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.*

Friday, July 1, 2016

Dilly Dust Deviled Eggs #CookOutWeek

Today is the final day of #CookOutWeek!


I feel like this week flew by and it has been so fun sharing different recipes with you and drooling over the delicious offerings of my fellow bloggers! 

 Click here to checkout my welcome post and read all about #CookOutWeek and our amazing giveaway!  I started off #CookOutWeek with a delicious recipe for Strawberry Margarita Popsicles, next my Veracha Feta Burger  and Avocado Tomato and Feta Dip yesterday.  Today I made a perfect recipe for a potluck with one of our sponsor ingredients from Swine Dining. Swine Dining gave bloggers an awesome opportunity to try three of their products.  I was sent Wimpy’s Rub (a sweet and smoke rub), Dilly Dust (seasoned dill), and their Jamaican Me Hungry seasoning (sweet with a great kick!).  Swine Dining is unique because their of their spices are made in small batches by hand. The seasoning are all delicious, but my favorite seasoning is the Dilly Dust and I decided to feature it in my recipe I am sharing today. 

When I think of a summer potluck I think of grilling, pasta and potato salads, bars and, my personal favorite, deviled eggs. I love making deviled eggs for a cookout and once I tasted the Dilly Dust I knew it would create a perfect appetizer. It seems that deviled eggs are always the first to go when they are on a food table at a party, but they can be a little time consuming unless you have a few easy tricks up you sleeve. My favorite way to save time when making the eggs is to beat the filling with a hand mixer to make it light and fluffy. Next, place it in a sealable bag and pipe it into the eggs- so much easier and cleaner than trying to spoon it in each egg! 

For this recipe I used the Dilly Dust and a bit or garlic. The flavor is delicious and Ron and gobbled up up the eggs as fast as we could. We both decided that we absolutely loved the Dilly Dust in the filling. I have not added dill to deviled eggs before, but these eggs have me sold! 

I hope everyone has a fantastic holiday weekend! I am doing a Barre class on Saturday morning and Ron has to work for a bit, but after that it is vacation and family time! 

Today is the last day of #CookOutWeek recipes, don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter in the link above and checkout the link-up below!


Ingredients

12 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
1/4 cup mayo
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp Dilly Dust


Instructions

Cut eggs lengthwise and place yolks into a small mixing bowl. Add mayo and mix with a hand mixer or a whisk. Stir in pepper, garlic and Dilly Dust.  Scoop into a sealable bag and cut off the corner. Pipe the yolk filling into the eggs. Serve immediately or refrigerate.