Monday, December 15, 2014

We're Stuffed!

What's better than a few ingredients you love?  Stuffing those ingredients into something else you love!

Today we're bring you 3 delicious stuffed recipes featuring 3 vessels that are even more delicious when you stuff something in them.  These recipes offer a great way to hide delicious and nutritious ingredients for the picky eaters in the family.

Our first dish, brought to you by Dishing Up Dirt via Bloglovin, is a whole-lotta-goodness!  Chickpea Stuffed Eggplant with Couscous and Tahini Sauce, brings Mediterranean flavors to the forefront.  This elegant dish looks like it came from the most executive chef's kitchen, but can be easily created in your own home.  Give it a go, and let us know what you think!

Next up, a veggie favorite of ours, Stuffed Mushrooms with Farro.  Vegetarian Times brings this tasty recipe to you, with an Italian whole grain, you may not be familiar with.  Farro gives a great texture and flavor to this dish and can be incorporated into your diet along with brown rice, or quinoa as a healthy, starchy alternative.

Let's introduce another stuffed recipe featuring a plethora of flavors, this time, of the southwestern variety, with Stuffed Zuchini from Kalyn's Kitchen.  This thing has cheese, black beans, and green chilies mixed with brown rice for a fantastic new dish with the option to spice it up even more with green Tabasco sauce.

Such amazing flavors in all three of these dishes-which is your favorite?

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Very Cranberry Monday

Cranberries are one of the fall's seasonal favorites and most commonly thought to be used in juice or sauce form, but today we're bringing 4 delicious recipes featuring these disease-fighting, antioxidant carrying, did-we-mention-delicious, fruit.  In fact, according to WebMD, this fruit ranks higher than almost every fruit and vegetable on the list when it comes to its advantages due to antioxidants.

Our first cranberry delight, comes in bar form, perfect for breakfast on the go, or a quick snack.  And get this...they're no bake!  Collecting Memories' Chewy No Bake Oatmeal Bars have 6 healthy, natural ingredients, to create these perfect little bars.

The next recipe we're featuring is another easy recipe, perfect for on the go.  Cranberry Craze Salad from My Slice of Sunday, would be excellent for lunch, or just after a trip to the gym.  They feature a hard boiled egg on the side for extra protein.  With crunchy almonds and cashews, the dried cranberries gives another delightful texture to this simple salad.

Speaking of great texture, the next dish from Inspired Taste, is sure to knock your socks off!  With the smooth roasted squash, paired with chewy cranberries and crunchy walnuts that have been sweetened by delicious brown sugar, you might want to include this dish in your family's Thanksgiving feast too!

And we couldn't let you off without a dessert!  Healthy Seasonal Recipes features this fresh fall favorite in their Cranberry Maple Apple Crumb Pie.  It's sweet, it's tart, it's wonderful!

Hope you enjoy these cranberry creations!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Repurpose Without Work

I have a small collection of items in my garage, sitting, waiting to be used again.  These items can no longer be used for their initial purpose, but I just can't bring myself to throw them out.  The problem is, as crafty as I can be...I just don't have the time to repurpose these items.  The DIYer in my begs for me to wait until next weekend, then the next weekend, then the next.  As I'm constantly pushing back my repurpose list for a much more priority driven weekend to-do list, I'm hit with the hard question-will I ever find the time?

In my life, right now, the answer is simple...NO.  So I'm at a cross road-do I get rid of these things that I've been hanging on to, or by chance, can I repurpose them in another way, that requires less work?  I choose the latter.

The first item I have, is an old pallet.  I found it a year ago and thought up a million different cool things I could do with it.  I don't have the time to take it apart, so I'll leave it intact.  And now that old pallet, will become a pallet with a new life.  It will become my new herb garden.  All I have to get is landscape fabric, which I can find when I go to get my new herb plants at my local nursery...a few staples-DONE!

Inspired by this vertical garden from RecycleART
And while I'm at my local nursery, I've decided to pick up some bird seed so I can reuse my plastic bottles like this...

Inspired by this bird feeder from RunnerDuck

A few less bottles in my recycling bin, a few happier birds for the winter.

And then there is this little table my neighbor was throwing out.  Fine condition, and I just knew it could be used for something.  So now my son is going to have a new drawing table after this weekend.

Inspired by this table from Jill Of Most Trades
A few less pieces in my garage, a few new additions to the house and yard, and a feeling of accomplishment.  I'd say that makes for a happy weekend!

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Passion for Pumpkin

Pumpkin-a pretty color, a fun decoration for fall, and a heavenly flavor.  Usually the craze comes when a certain coffee chain unleashes their popular drink on the masses and any and everything pumpkin related starts to trend.  Well, we're here to jump on the bandwagon with these amazing recipes featuring pumpkin, plus a super sweet treat we found on Pinterest, that we just had to share!

We're bringing a Brady Bunch variety of different pumpkin recipes, and we're fairly sure you'd never even think of trying pumpkin these ways, but you'll be happy you did.

1. Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars from Roxana's Home Baking
2. Pumpkin Hummus from the ever-amazing Kevin at Closet Cooking
3. Skinny Pumpkin Pasta Bake from The Kitchen Paper
4. Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites from Paleo Grubs
5. Pumpkin Ravioli with Brown Butter Sauce and Pecans from Julia's Album
6. Roasted Pumpkin Soup from the one and only, Martha Stewart
7. Cheesy Pumpkin Orzo from Table for Two
8. Peanut Butter Pumpkin Fudge from Crazy for Crust
9.Pumpkin Wontons found on Tablespoon from Girl Versus Dough

And if somehow you just haven't quite had your fill of pumpkin inspired recipes, check out Running on Real Food's 35 Vegan Pumpkin Recipes to Make This Fall featuring 35 sweet treats for breakfast, snacks, and dessert!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Flavors of Fall

Welcome back for this week's edition of Meatless Monday, Flavors of Fall.  We're bringing seasonal favorites like pumpkin, apple, and squash to satisfy your taste buds and give a healthy dose of vitamins and other nutritional perks that are good for you and your family.

Today, we'll start things off sweetly, with some Mini Cinnamon Rolls, brought to you by Two Peas and Their Pod.  The fall favorite, delicious pumpkin butter, is hidden between the soft bread, cinnamon, and ooey gooey frosting.  Pumpkin is known for having large doses of vitamin A, fiber, and potassium, so you can feel better about having one of these delicious rolls.

Another fall favorite, apples, come in quite a variety, but we're here to talk about the ever enticing, Honey Crisp variety.  Ingrid, from A Cozy Apron, shares a crispy, crunchy salad that is brought together with her lovely spiced cider vinaigrette.  You must try it!

We've brought you the sweet, the slightly sour, and now, the savory.  Butternut Skillet Shells from How Sweet It Is, is a creamy, cheesy, hearty dish that features a bevy of health benefits, from vitamins A, B6, and C to fiber, folate, and potassium.  Did we mention it's absolutely delicious?  Try it out tonight and we're sure you'll have another family favorite on your hands.  *To speed up the cooking time, throw the cubed squash and vegetable stock in a microwave safe dish, and cook for 6-7 minutes.  Return to the skillet and follow the rest of the directions accordingly.


Monday, October 13, 2014

Add A Pop With Peppers-Meatless Monday Edition

Peppers can really pump up a dish with their burst of flavor, be it sweet or spicy.  Today we're bringing you 3 delectable dishes featuring several different varieties of peppers that are sure to please your palette.

We're kicking things off on a spicy note with Spicy Black Bean Stuffed Peppers from Can You Stay For Dinner?  The ever adorable, Andie Mitchell uses sweet red peppers, but believes you can stuffed whatever pepper you fancy the most.  The aroma that will emit from your kitchen while cooking these, will lure spouses and children alike!

Staying with the spice for a second, if you're a fan of jalapenos, then you'll love Closet Cooking's Jalapeno Popper Quiche.  This dish is fabulous for a meal any time of the day, but would make you belle of the ball if you brought it to your next brunch.

Calming things down (a bit), our next recipe has a subtle spice with a pinch of red pepper flakes, but can definitely be kicked up while creating the sauce. Simply Recipes offer a fabulous Asian Noodle Salad filled with colorful veggies that can be whipped up in a half hour or less.  Elise warns the sauce is made to just coat the noodles and it's so very true.  We recommend adding a little more soy sauce and cutting back a hair on the sugar as we found it a little too sweet for us.  The raw bell pepper really brightens this dish and adds a fresh flavorful bite.

Stay tuned next week for some flavorful fall favorites!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Candy Corn Craze-DIY Decor

Halloween is only 3 weeks away and if you haven't decked out your home yet, we've got some great ideas to help get you in the spirit.  These candy corn inspired crafts are not only from items you already have, BUT it's also a great way to upcycle these goods that would otherwise be thrown out.

Our first Pinterest inspired item is a great way to reuse an old white t-shirt that may have a small stain, hole, or the ever hideous-yellow armpits!  We Can Re-Do It has a great tutorial on how to easily dye your shirt, and plenty of other great DIY/upcycling ideas, that are sure to knock your socks off and turn your trash to treasure again.  Such a cute idea to get you Halloween chic!

Our next inspiration is a great way to doll up the kitchen or guest bath with this easy makeover for your soap dispenser.  The NY Melrose Family features Ariean's (One Krieger Chick) step by step guide, available on their website and on How To Nest For Less, along with other candy corn craftiness!

Our last adorable idea comes from Bliss Ranch and is perfect if you have any scrap wood lying around your garage.  Simply cut into triangles, sand, and paint.  It doesn't get any easier than that!

For more upcycled crafts and costume ideas, check out and follow our boards on Pinterest.  Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Traditional Recipes With A Twist! (Meatless Monday Edition)

Going meatless once a week can not only save you a few bucks, it can help boost your immune system and help prevent a TON of diseases and illnesses by giving your body a shot of nutritious veggies and fruits that might otherwise be missing from your diet.  Many kids groan at the thought of having a meal that consists only of vegetables, but that's not what Meatless Monday is about at all.  It's simply taking a break from meat, fish and poultry.  You can still eat all the carbs, grains, and starches you would normally consume.

Today's recipes offer traditional dishes with a twist, and not just because they are meatless.  Whether it's a complimentary ingredient, or a complete substitution, we're sure you'll find a winner out of this bunch.

Let's kick things off with a classic kid's favorite, given a superfood twist.  Quinoa Mac and Cheese by Simply Quinoa, not only substitutes regular pasta with quinoa, but it also adds a shot of hidden vegetables, with pureed butternut squash to give it a creamy, dreamy texture.  Use whatever your favorite cheese is, or even use a few different varieties to kick this dish up a few notches.

The next dish again, really throws some great ideas and large doses of veggies with it's take on another classic, spaghetti and meatballs. features Eggplant Meatballs over "Zoodles" or zucchini noodles.  Stick to regular pasta if you don't think the family will go for the zoodle-noodle switch, as Gina's eggplant meatballs offer a plethora of nutritious goodness.

Our final dish is a simple spin on another favorite.  When it comes to cobblers, crisps, or crumbles, why use one fruit when you can use two?  Instead of plain ol' cherry crisp, Good Housekeeping features a "triple tested" hit with their Cherry Nectarine Crisp.  If you can't use fresh fruit or are out of season, check your local grocer's freezer and follow the thawing directions on the bag.

Here's to healthy eating and a happy Monday!

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Best Baked Veggies

How many times has the phrase, "Eat your vegetables," been uttered at your house?  With these 3 yummy baked veggie recipes, we have a feeling they'll be asking for seconds.

Meatless Monday is all about highlighting yummy meatless recipes, whether it be a one pot supper or several dishes.  Today, we're bringing baked vegetable recipes, that are sure to be a hit.  As baking offers a more nutritious route than frying, many vegetables actually release more disease fighting benefits when they are cooked.  Check out and HuffingtonPost.CA for some raw vs cooked produce information.  In the meantime, let's get cooking!

Baked Veggie Fries are a great way to make eating your vegetables fun.  Mix up the assortment for an even more nutritious side dish.  A yummy dipping sauce adds another fun twist on this healthier version of fries.

courtesy of Pottery Barn Kids via Design Mom
Crispy oven roasted potatoes can be eaten as a side for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  Let the Baking Begin has perfected a simple recipe that requires a little extra cook time to get the right amount of crispness.  If you don't have the full hour they recommend, skip the soaking step after you wash and cut the potatoes.

This next dish will have you scrapping the bowl for sure.  The Gluten Free Goddess (who even gives substitutes if you don't need the dietary restrictions she does) offers a crispy, crunchy top to a savory Zucchini Gratin middle, that is to die for.  The smell from the oven alone will have you drooling.

These savory sides are sure to fill your family's bellies with nutritious and delicious goodness.  Happy Monday!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Meatless Monday Includes Desserts!

So we've never had a dessert with meat in it, which made us think-why not have a Meatless Monday Desserts edition?  It's a great way to kick of the week, if you ask us!

With the tail-end of summer upon us, try using blackberries in this Easy Blackberry Cobbler by Southern Living, to use this juicy seasonal favorite before it's gone.  

Or this fruity favorite, Lemon Loaf Cake, which can be made year round.  They come out so pretty, we want to use this as a cute little gift to neighbors or friends as a thank you.

Not feeling the fruit?  Well look no further than this impending seasonal pick-pecans! has shared three secrets to making the perfect pecan pie, such as swapping the corn syrup for maple syrup.  Check out their recipe and other tips and let us know what you think of their suggestions.

Speaking of switching things up, this next recipe will really kick up that plain, boring bowl of ice-cream.  Try a Cookie Bowl instead!  Coleen from Coleen's Recipes makes her own cookie dough with specific instructions to create a bigger, sturdier bowl.  You can use the store bought dough as well with cupcake pan for a smaller, crispier bowl.

Lastly, we can't have a dessert post without a chocolate here it is...and it's dreamy!  Dark Chocolate Double Coconut Cookies.  The name says it all!  This recipe yields a small amount, but these luxe cookies will fill you up.  Not a fan of dark chocolate?  Simply switch out the dark chocolate morsels for another variety and you'll be a happy camper in no time.

Which dessert recipe is your favorite?  Let us know in the comment section below!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Turn up the Beet-Meatless Monday Edition

As we bring delicious meatless recipes to you each week, we hope you are exploring other fruits and veggies on your own.  One vegetable we've yet to tap into is the almighty beet. Rich in fiber and full of health boosting anti-oxidants, beets have a great rap of fighting off and preventing diseases, but aren't always thought of when it comes to gourmet eating.  Today we'll introduce this lovely red veggie in three unique ways, knowing that one of these recipes could be a new staple on your weekly menu, if not all three!

Let's start with a fun, shredded salad that provides a lot of color and can even be introduced to toddlers who haven't mastered the art of the fork.  By cutting or shredding the beets and other ingredients with a mandolin or food processor (we like the processor best to aid us in making this speedy side), a salad is transformed into something new for the family with a fun texture.  Better Homes and Garden adds an easy dressing to go along with this side for a unique and nutritious dish for your Meatless Monday menu.

Beet, Carrot, and Apple Salad
Our next dish is gourmet with a capital G.  Beet and Turnip Gratin by Brandon at Kitchen Konfidence is so pretty, you'll look like the next big Food Network star with this dish.  Make this the centerpiece for your Meatless Monday meal and watch everyone ooh and ahhh (and drool) over it!

Last and equally as pretty, is Coffee and Quinoa's Shocking Pink Sunbutter Smoothie.  No mention of the word 'beet' in the title, but believe us that's what really gives it the shocking pink color (we'll take a dress in the same color, please).  The beets also help balance out the tartness of the raspberries and offer a hint of sweetness which makes this smoothie perfect to start or end your day.

With these delicious recipes featuring a fun and nutritious vegetable, what will your family try next?  We've got plenty of recipes and resources on our Meatless Monday Pinterest page.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Teaching Responsibility Through Chore Charts

For many people, school has just started or is about to and this means your morning and evening routines may change.  If your child has just started kindergarten, teaching responsibility through a routine or chore chart can help them understand what is expected to get ready for each day.  For older children, a chart can also help them get into their new routine and help ease your morning and evening work loads.

A simple chart, like the one below from is a great way to give very young children basic instructions that should be completed in order each and every night to get ready for bedtime. By sticking to the chart, children know what is expected of them and can lead to a smoother schedule.

Older children can have a routine chart as well that include more complex skills such as making their bed or packing their school supplies away for the next day.  Chore charts can be implemented based on your families needs, if there are standard chores to be done on a regular schedule, such as picking up toys or setting the table, but there are other interesting ways to engage the kids, such as a chore jar.  The chore jar gives children the ability to choose what chore they want to do, or gives them a "random" chore based on what stick they pick out of the jar.  I Wash You Dry has an outstanding example of a fun chore jar that can be completed each week or month depending on what you choose to include.

You can choose to pay an allowance or offer an award if your child can complete their assigned tasks to your satisfaction.  Some studies warn that certain tasks and routines should not be awarded so the child learns it is part of an expectation that they do without receiving anything for the effort, particularly when it comes to hygienic responsibilities.

Do you use a chore or routine chart in your house?  At what age was your child when you started?

For more charts, tips, and ideas, check out our Pinterest boards!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Garlic's Great! Meatless Monday Recipes Featuring Garlic

After today's batch of recipes, you might need a stick of gum, but the health benefits and flavor you get from adding garlic to your food is undeniable.

Garlic has many health boosting characteristics.  From battling high blood pressure and reducing high cholesterol, to acting as an anti-inflammatory agent.  It also offers a total immune system boost thanks to its powerful antioxidants.

Let's get things going with our first recipe and only entree for the day.  Garlic Butter Mushroom and Provolone Melts are just tasty.  The smell alone while cooking is just short of heavenly.  Brought to you by a Pinch of Yum, the addition of white wine makes this melt kind of fancy...not too fancy, but just fancy enough.  A perfect recipe for a quick dinner one night.  And if you need a side with it, then try one of the three following recipes that also feature our friend, garlic.

Garlic Mashed Cauliflower could be a nice pairing with the melt above, or use it with just about any other entree, for any day of the week.  Simple and satisfying, it's quicker than making mashed potatoes and healthier too!  From Fueling with Food, they add that this recipe offers 2 servings of vegetable, which is around the average of what your daily intake should be.

Or how about some greens?  Broccoli and asparagus are two of our favorite.  Try's Garlic Broccolini or's Roasted Asparagus with Garlic-Lemon Sauce.  Two very different takes featuring garlic, but you can't go wrong with either.  These recipes act as a great side dish to compliment any meal, whether you're participating in Meatless Monday or not.

For more delicious recipes, check out our Meatless Monday board on Pinterest!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Smoothie Power

Smoothies are a great way to get your daily dose of fruits, veggies or both, depending on what you choose to include.  We've got four fabulous recipes that can kick start your day, satisfy your sweet tooth, or just offer a cool, refreshing beverage.  Not to mention they all taste good and are good for you!

The biggest craze on the block are green smoothies.  You can pretty much include anything you want in one of these, but they don't always yield the tastiest end result.  This Green Smoothie is one of the recipes Lauren Conrad uses to start her day and she swears "it doesn't taste like grass!"  Change things up with this cool chart we have on our Pinterest board from

Not into the green thing?  Then these next two fruity concoctions may be a better version for you.  Averie from Averie Cooks satisfies her sweet tooth with this Blueberry Pie Smoothie.  Created as her version of the perfect blueberry pie, she was looking for an alternative to the real thing since she's a bigger fan of pie filling than the crust, which makes up a large part of any pie.  Although is sounds sweet, don't be fooled...this recipe's sweet factor, is completely up to you, as she doesn't list a specific measurement for your sweetener of choice...we recommend you taste it without any added sweetener first, as the natural fruit sugars may be enough for you as is.

Or try Kristina's Berry Mango Smoothie from Hott Mama in the City.  Simple, tasty, and perfect for your breakfast, snack, or even dessert!  By using frozen fruit, you don't have to worry about adding ice to cool the drink down, nor worry about the beverage becoming too watery.

If you're looking for something a little less fruity, try Sally's Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Smoothie.  With such a great partnership of chocolate and peanut butter, this smoothie offers 28 grams of protein!  With the consistency closer to a milk shake, this smoothie might be a great way to trick yourself and the rest of the family into thinking they are getting a sugary snack, when in can control the sweetness.  We liked it best without the honey, as she suggests, but try it out and see what you think!

Monday, July 28, 2014

You Say Tomato, I Say...Delicious!


  [tuh-mey-toh, -mah-]

It doesn't matter how you say it, tomatoes are delicious and can be used in so many ways. Today's Meatless Monday menu will show you three different takes on this useful piece of produce.

Let's kick things off with a breakfast dish that will start your day right.  Colorful and flavor-filled, Tomato Baked Eggs by Add A Pinch, are a savory way to get the day going.

For a great make-a-head meal (we'll stock our freezer with this one) try this Roasted Sweet Corn and Tomato soup by Our Best Bites.  Roasting the veggies really does make a difference by adding depth to this dish.  They recommend making a grilled cheese sandwich to accompany the soup, which sounds like a great idea to us!

Our last menu idea comes in the form of a pasta dish.  We couldn't decide between these two, so we'll share them both.

For a classic Italian dish, try Penne With Tomatoes and Olives by bell' alimento.  Simple ingredients lend themselves to this pasta perfection.  This is a great way to lighten up your spaghetti dinner night!

Our second dish are for those who aren't looking to lighten up anything.  Creamy, dreamy goodness with 1/2 and 1/2 AND heavy cream...Sun Dried Tomato and Mushroom Pasta from Julia's's not for the faint of heart.  Use vegetable bouillon cubes instead of chicken to keep this meatless.  You may not be able to eat dessert afterwards, but we don't think you'll mind!

For more Meatless Monday recipes, check out our Pinterest board.  Happy cooking!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Rice is Nice! Perfect Casserole Dishes for Meatless Monday

Planning a weekly menu is hard, having to cook all those components may be harder.  Today's Meatless Monday post has 3 yummy casserole dishes that will save you time so maybe you can actually relax after the kids go to bed.

We'll start things off with a Sweet Potato and Rice Casserole, courtesy of Better Homes and Garden.  This delectable dish is packed with protein (16 grams) and nutritious vitamins, thanks to the sweet potato and peppers, giving you a good dose of vitamins A and C.

The next recipe is a classic combination-Mushroom and Wild Rice.  Cheesy and delicious, this would be perfect on a rainy day, or as Stephanie from Girl Versus Dough prescribes it as a comfort food on a snowy day in.  Whenever you make it, you're sure to enjoy it!

Our last dish to get your through the day is a fun and festive, Rice and Bean Taco Bake by Food Doodles.  Heidi likes to use this dish as a great way to use left overs and veggie scraps.  We think it's an awesome way to sneak in veggies for picky eaters, like her grated carrot suggestion, or other items.  The salsa, chilies, and taco seasoning pack enough flavor for you to get away with quite a lot ;)

With these one dish meals, you'll also have less time doing dishes this evening.  What will you use your extra minutes doing instead?  Maybe just throw those feet up on the couch, the vacuum and scrubbing can wait for another day.