Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Weekly Meal Plan 8/15 - 8/21

Woohoo! I finally got my butt in gear and posted our meal plan. Running after 2 kids in no joke....

This weekend we spent most of our time in Door County at our cottage. My cousins were in town and the weather was perfect. We swam, grilled and enjoyed being together. Kellen is just getting old enough to really enjoy playing with his cousins, but his favorite was when Mom got into the water to splash and play with him. 

In between cottage time, I got in a few Pure Barre classes. I absolutely adore this workout. If you have a studio in your city check it out. I have never done a low impact workout that was so effective and fast paced. 

This week I am taking a few Barre classes and have a short week at work! I am planning to enjoy sometime with the kiddos and enjoy sometime to myself as well. My sister and I are going to a movie on Wednesday- Jaws. the theater is doing a Spielberg month and Jaws is one of the selected films.  Later in week we are planning a day trip to our cottage to play in the water (perfect after Jaws) and visit with out cousins again. 

I feel like this summer is just flying by..... maybe it is having another child but I feel like life hit the fast forward button on me! I can't believe there are a few weeks left of August! 

Kellen is loving his Montessori summer program and in a few weeks my boy will start Preschool! Like I said, time is flying. 

This week I am trying a few new to us recipes, but since we will be in and out a few days there will likely be an ordered sub and leftover night. 

Here are a few snaps from the weekend:





Have a great week everyone! 

Monday: Out
Tuesday:  One Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta and Salad
Wednesday: Out
Thursday: Slowcooker Italian Beef Sandwiches and Fruit
Friday: Out
Saturday: Door County for Day- likely grilling
Sunday:  Grilled Rosemary Ranch Chicken, Cheesy Zucchini Rice and Fruit

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Italian Breakfast Casserole #SecretRecipeClub

Time for August Secret Recipe Club reveal! 


This month I received a jackpot of recipes from 2 Cookin' Mamas. The authors of the blog are Linda and Christina, a mother daughter team- they even have co-authored a cookbook! They specialize in my favorite type of meals- quick and healthy. Their blog is full of delicious recipes and I had a terrible time picking a recipe because there was so much yumminess to choose from like: Icebox Key Lime Pie Bites, Wine Slushies, Mandarin Chicken Salad, and Carrot Cake Smoothie. I ultimately decided to make Italian Breakfast Casserole. I love preparing baked egg casseroles on the weekend and this one is a little outside the box of our normal eggs and bacon combination. The recipe calls for smoked ham, salami and zesty pepperoni. Add in mozzarella and provolone with a few roasted red peppers and you have a delicious alternative to your everyday breakfast casserole. The original recipe called for roasted red pepper halves and when I purchased mine I didn't realize that I had grabbed chopped roasted red peppers- oops.  

The flavors of this casserole are delicious. The different meats with the cheesy eggs and potatoes makes a delicious and filling breakfast. My family loved this- even my non-egg lover, Kellen! 

Thank you for a new delicious recipe Linda and Christina! 

Tonight my family and I are tuned into the Olympics! We love watching swimming and really get into the competition and were happy to see gold for the United States! 


Ingredients

1 20 oz pkg Simply Potatoes hash browns 
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup olive oil
6 slices deli ham
6 slices Provolone cheese
16 slices genoa salami rounds
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
35 slices small pepperoni rounds
1 jar flame roasted peppers, drained (about 3-4 large), cut peppers to lay flat (or 1/2 cup diced flame roasted peppers)
6 eggs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Black pepper, to taste


Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13-inch casserole dish with nonstick spray.

Mix hash browns with Italian seasoning, garlic powder olive oil and press into bottom of casserole dish. Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until it starts to brown.

Remove from oven. Layer ham slices on top of potatoes, followed by the Provolone cheese. Next, layer the salami then sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Top with pepperoni and roasted peppers.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, Parmesan cheese, and pepper together Pour evenly over the top of the casserole. 

Bake uncovered for 40-50 minutes or until top is browned and eggs are set. Allow casserole to rest for about 5 minutes before serving.


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Weekly Meal Plan 7/25 - 7/31

Happy...errr....Wednesday! 

I am so sorry that I have been so behind posting meal plans because I know how much you like them! Summer has been busy and we have had a few busy weekends and blogging fell by the wayside a bit. I look at my past blogging history and it seems that there are little dips during the summer months. Normally, I like to blog in the evening after the kids are in bed, but with pumping and getting everything prepped for the next day I get a little burned out by the time 10 o'clock rolls around, and many times want to spend a little time watching a show or chatting with Ron.  However, I am trying to get better about it and that may mean a meal plan mid-week on  a Wednesday!  I also have a few weekend chats drafted and need to make a few finishing touches, but hopefully they will be up this weekend- it is discussing my favorite baby products in the first few months! 

So what has been new at our house? I guess nothing brand new, but I have been doing Pure Barre 3-4 times a week for the past month. You guys I am becoming an addict. I really really like it and look forward to my upcoming classes. I have always enjoyed working out because I enjoy the challenge and goal oriented nature of exercise, but with 2 little kids finding the time is hard. I made a commitment to Pure Barre and am loving the classes. I normally attend with a friend and enjoy a weekend coffee date after class as well. The staff is amazing, kind, and patient. I always feel welcome and comfortable when I am there. The workout is very challenging. I am noticing differences in my body and ability to do certain moves after my first month and love that I found this workout! 

Other than Barre over the past few weeks there have been a few fun happenings! Ron and I had our first date night since Rowan was born and went out to enjoy Restaurant week. I also got to meet my girlfriends for Restaurant week as well. I love getting to go and try different dished and support area restaurants! 

Kellen started a new school and is enjoying their summer program. Kellen was previously in a daycare and we really liked it there but were wanting to try a different structure. We have a few friends that attend Royal Montessori and love it. We decided to check it out and I really liked the curriculum and the leaning structure. The summer program had themed weeks and I felt it was a good way for Kellen to get use to a new school before the school year began. Kellen also has a a few little friends in his class. Kellen is really enjoying the program so far and we are really happy with the school. 

This week I am doing a few Barre Classes, we are celebrating my friend Emily and her baby with a little surprise on Saturday, and we are taking Kellen to his first "Packer game" (and first tailgate!) for the Family Night event. This week is not all fun. Tonight I am attending a memorial and "clinking of glasses" for my dear friend's mother who passed away last Thursday.  We grew up together and her mother was like a second mom to me. My entire family is heartbroken and we want to be there for her daughter in any way that we possibly can. Tonight we will be filled with wonderful stories, wine, and a few tears I am sure. She was an exceptional woman. 

We are still cooking a lot at our house and I have a bunch of yumminess in my drafts to share! 

Here is what is on tap this week:

Monday: Grilled Tomato Basil Chicken, Rice and Salad
Tuesday:  One Pot  Taco Orzo and Salad
Wednesday: Bacon Pierogie Bake and Peas
Thursday: One Pot Cheesy Meatball and Tortellini, Garlic Bread and Salad
Friday: Leftovers with the Boys....Ron is golfing
Saturday: Out with the Girls/ Subs for Boys
Sunday: Packer Family Night! Tailgating!

Monday, July 25, 2016

New Mama Energy Bites (Freezer Friendly Recipe)

Calling all my mama friends and readers! 

Golden Girl Granola contacted me awhile ago and gave me information on their 2nd Annual Blogger Recipe Challenge.  I love playing around with different ingredients and creating recipe and I love granola and was excited to try a new product (part of the contest included a complimentary bag of granola for entering the contest). 

Golden Girl Granola Golden Girl Granola is a family business based in Shirley, MA.  They make and sell loose granola in a variety of sizes in New England stores and you can purchase  products online. The company emphasizes on local products made by hand with the highest quality ingredients. They have a wonderful selection of different types of granola such as, The Original (honey, almond and coconut), Forest Maple (maple and almonds), Chocolate Decadence (cranberries, coconut, and almond), and Truly Tropical (mango, coconut, and cashews).  

I opted to try The Original flavor and brainstormed with a few friends on the perfect recipe.  As you know, I am a new mom (hence my inconsistent posting as of late...I will get better I promise) and always looking for new ways to boost my energy in our fast paced life. I made an energy bite with my granola with a few special ingredients for mamas like me. I am breastfeeding my baby and I added a few ingredients that are know to give little supply boosts like oats, ground flax, and brewer's yeast. I also added yummy peanut butter and mini chocolate chips, and paired with the coconut it is delicious. A perfect sweet treat for me after dinner in between bedtime, laundry, and spending a little time with my husband.  One of my other favorite times to grab one of these to-go treats is on the way to my Pure Barre classes for a little extra boost! 

Thank you Golden Girl Granola for sharing your product with me- it is very delicious!






Ingredients

2 cup Golden Girl Granola- 'The Original' (any loose granola will work)
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup ground flax
2 Tbl brewer's yeast
1/2 cup honey
1/2 tsp vanilla 
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips 


Instructions

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together peanut butter, honey, flax, yeast, and vanilla. Gently stir in the granola and chocolate chips until evenly mixed. 

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Roll heaping tablespoons into tight balls (it helps to squeeze slightly so they stick) and place on the lined baking sheet. 

Refrigerate an hour until set and store in an airtight container up to two weeks. If freezer, place baking sheet in freeze for 30 minutes until set and store in a freezer resealable bag. Remove bites as desired and allow to thaw in fridge or counter top. 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Grilled Pineapple Guacamole #GuacSquad12

I am so excited that it is my turn to share my guacamole recipe for #GuacSquad12 with you!

I was happy to be invited by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla and Casabella to try out their new product, the Guac-Lock.  The dozen bloggers listed below have come together to share fourteen different guacamole recipes during the month of July to show off different guacamole recipes, the products from Casabella and other sponsors.  

Joining Casabella is Gourmet Garden Herbs & Spices who sent bloggers a wonderful collection stir in pastes and their lightly dried herbs, and Melissa's Produce who sent bloggers beautiful and ripe avocados- guac ready! 

Here's are the GuacSquad Bloggers...
listed alphabetically by blog name


The Guac-Lock is a pretty neat kitchen gadget. I love guacamole, but hate when it gets brown. It can be a pain because it needs to be made fresh and not ahead of time and that means more last minute rushing if you are preparing it as an appetizer to share with friends. The Guac-Lock is a storage container that is designed to push the air out of the guacamole storage area to prolong fresh flavors and prevent browning. The container is really easy to use and it really keeps the guacamole fresh and delicious! The guacamole pictured below was made two days prior to me taking a photo for the recipe!  Granted it is not a bright vibrant green, but it was not brown at all and the flavors were delicious and not muddled. I am so happy to have this product and love that I can use it to easily transport guacamole to a friends house without worrying about how to cover it to prevent browning. I also like that the seasoning get a bit longer to meld before serving as well!

I opted to make a guacamole with fresh grilled pineapple. I originally was going to add grilled jalapeno, but my little guy wanted to help (and eat) and the jalapeno was a little spicy for him and I modified my original recipe. I love the flavor of grilled pineapple in my guacamole because it gives a delicious smokey sweet flavor and paired with fresh tomato and onion creates a delicious and addicting appetizer. 

A perfect appetizer for sitting on the patio with friends with a cold margarita in hand!

Casabella was kind enough to allow us to giveaway 12 Guac-Locks to our readers and Gourmet Garden is offering a collection stir in pastes and their lightly dried herbs. Thanks for visiting and please visit my announcement post for contest details and to enter for a chance to win! 




Ingredients

4 avocados, peeled
2 (1 inch) thick fresh pineapple slices 
1/4 cup diced tomato
1 1/2 Tbl finely diced onion
Juice of 1/2 a lime
3 Tbl Gourmet Garden Lighty Dried Cilantro (or 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro)
1/2 tsp Gourmet Garden Garlic Stir-In Paste (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
1/4 tsp chili powder 
1/4 tsp ground cumin
Salt, to taste


Instructions

Heat grill to medium and grill pineapple till it is charred. How much char you like will depend on your preferences and you will need to adjust grill time to your taste. 

Remove from grill and cool. Chop and set aside. 

In a medium bowl mash the avocado with a fork or the bottom of a glass (this gets it nice and smooth).  Stir in the pineapple (reserve a Tbl for topping if desired), tomato, onion, lime juice, cilantro, garlic paste, chili powder and cumin. Mix well. Season with salt if desired. Serve with tortilla chips. 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

BarbeCups #SecretRecipeClub

Welcome to July Secret Recipe Club


This month I received the blog The Tasty Cheapskate. Jean's blog is filled with delicious and budget friends recipes. There were a few of her recipes that looked tasty when I was deciding what to make. Her Healthy Fruit Pizza, Peanut Butter Banana Muffins and Broccoli Barley Casserole sound delicious. However, I cam across her recipe for BarbeCups and knew it would a a big hit with my 3-year old.  Jean discribes these as "dumb easy" and they certainly are! I whipped these up after a birthday party on Saturday evening and it was so nice to have dinner on the table fast that that my family enjoyed the recipe so much. Like most 3-year olds, Kellen can be sooooo hit or miss with dinner and I am so happy when I find something he will get excited about. Not only did Kellen love these but it was easy enough that he could help me make them! His job was to stir the chicken and BBQ sauce and be my cheese sprinkler. I love when I can get Kellen in the kitchen cooking with me. I find that he eat his meal so much better when he gets to have a little ownership in making it- he is the best cheese sprinkler in the house! Thank you Jean for a wonderful recipe that my entire family loved! 


Ingredients

2 tubes refrigerated crescent rolls
12 oz cooked shredded chicken, (about 2 breasts)
3/4 C BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray's)
1 C shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup sliced green onion


Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees and grease a 12 cup muffin tin and set aside. 

Open the crescents and lay them out as rectangles. Trim the squares big enough to fit into the muffin portion of a muffin tin. Press them into the muffin tins (you may have a little excess and need to combine the extra at the end to fill the tins).

Stir the BBQ sauce and chicken together. Put a spoonful of chicken into each muffin tin. Top with cheese. Bake 15-18 minutes or until crescent rolls are lightly browned.  Cool for 5 minutes and remove from the muffin tin. Garnish with green onions.



Saturday, July 9, 2016

Welcome to the Guac Party! #GuacSquad12

It's summertime! And that means ripe avocados and lots and lots of guacamole. Do you adore guacamole? If so, then #GuacSquad12 - a multi-day, multi-blogger event - is for you. Follow the conversation on social media with our event hashtag and visit the participating bloggers for some amazing twists on guac.

A dozen bloggers have come together to share fourteen different guacamole recipes during the month of July. Whether you're a guacamole purist - think avocado, cilantro and lime - or you get a little more creative - think of some fabulous fold-ins such as pineapple or olives - the #GuacSquad12's creations will make your mouth water.

Here's are the GuacSquad Bloggers...
listed alphabetically by blog name



Here's the blog tour schedule...

Join Us On Twitter...
Join us for a live Twitter chat on Saturday, July 16th at 7am Pacific/10am Eastern. We'll be talking guac for an hour!

Here are Our Sponsors*...
and how you can find them around the internet

Casabella
on the web, on Twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram, on Pinterest

Gourmet Garden Herbs & Spices
on the web, on Twitter, on Facebook, on Pinterest, on Instagram, on Google+

Melissa's Produce
on the web, on Twitter, on Facebook, on Pinterest, on Instagram

Here are Our Prizes...
We are giving away a dozen - yes, twelve! - Guac-Lock™s from Casabella.




And we have an amazing prize package from Gourmet Garden Herbs & Spices that includes their entire collection of stir in pastes and their lightly dried herbs.



The Giveaway...
Our generous sponsors have contributed prizes for this event. The giveaway runs from July 8th through July 25th when we will select thirteen winners who will be notified by email. The first twelve winners will receive the Guac-Lock™ by Casabella; the thirteenth winner will receive a generous prize package from Gourmet Garden Herbs & Spices. No purchase necessary. Winners will have 48 hours to reply with contact information or new winner will be chosen. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclosure: Bloggers received complimentary products from sponsors for the creation of this event. This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links.
Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are our own.*