So the first week alone with the kids is coming to an end and I have to say it went pretty well. The first day was rough but after that we got into somewhat of a routine that is working for now. Our days still involve too much TV and electronics but for now that’s what keeps Noah out of trouble while I’m feeding Hannah so I’m just going to have to let the mommy guilt go on that. It’s not going to kill him. We also went out on our own for the first time to Noah’s gymnastics class and we were the first ones there! I was pretty proud of myself. We’ll see how next week goes.
For busy mornings, smoothies are always my go to breakfast. This is my new favorite and I make it at least 2-3 times a week for a quick and easy breakfast. It tastes just like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I absolutely love the texture the oats add to the smoothie…it may seem weird but trust me, it’s the perfect addition to this smoothie.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie
recipe from Mama Owl Blog
1 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup oats
1 tsp. honey
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup milk
handful of ice cubes (depending on how thick you want it)
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Today is my first day on my own with the kiddos. I would be a liar if I said I was completely confident and not scared. I know I can do it, but getting into the swing of things will be interesting I’m sure. Wish me luck.
So, in honor of needing quick and easy meals for the long foreseeable future, I’m bringing you all a yummy breakfast that can be whipped up in a flash. And it can easily be made gluten and lactose free for those with food restrictions. I love to make these when my nieces are visiting because they are really fun for kids to eat since they are mini. Who doesn’t love a mini version of something? It always makes thing better in my opinion!
Lastly, these are relatively healthy so you don’t have to feel so bad when you sneak a few too many pieces of candy from the Halloween stash.
Individual Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cups
recipe from Emily Bites
3 cups old-fashioned oats, gluten free
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
1 ¼ cups skim milk, or almond milk to make lactose free
¾ c mashed bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ c semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray 18 muffin cups with nonstick spray.
2. In a large bowl, mix oats, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, mix together the egg whites, egg, milk, bananas and vanilla extract. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
3. Divide evenly between the 18 muffin cups. Bake 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and they are lightly browned.
A few weeks ago I received an email from a good friend telling me that Ree Drummond was coming to Omaha in November for a book signing and asking if I would be interested in going. My response: absolutely. I am so excited! I love her blog, Food Network show and cookbook. As soon as I found out about the signing, I jumped on Amazon and pre-ordered her new cookbook The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays.
Every one of her recipes I have tried has been a huge, delicious success. I love the ease of her recipes and her hilarious way of presenting them. This penne with chicken thighs was easy to throw together and really yummy. I usually like to make homemade spaghetti sauce but to make this recipe simple, jarred sauce is used but onion, garlic and fresh basil are added to make taste fresh and almost homemade.
With the addition of Hannah to our family, this will certainly become a new favorite and go to for hectic nights (which I’m sure will be every night for the foreseeable future).
Penne with Chicken Thighs
recipe from The Pioneer Woman
8 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
Salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 whole large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 jars (24 ounces each) marinara sauce
Fresh basil, to taste
16 ounces penne or rigatoni
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. In a large skillet or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Sear chicken thighs quickly on both sides until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from skillet.
3. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add onions and garlic to pan and cook, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add marinara sauce and stir to heat. Place chicken thighs back into the skillet. Cover and put pan in the oven for 1 1/2 hours.
4. During the last few minutes of cooking, boil the pasta according to package instructions. Spoon out pasta then top with 1 chicken thigh and marinara sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve.
Dips are perfect to feed large crowds during the game and we especially love this one during football season. I could literally sit down with a bowl of chips and dip and have that be my meal. I kind of have a thing for appetizers. And I really do enjoy the eating part of the game more than the actual game.
This dip is warm and hearty and really easy to throw together. It tastes like a combination of the ever popular queso dip and big bowl of chili. It’s not fancy or gourmet but who wants that when they are watching the game? It’s just plain ‘ole good.
Chili Nacho Dip
recipe adapted from Taste of Home
1 lb. ground beef or turkey
24 oz. tomato sauce
1 (15 oz.) can pinto or black beans
1 (10 oz.) can diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
1 envelope chili mix
1 lb. Velveeta
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Fritos or tortilla chips
1. Cook ground beef in a dutch oven until no longer pink; drain fat. Stir in tomato sauce, beans, diced tomatoes and chili mix and cook until heated through. Add in Velveeta and heavy whipping cream. Cook until cheese has melted and dip is warmed through. To keep warm for several hours, transfer to a crockpot on warm setting.