Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cheeseburger Zucchini Boats

Winter is here!!!! :) We had snow yesterday and I love it!!! It is mostly melted now but still, snow falling is one of my favorite things!!! It is just so beautiful!!! :) 

Good news -- Yesterday was my first alone day with the kiddos. That is right, no help and I made it without any contractions!!! I even prepared a delicious meal that everyone enjoyed! Yesterday was a good day!!! 

Towards the end of each pregnancy I begin to crave cheeseburgers. I think mainly the burger and cheese! :) Yesterday was a craving day and I came up with this take! 
Don't those good yummy!!! Much better than a bun or even lettuce!!!

The Ingredients:
2 medium sized zucchinis - center scooped out
1 small onion, diced
1 lb ground beef
1 can of tomato sauce (homemade or store bought)
basil, nutmeg, garlic

EXTRAS - black beans, olives, tomatoes, green peppers or even jalapenos.

The Directions:
Scoop out the middle of the zucchini. Cut zucchini inside into smaller pieces and set aside.
Brown meat and diced onion until the meat is completely browned. Drain grease.
Add zucchini pieces and any extras to pan and begin to cook. After 2 minutes add the meat back to the pan and mix together. Add tomato sauce and seasonings.

Scoop meat mixture into zucchini boats and top with cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes uncovered or until the zucchini boat is tender.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Small Business Saturday!!!

Just another quick posts to share a few of my favorite small business companies!!! 

 These are my family’s “medicine cabinet”.  I particularly like Theives Oil to stave off winter infections and various ickiness, RC to relieve congestion, Lavender for relaxation and skin irritations and Peppermint for headaches, upset tummy and cough.
For more information, go here!!!

Another family favorite:

Hubby and I love candles and room sprays. We enjoy a great smelling house and love trying out new scents! Last year, I was introduced to Scentsy!!! Last year, I threw a party around the Christmas and a friend of mine decided to join the Scentsy team and my addition has grown. 

For those of you who do not know, Scentsy is a wickless candle, called a Scentsy Bar or a Scentsy Brick, is a highly fragrant wax bar that is warmed to release fragrance into the air. Because the wax is gently warmed rather than burned, it can hold more fragrance oil than a traditional candle. And, because there is no flame, there is no smoke, soot, or lead. Scentsy wickless candles are a safer alternative to traditional candles.

I love Scentsy more than candles because they are safe with my little ones. My 4 year old has touched the wax, completely melted and it did not burn him. It is more of a paraffin dip type wax. I love that Scentsy has so many different warmers to choose from and they can go with the decor of the room vs just a plain glass jar a candle comes in... (warmer pictured above!)

If you would like to check out Scentsy a little further and help support a small business this Holiday, go here. Be prepared to stay at the site awhile because there is A LOT of great products and amazing scents!!!

Another product that I will be getting my family this year is Arbonne Arbonne is committed to the development of unparalleled products free of harmful ingredients, using a combination of botanical principles and scientific discover. Arbonne personal care and nutrition products are vegan-certified: Our formulas are never tested on animals and do not contain animal-derived ingredients or animal by-products.

I have been using Arbonne for my boys ever since 4 year old was born. I was given some as a gift and just ordered for them. 

The past 9 months, I have been solely using Arbonne face, body and hair products. Yes, I am young and have to develop many fine lines and wrinkles but I have noticed that the small amount of wear my face did have, has gone diminished and I am very happy with the results that I have seen. 

October, I purchased SKY, the men's cologne for Hubby and LOVE IT! It amazing!!! Hubby also uses Arbonne products. They have a great shaving cream that he has been using for 6 months. He really likes it because it leaves his shave close and smooth with no irritations. 

For more information and to look at the product lines, go here

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

There is something about PUMPKIN and CHOCOLATE -- I LOVE THEM TOGETHER!!! I have mixed the two in several recipes but not since limiting the grains in our house. I have made bread, cake, cookies and pie with them!!! This year I had not had the chance to work with the two to create a yummy cookie, until now!!! 

Let me tell you --- 
It is not too late to make these easy grain-free delicious cookies!!!! 

It is a simple recipe and luckily I had everything on hand!
 I love when that happens!!!

These cookies were so yummy I could have eaten them all myself! :) 
The Ingredients:
1 cup almond flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 TBSP cinnamon
1 egg
3 TBSP pure maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup crushed dark chocolate pieces (I used some 85% and some 65%, both dairy and soy free)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree 

Preheat oven to 400. In a mixing bowl combine the almond flour, baking powder and cinnamon. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg, maple syrup, vanilla and coconut milk. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in the pumpkin and chocolate pieces. Spoon onto a nonstick cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 20 minutes. Enjoy the sweet, moist, chocolatey-ness! 

ENJOY!!! I think I am off to create a pumpkin and chocolate bread for tomorrow morning!!! :) Hello, late pumpkin and chocolate late kick! :) 

Day after Thanksgiving Turkey Bone Soup

My mother-in-law made a delicious day after Thanksgiving soup with the left over bones and some turkey! 

I love using the bones from chicken, beef or turkey to create a delicious soup! There is just so much flavor left and the broth is WONDERFUL!!!! There are many ways this soup can be made and it all depends on you and your families preferences.

The Ingredients:
Turkey bones
water to cover bones
leftover turkey
celery chunks
pea, carrot, green bean mixed bag
seasonings - chicken bouillon cube, soup base, salt, pepper, basil (whatever you want!)

*you can add rice or noodles
** you can add more vegetables

The Directions:
Add bones to a large soup pot. Cover bones with water and add onion and celery chunks. Add seasonings and cover and let cook on low for several hours. Take bones out and pick off all the extra meat from the bones. Cut the celery into smaller pieces. Add turkey pieces back to pot along with all the other ingredients. Boil until the carrots are tender.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Turkey

Sunday, we celebrated Thanksgiving with Hubby's family. I was in charge of the turkey and some sides.

I did not take any pictures but the turkey and the food was amazing and so delicious!!! I have found that seasoning turkey can be real simple.

The Ingredients:
22 lb turkey
3 TBSP Butter (Olive Oil works well too)
Salt and Pepper
Basil and Parsley

The Directions:
I cut small holes in the turkey and stuff butter inside. Rub 1 TBSP on the outside of the turkey. I also stick all the extra butter inside the bird. Season the outside of the bird with all the seasonings.

Cook the Turkey according to the weight.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tiny Prints

Since cooking has been lacking, I thought it would be fun to show you a few Holiday favorites... From Cards to gift ideas to kid projects to desserts (already have made) and much much more.. 

First up --- TINY PRINTS

Tiny Prints is running an offer for bloggers!
Head on over to Tiny Prints Christmas Card Selection to see their awesome cards.
Here is the one I really like.

Christmas Cards Merry-Making - Front : White
I like that card design because it allows you to have a lot of photos all in one space but keeps it looking simple. 

But I also like this one.

I guess I will just have to wait and see what the pictures from our family shoot look like then choose a card!!!

Are you a blogger? Sign up here to receive 50 free cards through Tiny Prints! Awesome!!!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Pumpkin Cupcakes just in time for Thanksgiving!!! These bad boys were so delicious!

The Ingredients:
1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted
6 omega 3 eggs
1/4 cup coconut oil
4 dates, 1 tsp water 1 tsp vanilla (date mixture)
1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon pumpkin spice blend

The Directions:
Preheat oven to 350.
In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients.
Add dates to microwave safe glass bowl. Add water and vanilla. Microwave for 30 seconds-1 minute. Mash mixture with fork until the dates are a evenly mashed.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine wet ingredients and blend with a hand mixer.
Pour wet ingredients into dry and blend with a hand mixer until evenly combined.
Lightly grease mini cake or loaf pans with coconut oil.
Pour batter into mini cake pans, or mini loaf pans.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, check with a toothpick.

Cinnamon Frosting
The Ingredients:
1 cup palm shortening
1 tablespoon raw honey
1 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon

The Directions:
Blend all ingredients with a hand mixer until fluffy.
Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to a week.

My hubby wanted the frosting a little more sweet tasting, so I added 4 drops of Stevia and a little more vanilla. 

I sprinkled the iced cupcakes with Pumpkin Spice. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Guayaki Tea

Several years ago a coworker introduced me to Guayaki Tea when he started drinking the tea everyday! :) I was curios on the tea so I googled them and the information about the company made me love them even more!

Did you know that Guayaki employs their market driven restoration business model which works to protect and restore the South American Atlantic Rainforest where farmers grow and harvest Guayaki in its natural habitat. Guayaki’s stated mission is to steward and restore 200,000 acres of forest and create 1000 living wage jobs.

Did you also know that on Guayaki site they have a great caffeine meter that tells you how much caffeine is in each drink.
VERY COOL and helpful for someone trying to cut down or limit the caffeine intake! 

Guayaki needs your help!!!! They have been nominated in the BBC World Challenge, a competition that recognizes innovative businesses working towards sustainable and green causes. Guayaki needs votes to win and we would love your help! The competition closes on 11/11.

If you have yet to try their tea, it is a must!!! The flavors are great!!!! 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I often state that I love soups!!! I think a new reason is because you can enjoy leftovers all week! :) A few weeks ago a friend of mine brought my family and I dinner while I was on my strict bed rest. She made a delicious Chicken Tortilla Soup. We enjoyed it so much and are so grateful for wonderful friends!!! 

I have been wanting some more! I came up with this little mixture that was amazing! Feel free to leave out or add more ingredients! This was our treat night dinner!!!! 

 I love that you can add as much vegetable as you want in this soup and it will still be so delicious!!!!

The Ingredients:
4 - 5 chicken breast
taco seasoning packet (chill powder, garlic, cumin and a little sea salt)
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 medium zucchini, cut into little pieces
*if you want to add a can of black beans or corn feel free too!
1 can diced tomato and green chili
1 box trader joes chicken broth
3 TBSP tomato paste
*corn or flour tortillas if you want to 

The Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix cumin, chili pepper, garlic powder, and salt. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil on chicken breasts, then sprinkle a small amount of spice mix on both sides. Set aside the rest of the spice mix.
Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until chicken is done. Use two forks to shred chicken. Set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pot over medium high heat. Add onions, red pepper, green pepper, and minced garlic. Stir and begin cooking, then add the rest of the spice mix. Stir to combine, then add shredded chicken and zucchini and stir. 
Pour in Rotel, chicken stock, tomato paste, water, and black beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes, uncovered.
Check seasonings, adding more if needed---add more chili powder if it needs more spice, and be sure not to undersalt. Turn off heat and allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. 

** IF you are adding the tortilla strips add five minutes before serving, gently stir in tortilla strips. The soup is good with or without the strips!!! 
Ladle into bowls, then top with sour cream, diced red onion, diced avocado, pico de gallo, and grated cheese, if you have it! (The garnishes really make the soup delicious.)

I love that you can add and take away any ingredient you want and this soup will be so tasty and delicious!!! ENJOY!!!!
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