Category Archives: Food Stuffs.

Crockpot ‘Best Chicken You’ll Ever Have’

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I love daylight savings time. I love when it stays light later into the evening and on the other side, I love when it gets light earlier in the morning. I wasn’t thinking this love would last once we had Gabs, since I heard that kids don’t adjust quite as smoothly as adults (who don’t always adjust so swimmingly either..) but she must have the same love as I do, because she’s still sleeping the same! I think it’s because she was sick during the time change, so she wasn’t sleeping normally anyway.

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All she wanted to do was lay on the couch and cuddle with Violet- it was sadly adorable.

Either way, we’re adjusted, back to healthy and luuurvin’ it.

So, even though there’s more daylight in the evenings now, that doesn’t always mean you want to spend more time on dinner. I found this recipe online, and though it may not be healthy- IT IS MY FAVORITE. I’m getting used to taking pictures of my recipes again, so if you want to be sold on the recipe, visit the original site and don’t be repulsed by my gross ones!

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These are the leftovers on a sandwich. We had it by itself for dinner the night before, but ate it too fast to take pictures.

You must make it and watch your family devour it before your very eyes (even the picky ones) and then proclaim their undying love for you afterwards.

Then the next day, put the leftovers in a sandwich and hear it all over again.

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Meanwhile, you’re just excited because you spent literally $1.54 per serving and 4 minutes in prep time (that’s being generous.)

Joey and I have a friend from college who told us about what his mom would do each evening at dinner. She’d serve a wonderful meal to her family of all boys- and tell them how much each serving cost to make while serving it. It became almost a fun game to see how delicious/cheap she could make her meals- and a great way to keep yourself in check when planning meals!

~Enjoy! M

P.S. yeah, it’s not healthy or technically low in fat. BUT. Whenever I make a meal that might not be waist-friendly, I just serve my portion over a big handful of chopped romaine. Honestly, I’ve found that pretty much any dinner tastes good over crunchy lettuce.

Crockpot ‘Best Chicken You’ll Ever Have’

serves 4

recipe from littleblackraincloud.com

ingredients:

4 chicken breasts, frozen or thawed. (adjust cooking time if frozen)

1 box chicken flavored stuffing mix

1/2 cup sour cream

1 can cream of chicken soup

1/4 cup water

Directions:

Place chicken in bottom of crockpot. Open up stuffing mix and dump it on, right on top of the chicken.

Next, mix your sour cream, cream soup, and water in a bowl, and dump it on top of the stuffing.

Lid on, and 4 hours at low (thawed chicken) or 4 hours on high (frozen chicken).

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Filed under Baby, Family, Food Stuffs.

Lunches Lately

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Am I the only one who feels like Christmas is next week? I’m frantically brainstorming Christmas gift ideas and we haven’t even sliced the Thanksgiving turkey yet. Well, we sliced the ‘Friendsgiving’ Turkey yesterday with a few of our close friends- a new tradition I’m adoring. A gal I love invited a bunch of people over and cooked us a feast complete with homemade cranberry sauce all while keeping a deliciously adorable 3 month old happy. Gabs can barely keep her hands off him. Gah! My baby is 9 months old!

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Later this week we are party-hopping to both sides of my family on Thanksgiving Day- the main feast with my husband’s side and then dessert with my side later in the evening. {Who am I kidding- we’re snagging pie at both feasts} it should be a wonderful day of family and focusing on all the good things in our life. It’s my favorite! Loving this idea from Pinterest for when I host my first family Thanksgiving.

I heard somewhere once that lunch is supposed to be the biggest meal of your day- not sure what the science is behind that, but rarely is that the case for me, especially during Thanksgiving week! I like a hearty breakfast and a light lunch usually. Gotta save room sometime. Here’s what I’ve been having for lunch lately:

1. Whole Wheat toast // almond butter // my sister in law’s homemade (&home harvested) pomegranate jelly

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2. roasted sweet potato // hummus // low fat cottage cheese20131125-070711.jpg

3. beets // goat cheese // spinach // balsamic  {{ordered this by accident the first day on my honeymoon- then had it daily for lunch!!}}20131125-070602.jpg

4. whole wheat toast // peanut butter // sliced cukes // sliced tomatoes {{ another weird but DELICIOUS combo a friend discovered for me in college}} hey. living on a budget, okay?20131125-070549.jpg5. roasted sweet potatoes // roasted brussel sprouts // crumbled trader joes sausage-less sausage // spicy thai peanut dressing


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These are my easy go-to lunches – what are yours? Off to get owned at spin, yet again.

~M

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Filed under Family, Favorite Things, Food Stuffs., Holiday, Uncategorized

Borgmeier Brussels Sprouts

Hallelujah! I’m typing now on a full night’s sleep and haven’t felt so good in a long time! Gabs has had (what we think is) allergies for the past month or so + teething + daylight savings time change… all which means a little less sleep for me. But I never thought having babies meant full nights of sleep anyways, so we’re all good. Just better, now. Just look at her adorable chiclets.

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Last night we had an unexpected winner of a dinner. I had pulled some forgotten flank steak out of the deep freezer and marinated it in our FAVE recipe that I probably got from somewhere originally, but have been winging it ever since (hoisin sauce + honey + ginger + garlic + salt/pepp + red wine vinegar) . We also had some week-old bread that turned into garlic bread, and then Joey’s famous brussels sprouts. I’m pretty sure Gabs loved the brussels sprouts so much that she dreamed about them all night, thus forgetting to wake up every few hours. All I need is one reason to make those veggies every. single. night! Causes baby to sleep through the night? I’ll take it.

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My hub spent a semester in Europe in college, and lived with a host family of four while he was there (now 5!). He absolutely loved his time there, and the Borgmeiers too. I got to meet them when I went to visit Joey for 10 days (eek, how rebellious… I didn’t realize ’til now how crazy that was- traveling Europe with my then boyfriend. We behaved Mom and Dad! Promise!) They were invited to our wedding- but couldn’t come because they had a little kiddo on the way. It’s on our bucket list to go visit them again someday. Anyways, Joey’s host dad was a chef (um, awesome) and made amazing meals for him while he was there. One of Joey’s favorites was his brussels sprouts. Hence the name, “Borgemeier Brussels Sprouts”.

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Sidenote: Gabby, don’t get any ideas. You are never traveling to Europe alone OR with a boyfriend. Even if he’s as nice as Joey. Never gonna happen. 

So enjoy these Brussels! I hear they improve your sleeping habits.

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~M

Borgmeier Brussels Sprouts

Recipe from Coen Borgmeier

Ingredients

18-20 brussels sprouts, washed with ends trimmed

1 TBSP butter/EVOO

3/4 to 1 cup stock

Directions

Wash the sprouts well, then cut the bottoms off of each one. In a large saute pan over high heat, melt the butter and place each sprout cut side DOWN in the pan. Let them get a nice sear on the bottom. After about a minute or so, pour in the stock, reduce the heat to the lowest setting, and cover the pan.

After about 15 minutes, lift the lid and if the sprouts are fork tender, they are ready to eat!

By covering the pan, the brussels sprouts get steamed in the stock and soak up all that delicious flavor. And then they melt in your mouth, and you wonder why you’ve never loved this little vegetable before now.

🙂

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Filed under Food Stuffs., Fridays, Vegetables

Healthy Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Cookies

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Ahh.. I just love fall. Love it. I love being cold, and bundling up. I love the crisp cool air, and running without hardly sweating.
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I love pink noses and space heaters. I love thermals and thick socks. I love the early sunrise and pumpkin flavored everything. I love the colors of fall and soups of all kinds.

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And I looove these cookies. They aren’t the melt in your mouth ohmygoshineedanotheronebutfeelguiltyaboutit type cookies. There’s no butter and minimal sugar! The pumpkin, oats, and spices and cinnamon chips make these cookies chewy and satisfying as a snack.

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Cinnamon chips have got to be the best invention for fall baking. Cinnamon scones… Coffee cake… Cinnamon rolls… Muffins… You could put ’em anywhere and they’d be good!

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I’m finally getting on top of my snacking and grazing- and these cookies are the perfect slightly sweet craving smasher. Plus, cinnamon chips are not nearly as good by the handful as the chocolate variety. Just sayin.

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Later this afternoon we are doing a photo sesh with my precious Gabsy- believe it or not, Joey had a great idea for this year’s Christmas card! You ain’t seein’ it til Christmas though… IF it works out.

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🙂 Recipe below!

~M

Healthy Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Cookies
adapted from two peas and their pod

Ingredients:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup pumpkin purée
3 cups oats
1 cup cinnamon chips (I used one cup but 1 1/2 cups would be perfection)

Preheat oven to 375.

Whisk flour, pumpkin spice, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt together in a bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the sugars and oil together until combined, about 3 minutes. Add in the eggs and vanilla, scraping down the sides as necessary. Then fold in the pumpkin purée.

After the pumpkin, slowly incorporate the flour mixture. Fold in the oats and chips.

Drop by tbsp onto greased baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes. They do not flatten at all- they maintain the exact shape you dropped them as! Let cool on sheet for 2 minutes then transfer to wire rack. Enjoy without guilt!!!

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Filed under Baby, Baking, Cookies/Bars, Food Stuffs., Holiday Baking

Blend-til Soup (Lentil Soup)

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See what I did there? Blender…Lentil… Soup = Blend-til Soup.

Clever, huh? My good friend Katy made this soup for us when we had a lunch date a while ago. We met in town to go for a walk, and then went to my sister in law’s for lunch afterwards and to watch our kiddos play with each other. Well, kind of. We have a 2 month old, a 7 month old, and a 17 month old, so I’m using the term ‘play’ liberally. The young ones pretty much watch my niece play, but it’s still completely adorable.

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I fell in love with this soup immediately and Katy was nice enough to email it to me ASAP. I got to work about 2 hours after I got home and made it for dinner. And I’ve been eating it for lunch ever since! The recipe is based on Giada’s Lentil Soup recipe- but I used cabbage instead of celery, left out the cheese and noodles (it’s still yummy, promise) and added in mushrooms and zucchini.

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It’s a warm, filling and flavorful soup and you can blend it to make it smooth and velvety. I love soups that are thick and hearty, and Gabby loves watching the blender- she thinks it’s hilarious. 

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Or maybe she thought that it was hilarious that I filled the blender TOO FULL at first and it exploded everywhere. Hilarious, Gabs.

With the weather cooling down, soups are now an acceptable meal. Let this be your first soup offering! The recipe makes a TON, so I froze some and kept some for lunches throughout the week.

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~M

Lentil Soup

adapted from Giada de Laurentiis

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 medium onion, chopped
12 baby carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 head of green cabbage, chopped
6 mushrooms, sliced
1 large zucchini, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 pound lentils (approximately 1 1/4 cups)
11 cups low-salt chicken broth
4 to 6 fresh thyme sprigs

Directions
Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, mushrooms, carrots, and cabbage. Add the garlic, salt, zucchini and pepper and saute until all the vegetables are tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices. Simmer until the juices evaporate a little and the tomatoes break down, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add the lentils and mix to coat. Add the broth and stir. Add the thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and simmer over low heat until the lentils are almost tender, about 30 minutes. Carefully ladle into a blender (or use an immersion blender) to blend soup until smooth.
Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Ladle the soup into bowls and serve!

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Filed under Baby, Food Stuffs., Soup

Bacon Powder Biscuits

I have a good Tuesday morning story for ya’ll. I’ll start out with this: a lot of you already know that K and I were born with hearing loss and both wear hearing aids. My hearing is much worse than K’s- which comes with its challenges, but has never been something that made me embarrassed or feel bad. In all honesty… It’s made my life pretty hilarious. Because I get to share stories like THESE.

Growing up, K and I always remember spending time with our grandparents. My Grandma and Grandpa Cole would have us over all the time and we’d play on the pool table, eventually smash each other’s fingers with the pool balls, play house, dress-up, and of course, eat.

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My Grandpa was (is) known for his pancakes, namely because he’d make them into all sorts of different shapes for us. Though he could make any shape, we always requested the first letters of our names. Later, we found out that the ‘special’ pancakes were just Bisquick mix! Funny how something as special as Grandpa making them for you makes them taste like gourmet pancakes that no one else could ever replicate!

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My grandpa also made us Bacon Powder Biscuits a lot. We’d have them for breakfast with butter and syrup and we LOVED it. I would request these bacon biscuits all the time and beg my mom to make them when we got home. She’d ask me if I was sure that’s what they were called and I was adamant there was bacon powder we needed to go purchase somewhere.

I’m sure you all know where this is headed. After a childhood full of Bacon Powder Biscuits and bliss, I came into the knowledge only a few years ago that there is, in fact, NO SUCH THING AS BACON POWDER.

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WHAT!?!? I’m sure I tasted bacon in those biscuits. There’s gotta be a can of bacon powder out there somewhere. Pretty sure I’ve seen it in MarVal. Cooked, ground bacon to flavor these delicious breakfast treats. I swear I tasted bacon, guys. I don’t even want to know if I’ve told people that bacon powder exists.

Turns out,  my hearing aids heard something different for the first 20 years of my life. These heavenly Bacon Powder Biscuits were none other than your average (but still super tasty) bacon-less Baking Powder Biscuits.

Baking. Powder. 

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Not near as much fun as bacon, but still one of my all time favorite breakfasts that reminds me of my grandparents. The recipe is in most cookbooks, despite my childhood belief, and I’m just sharing one of many!

~M

Buttermilk Baking Powder Biscuits

2 cups AP flour

1 tbsp baking powder

2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp cream of Tartar

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 butter

2/3 cup buttermilk

Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and add the buttermilk all at once. Using a fork, stir until just moistened.

Turn dough out on a floured surface and quikcly knead 10-12 strokes. Roll to 1/2 inch thickness and cut out biscuits with a biscuit cutter or overturned glass. Place biscuits 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet and bake at 450 for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve warm with syrup or jam!

p.s. Look what I found. A day will come when I will bring Bacon Powder Biscuits to life. Mark my words.

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Filed under Baking, Favorite Things, Food Stuffs.

Lemon-Cilantro Hummus

I have been on the hunt for a new snack lately. It’s always difficult to find something that tastes yummy and isn’t a million calories. Or thereabouts.

I have found the snack.

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Filed under Food Stuffs., Vegetables