Archive | EAT

WATERMELON PIZZA, LEMON SPRITZER + A MEAL PLAN

Happy Monday after Mother’s Day! I hope everyone was able to celebrate the beautiful women in their lives either in person, over FaceTime, or in memory and that all you mamas felt extra loved.  Johan was at the fire station all weekend so Sunday looked a little different for us this year, but the kids stepped up their game and made me feel like a million bucks with handmade gifts (aren’t fill-in the blank “all about my mom” worksheets not the best thing ever!?), maple bars for breakfast, and slightly better behavior than usual for at least the first part of the day :)

As a belated Mama’s Day gift, I’m sharing a simple meal plan (full of classic crowd-pleasers) and the recipes for watermelon pizza and a lemon and thyme spritzer for Friday night happy hours!

WATERMELON PIZZA – Slice watermelon into rounds, spread a layer of honey or vanilla yogurt (I like to use greek because it has a thicker texture) over the top, then let the kids ‘decorate’ with favorite berries and fruits. Garnish with mint for fun!

LEMON, THYME + TEQUILA SPRITZER, (makes 4 cocktails) – For the simple syrup, add zest from 1 lemon, 3 sprigs of thyme, 1-1/2 cups sugar, and 1-1/2 cups water to a saucepan. Stir often while bringing to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes, then strain into a pitcher or large jar. Stir in juice from 4 lemons, 1/2 cup silver tequila, 3 cups seltzer water (lemon le crouix is my fave!), and let chill in refrigerator. Pour over ice and garnish with sprigs of thyme and lemon.

Sip while snacking on watermelon pizza, chips and guacamole for a yummy happy hour that just might be filling enough (with the help of a few quesadillas) to bail on dinner plans!

 

Here’s what we’re eating this week:

MONDAY | bbq chicken cobb salad

TUESDAY | burrito bowls

WEDNESDAY | favorite spaghetti recipe + broccoli

THURSDAY | takeout, please.

FRIDAY | breakfast for dinner (french toast maybe!?)

SATURDAY | slow cooker french dip sandwiches, fries or chips, raw veggie plate

SUNDAY | eat-out or takeout.

BREAKKIE | egg tacos, smoothies, cereal, and lots of fruit!

LUNCH | leftovers, PB&J

SNACK | watermelon pizza, veggies + dip, no-bake energy bites or zbars

After last week (which was crazy with work, baseball, appointments, and family stuff), I’m ready for some downtime, routine, and a return to basics. Which is the inspiration for the meal plan… how about you guys? What’s on your classic dinner menu?

xo, Rae

4

LITTLE BITES: OUR 5 FAVORITE SMOOTHIE RECIPES

Smoothies might just be the best culinary creation ever to happen to motherhood. (Either that or baby food pouches, amiright?) The refreshing, slushy, delicious and lightly sweetened concoction is the best way I know to stuff my kids (even the pickiest one!) full of whole foods, healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and fiber. They also take away the mom-guilt that comes from letting them consume one too many donuts, cake pops, or french fries.

If only they had the same effect for me, LOL!

Even though smoothie season is a year round thing, our blender game is stronger in the spring and summer months. Lately we’ve been trying new combinations so I thought I would share some of our favorites along with a few pics from snack time last night at Ozzie’s baseball game!

When it comes to mixing up smoothies I do a lot of eyeing and tossing ingredients into the blender, but tried to break things down into measurements. You may need to adjust the amount of ice, liquids, and sweeteners (yogurt, honey, + banana) to desired taste and thickness.

Makes approx. 32 oz. which Serve 2-4 people

POPPY’S PINK BERRY SMOOTHIE – 1 cup Orange Juice, 1/2 cup frozen raspberries, 1/2 cup frozen strawberries (or sub for mixed berries), 1 or 1/2 of a banana, 1/4 cup of vanilla greek yogurt, 8 ice cubes

ESPEN + GRIFFIN’S PEANUT BUTTER + COCOA LOCO PROTEIN SHAKE – 2 cups almond (or other) milk, 2 scoops favorite chocolate protein powder (or vanilla protein powder and add tablespoon of cocoa powder), 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional), 8 ice cubes

JOHAN’S GREEN GOD(ESS) SMOOTHIE – 1 cup coconut or almond milk, 1 cup kale or spinach, 1 cup frozen pineapple, 1 cup frozen mango, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, drizzle of honey to taste (optional), 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)

RAE’S COCO-NUT – 2 cups almond milk, 1 to 2 tablespoons almond butter, 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut, 2 scoops favorite vanilla protein powder, 2 tablespoons flaxseeds (optional), 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional), 8 ice cubes

OZZIE + TILLY’S MANGO TANGO SMOOTHIE – 1 cup coconut (or other) milk, 1 cup frozen mango, 1 cup frozen pineapple, 1/2 banana, 1/2 cup vanilla greek yogurt, drizzle of honey to taste (optional)

*Often times we’ll make the fruitier drinks ‘dirty’ (especially in the morning) by throwing in a handful of spinach, rolled oats, and a couple tablespoons of flax or chia seeds… but the kids prefer them ‘clean’. :) 

(top-knot envy!)

    

If you watched any of my Instagram stories since last night, you may have caught Tilly’s (strong) reaction to my coconut shake… She’s not a fan and the video is pretty entertaining if you want to go check it out. Also, I promise the recipe tastes nothing like “rotten eggs”. Ha!

A few items we keep stocked to make smoothie mixing easy: lots of frozen fruit, almond and/or coconut milk, greek yogurt, bananas, orange juice, flax seed, chia seeds, Baobab superfruit powder (from costco), and these plastic cups with lids for when we are on the go!

What are your favorite smoothie combos and ingredients?!!!

xo, Rae

2

AMAZING EASTER CANDY COOKIE BARS + A MEAL PLAN

Playing catchup today after a whirlwind week and weekend, and still have lots to do to get our easter outfits, baskets and egg hunts pulled together for the big day this Sunday. Soooo am going to keep this short and sweet with a favorite festive cookie treat that might just change your life. No joke. They are so good and making bars instead of individual cookies eliminates so much of the hands-on time… Perfect for a busy holiday week!

CHOCOLATE CHIP + EASTER CANDY COOKIE BARS, makes one 9×13-inch pan of cookies

You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup butter, softened 
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup Easter candy, roughly chopped or crumbled
  • 1 cup chocolate chips 

Here’s How:

  1. Grease 9×13-inch pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and eggs.
  3. Mix in flour and baking soda.
  4. Stir in candy and chocolate chips.
  5. Scoop into prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Bake for approx. 20 minutes, checking after 18. Remove when golden brown around edges and middle looks slightly undercooked. Cut into bars and serve! TIP: for straight clean lines, allow to cool completely before cutting!

The cookies are even better warm, with a scoop of ice cream and candy sprinkles on top! Making them on day 5 of my 10 day cleanse over the weekend was not the smartest tho. Thought I could resist but ended up sneaking a bite or two. Or three. Ha! Should have known better, but it was worth it!

Here’s what’s on our menu this week:

MONDAY | tuna melt sandwiches (this one looks good!), chips, crudités with ranch or hummus and above cookies for dessert!

TUESDAY | chicken tortilla soup

WEDNESDAY | baked salmon and veggies in parchment pockets

THURSDAY | breakfast burritos

FRIDAY | eat out or takeout while watching a baseball game — currently craving Thai food!

SATURDAY | BBQ chicken,  quinoa, and zucchini fritters

SUNDAY | it’s Easter and we’ll be running around at church services most of the morning and then meeting up with my parents and brother after. No idea what we’ll be eating yet, but I will for sure be ordering some festive donuts for the kids (wink, wink) to wake up to :)

Keeping all other meals simple this week and going with the staples!

BREAKKIE | Cereal, oatmeal, fruit and/or fried eggs.

LUNCH | PB&J or salami, cheese + crackers, edamame and strawberries or apples and peanut butter, bunny crackers or pirate booty.

SNACKS |  some combo of the lunch options!

Hop, hop, hooray for a week of Easter prep and celebrations. It’s going to be an amazing Sunday. I can just feel it. Now if I can just get my stufffff together sometime before then, lol!

I’ll see you back here on Wednesday with some bunny fun for the littles!

xo, Rae

2

LITTLE BITES: COPYCAT STARBUCKS BISTRO BOXES

Baseball season is in full swing for my oldest two boys and husband (who coaches). I’ve always had mixed feeling about this time of year. Johan is already gone several nights a week so when you add practices and games into the mix it feels like we’re never all together. Throw in the unpredictable spring weather and all the dirt (oh the dirt!) and you get one hot mess of an evening routine. But there is always a bright side! 1. I love watching my athletes play ball and interact with their teammates while the other kids run around with their friends. There is something so sweet about the baseball vibe and I really enjoy being around it. And 2. all the picnic style dinners we get to eat. Keeping our dinner mess confined to a tote bag and blanket is a total win. It also helps with picky eaters — This is what we have so if you are hungry, this is what you can eat — nothing to negotiate with. At least until they find a nicer team mom who brought a container of goldfish… :) HA!

Anyways, some game nights we’ll pickup our favorite sandwiches at Jersey Mikes, other nights I’ll go the crockpot route and we’ll eat a little before and then after the game but more often than not I’ll pack something from home. Problem is, it’s not long before I run completely out of ideas and by that point, slightly out of steam too. So, I’ve been looking for inspiration anywhere I can find it. One of those places has been Starbucks and their cooler of yummy and mostly healthy on the go foods. I love all of their salads and warm sandwiches, but the kids usually pick their bistro boxes so I put together a few copycat versions for Ozzie’s game last night and they went over really well with the kids!

(favorite meal containers, condiment cups, silicone muffin cups, candy eyes or these)

one | sandwich wrap (store-bought or homemade) with carrots, grapes, hummus (for the sandwich or chips if I threw them in the bag), and ranch.

two | protein pack with hardboiled egg, brie cheese (or whatever we have), cinnamon raisin bread (by mike’s killer bread), almond butter, pretzels, apples, and grapes.

three | pb&j with apples, cucumber, carrots, ranch, and dark chocolate raisins.

Of course all of the fruits and veggies can be switched out with whatever we have in the fridge and I’m sure the kids will want to customize some parts, but it’s appetizing enough for the adults and a great base to start with!

What do you guys make for dinner on busy nights and where do you find inspiration!? 

Pinterest is always a good place to troll for ideas but asking friends (you included) what they have been feeding their fam bams is always helpful and inspiring!

Happy almost Friday!

xo, Rae

15

CREAMY ROTISSERIE CHICKEN + CORN CHOWDER RECIPE + A MEAL PLAN

OMGee it was a good weekend, friends. Super low-key and just what we needed. Nothing but a couple baseball practices, church, a revolving door of kids and sleepovers (coming and going), laundry catch-up, and some car shopping. I also managed to make a meal plan and convince Ozzie to turn his culinary class assignment into our dinner. #momhack

I didn’t think dinnertime could get any better than when cooking while sipping on a glass of wine, until I experienced helping someone else make dinner while sipping on a glass of wine. It was thoroughly enjoyable and I’m going to be lobbying hard for it to be a new Sunday tradition. Wish me luck!

Oz did a great job making my favorite creamy corn chowder with rotisserie chicken. It tasted like spring and was hearty enough to serve as a main course with a couple garnishes and tortilla chips. The recipe and our meal plan for the week is below!

CREAMY CORN CHOWDER WITH ROTISSERIE CHICKEN

takes 45 minutes start to finish, serves 6

  • 2 cups rotisserie chicken, cubed or shredded
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced (approx. 1-1/2 cups)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced (approx. 1-1/4 cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced (approx. 3 cups)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2-1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn
  • 1-1/2 cups half and half
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • Cilantro and jalapeños seeded and finely chopped, for serving (optional)
  1. Melt butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add red bell pepper and onions and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Slowly pour in flour, and stir for additional 3 minutes. Slowly add in chicken broth. Stir or whisk until well blended.
  2. Add potatoes and season soup with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil stirring frequently, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered for 10 minutes or just until potatoes are tender.
  3. Stir in cooked chicken, corn and 1/2 and 1/2 and simmer, uncovered 10 – 15 minutes longer. Dish into bowls, top with bacon, cilantro, and jalapeño peppers, as desired.

MONDAY | chicken and corn chowder (using rotisserie chicken, recipe above)

TUESDAY | chicken enchiladas (using rotisserie chicken), scroll to part 2 of the post

WEDNESDAY | baked potato bar

THURSDAY | egg and sausage breakfast sandwiches

FRIDAY + ST. PATRICK’S DAY | wish I had an amazing holiday themed recipe to share but this will most likely be our takeout night… crossing my fingers it’s pizza for the kids and a sushi date night for the adults!

SATURDAY | teriyaki  rice bowls, made this for the first time last week and it was a big hit!

SUNDAY | stuffed bell peppers

BREAKKIE | smoothies, hard boiled eggs, energy bites (or these!), grapefruit

LUNCH | bagel sandwiches, diced mango or apples, baby carrots or cucumber, popcorn or kale chips

SNACK | bananas or apples and peanut butter, energy bites (or these!), ants on a log, pretzels, popcorn

What have you guys been eating/making/craving lately?

Hope your weekend was just what you needed and that your week if off to a great start!

XO, Rae

4

LITTLE BITES: TRAIL MIX + MATCH

Trail mix is full of healthy fats and good energy and is one of my go-to snacks for grabbing on the go or adding to school lunches. The only problem with store-bought versions is that certain little someones are always sneaking into the panty to pick out their favorite parts until there isn’t much mixed about it. Ha! Maybe you can relate? So lately we’ve been making individual, made to order batches so everyone can have a mix that is full of their favorites. The process is pretty painless and actually really fun… raid your pantry (and the store) for dried fruit, nuts, seeds, bite-sized sweets, and other snacks, set out in bowls and let everyone fill a container with their own combination.

Some ingredient ideas..

  • NUTS: raw almonds, peanuts, walnuts, macadamia, pistachios, cashews, and pine nuts
  • SEEDS: sunflower or pumpkin… sesame, flax and hemp seeds are also a good addition, but a little messy.
  • FRUITS: dried apricots, cranberries, bananas, mangos, goji, pineapple, blueberries, apples, coconut, and raisins
  • SWEETS: mini m&m’s, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, carob chips, peanut butter chips, cacao nibs, mini marshmallows, yogurt covered raisins, and chocolate covered almonds
  • SNACKS: pretzels, popcorn, cheerios or other cereal, and granola

What’s your default grab-and-go snack?

xo, Rae

1

SWEET BITES: HOMEMADE SODAS

I don’t know about you guys but February is seriously kicking my butt. Not sure if it’s the lack of sun, daylight or warmth that has me feeling so blah and it probably hits me around this time every year and I forget, but OMGeeee! Spring cannot get here too soon. And I am not one that usually wishes for time to hurry.

A few of the things that seem to be helping with the winter blues lately: copious dance parties, getting out of the house, and playing with the kids in the kitchen. Thought I would share our latest cooking session recipe with you, inspired by the last few hipster-ish restaurants we’ve grubbed at  that have handcrafted sodas on the menu instead of sprite and root beer. While nothing can really replace a good old fashioned Shirley Temple, these homemade sodas are delicious and less sugary. Plus the fancy flavors and garnishes make them feel extra special.

Our DIY version is a mix of sparkling water and homemade simple syrups. Here’s the how-to…

YOU’LL NEED:

  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups fresh fruit
  • 1 cup sugar of choice (modify measurement for stevia or splenda)
  • 1 cup water
  • sparkling or flavored water (like pellegrino or la croix)
  • mint, basil, lemon, lime, berries, etc., for garnish
  • lemon and lime juice (optional)

TO MAKE SIMPLE SYRUPS:

  1. Dice or slice fruit if needed – for instance mango or strawberries.
  2. Heat 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar over med-high heat. Stir until sugar is melted.
  3. Add fruit and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes or until the sugar mixture is a deep color that matches the fruit.
  4. Remove from heat and pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer into another pot or heat safe bowl. Resist the urge to press down on the strained fruit to try and get more juice out :) it just makes the syrup chunky and cloudy.
  5. Let syrup cool completely then poor into mason jars or other airtight containers in the fridge. Should keep for a few weeks.

TO MIX THE SODAS:

  1. Set out syrups, sparkling water options, and garnishes.
  2. Pour sparkling soda in each cup. Add syrup and garnishes to taste. We used approx.  a 1:4 ratio of syrup to water (1/4 cup of syrup for every cup of sparkling water… maybe a little less syrup than that).
  3. Tip: a little splash of lemon or lime juice tastes so good in the sodas!

 

These yummy drinks may not make spring arrive any sooner but they will add a little fun to your day and fancy to your tastebuds.

How has February been treating you? Have any tricks for beating the winter blues? I probably should have added Netflix to my list of tricks above :)

If you love this time of year please spill all your secrets and then move next door so your happy winter vibes can rub off on me.

Happy hump day friend!!!

xo, Rae

0

EASY OVEN BAKED S’MORES + A MEAL PLAN

Happy Monday guys! Feeling so behind for all the Valentine festivities happening tomorrow after a sinus cold I can’t seem to kick had me feeling all kinds of achey for most of Saturday and Sunday. But I’m on the mends today and thought I would share the only two things I managed to check off my to-do list this weekend. Some very delicious s’mores you can bake in the oven and a meal plan — both made with Heart Day in mind!

EASY OVEN BAKED S’MORES

10 minutes hands-on, 1 hour start to finish

YOU’LL NEED:

  • graham crackers
  • regular sized marshmallows
  • chocolate chips
  • sprinkles (optional)
  • parchment paper

TO MAKE:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Break graham crackers in half so they are squares and lay on prepped baking sheet. Place a marshmallow on each cracker and put in oven for 2 minutes.
  2. Now that the mallows are gooey, remove from oven and place a graham cracker on the top of each, pushing down gently so the mallow is smooshed between the crackers. Return to oven for 2 more minutes.
  3. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. While waiting, place chocolate chips in microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds at a time until melted — stirring in between.
  5. Using the tip of a sharp knife, cut crackers/mallow squares in half so you have two rectangles.
  6. Dip cracker/mallow rectangles in melted chocolate and then sprinkles and return to baking sheet. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes or so while chocolate sets then eat up! Store leftovers in airtight container in the fridge… they taste so good chilled!

 

They didn’t last very long at our house, but would have made a very fun treat to package up and give to friends!

Now for some meal planning… Here’s what’s on the menu this week:

MONDAY | california cobb salad (wraps for the kids)

VALENTINE’S DAY | crockpot tomato basil soup with heart shaped grilled cheese dippers and oven baked s’mores for dessert (using recipe above)

WEDNESDAY | eat out or takeout (I’ve been craving thai food!)

THURSDAY | crockpot apricot chicken over rice with sliced veggies

FRIDAY | mini turkey burgers with fries and milkshakes, movie and sleepovers

SATURDAY | one pan mediterranean baked halibut with veggies

SUNDAY | eat out or takeout

BREKKIE | strawberry smoothies, heart shaped bacon, easy blender crepes with toppings, toast

LUNCH | cookie cutter sandwiches, yogurt with sprinkles, chocolate covered or plain pretzels, strawberries, + edamame

SNACK | smoothie popsicles, yogurt parfaits, apples + peanut butter

Hope everyone is staying mostly germ-free and healthy ;| if that’s even a thing this time of year? Either way, here’s to a great week with your favorite love bugs!!!

xo, Rae

2

MOM HACKS: EATING OUT WITH KIDS

My kids are loud and messy and opinionated and I can’t take them anywhere without something ridiculous happening but they are also so fun and silly and taking them out and about is one of my favorite things to do! When our older kids were little though there was one exception. Eating out. It was takeout and drive-thrus for us thank you very much. Since those days I’ve changed my thinking and approach and it’s made eating in restaurants way more enjoyable — not to be confused with easy — without having to pack up a bag of activities.

Granted my kids and their age gaps are likely different than your’s, but hopefully you’ll find these tips helpful or encouraging anyways!

  1. EXPECT KIDS TO ACT THEIR AGE: I used to have this weird expectation that my kids could pull it together for an hour or so while we ate in public. Turns out there’s only one thing I should expect from them… to be themselves and act their age. So now, during any given eating out experience I expect there to be a spill or two, that someone will decide to take off their shoes, while another thinks its fun to climb under the table and everyone is bound to be starving and act like they’re near death. The good news is that it’s rare for all of these things to happen at one sitting so I usually walk away feeling like they did awesome, ha!
  2. KEEP MY GOAL(s) IN MIND: My hope is that my kids will do their best to be a good guest and considerate of others and especially their server. All of which are learned behaviors and one of the reasons I want to take them out. I also really just enjoy sitting for most of a meal and then not having to clean up afterwards! Usually makes the moments of chaos totally worth it.
  3. DECIDE ON A DINNER WORKFLOW: Having an idea of what and when we’re ordering (are we letting kids get sodas, ordering a basket of fries or other app first, etc.), and how you want to occupy the kids while they wait, before walking in the restaurant is a big help. Something that has worked for us when we have all of the kids is to order drinks, the kid’s meals, side salads for the grownups, and usually a basket of fries or hummus plate right away. While we wait for the food we chat with the kids – go through our highs and lows from the day, etc. Once their food arrives Johan and I order. We continue chatting and micromanaging until the kids are finished and then we let them share tech (usually our phones) while we eat and attempt a conversation. It’s not perfect or peaceful but it works :)
  4. HAPPY HOURS ARE MY BEST FRIEND: kind of a given but going before or after the breakfast, lunch or dinner rush makes a huge difference!
  5. STAY POSITIVE: and if needed switch things up a bit. Taking a kid or two for a bathroom break or to the car to grab something or telling a funny joke (the spoon on the nose trip works every time!) or anything that distracts them from annoying their sibling or throwing a fit is worth a try!

(Received lots of questions about my sweater so shared outfit details with links at the bottom of the post :)

A few pics from our lunch date with Griffin + Poppy yesterday.

There were surprisingly no spills and I don’t think any complaints about being starving to death. Griffin however, did accidentally mistake his thumb as part of his cheese and let out a very loud yelp followed by major tears and Poppy spent a good chunk of time dropping things under the table so she could climb down and pick them up.

But in the end they earned ice cream.

Not really but it seemed like the perfect way to end our outing!

It’s my favorite when Johan can join us for an afternoon adventure in the middle of the week. One of the perks of being married to a firefighter. Lucky kids. Lucky me.

Happy, happy weekend you guys!

Oh, and loved reading all of the comments on my dining room post… thanks for playing along!

XO, Rae

ME | pink + orange stripe sweater, jeans

GRIFFIN | blue gray thermal (for the babes), red coat, shoes

POPPY | sweatshirt (+ for big girls), boots

3

A MENU PLAN, PENGUIN COOKIES, FAVORITE BOOK, + LIFE LATELY

It’s not often that I start my week off with a random post but — oh my goodness you guys — still over here having  a hard time transitioning out of Christmas break mode! Was hoping all the new year’s resolutions, goals and ambitions would kick my butt into gear but the haze has not fully lifted. I’ll be heading out later this morning for a meeting and long work day away from the house and kids (what, what?) and am hoping it will do the trick. Nothing like a quick break from the norm to regain focus and energy.

Here are a few other things that have been going on around here…

I may not have done much other than play and visit with the ones I love this last week but I did manage to put together a meal plan which is always a good thing. Here’s what we’ll be chowing down on this week:

M | beef + cauliflower fried rice

T | baked potato bar

W | thai chicken noodle bowls (i like this recipe but this one has some good shortcuts)

TH | eat out or takeout :)

F | skillet chicken chilaquiles + a winter margarita (cheers to the weekend!)

SA | creamy tortellini and sausage soup + rustic bread

SU | dinner with friends

BREAKKIE | cereal or smoothie with sausage, or omelets

LUNCH | leftover fried rice or bagel sandwich, apple slices with almond butter or strawberries, popcorn or veggie straws, cucumbers or baby carrots with dip

SNACK | zucchini chocolate chip muffins or greek yogurt and granola

Now let’s chat about the cute penguin cookies above that Griffin and I made last week while Poppy napped and the big kids were at school.

To make YOU’LL NEED:

  • oreo cookies
  • white baking chocolate
  • black decorating gel (next to the frosting tubes) or mini chocolate chips
  • fruit leather for the beak (or other orange dried fruit or candy), cut into small triangles
  • wax paper

HERE’S HOW (reference pics below):

  1. Cover cookie sheet or cutting board with wax paper. Melt chocolate according to instructions. Dip cookies in chocolate at an angle to make face. Lay on wax paper and then use a spoon to make chocolate lines more rounded like a heart.
  2. Use black gel to add eyes and small triangles of fruit leather for the beak.
  3. Place cookies in the fridge or freezer until chocolate hardens and then enjoy! Side note — black gel never fully hardens so if you stack them the eyes sometimes smear.

The cookies and my kids recent penguins obsession was inspired by the book, Penguin Problems. I purchased it because the cover and name was so cute (ha!) and then wasn’t sure what I thought about the story once it arrived. The kids however, fell in love and even quote parts of it too!

Those feet! Griffin’s are still cute and sweet to me but probably not for long.

The sun paid us a visit for most of last week and with it frigid temperatures. It was a nice break from the rain but kept us cooped up indoors just as much which I actually didn’t mind too much. These pictures and the pretty light is sure making me crave springtime though!

Feeling a little more ready for the week after that recap… Hope your Monday is off to a beautiful start!

XO, Rae

Poppy’s sweatshirt and sweatpants and Griffin’s sweatshirt are from childhood’s clothing. Griffin’s sweat pants are from Zara.

1

OUR FAVORITE HEALTHY(ISH) SNACKS FOR THE FAM

Remember cribs on MTV? Well, the master bedroom might have been where the magic happened, but the refrigerator was always the best part. It’s so fun seeing what other people eat and since everyone in my home could use a cleanse from processed and sugary foods after the holidays, I thought it would be ‘fun’ to share our favorite (mostly healthy) snacks!

Here’s a peek at what you’ll currently find in our kitchen to snack on…

ZBARS (costco) | FRUIT LEATHERS (costco) | ALMOND BUTTER + PEANUT BUTTER (costco) | FRESH FRUIT (a must) | STRING CHEESE | HUMMUS DIPS (costco) | GUACAMOLE DIPS (costco) | HARD BOILED EGGS | PRETZELS (costco) | EDAMAME (costco) | SALAMI | RAW ALMONDS (bulk)

Obviously keeping Costco in business :)

Not Pictured: fresh veggies (Johan is so much better about veggies at snack time than I am), pirate booty, tortilla chips, greek yogurt (the kids like the chobani tubes), turkey meat (wrap around string cheese for an extra fun snack!), izze sparkling juice (as a special treat), and honest juice boxes

Edamames are a hit with half the kids. We buy the big frozen bag with smaller pouches from Costco and keep a pouch or two in the refrigerator for easy snacking or to add to school lunches without having to warm up or defrost. They are extra good with salt sprinkled on top!

I swear there mush be kid crack in Zbars because my little ones are obsessed with them. There were days this past summer where I’m pretty sure, its all Griffin ate. Half curious if they are just as bad as a chewy granola bars but am afraid to know the truth, LOL. If you have any info to share about these lifesaving, easy to pack, crowd pleasing bars, please let me know. But if it’s bad news, break it to me easy :)

Most of our “eat me anytime” snacks are kept in the bottom drawer of the fridge for easy grabbing. Pantry snacks are a little more out of reach with the exception of pretzels.

I try really hard to keep super processed and sweet foods to a minimum in our home. That being said we do indulge but usually when we are out and about or have planned a family movie or game night. Oh, and of course homemade treats (like these yummy cookies) too. So maybe we don’t do that great of a job (ha!) and it’s near impossible around any holiday, but I guess it could be worse!

If you’ve been feeling stumped on what to stock the kitchen with, I’ve been there. And go there often. Hope this helps!

What snacks do you keep your kitchen stocked with?

XO, Rae

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