Apple Breakfast Bars

One of the hardest meals these days is breakfast!! Getting three girls up+dressed+packed for school + fed+bathroomed and out the door ONTIME is quite the feat! I feel that some days I am amazed we got anything done😅. Breakfast is so important.  Especially since Liesel only gets lunch and zero (that’s right 0) snacks at school!!  

I wish I had it all together and was cooking them eggs or making them porridge (what the girls call steel cuts) everyday.  But, let’s be honest, some days there.just.isnt.enough.time.  So when I came across an amazing recipe for protein packed and zero refined sugar-filled bars I was ecstatic! 

I whipped them up Sunday evening once the girls were in bed and they were cooked and ready to go in the am🙌. The girls loved them (well 2/3)-Moira ate them but then said “these are not my favwite.  Tomorrow I want granola again.”   Liesel however reported “those were amazing!!”  The bars lasted the whole week and made for one happy (and less drained) momma!!

Enjoy!!

Ingredients

* 3/4c skim milk

* 1/2c peanut butter

* 1 tsp vanilla 

* 1/4c applesauce 

* 1/4c honey

* 1c grated Apple (squeeze water out)

* 1 egg

* 1.5c rolled oats

* 1/4c white whole wheat flour

* 1 tsp baking soda

* 1 tsp cinnamon 


Mix the first seven ingredients in a mixing bowl until blended.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir until just moistened.   

 

Spoon into a 9×9 pan and cook at 350 for about 30 minutes.  Or until golden brown on the top.


Allow bars to cool completely before cutting and eating. 

 
I hope they make your mornings easier too!!

Strawberry Jammin’

Strawberry season is a favorite over here!  Something we look forward to every summer. This summer we anticipated it even more because it was one of the activities on Liesel’s summer to dos that could be done with a broken arm.  

  

  

    

  

We picked a total of 17lbs!!🍓🍓🍓🍓. On the ride home I began dreaming of all I would make with these delicious berries…muffins, pancakes, shortcake, smoothies and of course JAM!  Little did I know how much my three little fruit flies would consume!  I had none to freeze for smoothies!!  Luckily We went right to work on jam.

The past few years I made freezer jam and have never been satisfied.  It always lacked the rich sweet berry flavor the stovetop kind had.  This year I came across a Crockpot jam recipe and could not wait to try!!   It turned out great!!! So much flavor and easy easy easy✔️

What you’ll need

* 2lbs fresh strawberries ( I used about 4lbs)

* 1cup sugar

* 1/4c lemon juice

* 1 package of pectin


Spray or grease your crockpot.  Place ingredients in a large bowl.  Using a potato masher, mix until combined.   

    
   Place mixture into crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4.  Stir occasionally.  

 
Once my just mixture had thickened, I placed it in the food processor for a bit to get consistency smooth.  

Then pour jam into mason jars.  You can put jar into fridge for upto two weeks, or into freezer. Enjoy!!

   

Rainbow Beans

This past week L and MJ school was all about rainbows.  One of my favorite themes.  High on my list to try this year was diy colored beans.  Sensory play is still big over here and rice/sand/water gets old after a while… This week was definitely the week to try out a new recipe!  It fit in perfectly with our theme😊.  

I pinned a few recipes for all different kinds of colored beans. But ultimately I went to the store in search of the cheapest white dry beans they had!  On sale were navy beans.  I grabbed a few bags and we were good to go.  Having a large quantity of food dye at home, I decided to try that first instead of paying money for watercolor dye ( recommended in a few recipes).  I had also read warnings against vinegar, and decided to follow them. 

The rest is easy.  Pour one cup of beans into a bag.  Drop about 15 drops of the color you desire.  Seal the baggie and begin mixing the beans around.  This was a favorite step for the girls.

  

Once your beans are the color you desire, lay them out on paper towels and make sure none are clumped together.  The allow beans to dry for 3-4 hours.  I let ours dry over night just to be safe. 



Side note, we had a slight problem with our purple beans😂. They turned out, well, black.  I think the girls were a little over zealous with the drops.  But it didn’t phase them.  Liesel even said,” I think they wanted to be more indigo than purple.”  


Once dry, have fun!  The girls had a blast just playing and exploring with them.

(I was even able to squeeze in a 45minute workout while they played happily and content-win!)

 There are so many different ways you can use them as learning tools.  Here are a few we did:

Using cupcake tins and a rainbow sheet, the girls sorted them by color. This again, kept them busy and engaged for quite some time.



We used the beans to outline sight words and letters.  



Making the beans into patterns was a huge hit!



Liesel and I also made pictures out of the beans.  I love seeing her creativity at work!

I am so glad I finally made these.  Easy, cheap, and a fabulous learning tool, what more could you want?!  I’d love to hear any other ways you use your beans!

Go-to Meal: Whole Roasted Chicken

I cannot believe I never posted this recipe before!! This is a family favorite and we have been loving this recipe for over 3 years now.  I hope this will be a great addition to your meal rotations.  

I found this recipe from the Pioneer Woman. It is so simple, cheap and turns into fabulous leftovers. 

Ingredients 

Whole chicken

2TB of fresh chopped herbs

1TB salt

1tsp pepper

1 TB olive oil

1/2 lemon

1/2 yellow onion

1 garlic clove

After you have rinsed your chicken and taken out the innards, rest it on a paper towel to dry.  Mean while pick your desired herbs and begin chopping. I love to use Rosemary, thyme, and sage. 



Add your salt, pepper and olive oil. Mix well. Using your hands rub the mixture generously, all over your bird. 



Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Place the chicken in your pan and stuff with lemon, onion and garlic.  



Bake for 1hr to 1 hr 15min.  Or until breast temperature reaches 165.  

Once your chicken is fully cooked have it rest for 15-30 minutes.  This step is crucial! No one likes dried out chicken!!



Serve with your favorite sides and enjoy!! 

 

Full of flavor, juicy with a perfect crisp to the skin.   As left overs I love to chop up the light and dark meat and use in my homemade Chicken Pot Pie.  

Burrito Bowl

Who doesn’t love Mexican food? Throw in a margarita on the rocks and it doesn’t get much better than that! Eric and I always debate whether we love Qdoba or Chipotle the best for take out, they both have their strong points. But whatever one thinks you cannot deny the deliciousness of a Chipotle Burrito bowl! Yummm. Tonight we decided to copycat their recipes, it turned out perfect! Annnddd it was all detox/ clean eating friendly🙌

Here are all the recipes you’ll need to make your own burrito bowl at home. Trust me, it won’t disappoint.

Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice
ingredients
*2 cups cooked brown rice
*1/4c chopped cilantro
*1/2 lime, juiced
*salt and pepper to taste

After you have cooked your rice pop it into the refrigerator for a few minutes to cool. Next, take rice and mix juice and cilantro in.

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Blackened Chicken
This recipe was given to me through the Arbonne Detox Facebook group. Eric grilled it up on Friday and it was amazing!! We used the leftovers in the burrito bowl and it was perfect.

ingredients
*4lg chicken breasts
*2TB paprika
*1TB dried oregano
*1TB dried thyme
*1TB cayenne pepper
*1tsp Blk pepper
*1tsp garlic powder

Mix the spices together. Rub evenly on the top and bottom of chicken. Grill until the center temperature reaches 170 degrees.

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Pico de Gallo
ingredients
*4 roma tomatoes, diced
*2 jalapeños, seeded and diced
*1/2 onion, diced
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*2 limes, juiced
*1/4c cilantro, chopped

Mix ingredients together.

2015/01/img_0385.jpg. Then place in an airtight container. Leave in fridge.

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Now it is one to assemble your bowl.
1.) 1/3c rice
2.) 1/4 avocado- I mashed ours and added garlic powder and lime juice to taste.
3.) 1/4c black beans (could switch in pinto)
4.) 1/2 chopped chicken breast
5.) lettuce, shredded
6.) 1/4c pico

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Amazing. Enjoy!

Game Day Food

As mentioned in my previous post, Eric and I have been on the Arbonne Detox/cleanse. It’s been an intense (almost) 2 weeks. Filled with protein shakes, detox teas and, basically, no comfort foods.

2015/01/img_0257.jpg. I’m still in shock that I managed to convince the hubs to do the detox. But he’s rocking it!! Losing weight, eating healthy and exercising! His one plea was last Sunday when the Colts were going to be on. No beer? No pizza? He wasn’t pleased. That’s when we decided to make our own game food. Food that would appease our cravings, yet stay within the detox and clean eating guidelines.

First up, chicken wings. Few things hit the spot like a spicy buffalo wing dipped in some delicious ranch. Eric decided on a dry rub recipe. Omitting the brown sugar, of course. Here’s the recipe for 24 wings,(we halved it)

ingredients
* 1/2 c brown sugar
* 1 T chili powder
* 1 T paprika
* 1 T cumin
* 1 tsp cayenne pepper
* 2 T garlic powder
* 1 T mustard powder
* 2 T kosher salt
* 1 T Blk pepper

Cover the wings in the rub and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Put the wings in a 500 degree oven and cook for 30 minutes. Boom, done. They had the perfect amount of heat and we barely missed the ranch😉.

Next up, fries. Sweet Potato fries

ingredients
*2 sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
* 1/2c coconut oil
* 1/2tsp kosher salt
* 1/4tsp pepper
* 1/4tsp paprika

Bake fries in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

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Heat a saucepan on medium high and add in oil. Once oil is hot cook the fries until crisp, turning often.

Place fries in a brown bag and add seasonings. Toss until completely coated.

Lastly we enjoyed tons of veggies dipped in hummus. And there ya go, the perfect game day treat! Filling and definitely hit the spot!

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First Week RSF

Well, we made it! One whole week without refined sugars!! I really do feel better. Overall it has been an easy transition, aside from a slight headache on day two. The first thing I did was rid our entire pantry of items containing sugar ( I highly recommend this step), that way you know the “bad stuff” is not around to tempt you. This step also included ridding the house of ALL leftover Halloween candy- much to Eric’s dismay.. I really wasn’t surprised by the items that contained sugar: crackers, cereals, processed foods, etc

The hardest part for me so far has definitely been my beloved daily espresso! Ahh, I really do miss it. However, tea has been a great addition. Although I do sweeten with just a touch of honey, it is fulfilling my caffeine addiction. I foresee this being even harder come November 28th- when peppermint mochas become an allowed beverage according to Statler Christmas Regulations. Will I make the entire season without one?!!! Not so sure.

This week really put us to the test. We had my parents in to visit which led to two meals out. Proud to report we stayed strong! Eric and I even had a date night to a favorite Mexican restaurant and I didn’t get a Margarita . Sunday was a true test as the girls always get a donut at church. I warned ahead of time and although there were a few pleas, they did great! I explained how we may get a donut once and while, but this will no longer be a weekly treat.

I wanted to share a recipe we tried and enjoyed this week. carrot cake cookies. I do love to bake, and although I will be doing much less of this ( sugars or not), it was fun to find a cookie that everyone loved! These are made without sugar and butter, but are still extremely delicious and moist! This would be easy to make gluten free by swapping ww flour for gluten free flour.

ingredients
1c oats
3/4c whole wheat flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1.5 tsp cinnamon
2TB coconut oil or butter, melted
1 lg egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c maple syrup
3/4 c grated carrots

In a mixing bowl pour oats, flour, baking powder and cinnamon and whisk together. In a separate bowl combine oil, egg, vanilla and maple syrup. Mix together until incorporated.

Next, combine wet and dry ingredients and stir until just mixed. Lastly, fold in carrots. Then place dough in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes ( if it will be in for longer cover with plastic wrap).

As, you can see the dough was a hit. Liesel happily licked the spoon clean.

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Preheat oven to 325. Place cookies on a parchment lined cookie sheet and cook for 12-15 minutes. You really want the cookies to be slightly undercooked as this ensures a soft chewy result!

Delicious!

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