Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Clean Eating Spinach and Pulled Pork

My quest for eating clean and tasty food has gone answered with these two easy dishes! We ate them together, although the pulled pork was more Southern and the spinach was more Asian. Anyways... they were great AND I would make these two recipes again (although probably not together next time!).

My family and I just returned from vacation so I'm catching up on the Blog! We have family in town to celebrate our son, Palmer's 1st Birthday, so I look forward to sharing our party theme with you later this week!

Clean Spinach with Sesame and Garlic


- 1 lb. spinach
- 3 tbsp. sesame oil
- 1 tbsp. minced garlic
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- salt to taste
- 1 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds

1. Place one tbsp. of sesame oil to a frying pan on medium heat. Add the sesame seeds and allow to toast for a few minutes, set aside.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and allow spinach to cook down until wilted. Serve immediately!

Spinach with Sesame Seeds and Garlic

Clean Crock Pot Pulled Pork


- 14 oz. can tomato sauce
- 3/4 cup applesauce, unsweetened
- 3 tbsp. honey
- 1 tbsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. paprika (or smoked paprika)
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. liquid smoke
- 3 tbsp. wheat flour (or all purpose flour)
- 2- 2.5 lb. pork loin roast

1. Spray your crockpot with non-stick spray and place all ingredients inside, except the pork and flour.
2. Place pork in slow cooker and spoon sauce on top of it. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours, or on LOW for 5-6 hours.
2. Remove meat from slow cooker and shred with two forks.
3. Place meat back in the slow cooker with the flour and allow to cook for an additional 20 minutes.
4. Serve warm on a bun or on a bed or rice or even lettuce.

Crock Pot Pulled Pork


Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy Purim!

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all! I hope you are enjoying some Irish Soda Bread, Crockpot Corned Beef and some green beer today! This past weekend was the Jewish holiday of Purim, so I made some awesome dough and my 3-year-old and I made Hamantaschen cookies. I remember making these with my mom and grandmother growing up with interesting fillings like lemon, apricot, and poppyseed. I knew my son wouldn't touch the cookies if they had these 'weird' fillings, so we bought some raspberry preserves! These cookies tasted so fresh and I hope you enjoy them!

Hamantaschen Cookies (I halved this recipe to make 30 cookies, original recipe makes 60)


- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. lemon zest (or orange zest)
- 1 tbsp. orange juice
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1 egg, lightly beaten for egg wash
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- raspberry preserves

1. Cream butter and sugar together.
2. Add lemon zest, orange juice, vanilla and egg.
3. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt together.
4. Slowly add flour mixture to butter/sugar mixture until a ball of dough forms.
5. Place dough in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
6. Roll out cookie dough to 1/8 inch thick and using a 3 inch fluted round cutter, cut out your cookies and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
7. Place 1 1/2 tsp. raspberry preserves in the center of cookie and brush sides with the egg wash.
8. Pinch the sides to form a triangle.
9. Bake cookies at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes (mine took 12 min).

 Ball of Cookie Dough

 Round cookie with preserves, and cookie with sides pinched to form triangle 

 My little helper putting the preserves in the center of each cookie (a very sticky job)

 Hamantaschen before being baked

Happy Purim!


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Chinese-Style Turkey Meatballs

I have made this recipe twice in the span of one week. My family is in love with these meatballs and the dipping sauce! Super easy to throw this together and bake the meatballs in the oven for 20 minutes. We have even used the dipping sauce recipe as a marinade for chicken that we baked. We. Love. This. Recipe. So I hope you add it to your meal plan this week!

Meatball Ingredients

- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 2 scallions, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 tbsp. sesame oil
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1 egg, beaten

Sweet Soy Dipping Sauce

- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. rice vinegar
- 2 or 3 slices fresh ginger smashed with heavy knife

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet to place meatballs on.
2. Gently mix all ingredients for the meatballs together and form tablespoon sized scoops between your palms.
3. Arrange the meatballs on the greased cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes until they are browned and cooked through.
4. To make the dipping sauce, heat all ingredients together in a small sauce pan over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
5. Simmer for a few minutes while stirring frequently until the sauce thickens.
6. Fish out the ginger and serve in a small bowl/cup for dipping.

Chinese-Style Turkey Meatballs


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Easy Irish Soda Bread

My husband is Irish, so for the past four years I have been making Irish Soda Bread. I couldn't find my original recipe, so I used Pinterest to find an easy recipe. However, it didn't stop me from adding my secret ingredient - orange zest! This year I made my Soda Bread with cranberries, usually I make it with raisins. We really love the taste of the orange zest with cranberries! Hope you like it as much as we do!

Irish Soda Bread


- 4 cups flour (plus 4 tbsp. at high altitude)
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- 3/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup cranberries
- 2 cups buttermilk
- zest from 1 orange

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a baking sheet.
2. Mix all dry ingredients together, add cranberries.
3. With bread hook attachment, mix in buttermilk and orange zest.
4. Once bread dough has formed, knead into a round shape (or into 2) and place on greased baking sheet. Cut an "X" onto the top of the dough.
5. Bake for 40-45 minutes, mine took about 44 minutes.

 Secret Ingredients

 Bread in round shape with "X" cut on top before being baked 

Baked Irish Soda Bread with butter... delicious!


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Shamrock Decor & Shake

March means new decor! I found the cutest FREE printable of a banner that says, "Lucky You." I couldn't fit the "you" part on my mirror, so we have "Lucky." I found the adorable shamrock above my banner at the Dollar Tree. The framed chalkboard print I bought a few weeks ago for $6 on I don't think they have them available anymore, sorry. I found the little, wooden glitter shamrock from JoAnn's Fabrics for $5. And my decor would not be complete without some Cadbury chocolate eggs. There you have it!

My son's Preschool sends a Newsletter every month and this month they had an Irish Mint Milkshake. So we decided to try it out! I used too much peppermint extract the first time, so we just threw that out and started fresh without the peppermint. My son helped and thought it was so much fun to "make a snack with mommy." Plus he got to press the Blender button.

 St. Patrick's Day Decor

Irish Mint Shake

 Making Shake Snack

It's Green!!!


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Baby's 1st Smash Cake

My baby boy is turning ONE next month. Although sad that my baby will soon be a toddler, I am excited to plan his "Pirate Party." So excited in fact, we took some pictures of him in his "1" shirt while eating a smash cake yesterday. I even decided to try my hand at a healthy smash cake that has bananas and applesauce in it! My son loves bananas - "BA NA NA" - so it fit! This cake was more like a dense banana bread that was very flavorful. The frosting wasn't very sweet, so when it comes time for his real birthday I might add some powdered sugar to sweeten the frosting up a bit!

Banana Smash Cake


- 4 bananas, smashed
- 3/4 cup applesauce
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 1/2 cup wheat flour
- 3 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 2 egg whites


- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- 2 tsp. vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease your cake pan. I used a 6 inch cake pan for a small "smash cake."
2. Mix all cake ingredients together, adding the mashed bananas last.
3. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
4. Allow to cool completely before frosting cake.

My 3-year-old smashing the bananas

 Banana cake batter

 Frosting ingredients

 Frosted Smash Cake

 Sweet Palmer likes it!

 Not ready to have a 1-year-old soon...


Saturday, March 1, 2014

March Calls for Crockpot Corned Beef

My family loves corned beef. And I have been making it this time of year for the past four years. This year, I think I finally nailed it! Of course you have to make a Black&Tan and get some rye bread to go with it. I look forward to making this recipe again before St. Patrick's Day, and of course, on St. Patrick's Day this year! Happy 1st Day of March... if only that meant it was time for Spring here in Colorado!

Crockpot Corned Beef

- fingerling potatoes, cut in half
- 4 carrots, cleaned and cut in pieces
- cabbage
- 3-4 lb. corned beef with seasonings (or seasonings packet)
- 1 dark beer, I used a Porter, but have used Guiness in the past

1. Place cut potatoes and carrots at the bottom of the crockpot.
2. Place corned beef on top of veggies. Sprinkle seasonings packet inside.
3. Pour beer around corned beef and add water until meat is submerged (reference picture below).
4. Cook on low heat for 4-5 hours. (mine took about 4)
5. Slice up your cabbage and add it to the crockpot. Allow to cook for additional 20-30 minutes.


Veggies on the bottom
Top: Corned beef on top of veggies
Bottom: Beer and water added

 Adding cabbage

Dinner is served!