Thursday, March 26, 2015

Oatmeal Banana Nutella Pancakes

We've been eating these pancakes for breakfast and for dinner around here lately because they're too good to be limited to just mornings! They re-heat well in the toaster oven for a quick one-handed-while-holding-the-baby lunch too. And thanks to the oats and a little coconut oil and white whole wheat flour and banana/Nutella as sweetener, they seem healthier than regular pancakes, right? Haha. Regardless, they're super tasty and highly recommended!


Recipe adapted from here (makes 6 small-ish pancakes).

1 very ripe banana
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
pinch salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp Nutella
1 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp milk
1/2 c old-fashioned oats
1/4 c white whole wheat flour
2 tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat a skillet to medium heat.
2. Mash banana with baking powder. Add egg, oil, salt, vanilla, Nutella, and milk. Stir to combine.
3. Stir in oats and flour until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
4. Scoop 1/4-cup portions of batter onto preheated skillet and cook for 2-4 minutes on each side.

(mashed banana and baking powder)

(batter before oats and flour)

(completed batter)

(cooking pancakes)



Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Cinnamon Buttermilk Bread

I love breakfasty breads, especially the really moist delicious ones that taste like something from a fancy coffee shop (which this bread most definitely is!). This recipe is great for using up that extra cup of buttermilk that seems to end up in my fridge periodically, and its fanciness to effort ratio is nice and large. :)


Recipe adapted from here.

1/2 c butter, softened
1 1/3 c sugar, divided
1 egg
1 c buttermilk
2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon

1. Cream together butter, 1 c sugar, and egg. Add buttermilk, flour, and baking soda and mix until combined. In a separate bowl, combine 1/3 c sugar and cinnamon.
2. Put 1/2 of the batter into a greased loaf pan. Sprinkle 3/4 of the cinnamon mixture on top of the batter. Add the remaining 1/2 of the batter and top with the rest of the cinnamon mixture. Swirl with a knife.
3. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

(butter, sugar, egg)

(after mixing in buttermilk, flour, and baking soda)

(all pretty and ready for the oven!)



Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Ginger Beef & Mushroom Stir-Fry

This recipe is so simple and tasty, and it's full of spinach and mushrooms even though it hardly tastes like you're eating veggies! You can even prepare the steak/marinade ahead of time to make this a really quick-and-simple weeknight dinner!


Recipe adapted from here.

1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
3 tbsp seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp corn starch
2 tsp ground ginger
ground black pepper, to taste
1 lb thinly sliced sirloin or flank steak
2 cloves garlic. minced
2 tbsp olive oil
16 oz baby bella mushrooms, quartered
4 cups chopped fresh spinach
2 green onions, thinly sliced
Rice, for serving

1. Whisk together soy sauce, chicken broth, rice wine vinegar, corn starch, ginger, and pepper in a bowl to form a marinade.
2. Add the steak to the marinade and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
3. Once steak has marinated, heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Remove steak from the marinade (reserving the marinade) and add steak and garlic to the pan. Saute for 2-3 minutes, or until browned. Remove steak from the pan and set aside.
4. Add mushrooms, spinach, and reserved marinade to the pan. Stir to combine and cook, stirring often,  for 5-7 minutes, or until the spinach has wilted and the mushrooms are tender (the sauce should thicken as well).
5. Return steak to the pan and toss to combine. Serve over rice, garnished with sliced green onion.


(marinating steak)

(cooking steak)

(cooked and set aside)

(cooking mushrooms and spinach)



Connor at Three Months

December, January, February, March, and just like that Connor's first quarter is complete! What a joy it is to have this sweet little boy in our lives. This month brought lots of smiles and "talking," and he's just been so much fun lately! Here's our dear little one at three months old:


Connor's Stats:
Birth Weight: 6 pounds, 6.5 ounces. Current Weight: 13 pounds, 12 ounces.
Birth Length: 19.5 inches. Current Length: 24 inches.
Clothing: Wearing 3 month and 3-6 month clothing (but 6-12 month socks!), and size 2 diapers! 

"Talking" and smiling.
Outings in the car/stroller.
Diaper changes.
Listening to Daddy play the piano.
Chewing on his fingers.

Tummy time.
Wearing a dirty diaper for even just one minute.
Getting his vaccines at the doctor.

New Tricks:
Making all sorts of noises, and getting pretty close to copying us when we say "Hi."
Making eye contact for longer periods of time.
Sleeping through the night occasionally (it's happened twice in the last week!).
Grabbing hair and necklaces.

We love you, sweet little Connor!


Monday, March 16, 2015

Our Top 40 Recipes

I've posted lots and lots of recipes over the years. I recently went through the Recipes page and deleted any "it's pretty good" recipes so the whole list would be just "LOVE this!" recipes. But even though the entire list is full of delicious things, there are a few that I just keep making over and over (and over and over) for some reason, so I thought I'd share those ones with you all!

Our Top 40 Favorite Recipes

Main Dishes:



Side Dishes/Appetizers:

So there you go, forty recipes that have my whole-hearted stamp of approval! Happy cooking!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Pizza Casserole

You know what's really wonderful? Recipes that make you eat a bunch of veggies without feeling like you're eating a bunch of veggies. This recipe does that perfectly! Plus you get to play food artist with the criss-crossed pizza dough on top. Sneaky veggies + creativity = best. recipe. ever.



Recipe adapted from here.

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
1 medium zucchini, halved and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 14.5 oz cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained
12 oz cooked chicken sausage or chicken meatballs, chopped
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 13.8 oz package refrigerated Pizza dough

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and peppers and cook for about 6 minutes. Add zucchini and garlic and cook for another 6 minutes.
2. Add tomatoes, sausage, half of the Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to skillet. Bring to a gentle boil and cook for 5-7 minutes (until most of the liquid has evaporated).
3. Remove skillet from heat. Stir in Parmesan cheese and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Spoon into a lightly-greased 2-quart rectangular baking dish. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese.
4. Unroll pizza dough on parchment paper and cut into strips. Arrange pizza dough strips on top of the casserole in a lattice pattern. Sprinkle with remaining Italian seasoning.
5. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, until crust is lightly browned and filling is bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

(these are the chicken meatballs I like to use!)

(veggies + sausage cooking)

(cutting the dough into strips... I use a pizza cutter!)

(My poor Macbook... it's constantly in the kitchen splash zone!)

(ready for the oven!)