We are often looking for yummy but healthy snacks for in between meals and this is one of our favorites. And it's super fast and simple. Just throw some slices of avocado (I like my slices pretty thick) onto a slice of toast and sprinkle on some kosher salt. Now you could leave it just like that and it tastes really good. However we like to drizzle on some Bolthouse Farms Yogurt Dressing - Salsa Ranch flavor. If I ever track anything, I tend to pay attention to calories. So one perk to using this is the enormous difference in calories. Hidden Valley ranch dressing has 140 calories in 2 tablespoons. Bolthouse Yogurt dressing has 45 calories in 2 tablespoons. That's 95 calories folks!
And in case anyone else is thinking it, it turns out that it's pretty hard to get a yummy looking picture of your toast when your salad dressing just glops out of the bottle. So gloppy...but so delicious!
In case you didn't catch it, that stands for strawberry-apple-peach-zucchini juice. This is one of our favorite recipes. For those who are concerned about tasting vegetables, you can't taste the zucchini at all. This is a very light and fruity tasting juice.
This recipe made 4 cups of juice. Simply add to your juicer 1 zucchini, 2 yellow peaches (chopped up into large pieces - do not add the pit), 2 gala apples, and 10 strawberries.
This is what you're left with! Give it a good stir and chug down those nutrients!
For the majority of juicers, all of this rings true:
1. Turn your juicer on and let it run for about 10-15 seconds to let it warm up.
2. Unless your fruit has a pit, you can throw the whole fruit in - leaves, stems, skin and all. I do like to remove produce stickers though. :)
3. For citrus fruits (lemon, limes, and oranges), you might want to remove the skin. Otherwise your juice will have a relatively bitter taste.
4. Never run avocados or bananas through your juicer. If you want to add these to your juice, make your juice first and then blend in your banana or avocado.
5. When you're finished, let your juicer run for 10-15 seconds to ensure all the juice has gotten out. We've started washing our juicer right away. It's much easier to clean while the pulp is still wet.
My house stinks. Well, not anymore. But it did. As if there were an old diaper hiding somewhere. Which sadly is a very likely possibility....
But this. This helped. My husband even walked in the front door and said, "That smells so stinkin' good!" and immediately realized what an oxymoron that is.
All you need is:
~ 4 cups of water
~ 2ish tablespoons of dried rosemary
~ 1 tablespoon vanilla
~ 1 lemon, sliced
Mix all of those things together and bring to a boil. Let it boil for a few minutes, reduce the heat to simmer, and let it sit. When you notice the water is a little low, just add a little bit more!
Apparently, this can simmer all day if you want. I've had mine simmering for a few hours now. Every now and then I give it a little stir when I walk by. So easy and smells so good!
I've had a hard time finding oven baked chicken nuggets that I really like but these actually fit the bill. Even my 10 month old son ate SIX of them...the same amount as his 3 year old sister. The teenage years are going to kill us.
~ 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
~ 1 egg, lightly beaten
~ 1 cup bread crumbs (I used Italian style)
~ 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I used a fresh block of Parmesan over my zester)
~ 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
~ salt and pepper
~ 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces (I used thin-sliced chicken breasts)
~ cooking spray
1. Preheat your oven to 400. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place flour in a shallow bowl. Place egg in second shallow bowl. Combine bread crumbs, cheese, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper in third shallow bowl.
3. Dip each piece of chicken into flour, then in egg, then roll in bread crumb mixture. Place on prepared baking sheet. Spray chicken with cooking spray.
4. Bake for 25 minutes or until nuggets are browned and cooked through.
A while back JP saw a man-cave pillow and he immediately pinned it. I feel like those things should not be in the same sentence. Pinterest is a woman's world. Go back to Craigslist, JP. ;) As with most things, we decided to make it ourselves instead of buy it.
Freezer paper stenciling is easy peasy. We chose to stencil a throw pillow cover that we bought at Hobby Lobby when they were 50% off. We spent a whopping $3 on the cover. I can't remember all the prices of the other items needed so I can't provide a cost break down. I can tell you it won't cost you $25-$50 like it would if you bought them off Etsy. A dear friend made Big Bro and Big Sis shirts for her kiddos. The possibilities are seemingly endless!
For a pillow, all you need is:
Freezer paper (which surprisingly only comes in gigantic rolls...)
Fabric paint (we found ours at WalMart)
Foam paint brush
To begin, print out whatever it is you'd like to stencil. Lay down your freezer paper, shiny/waxy side down, and tape your paper to it. Then tape your freezer paper to your cutting surface.
(Do you like our ombre gun?)
Carefully cut out the image. Please don't cut your finger off.*
We put a plastic cutting board inside the pillowcase before we began. Place your "stencil" on your fabric, again shiny/waxy side down. Using an iron on a no-steam setting, firmly press straight down for several seconds, making sure the paper adheres to the fabric.
Trace the perimeter of your image with your fabric paint.
We think this part is relatively important, especially if you like to rush. Gently spread the paint onto the fabric by pulling the paint towards the center. This way you avoid any risk of accidentally pulling the freezer paper up and causing paint bleeding.
Once it's nice and covered, go over it once more, lightly, making sure your strokes go in one direction. Let it sit for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, gingerly pull the freezer paper up at an angle. Don't rush!
That's it! You're done! Follow the instructions on your paint bottle concerning drying time. Our bottle suggested 4 hours to handle, 24 hours to wash.
These kale chips are super yummy and much healthier than the regular potato chip alternative. And they're super easy to make. So it's a win-win-win.
~ kale (we like to use the pre-chopped kind)
~ olive oil
~ sea salt
~ garlic powder
1. Preheat your oven to 375. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper. We've really found this is key to getting them all crunchy. At least for us it is.
2. Spread the kale into an even layer over the parchment paper. It cooks down a lot so really pile it on there.
Ours went from this...
3. Drizzle olive oil on top and toss the kale around on the baking sheet.
4. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and garlic powder all over. (Be careful with the garlic powder...a little goes a long way!)
5. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until crispy.
And that's it! Crunch away!
This rice is one of our all-time favorite sides...and one that we don't make often enough.
Now listen to me very carefully. Unless you L-O-V-E the taste of dill, follow the fresh herb measurements exactly. After making this a couple of times, I decided I wanted to make it for my family. With a combination of being a little too confident and wanting to look like a fancy cook who just throws things together in a food processor, I added WAY too much dill, thus, completely grossing out my family and therefore deterring them from ever trying it again. Including, at the time, my newly pregnant sister who was already battling morning sickness. I literally forced her to eat some. (My bad, Kare-bear...)
So heed my warning and you will love this as much as we do!
~ 2 tablespoons of butter
~ 1 1/4 cups long-grain white rice
~ 2 1/4 cups chicken stock, divided
~ 1 honeycrisp, gala, or golden delicious apple - seeded and chopped
~ 3/4 cup packed flat-leaf parsley
~ 1/4 cup packed fresh dill
~ 1 6oz. brick sharp white cheddar cheese, cut into small 1/4 inch cubes
1. In a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the rice and toast for a minute or two.
2. Add 2 cups of chicken stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Add the apple and simmer for 8 minutes.
4. While the rice cooks, using a food processor, combine 1/4 cup chicken stock, the parsley, dill, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until finely chopped. Stir into the rice during the last minute of cooking.
5. Turn off the heat and let the rice stand, covered, for a couple of minutes before fluffing with a fork. Stir in the cheese cubes, cover, and allow the cheese to get good and melted before serving.
Our Alabama-house house tour continues...and seeing that it's been more than a month since my last post, it's apparently happening in very slow motion. Ever since a certain toddler in my life dropped her naptime, my time to blog is sometimes hard to find. I'm sure I'll figure life out again.
Onward into the kitchen. Unfortunately these are the only before photos I could find, and they're from the week we moved in. I never imagined we'd really do anything to make it over, and even still we didn't do much, but I'm glad we did.
This room had functioned as almost every type of room you can imagine. First it was a storage room, then an office, then a guest room, and finally (my favorite) a little boy's nursery. Because we knew we would be moving shortly after his birth, we didn't do everything we wanted to do. For example, we wanted to hang a floating shelf with an industrial style bar attached to the bottom to act as a closet. However, we gave Eli's room just enough awesome to officially welcome him into our family.
(Fabric banner made by my friend Becki)
(Big shout-out to my older sister for the chevron canvas!)