In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs 3:6

Friday, June 19, 2015

Broccoli Cheese Bites { toddler finger food }

Sharing broccoli cheddar bites on the blog this evening.  While this recipe is floating around Pinterest as a toddler food, I am sorry to say that my toddlers do not like this recipe.  It's one of the only bite sized food recipes I'm sharing this week that my little guys won't eat.

I can't get my boys to eat broccoli at all. I thought that they would maybe eat broccoli in a recipe like this, but I was wrong.  I'm beginning to think it is a texture thing for them, but I'll just keep occasionally offering them broccoli and see if they end up liking it in the future. 

I personally like this recipe as an adult and think it would make a fun finger food for a holiday party.  What I also like about this recipe is that, like the spinach rice ball recipe I shared this morning, these broccoli cheese bites freeze really well.

12-16 oz. frozen broccoli (thawed and drained of liquid)
1- 1 1/2 c. shredded cheese
1 c. Italian seasoned bread crumbs
three eggs
salt and pepper

Mix ingredients together and form little patties with your hands.  Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Cool five minutes before serving.

Spinach and Rice Balls { healthy toddler finger food }

I'm continuing some of my boys' favorite toddler finger foods on the blog this week.  Spinach and rice balls are a favorite for one of my sons.  He's such a picky eater, but he loves rice!  He eats these little rice balls every time they are on his plate.

I like these, because they freeze well.  I can make a batch for dinner and freeze the rest, which is great for nights that my husband is out of town for work and I don't cook.  

I also like them, because they are not quite as messy as just giving the boys a side of rice on their trays.  These balls hold together pretty well, so the cleanup is a little easier than when we have plain rice.  It's also a great use of leftover rice!

2 c. brown rice
1/2 c. bread crumbs
1/2 c. shredded motzerella cheese
10 oz frozen spinach (thawed and drained well with no liquid remaining)
2 eggs
1 tbs. olive oil
2 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

Mix ingredients together.  Hands seem to be the best utensil for mixing these well. Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Rice and Bean Muffin Cups { toddler approved! }

This morning, I shared the egg muffins I feed my toddlers using eggs and leftover pizza toppings, like spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes.  This evening, I want to share the rice and bean muffin cups my toddlers enjoy on our taco nights.

We have tacos at least once a week in our home.  Hard, soft or as a salad, we love tacos!  I love tacos, because they are quick and easy to make and are generally healthy....or at least they can be healthy if you want them to be.  What's not to love about ground turkey meat in a whole wheat wrap, topped with lettuce, tomato, black beans, corn, avocado and sour cream?  

When we have tacos, I feed my boys all of the chopped up toppings for tacos, but they have a hard time chewing tortillas.  To make sure they are getting a healthy grain with the meal, I make them rice and bean muffin cups.

1 c. cooked brown rice
1/2 c. frozen corn
1/2 c. black beans
1/2 c. shredded cheese
2 eggs

Mix all ingredients together and press into a greased muffin pan.  Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan.  Yields 8 muffins.

NOTE:   I am partial to the 90 second microwave rice, simply for convenience.  I personally like this southwestern quinoa and brown rice mixture from Target.  Plain brown rice will work for this recipe, but you may want to add a little salt and cumin to the mixture.

Healthy Egg Muffins { great for toddlers and adults love them too! }

On Monday I posted a few toddler recipes and mentioned that this week I had planned on sharing all sorts of healthy toddler food recipes that my boys like.

And then came Tuesday.

Tuesday was a busy day for me, which meant I did not get a chance to sit down to the computer for my blog time.  In fact, I had such a busy day on Tuesday, that on Wednesday, I decided to have a rainy lazy day with my kids, which meant no household chores or blogging!  I was only allowed to play and cuddle with my little guys all day, via strict instructions from myself of course!

And so here we are on Thursday.  I think I finally have some things organized to get a post or two up today. 

Today, I want to share scrambled egg muffins, which are by no means strictly a "toddler food".  In fact, I served these at our family Christmas brunch last year, and they were a hit.  What makes them nice for toddlers, is that they are a good finger food for toddlers to pick up without making a huge mess.

I usually make these after homemade pizza night.  I like to use leftover pizza and caprese salad ingredients for these muffins ~ which in our family that means I have leftover spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, basil and mozzarella, or sometimes it is ham and cheddar.  

We often have homemade pizza on Friday nights, so these little muffins make great additions to Saturday breakfast or brunch.  They keep in the fridge for a few days, so I love that I can grab these for a quick Sunday morning breakfast before church too.

You could really use a variety of ingredients for these muffins, and it couldn't be easier!  Just mix up your chopped ingredients with your eggs, place them in a greased muffin tin, cook and enjoy!  It's that easy!

For my toddlers, these will often get served with berries and a piece of toast with avocado spread on the toast.  Healthy and yummy!  There is nothing on this plate my boys wont' eat!

8 eggs 
salt and pepper
1/2 c. shredded cheese
about 1 c. chopped vegis or meats of choice

Wisk eggs. Add salt and pepper. Mix in other ingredients. Pour into a greased muffin tin with or without muffin liners. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until eggs are firm. Yields 12 egg muffins.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Oatmeal Applesauce Pancakes - A Healthy Toddler Friendly Breakfast

Last week, I shared all sorts of yummy healthy recipes I've been enjoying lately.  This week, I want to share some healthy toddler food recipes.

For the most part, we have the philosophy that our kids eat what we eat.  I'm not a short-order cook, and while one of my twins is a picky eater, that doesn't change my "food philosophy" in our home.  When my twin boys transitioned from purees to table food around nine months of age, realistically, there were and still are some things that my husband and I eat that my toddlers just can't eat .  There are also times when I prefer my toddlers to have finger foods, so I don't have to spoon feed them all of the time. 

Breakfast is a perfect example of this.  I often start my day with a cup of coffee, oatmeal with berries, and/or an egg.  I wanted my kids to have a healthy breakfast as well, but I didn't want to spoon feed them oatmeal every morning.  And that's where oatmeal pancakes came in.  I saw several versions of these on Pinterest and adapted a recipe that works for us.  

These little pancakes are perfect for toddlers!  I love that I can make a batch on the weekend, and grab them from the fridge or freezer throughout the week.  My twins started eating these pancakes at nine months, and still eat them at fifteen months!  They love them!  Of course, they eat more of them now that they are bigger.  At nine months, they shared one pancake and often didn't finish it.  Now they each scarf down their own pancake every morning, along with a helping of scrambled eggs, a few cut strawberries and cup of milk.

Overall, this recipe is a win for my toddlers, and is my most used toddler recipe I will be sharing this week.  I've made these so many times I can make them in my sleep.  If you're hoping these taste just like buttermilk pancakes, I'm sorry to tell you that they don't don't.  They taste like....well, they taste like what they oatmeal applesauce pancake.  They aren't too sweet, but they are tasty enough that as an adult, I would eat them.

1/2 c. oats
1/2 c. unsweetened apple sauce
1 tbs. chia seeds
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg

Mix ingredients together until smooth. Scoop out batter into desired pancake size onto a lightly buttered griddle.  Cook just like you would regular pancakes.


** To get the consistency of pancake batter, I turn my oats into a fine powder using my Nutribullet.  I then add the rest of my ingredients and finish mixing in the Nutribullet.  This is not necessary.  They will taste just fine without this step.  This just makes the texture turn out more like a pancake, and less like an oatmeal cake.

**I use 1/4 c. measuring cup to scoop out my batter into desired sizes.

** These keep in the fridge for a few days.  They also freeze well.

** When my twins were nine months old, one batch made enough for a few days, since they were sharing a pancake.  Now that they each get their own pancake everyday, I quadruple this recipe, and freeze the leftover pancakes.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

DIY First Father's Day Gift

With Father's Day being just one week away, I wanted to share what our twin boys did for their dad on his first father's day last year. I made something really simple and inexpensive, yet sentimental for Matt's first Father's Day. 

  • On a piece of card stock, I typed and printed the popular Father's Day poem.


"Walk a little slower, Daddy"
Said a child so small.
"I'm following in your footsteps,
and I don't want to fall.

Sometimes your steps are very fast, 
Sometimes they're hard to see;
So walk a little slower, Daddy,
For you are leading me.

Someday when I am all grown up,
You're what I want to be;
Then I will have a little child
 Who will want to follow me.

And I would want to lead just right,
 And know that I was true;
So walk a little slower, Daddy,
For I must follow you."

  • I painted the boys tiny little three month old feet, and pressed their footprints on the card stock next to the poem.  This wasn't exactly easy, trying to stamp twenty wiggly baby toes to paper.  It took a bit of organization.  I had baby wipes nearby to quickly wipe off the paint, so I didn't make a big mess.  
  • Once the paint dried, I glued the card stock to piece of scrapbook paper that I cut to the size of an 8x10 frame.
  • Lastly, using a Dollar Tree frame, I framed the project.

 Daddy loved his gift!

 We ended up hanging it in the nursery with some other sentimental art!

I can't believe how little my boys were a year ago!  Time to get busy and work on this years Father's Day gift!  Seven days and counting!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Healthy and Easy Overnight Oatmeal in a Jar Recipes

I'm a fan of oatmeal!  Which is a little ironic, because I hated it as a kid!  Somewhere in my mid to late 20's my taste buds matured, and I started liking all sorts of things I hated as a child, and started disliking all sorts of sugary processed food I ate as a child who grew up in the 90's!

I don't eat oatmeal everyday, but a hot bowl of oatmeal with my morning coffee is definitely a go-to breakfast for me much of the time.  And I'm not talking about the kind you can buy in instant packs that are filled with preservatives and ingredients I can't read.  When I make a bowl of hot oatmeal, I use the plain Jane instant oats or steel cut oats, unsweetened almond milk as my liquid,  chia seeds...I always use chia seeds...for additional fiber, fruit with honey or stevia as a sweetener,  or cinnamon and a small amount of brown sugar, especially around the holidays, as a spice.  That's the way I like my oatmeal.

Recently, I decided to experiment with the overnight refrigerator oatmeal recipes that I have seen all over Pinterest.  I played around with my ratios, and I think I've found something that I really like.  Who'd of thought I'd like cold oatmeal?  But I have to tell you, it is really good! Plus it is wonderful to grab a healthy breakfast in the morning that was prepared the night before.

This cold oatmeal has been a nice switch for summer, and it still has all of the same healthy ingredients that I love in my hot oatmeal.  What I love about the way I make my morning oatmeal, hot or cold, is that it is good for my body and it is a filling breakfast that satisfies my hunger until lunch!  

In full disclosure, my husband does not like the way I make this oatmeal.  He said it's not sweet enough!  I think he would like it if I added fruit preserves to each jar.  Unfortunately for him, I make these for my morning breakfast, so the less sugar the better!

All of these refrigerated oatmeal recipes have the same base: 1/2 c. oats, 2/3 c. unsweetened almond milk, 2/3 plain nonfat yogurt, 1 tbsp. chia seeds. and 1/2 c. berries.  Because, I like to keep this recipe as clean as I can, I sweeten my tart plain yogurt with vanilla extract, honey or stevia.

I've seen all sorts of different ratios for oats to milk to yogurt, but the ratio I use seems to work well for my 16 oz jars.  And of course the fruit combinations to these overnight oatmeal recipes are endless!

The recipes I use are also versatile.  Any milk can be used instead of almond milk.  I prefer the unsweetened almond milk, because it is a low calorie milk that I always have in my refrigerator.  Sweetened vanilla yogurt could be used instead of plain, if you didn't want to use any additional sweeteners.  I prefer mine to not be too sweet, which is why I use the honey or stevia.  Fruit preserves is commonly used in many of the popular overnight oatmeal recipes in addition to the fruit.  Again, because I want to keep these recipes as clean as I can and limit my sugar, I choose not to add fruit preserves, although I'm sure it would be tasty!

Lastly, these oatmeal recipes keep in the fridge for a few days.  I typically make these three jars of oatmeal on a Sunday night, and enjoy a jar for my morning breakfast the first part of the week.  The rest of the week, I'll mix things up with an egg breakfast or a hot oatmeal.

Here are the overnight oatmeal recipes I've been enjoying this summer!

Blueberry Almond Overnight Oatmeal


1/2 c. oats
2/3 c. unsweetened almond milk
2/3 c. plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1/2 c. blueberries
1 tbsp. chia seeds
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. all natural almond butter

** Almond butter is optional if counting calories and fat. It does give a lovely almond flavor, and if looking to incorporate healthy fats into your daily diet, almond butter is a good choice.


Place all ingredients in the jar and give the jar a shake.  Keep in refrigerator overnight.  Before eating, top with additional fresh blueberries, almond slivers and a drizzle of honey if desired.

Raspberry Vanilla Overnight Oatmeal


1/2 c. oats
2/3 c. unsweetened almond milk
2/3 c. plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1/2 c. raspberries
1 tbsp. chia seeds
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 - 2 tsp. of stevia, depending on taste 
(honey could be substituted for stevia, I just prefer the stevia with this mixture)


Place all ingredients in the jar and give the jar a shake.  Keep in refrigerator overnight.  Before eating, top with additional fresh raspberries, and a low sugar high protein granola if desired.

Blackberry Banana Overnight Oatmeal


1/2 c. oats
2/3 c. unsweetened almond milk
2/3 c. plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1/2 c. blackberries
1/2 of a banana cut into small pieces
1 tbsp. chia seeds
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. honey


Place all ingredients in the jar and give the jar a shake.  Keep in refrigerator overnight.  Before eating, top with additional fresh blackberries and a sprinkle of chia seeds if desired.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Delicious Detox Soup

I'm kind of late getting to my blog tonight.  It's been a busy day filled with morning garage sales, afternoon lunch and shopping with Grandma, and evening first haircuts for our boys, but I wanted to get a quick blog post up before I went to bed.

So here is my quick blog post, and it's a good one!  Or I guess I should say, it's a yummy one!  Yesterday, I posted about the detox water I've been drinking.  Tonight, I want to post a delicious detox soup recipe I've been using the past couple of weeks.

As I've  mentioned before, I eat pretty healthy.  I often eat salads or wraps for lunch.  While on Pinterest one recent afternoon, I discovered several detox soup recipes that looked pretty yummy.  The one I'm sharing today looked like an appealing summertime soup.  I made a few adjustments to it, and I am pretty much in love with this soup. While this could strictly be a soup for detoxing, as in eat only this for several days, I have enjoyed it for my lunch the past couple of weeks.  

The first time I made it, I made a regular batch for dinner on a Monday.  It was definitely a hit in my home!  My husband loved it and ate huge soup bowl portions of it for several days.  This soup keeps in the fridge for a few days, so I really enjoyed being able to grab a quick and healthy reheated bowl of soup for my weekday lunches. My twin toddlers also enjoyed having some of the soft vegis to go with their usual lunch, almond butter and honey sandwiches served with banana and vegi straws. 

I enjoyed this soup so much that I decided to make a smaller batch for my lunches the following week.  I divided the recipe in half, but still used one whole zucchini, yellow squash and sweet potato, since those three ingredients are my boys' favorite parts of the soup.  This allows me to have a bowl of soup for lunch M-Th, while also having a few extra bowls of soup left over for my husband to eat on when he's wanting something extra to eat late at night.

This soup is definitely a keeper for my family!  I'll be making another small batch next week.  It tastes great, and it's good for you!  Can't go wrong with that!

1 stalk of kale
3-4 celery stalks
3-4 carrots or one small bag of baby carrots
1 zucchini
1 yellow squash
1 pealed sweet potato
1 red pepper
1 onion
4-6 cloves of garlic or 1-2 tbs of minced garlic
a handful of cilantro, about 1/2 cup
several sprigs of fresh thyme, about 2-3 tsp
2 cans of cannellini beans (drained)
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
salt and pepper to taste

This recipe could not be any easier!  Chop the ingredients....

Throw everything except the kale in the crock pot for 4-6 hours or until the vegetables are tender......  

Then ladle yourself a bowl of deliciousness before stirring in chopped kale while the soup is piping hot.  Eat with a simple delicious green salad and enjoy!  

Of course you can eat it with whatever you want or by itself, but I've been enjoying my soup with a salad everyday.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

My favorite Detox Waters

I would consider myself a fairly healthy eater.  I have no problem eating healthy food and keeping sugar and carbs to a minimum.  When it comes to health and wellness, where I struggle is daily exercise and proper water intake.

And so I decided to do something about it. The beginning of summer kicked off a new challenge for me. For one, I decided to sign my kids up for childcare at the gym and do my very best to go at least three times a week for one hour.  This is a real challenge for us, just because of our nap schedule and the gym childcare hours, but so far so good.  I certainly don't plan on running a marathon anytime soon, but getting my butt back in the gym a few times a week is my only chance at losing these last ten pounds of baby weight, and then another ten pounds of fertility weight.

For all of you who find running and exercise peaceful and relaxing, I loathe you.  I really do wish I could say the same.  My idea of relaxing involves me sitting on my butt in a craft corner somewhere watching a Gilmore Girls marathon, with chocolate and coffee nearby of course.  To each his own, right?

While making an effort to go the gym, I also decided to make an effort to work on my water intake.  I decided to drink 8-10 eight ounce glasses of water a day, just like all of the experts say I am so supposed to be doing.  Which by the way, this is a little annoying now that I have a postpartum bladder.  I swear my ability to "hold it" is not as good as it used to be before I had the twins.   

Overall, drinking water is not really an issue for me.  I am primarily a water drinker, but I don't drink nearly enough.  I only drink pop on occasion, although I confess that when the weather warms up, I find an ice cold coke very refreshing.  To help with my water intake, I decided to look up detox waters on Pinterest.  I chose three waters that were appealing to me, and so far, this has helped me meet my goal of daily water intake.

I fill a pitcher with fruit and water every morning, and by evening the pitcher is empty.  I can usually get two days out of the fruit, before making a new batch.  The hint of flavor in the water has made drinking water more appealing to me.  It's also nice to nibble on the fruit here and there, although I don't eat all of the fruit in one day.

A few notes about the three detox waters in this post:  

**The blackberry and lime can get bitter if the lime is left in too long.  The lime really only needs a few hours of soaking.  

** Same with the lemon ^^^ in the cucumber lemon water.

** The strawberry watermelon is my favorite.  Because watermelon is a bit pricey and has a short life span in my home once my husband spots it in the fridge, I try to only make one of these pitchers a week and get two days out it.

 Blackberry Lime and Mint
{ blackberries are a good source of antioxidants and help reduce stomach inflammation, lime can aid in weight loss, mint aids in digestion }

 Strawberry Watermelon and Mint
{ strawberries have antioxidants and are good for the skin, watermelon helps cleanse the liver, mint aids in digestion }

 Cucumber Lemon and Mint
{ cucumber aids in hydration and has anti-inflammatory properties, lemon cleanses and helps the immune system, mint aids in digestion }