Egg Muffins

Most mornings, I can hardly roll out of bed. Sophie ends up stealing a few bites of her Dad’s cereal before he leaves for work, and then I come downstairs and hand her whatever is most easily accessible to me. Maybe a nutrigrain bar, maybe more cereal, some times an apple… either way, I’m all about a minimal amount of effort when it comes to my kids’ breakfast in the morning.

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A little lightbulb went off in my head a few mornings ago, and I’m so happy it did because I actually have some thing to hand Sophie in the morning that is healthy and quick.

Now I have 2 ways to make these little egg muffins. One is easy and a recipe you [the parent] can eat as well. The other one is geared more specifically toward toddlers as it requires either whole milk or breast milk [need that calcium!].

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Version 1:
-6 eggs
-1/2 cup of spinach chopped
-1/4 shredded cheese [I used pepper jack]

Version 2:
-6 eggs
-1/2 cup of spinach chopped
-1/4 shredded cheese
-3 oz. milk [whole or breast]
-1 Tbs. of ground flax or flour

Preheat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients, and pour into a muffin tin. Bake for 10-14 minutes.

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See? SO easy! I made 8, which obviously gives us breakfast for at least a week. I store these in the fridge and pop them in the microwave for 10 seconds in the morning before I give one to Sophie. Easy, healthy, and delicious. You’re welcome.

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Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

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Did you know Thanksgiving is only NINE days away?! Mamas are busy ladies, and it’s understandable that we end up unprepared during most of the holiday season. These important meals sneak up on you, and there’s panic when you realize you have no plan for what to bring.

I’ve only hosted Thanksgiving once, but since becoming a married woman, I feel it’s one of my responsibilities as a member of the family to bring something to Thanksgiving dinner. Growing up, you usually have 1-3 women who do ALL the cooking for 30 people. When you’re excuse is being a 10 year old kid, ok don’t pitch in, but once you have your own job and apartment, it’s time to bring some thing to Thanksgiving dinner. I felt I had even less of an excuse not to contribute when I was a newlywed, and all the women of the family had just spent hundreds of dollars on getting me kitchen supplies. It was time to put those handy tools and supplies to work!

Anyway, in light of the fast approaching holiday, I wanted to share my greatest Thanksgiving hits with you. It’s intimidating to share a recipe with family for the first time, especially during such an important meal. These recipes are pretty easy and don’t require too many ingredients. So, if you still don’t know what you’re bringing to Thanksgiving, hopefully some of these ideas will inspire you!

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Pumpkin Cupcakes – I brought these to my first Thanksgiving ever, with J’s family. If you’ve never brought anything to a Thanksgiving dinner before, you can’t go wrong with dessert! Since it was the first time I had ever spent Thanksgiving with a family other than my own, I wasn’t sure who typically brought what. I knew that in my family, certain members were known for certain dishes [everyone LOVES my Aunt Julie’s rolls, and Grandpa always did the gravy, etc.] so I didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes by attempting a traditional side-dish. This recipe is delicious and a great alternative to having too many pies.

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Sweet potato hash – My second year with J’s family, was our first Thanksgiving as Mr & Mrs. I felt more confident to bring a dish to go with dinner, so I brought this sweet potato hash. My first year, I noticed that his family only did the sweet potatoes with marshmallow on top, so I thought I’d bring a savory version too. It was a big hit! Not to mention, a healthy hit, too! This recipe is a vegetarian version, but you can swap out the veggie patties for sausage patties and it tastes GREAT.

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Spinach Salad with pear and cranberry – I have to admit, while I found this recipe on my own, I was attempting to imitate a salad my Aunt Julie would bring to either Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners. When I was younger I thought the only dressing that could go on a salad was ranch. In the name of trying new things, I picked up a scoop of her sweet, fruity salad and immediately fell in love. I knew that the first Thanksgiving dinner I hosted, this side would definitely have to be on the table. I was cooking for 20+ traditional Italians and I wasn’t sure how a salad without Italian dressing would do with J’s crowd. Luckily, everyone LOVED it! In fact, I completely ran out of salad as people were asking for second and third helpings.

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Cornbread stuffing – For the most part, I try to stick to a gluten free diet… but around the holidays that can get pretty tough! Once I found Martha Stewart’s cornbread stuffing, it was a total game changer. I LOVE this recipe, and so did the rest of the family. I was able to make it gluten free by making my own corn bread from scratch, but you can make it as easy or as difficult as you want depending on how much time you actually end up having.

Those are by far the best recipes I’ve ever brought to Thanksgiving dinners in the past. Like I said, if you have extra time or are feeling especially domestic, you can personalize these recipes as little or as much as you want to! For the salad, I make my own candied pecans to sprinkle on top and some times, I even make the dressing from scratch. Hopefully some of these recipes inspire you and take some of the stress out of planning for the big turkey dinner next Thursday! Good Luck!

Baby Pouch DIY

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I don’t think there is anything wrong with buying pre-made baby food from the store. In fact, there are a lot of organic options nowadays for baby food. Like most other organic things, it’s usually more expensive. Luckily for my baby, my husband and I are slow produce eaters. Yes, we buy the finest organic produce, but we’re human, we’re going to grab for the bacon before we grab for some fruit in the morning. That being said, I really needed to find a way to get my babe to eat more leafy green AND use up all the produce we buy before it spoils.

You can buy reusable pouches online, but some of them come with some kind of filling contraption in order to get the food into the tiny hole at the top of the pouch. If that works for you, great, but I for one rarely use appliances that have more than 2 pieces, so I knew if this was some thing I was going to commit to doing on a weekly basis, it was going to have to be easy.

Hubs and I found these pouches that actually have a wide opening on the bottom of the pouch, so you can easily pour or scoop a puree into them. If you don’t want pouches that open at the bottom [I’ll admit I was skeptical at first] you can always use an icing/piping bag to fill your pouches with puree.

In any case, here’s what you need:
-reusable pouches
-food processor
-2 apples, peeled and chopped
-1.5 cups of spinach
-.25 cup of organic yogurt
-1 Tbs of ground flax [optional]

In a skillet over medium heat, cook the apples and spinach until both are tender. Add to food processor with remaining ingredients, and pulse until everything is smooth. Pour into pouches and refrigerate.

Did I mention the pouches we got can also be stored in the freezer? Like I said…. it’s a solution to using up produce before it goes bad!

Links I Like

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So I haven’t been very creative in the ways of cooking, baking, or mothering this week. I was going to share a really good banana bread recipe I found, but then I realized we were out of eggs, so I couldn’t make the bread, which means I couldn’t take scrumptious, delicious pictures of the bread for a post about the bread! Anyway, I decided to give you a glimpse into what I’ve been doing on the web this week since I came up short.

  1. I’m trying to get back on track diet-wise and not give into pregnancy cravings as much, which has lead me to troll Pinterest for recipes.
  2. You may have heard the Pope is coming to the USA so there have been many articles circulating about him. So far, this is my favorite.
  3. A friend of mine introduced me to a new maternity wear website. The clothes are so chic and affordable!
  4. If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, then you probably already know I have a few banana bread recipes already in my arsenal. Even still, I was eager to try this one.
  5. I’m not ready to move Sophie into a toddler bed, despite our new arrival coming soon. I’ll want her to stay in the crib until she’s at an age where I can rationally explain sleeping in a big girl bed to her. So where will baby #2 sleep? I am currently in love with this bassinet! 

Otherwise, I haven’t been up to too much. I’ve been exhausted, anticipating our trip to New York in a couple weeks, house hunting, planning a gender reveal, and trying to mom. What have you been up to?

Summer Cabbage Slaw

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This week has been an exhausting week. I made it out of the 1st trimester, was still taking care of a recovering sick baby, and had an event in Pittsburgh that I went to [for those who don’t know, Pittsburgh is a 2 hour round trip for me]. Also, we live down the street from a university, and many of the students returned for the fall semester. Since Hubs works in the university bookstore, he’s been busy this week too. We were both so busy that we kept reaching for easy meals that required little to no preparation, and also, little to no nutrition. I had a head of cabbage sitting in the fridge and I didn’t want it to go to waste, so naturally I searched “cabbage” into Pinterest. I got some inspiration for this from a specific pin, but honestly, the recipe did not meet my expectations, so I’m not even going to bother posting the original recipe. Too much olive oil, too wet of a salad… it was just bad.

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Instead, I’ll give you MY recipe for delicious summer slaw. Its packed with veggies and has a delicious dressing, so it doesn’t even feel like work to eat something so healthy. It took me awhile to make my own variation on that original pin, but I think this recipe is the perfect solution! Here’s what you need for the salad itself:
-5 cups of shredded cabbage [you can buy prepackaged, but I prefer organic, so I sliced my own]
-1 cup of corn [if you’re using canned corn, make sure to drain the corn before using]
-1 red bell pepper chopped
-1 avocado [not too ripe] cubed

Then for the salad dressing:
-1 Tb Extra virgin olive oil
-2 limes juiced
-4 Tb greek yogurt
-1.5 Tb honey
-1 Tb hot sauce
– **optional** 1/2 cup of cilantro leaves

Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. [If you do choose to use cilantro, I would blend these ingredients in a nutribullet or blender]. Add all of the cabbage salad ingredients to a large bowl. Pour half the dressing over the salad and mix with your hands or with tongs. Continue to add dressing to your taste, and that’s it! You can even make this hours ahead of time and it still tastes great whenever you decide it’s meal time.

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We served our slaw with some roasted chicken drumsticks. YUM. I felt like it was a good way to get us back on the healthy eating track after a crazy week of compromise.

Seared Steak and Crispy Potato Salad

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Believe it or not, my husband made this, 100% by himself, for me the other night.

When I am pregnant, my entire world stops. Cooking makes me sick, dirty dishes make me sick, in fact, everything in the kitchen nauseates me. During these times, Hubs can really step up to the plate to take care of his 1st trimester wife [the struggle is real!] I really can’t stand all the preparation it takes to make a good meal and all the different smells that permeate the kitchen while I cook.

I have to admit, we’ve had fast food pretty much twice a week, but then our Hello Fresh box came in the mail! Since all the ingredients are separated out, it made meal prep super easy for my husband. He was able to follow their easy directions, cook a meal for me, and simultaneously entertain our daughter. It’s been such a blessing not to have to worry about cooking, and know I can still have a delicious meal made with fresh ingredients from my helpful hubby.

I know several people who have gotten offers in the mail for “free 3 meals” from this company and I say, DO IT! It makes life so much easier, and you pick up a few tips and tricks for cooking in the future.

I swear I’m not being paid to endorse Hello Fresh, it is just some thing that has been a lifesaver for us this past week while I’ve been sick, and I think they are superior to the other food services we have tried. I mean this potato salad, had tomatoes and green beans all tossed in a delicious shallot pan-sauce. I love my husband, but I don’t think he could have come up with that on his own.

In any case, if you’re not feeling up to trying Hello Fresh, try some thing new this week. Better yet, print out a recipe for your husband to follow and cook for you! Ha! Have a great week everyone.