Thursday, June 29, 2017

Patriotic Chocolate and Yogurt Covered Raspberries

Growing up in a small town, I have had now, almost 20 years of small town 4th of July celebrations. If you haven't been to a small, rural community for Independence Day, you absolutely have to do it. Even if you know nobody there, you will feel welcome. Usually, the day starts off with a 5K that my mom ran regularly growing up. After that, the American Legion puts on a breakfast where my family eats pancakes, bacon, and eggs. After this, the festivities really begin. We spend the day at the park where there are classic activities including: egg toss, three leg race, finding coins in the hay, and a dunk tank. We eat lunch and enjoy a program that runs throughout the day. After lunch, the fire truck pulls in for a big tug-of-war where everyone gets soaked. Our next stop is the local pool where there is a discount for the day. By now, everyone is pretty tired. So, we go home and take a nap until dinner. Dinner is filled with fresh food, homemade ice cream and rootbeer, and of course, watermelon. The 4th of July parade takes place on Main Street, and then we end the day with a patriotic program and fireworks at the football field. It's wonderful, and I don't think that anything will ever live up to the celebration of this holiday at home. I love supporting America and what this country was built on.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Disney Copycat Pineapple Dole Whips

It's National Pineapple Day! So, I thought that I would share with you one of my favorite pineapple treats- Dole Whips. These are some of the best things you can grab at Disneyland, so making them at home will help to hold you over until your next Disney trip. One of the great things about this recipe is that they can be healthy when you make them at home! Nothing is more refreshing than a light, citrus, frozen treat. It only takes about five minutes to make these things. I altered the recipe from Gemma's Bigger Boulder Baking for less people and also added the lemon and lime juice.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

German Pancakes for Two

German Pancakes were a staple to our breakfast routine growing up. They're so easy and can be made with ingredients that are sitting in your house regularly. This was a great recipe while growing up, because my mom was a teacher as well as my dad, so there was absolutely no time to make breakfast in the mornings when we all had to leave for school at different times, make lunches, get ready, and ususally finish our homework we forgot to do the night before. This was great, because all you have to do is mix it, and throw it in the oven. My mom did this, and we were still able to dish up our own breakfast and personalize it to our taste. It was a good change from our usual cereal and toast, without taking the time of waffles or french toast.
Now, when we make big pan, we eat them all and stuff ourselves silly. So, I decided I would try to half the recipe and see how it worked out. And it turned out perfectly! It works out so great for us because it's a fun breakfast without being too filling or anything. My sister-in-law has the full recipe on her blog, as well as an amazing syrup! I like to make this syrup every once-in-a-while for a special occasion, but it's a lot of sugar and extra work. But, for birthdays and special occasion, I absolutely love it!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Baked Chicken Rolls

This is perfect for a summer dinner. The fresh chives and parsley make it refreshing and the small size of each piece keeps it light. We served it with rice and asparagus and I don't think that I could have loved it more!
I honestly don't think I could rave enough about family recipes. I received a bunch of them from my grandma at my bridal shower and they are some of my favorites. They're so classic and just yummy! These chicken rolls were made by my mom growing up and she said this was the meal she requested for her birthday dinners as a young girl. They're a bit of a change from your regular baked chicken so it's a little refreshing to have the switch-up. I made them for my family and my younger brothers really enjoyed them, because my mom hadn't made them in a while. It's always fun for younger children because they're automatically fascinated with the toothpicks in them and somehow makes it more interesting to eat. Everyone will love this meal when you make it!
This is a pretty simple meal. I like to use chicken tenders because it makes them a lot easier, but you can use chicken breasts and cut them up to the size of tenders (about 3-4 pieces of the breast make a good size). I like to use fresh chives and parsley for this recipe also! And, as always, this recipe feeds two people plus leftovers! This can easily be doubles or tripled to feed more mouths!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Quick & Easy Quinoa

Quinoa is one of my favorite things to eat! It's super great for you. It's a gluten free, plant-based protein that has all of the amino acids. So pretty much a superfood! They are small and round, and you can also make it into a flour. You can use quinoa as a side dish or add it to salads, soups, and even make cakes with this stuff. This article gives you some more ideas for uses of quinoa. I love this stuff! Usually, my meals consist of a meat, a side, and a vegetable. For my sides, I switch out sweet and regular potatoes, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, and quinoa. It adds to your dish and helps fill your belly up!
When using it as a side, I like to cook it with chicken broth to add a little bit of flavor. It doesn't have a strong taste, so this small thing helps a lot. Preparation is a lot like rice. It's double the amount of water to the dry quinoa. You put them both in the pot together on high until it boils, then cover and cook on low for about 15-20 more minutes. The more you are cooking, the longer it will take. You will know it's finished when there is no longer water at the bottom of the pot.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Garlic Lime Sautéed Chicken

Summer is here and lime is one of my favorite flavors of this season! The lime perfects this chicken and compliments the garlic so well. Cayenne pepper and paprika give this chicken just a little kick to liven up your dinners! Sometimes, even when the A.C. is on full blast, turning the oven on in the summer is just a bad idea. It heats up the house and makes cooking a not-so-fun activity. This dish is sautéed on the stove, so there is still a little bit of heat, but definately less that won't warm up your entire home.

I have always loved summer, but after being in college, I have a whole new appreciation for this break! Besides work, there aren't as many responsibilities (homework, studying for tests, projects, and everything else that comes along with school) that take up my day-to-day. My husband works 10 hour days, and I work early in the morning, so we only get to spend our evenings together. We pretty much have time for exercising and eating, and maybe visiting our families before we fall asleep to wake up early again in the morning. It's busy, but on the weekends we get to fish, swim at the lake, hike, and spend time with our families, so I'd say all of the busyness is worth it!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Easy Apple Muffins

Yay for the weekend that is almost here! In the summer, sometimes it's hard to keep track of the days,  but I always know when Friday is here because it means that Michael is off of work for the weekend! He works 4-10's so he usually gets a 3-day weekend and it's so nice! I spend most of my days alone for the most part, so having somebody to talk to all day is amazing! I have always had a huge love for the weekends. We'd usually get a pizza during one of the weekend nights growing up and when you're a kid, pizza is the best food ever (and as an adult I guess...I still LOVE pizza haha). My dad was also a football coach, so we always got those Friday Night Lights gorwing up, another HUGE highlight to my weekends. Another one of my favorite things about the weekend was that Saturday was cleaning day...I loved cleaning so much! 😂 Mopping the floors and cleaning the windows were some of my favorite things to do, I still love it most days. I like seeing the ippediate results from cleaning. But, one of the absolute BEST things about the weekends were the apple muffins my mom would make every few Saturday mornings. We usually had oatmeal or cereal for breakfast, so the muffins were a huge switch-up, and they're even dipped in sugar, and who doesn't love sugar?!