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My boy and I used to have pizza and movie nights on my paydays…I generally don’t feel like cooking when I get home from work (I get up at 4:30 am on workdays, after all), and we discovered a place that would bring us delicious pizza AND movies. We’d watch O’s movie while having a pizza picnic in the living room.

Then I started the 21 Day Fix. I figured pizza night could be my cheat day, but after eating well for two weeks, pizza just didn’t make me feel all that great. We haven’t had a pie delivered since, but I didn’t want to give up on our pizza nights. Wanting to make my own, but not really wanting to make the crust from scratch after coming home from work, I started looking for crust options that wouldn’t ruin my hard work…but still tasted good.

I found FlatOuts at the grocery store and decided to give them a shot. Check out the video below to see how it went!

Please excuse my hair and lack of makeup. I did a workout, then spent most of the day trying to declutter. Turns out, we have a TON of stuff to get rid of. I’m also in desperate need of a haircut, but I just haven’t had time.

If you like this video, please give it a thumbs up and don’t forget to subscribe!

Have you tried FlatOuts?

**Disclosure** This is not a sponsored post. I purchased this product with my own money, all opinions are my own.**


As much as I love summer, I kind of hate dealing with what to have for dinner every night. Most days, it’s just too damn hot to get the oven going. I could probably live on salad during the summer months, but The BF wouldn’t appreciate it.

The good news is that we have a crock pot. I rely pretty heavily on ours, but especially during summer months when I’m not about to sweat it out over a hot stove. There are tons of websites dedicated to crock pot cooking and make ahead freezer meals (something I really want to try!), but if you’re like me that might be a bit too much planning. I like to fly by the seat of my pants. I like to go with the flow! I like to throw a bunch of stuff in there and cross my fingers!

True story.

So anyway, I know this will sound weird. Brats are for cookouts. They go with sauerkraut, not tomato sauce. I know, but just trust me. The brats cook in the sauce all day and they’re so tender that they are better than meatballs. You may never go back to squishing through ground meat to make balls when you find out how good this is.

Turkey brat spaghetti

6 turkey brats
1-2 cans of your favorite spaghetti sauce
Dry spaghetti
Optional
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 small onion, quartered
4 cloves garlic
1 green pepper, quartered
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

So you can make this as simple as pouring the sauce into the crock pot, adding the brats, and letting it cook on high for about four hours before turning it to low until the brats are cooked through.

If you want to snazz it up a bit, toss the optional veggies in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast on a parchment lined baking sheet at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until you get some char. Toss them in a food processor after they’ve cooled a bit and pulse until a chunky mixture forms. Add that to the crock pot with your canned sauce and brats. Delicious!

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I used macaroni noodles because they’re easier for my boy to eat, but you can use whatever pasta you like… just boil it according to package directions and drown it in sauce and meat. And cheese, duh.

Serve with a salad and garlic bread. Make sandwiches or pizza with the leftovers. Go ahead and call me a genius. Just chew that bite up first, ok? It’s not polite to talk with your mouth full.


Well, here I go jumping on the Matcha bandwagon. If you aren’t familiar, it’s basically green tea powder. I’ve been reading about the health benefits lately, and it sounds like it’s pretty great…If all of the claims are accurate.

So it’s supposed to be super great for you, but how does it taste?

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KissMe Organics was kind enough to send me a bag of their organic Matcha green tea powder so I could try it out. I felt like a kid at Christmas when the package appeared in my mailbox (ok, I feel that way every time I get a package). Since it was a little late in the day I decided to wait to try it, but I couldn’t stand just staring at the pouch on my counter. I decided to compromise and make chia pudding.

Matcha chia pudding

3 tablespoons Organic Chia Seeds

1 teaspoon matcha green tea powder

1 cup almond milk (original or unsweetened)

1 tablespoon real maple syrup or honey (optional, to taste)

Fresh or frozen mixed berries

Almond slivers

Measure the chia seeds into a bowl with a tight-fitting lid and set aside. Add almond milk, syrup, and matcha powder to the bowl of your food processor (or your blender, if you have one) and blend until all is combined. Pour over chia seeds and give it a stir, then cover it and stick it in the fridge. After a couple of hours, give the pudding a good stir to bust up any clumps, then leave it in the fridge overnight. When you’re ready to eat, garnish with berries and almond slivers.

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I don’t know what I expected it to taste like, but holy green tea, Batman. If you love green tea, you’ll really love this stuff. It had a slight earthy flavor, and it went well with the berries and almond milk. I really liked it, and I can’t wait to try a latte.

If you’re a purist and you just want to brew a cup of tea, follow these directions, courtesy of Bon Appetit. If you’re wondering where to get a fancy little bamboo whisk, I found a reasonably priced set on Amazon that should do the job quite well.

As far as all of the health claims go…I can’t really say if I think they’re all accurate since I’ve only ingested a teaspoon of the stuff. I’m going to try really hard to sneak it into my daily diet and see if it lives up to all of the hype. It shouldn’t be hard, since the daily effective dose (according to the package) is only one teaspoon, and you can make tons of things with this stuff. KissMe Organics includes a free recipe book in your purchase, and I think a batch of matcha cookies are in order.

So far, this gets a thumbs up from me…Stay tuned to hear more about my adventures with matcha!

 

**This post contains affiliate links**

***KissMe Organics sent me a bag of matcha at no charge to me in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.***

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My mom used to make the best key lime pie… It was the perfect combination of sweet and tart, with a beautiful, fluffy, toasted meringue on top.

Good lawd, I miss that pie.

She hasn’t made it in ages…She did make me a key lime pie for my birthday a couple of years ago, but it wasn’t the pie. It was still delicious, but with no meringue it just wasn’t the same.

So recently I was wishing for something a little sweet, but a little tart, and I had key lime on the brain after having a key lime truffle from our new candy store.

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The problem was, I wanted something super easy that didn’t involve seperating eggs. I wanted a decent, but lazy, approximation of key lime pie.

I found it while aimlessly scrolling through Pinterest one day. The recipe was from Weight Watchers, I think, and it was a bunch of fat-free this and sugar-free that. Yuck.

I made my own version, and it turned out really well. It took me no time to put together, and cleanup was minimal.

Look, it isn’t real key lime pie, but it works in a pinch.

Cheater Key Lime Pie

1 box lime gelatin
1/4 cup boiling water
2 single-serve containers key lime Greek yogurt
1 8 ounce package Cool Whip
1 graham cracker pie crust

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water and let cool a bit. Stir in yogurt, then Cool Whip. Pour into pie crust, cover, and refrigerate until ready to eat. I think mine was in the fridge for a couple of hours and it was pretty good, but it was even better when I cut into it this morning to get a picture. I know because I, uh, accidentally got some on my finger and I had to taste it.

The sacrifices I make, people.

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This might be the perfect summer treat. Sweet, but not heavy…I’m already thinking of ways to fancy it up so I don’t feel like such a slouch next time I make it.

Now I think I’ll go accidentally eat the rest of that slice.


You guys. This is the simplest, easiest thing I will probably ever write about. It has one ingredient.

That’s right. One.

Of course, you could make it more complicated, but it isn’t necessary. And you can really use any variety of peanut your little heart desires ( just know that any kind with a really hard coating might dull your processor blades).

Are you ready? Here goes!

Honey roasted peanut butter

1 can honey roasted peanuts

Empty contents of the can into your food processor. Put the lid on and press the button.

Yep, that’s it. You could pulse it a few times at first to get things started, but then just turn it on and let it go until it’s the consistency you want. It might kind of ball up and bounce around for a second, but don’t be scared! Just leave it running and it will smooth out pretty quickly.

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From peanuts to toddler lunch in less than five minutes.

As I mentioned above, you could easily use different kind of peanuts (or any other nut, I suppose) and add ingredients to customize it. I think a touch of maple syrup or maple cream would be a delicious addition to some lightly salted peanuts, and I plan to try that next.

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I like to store mine in an airtight container in the fridge… It generally gets inhaled pretty quickly by my “peeutt budder” loving toddler, so I can’t say how long it lasts.

So, go make some peanut butter!


It seems like every post I write lately (few and far between as they are) begins with an apology and a line about how busy I’ve been… So I’ll spare you the broken record this time.

Instead, I’ll just get to the good stuff…The meat of the post, if you will.

Get it? MEAT? And we’re talking about meatballs?

Ok. Well I thougt it was funny, but I’ve been awake since five a.m.

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Back to the meatballs…

These really aren’t much different from regular meatballs, but I feel like they’re better for me than regular ol’ meatballs that are made with red meat.

I served these over pasta and this easy avocado sauce (next time, I’ll only use 1/2 of a lemon, though), but they are also good in soups and with tomato or alfredo sauce.

Turkey meatballs

1 pound ground turkey

1 large egg

1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs

1/2 cup grated parmesan

2 cloves garlic, minced

About a palm full of minced onion (feel free to use less)

A palm full of Italian seasoning

Salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 400° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add all ingredients to a large bowl. Using your hands, squish and squeeze until it’s all combined. Roll into balls (mine were about golfball size) and place them on the parchment, making sure they aren’t touching. Pop them into the oven for about 30 minutes, or until your quick read thermometer says 165° when poked into the center of your thickest meatball.

If your toddler has hidden your thermometer, just cut the biggest one open. If you don’t see any pink, you’re good!

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My kid loves these meatballs, and I think I actually prefer them over a more traditional recipe using red meat.

If you have leftovers, just toss them in a zipper freezer bag and freeze them. That makes dinner even easier!


I’ve been clear on my stance on raisins… If you’re new around here, let me catch you up: I hate them. The taste is foul, they stick in your teeth, and they look like rabbit turds. I can’t really think of a single redeeming factor.

My child, however, loves the nasty little things… Give him a little box and he will gladly cram them into his mouth as if they were something actually delicious. He goes through phases… Sometimes he’ll only ask for raisins a couple of times a day, and others he’s a broken record.

“Rasins? Rasins, mama? MAMA. RASINS. I hab it, the rasins? Pease?”

So it was one of those days… And I was trying to get some work done so I didn’t leap up the second he asked for them, so he decided to take matters into his own hands. I found him sitting on the kitchen floor with a bowl full of raisins in front of him, happily stuffing his face.
“Hey, buddy…where’s the box?”

He beamed with pride and said, “I frow it away!”

Rather than find a container for the remaining raisins, I decided to make some bread. Oddly enough, I actually do like cinnamon raisin bread, and I figured I had everything to make it. When it was time for O’s lunch, I took a break from my audio files and gathered the necessary ingredients. Once he was safely contained settled in his high chair, I got to work.

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Cinnamon Raisin Quick Bread

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup canola oil

2 large eggs

1 cup milk (I used 2%)

1 cup unsweetened almond milk (this was just an attempt to use up some almond milk that wasn’t my usual brand…feel free to use 2 cups of regular milk.)

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cinnamon  (or to taste, however you like your cinnamon/sugar mixture)

Preheat your oven to 350° and spray two loaf pans with Baker’s Joy.

In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients (except 1/2 cup of sugar and cinnamon). Add oil, milk, and eggs (I like to measure out the milk, crack the eggs into it, and whisk it all together, but you do you) and stir until all is combined. Add raisins and stir again.

In a seperate bowl, mix cinnamon and sugar.

Scoop a little batter into each loaf pan, then sprinkle some of the cinnamon sugar on top. Keep alternating layers of batter and sugar until batter is gone. Make sure to get equal amounts into the loaf pans. Using a knife, swirl the batter and sugar together. Bake for 60 – 70 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool on a wire rack before serving.

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So yes, the term “quick bread” is relative here since it takes a while to bake, but it’s worth it. I didn’t get much almond flavor, and I was sad about that, but the brand of almond milk I got sucked. Seriously, it was like water. Lesson learned!

I have accidentally eaten three pieces already, so I should warn you that it’s pretty irresistible.

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Deadlines are making me CRAZY right now. I’m in the middle of one huge ongoing project that has me basically putting in full-time hours. On top of that, I have an article due this weekend that I’m struggling with.

I’m not complaining… After all, freelancing tends to be pretty feast or famine. Sometimes I feel like I can’t seem to scare up any work, but others (like now) I almost end up with more than I can manage. I’m happy to have the work, believe me.

Being this busy makes it pretty tempting to let myself survive on coffee all day, because it’s much easier to pour a cup and get back to work. Since I’ve been going to the gym every morning, though,  I have actually cut back on my coffee consumption and started doing crazy things like eating real food during the day. Imagine that.

I’m also much more aware of the type of food I’m eating. I find that I actually crave healthier foods and I’m thinking of food more as fuel for my body instead of just what will taste good. Of course, whatever I eat (especially during the day) needs to come together quickly, and it’s even better if I can prep it ahead of time.

I think I found the perfect lunch.

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This doesn’t look like much, but it was quick, delicious, and filling without making me feel sluggish. It would be an excellent way to use any leftover brown rice.

I tried a different method when frying my egg, and I don’t think I’ll ever go back… I did end up flipping my egg to cook on the other side briefly, because I have nightmares about undercooked egg whites. Not really. Well, maybe.

This really isn’t even a recipe…more like instructions for assembly. It’s just that easy.

Brown rice with avocado and crispy egg
1/3 cup uncooked quick-cook brown rice

1/3 cup water

Olive oil

1 egg

1/2 of an acocado

Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper

Prepare rice according to packace directions. While rice is cooking, cut the avocado in half. Cut one half into slices, and save the remaining half for later.

Fry the egg according to the instructions here. I gently patted mine with a paper towel after frying to get rid of any excess oil.

When your egg is done, spoon the rice into a bowl, top with avocado slices, then with your egg. Sprinkle parm on top, then crack some pepper over everything. You can add salt if you like, but I didn’t think it was necessary.

Hot sauce might be a good addition, but I practically inhaled this. I only remembered the hot sauce as I was rinsing my bowl.

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It was so good that I am actually looking forward to eating this again tomorrow. I won’t lie, I considered having it again for dinner.

What is your favorite quickie lunch?


I woke up yesterday morning, before the sun, before anyone else in my house, and left for the gym. I do this every morning so it’s not remarkable. Since I started this in the winter, it also isn’t remarkable that my car was covered in a layer of ice that took forever to scrape off.

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I’m not usually one to publicly bitch and moan about weather that is still pretty typical for our area (we’ve had snow on Easter before),  but if I’m being totally honest…I’m over it. I’m tired of being cold. I don’t want to wear a thousand layers whenever I leave the house. I’m not asking for much… just, maybe 65° and sunny?

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Ok, I’d take this, too.

One thing I’m really missing right now is fresh produce. I want to go to the Farmer’s Market and pick out some nice tomatoes and sweet corn, local honey, strawberries…

You get the point.

So a few days ago, Kroger had some rather pretty grape tomatoes on sale. I managed to find a couple of decent cucumbers, and for once the baby dill looked fresh and not sad and wilty.

I had some chicken cutlets that I planned to roll around a filling of spinach and feta cheese, so why not make a Greek-ish salad to go with them?

This salad, and maybe the whole dinner, was just what I needed to perk up a little. I suggest picking up some naan or pita bread to go with it, because you’ll need something to sop up the extra dressing.

Greek style cucumber and tomato salad

1 container grape tomatoes, halved

2 cucumbers, cut into bite-sized chunks

About 1/4 of a small onion, cut into thin slivers

About a handful of pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped

1 container crumbled feta cheese

Dressing:

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

3-4 sprigs fresh dill, washed and minced

1 clove garlic, minced

2 teaspoons Greek seasoning

1 1/2 teaspoon sugar

Salt and pepper

Toss the tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, olives, and feta into a bowl with a tightly fitting lid.

Whisk dressing ingredients until combined, then pour over salad. Make sure the lid is good and secure, then give it all a good shake to combine and let it rest in the fridge for a few hours. I put mine together while O ate breakfast, so it got to marinate all day before we devoured it.

Taste it before serving and add whatever seasoning it needs. I ended up adding a bit more Greek seasoning, but be careful. The feta is pretty salty, so don’t go overboard.

I served this along with my spinach and feta stuffed chicken cutlets and some lemon dill roasted potatoes.

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Excuse the poorly-lit picture, but I had to hurry because two starving guys were about to descend upon the dinner I had so artfully crafted. I knew if I waited there wouldn’t be much left. Surprisingly, O ate every bite on his plate, held it up and said, “more, pease?”

I gladly piled more on, and told him I was happy to see him eating so well.

“I happy, mama! It soooo dood!”

And then he shoveled his second helping in like he hadn’t eaten in a week.

That kid got a scoop of ice cream topped with a crumbled Oreo and chocolate syrup after dinner. Of course, he ate all of that, too.

Hell, I was so excited that he ate so much that if he’d asked for a pony I would have gone looking for one.

Stay tuned…I’ll post the recipes for the chicken and potatoes soon!


Oh, hey guys! Remember me?

To say I’ve been busy would be an understatement. I’ve been going to the gym regularly, I accepted a couple of new freelance gigs, and I’ve been crocheting and cooking like crazy.

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You want to make this roast, by the way. I adapted this recipe to work for a roast in the crock pot. It was delicious.

I also baked this sweet little smash cake for a sweet little girl’s one year pictures.

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That would be a white cake (that I threw sprinkles into at the last minute for fun) with chocolate and pink buttercream.

I have also been on a major hummus kick lately. I made a batch last week that was, quite literally, a bunch of stuff thrown into my food processor. It was good, but I really wanted some roasted garlic in there.

Today, after feeding my little stinker breakfast (that he decided not to touch), we made a quick trip to the grocery store for hummus fixins. As soon as we got home, I popped the garlic into the oven to roast. O “cooked” while I crocheted, and after about an hour the garlic was ready to go.

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Making your own hummus is so simple and easy, I don’t know why everyone isn’t doing it. Aside from roasting the garlic, it took about five minutes to make mine and it tastes so much better than store bought!

Rosemary and roasted garlic hummus
1 16 ounce can chick peas, rinsed and drained

A couple of sprigs fresh rosemary

1 head of roasted garlic (follow the easy instructions here)**

Juice of 1/2 of a lemon

Olive oil

Cumin

Salt and pepper

Add chick peas, roasted garlic, rosemary leaves (removed from the stem), lemon juice, and about a teaspoon each of cumin, salt, and pepper to your food processor. Start with about a tablespoon each of olive oil and water, pop the top on that puppy, and turn it on. Let it go for a while, and once everything starts to look nice and pulverized, stop and scrape the sides of the bowl down. Check the texture and taste, then add whatever it needs. If it feels dry, add in a bit more water and olive oil. You can also throw in whatever spices or herbs you want.

Keep blending and checking until you have the texture you like. Spoon it into an airtight container and drizzle a bit more olive oil on top.

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If you can keep from eating all of it in one sitting, I’ll be impressed. I forced myself to put it in the fridge after shoveling half of it in my face.

**This may sound like a lot of garlic to you…And it probably is. I just really, really love the stuff. Feel free to back it down a bit. Whatever you don’t out in the hummus can be spread onto bread or mixed into mashed potatoes, soup, etc…



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