Meal prepping has begun! Who loves meal prepping?!
Not going to lie… I really don’t like it LOL I mean, it’s awesome after all is said and done. But in the moment, I’m kind of annoyed by it… am I the only one?
*I hope I’m not* 😝
While chopping up these delicious veggies, I had an epiphany.
I must admit, I’m terrible at being creative when it comes to cooking meals. But give me a pancake recipe, and I’m whipping it up in no time!
Why are pancakes so delicious?! 😩
Baking is fun… cooking meals, not so much. Why? I really don’t know, it just feels like a chore to cook, only to have my girls give me a stank face and leave their plates full. Even with the hundreds of pins I’ve found on Pinterest, I can honestly say I’ve successfully made a handful of them (that everyone has eaten and enjoyed).
Are you too a victim of pinning meals in the hopes that your family really will enjoy it?! If so, give me a thumbs up in the comments
Anyway, back to my epiphany. Having just admitted at my lack of creativity for meals, maybe that’s a reason why my children do not enjoy their veggies anymore.
I mean, when they were old enough to start eating solids, I made them almost all the veggies under the sun! Even the ones I don’t and will probably never eat… 😬
Now, I can’t get them to eat an avocado (they’re gross to me, so can I really blame them?!) Broccoli, cauliflower(even with all the ways that you can “mask” it nowadays), zucchini and squash (I mean they don’t even have a taste, but I still eat them) TOMATOES! well the list can go on and on.
Also, I might add that I can barely get my husband to eat veggies 🤦🏽♀️ so can you really blame me for wanting to cook the simplest meal ever?! It’s hard to have a “colorful” plate with a house full of the pickiest eaters!
I’m so very guilty of buying veggies that go bad! And I honestly hate that! Like, I don’t feel like chopping veggies if I’m the only one who’ll eat them, making Mac n cheese is easier… ugh I sound terrible.
So, I take the blame, I guess? 🤷🏽♀️
While meal prepping is in full effect, in the hopes of eating healthier, maintaining my milk supply and losing the excess weight, MAYBE…HOPEFULLY, I can convince my girls to eat their veggies with me!
I mean it’s not like they eat junk food 24/7, because they do like a few of the yummier ones like carrots and corn. But one cannot live on those alone HA…HA!
Pray for me y’all!
I guess that’s my resolution, it doesn’t have to be January to make one. ☺️
If you have any ideas on easing veggies into my girls’ plates, and yummy family friendly dinners, share them with me!
I’ll add them to my Pinterest Food board 😂 except I really will try to make more than one recipe in a year!
One of my resolutions for this year, was to cook more at home and to involve the girls in making dinner… ideally, more homemade, from scratch type foods. Well, if you follow along with me, you know that I’m pregnant and the first few months of this pregnancy were very difficult!
My morning all day sickness, was awful and well, I didn’t get the chance to cook much, until more recently. Though I’ve been making dinner a few nights a week again, I hadn’t done much to involve the girls.
I don’t know if it’s because I’m in the “nesting” phase now, but lately, I’ve been in the mood to bake/make things from scratch.
I’ve probably pinned hundreds of recipes, but they’ve just been sitting there in my “FOOD” board and haven’t gotten love from me till now.
ANYWAY… that was just a preface to why you’re really here… the part I mentioned about PIZZA! My girls are somewhat picky eaters, so part of my wanting to involve them in cooking with me, is to get them excited about eating the food they helped make!
I figured that starting with pizza, was a no brainer. So, the only truly from “scratch” part is the dough. I found this truly AWESOME recipe on Pinterest, here. If you don’t feel like clicking the link, I’ll post the recipe at the bottom of the page!
The girls were so excited to be helping out… from watching the yeast proof, to helping pour in the ingredients to form the dough.
I wish the pictures I took of them putting the pizza toppings on, came out well. They were all blurry 😒 So, just pretend that it’s here.
I don’t have a pizza pan, so I put it in a regular baking pan. I do suggest you cut the excess dough off a little more than I did, because it was a lot of crust. Although, we LOVE crust, so it didn’t bother us.
For the toppings, I used Whole Foods 365 brand Marinara sauce, 365 Mozzarella, 365 Italian mix and their pepperoni sliced from the deli.
Yes, as amazing as it looks, is as amazing as it tasted! Let me just say, that deli pepperoni was life!
After following the baking time instructions, in order to get that slight burn, I broiled it for about 5 minutes… it depends on how your oven’s broiler works, so make sure you keep an eye on it so it doesn’t char and burn down your kitchen!!
The dough yields a lot! This was only half of the dough, so there’s plenty to go around if you’re a bigger family, especially if you make a smaller crust!
Overall, the girls and I really enjoyed making this deliciousness! They always want to help me out in the kitchen and were excited when they were finally able to actually get their hands on this! I can’t wait to keep finding more recipes where I can include them and create beautiful memories with my girls in the kitchen!
*Here’s the dough recipe:
COOK TIME 18 MINS
2 cups warm water
1 Tablespoon yeast
1 Tablespoon salt
5 cups flour, divided
4 Tablespoons olive oil (2 Tablespoons per pan)
Mix warm water and yeast and let sit 5 minutes until yeast proofs.
Add 2 ½ cups flour with proofed yeast and mix well in Kitchen Aid or with a dough hook.
Add additional 2 ½ cups flour and salt, knead until smooth. Cover bowl with saran wrap. Let dough rest in a ball for 10 to 20 minutes.
Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil onto baking sheet or pizza pan and evenly coat bottom of baking sheet or pizza pan.
Remove dough from bowl and add more flour as needed (a little at a time) to alleviate the stickiness of the dough if needed. I add a few Tablespoons usually.
Split dough in half and roll each ball of dough very thin and place on greased pan.
Preheat oven to 400 F
Now comes the fun part! Top your pizza dough however you would like. If you have a favorite pizza recipe or breadstick recipe, have at it! Be sure and leave a ¾-inch space on the edge for crust.
Bake each pizza separately at 400 degrees F for 18-20 minutes for pizza and 15 minutes for bread sticks or cinnamon sticks.
*Again, this is not my own recipe, I linked it at the top from it’s original source.
I cannot believe it’s already been almost TWO weeks since we took our trip to Chicago. Time seriously needs to slow down a bit, because that means my girls are growing fast too!
Sam and I went on our baby moon to the wonderful Windy City. The first time I went to Chicago, I was just entering my teenage years and it was for my brother’s boot camp graduation. It’s crazy how different things look to you as a kid versus an adult. I just knew, despite the harsh cold, that Chicago was a pretty cool city, and obviously memorable. I’m glad that I finally got to go back as an adult and with my most favorite person in the world!
Every year since our oldest was born, Sam and I have made it a point to get away together without the girls.
(Also, let me add that my anxiety goes through the roof, having to leave my babies! I don’t like leaving them, but I know that Sam and I really need the time alone).
Day in and day out, we have the same routine of responsibilities we need to take care of. After a while, Sam and I get worn out and stressed and barely spend time together because we’re so tired. Date nights aren’t enough to catch up and take a breath.
Don’t get me wrong, they’re absolutely needed and important, but after a while, you need some alone time with your spouse that lasts more than a couple of hours every few weeks. SO, that’s why we made it a point to get out of town without the kids every year.
Last year on our anniversary, however, we did a little 3 day “staycation” in the city, where we’d spend all day exploring, adventuring and relaxing with couples massages, and came back home at the end of the night to the girls; and that was lots of fun and gave us the alone time we needed just as well.
We feel and believe that as parents, and even if you don’t have kids, it’s good to disconnect from everyone else except each other. We get to focus on just each other and really catch up and talk…actually have conversations without distractions and screaming kids asking us for something every .02 seconds! lol
Anyway, Chicago has so much to offer! We ABSOLUTELY loved and enjoyed it. We went for 4 days and despite battling the cold weather, we got a lot done! Here’s some of the highlights of our trip and if you’re thinking of visiting, hopefully serves as some inspo!
We caught a super early flight and as soon as we got to the hotel to check in and leave our bags, we headed out in search of BREAKFAST! HA We were hungry, y’all!
Luckily, there was a restaurant called Yolk right across the street from our hotel. Which by the way, we stayed at The Langham and it was absolutely amazing! It’s a beautiful hotel with exceptional service and an A M A Z I N G spa!
After breakfast, we explored Magnificent Mile, before heading back to our hotel for our couples massage 💆🏽♀️💆🏻♂️ it was much needed and very relaxing.
I LOVE that everything was literally within walking distance from our hotel. We were right on the river and a short walk from Mag Mile and TONS of different restaurants.
Ya’ll… day two was CUBS GAME DAY! It was literally a check off of my bucket list! A dream come true for me, as I’ve been a cubbies fan since I was a kid.
Thanks babe, for making this girl’s day!
After the game, we headed back to our hotel and for dinner we decided to check out the famous Chicago deep dish at Giordano’s, and lets just say, it did NOT disappoint!
Started the day with a yummy breakfast with a view at NoMi located in the Park Hyatt.
After breakfast, I of course had to get the girls a gift… so we hit up the American Girl store and got one each for them. Sam was over it after two minutes of searching for their perfect doll lol
Then it was off to Millennium Park to get in that tourist pic, of course!
Lastly, we couldn’t leave without catching Hamilton! We were able to see it on Broadway and loved it! We listen to the soundtrack all the time! So, we had to catch it while in Chicago and it was just as amazing.
Was our check out day, we ate breakfast at Yolk again, and just had some good old fashioned date fun. We went to FTW which is like Dave n busters and just had fun feeling like little kids. Afterwards, as our last stop, we went to a little hole in the wall, suggested by a friend, called “Da Lobsta.” It was actually really yummy, we don’t typically eat lobster, I prefer shrimp and crawfish, but this was Maine lobster, the way New Englander’s eat it in a roll and it was yum!
So, that’s it! That was our trip to Chicago! Lots of fun spent with my favorite person, best friend, and baby daddy! We were supposed to check out the Navy Pier but had put it off till Saturday, to kill time, but it was rainy that day… so to that we say, we’ll check it out next time because we’ll definitely go back to Chicago!
When I first started giving Ava food, I would make her veggies, and she loved them. The only ones that she gave me the hardest time with, were carrots, but eventually she’d eat them right up! Around the 10 month mark, however, she started rejecting her veggies! It made me so sad. Now that she’s 13 months, the struggle has been real haha I’ve tried so many tricks, I feel like I’ve tried them all. One day she loves mashed potatoes, the next she’ll only eat a few bites. Anyway, pancakes are her favorite and she’ll eat them every time! So, without further ado, here’s a recipe I found on Pinterest: http://www.mamasaywhat.com/carrot-zucchini-pancakes/
I was a bit hesitant at first because I wasn’t sure I wanted to give my daughter something I didn’t really want to eat, but then I thought, why not? I did do somethings a little different, I didn’t have zucchini, so I used yellow squash and instead of 2 eggs, I only used one. I tried this recipe last week, and didn’t want to share it until I knew it worked, the first time, Ava didn’t want them (it’s like she knew that there was carrot and squash)! I tried again, and she loved them!! So here is my slightly altered version that I DID try and they are YUMMY!
1 carrot, peeled & finely grated
1 small yellow squash or if you have zucchini then by all means use that if you want, finely grated
1 cup milk (I prefer whole milk, but 1% or 2% will work)
2 cups Bisquick Heart Smart pancake mix
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon sugar
Cook them as you would normal pancakes and serve how you like. I use coconut butter on mine and Ava eats hers plain since they are slightly sweet with the sugar I like to add. Hope you and/or your picky eater enjoy!