more recipes. Espcially since I have been finding some really good ones here lately!

Here is a Mexican take on lasanga. It was a big hit in our house and in Hallies. The original recipe had hot sauce that I left out. Hallie said she added black olives. We both topped with avocado when we served it. It seems like you can't go wrong playing with this recipe.

1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
4-5 green onions, chopped
Scant 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
1 red or orange bell pepper, diced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes, fire roasted
9-12 no-boil lasagna noodles
8 oz shredded Mexican blend cheese

Preheat the oven to 400°.

In a large bowl, combine the black beans, corn, green onions, cilantro, bell pepper, oregano, garlic powder, cumin, and salt.

Spread a thin layer of tomatoes over the bottom of the baking dish. Layer with 3-4 lasagna noodles, breaking them as needed to fit the pan. On top of the layer of noodles, spread about 1/3 of the bean mixture. Layer evenly with about one quarter of the remaining tomatoes and sprinkle with 1/4 of the cheese.

Repeat the layering process two times more. The last layer will be noodles, tomatoes, and cheese.

Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Bake 35-45 minutes, or until noodles are tender and cooked through. Remove the foil from the top and bake 5 minutes more, until the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and let stand at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Baked Hummus & Spinach Dip

We are changing our eating habits up a little. We are reducing the amount of meat in our diet and upping the vegetarian options. I hope to have some good vegetarian recipes to post as I find more to try.

This is easy and delicious. You can make this as an appetizer or make it for an easy lunch (as I'm doing as I type this).

8 oz container of plain hummus
2 cups fresh spinach
1 cup shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 375.

In a food processor, pulse the spinach until it is shredded. Combine the shredded spinach, hummus, and 1/2 of the cheese. Spread into a small baking dish. Top with remaining cheese.

Bake for 20-25 or until hummus is hot all the way through.

Use as a dip for tortilla chips, pita, bread, & veggies.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Hell or High Water 5k

Today Hallie and I participated in our 2nd 5k. I was so excited and my goal was to be faster than my last race. I thought that was doable considering my normal practice runs were now faster than that.

Friday I started feeling sick. I am pretty sure it was just allergies and it made me feel exhausted, foggy, and even nauseous. Andrew gave me some "alone" time that night and I went to the GAP. Something is obviously wrong when I'm ready to leave the GAP and go to bed or maybe even throw up.

I went home and went to bed and got up bright and early this morning to have some coffee and light breakfast. Still didn't feel great. But figured I was nervous. We picked up Hallie and made our way to Nashville. We walked and warmed up, and I still didn't feel well. I used Andrew's nice heart rate monitor (I'm getting my own for my birthday!!!) because I had been using it in practice runs. I learned my average heart rate during my runs is usually 160 and I top out at 171.

Well, we began the race, me still telling Hallie was going to hurl. I spent the run watching my heart rate monitor knowing I didn't feel well b/c I couldn't get my heart rate down. When we got home I plugged it up and and found out that my average heart rate during this run was 173. And I topped out at 181. Andrew said I was obviously not feeling well..and then laughed that I even continued the run and never passed out.

Anyway, I finished...with a worse time that my previous race. But I finished. Hallie did AMAZING!! I'm not even going to tell her official time because I am sure she will want to share it herself on her blog when she makes her post. I am so so proud of her. She has a tough time to be at our future races!

She was a good friend and didn't want to leave me for fear of my barfing on the side of the road and being alone. I am so glad she listened to me and didn't stick with me. But I am glad I have a friend that would be willing to get a sucky time to stay by me when I'm sick.

So, here are some pictures from today. Our boys even came and watched. =)

For the record, my time was 36:39. I would love to erase that race from my history completely. But I will keep track of it and will never be slower than that again. Can't wait to make up for that time.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Grilled Greek Chicken

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
1 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tsp each chopped fresh oregano, rosemary, thyme, & basil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast

In a medium sized bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients. Whisk in the olive oil until well combined with the other ingredients.

Place the chicken breasts in a large resealable bag and pour marinade over chicken. Close the bag and remove as much air as possible. Smoosh the chicken breast around until they are completely covered in the marinade. Lay the bag flat in the fridge for 24 hours.

When you are ready to grill, allow the chicken to sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes. Set the grill to medium-high heat and place the chicken over the heat source. Grill to an internal temperature of 165°, about 4-6 minutes each side. Allow to rest 5 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb chicken (completely thawed if frozen)
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1 jar pasta sauce
sliced or shredded mozzarella cheese

Spread the olive oil into the bottom of the crock pot.

Beat the egg with a fork in a separate bowl.

Mix the bread crumbs with the salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese in another bowl. Dip the chicken into the egg, then into the bread crumb mixture, coating both sides.

Place the chicken breast pieces in the bottom of the crock pot. Layer 2-3 sliced or 1-2 cups of the mozzarella cheese on top of the chicken. Cover with entire jar of pasta sauce.

Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4 hours.

If serving with pasta, serve with extra sauce.

Frito Chili Pie

This is a Pioneer Woman recipe and a huge hit in our house. She makes it with ground beef, but as usual, we use turkey instead.

2 lbs ground turkey
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (12-14 oz) tomato sauce
1 can Ro-tel (diced with tomatoes and chilies)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground oregano
1 Tbsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 can kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1/4 cup masa (corn flour) or regular corn meal
1/2 cup warm water
Friots chips
Grated sharp cheddar cheese
Diced red onion

Brown ground turkey with garlic in a pot over medium-high heat. Add tomato sauce, Ro-tel, salt, oregano, cumin, and chili powder. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Add drained and rinsed beans. Stir to combine, then cover and simmer for another 20 minutes.

Mix masa with water, then add to the chili. Stir to combine and simmer for final 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside. (We always skip this b/c it is plenty thick for our liking.)

Serve by placing Fritos in the bottom of a bowl. Pile in the chili, cheese, and diced onions. Serve immediately.

English Muffins

1 tsp active dry yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
2 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 cups bread flour
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour (plus more if needed, up to 1 1/2 cups total)
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup cornmeal

In a small bowl, combine the yeast, sugar, and 1/2 cup of warm water. Stir to dissolve the sugar and yeast. Let sit about 5 minutes or until foamy on top.

While the yeast/sugar mixture is resting, combine 1 1/2 cups bread flour and salt in a large bowl. Stir well to evenly distribute the salt. In a second small bowl, combine the milk and butter. Microwave the milk/butter for 30 seconds, stir and microwave again for 30 seconds. Stir butter until it melts into the warm milk.

Pour the yeast mixture and the milk mixture into the flour. Stir until is has combined into a pasty mix. Adding 1/4 cup at a time, stir in the white whole wheat flour until the dough forms a soft, slightly sticky ball that pulls away from the bowl. (This is where you can use more of the white whole wheat flour if the dough is still too sticky).

Sprinkle a little bit of flour onto a clean counter-top ad coat you hands in flour. Dump the soft ball of dough out of the bowl and knead it for about 5 minutes. Add as little flour as possible to the counter-top while kneading. Adding too much flour will yield tough muffins.

Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a bowl that has been coated with non-stick spray. Lightly spray the top of the dough and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until double in size (about 45-60 minutes).

Punch the dough down, shape into another ball, cover the bowl/dough and let rise a second time (45-60 minutes or until doubled).

Punch down the dough again and turn it out onto a well floured counter-top. Using a rolling pin, lightly roll the dough until it is about 3/4-inch thick. Using a cookie cutter, biscuit cutter, or large round glass, cut the dough into circles. When you can't cut out anymore circle, gently ball the remaining dough, roll again and cut more.

Place the cut dough onto a sheet pan that has been liberally covered in cornmeal. Sprinkle more cornmeal on top of the muffins. Cover loosely with a damp town and let rise, once more, until doubled in size (about 45 minutes).

Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Spray the pan with non stick spray. Carefully transfer the fluffy, risen muffins to the hot skillet with a spatula. Cook the muffins, in batches, in the skillet until they are golden brown and crispy on each side. Make sure to keep the heat low so that the outside browns slowly, allowing time for the inside to "bake" (about 7 minutes total).

Let the muffins cool on a wire rack before attempting to slice open. Toast the split muffins in a toaster. Or freeze them and pull them and pull them out at you want them.


Paula Dean Tacos

I'm not sure why these are called Paula Dean Tacos. I search google for that recipe, and nothing comes up. I don't even know where I got the recipe. These are healthy and don't contain a stick of butter like her typical recipes, however we continue to call these Paula Dean Tacos .=)

1 lb ground turkey
1/4-1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 jalapeno, ribbed and seeded, minced
8 oz can tomato sauce
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, minced
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper
8-10 taco shells
taco toppings

Brown ground turkey in a large skillet; add onion and jalapeno and saute a few minutes or until tender. Add tomato sauce, cilantro, cumin, garlic powder, chili powder and fresh lime juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Simmer for 5-10 minutes. If mixture starts to look too dry, add 1 or 2 Tbsp of water and stir to combine.

Serve in crunch or soft taco shells with desired toppings.

Wee School

Colin had another great year at Wee School. This year his teachers were Ms. Linda & Ms. Jenni. Today was his last day and I was so happy to find a CD in his bag of all the pictures they took though the year. The CD has possibly over 500 photos, but here are my favorite ones of Colin.

Sitting in the cubbies

Trying on hats.

The kid LOVES fire trucks, but was afraid to get too close. Look at him holding Reagan's hand.

And then he makes a run for it.

Lucky Ladd Farm

Music class

Reindeer from his hand and foot prints.

Colin Coleman, MD

Delivering Valentines

PJ Day, trying on bunny slippers.

They weighed and mesaured him at the begining of the year and the end. According to their measurements, he has gained 3.5 lbs and grown 2.5 inches!

Looking forward to another great year at Wee School next year!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

See Spot Run

Hallie and I participated in our first ever race. We completed the See Spot Run 5k. We were so excited and pumped, but the week before I started having really bad leg pain. After an x-ray (no fracture!) and a vein ultrasound (no blood clot!) I am assuming I have really bad shin splints. This is a first for me and I am still trying to figure out how to manage it. Poor Hallie came down with Bronchitis just a couple days before.

But she was armed with her breathing treatment and I gave some compression sleeves a try. We didn't expect much and just wanted to have fun and finish. I decided I would like to finish in less than 40 minutes.

We finished in 35:40. What's funny is, we both finished with the exact same time. It was fun to have someone to talk to while we ran. It helps me make sure I am not going to fast. (I'm using the if you can't talk you are going to hard rule).

I finished 13th out of 31 in my age group, 57th out of 169 in my gender, and 110th out of 252 overall. Hallie finished 7th in her age group!! So proud of my friend!

Andrew finished 2nd in his age group and 16th overall! I am so so proud of him. He even won a trophy - a hammer that says he was 2nd in his age group. =)

I am actually starting to enjoy running and can't wait to do another race. I love having an official time to improve on.

Here's some pictures:
Pre-race. I got to pick out a new running shirt for my mother's day gift. Too bad you can't see my awesome compression socks.

Andrew and his hammer trophy.

Post-race. I think you can only tell b/c i am showing my water bottle.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Stay at home mom

A few of you know this about me, but I am now a full time stay-at-home-mom. I'm into my 3rd week and so far I love it. This would not have been ideal for me 2 years ago, but for now, it suites me so well.

The first week home, we didn't do much. I think Colin liked that he didn't HAVE to go anywhere. So we played at home a lot. I have been able to put into practice my new cleaning schedule and it has been so much better than doing lots of cleaning one day a week. I do a couple things while Colin naps and I'm done.

We rejoined the MAC and Colin loves the child care area. Sometime he even asks if we can go to the gym. I am able to go on the days he has MDO without having to worry about taking him, but it is nice that he likes to go. I am also running my first 5K in just a couple weeks!

We've been to park many times already with this nice weather. On Monday we went to the Greenway and did 12 miles on the bike (Colin in the trailer) and then played at the playground and we brought a picnic lunch. He loved it. He told me once we got buckled in the car that it was so much fun. I'm hoping we do that a lot this summer.

I also have plenty of recipes I need to get posted. One of my favorite parts of having so much free time at home is that I can cook so much more. We haven't purchased bread or English muffins in weeks. I now make them at home. And Colin likes to help me stir and pour in ingredients so I have a little sous chef. He loves my bread and English muffins and even told me "You're at good cooker!" He has been begging for tortillas so that is up on our list soon.

I'm transferring all of my favorite and frequently used recipes to a tastebook so that I have a hard copy in case something ever happens to my blog. That will slow me down a little when it comes to posting recipes, but I hope to have some new favorites up soon.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan

I'm changing up the way I meal plan. Since I end up going to the store twice a week just to make sure I have fresh produce and milk, I am going to start only planning 4 days at a time. So now you will see my meals listed on the right side of my blog and updated as I make a new 4 day meal plan.

I'll link any recipes that I have already posted or to the original website that I'm getting it from. Eventually all the recipes I try and like will be on my blog so that you can quickly find it if you want to make it in the future.

Also, if you follow me on Pinterest, you can see what I am going to try next by looking at my "On Deck" board.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan

  • Bacon
  • English Muffins
  • Yogurt
  • Fruit
  • KIND Bars
  • Toddler Muffins (pinterest)
  • Leftovers
  • Burrito
  • Sandwiches
  • Pepperoni, Crackers, & Cheese
  • Mac n Cheese
  • Homemade pizza
  • Garlic Chicken (pinterest), potatoes, and veggies
  • Chicken tortilla soup (pinterest)
  • Cheesy Quinoa Mac n Cheese (pinterest)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan

  • Oatmeal
  • Smoothies
  • Bacon
  • English Muffins
  • Blueberry Muffins
  • KIND Bars
  • Burritos
  • PB&J
  • Chick-fil-a
  • Leftovers
  • Pasta
  • Honey Cajun Pork Tenderloin (new recipe from Pinterest), Mashed Potatoes, and a green veggie
  • Baked Cream Cheese Spaghetti
  • Black Bean Soup
  • Chicken Enchiladas, corn, and "copy-cat" Chipotle guacamole and chips
  • Whole Foods - Pizza by the slice
  • Grilled chicken with strawberry-avocado salsa
  • Pantry night

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Orange Chipotle Chicken with Cilantro Rice

This recipe is so good, but the original calls for chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce. I have a couple recipes that call for that, and I can never find it. So I made a substitution. This chicken could easily be made and used in wraps and on salads. I'm excited about my leftovers for lunch today!

1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1 tsp safflower oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 1 lbs), rinsed and patted dry, pounded 1/2-inch thick
Juice 1 medium navel orange (1/3 cup orange juice)
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1/8 tsp chipotle chili powder
1 tsp orange zest
2 cups cooked brown rice
1/4 packed cup chopped cilantro leaves

In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, cumin, and 1/4 tsp salt. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet to medium-high. Tilt skillet to coat bottom lightly. Season both sides of chicken with chili-cumin mixture and cook for 3 minutes per side or until no longer pink in center. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Add orange juice and maples syrup to juice and bits left in skillet and cook for 1 minutes to thicken slightly (until it measures 1/4 cup liquid), stirring constantly. Remove from heat, stir in chipotle chili powder and orange zest. Add chicken back to skillet, return to heat and cook for 1 minute on medium-high, turning constantly.

In a medium bowl, combine rice, cilantro, and remaining 1/4 tsp salt. Serve chicken over rice and spoon any excess glaze over top chicken pieces.

I'm starting to realize my dishes are looking well loved (and I haven't found any new ones like yet)...but here is a picture of my finsished product.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Pineapple Sheet Cake

Another good pinterest recipe!

Sheet Cake:
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
20 oz can crushed pineapple
1 tsp vanilla

Mix all together until smooth. Pour into greased 9x13 baking dish and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

8 ounces cream cheese
4 Tbsp butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Beat butter and cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add vanilla. Slowly add sugar and blend after each addition. Ice cake while still a bit warm.

I cut into 16 pieces.

Tortellini with Spinach & Italian Sausage

Have I said I love pinterest? Because I do. And I tend to primarily pin food. This is the original recipe, but I left out the mushrooms and changed the amounts of a couple ingredients.

You need to make this. =)

1 pkg 3 cheese tortellini (I used the frozen kind)
2 Tbsp of pesto
1 lb Italian sausage (we used chicken sausage)
chopped garlic, to taste
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2-1 cup cream (I used 1 cup, but will use 1/2 cup next time)
A few handfuls of torn baby spinach

Prepare tortellini according to package directions. Drain and toss with the pesto.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Squeeze the sausage out of it's casing and into the pan. Saute and break up the meat with a spoon until it is about halfway cooked. Add the garlic and cook until no longer pink. Add the chicken broth and stir, scraping any brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Stir in cream. Cook for a few minutes, stirring, until the sauce thickens slightly.

Add the tortellini and spinach to the pan. Cook, stirring, for another minute or two, until everything is heated through and the spinach wilts. Serve, topped with Parmesan cheese.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan

  • English Muffins
  • Bacon
  • Eggs
  • Cereal
  • Oatmeal
  • Yogurt
  • Smoothies
  • PB&J
  • Leftovers
  • Burritos
  • Mango Blueberry Quinoa Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing
Sweet Treat

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pork Medallions with Pears

I found this recipe in a Good Housekeeping magazine. We loved it and will be making it again.

1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 lb pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch thick slices
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp fennel seeds
4 green onions, sliced
1/3 cup water
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 lbs ripe pears, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Prepare quinoa according to the directions on the package. Press pork with your hands to flatten and sprinkle with 1/8 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.

In a 12-inch skillet, heat the oil on medium heat. Add the pork and cook for 5-6 minutes or until browned on both sides, turning over once. Transfer to a plate.

Reduce the heat to medium. In the same skillet, add the fennel seeds and cook for 30 seconds, stirring. Add the green onions, water, and garlic and cook for 1 minutes, still stirring. Add pears, lemon juice, and 1/4 tsp salt and cook for 2 minutes or until the pears begin to soften, stirring occasionally. Return the pork to the pan, along with and juices, and cook for 3-6 minutes or until pork is slightly pink in center (145 degrees F).

We don't like our pork pink, so I cook it all the way through.

Serve pork with quinoa and top with pear mixture.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan

  • Oatmeal
  • Smoothie
  • Bacon
  • Eggs
  • English Muffins
  • Cereal
  • KIND bars
  • Ham Sandwiches
  • Leftovers
  • Mac & Cheese
  • PB&J
  • Baked Potatoes
  • Pepperoni, Cheese, & Crackers
  • Pizza
  • Spaghetti, green beans, bread
  • Chick-fil-a
  • Breakfast for dinner
  • Roasted Pork Tenderloin, green beans, and potatoes
  • Pantry meal (whatever I come up with from what we have on hand)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan

  • Oatmeal
  • Eggs
  • Cereal
  • English Muffins
  • KIND Bars
  • Bacon
  • Turkey Sandwich
  • PB&Js
  • Burritos
  • Leftovers
  • Zucchini, Black Bean & Rice Skillet
  • California Chicken Burger with Baked Sweet Potato Chips
  • Breakfast for dinner: pancakes or waffles, eggs, fresh fruit
  • Omni Hut
  • Quinoa Cakes on whole wheat buns, green beans, fruit
  • Maggiano's
  • Pioneer Woman's Chili Frito Pie (using ground turkey)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Here are a couple videos from the Move It parade and the character breakfast on the ship.

Allure of the Seas

After the boys were in a good friend's wedding in Boca Raton, we hopped on a ship and started a much needed warm weather vacation.

The ship was beautiful and huge. Colin's favorite things to do were the carosel, the play area with the slide, and meeting all of the characters from Dreamworks movies (Madagascar, Shrek, & How to Train Your Dragon). We enjoyed eating at Johnny Rockets a couple times, the Mexican restuarant onboard, and even a date night for Andrew and I at the Italian resturant. We spent time at the pool, on the boardwalk (where the carosel is), played mini golf, and even got to watch a water show in the Aqua Theatre (this was amazing...high diving and trapeze stunts...all while the boat was in motion). We enjoyed a parade down the Promanade that featured some of the characters on the ship.

The last day at sea we had breakfast with some of the Dreamworks Characters. We got visits from Alex the Lion, Gloria, and King Julian while we ate our character themed breakfast. Colin loved it!!

Our first stop was Nassau. I stayed on the ship while the boys went with Granny & Papa to Atlantis. I enjoyed my book and a Starbucks until we met up later that day and enjoyed the boat together.

Next stop was St. Thomas. This was my first visit here. We had an excursion booked for Megan's Bay Beach. Colin is a beach kid for sure! While the taxi ride to and from the beach was crazy and a little scary, it was a great beach.

Last stop was St. Martin. I've been here before and love it. The water is amazing and I actually get in. We shopped for a bit where Andrew scored a new pair of running shoes at a great price. Then we spent the rest of the day at the beach with a couple lounge chairs, beach toys, and an umbrella.

We had the most amazing stateroom attendant ever. Her name was Adina and she was so good with Colin. One day she even surprised him with some new crayons and paper, since she noticed in our stateroom he had art stuff and liked to color. She truely was the best stateroom attendant we have ever had. This was also our first balcony room. We over looked Central Park instead of water.

At the end of the trip, we booked a cruise for just Andrew and I for Spring 2013. It was a great deal and I can't wait to go! It goes to three places I have never been before.

There is so much to tell, but so little time to type. So I will just add a million photos from a trip. =)