Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Zucchini Goat Cheese Quesadillas with Caramelized Onions

I have a problem.

It's pretty bad...

I'm 99.99% positive that I'm addicted to Pinterest food.
I could look at that stuff all day!
I love looking at all the amazing recipes out there and dreaming
about having them in my kitchen (or my belly) right this moment.

Now, I just need to figure out how to make my food look that good!

Anyways, during one of my Pinterest perusals, I found this recipe
for Zucchini Goat Cheese Pizza by Diethood.

It looked SO good.
But I didn't have the energy or will-power to make pizza dough.
(It's a rare occurrence that I do!)

So...I decided to take this pizza and turn it into...

A quesadilla!

And this was one dang good quesadilla.

First, you can't go wrong with caramelized onions.
They are so sweet and full of flavor!


Second, the goat cheese gets all melty and gooey inside the quesadilla
and simply melts in your mouth with every bite.

Both complement the tender, sauteed zucchini perfectly.


Now for a funny/horrifying story...

While I was making said quesadillas, sweet little Kaiya climbed onto a chair
in the kitchen and knocked a cup of water all over the kitchen table...
and onto everything else on the table!

Luckily, my husband's laptop was spared, but tons of papers and other books got wet.
You think I would know by now not to leave cups of water on a table for
a toddler to spill over lots of important things, right?

Apparently I haven't learned that lesson yet. :)

Luckily, this little incident did not result in burnt quesadillas!

And now, for your eating pleasure....

Zucchini Goat Cheese Quesadillas
               with Caramelized Onions

Total Time: 15-20 minutes
Servings: 2 quesadillas
Nutrition (per quesadilla):
Calories (331), Fat (19.5g), Carbs (23.5g), Protein (17.4g), Fiber (2.6g), Sugars (2.8g)
Low sugar, high protein, high calcium, and very high in vitamin B6

  • 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 medium zucchini, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 c. - 2/3 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 c. crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 whole wheat tortillas
  1. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add sliced red onion and sauté until onion begins to appear translucent, about 2 minutes. 
  2. Add the chopped zucchini, salt, pepper, and garlic to the skillet and continue to sauté until the zucchini is tender. Remove from heat. Be sure to stir the red onion and zucchini occasionally while they are sautéing so they cook evenly. 
  3. Lightly spray a large skillet with non-stick cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Place your tortilla in the skillet and cover one half of the tortilla with half the mozzarella cheese, half the zucchini/onion mixture, and half the crumbled goat cheese. 
  4. Fold the tortilla in half and cook until the bottom is golden brown. Flip the quesadilla and cook until the other side is golden brown.
  5. Transfer quesadilla to a serving plate.
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 with the remaining ingredients to make your second quesadilla.

What's your favorite kind of quesadilla? :)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Banana Chocolate Chip Nut Butter Cookies {GF/Vegan}

Anyone else here guilty of eating raw cookie dough straight from the bowl?

I know I'm guilty!

Well, you can be sure you will want to eat the entire batch of these cookies
straight from the bowl. They are THAT good!

My toddler sat at the table and licked the bowl and spoon clean. That's my girl!

And I didn't feel a bit guilty about letting her eat lots of that cookie batter because
it is full of all sorts of healthy stuff. ;)

You're in for a treat...

Sweetened with ripe bananas.

Thickened and infused with nut butter goodness.


Vegan. No eggs, butter, or milk.

With a delicious combination of coconut and dark chocolate...

Is that drool on your chin? ;)

Anyways, you are going to love these cookies!
You won't regret making these. Your kids won't regret it.
The hubby won't regret it. Your waistline won't regret it.

It's really a win-win all around. ;)

Banana Chocolate Chip Nut Butter Cookies
{GF, Vegan}

Total Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 1 dozen cookies
Nutrition (per cookie):
Calories (107), Fat (7.5g), Carbs (9.4g), Protein (1.8g), Fiber (1.6g), Sugars (4.7g)

  • 1 1/2 large, very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 c. nut butter (I used a mix of homemade PB and almond butter)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. old-fashioned oats (use gluten-free oats)
  • 1/4 c. almond flour (ground from raw almonds - can also use oat flour)
  • 1/4 c. unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • pinch cinnamon
  • 1/4 c. - 1/2 c. dark chocolate chips (vegan chocolate chips if you want a completely vegan cookie)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, mix together the mashed banana, nut butter, and vanilla extract. 
  2. In a separate medium bowl, combine the oats, almond flour, shredded coconut, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined. 
  3. Stir in the chocolate chips and drop in spoonfuls onto a baking sheet sprayed lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
  4. Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes until the cookies have set and are no longer mushy.
  5. Indulge (without any guilt!) :)
Note: Cookies will keep best in an airtight container in the fridge. Feel free to warm them up for a few seconds before enjoying! 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins with Cinnamon Coconut Streusel

Who here loves blueberries?!
I do I do!

I adore blueberries. They are super cute and super sweet!
I love adding them to everything: Oatmeal, cookies, muffins, breads...
Or just popping a handful of them into my mouth. Yum!

And not only are they delicious, they are a "superfood" meaning they
are packed with tons of health benefits, including antioxidants, which
protect our bodies from cell-damaging substances called free radicals.

So there you go! A wonderful fruit that is delicious AND super healthy. :)

To show my love of all things blueberry, I wanted to make a healthy, delicious
oatmeal muffin packed with this delicious little fruit. :)

This muffin also has applesauce instead of oil! Awesome!
Feel free to grab one of these as a quick, healthy breakfast when you're on-the-go.
Or grab one as a snack during the day. Or when you have a craving for sweets!

Yep that's the good stuff right there.
By the way...please ignore the green-ish appearance of these delicious muffins.

They turned out green-ish looking because I used frozen blueberries instead of fresh
so the frozen juices on the outside of the berries dispersed throughout the batter,
making it appear green! (Maybe you could make these for St. Patty's Day? :) )

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins
  with Cinnamon Coconut Streusel
Inspired By: Ambitious Kitchen
Total Time: 25-30 minutes
Yield: 12 muffins
Nutrition (per muffin):
Calories (130), Fat (3.1g), Carbs (24.1g), Protein (3.2g), Fiber (3.1g), Sugars (5.7g)
High in vitamin B6

  • 1 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 c. old-fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. raw honey, softened
  • 1 egg, beaten (could use a flax egg)
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 c. blueberries (fresh or frozen)
For the streusel:
  • 3 Tbsp. old-fashioned oats
  • 1 Tbsp. whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil

To make streusel:
  • In a small bowl, combine oats, flour, cinnamon, brown sugar, shredded coconut, and coconut oil. I like to mush it all together with my fingers (clean fingers of course!) to make sure the coconut oil gets distributed evenly throughout the streusel. The streusel will be crumbly.

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. In a small bowl mix the applesauce, brown sugar, raw honey, eggs, and almond milk. Add to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently fold in the blueberries.
  4. Distribute the batter evenly between a 12-cup muffin tin lined with paper muffin-liners or sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  5. Sprinkle a heaping teaspoon of streusel over each muffin and bake in oven for about 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the muffin's center comes out clean.
I really hope you enjoy these muffins as much as I do! :)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Sloppy Joes with Blue Cheese Slaw

This ain't no sloppy joe from a can, that's for sure!

This is a spicy, kicked-up buffalo chicken sloppy joe recipe that is sure to please!

Even my toddler loved it...but she is kind of strange and likes that kind of spicy stuff. :D
She kept asking for "more chichen (chicken)!" even though I could tell she thought it was spicy.
But no worries because you have total control over how spicy or mild the recipe turns out!
If you or your kids don't like a ton of spice, then just add less of the hot sauce/buffalo sauce. :)

I pretty much followed this recipe from Cupcakes and Kale Chips with a few minor alterations.
And I used her blue cheese dressing recipe and just mixed it with a bagged garden cabbage mix to create a blue cheese slaw - WAY good! :)

I know you'll love it too!

Buffalo Chicken Sloppy Joes 
    with a Creamy Blue Cheese Slaw

Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
Nutrition (per serving):
Calories (363), Fat (10.7g), Carbs (37.8g), Protein (26.1g), Fiber (5.7g), Sugars (9.3g)
High in protein and vitamin A

  • 1 tsp. oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 3/4 c. diced baby carrots
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. lean ground chicken
  • 8 oz. can tomato sauce (no salt or sugar added)
  • 1/4-1/3 c. buffalo sauce
  • 1 recipe of blue cheese dressing (given below)
  • bagged cabbage mix (I used one with green cabbage, red cabbage, radish, romaine lettuce, carrots, and green onions)
  • whole wheat hamburger buns
Blue Cheese Dressing:
  • 1/2 c. plain greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. dry mustard
  • pinch of chili powder
  • 1/2 c. crumbled blue cheese

Follow the directions given here for making the sloppy joes (the only thing I omitted was the Worcestershire sauce) and here for making the blue cheese dressing. 

Mix the blue cheese dressing with the cabbage mix. Less cabbage mix if you want more dressing than cabbage and vice versa. :)

Top your sloppy joes with the blue cheese slaw and enjoy! You may need to eat this with a fork.
Just FYI. ;)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Scrambled Eggs with Roasted Rosemary Sweet Potatoes and Creamy Goat Cheese

I think I have discovered my breakfast for the rest of forever.
(Not really, but close, because I have to get my oatmeal in there as well!).

I really can't think of a time when I have gone out for breakfast and had eggs this good.
Not even IHOP compares (and I love IHOP)!

These are gourmet scrambled eggs.
Just give 20 minutes of your morning to make these and I promise,
your taste buds and your tummy will thank you.

Savory scrambled eggs with a hint of sweet from the sweet potatoes, and some creamy goat-cheesy goodness will have you coming back for seconds, and thirds, and so on...until there is no more.
You may even have to make more. They are that good.

My husband also LOVES these scrambled eggs. They are his favorite way to start the day as a personal trainer. And as a personal trainer, he endorses them as a healthy, nutritious way to start the day!
(Which makes them even better!)

So basically, they taste good and they are good for you!

Okay, enough chit-chat. Let's get to the good stuff here...

Scrambled Eggs w/ Roasted Rosemary Sweet Potatoes and Creamy Goat Cheese

Total Time: 15-20 minutes
Yield: 2 servings
Nutrition (per serving):
Calories (176), Fat (10.1g), Carbs (5.5g), Fiber (1g), Sugars (1.9g), Protein (16.2g)
Packed with Protein & High in Vitamin A (94% daily value)


  • 1/2 large sweet potato, diced
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 whole eggs (yolks and whites) 
  • 3 egg whites
  • splash (about 1/2-1 Tbsp.) of unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1/8-1/4 c. crumbled goat cheese, for topping
  • non-stick cooking spray
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. In a bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with the olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper. Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are soft and tender. Make sure to turn the sweet potatoes once during the 10-15 minutes.
  3. While the sweet potatoes are roasting in the oven, prepare the egg mixture by whisking together the whole eggs and egg whites in a small bowl. Add the splash of milk and whisk again to combine.
  4. Spray small to medium-sized skillet lightly with non-stick cooking spray and heat over medium-low heat. Add 1/2 of the sweet potatoes (set aside the other half for future scrambled-egg-making) and the egg mixture to the skillet and scramble eggs until cooked through.
  5. Transfer scrambled eggs from the skillet to a bowl or plate for serving. Sprinkle crumbled goat cheese over the eggs and finally...
  6. Dig in! 
I hope you love these scrambled eggs as much as my husband and I do! To save time, try preparing the sweet potatoes the day before you want to use them for these scrambled eggs! :)

For this recipe, I used leftover sweet potatoes from a Sweet Potato Kale Pizza that I made a few days earlier, which I highly recommend making! This helped save some time in making this dish.  

Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Chinese Valentine's Day! {Sushi Included!}

Hope you had a fabulous Valentine's Day! <3

Whether you were able to spend it with a special significant other
or celebrate with close family and friends, I hope you were
able to enjoy a holiday devoted to expressing love for those
who mean the most to us in life! :)

For Valentine's Day, Joshua and I decided to go with a Chinese theme!
I guess I have kind of been in a Chinese food mood.
First with the Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken, and now with sushi
(thanks to my pregnancy cravings)!

Joshua and I have been wanting to try making our own sushi for a while now
but I am going to admit, it seemed like such a daunting task!
For some reason, I thought making sushi would be really hard.

All our yummy sushi fillings!

Well, I feel silly...because it is probably one of the easiest things I have ever made!
And it is so rewarding to make a dish that looks so pretty and tastes just like you
got it from your local sushi joint!

I found this great tutorial and recipe for sushi from Minimalist Baker.
I LOVE her recipes. They are all super healthy and very simple.
As the name states, she uses the minimal and most natural ingredients for her recipes.

We filled our sushi with:

Red Peppers

They were super good. And made even better with chopsticks!
All Chinese food tastes better when eaten with chopsticks. ;)

The sushi making process...

Ready to be cut!

The finished product! Delish!

Kaiya LOVED the sushi! We were pleasantly surprised.
She knows good food, that's for sure. ;)
It always baffles me, though, that it doesn't seem like she chews her food at all.
She just shoves it down! Haha.

Joshua and I enjoyed our sushi, ate some amazing ice cream, and watched Mulan.
It was wonderful and I cherish the fun memories we made!

How did you celebrate your Valentine's Day? 

Dark Chocolate Banana Avocado Cookies

Okay, this is going to sound weird.
Really weird.
But you gotta hear me out!

I've been seeing pins on Pinterest for Chocolate Avocado Cookies.

That's right. Avocado!

I was instantly curious. 
Any baked good made with avocados had to be weird. And taste weird.
Avocados are for guacamole, not cookies.

Despite my reluctance to believe that cookies made with avocado could be palate-worthy,
I decided to try them! I'm one to try everything at least once.


So I made these chocolate avocado cookies from The Smoothie Lover.

When they came out of the oven, I was thinking,
"Man, these better taste as good as they smell!" Haha.
Well, I ate one a few minutes after they came out of the oven 
and it was pretty good, but not the greatest.
Then I realized the recipe recommended refrigerating the cookies 
before eating them, so I did just that.

I waited, and waited, and waited. 
But boy, was it worth it! The chilled cookies were SO good!
The texture is definitely not the same as your ordinary cookie. 
They are thinner, more dense, and more moist compared to your average cookie,
but the flavor is amazing! I was pretty impressed.

They were chocolatey and riddled with bits of delicious dark chocolate chips.

These cookies inspired me to try my own version of chocolate avocado cookies,
but I wanted to make them a little different, so I added...


Yep, it doesn't get much stranger than a banana-avocado cookie. 
But I was determined to make it work.

I tried it once, and the texture just wasn't quite right. They were super gooey.
The not-so-great kind of gooey.

So I tried again, and my Dark Chocolate Banana-Avocado Cookies were born!

Dark Chocolate Banana Avocado Cookies

Total Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 1 dozen cookies
Nutrition (per cookie):
Calories (81), Fat (3.1g), Carbs (12.2g), Fiber (2.1g), Sugars (6.9g), Protein (2.3g)
High in Vitamin B6 and Fiber

  • 1/4 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp. raw honey
  • 1/4 c. ripe, mashed avocado (about 1/2 a large avocado)
  • 1/4 c. very ripe, mashed banana (about 1/2 medium banana)
  • 5 Tbsp. whole wheat flour
  • 5 Tbsp. dutch-processed cocoa
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2-3 Tbsp. miniature dark chocolate chips (or any kind of chocolate chip you have on hand!)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray. 
  2. In large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, vanilla, and honey. Add mashed avocado and banana and mix well. 
  3. In a small bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir well to combine. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Spoon dough onto cookie sheet in 1 heaping Tbsp. per cookie. Bake in oven for about 8 minutes or until the cookies appear set and are not "shiny" anymore (see picture below).
  5. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for about 15 minutes and then transfer them to cooling rack. If you try to transfer them when the cookies are still really warm, they will fall apart.
  6. Place the cookie-filled cooling rack in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes until the cookies are chilled.
  7. Enjoy with a tall glass of chilled milk!

Cheers! :)

What surprisingly delicious foods have you tried? 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

{Healthier} Valentine's Day Red Velvet Pancakes

Boy, are you in for a treat today!
If you were looking for a special Valentine's Day breakfast, look no further!

I have got the perfect recipe for you!

They are fluffy, moist, and sweet. Did I mention they smell divine?

AND they are a little bit healthier for you than your typical red velvet pancakes.
But I promise you won't be able to tell! Pinky promise.

These taste just as decadent as any red velvet dessert you've had.
(And they're pretty too!)

They are made using whole wheat flour, almond milk, organic cane sugar, and coconut oil 
rather than all-purpose flour, cow's milk, white sugar, and butter.

But to be honest, that's about as healthy as it gets...the rest of the ingredients are, well,
typical of red velvet desserts. ;) 

 { Healthier} Red Velvet Pancakes
             (with a Cream Cheese Glaze)

Inspired by:  Cooking Classy and Mother Thyme
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: ~14 pancakes
Nutrition (per pancake, without cream cheese glaze):
Calories (77), Fat (2.1g), Carbs (12.7g), Fiber (1.9g), Sugars (3.7g), Protein (2.3g)


  • 1 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk (regular milk works fine too!)
  • 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp. raw organic cane sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2+ tsp. red food coloring


  1. Preheat electronic non-stick griddle to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk and white wine vinegar. Let sit for 2 minutes.
  4. Add to the milk mixture: the cane sugar, powdered sugar, egg, melted coconut oil, vanilla extract, and red food coloring. Whisk well to combine. Add more food coloring as needed to get desired coloring.
  5. Add milk mixture to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. 
  6. Spray griddle with cooking spray, if necessary. Scoop about 1/4 c. of batter onto hot griddle at a time for each pancake. Cook until bubbles begin to form on top of pancakes and a spatula can easily slide underneath (about 2-3 minutes). Flip pancakes and cook for about another 2-3 minutes or until the pancakes are cooked through. Try not to overcook them or they will turn out looking brownish-red.
  7. Serve warm with a cream cheese glaze (see recipe below), fresh berries, and/or powdered sugar sprinkled on top.
  8. Enjoy with your sweetheart or all by yourself! ;)
Notes: If you like a sweeter pancake, add more sugar to taste. I didn't find more sugar necessary with the cream cheese glaze over them, though. If you're really wanting to be healthy this Valentine's Day, try using beet juice as the red food coloring--I have never tried it, but I have seen some recipes do that!

Cream Cheese Glaze

  • 6 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/8-1/4 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or regular milk)
  • 1-2 c. powdered sugar
  1. Using a hand mixer, mix the cream cheese, vanilla extract, and milk in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Add powered sugar to cream cheese mixture 1/4 c. at a time until desired sweetness and consistency is reached.
  3. If mixture is thinner than wanted, add more powdered sugar. If it is thicker than wanted, add more milk.
  4. Enjoy over pancakes, french toast, cinnamon rolls, and anything else your heart desires!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Healthy Minute Blueberry Mug Oatmeal

So, I eat oatmeal a lot.
Like every day...
Sometimes twice, or even three times a day...

I know! It's crazy, and there are some people who
really don't like oatmeal and would think that's really gross.

But trust me...with oatmeal like this, it is most definitely not gross. ;)

And you might end up eating oatmeal every day too!

Plus, oatmeal is super good for you!
It has tons of fiber and is versatile so you can add
all sorts of yummy, mix-ins:
shredded coconut
dried fruit
fresh fruit
chocolate chips
etc, etc, etc...

Get what I mean? Super versatile!

 And, just so you know, this recipe is:
-low in saturated fat
-high in calcium
-high in fiber
-high in vitamin B6
-very high in vitamin C and
-high in vitamin E

If you already eat oatmeal a lot, this recipe is a great way to mix
things up just a little making it in a giant mug!
And adding some special ingredients (like applesauce!). ;)

Trust me, eating oatmeal in a mug is way more fun
than eating it in a bowl for some reason.
You've gotta try it.

Healthy Minute Blueberry Mug Oatmeal

Total Time: 5 minutes
Yield: 1 mug serving
Nutrition (per serving):
Calories (218), Fat (3.9g), Carbs (41.8g), Fiber (6.7g), Sugars (11.8g), Protein (5.8g)

  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
  • dash of vanilla extract
  • 1 handful blueberries (or more or less depending on how much you want!)
  • Optional: sweetener of choice, to taste
  • Optional toppings: shredded coconut and/or whipped cream for some creamy, sweet decadence
(I didn't add any sweetener and thought it tasted fine, but if you like sweeter oatmeal, feel free to add some!)

  1. Combine dry ingredient in a large mug. Add wet ingredients and mix well. Stir in blueberries.
  2. Cook in microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes-2 minutes depending on how thick vs. runny you like your oats. 
  3. If oats are thicker than you like, add more milk; if it's too runny, cook it longer.
  4. Top with some coconut flakes and/or whipped cream for some creamy, sweet decadence.  
Tip: Keep an eye on the oats so they don't overflow while they cook! 


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Sunday Fun and Pigtails

This past Sunday, my Grandma and Grandpa
came to visit us, which was way exciting because
they hadn't seen Kaiya for about a year!

The last time they saw her, she was only 7 months old!
It is truly amazing how time flies!

Kaiya immediately opened up to them,
especially since they walked in with an
adorable pink, stuffed monkey just for her!

If you give Kaiya a toy (or food), she's immediately your best friend.

Also, she's immediately your best friend if you have a cool phone.
Like Grandpa's. His phone is about as big as her forearm. Haha!

Side note: doesn't she look just like Joshua?! I think so.
Plus, aren't her pigtails! She finally has enough hair!
They make her look like such a big girl...

I miss my baby, sometimes.

Anyways, Kaiya does enjoy her phones, but she
does also like to read books, believe it or not!

And I have the pictures to prove it...

I am in love with these pictures!
And I am oh so glad we caught these memories of Kaiya
with her great-grandparents.
They will be cherished forever. :)

My favorite!!!
Grandpa "eating" Kaiya's toes.
She loved it.
And even requested it. Haha. Silly girl.

I love my family.
There is truly something special about families coming
together to enjoy each other's company.

There's something especially special about having your daughter
play with and make memories with her great-grandparents
because that is exactly what I did with them when I was a little girl
running around in pigtails. :)

{Baked} Sweet and Sour Chicken

Happy Chinese New Year!
(I know I am like a week late, but I've heard the Chinese
celebrate their New Year for about a week, so I'm good, right? ;) )

In honor of the Chinese New Year,
I wanted to share this delicious Chinese dish with you!

It is SO good and super simple
(and better than anything you'd ever find at Panda Express. For real.)
But I don't want to take all the credit because I found
this dish via The Recipe Critic. I just had to share it! :)

I pretty much followed the recipe exactly, except I added one
or two things and tweaked the directions just a bit to fit my
preference of not touching raw chicken as much as possible.

Does touching raw chicken gross anyone else out?!
Ugh, I just do not find pleasure in it and I would probably be
vegetarian if Joshua and I didn't really like chicken.

Speaking of Joshua, he LOVES this recipe and is giddy
every time I make it, which makes me feel pretty happy.

Kaiya also loves this chicken, which is huge for any toddler.
Toddlers can be picky sometimes...about lots of things, including food.

here's the recipe!

I hope you find some friends to celebrate the
Chinese New Year with and make this dish!
Thanks Recipe Critic for this recipe! It is genius. :)

{Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken} Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Nutrition at a glance (per serving):
Calories (381), Fat (9.8g), Carbs (53.2g), Fiber (.4g), Sugars (29.8g), Protein (11.1g)


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thawed
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. ketchup
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • sesame seeds (pretty, but optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces and season with a bit of salt and pepper.
  2. Whisk together the cornstarch and 1 tsp. garlic powder in a medium-sized bowl and the put beaten eggs in a separate medium-sized bowl.
  3. Pour all the chicken pieces into the bowl with the cornstarch and mix with a spoon until all the chicken is dusted with cornstarch.
  4. Pour the egg into the chicken-cornstarch mixture and stir with a spoon until all the chicken is coated with egg.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat and cook the chicken mixture until it is browned. Pour chicken into a 9x13 (or similar-sized) baking dish.
  6. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the sugar, ketchup, white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, garlic powder, and salt. Pour over the chicken and bake, uncovered for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes to make sure all the chicken is well-coated in sauce. 
Sprinkle sesame seeds over chicken and serve with Fried Rice. If you want to make a healthier version of this dish, just cook the salt and pepper seasoned chicken in the olive oil without the breading. :)

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