Friday, July 14, 2017

Eggplant appetizer on the grill


BEAT THE HEAT.
Grilling is life in summer. I try to do everything on the grill. It is way too hot to turn the oven on.

The first hot dogs and hamburgers are delicious. By the middle of the summer, people get sick of them.

I absolutely love this eggplant appetizer and it takes just 4 ingredients!!


What we need:
Eggplant
Egg
Bread crumbs 
Salsa

Depending on how much you need to make you can modify the amounts. 

What to do;
1. Peel the eggplant. I like to leave a little skin.
2. Slice into rounds.
3. Dip into egg then cover with bread crumbs.
4. Heat a skillet on the grill with a small amount of oil.
5. Pan fry the eggplant on each side until golden brown.
6. Serve with salsa.








SOOOO EASY. SO YUMMY.

Great idea for a meatless day :)




Friday, July 7, 2017

Rainy days :) (free printable)

SO!

I polled a group of experts.... aka my cousins that I grew up with. There's a LOT of us :)

Here's some things we used to do as kids...


Thursday, July 6, 2017

EASY TIP for outdoor birthday party at the park!!!


Yesterday was my son's 1st birthday!!!! Wow, the year has flown by.

He is having a birthday party this weekend but I always like to do cake on the actual birthday. And I mean, come on, it's his FIRST birthday!

Between our family, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins (and we were lucky enough to have his great aunt and uncle to join) there were 16 of us. I thought it would be a really nice idea to do cake at the playground. The kids could run around and play. Everyone could enjoy a beautiful, summer night outside.

Then I started thinking how to serve and everything I would need to bring... UGH!
Cake, knife, plates, forks, spoons, cups, napkins....etc.

So I baked a homemade strawberry shortcake and constructed these... YES!
(Had to make pudding layer cups for the chocolate lovers)

DESSERT CUPS



I brought a cooler full of drinks on the bottom and packed these babies into trays right on top. Grabbed a pack of fork and spoons and done! Eat and toss :)

The dessert cups traveled extremely well. I was so paranoid opening the cooler would be a spilled, crushed mess. 

And of course baby boy had his very own smash cake :)

 

Action shot! We are all scattered around the playground. Even the adults were climbing and sliding :)

This boy is one and cute! He had a great night with family :)









Sunday, June 18, 2017

To the dads who make it look easy...you are your children's biggest hero :)

This is for all the dads out there who completely love being fathers. And it shows. The dads who aren't putting on a show. The dads, who when you look at them, you can see it in their face, eyes and smile how much they truly love their kids. 

I never plan to write or do any type of work when I'm away on vacation. But I just had to share this story because it really just touched my heart and made my day.

Recently, my husband and I went to a wedding in Florida and left our kiddies back at home with my parents. When we first got to the pool one morning, there was a little boy sitting on the stairs playing with a beach ball. His brother was on a float not far from him. And their dad was jumping between the two boys, going back and forth.

Having two kids, I know what it's like to be outnumbered. It's not easy. It's actually quite exhausting.

But then I noticed the sweet boy on the stairs was disabled. I noticed his walker nearby and that he didn't speak much, if at all. But what I noticed most, was his giant smile as his dad played with him. His face just lit up. And when he laughed you could just feel the love between them.

The dad would go to his son on the float and then throw the beach ball to his son on the stairs. He went over to the son on the stairs and carried him into the water so he could join his brother. I was trying not to stare but I just so admired this dad. And sometimes the ball would get away from the boy and the dad would jump out of the pool to get it for him. 

The next time the ball got away, I whispered to my husband to hurry and grab the ball. The dad saw him and said no don't worry but my husband had already grabbed it and gave it back to the boy. The dad walked over and shook my husbands hand with a look of pure and genuine gratitude. 

It's moments like these that really pull at my heart strings. I quickly made a joke about leaving our two at home and we began to chat. 

At first, we just small talked. Exchanged names, his boys names and ages and about our two kids at home. What we did for work and what brought us down here. His younger son chimed in and told us that his older brother has a farm named after him.(http://www.uriahsurbanfarms.com/)

I finally got the courage to tell him what I had been thinking the whole time. What a great dad he was. How obvious it was. How you could tell his boys adored him. 

He responded "Oh, shut up!" And just laughed.

We continued to talk through out the day. We later asked about his son's condition. I never know if that question will offend people. The first thing he said was what an unbelievable kid he was. And what an amazing wife he had because of all the things she does for their son. She later joined them at the pool and completed the beautiful family.

So, Dave, you are inspiring!

Happy Father's Day to all the dads who are just doing their duties and not realizing how wonderful they really are :) 








Friday, June 2, 2017

6 ingredient spinach tots


Things have been so hectic. I have fallen off the face of the earth. Moving with two babies. Enough said. That is a whole story in itself.

But for now. Spinach tots.

I am always looking for new ways to make the veggie side dish in my house so it is not so boring. However, this turned into a delicious appetizer because they simply did not last until dinner time!

Being an avid chip and dip lover, (like it is actually a problem) I am proud to say this is a healthy alternative to that. Without fully giving up the dipping :)

Again, super easy with only 6 ingredients for the tots and only 2 ingredients for the dip if you choose!

What we need
12 ounce package of spinach
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup of red onion
2 eggs
1/2 cup extra sharp provolone
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil


What to do

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly oil a baking sheet with olive oil.
2. Into a large bowl, empty package of spinach and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Chop the garlic and onion very finely and add to spinach. Shred provolone cheese and add. Last, add eggs and olive oil. 


























3. Mix with hands! It's the best way! Then let mixture chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

4. Scoop and mold mixture into tots. If you have one of this (actually used to make Japanese rice balls), it makes it really easy!


5. Bake for 15 minutes. Flip tots and then bake another 15 minutes.


If you would like to make the dip... only 2 ingredients.
6 ounces container of plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon of sriracha
(if you don't like spicy, you can do less)


And here is the finished product!
Great as a side dish for dinner. Great for an appetizer before dinner. Great to bring to a party. Even great to make ahead for lunches. 



Friday, April 7, 2017

Important update!

Say goodbye to the mama of 2 under 2 and say hello to the terrible twos and a 9 month old ;)


Seriously. Why does the time go as fast as they say it will?

Yes, some days I just can not wait for the minute my little angels finally go to sleep so I can have a few minutes of quiet alone time. But it's all too bittersweet. I find myself questioning and examining my entire day as a mother. Did I play with them enough? Was I patient enough today? Did I pay my full attention to the new things they are learning to do? Could I have possibly missed something that I need to write down in their baby books for fear that in the coming years of their lives I might forget even just one second of their baby lives? I blinked an eye and my baby girl is two.  

It's like a sick form of torture I do as a nightly routine.










Friday, March 10, 2017

Guilt free KALE PIZZA CRUST


When you need the pizza but you don't need the guilt!

When the weekend comes, it is so much more tempting to indulge. This delicious kale pizza crust will kick the craving.

What do we need
Originally I started with 
2 eggs
3 packed cups of chopped kale
1 cup of panko breadcrumbs
1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon of salt 
Throw all of these ingredients into the food processor. I found my "dough" to be a little dry so I added one additional egg and 1/2 cup of water. This made it come together very nicely.

Then I covered a baking sheet with foil and coated it with a small amount of olive oil. Place the mixture in the center of the pan and press your crust into the desired size and thickness. 

Bake the kale crust for approximately 15 minutes on 350 degrees. The edges should just start to brown.

Now the fun part. Add all the toppings you want. 
Today I wanted to go for the traditional margarita pizza.

1 cup of sliced grape tomatoes
Mixture of 4 cloves of garlic and 1/4 cup of olive oil
Half of this cheese (4 ounces)


Spread the tomatoes and sliced cheese. Spoon the garlic olive oil mixture on top of it all. Sprinkle some pepper for a finishing touch.

This just looks so fresh and amazing already.


Bake at 350 degrees for another 10 to 15 minutes. 




Kale. Pizza. Match made in heaven. :)