Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Miscellaneous Madness: A Day in the Life (May 2014)

Yay for mom -- she remembered to 12 in 12 this month! Mondays are generally a pretty busy day for all of us and this month's was pretty packed. Check out all of our running around and then see what our buddies over at No Monsters in My Bed and Where the Watermelons Grow were up to!

6.45 am -- mom's warm-weather running nemesis. this hill is at the end of almost every run and it goes on for a quarter mile. it's an ongoing battle. today mom won.

7.30 am -- Cam loves to watch the neighborhood get movin in the morning.

8.40 am -- a little reading on our morning commute.

9.30 am -- mom gets a quick smoothie breakfast in -- the Almond Butter Banana Smoothie -- delish.

10.30 am -- when we asked mom what we could get her for Mother's Day, she said all she wanted was for us to get along. she lied and treated herself to her favorite bath products.

11.15 am -- mom preps for a DIY project for A Feteful Life -- check over there to see what it was!

12 pm -- we get home late on Mondays and its always hard to get din on the table in time. She tried something new this week and half-prepped dinner early in the day.

1.45 pm -- we grab coffee and vanilla milk on our way to the dr.'s office for Cam's 4-year check up.

2.30 pm -- a successful visit with minimal screaming, crying, or constant babbling earns stickers and fruit snacks.

3.15 pm -- swimming lessons. Promises were made for faces in the water and non-flotation device swimming. One of us delivered.

4.50 pm -- snack and show trance.

5.30 pm -- always hopeful menu planning for the week.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Miscellaneous Madness: Number Hunt Bingo

We've got an alphabet treasure hunt on our Summer Bucket List this year, but turns out that we both need a little more work on our numbers than our letters. We'll definitely still get to the alphabet hunt, but mom thought a Number Hunt Bingo might be a fun thing to do around the neighborhood first. So she put together a set of rainbow bingo cards for us and rounded up leftover stickers to use as "markers" (we've got quite the collection of random stickers, don't you!?). We had so much fun hunting around outside -- we were particularly fueled by the fact that mom said she'd give us 5 cents for every card we completed (by getting four numbers in a row).

If you don't live in a city where numbers are abundant outdoors, you could totally do this inside your home. And mom said she plans on keeping a set in the car for us to use when traveling and shopping (grocery stores are FULL of numbers to find). Mom is collecting each of our respective completed cards in envelopes. We'll add up how much we've "won" at the end of the summer and each get to purchase a present. Of course, you don't have to bribe your kids with money -- that is if your children are the total opposite of us and find learning to be an end in and of itself.

Just CLICK RIGHT HERE to download your own set of bingo cards. Happy Hunting!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Grub It Up: Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Mom had a great paleo menu plan last week ... that got totally scrapped almost every night. It was just a crazy busy week. BUT she did swing these really yummy taco stuffed zucchini boats, which have been on her to-do list for quite some time. She stuck fairly close to the Skinny Taste recipe, but she only used 1/2 the number of zucchini called for (the original recipe calls for 4) -- she knew we wouldn't eat them, but that we would eat the turkey stuffing. And then she'd be left with empty, sad veggie boats. Her plan worked out. If your kiddos will eat their greens cooperatively, go ahead and use 4. If not, just pile extra turkey filling on top of the 2 for cooking. Mom thought this was flavorful, without being too spicy -- but if you like more heat, adjust the spices accordingly.

Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats
(from Skinny Taste)

- 2 medium (or 4 medium) zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
- 1/2 cup mild salsa
- 1 lb lean ground turkey
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 small onion, minced
- 2 tbsp bell pepper, minced
- 4 oz can tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup reduced fat Mexican blend shredded cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions or cilantro, for topping

- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Preheat oven to 400 F. Place 1/4 cup of salsa in the bottom of a large baking dish.

- Using a small spoon or mellon scooper, hollow out the center of the zucchini halves, leaving 1/4-inch thick shell on each half. Chop the scooped out flesh of the zucchini in small pieces and set aside 3/4 of a cup to add to the taco filling (squeeze excess water with a paper towel). Drop zucchini halves in boiling water and cook 1 minute. Remove from water.

- Brown turkey in a large skillet, breaking up while it cooks. When no longer pink, add the spices and mix well. Add the onion, bell pepper, reserved zucchini, tomato sauce and water. Stir and cover, simmer on low for about 20 minutes. 

- Using a spoon, fill the hollowed zucchini boats -- dividing the taco meat equally and pressing firmly. Top each with 1 tablespoon of shredded cheese. Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes until cheese is melted and zucchini is cooked through. Top with scallions and serve with salsa on the side. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Grub It Up: Almond Butter + Banana Smoothie

I know, more food. What can we say? Apparently all we've been doing is eating. But you'll be glad we shared this yummy, almost milkshake like, smoothie with you. It's super delicious, a quick blend, and a great way to get protein in your kiddos fast.

Almond Butter + Banana Smoothie (adapted from Lunchbox)
(serve 2)

- 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 2 bananas (frozen or unfrozen)
- 2 tbsp almond butter
- 1 tbsp agave syrup
- 1 cup ice
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions: pop all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Easy peasy.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Grub It Up: Salted Prosciutto-Wrapped Watermelon

Mom and I are OBSESSED with this seemingly bizarre snack combo we came up with recently (mom is also obsessed with her new black plates -- can you tell!?). The boys in our house don't particularly care for it, but we think it's perfect. It's salt, it's sweet, it's pretty much the perfect summer snack. We have it for breakfast, too. Mom doesn't even normally like watermelon (how un-American!), but she loves this. You have to try it!

- watermelon, sliced into 1 1/2" thick wedges
- sea salt
- thinly sliced prosciutto (about 1 piece per 2 watermelon slices)
- olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- goat cheese
- mint leaves for garnish

Sprinkle watermelon slices with sea salt. Cut each slice of prosciutto in half length-wise and wrap one piece around each watermelon slice. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste. Sprinkle goat cheese over the wrapped slices and garnish with mint. Devour. Repeat.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Miscellaneous Madness: 2014 Summer Bucket List -- 50+ Ideas of Summer Fun!

Yeah, yeah. We know it's still spring and everyone is still in school. BUT, two things: 1. mom has just decided to ignore reality and proceed as if the weather is actually warm and staying that way. 2. we were slow to pull together our 2013 Summer Bucket List, which still turned out pretty rad if you ask us, and we didn't want to fool around this year. Plus, we basically consider after Memorial Day to be summer (no? says who? it's our Summer Bucket List!) and like to get a jump on it over the holiday. SO, without further adieu, here are our big plans for this summer. We'll do an update every month or so like last year. What's on YOUR list!?!?

Monday, May 5, 2014

Grub It Up: Berry Glazed Slow-cooked Chicken

You might have noticed a dearth of paleo recipes around here lately. For a multitude of reasons, we've been serving up quick and easy and not really clean eats recently. But mom's had enough and is making an effort to get back to {mostly} clean eating -- she's keeping some dairy for now. We started out with some of our old favorites this week and worked in a new slow-cooked chicken dish, which was delish! A lot of people trade the slow cooker for the grill in warmer weather and while we love outdoor cooking, mom still is a big fan of the minimal involvement and cleanup the cooker offers. So, here's our weekly menu this past week and the yummy berry glazed chicken.  

Monday -- Prosciutto Egg Cups + Salad. Fruit for kiddos. 

Tuesday -- Chicken Breast Sauteed in Sweet Red Onion and Lemon + Green Beans (sautéed in a little olive oil with garlic) + Carrots (steamed and then tossed in a little butter, salt and cinnamon)

Wednesday -- Paleo Burgers + Sweet Potato Fries

Thursday -- leftovers

Friday -- dinner out - Kane had a special Shabbat dinner at school, which was super nice and yummy.

Saturday -- Berry Glazed Slow-cooked Chicken + Maple-Roasted Butternut Squash (also insanely delicious -- mom didn't have sage, but she added in pecans for the second part of roasting and then tossed in a little shredded kale for serving) + Yogurt Parfaits for kiddos

Sunday -- Spicy Parmesan Green Beans and Kale + Poached Eggs; Brinner for Kiddos 

Berry Glazed Slow-cooked Chicken 

- 2 chicken breasts (about 1 lb)
- 1/4 cup + 1/2 tbls raw honey
- 1/3 cup coconut aminos
- 1 tbls olive oil
- 2 tbls blackerry-blueberry jam
- 1 tsp almond butter
- 1/2 tsp cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup sweet onion, diced
- 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper

- In a bowl, combine all ingredients except chicken. Turn slow cooker to low and place chicken in bottom. Pour sauce ingredients over chicken. Cook for 3 hours. Flip chicken and cook for another hour. 
- Remove chicken from cooker. Pour sauce into small pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes until sauce reduces. While the sauce is cooking, shred chicken with two forks. Toss chicken with sauce and serve.