Archive | EAT

THEME NIGHTS FOR OCTOBER DINNERS

(PICTURED | latte bowls and spoon (old) from anthropologie, enamel tray from amazon (came with dings/character), soup is white bean and chicken chili)

I have a love hate relationship with themes. On one hand they help limit the possibilities so decisions are easier to make and options are easier to find. On the other hand, they can also feel limiting. So in any given situation it all comes down to what is needed the most – structure or freedom – and this month for dinners I’m definitely feeling a need for a little more of the first. Which is kinda shocking considering the rest of our life is so structured lately, you’d think I’d be craving a little more creativity and endless possibilities. However, 30 days isn’t very much of a commitment and will also get us through most of soccer, football and track season on a much better diet than where my creativity would lead me, lol.

Here’s the breakdown of the theme night dinners I picked, but would be easy to switch for your family.

SALAD OR SOUP + SANDWICH MONDAY |

TACO TUESDAY | PSA, national taco day is on Friday!

BREAKKIE FOR DINNER WEDNESDAY | aside from pancakes, waffles or baked french toast

ASIAN FUSION THURSDAYthink spring rolls, curry, anything with coconut, rice noodles, etc. Here’s a few favorites!

FREE DAY FRIDAY | whatever your little heart desires. pizza, pasta (must make this ASAP), grilled cheese (the best combos here!), takeout, eat out, game day food, cereal, ice cream… (see how I’m progressively going downhill, lol.)… it all goes.

CROCKPOT SATURDAY | it’s pretty slim pickings around here when it comes to crock pot dishes but here are a few goodies.

  • this is a good make ahead dish and could work for Thursday dinner too!
  • making a batch of shredded chicken and then adding to dinners and lunches all week!
  • this apricot chicken is so good.
  • most of the soups above can be made in the crockpot too!

SHEET PAN SUNDAY | this isn’t something I’ve done a lot of but the fewer the dishes the better and I could eat roasted veggies for any meal so let’s do this sheet pan thang!

Ok, now I’m just supper hungry. And need to make a shopping list.

Let me know if you are going to join us for theme night dinners for October!!! Even if it’s not the same themes, it would still be fun. Will try and share on Instagram stories too.

XO, Rae

4

A MONTH OF SCHOOL LUNCHBOX IDEAS + PRINTABLE NOTE CARDS

YOU GUYS!!! It’s the first TGIF of the bts season and it honestly feels so amazing. Lots of emotions and excitement around our home since the kids started on Wednesday. Espen and Tilly basically poured themselves into bed last night around 8:30PM and fell asleep before Johan + I made it to their bed for prayers and back tickles. They are also the two kids who have experienced the most change this year and that seems to be overwhelming and exhausting. So hard to watch them feel “out of place” but I also know that it’s going to be such a great year for both of them!!!

In other news, there are some really cute and simple lunchbox notes (that can also be used for just about anything!) I made for the kids that you can download below AND this morning I kicked off a “what’s in the lunchbox” or “WITL” (ha!) post on Instagram Stories. I’ll be sharing what the kids are taking to school for lunch on the daily (minus wednesdays) in hopes that it’ll encourage me to be better about not wasting food while also keeping things stocked to make packing easier. I’m sure there will be many basic lunch days and some that look more like cafeteria money, but nonetheless, I think it’s going to be fun! Already got lots of messages back about it (you can see my intro here — will also add to a “lunchbox” highlight) so I’m thinking it might even turn into a thing and we can do it together!

(YESTERDAY’S LUNCH | TJ’s meatballs, carrots + ranch, string cheese, apricots, TJ’s spud crunchies (Griffin loves these… they look like french fries), TJ’s sparkling apple juice (sparkling water + juice mix = less sugar!).

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD, LUNCHBOX NOTES PDF | the cards are 3.5″ x 5″, download and print onto card stock or text weight paper, cut along dashed lines, add your message and slip into a backpack or lunchbox! Could also be used for thank you or teacher notes.

How do you feel about packing lunch!? Aside from mornings that we’re short on time, I really enjoy packing lunches!!! It’s the grocery list making and shopping that I dread (save me)… Wondering if I’m in the minority?

XO, Rae

4

AUGUST MEALS + A DONUT RECIPE

Ever go on a trip, plan on visiting, eating or shopping somewhere, but put it off until the last day only to discover that it’s closed!? That was us last week while in Corvallis where there is this really fun donut shop called Benny’s Donuts that was recommended to us. So bummed that we missed out on a local favorite, but it’s also what inspired todays kitchen concoction which was delicious and fun too so I can’t be too mad about it!

Recipe and details below along with our meal plan for August!

VANILLA BAKED DONUTSmakes 12

You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk (whole, skim or anything in-between)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • *a donut pan (mini muffin pan would work too)

Here’s How:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray donut pan with cooking spray.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together.
  3. Spoon batter into donut pan, filling 3/4 of the way — Or pour batter into a ziplock and cut the corner to pipe the batter into donut cavities.
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes, then get started on the glaze (details below) and set out the toppings.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan. Transfer to a plate or cooling rack.
  6. Once completely cool, dip into glaze (recipe details below) and then toppings. Let glaze set for 30 minutes before storing or stacking.

DONUT GLAZE 3 WAYS

You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 drop of food coloring
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • toppings and sprinkles — animal cookies, sprinkles, chocolate chips, coconut flakes, favorite cereal, cookie crumbles, bacon, etc.

Here’s How:

  1. For the glaze whisk together sugar, milk and vanilla extract. If needed, add milk in small amounts until you have desired consistency. Divided into 3 bowls.
  2. For vanilla glaze you can leave as is or add a drop or food coloring.
  3. For chocolate glaze, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of coco powder to taste and mix well.
  4. For maple glaze, add 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, to taste.
  5. Follow directions above to glaze and top your donuts!

(Poppy’s cute play gown from Plain Jane… also Jane is my mom’s name and Tilly’s middle name so their dresses are even harder for us to resist!)

Eating, I mean, taste testing as soon as the donuts are topped… no waiting for the glaze to set around here, LOL!

Here’s what’s on our menu this month:

12 DINNERS TO MAKE IN AUGUST

EASY

MAKE AHEAD OR BAKED

30-45 MINS

BREAKFAST, LUNCH + SNACK IDEAS

Hoping to draw summer out until the very end and that includes mealtime :) So, share your favorites in the comments!

XO, Rae

1

NO BAKE SUMMER RECIPE: MAGNOLIA’S BANANA PUDDING (WITH TOPPINGS)

They say necessity is the mother of invention – so we give it (and the magnolia bakery cookbook) all the credit for this recipe. I’ve been dying to make magnolia’s famous banana pudding but bananas are  a polarizing ingredient in our family and who wants to make a dessert that isn’t enjoyed by all? So instead of sticking to the traditional bananas we included a few other topping options and it turned out so, so good.

The recipe and some silly pics below — because cooking with kids is highly entertaining.

(Griffin’s v. appropriate banana shirt  from zara and on sale!)

Griffin LOVES to cook and be in the kitchen but is so funny and picky about food. He ended up being a fan, but instead of layering in a cup he would dip the wafers in the pudding to eat.

OUR VERSION of MAGNOLIA BAKERY’S FAMOUS BANANA PUDDING (adapted from this cookbook)

You’ll Need:

  • 1-14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1-1/2 cups cold water
  • 1-3.4 oz. box instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1-12 oz. box nilla wafers (reserve some to crumble for topping)
  • TOPPINGS: sliced bananas, sliced strawberries (or other berries), crushed nilla wafers, sprinkles, chocolate chips, anything fun you have on hand!

Here’s How:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix sweetened condensed milk and water together. Add pudding mix and beat until well combined. Cover and chill for 4 hours or overnight.
  2. In another large mixing bowl, whip cream until peaks form.
  3. Remove pudding from refrigerator and add whip cream. Fold into the pudding until well combined.
  4. Spoon into individual cups or bowls and layer with nilla wafers, fruit and other toppings!

Two pics up — when everyone decided they needed a beater to lick but there’s only 2, ha! A familiar scene anytime we make dessert.

Whipping the cream was pretty funny because the kids kept dipping their finger into taste and were super confused by the lack of sweetness… whipped cream that tastes like fluffy milk? Weird.

It tastes so good. And rich. And the kids are already talking about what other versions we could make. I’m definitely saying yes to all the entertaining summer activities that we can do together, don’t require an oven and result in something edible.

What’s your favorite thing to whip up in the kitchen with kids?

Oh, and here’s another good banana recipe that’s perfect for summer!

Speaking of bananas, where does your family fall on the banana debate? Or pudding for that matter…?

I hadn’t had pudding since I was in the hospital after having Poppy… even the store-bought stuff tastes good when your starving and just gave birth, LOL.

xo, Rae

1

FRESH PRODUCE + FRESH BUTTON DOWNS FOR SUMMER

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but my no. 1 mom tip for getting out of any kind of rut is to simply mix things up a bit…  So when league play for baseball ended last week, after a long rut-inducing 3 months, I decided to take my own advice and add a few new things to make our daily grind less grind-ish and more fun.

We started with a trip to the produce stand by our house where we spent $17 for a fridge full of local and organic produce!? This part always blows my mind and is a good enough reason to add it to our errands when possible. I also managed to throw on a button down (or is it button-up?) instead of a t-shirt and try two new dinner recipes! Feeling way less blah-ish as a result so am going to leave this post right here to remind myself of how simple it is… Lord knows I’m going to need it about halfway through summer when the kids start bickering and I’m tired of picking up alllllllll the wet towels and swimmers.

A few more pics from the produce stand and outfit details below. Oh, and I saved the new recipes to my “eat” highlight on Instagram if you’re interested!

Does this not make you want a giant fridge with glass doors so you can write where everything goes? And little notes like “don’t touch the whip cream!” or “but first, veggies!” or “save room for tacos”. And then also have enough room for ALL the drink options too?

A girl can dream. But then I should also dream of hiring someone that can keep it fully stocked and organized, LOL. It would be a full time job in our house!

Quick question. Mini carts… God-send or help me Jesus?

The strawberries were tiny but sooooo tasty!

  MY OUTFIT | top from J.Crew (on sale and comes in pink too), jeans (similar fit or similar wash), hat from Nordstrom, shoes are old but similar from urban outfitters

POPPY OUTFIT | top and shorts from J.Crew (she would live in this t-shirt), shoes from Target (they’re comfy too… no sore ankles of heels!)

How do you guys like to mix things up!?

I love turning pizza nights into picnics and adding yoga/mindfulness into our bedtime routine.

XO, Rae

PS – If there is anything that you need to stock up on for summer or vacay, everything at J.Crew is 30% off right now!

2

MAY MEALS, TAKEOUT TIPS + SNACK IDEAS

We’ve been making these fun apple-almond (or peanut) butter monster mouths a lot lately, after my friend suggested it, and they are so, so good and fun to make! Although I found peanut butter smeared in random-ish places, the kids were able to put them together themselves for the most part and were completely occupied which is always a bonus. Just thought I’d pass the idea along if you’re looking for something creative to snack on.

Dinners, on the other hand, have looked a lot less creative which is why I didn’t share a menu last month. But with the start of May has come sunshine, a less hectic baseball schedule (no rainouts!), and less needy kids (yay outside playtime!). All of which are game changers, but lets be honest, whether your kids are little and needing hands-on attention, or older and in evening activities, there is no amount of sunshine or meal planning that will make dinnertime easy, so I’m still going to keep things pretty simple this month. Keep scrolling to find my best tips for getting takeout, picnic ideas, a list of v. easy dinners and our go-to filling snacks!

MONSTER MOUTHS | Spread favorite nut butter on one side of your apple slices. Line one apple slice with a row of marshmallows. Top with other slice. Use peanut butter to add candy eyes and eat!

TAKEOUT IDEAS

  • Tired of pizza and sandwiches for takeout? Try ordering from your favorite Thai, Sushi, Indian restaurant or that cute little Italian place down the street…
  • Look for specials on certain nights of the week — for instance, Monday’s are double points at Jersey Mike’s so that’s been our go-to… every other visit our order is half priced!
  • Do 1/2 and 1/2 — for example, make a big salad at home and order your favorite crab fritters (or whatever) to go!
  • Grab some grocery store takeout from the deli/coolers — Trader Joe’s has yummy stuff, but most places offer more than jo-jos and corndogs these days :)

PICNIC DINNERS

  • Copycat Starbucks Bistro Boxes
  • This caprese sandwich looks delish and very packable
  • Mediterranean chicken pasta salad (I use rotisserie chicken or salami in a pinch!)
  • Charcuterie platter
  • Sandwich or antipasto skewers
  • Any chopped salad (my fave), Goddess bowl or quinoa salad (this one looks yum) in a mason jar
  • Chicken fried rice is a picnic win for us. This recipe is similar to the one we use, but I usually swap out the peas for chopped broccoli or whatever else is in the fridge. It’s also a great way to use up leftover chicken breast or a rotisserie.
  • Favorite pizza
  • TIP: I usually pack things up in tupperware, but when I want to avoid them getting left at the field or in the car for too many days, THESE are handy, compostable containers. We’ve gotten THESE for parties before too and enjoy when we have extras to use. Definitely nice to have options!

REALLY EASY DINNERS

  • Anything in a bowl — goddess bowls, burrito bowls, etc.
  • French bread pizza
  • Tuna melts
  • Egg and sausage breakfast sandwiches — add pesto, avocado, basil, fancy cheeses (like the coconut gouda at TJ’s) to spice things up!
  • French dip sandwiches
  • These enchiladas are the best! Although they aren’t the easiest or fastest, they are easy to make ahead and the bake time helps with clean up.
  • Tomato pesto spaghetti florentine
  • Store-bought, ready to grill, kabobs
  • Quesadillas with black beans, avocado, etc.
  • The stuffed bell peppers from Costco
  • Baked potatoes
  • Nachos
  • Crockpot shredded chicken or pork for throwing together tacos, salads, soups, etc.

FILLING SNACKS

Yesterday while looking for meal ideas, I stumbled upon a few recipe cards given to me by a family friend during my kitchen themed bridal shower. They read:

 

“AH-SO ON THE GO”

1) enter your favorite chinese takeout phone number here _____________.

2) Call.

“DOUGH ON A ROLL”

1) Enter favorite pizza joint phone number here _____________.

2) Call.

and

“IF YOU MUST, CHICKEN BUST”

1) Chicken breasts.

2) Favorite bottle of BBQ sauce, put on chicken

3) BBQ until done.

I loved finding these cards among all the trusted, handed down and detailed recipes. It reminded me not to be so “all or nothing” when it comes to feeding the fam and that on those nights or seasons when life is crazy or I just don’t want to cook, there are other options and no need to feel guilty about it. Just hope all the lists above help a little!

XO, Rae

7

BREAKFAST CLUB: STEEL CUT OATS + ICE CREAM

If you’ve followed along with us over on Instagram for any amount of time, you’ve probably noticed that we’re big ice cream junkies. So leave it to us to find away to eat it for breakfast! Scooped over a warm bowl of steel cut oats, is a favorite around here.  The ice cream melts perfectly (like it does over a warm brownie) so you get a little bit with each bite.

The kids love that their bowl of oatmeal looks more like an ice cream sundae and I love that it’s easy to make yet feels kinda fancy and is perfect for a special school day or weekend morning.

The meal hardly requires a recipe, but I find that some sort of list and instructions are helpful anytime I try something new.  So, I wrote out more details for you below… keep scrollin’!

Her face says it all… Ice cream for breakkie? YAAAS PUH-LEEZE!

STEEL CUT OATS + ICE CREAM

You’ll Need:

  • favorite oatmeal
  • favorite ice cream (halo top is a good option for breakkie!)
  • favorite toppings (ideas: shaved almonds, berries, bananas, coconut flakes, sprinkles, etc.)

Here’s How:

Prepare oatmeal like you normally would or according to package directions. Steel cut is our go-to but old fashioned oats work too. When the oatmeal is almost done, set out any toppings you have on hand and your ice cream choices. Halo Top (not an ad, just a fan) is a good option because it’s lower in sugar, higher in protein and so delicious. When the oats are done, scoop into bowls. For the kids or if you don’t want your ice cream melting too fast, let sit for a minute. Add a small scoop of ice cream and toppings to each and then eat up!

It’s a really fun way to start the day and a good way to get a picky eater to try oatmeal. Plus, your basically swapping out the traditional brown sugar and milk for a scoop of ice cream, and I could be totally wrong, but it feels like an even trade! Especially with a healthier ice cream choice. But I guess it all comes down to the scoop size, LOL :)

(our waffle cone bowls are no longer available, but I thought THIS SET OF 4 or THIS neutral one was super cute!)

Things get a bit messy when the boys start to dish :) And I guess, when your limited to a certain amount of ice cream you load up on sprinkles (below)!

The only downside to ice cream for breakfast is that the kids might start requesting it for all meals, ha! Last night at dinner Poppy said, “My tummy says I’m only hungry for ice cream. So I’m not hungry for chicken.” She kills me.

Let me know if you end up trying it, or if this is something you already serve for breakkie! Also let me know if you have any fun breakfast recipes we should try this weekend. Bonus points if they’re quick to make.

Happy Friday friends!

xo, Rae

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2

LITTLE BITES: ESPEN’S BUENO GUACAMOLE RECIPE

Poppy’s mantra — feed me and tell me I’m pretty. So it’s no surprise she’s 100% smitten with Espen in this pic, who just finished making guacamole for them to snack on. And I kinda think she’s onto something because there is nothing cuter than a guy (big or small) that knows his way around the kitchen! Allllll the kisses for the cook!

Todays recipe is courtesy of our Latina friend Maria (who we love so much!). It’s the best guac I’ve ever tasted and is perfect for little helpers! Espen (11) and Tilly (9) are able to make it themselves (with supervision) which is kinda nice and fun to watch. And the younger kids enjoy smashing the avocados, adding things to the food processor and pushing the buttons. So you’re basically just there to make sure the lid get’s put on before any buttons are pushed :)

Recipe below!

Gotta love a bikini clad audience! Ha! She changes outfits a few times a day when we’re home and there is often either a swimsuit or a princess dress involved. (Gingham bikini from our fave Olivia + Ocean)

NOTE: If you like your guac smooth, add everything to the food processor and chop (don’t puree). If you like it with more texture, mash the avos by hand. 

MARIA’S GUACAMOLE RECIPE

You’ll Need:

  • 2 avocados, halved with pits removed
  • 1/4 onion
  • 3 roma tomatoes, rinsed and cut in half (seeds removed if desired)
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, rinsed and non-leafy stems removed
  • fresh juice from 1 lemon (or more to taste)
  • salt to taste
  • garlic salt to taste

To Make:

  1. ADULT, Prep ingredients and spoon small amounts of the salt and garlic salt into small prep bowls. Get the food processor ready.
  2. KIDS, In a small mixing bowl, scoop avocados out of the skins and mash with the bottom of a glass or a fork. Set aside.
  3. KIDS (supervised), Add onion, tomatoes, and cilantro to food processor and chop. Scoop chopped tomato mix to the mashed avocado and stir until combined. Squeeze juice from the lemon into the mixing bowl and sprinkle with salt and garlic salt. Taste test and add more if needed.
  4. KIDS, serve with quesadillas, tortilla chips or nachos OR as a topping for tacos, sandwiches, toast, burrito bowls, etc.

We’re ready for ya, Taco Tuesday!!!!

I have a feeling we’ll be making a lot of this next week on vacay!

What’s your favorite thing to eat (or drink) on taco night?

XO, Rae

0

COSTCO HAUL… (OUR FAVORITE THINGS TO BUY AT COSTCO)

You guys know I’m all about a good meal plan and shopping list but there are certain times, months and weeks during the year when simply having a stocked kitchen and a generous list of easy, fun and mostly healthy meals and snacks is the best option. To do this, it’s more about the shopping than it is the plan and I think we would all agree Costco and Trader Joe’s are the best places to accomplish this. Since I’m still a newbie at Trader Joe’s, thought I’d start by sharing our Costco must-haves. Because we all know the way to a happy home is through everyones bellies. Case in point, below.

A Pocky little Poppy :)

Feed me mama! Ha! Yet her half of the hot dog, minus the mustard, is sitting on the table. I swear my kids always assume that whatever I’m eating is somehow better than what they have?

There’s my little birdie again, waiting for a bite!

Now for a loooong list of things we mostly keep stocked from Costco… Some of my pics didn’t turn out (sorry) so there is a lot of stuff listed that isn’t pictured, but hopefully it still helps!

PRODUCE: 

  • mini cucumbers (so yummy and convenient. easy to pack up and dip in hummus too!)
  • mini bell peppers (also so good and easy for packing and dipping)
  • the salad kits (i’m a sucker for just about any “chopped” salad, and we only use half of the dressing on each one. top with chicken, steak or sandwich meat and you have an easy dinner)
  • spinach or power greens (great with fried eggs or in smoothies!)
  • berries (for snacking, adding to yogurt, oatmeal or protein pancakes in the morning or packing up for a dinner side)
  • kiwis
  • grapefruit
  • limes/lemons
  • watermelon (when in season)
  • apples, bananas, grapes, cuties :)

FRIDGE:

  • carne asada (pictured below & it’s soooo good. thank you to our friends for introducing it to us!)
  • organic chicken breast
  • flautas (usually served as a hearty snack or if someone needs to leave for a game/practice and dinner isn’t quite done.)
  • chicken meatballs (the kids aren’t crazy about them but Johan and I love them and they are already cooked so make dinner prep quick!)
  • pesto (for pasta night, breakfast sandwiches – that we often serve for dinner – paninis and THIS SALAD)
  • jack’s organic salsa (my personal favorite but i don’t like the spicy stuff. aside from snack and taco/quesadilla/nacho/burrito bowl night, i add it to my eggs in the morning.)
  • guacamole cups
  • hummus and hummus cups
  • half + half + milk
  • eggs (organic free range)
  • string cheese or babybel’s
  • almond milk
  • ground turkey

FREEZER:

  • pot stickers
  • mango chunks (for smoothies)
  • blueberries (for smoothies)
  • berry mix (for smoothies)
  • edamame
  • french fries
  • spinach raviolis

DRINKS:

  • la croix
  • honest juice
  • izze sodas (every once in awhile)
  • bai juices (also every once in awhile)
  • beeeeer :) (also every once in awhile, but especially in the summer)
  • stumptown cold brew coffee (was available the last time i went but they don’t usually have it)

PANTRY:

  • quinoa and brown rice packets by seeds of change (these pouches will change your life. warm up in the microwave and add to a burrito bowl, goddess bowl, breakfast burrito or THIS SALAD
  • cans of black beans
  • canned chicken for salad, chicken melts or to eat with crackers/cucumber slices
  • canned diced tomatos (for pasta al fresco, soups or chilis)
  • chicken stock
  • corn + flour tortillas
  • mike’s killer or good seed bread
  • coconut oil
  • olive oil
  • raw almonds
  • organic spaghetti
  • mixed berry or raspberry jam
  • ALL THE NUT BUTTERS – adams peanutbutter, organic creamy peanut butter, almond butter
  • kodiak protein pancake mix
  • pretzels
  • late july sea salt multi-grain chips
  • pirate booty
  • organic tortilla chips
  • pocky biscuit sticks (bought these on a whim just before valentine’s day so now the kids request them every time i go — oops — but i think they are less expensive at winco)
  • Kirkland coffee pods
  • fruit leathers
  • applesauce or go-go squeeze fruit pouches
  • chia seed pouches
  • fig bars
  • zbars
  • baobab superfruit powder (for smoothies)
  • ground flaxseed and chia seeds OR antioxidant blend with flax, coconut, acerola, açaí, and camu-camu (for smoothies, energy bites and oatmeal)
  • gold standard protein powder (our favorite kind because it’s not chalky tasting. costco doesn’t always carry it but last time it was there the price was $15 less than amazon)

BAKERY:

  • muffins (ftw, always. perfect for busy mornings because the kids love them as much as crepes so they hurry down for breakfast, but i don’t have to cook :) — we usually serve them with scrambled eggs or a protein shake and fruit)
  • dinner rolls (sometimes we grab them for sliders, meatball subs or pulled pork sandwiches and then use the rest for lunches. they are the perfect size for the kids… but is also white bread so feels like a treat to the kids.)
  • pretzel buns (if we plan on feeding chili to a crowd!)

Is there anything sexier than a trunk filled with Costco goods? I think not! ha! When Johan and I first got married, our weekly grocery budget was approx. $50 so you better believe I feel so incredibly blessed every time I get to stock up on food for my family.

Do you guys geek out as much as I do over groceries and stores? Please say yes (lol) and tell me what your favorite part or place is!?

XO, Rae

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MARCH DINNERS + ARTICHOKES

So many reasons to be excited for March — spring break, baseball season, + daylight savings (!), to name a few — but at the top of my list is all the spring produce that’s been popping up at the store. Last week I grabbed artichokes to serve for happy hour with a glass of wine and it was such a fun treat. Especially since most of the kids don’t eat them and there is obviously no sharing wine, so it felt almost like a mini date for Johan and me.

I have always boiled our artichokes and serve with butter and mayo with lemon juice for dipping, but would love to try roasting them too! How do you guys like to cook artichokes?

More links and ideas for March meals below!

16 DINNERS TO MAKE IN MARCH

EASY

MAKE AHEAD OR BAKED

30-60 MINUTES

BREAKFAST, LUNCH + SNACK IDEAS

Lots of packable and “heat + eat” meals for all the baseball practices and games in our future.

What’s on your schedule this month? What are you most looking forward to?

XOXO, Rae

1

LITTLE BITES: HEALTHY PEANUT BUTTER ENERGY BALLS (NO BAKE!)

If I had a personal chef or the discipline/organizational abilities to meal prep once a week, these energy bites would for sure be on the menu every time. They’re homemade (read: guilt-free), easy to grab and go, loaded with healthy stuff, tasty enough to satisfy a sweet tooth, and loved by (almost — because there’s always that one…) everyone in the fam bam. They’re also really fun to package up and share with friends. Even better when we’ve just made a fresh batch and the kids have buddies over!

I’ve always wanted to be the house with the best snack food for all the kids, without feeding them too much junk, and even though I fall short often, mixing these up makes me feel like I’m winning just a little :)

Peep the recipe below!

NO BAKE PEANUT BUTTER & CHOCOLATE CHIP ENERGY BITES, makes approx. 2 dozen

You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats (like quaker), uncooked
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup favorite nut butter (I like to use almond butter but usually use adam’s peanut butter)
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/2 cup favorite chocolate chips (I like to use the mini kind!)
  • 1/4 cup honey (agave works too)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chia seeds, optional

Here’s How:

  1. Using a hand or stand mixer, combine and mix ingredients until thoroughly combined.
  2. Using your hands (and cookie scooper if you have one!), roll into 1 to 2 inch balls. Eat right away or chill first.
  3. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week…. But I promise they won’t last that long, LOL.

Happy Tuesday Loves!

xo, Rae

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