It’s no secret that I have a love affair with cream cheese. I share it often on my Instagram. One cream cheese brand I like is Philadelphia Cream Cheese because of its creaminess and how many different options there are. Since we are mid fall, there are so many recipes you can use that capture all the fall vibes. They have a pumpkin spread that I have been meaning to try! Over the past month, I have used them to create a breakfast toast, a snack and even pasta. That’s pretty much all the best things right?
Summer reminds me of a lot of things: bbqs, the pool, street festivals and my mom’s egg salad. It’s something I grew up eating as a kid and I had a serious craving for it this past weekend (yes, those pregnancy food cravings have hit). I wanted to share the recipe with you guys! It’s got a lot of crunch, which I like and haven’t tasted anything like it. I hope you like it as much as I do.
I love tacos, pizza and margaritas like no other, but realistically, I can’t eat like that everyday. Too much unhealthy stuff ends up making me feel not the best. Honestly, Monday through Thursday, I really try to cook, meal plan and prepare every meal during the week. It makes our lives so much easier and prevents us from ordering out (and saves us money too). Anyone try to do this? I know our intentions are always good, but life does get in the way sometimes and we just need a burger, you know?!
I am sharing 5 healthy meals that we have often in my house during the week. Plus, they are easy and only require a few ingredients and time. Which are some of the two most important things while cooking during the week, am I right?
I know not everyone wants a mocktail, but in my case, being pregnant this summer, it’s the only choice I have! I miss my wine and margaritas, but with the help of a few other bloggers, I collected a few simple ideas for us non-drinkers! I hope you guys enjoy it. They are easy and you most likely have the ingredients in your fridge. No cooking, no shaking, just simple ingredients for refreshing drinks. Cheers 🙂 And click on the link to follow their pages and blogs for more detail.
This is one of those recipes I have just thrown together a few times. How did it come about? Honestly, from throwing things together from my fridge and trying to get Noah to eat more veggies. He is in the prime toddler years and veggies are not his favorite (you can read more about that here). It’s also a vegetarian meal, but you could always add a protein like chicken or shrimp.
It’s really fast and a great weekday meal when you need to put dinner together in a rush. Just ready in 15 minutes! Let me know what you guys think…
Original Post Date- March 2018
Updated- July 2018
I am going to be honest with you guys. Last year I lost the baby weight when Noah was around one years old and somewhere towards the end of the year, I gained some of it back. I didn’t feel comfortable, my skin wasn’t the best and my confidence was low. I made it a 2018 goal to get my health back on track. I find it difficult to get back to eating right and working out after a long holiday, but I want to share a few tips that seem to help me refocus after a break.
I am sharing some workout ideas, snacks and “healthier” recipes now! Continue reading
Before having our son, my husband and I rarely went out on Valentine’s Day. It’s so much more fun to stay in and cook a big meal of all our favorites (and also a lot cheaper!). Now with a toddler, we still celebrate with a home cooked meal, but it’s slightly different. If you are staying in with your family, I put together an easy meal for you with a fast cleanup that you and your family to enjoy together this Valentine’s Day.
Drink- Shirley Temples
One of my favorite drinks to order as a child was a Shirley Temple. I always felt so grown up. To be honest, I occasionally still order them. This makes the perfect Valentine’s Day drink because kids love it, it’s festive and adults even make it more “adult” like if they’d like 🙂 I prefer using tall plastic SOLO cups because really, kids and glassware just don’t mix.
- 1 (12 ounce) bottle Grenadine
- 1 (2 Liter) bottle lemon-lime soda
- Maraschino cherries for garnish
- Pour 1 ounce Grenadine over ice in a glass.
- Top with 8 ounces lemon-lime soda.
- Garnish with maraschino cherries.
Main Dish- Pizza with Heart Shaped Pepperoni
Heart shaped pizza is such a fun Valentine’s Day dinner, but to save time on making it, why not just buy your favorite pizza and make heart shaped pepperoni? It’s easy and you can do it together.
You can use a cookie cutter, but I just used scissors and cut the pepperoni into heart shapes.
Heat it up and serve on SOLO plates. These can later serve as crafts for your kids to color and make their own hearts!
Dessert- Cake “Fondue”
Now, for the best part, dessert. Instead of the traditional cheese fondue, replace the cheese with frosting. This cake “fondue” is so fun to dip your mini cake pops into different icings and everyone customize their own Valentine’s Day treat.
- 1 box Funfetti cake and cupcake mix
- Sprinkles of your choice
- Cookie sticks (quantity depends on how many you want to make)
- Cream cheese frosting
- Fruit of your choice (I like pineapple with cream cheese frosting!)
- Mini chocolate chips
- Pink, purple, red and white gel food colors
- Mini cupcake liners
- SOLO bowls with lids
- SOLO plates
- Bake the mini cupcakes according to the instructions on the box
- While baking, make your frosting colors in the SOLO bowls.
- Let the cupcakes cool for 10-12 minutes.
- Place the mini cupcakes on the cookie sticks
- Dip away!
For the leftover frosting, stick a lid on the bowl and place in the fridge.
Enjoy your Valentine’s Day meal with your loved one!
Until next time,
This post was sponsored by SOLO cup however all opinions and experiences are my own!
Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love cheese? It is one of my favorite things to eat and create some really fun dishes with. Since cheese is always such a hit, I decided to throw a cheese party for my friends (and for my son because it’s his absolute favorite). And why not a MAC N’ CHEESE BAR?! I have a few vegetarian friends and this would be perfect. Everyone can customize their own mac n’ cheese bowls and we can celebrate National Cheese Lover’s Day!
Since the holidays, I have been kind of entertained out. Over doing the dishes, the clean up, etc. I also have a toddler running around, so something fast and easy is preferred. I decided to minimize the dishes and use Solo Cup Products to make my clean up easy and less complicated. They are completely disposable, recyclable and really durable. I knew this would be the best option, but still keeping my party looking right.
They have write on cups that are perfect to label all the toppings. It looks clean and organized in your setup. Everyone can make their own mac n’ cheese bowls with lids Whatever they don’t finish, the bowls serve as to-go plates. Lastly, the paper plates serve for meat and cheese platters. It’s perfect and fuss-free.
Mac n’ Cheese Bar
And for the best part: the MAC N’ CHEESE. Honestly, you could make it from scratch or get a pre-made box. Whatever makes your life easier. From scratch, I like recipes like this. But you can grab a box and totally add in your own ingredients. I took a box of mac n’ cheese, added mild cheddar cheese, bread crumbs and baked it at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. It turned out DELICIOUS!
Cheese is so versatile. It can be paired with so much. Here are the toppings I used:
- hot dogs
- bacon bits
- cheeze its
- green onion
- cubed cheese
The more cheese the better right? For an appetizer, I made a meat and cheese plate with salami, cheddar and pepper jack cheese with pita crackers. Really, anything would work; spinach artichoke dip, cheese dip, etc.
For the drinks, the best wine to pair with macaroni and cheese all depends on how fancy and cheesy your mac and cheese is. With a regular, old-fashioned recipe, you might just want a simple glass of white wine. An unoaked Chardonnay might be your best bet for an original recipe or even a dry Riesling. If you got a little fancy and added truffles to your recipe, champagne pairs perfectly. No wine drinkers? Cider pairs well with cheese too.
A party that will please everyone with an easy clean up? To go cups already set!
Doesn’t get better than that!
Until next time,
This post was sponsored by SOLO cup however all opinions and experiences are my own!
Like everyone else, I completely overindulged in December. Being a food blogger in Chicago, there is food everywhere! It is kind of hard not to try different foods and restaurants. But this January, I have decided to do a complete “reboot” of my life. My mind, body, home, and LIFE. It isn’t just about losing weight and setting unrealistic goals, but hitting the refresh button in all areas of my life.
I want to start the year strong by developing really great habits and so far, I have been really proud. I am taking it day by day, but not without any help. Below are some of the tools I am using. Whether it is at home workouts, barre classes, or recipes, they are all helping reboot my life in January.
- The Barre Code– This gym offers cardio, strength and restoration classes. Right now, they are having a special for two weeks for $60 at any of their 10 studios in Illinois and beyond.
- I started these online workout classes when I couldn’t make it to a class or the gym. It’s perfect when Noah is asleep and he has even joined me sometimes. They range from 15-35 minutes, which is perfect for a busy day.
- 500 Calorie HIIT Workout (35 minutes)
- Belly Fat Burning (15 minutes)
- Beginner Full Body Workout (30 minutes)
- Total Body Workout (15 minutes)
3. Just get out! Even though it may not seem like enough, you would be surprised how many steps I get in walking around Target 🙂
This is one that is often forgotten, but so important to have your mind clear and stress free when trying accomplish anything. For me, my workouts are TERRIBLE when I don’t have a clear mind. Below are some things I have done. I know I don’t do this enough and it is a real goal for me this year.
- Chill Chicago– This is a completely designated space to just CHILL. I made an appointment for myself this Saturday and CANNOT WAIT to meditate and relax. The classes range from 30 – 60 min with a focus on breath, insight, rest or yoga and meditation.
- Meditation App (FREE)– This is a FREE download on Amazon. This is great to help settle the mind before sleep if you are having one of those day.
- Count to 10- Don’t underestimate the power of taking a moment for yourself. I know when Noah is amidst a toddler moment, I am learning to breath and step back (although very difficult). I find creating space for myself can be very beneficial.
I have mapped out the recipes I will be making this month. I list 14 recipes of my own and other favorites from Tasty to Delish to Cooking Light.
2. Spiced turkey meatballs butternut tomato stew- http://www.cookinglight.com/recipes/spiced-meatball-butternut-tomato-stew
3. Chickpea tacos- https://tasty.co/recipe/chipotle-chickpea-tacos
4. Spicy turkey tacos- http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a50920/spicy-turkey-tacos-recipe/
5. Lettuce wraps- https://damndelicious.net/2014/05/30/pf-changs-chicken-lettuce-wraps/
6. Warm Brown Rice and Chickpea salad- http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/brown-rice-chickpea-salad
My video here.
7. Turkey squash bowls- https://www.skinnytaste.com/turkey-taco-spaghetti-squash-boats/
8. Quinoa Soup- https://cookieandkate.com/2017/mexican-quinoa-stew-recipe/
10. Crockpot turkey chili- http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a55200/easy-turkey-slow-cooker-chili-recipe/
11. Crockpot chicken noodle soup- http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a55661/easy-crockpot-chicken-noodle-soup-recipe/
13. Panko crumb chicken fingers- https://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/oven-fried-chicken-tenders/46a69e4d-4c31-485b-9d43-67d40b353f2e
If you one of man that are counting calories this month (sigh, yes I am), this Calorie Counter is an affordable, reliable option. I wouldn’t say it is like an Apple Watch (we can only dream right?!), but it gives you somewhat of a range.
I hope some of this will help you this new year! Every day is a fresh start and it will never be perfect, but all we can do it try.
Until next time,
With school starting back up and families looking to get back into the routine of things, meal planning can save so much time. I know I am always looking for ways to make our mornings a little easier. Especially with Noah in school two days a week now, these egg cups are perfect on the go.