Posts filed under Food

Top 7 Reasons Why We Feel Tired and Sleepy After a Great Meal: Jen from Blogondirt.com

Hey Friends!!

I'm letting Jen from Blogondirt.com take over the blog today as our guest blogger! Jenny Duvon is a huge Marvel fan. If you are going to a Comic-Con this year, you may find here there. Besides her hobby, she has a great taste for food. During the weekends she love's to explore and try new dining places. 

You’ve just indulged in the meal of a lifetime, and a short while later you feel sleepy. Your eyelids dip, and the fact that you are checking out mattresses on random websites is not helping either. Does that ring a bell?

Mini Bagel Pizzas

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Today I'm excited to share with you a super easy snack that even your littles can put together. We used this idea for the brownie snacks badge and the girls loved it. There are so many ways to use this recipe!

What you need:

  • Mini bagels
  • pizza sauce
  • mozzarella cheese
  • spoon
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Instructions:

  1. slice the bagels in half (open face). Try to get a brand that has them pre-sliced to make your life easier.
  2. Spoon 2 spoonfuls of sauce on each half and use the back of the spoon to spread.
  3. Sprinkle cheese on top!
  4. If you want to take it a step further you can pop them in an oven at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

These make a great after school snack or you can pack the components in their lunch for a pizza lunchable. I would recommend getting the little cups to put the sauce and cheese in. When we did this with our girl scout troop I had the sauce and cheese divided into these cups for them to make it slightly more organized. You can also store the cheese and sauce cups in your fridge so the kids can help themselves.

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S'more Ice Cream Sandwich

It's Summer Solstice today and what a better way to kick off the new season with this summer treat! We recently went to a BBQ with some of our friends and these little goodies were a big hit! I LOVE ice cream and I knew that day was going to be a hot one so this tasty cold treat was just what the kids (and adults) had in mind.

Ingredients

  • Graham Crackers
  • Hersey's Chocolate Frosting
  • Marshmallows
  • Chocolate ice cream (in a cardboard box container)

Start by laying out your graham crackers for roasting the marshmallows. Gently break each cracker in half and arrange 12 on a baking sheet. Put one marshmallow on top of each cracker.

Broil on low for 3-5 minutes. Make sure to keep a close eye on them so the crackers don't burn. You might want to do a test run first to see what time works best depending on your oven. Five minutes worked perfectly to get the nice toasty glow. Once you have pulled your roasted marshmallows from the oven, allow to cool for 10 minutes. Set aside.

 

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Lay out 12 more crackers on a another sheet or dish. Heat up your chocolate frosting in the microwave for 30 seconds. Use a spreader or spoon your frosting on the crackers to create a think layer of chocolate goodness. Place them in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Take out your chocolate ice cream and remove the sides of the container so you have one rectangular brick of ice cream. Use a knife and slice sheets of the ice cream about 1 inch thick. If it's too frozen you can let it thaw for about 10 minutes but you want it pretty solid. Cut your sheet of ice cream in half ( should be the size of your graham cracker). You might have to slice off a little to make it fit.

Assemble

Lay your chocolate frosted crackers down, put one slice of ice cream on top, and finish with your marshmallow cracker (facing down). Press down to slightly smash the marshmallow. Freeze the sandwiches until you are ready to serve. 

BOOM! These as super simple and so sweet! I hope you enjoy!

What are your favorite s'more recipes?

Champagne Coconut Cake

There is still a little bit of summer left. It's a perfect time to make this Champagne coconut cake! Doesn't it look pretty? I made this cake for a bridal shower and everyone loved it. It's nice and light, perfect for someone who doesn't like a heavy dessert.

What you need....

  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (you will need a little more to grease the pan)
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan (a little extra for the pan)
  • 1 1/2 cups packed sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large whole eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • Pink petal dust.

What you do...

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-inch (6-cup) Bundt pan. In a food processor, pulse coconut, flour, baking powder, and salt until combined.

  2. In a mixing bowl, beat butter until creamy. Gradually add granulated sugar until mixture is light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs, egg whites, and vanilla; continue beating until incorporated. Add the flour mixture in three alternating batches with the coconut milk, beating well after each addition.

  3. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until a cake tester inserted into middle of cake ring comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool in pan, 30 minutes.

  4. Trim bottom of cake to make a flat base. Run a small knife around edge to loosen. Flip cake onto rack and let it cool completely.

  5. In a bowl, whisk confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth. In a separate bowl, toss remaining cup coconut with , adding just enough to reach the desired shade. Drizzle icing over top of cake; sprinkle with pink coconut. 

    *Tip: Make sure the cake is completely cool and you are in a cool area when you drizzle the icing, otherwise it will melt right off.

Posted on September 17, 2015 and filed under Food.

Our Favorite Fall Football Recipe and a Happy Home Face-lift!

Hey Ladies!

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend! The weather here in Chicago was absolutely gorgeous with that brisk hint of fall! This weekend was packed with changes and a fun recipe I have to share with you all today. The hubby LOVES his Cowboys and he also loves my Chili to go along with his Football! See the recipe below....

Our happy home had a face-lift! My favorite color since I was a young has been yellow. I was really bummed when the samples came out when deciding on the siding and yellow was not included. I chose the closest thing, Vintage Cream. Turns out Vintage Cream was pretty much the color I had been looking for all along! SCORE! I like a pretty traditional looking home, which is why I opted out of the suggested slates and gray tones. They say yellow is inviting to guests and that's exactly what I wanted them to feel when they walked up to the house. Here are the transformation pictures. I am probably going to add some shutters eventually.

Football Chili

This recipe makes a ton! Seriously, if your family is 4 and under, maybe cut the recipe in half.

What you need....

  • 2 pounds of ground turkey
  • 2 jalapeno pepper (minced)
  • 1 red onions (diced)
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper (diced)
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper (diced)
  • 12 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 3 teaspoons Garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon Cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons Paprika
  • 8 dried pasilla chili peppers
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 cans Black beans in the juice 
  • 3 cans Pinto Beans in the juice
  • 2 cans Kidney Beans in the juice
  • 3 cups Tomato Sauce
  • 1/3 cup of Tomato Paste
  • 1 cup of low sodium chicken broth

What you do....

First, you need to re-hydrate the pasilla chili peppers for about 30 minutes in hot water. Although these are a sweeter hot pepper, don't let that fool you. Wear gloves when handling these peppers, especially after you have re-hydrated them.

After you have re-hydrated them, take out the seeds and gooey stem, and give them a nice chop.

Warm a large pot (like a stock pot) and heat the oil on high. Once the oil is hot add the onion, peppers, garlic, jalapenos, and pasilla chile peppers. Saute for 8 minutes until you have a nice caramelization. You house will be smelling real good at this point!

Gently turn in the ground turkey until browned, about 4 minutes.

Stir in the tomato sauce and tomato paste for about 4 minutes.

Add chicken broth and seasonings. Once combined add the black, pinto, and kidney beans in with their liquid.

Stir and lower heat. Cook the chili uncovered for at least one hour.

Serve with your favorite garnishes.... cheddar cheese, sour cream, oyster crackers, avocados....

Happy Monday!

Posted on September 14, 2015 and filed under Food, Home.

Chicken Lime Avocado Soup

Hey there!

I'm really excited to share this recipe with you today! I made this last week for the hubby and I. To my surprise, my 6 year old diva also enjoyed this soup too! I always find it amazing when she is willing to try something other than her normal kid staples. As the soup was cooking on the stove she pointed her nose up and took in a deep sniff and goes " ahhh it smells so good"!

With that being said,  I would like to say this is KID APPROVED! This is also an acceptable recipe if you are currently doing the Fast Metabolism Diet during phase three. This is a super easy recipe and doesn't take long at all. 

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

1.5 pounds of boneless skinless chicken. I used the chicken tender strips, about 10 of them.

5 cloves of minced garlic

3-4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped

2 14 oz containers of low sodium chicken broth

1 cup of diced yellow onion

1/3 cup of freshly chopped cilantro

2 seeded and minced jalapeno (You can add more for spice. This soup is very mild if not any spice so totally tolerable for kids)

3/4 teaspoon cumin

2 tablespoons olive or coconut oil

2-3 limes

3-4 avocados

Sea salt

Fresh ground pepper

Optional: shredded chihuahua cheese and/or sour cream and/or tortilla chips

What you do...

In a large pot heat 2 tablespoons of olive or coconut oil over medium heat. Add your onion and jalapeno and saute until caramelized and tender, about 2-3 minutes. 

Add in the garlic and saute for 1 minute. This is about the time your house starts to smell awesome!

Add in chicken broth, tomato, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Add in your chicken and bring to a boil. Once you have reached a boil reduce heat to low to medium and let it simmer for 8-10 minutes. You will want the lower end of that time if you are using chicken strips like myself. For a chicken breast you want to cook for at least 10 minutes. 

Once chicken has cooked through, remove from your pot and set aside to rest for 5-10 minutes. After you have let your chicken set, take a fork and knife and shred your chicken. *I feel that the chicken tender strips shred easier than the chicken breasts.

Return your shredded chicken into the pot of soup and add your cilantro. 

Now you are Ready to serve!

Serve soup with a fresh lime squeeze on the side. This allows each guest to add their desired amount of lime. Some will like it more tangy than others but whats great is you can personally make it how you like it. It's also fun for the kids. I would recommend about 2 lime wedges per serving along with half an avocado.

Don't forget your optional toppings as well!

I hope you guys enjoy this amazingly healthy and fresh recipe! I know our family loved it!

xoxo, Katie

Posted on August 21, 2015 and filed under Food, Wellness.

Staying Healthy in the Winter Months

I've never really gotten the flu shot as an adult. I know many people that swear by it. The one year my family (excluding me) by accident got the flu shot (the hubby was in charge of this) they all ended up getting dreadfully sick. I however, despite taking care of each one of them, did not get sick. Now, I'm no doctor and there is always a risk but I think I've done pretty well without it.

Staying healthy is especially important in the winter months. Now that I am pregnant, I want to be extra careful. It's said that in pregnancy your immune system is not at its fullest. So here are my tips and tricks on staying healthy when everyone else around you is getting caught up in the flu season.

Go Green

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For the extra healthy boost and vitamins, add a green juice to your routine. I like to drink mine in the morning about a half hour before I eat breakfast. Don't forget to chew your juice:) Here is a great go to recipe...

Juice the following...

2 cups of pineapple

2 oranges

2 cucumbers

5 leafs of kale

1/2 inch of peeled fresh ginger root (a little goes a long way)

*Stir in a teaspoon of turmeric after you have juiced for an added punch and extra immune boost!

For more healthy recipes check out 

https://aloha.com/shop/recipes

. They have some amazing ideas!!

De-Stress with Yoga

Exercise and de-stressing are important in keeping your body and your immune system intact. Stress has been linked to illnesses and increases the likelihood of you getting sick so keep that stress level down by a regular yoga routine.

You don't need to go to a yoga class at your gym to accomplish this. Buy a Yoga video and do it at home anytime!

When I first started out I used this beginners yoga video and I highly recommend it! The video I used was

Beginning Yoga with Chrissy Carter

.

How do you keep healthy in the winter? Do you have a special remedy or routine?

Follow along on 

Facebook!

Posted on January 7, 2015 and filed under Wellness, Food.

How to Make Refrigerator Pickles

These pickles are so yummy and they didn't last more than a couple of days in the fridge because my hubby ate them all up! This year we planted

Boston Pickling Cucumbers

. We had so many I just had to try pickling my own. These cucumbers are also very delightful by themselves. I'm pretty sure these are okay on my current

diet plan

.

Ingredient

5 cucumbers

4 cups of white distilled vinegar

5 cups of water

6 cloves of garlic

2 teaspoons of red pepper chili flakes.

*You can also add dill to this recipe. I, however, did not because we didn't have any in the pantry.

1.  Clean and wash your cucumbers. Once they are washed slice them length wise.

2.   Arrange your cucumber slices in your Ball Jar. 

  • Add 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes per jar
  • Add 3 cloves of garlic to each jar

3.  In a large pan, boil the water and white vinegar. Once it comes to a boil, ladle into each jar. Fill to the very top and put top on. Screw the ring on tightly. 

4.  Turn your jars upside down a couple of times and allow them to sit on the counter for 12 hours. Turn your jars again and allow them to sit upside  down for another 12 hours. 

Enjoy!

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Posted on August 13, 2014 and filed under Food.

Kale Chips, Red Wine, and 30

Recently, I have been trying to be more conscience about my health. Last year, I made a vow to be fit by 30 and it looks like the opposite happened. I gained 15 pounds. I'm 30 years old and I'm at the heaviest I've ever been.

It started with my 5 year old informing me that I needed to take care of the mustache on my lip... It must have gone a little too long between waxes, but it was all I needed for me to take an extra second in the mirror and realize how the past ten years have really aged my face. I have found that as I age, magical black hairs pop up all over my face. I don't remember worrying so much about the hair on my face. Not a fan!

The past couple of weeks I've really committed to at least 4 days a week of 45 minutes of stationary cycling. I've not been working out for the past couple years and there is really no excuse anymore, as I continue to gain year after year. I've also picked up on some cross training and yoga.

There is something invigorating about finally taking care of yourself. I have put myself last in a lot of areas and I finally realize if I keep it up, the people I care for wont have me around as long as I would wish.

Not that I want to turn this into a fitness blog, because I am not expert at that, but my wellness has become a big priority for me recently and I hope it becomes a lifestyle change. So you may see a few fitnessy posts in the future.... I hope you don't mind.

I've also managed to take some time for myself and unwind. Relaxation is gold for me and it's made a difference in my overall well being. Friday night I had decided to indulge in a little red wine and wanted a snack to go with it. Watching my calories has been another practice, so I brainstormed what I could make.

Amazingly, kale chips rock and pair wonderfully with red wine!

Kale Chips

What you need....

10 leafs of kale

Garlic powder

Salt

Pepper

Olive Oil

What you do....

Preheat oven to 375.

Chop the kale leafs and discard the stem. Lay the chopped kale out on a baking dish (make sure to spray your baking dish first)

Drizzle the kale lightly with some olive oil. Lightly season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

Bake in oven for 15 minutes.

Take out of oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Enjoy!

I really liked the way these turned out. I can see these kale chips being very versatile and using then as a casual snack or dressing them up for when we entertain. Next time I might add a little chili pepper or cayenne.

Sunday Chili

I made this for a chili Cook-off over the weekend. I got the original recipe

here

, but adapted it to my liking! My Dad really enjoyed this recipe! He mush have ate if for all 3 meals for 2 days straight:)! It's got a bit of heat to it but I'm in love!! This recipe makes a ton! It's great for Sunday pot lucks or a Chili bar at a fiesta!

What you need....

Meat

2 pounds of ground turkey

Produce

1 jalapeno pepper (minced)

2 red onions (diced)

1 Green Bell Pepper (diced)

1 Red Bell Pepper (diced)

10 cloves of garlic (minced)

Spices

3 teaspoons Garlic poweder

1 tablespoon onion poweder

1 tablespoon Cumin

2 teaspoons Cayenne pepper

3 tablespoons Chili powder

2 tablespoons Paprika

8 dried pasilla chili peppers

4 tablespoons of olive oil

Canned

2 cups of Black beans in the juice

3 cups of Pinto Beans in the juice

2 Cups of Kidney Beans in the juice

3 cups Tomato Sauce

1/3 cup of Tomato Paste

1 cup of low sodium chicken broth

What you do....

First you need to re-hydrate the pasilla chili peppers for about 30 minutes in hot water. Although these are a sweeter hot pepper, don't let that fool you. Wear gloves when handling these peppers, especially after you have rehydrated tehm.

After you have re-hydrated them, take the seeds and gooey stem, and give them a nice chop.

Warm a large pot and heat the oil on high. Once the oil is hot add the onion, peppers, garlic, jalapenos, and pasilla chile peppers. Saute for 8 minutes until you have a nice caramelizing going. You house will be smelling real good at this point!

Gently turn in the ground turkey until browned, about 4 minutes.

Stir in the tomato sauce and tomato paste for about 4 minutes.

Add chicken broth and seasonings. Once combined add the remain black, pinto, and kidney beans in their liquid.

Stir and lower heat. Cook the chili uncovered for at least one hour.

Serve with your favorite garnishes.... cheddar cheese, sour cream, oyster crackers, avocados....

What do you like to garnish your chili with?

Posted on February 9, 2014 and filed under Food.