Thursday, April 26, 2012

Egg and cheese burritos


Egg and cheese burritos. A simple, filling, healthy breakfast. If only I had extra time in the morning to make this more often! I am not a morning person-- but I'm also not a night owl. Ironically, though, I really don't like to sleep in too late. I hate losing some of  my day!  Since I'm not a morning person, I seem to be rushing around every morning trying to get Kaydin and I out the door on time.  Scrambling eggs just so not make on the the agenda for a weekday morning.   A couple weeks ago, though, I found a solution to that.  One evening for supper I was craving a breakfast burrito. And since I was chopping veggies and dirtying a skillet anyway, I decided to triple the amount and have some leftovers for easy meals later in the week!


Start by chopping up some vegetables. This is where you can be creative and customize it to your liking. I had onion, mushrooms and green peppers on hand so that's what I used. The amount is up to you, also. I like egg dishes that are heavy on the veggies so I chopped up a bunch. 
Heat a small amount of olive oil in a pan, about 1-2 tablespoons, over medium heat.  Then, throw in your mound of chopped vegetables.  Let these saute away until slightly cooked, about 5-6 minutes.
When I make scrambled eggs, I like to add hot sauce. It doesn't make it hot, just gives it a good flavor.  Whisk these up with a small amount of milk and pour over the veggies on the stovetop. Cook the egg and veggie mixture just like you would your regular scrambled eggs, stirring occasionally.

Heat your whole wheat tortilla in the microwave about 20 seconds, just enough to warm it and add a small portion of your eggs on top. Finish your burrito by adding shredded cheese and salsa. Wrap it up and enjoy! My five eggs lasted me three meals, that night, the next day for lunch and breakfast the day after that! Easy peasy!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Chocolate and peanut butter chip cookie dough balls

MAKE THESE!! Right now! Go on, get mixing!
These cookie dough balls are awesome! And really easy. I'm sure you have everything in your pantry already. Except maybe peanut butter chips? Those aren't actually in the original recipe. I added those in cuz I know Tim and when I make anything without peanut butter, I ALWAYS hear "these would be good with peanut butter." I've learned to be one step ahead of him and just add it. That guarantees a seal of approval in our house!

So, anyway, if all you are missing is the peanut butter chips, no worries, leave 'em out! Everyone knows the main reason you make cookies is to eat some of the dough, anyway. Now you get the best of both worlds.  Pillows of doughy goodness and gooey melty chocolate and peanut butter chips!


  
Chocolate and peanut butter chip cookie dough balls
Adapted from My Life As A Mrs.

Ingredients:
1 stick salted butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon double acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°.
Cream together butter and sugars until combined well. Make sure the butter is softened and not melted. This will help ensure that the cookies won't spread. Add egg and vanilla and beat until thoroughly combined (be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl).
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add half of the dry mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until it starts to come together. Add the remaining half of the dry mixture to the wet ingredients, and mix until well combined (try not to over mix - let it all come together but don't beat it longer than that).
Lastly, fold in the chocolate chips. Scoop into balls using a 1 1/2" cookie dough scoop (or just guesstimate with your hands). Place them evenly spaced apart on a cookie sheet.  They don't need a whole lot of space between them since they don't spread like normal cookies.
Bake for 10-11 minutes. Make sure to not over bake them! They make look undercooked-- and they are!! They are dough balls, not the normal baked cookies. You want them to be soft on the inside. Remove from oven and allow to cool and set for 2-3 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Our weekend

Hey Everyone! Happy Weekend! Too bad it's coming to an end :(  Why is it that weekends always seem to fly by and the weekdays can take forever?

Kaydin scored two goals at her soccer game on Saturday morning! That's three so far for the season!
After the game, Kaydin and I ran some errands and Tim got some stuff done around the house. Later in the afternoon the weather cleared up and we took the pups for a long walk.




Once back from our walk we got working on our supper. Chicken sausages and grilled romaine salads (recipe to come). I made myself my favorite drink, coconut rum with pineapple juice, and Tim opened up a bottle of wine- a red I actually liked! That hardly ever happens unless it's Stella Rosa!






The next morning we had a yummy breakfast of waffles.  I used the quick method of the pre-made mix and added a few extras to it.  I used a whole wheat pancake and waffle mix and mixed some pumpkin puree into the batter, then threw in a few handfuls of chocolate chips for good measure! Kaydin asked for sprinkles on hers, had to make it extra pretty!

Last summer I bought a zoo and science center membership. We had yet to make it to the science center. Today was the day to venture down there before it was too late and our year pass was up!

 Right now there is an exhibit going on called Lost Egypt. There are many artifacts on display including a human mummy. And a camel! Climb on up!

Des Moines' new weather girl!
 We made our way through a few exhibits and then headed to the IMAX theater. After the movie started Kaydin looked at me and said, "Are the seats really moving?!?" It didn't make her dizzy though, and she made it through the whole movie. We saw Born to be Wild about raising orphan elephants and monkeys. Before the movie was even over Kaydin decided she wanted to bring home baby elephants and keep them in her room!
Next on the agenda was a little cleaning. I finally broke out the broom and cleaned off the patio from all the built up leaves from last fall and planted a few herbs.  I should have done this long ago but better late than never!  We finished off the night with a new cookie recipe that I'll share soon!

What did you do this weekend?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Apple Carrot Muffins

I don't know about you but once spring and warmer weather is here, my eating tends to get lighter, also. More snack-like healthy meals like cold sandwiches, cottage cheese, and grapes; a fruit and protein smoothie; a HUGE salad filled with LOTS of veggies and a hard boiled egg. Love clean, fresh eating when the weather is nice. It just goes hand in hand. Along with all the fresh, light, fare I have still been juicing several times per week.  I have been making my juice with a bunch of different fruits and vegetables all thrown into the juicer. This resulted in a mish mash of pulp coming out the shoot. I hated the thought of just throwing it all away but with such a jumble of fruits and vegetables, I didn't know what I could do with it!  This week, though, I decided to keep my carrots and apples separate to use the pulp to make some muffins. Easy solution!
First, mix all your wet ingredients. I used a little extra milk to make sure the muffins wouldn't turn out really dry.
Next, mix in the dry ingredients and spoon into a muffin tin.


These turned out really well!! And now no guilt for being wasteful of the pulp I get after juicing all my precious whole foods! Kaydin has been sneaking these muffins before and after school. This is one snack I don't mind her sneaking, though!

Apple Carrot Muffins
Adapted from WholeFoods.com
Makes 18 muffins

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon non-aluminum baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups carrot and apple pulp
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 teaspoon real vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Fill a 12-cup standard muffin tin with muffin papers. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the wet ingredients. Then add the dry ingredients. Mix well. Spoon batter into muffin cups and bake about 25 minutes or until a toothpick in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Baked Parmesan Chicken Fingers and Baked Mozzarella Cheese Bites

My favorite place to go out to eat when I was little was a little local restaurant called The Villager. Every time I went there I would order the chicken strips and french fries with a chocolate shake! These days I don't eat that meal too often but recently I was craving it! Since the restaurant is now about 3 hours from me I did the next best think and made some baked chicken strips at home.
First, I pounded out some boneless, skinless chicken breasts so they were of uniform thickness. Then, cut your breast pieces into tenderloins so they are strip-shaped.
These are all of the ingredients I used for the coating. No, that's not feta cheese in the background, it's just some whole wheat bread crumbs. When my bread isn't fresh anymore, I leave it out on the counter to dry and then make my own bread crumbs in the food processor. Way cheaper! And no waste!
L-R: 21 Seasoning Salute from Trader Joe's, panko bread crumbs (a Japanese bread crumb that gives a really crunchy texture), paprika, whole wheat bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, and grated Parmesan cheese.
I made things easy on myself and followed the same dipping routine I used for my little cheese bites. I used about a cup of milk as the first dip and mixed up the spices and breadcrumbs for the next dip. I didn't measure anything out, just a little of this, little more of that. Add your spices to taste. I seem to be taking after my mom and Grandma Lyon more everyday. They never measured anything. Whenever I need to call my mom for some recipe help she never has exact measurements of baking times for me. I hate it! But I seem to be following right behind.  For this dish, though, exact measurements are not critical. Add however much you would like.
Bake at 425 degrees for about 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the coating is crispy.

This picture did not turn out well, but these were good!! And so easy. All I did was chop mozzarella string cheese into little bite size pieces, dropped the pieces in the milk, and then rolled in the breadcrumb mixture, the same process I used with the chicken strips.. Make sure to watch them closely in the oven, though, otherwise they will melt all over and not be a cheeseball anymore. I got the idea for these cheese balls from Pinterest at this link.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Thrift store finds

When I was back home at Mom and Dad's for Easter weekend, Mom and I made a quick trip to the local thrift store. Last time I was home I noticed a bunch of glassware in the window. I've really been into glass lately for some reason. I envision lots of colored glass jars, vases, anything displayed in my kitchen and a china cabinet. 

 I found some great things! And some of it was even 50% off. You know me, I love a great deal!
 I picked up these two huge wine glasses for $.50 a piece.
 This pitcher didn't have a price on it. I asked the cashier and she rang it up at $3.00-- BUT with 50% off. Yep, I know you're jealous. I lovely 1970's pitcher for only $1.50!! It's colored glass. Perfect for my latest obsession! Perfect for some sangria this summer!
 This little flower bowl was only $.75 and will be perfect for a blog prop ;) Maybe a little ice cream.
 No idea what I'm gonna use these for but they'll look cool in a cabinet someday.
 Gotta pick up mason jars when they are only $.25! Yay for consignment shops!
All my goods I found that day only totaled to $10.48!! I get so excited when I find a good deal! Yes, I know, I'm a nerd!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Superstar, part 3

Friday night we headed to the other side of town to find two other billboards that were to be posted for the month of April.

We found them!! A Kaydin Baby 30 feet tall! So cool to see! She was definitely giddy to see herself and we are so proud of her for her accomplishments!
 This one is at SE 14th and Maury St.




 This one is placed on Kia just to the SE of the University and Carpenter intersection. It was placed on a hill where we could easily climb up onto the platform. So that's just what we did!



 (source)

After checking out the billboards we proceeded on with Pizza Friday Night. It had been a few weeks since we had pizza so we decided to try a new place, Gusto Pizza Co. Fun atmosphere, a large wine and beer selection, and great pizza! If you are in the area, near Ingersoll and MLK Parkway, check it out!  We chose the buffalo and pesto with balsamic chicken, both really good :)  Let me know your favorite when you stop in! Next time I'm definitely trying the Il Figaro!