Friday, June 26, 2015

Clean Eating Recipes

Happy Summer! We have been on vacation the past couple of weeks to Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, and Florida. We had a blast seeing family and friends. We also got to see my sister get promoted to Captain in the Army - we are so proud of her! We had a wonderful week in Florida at a Marriott Vacation Club in Orlando for a week and got to experience Disney World for four days and LegoLand for a day. What a blast we all had and really focused on staying cool in the pirate pool at the hotel in the afternoons when it went up to 100 degrees! So hot! I must say my favorite part of our FL vacation was seeing our kids' faces light up when they watched the performances or while riding a ride. The Magic Kingdom Electric Safari Parade and the light show on Cinderella's castle were amazing and ended with fireworks! We have made such nice memories.

Well, as with most vacations, we did not eat as healthy as we could have. So, once we got home I have placed us all on a clean eating diet! Here are a few recipes we have tried. I hope you enjoy them - they have simple ingredients and are very flavorful, and healthy!

Whole Wheat English muffin with 2 slices of turkey bacon and one egg

Chicken Salad: 4 baked chicken breasts shredded with 1/2 cup sliced grapes and 1/2 diced red onion
Clean Ranch dressing: 5 tbsp buttermilk, 3 tbsp Greek yogurt, 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp dried dill, 1/2 tsp parsley, 1/2 tsp chives, 1/2 tsp salt, pepper to taste

Smoothie: 1 banana, 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1/4 cup blueberries, 4 strawberries, 1 cup orange juice

1 cup Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup blueberries, 2 tbsp granola

Clean Eating Taco Seasoning: 2 tbsp cumin, 1 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/2 chili powder

Whole Wheat tortilla with taco meat, sliced cherry tomatoes, 1 tbsp shredded cheese and guacamole (2 avocados, garlic powder, Creole seasoning, lime, dash of salt)

Garlic Chicken with Zucchini and Corn: 1 lb chicken cut in cubes, 2 cups corn, 1/4 cup dill, 2 cloves of garlic minced, 1 sliced zucchini, 2 tsp pepper, 3/4 tsp salt, 2 tsp olive oil


Monday, June 8, 2015

Summer Happenings!

We are Philadelphians! We moved into our new Row House last week and have been unpacking boxes ever since... we never knew how much stuff we had until our basement had everything from our garage in it! We currently do not have a garage, or much of a backyard, but we are learning to make the best of all these new changes. I will admit, I did find a grocery store that I probably will not go back to, only to find one in the other direction that seems to be much safer - win! One thing we are trying to embrace is that you WALK EVERYWHERE. Plus parking is a nightmare so it sort of forces you to walk. We have found the awesome running trail along the river and a great local park for the boys. We even got a tour of Kinley's new preschool. The boys are doing really well adjusting and we have made some new friends already!

Today we had local Philly Cheesesteaks and they were amazing! We have also been to a few restaurants around our neighborhood and really look forward to the next two years!

We spent a few weeks at my parents house in Maryland and had a crab/shrimp boil. We actually had a local grocery store steam the crab legs for us - super easy.  I also made a fresh strawberry and blueberry tart. They were simple recipes and I hope you have a great Summer!

Crab/Shrimp Boil

- Zatarain's Crab Boil in a bag, or 3 tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
- 12 baby red potatoes
- 6 ears of corn, broke in half
- 12 oz. bottle of beer
- 1 onion, quartered
- 2 lbs. smoked sausage, cut in 1 inch pieces
- 1 lb. raw shrimp, fresh or frozen

1. In a stockpot, add seasoning, beer, potatoes, corn, sausage, and onion.
2. Cover with water.
3. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
4. Add shrimp and allow to steam for 3 minutes.
5. Drain the liquid in the sink and serve boil.

Stockpot with Crab Boil in a bag

 Filling the stockpot up with water

 Steamed shrimp


 Steamed crab legs

Maryland Crab and Shrimp Boil

Rustic Strawberry and Blueberry Tart

- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 2 tbsp. cold water

- 3 handfuls of strawberries, quartered
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 3 tbsp. flour
- 3 tbsp. sugar

1. In a medium bowl, mix strawberries, blueberries, sugar and flour together. Set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, mix flour, sugar, butter and salt in a food processor or with an electric mixer until it resembles course breadcrumbs.
3. Add the egg yolk and water. Mix on low until dough forms. Wrap your dough in cling wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
4. Roll out your dough on a floured surface, in a thin, round shape.
5. Place dough on a parchment paper lined baking sheet (or greased foil). Place filling in the middle of your rolled out dough and roughly fold the edges up around the filling.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.

 Strawberry and blueberry filling

 Rustic tart before baking

Perfect Summer Dessert!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Red Sangria

Memorial Day celebrations are fun since it is a long weekend and many people get together to BBQ and welcome the beginning of Summer into their lives! But, being a former military officer and married to one, we know that remembering those who paid the ultimate sacrifice and honoring the fallen is what this weekend is about. They will never be forgotten.

I hope you all have a great weekend and enjoy some Red Sangria! I've been making this for years and my mom has a smaller pitcher, so I only did one bottle of wine and halved the rest of the recipe. We will be having a crab and shrimp boil later that I will post about and I hope to try out a strawberry tart recipe!

Red Sangria

- 2 bottles red wine, prefer Cabernet Sauvignon
- 1 cup brandy
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4  cup orange liqueur
- 1 lb. strawberries, hulled and halved
- 2 limes, thinly sliced
- 2 oranges, thinly sliced
- 1 lemons, thinly sliced
- 1 can lemon-lime soda

1. Stir wine, brandy, sugar and orange liqueur together until sugar dissolves.
2. Add strawberries, limes, oranges and lemon and lightly mull to release the juices.
3. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
4. Add and stir in lemon-lime soda before serving!

 Wine, brandy, and orange liquor 


Sangria Wine


Friday, May 8, 2015

Homemade Zesty Hummus

I have been dying to make my own hummus, since my family loves it so much! I bought some chickpeas and decided to make it. I placed everything in my food processor and let it do all the work. I slowly added my olive oil to get the hummus to the consistency that I wanted. Dip celery, carrots, pita chips, or crackers in it and enjoy!

Anyone do the new iMac update??? iPhoto no longer exists and I do not like the new "Photo" app for my computer. It is super slow and set up poorly. Bummer.

Zesty Hummus

- 2 x 15 oz. cans of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. water
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil + 2 tbsp. to drizzle on top
- 1/4 tsp. cumin
- 1/4 tsp. paprika
- 1/4 tsp. oregano

1. Blend all ingredients in your food processor.

 Rinsed garbanzo beans

 All ingredients in food processor

Zesty Hummus with EVOO drizzle


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter & Banana Quesadilla

Whoa is that a mouthful! These quesadillas will change how you eat breakfast, camp, or even how you do dessert. It was so much fun to make this while we were grilling some brats for dinner and I just added this fun quesadilla on there, too. It melted the chocolate and toasted the tortilla nicely. We can't wait to make these again!

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter & Banana Quesadilla

- tortilla
- peanut butter
- handful of chocolate chips (I used mini sized)
- half a banana, sliced

1. Spread peanut butter on your tortilla.
2. Add your sliced banana and chocolate chips on one half of your tortilla.
3. Fold your tortilla in half.
4. Grill on each side for 2-3 minutes.

 Peanut Butter with sliced banana and chocolate chips

 Grilling the quesadilla 



Monday, April 27, 2015

Chicken Shawarma

If you want a fresh and delicious dinner that doesn't take long to make - this is the meal for you! I made the marinade for the chicken thighs in the morning and let it chill in the refrigerator for the day. The marinade smelled fantastic! I just bought some pita pockets and made some tzatziki sauce and dinner was served.

Lots happening over here in Colorado- I should be leaving here with the kids in a few weeks so Kyle can get the house packed up. I also got a JOB! I will be working for Amazon as a Shift Manager starting this July in Philadelphia. (Logistics!!!) I have a month of training and I can't wait to start this new transition into the civilian workforce. It also gives me great pride to help provide for our family while Kyle is a full-time student at Wharton Business School for the next two years.

Chicken Shawarma
- 2 lb. chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
- lemon juice, 1 lemon
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. pepper
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 2 tsp. paprika
- 1.2 tsp. oregano
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

- Pita bread
- chopped parsley
- cherry tomatos, sliced
- cucumber, cubed
- lettuce

Tzatziki Sauce

- 1 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 Persian cucumber, diced
- juice of 1 lemon
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp. fresh dill
- salt and pepper, to taste

1. Make your marinade and place it on your chicken thighs in a freezer bag, shake to coat your chicken.
2. Pan fry your chicken thighs with some olive oil until browned on each side.
3. To assemble your chicken shawarma, place some cut chicken in your pita bread with some cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley, lettuce, and top with Tzatziki sauce.

 Pan frying marinaded chicken thighs

 Tzatziki sauce

 Pita pockets, chicken, cucumbers and tomatoes, parsley and lettuce, tzatziki sauce

Chicken Shawarma


Friday, April 17, 2015

Frito Snack Mix

Tonight, I am heading to a friends' house and volunteered to bring something salty&sweet - Frito Snack Mix! It made 2 baking sheets worth of mix! Needless to say... one of the baking sheets of snack mix was eaten by my family today... glad it made 2! I can't honestly remember the last time I even ate a Frito, but man are they good. I bought the kind with less sodium, but since the snack mix is coated in brown sugar and butter, it probably won't make much difference! This was super simple to make and can be enjoyed by many if you have an upcoming event or a few people coming over!

Frito Snack Mix

- 2 cups Chex cereal (I used 3)
- 2 cups pretzels (I forgot to buy pretzels)
- 1 1/2 cups nuts (I used almonds, walnuts, peanuts)
- 1 cup mini M&Ms
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- 1/2 cup butter

1. Mix your Fritos, Chex, pretzels, and nuts together in a large bowl.
2. In a saucepan on medium heat, melt your butter, corn syrup, and brown sugar. Bring mixture to a boil and allow to boil for 4 minutes without stirring it (you may need to turn down the heat so mixture doesn't overflow).
3. Meanwhile, line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
4. Add brown sugar mixture to your Fritos mixture and mix well. Place half of the mixture on one baking sheet, and the other half on the other baking sheet.
5. Bake snack mix at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Stir your mixture up and bake for an additional 8 minutes.
6. Once completely cooled, break up your snack mix and place in a bowl or sealable container. Add your M&Ms.

 Chex, nuts, and Fritos

 Brown sugar mixture boiling

 Mixing brown sugar mixture into snack mix

 Baking Sheet

Sweet&Salty Frito Snack Mix