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Sunday, October 31, 2010

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

I hope your day is filled with sweet treats and great family time!

Photobucket

Photobucket

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Couch to 5k Program : Free Online Tools

Yesterday, I told you about the Couch to 5k Program.  I love how easily the program is laid out, and I really like the free tools that are available after registering.  My two favorites are the-


Route Tracker:

You input your starting address and a Google map appears with your starting location marked.  Then you just click along the route and your distance is calculated. Woo hoo!


Workout Calendar:

Friday, October 29, 2010

Produce Junction is Open!


Did you know a Produce Junction opened today at the intersection of Lenhart and 309 in Colmar?  We went today and picked up a few things (2 bunches of bananas for $1!), but the store itself was still pretty bare. 

I have heard very mixed reviews about Produce Junction, but my first experience was pretty good. They had mums outside 3/$5 which is a steal!

C25K Program

Have you heard of the Couch to 5k Program? If not you must head over to Cool Running to see their free and relatively painless plan to turn a girl like me (a NON-runner) into a runner!

You just need to do it three times per week, for 20 minutes.  I started last night for the first time and already did my second day today.  As long as you follow according to their reccomended plan, you will be running 3 miles in nine weeks. Pretty awesome, huh?

Week Workout 1 Workout 2 Workout 3
1 Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.
2 Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.
3 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the following:
  • Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the following:
  • Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the following:
  • Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)
4 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
5 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
  • Walk 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog two miles (or 20 minutes) with no walking.
6 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1 mile (or 10 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1 mile (or 10 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2-1/4 miles (or 25 minutes) with no walking.
7 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes). Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes). Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes).
8 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.75 miles (or 28 minutes). Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.75 miles (or 28 minutes). Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.75 miles (or 28 minutes).
9 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes). Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes). The final workout! Congratulations! Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes).

Make Your Own: Crockpot Applesauce

Chunky Crockpot Applesauce 
6-8 apples peeled and cut thin
1/2 cup of water
3/4 cup brown sugar (we used less)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
Put apples in crockpot with 1/2 cup water. Cook on low for 6-8 hours stirring occasionaly to break up apples. During the last half hour of cooking, add the spices.



Thank you to my awesome friend Vivian for the recipe!!!!   We have made this recipe twice, and did double batches each time.  It's AMAZING warm or cold, though for some reason Baby A refuses to eat it!!! She loves applesauce...so I just keep offering it to her (it's much darker than the Mott's organic we give her, that's the only reason I can come up with!) and figure she'll catch on eventually.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Make Your Own: Grandma's Chicken Noodle Soup

We LOVE soup in our house. More specifically, we love chicken noodle soup. We love making different varieties to switch it up! 

We have made this recipe twice and instead of egg noodles, used orzo the first time and barley the second time. YUMMMMMM!



Original Recipe Yield 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups wide egg noodles
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 12 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 cups diced, cooked chicken meat
Directions
  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add egg noodles and oil, and boil for 8 minutes, or until tender. Drain, and rinse under cool running water.
  2. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, combine broth, salt, and poultry seasoning. Bring to a boil. Stir in celery and onion. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in noodles and chicken, and heat through.

Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

  1. I told you I had my first sushi a few weeks ago. I LOVE it now! I have been getting it once a week for lunch at Genardis and now they make it with brown rice YUM!
  2. We were gifted a box of organic fruits and veggies (that were delivered to the door!) and it was really exciting for me!!! We received beets which we do NOT eat, but guess what? We ate them, and they were REALLY good (recipe to follow)!!!
  3. It kinda makes me want to join a CSA. Well, I've always wanted to join a CSA. They're just so expensive, but maybe it IS worth it. If you're local to me, leave me a message if you are a part of a CSA (organic is a bonus).
  4. We have not been having a good run around here--still on the backend of teething for Baby A, we've had two deaths in the family, and some major work stress. That being said, I really have not been resorting to comfort food at all- just keep eating my normal food which is really big for me.
  5. I still want to be a runner. I still do not run.
  6. I tried a new fresh, local, seasonal restaurant Sunday and LOVED it! I love finding new awesome restaurants!
  7. I continually find my taste buds wanting more. More flavors, more spice, more excitement. Anyone else like this? I ate a roasted pepper crab bisque recently and it was simply amazing!
  8. I am looking forward to a date a few weeks from now when I'll be getting together with Kate for a morning of cooking lessons! YEAH!
  9. I found a new wonderful website called Fair Food Philly, you must check it out, and request your FREE guide here!!!!!
  10. I'm just wondering what's new with you? Where have you been eating? What have you been cooking? 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Go Visit: Farmicia

Mmmmmmmmmmm. I'm still thinking about my delicious brunch at Farmicia Restaurant in Old City, Philadelphia.  My best friend and I decided to check out Farmicia when I purchased a gift certificate to the restaurant on restaurant.com.  We were all ready to head into the city when I noticed that yes, you can use the GC on a Sunday but it must be used during dinner only. It was 11am. Oops.
After getting so hyped to try to fresh, local, and seasonal fare, we decided to tuck the gift certificate away for another evening (JP--date night??;)) and head there for brunch as planned.  The restaurant is located on 3rd Street right in the heart of Old City.  Just like many of the other popular eateries in the area, Farmicia is trendy, with low-lighting, great drinks and a tantalizing menu of fresh food!

My girlfriend decided right away she would like a Bloody Mary. Mmm, okay. It's going to be like that! I ordered the Farmer's Daughter which was a mimosa---bonus, "happy hour" runs during brunch on the weekend- 11-3pm which equals 1/2 priced drinks! Woo hoo!

We decided to split an appetizer of smoked salmon, bagel chips, capered cream cheese, red onions, and big juicy tomatoes.  Everything about it was perfect and I could have eaten a billion more.

For our actual meal, we went totally separate ways. She ordered fluffy buttermilk pancakes with real maple syrup.  I ordered the Lump Crabmeat & Green Apple Salad which consisted of crab, lemon-mint dressing, greens, creamed avocado-------ummmmmmmmmmm HEAVEN! It was the perfect blend flavors. Rich, fresh, delectable.

To understand a bit more about the restaurant, check out this info from their website, "FARMiCiA is the conception of Kevin Klause (formerly of the White Dog Cafe), James Barrett and Wendy Smith Born (owners of Metropolitan Bakery), who share a vision of a restaurant that captures the pleasures of simply crafted food and excellent beverages served in a relaxed yet lively environment. The emphasis is on great tasting food and beverages crafted from local, organic, and artisanal producers."


Pretty awesome. I cannot wait to head back to use my dinner gift certificate! 

Make Your Own: Savory & Creamy Pumpkin Soup

One for the babies!!! (And toddlers!)



Savory & Creamy Pumpkin Soup (for babies 8 months and up)

Ingredients:
2 cups of pumpkin(canned or fresh pureed)
1 3/4 cups chicken broth or veggie broth
1 small onion, finely diced
2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
2 cups half and half or evaporated milk (if you want to indulge) – use plain whole milk yogurt for the little ones
1/4 cup Sour Cream (optional)
dash of pepper
dash of cinnamon
dash of nutmeg

Directions:
1. In a large pot add the broth, onions, carrot, and spices.
2. Simmer uncovered for ten to fifteen minutes until carrots are soft.
Optional: Put vegetables and broth into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Return to pot.
3. Add pumpkin and half and half or yogurt. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
Serve warm, topped with with sour cream (optional)
Ideas for the babies:  Blend into rice, blend with chicken or pork or serve as a “sauce” over pasta


Thanks, Wholesome Baby Food!!!!
Pic.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Make Your Own : Tortellini Soup



1 medium onion
3 chopped carrots
5 cups of chicken broth
1 cup cheese-filled tortellini (fresh)
1/2 cup cooked chicken (you can shred, or cut into chunks)
2 tsp. dried basil
1/8 tsp.chili powder
4 oz. fresh spinach
4 oz. sliced mushrooms
Black pepper

Slice onions and carrots, and add to stock with chicken, tortellini, basil and chili. Simmer over low heat until tortellini is tender, for about 15 minutes. Cut spinach and mushrooms into slices. Add to soup and simmer 3 to 4 minutes more.



Adapted from cooks.com.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Don't Let Them Go To Waste!

When we have an abundance of fruit or veggies that are about to turn, I always try to do SOMETHING with them, so they don't go to waste.  With veggies, I make SOUP!

With fruit, I make muffins or pancakes. This week, our bananas turned super-fast and even our little banana-monster couldn't keep up with them.

We use boxed pancake mix, wheat, then we chop up the bananas and throw them right in the mix.

Make Your Own: Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese





I know. What? 

I hate beets. Like seriously. 

Okay fine, maybe I have only ever had them out of a can a good 20 years ago.

My sister bought my family a box of organic fruits and veggies as a gift that got delivered to my door yesterday. I was excited about almost all of it, until I saw the BEETS. Yikes.
I was scared, but a little excited.  I figured, I am much older now, maybe my tastebuds have changed their attitude!

I went onto facebook and immediately asked my friends and family for some help. I got several awesome ideas and decided to try one given to me by my friend Jenna.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Drizzle a few beets olive oil and balsamic vinegar (I used red wine vinegar).
  3. Tightly wrap the beets in foil.
  4. Roast for about an hour.
  5. "Serve those tasty tender babies with some fresh goat cheese and thyme. YUMMO!"
I am shocked to say, I liked them. I border-line loved them. The hubs loved them, too!!!! Baby A was already done her lunch by the time we were eating but she tried one bite and really liked it, too! YEAH!!!

Whatcha Doin' This Weekend?

Local Readers, check this out!


If you need more info, click here!

Make Your Own: Chicken Stock


So, as I told you, I roasted my first chicken the other day. I stripped it of all it's meat and then threw the carcass into a large pot.

With the help of the internet and Jamie Oliver, I covered it with water, added veggies (onions, garlic, carrots), spices (pepper, salt), and brought it to a boil.

After a nice boil, I turned the stove to simmer, covered the pot and let it sit for an hour or two. YAY!

Because I love roast chicken, and eat it on a regular basis, I am now in a routine where, before doing the washing up, I throw the carcass and any tasty scraps and scrapings from the roasting and carving tray into a pot.

Afterward, use a sieve to strain all the bones and chunks out of the broth and voila, chicken stock!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mega Bloks!!! A Giveaway!!!

There is nothing my daughter likes more than big, chunky, colorful toys-----and she just recently learned to build with what she calls "bocks".  She loves building with blocks but as a young little one, she has a lot of difficulty balancing blocks without constantly knocking them down accidentally.


Enter: MEGA Bloks
.

They are big, they are chunky (perfect for little hands!), they are colorful (hello, great for teaching colors naturally!!), and oh, can we ever build with them!  MEGA Bloks are recommended for toddlers who are 1+ years old- mainly because a child needs to have some fine motor control when using these. That being said, at 18-months-old my daughter LOVES these!!!! At two-years-old, my niece LOVES these!  At 27-years-old, I LOVE these!!!

It says so right on the packaging (a durable bag with a zipper that can be used over and over again---great for taking to Grandma's house, too!), the possibilities are endless and I have to say, we have not yet come close to getting bored with our Bloks.  We build horsies, barns, characters from our favorite tv shows and books, family members, cars, even food!

These Bloks are perfect for boys or girls, which is always nice for play dates, siblings and family gatherings--they can ALL enjoy it!




Want to know something even cooler? MEGA Bloks is celebrating their 25th birthday this year with an amazing chance for families to win $25,000 for their children's future!!  Click here for the full press release which details the contest and how to enter!


How about more cool news??? Mega Bloks is giving you the chance to win an 80-piece set!!!!!! All you have to do is leave a comment here telling me your name, email address, and what you would do with an 80-piece set of Mega Bloks! This contest will run until Sunday, 10/24 at 11:59pm eastern time. Please leave only one comment, multiple comments will not be counted.  The winner will be chosen using random.org, a random number generator, and they will be emailed Monday, 10/25.  Tell all your friends!!!!


All opinions are 100% my own. MEGA Bloks provided me with an 80-piece bag of "bloks" to help facilitate this review.

Ten On Tuesday

1. The Smoothie Challenge is dead in the water. Oops. It's been cold, we've been busy, and we were away for a couple of days. Oh well it was a nice thought!

2. Instead of buying lunch meat this week, I bought a chicken! And roasted it! I am SO very impressed and excited!!!!!!  This was my first roast and really was pretty easy.  I am going to try my hand at making stock tomorrow, I will let you know how it goes.

3. The other day, I was starving around lunchtime. I hadn't packed a lunch because we had been away and the fridge was bare.  I had the baby with me and since she is going through monstrous teething right now I felt bad and didn't want to drag her into a store or restaurant, so I ran through the list of drive-throughs I would pass on my way home and after much internal debate, I couldn't even pick a place to be remotely interested in, so I headed home. I scraped together some nachos with local cheese (garlic and chive flavored!), black beans, and fresh salsa mmmm.

4. Did you know Genuardis has sushi? It's really quite delicious! I've only had the California Rolls (I THINK that's what they are) from there, but they're great!!! Nice to switch up lunch on-the-go sometimes.

5. I am still lessening my take out and am doing better with being prepared at home so I can 1) eat before I leave or 2) pack something to go.

6. I am holding strong with not drinking soda, I don't even want it any more! I just passed the two-month mark, yeah!

7. Mommy-and-Me yoga ends this week. I am so sad! We both really enjoyed it!!

8. Though I'd like to look into taking another class with Ava (yoga will not be offered in her age group until she's older), I am going to take a breather until after the holidays.

9. On Sunday, we headed into Center City to check out the PHOTOgraphy 2010 Show at the Philadephia Sketch Club- it's their annual juried art show and I got TWO of my photographs in the show!!!!!

10. Last weekend, we headed to Linvilla Orchards and had the most delicious treat ever---PUMPKIN funnel cake! HEAVEN!!!!!! It was sweet enough to last me until next year, but what a yummy idea!!!

Roasting My First Chicken!

Guess what, guess what, guess what?? 
I roasted my first chicken yesterday! And it turned out really well!

I feel just like June Cleaver (RIP by the way)!!! No, I was not wearing pearls, heels, not even a cute dress...pretty sure I was rockin' my after-work-sweats. 

I wanted to roast a chicken for several reasons:

1) I want to stop buying lunch meat. It's icky, it's expensive and it's full of crap that I don't really want to be eating.
2) I want to get back to the basics of cooking, back to the days when people made food from scratch, because they had to--I have found that if I make it a priority, then I have plenty of time to make food from scratch.
3) I buy a lot of chicken stock and if I can learn to make my own, why not?
4) It just sounds cool.

Okay, I am kidding on the last one (Kinda)!

The roast actually had directions right on the packaging-
1) Season it with salt and pepper inside and out.  On the advice of my sister, I stuck some cut up onion inside.
2) Preheat the oven to 350. Stick the roast in a roasting pan and add 1 cup of water.
3) Cook for 2-2.5 hours. The roast I bought had a pop up thermometer right in the one leg, so this was very easy.

For future, I need to buy a roasting pan (I bought a $2 foil one at Giant), and a meat thermometer.


All this from the girl who didn't know how to make TACOS in 2005! WOOHOO!!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

4 Power-Food Pairings for Kids


We discussed snacks a few days ago and I admitted to forgetting to pair snacks for Baby A. I need to get better with that, and as she gets older it seems easier to do.

Parents.com has another great list posted--check it out in full here.

4 Power-Food Pairings for Kids
  1. Strawberries and whole wheat toast
  2. Oatmeal and milk
  3. Olive oil and veggies
  4. Chicken and carrots

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Family Mealtimes


I found a wonderful article this week that gives solid advice for creating a calm and positive mealtime for your families.  So often, getting to the table can be a bit of a rushed activity (with baby A yelling HUNNNNNNNNNY in the background), but after reading this, I felt encouraged. I also really like the advice regarding the role of the parent and the role of the child---it's okay if children do not want to eat at one meal. Don't offer 87 more choices, and do not force them to eat anything.  By forcing them to try this food or take one more bite of that food, it almost becomes a power struggle and that is neither calm nor peaceful.  Ladies, as a teacher, I can tell you one of the most important rules in life----

Choose your battles.

via Nutrition for the Future by Dayle Hayes, MS, RD, Nutrition for the Future, Inc. on 10/12/10

Before we move onto families playing together, I wanted to share one more post about eating together.

The key to calm, positive mealtimes is a healthy feeding relationship – with a division of responsibilities between adults and children. According to registered dietitian (RD) and child feeding expert Ellyn Satter:

• Adults are responsible for what foods and beverages are served. They are also responsible for where the meal is served – and for making mealtimes pleasant.

• Children are responsible for deciding whether to eat and how much to eat. As they get older, they can learn age-appropriate table manners and mealtime behaviors.


Here are five strategies to having meals without squeals – and for avoiding unpleasant food fights with children. If you need more details about developing a successful feeding relationship with your children, check out books by Ellyn Satter, MS, RD, LCSW: Your Child's Weight: Helping Without Harming and Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family.


1. Make regularly scheduled meals a family priority.
Young children need the reassurance of structured meal and snack times. Eating on the run may seem OK for adults, but it doesn’t work well for children. Whether you are eating at home or “on the road,” take the time to sit down and eat with your child.


2. Avoid pressuring or forcing children to eat.
Most adults have good intentions when they try to force children to eat “healthy” foods or to try new items. The problem with pressure is that it doesn’t work. Kids like foods less if they are forced to eat them – or if they are given bribes or rewards.


3. Model the habits you want children to develop.
Young children do not automatically know how to eat like “big people.” They learn how to eat and how to behave at the table by watching you. You are your children’s most important role model for developing lifelong, healthy eating habits.


4. Enjoy the foods you want your children to enjoy.
Children learn to eat new foods by watching other people eat and enjoy them. If you want a child to eat green veggies, serve them regularly in a variety of appealing ways. Eat your green veggies. Talk about how they good they taste and how they make you strong.


5. Have realistic expectations for mealtime behavior.
It takes time for kids to master new skills, like table manners. Adults need to lay out clear expectations for mealtime behaviors and to reinforce appropriate behavior. Kids need to know, ahead of time, that they will have to leave the table if they continue misbehaving.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Make Your Own: Creamy Shrimp and Pasta

1/4 lb linguini, uncooked
1 cup medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails off
2 chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1/2 cup reduced-fat cream cheese
1 1/2 cups torn fresh, (washed, drained) fresh spinach leaves
Cook pasta as directed, drain. Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add shrimp, tomatoes and cream cheese.Cook and stir 3-4 minutes or until mix is well blended. Place pasta in a large bowl. Add spinach, mix lightly. Stir in shrimp mix.

 My italian hubby AND Baby A loved this pasta- they couldn't get enough!


Adapted from cooks.com.

20 Best Snacks for Kids

The most popular snacks in our house are: cheerios, plain yogurt, honey wheat pretzels, fresh fruit, goldfish, cheese, and hard-boiled eggs. I get stuck for new ideas and often forget to combine food groups for a balanced snack (I'm working on it!).

Thanks to Parents.com for compiling this list.

20 Best Snacks for Kids
  1.  Cheese
  2. Peanut Butter
  3. Healthier Baked Goods
  4. Whole Grain Cereal
  5. Quesadillas
  6. Yogurt
  7. Eggs
  8. Sweet Potatoes
  9. Hummus
  10. Noodles
  11. Pears
  12. Smoothies
  13. Snack Mix
  14. Low-Fat Ham
  15. Raisins
  16. Apples
  17. Whole Grain Waffles
  18. Strawberries
  19. Oatmeal
  20. Tomatoes

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It's Wednesday

And I totally missed Ten on Tuesday this week! I think I will just skip it and get back next weekend, when hopefully life slows and calms a bit.

:)

Make Your Own: Healthier Mac N Cheese

I made my normal Mac 'N Cheese recipe this weekend and added 1/2 cauliflower (frozen), half noodles, and a bunch of peas.
It was delicious--all three of us LOVED it.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Serving Size: serves 4
Difficulty: Easy
Ingredients:
1/2 pound macaroni, cooked (substitute cauliflower for 1/4 lb)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons wheat flour
1 1/4 cups milk, heated
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
3/4 cup frozen peas

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 375° F.
To make cheese sauce:
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste cooks and bubbles a bit, but don't let it brown — about 2 minutes. Add the hot milk, continuing to stir as the sauce thickens. Bring it to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste, lower the heat, add 1/2 cup cheese and cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat.

Butter a 1 1/2-quart casserole. Put the cooked macaroni into the casserole, pour the cheese sauce over it, and mix gently with a fork. Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese evenly over the pasta.

Bake, uncovered, until the top is golden and the sauce is bubbling, about 30 minutes.




Saturday, October 9, 2010

Clean 15---Lowest in Pesticides

At the Happy and Healthy Mom Fair, O'Boy Organic handed me a business card with two sides- one listing the CLEANEST foods when it comes to being filled with toxins, and the other side has the WORST foods. Check out yesterday's post for the Dirty Dozen.

  1. Onions
  2. Avocado
  3. Sweet Corn
  4. Pineapple
  5. Mangos
  6. Sweet Peas
  7. Asparagus
  8. Kiwi
  9. Cabbage
  10. Eggplant
  11. Cantaloupe
  12. Watermelon
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Sweet Potato
  15. Honeydew Melon

Thanks to happybabyfood.com for the information!!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Dirty Dozen - Buy These Organic!

At the Happy and Healthy Mom Fair, O'Boy Organic handed me a business card with two sides- one listing the WORST foods when it comes to being filled with toxins, and the other side has the cleanest 15 foods. Look for that post tomorrow!

  1. Celery
  2. Peaches
  3. Strawberries
  4. Apples
  5. Blueberries
  6. Nectarines
  7. Bell Peppers
  8. Spinach
  9. Cherries
  10. Kale and Collard Greens
  11. Potatoes
  12. Grapes (Imported)

Thanks to happybabyfood.com for the information!!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Ten On Tuesday

  1. I have self-imposed a 30-day smoothie challenge. Ava and JP have decided to join me. We started on Sunday and have each had one every day since (three total, ha!).  Latest recipe: 1 banana, 1 cup water, 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt, 1/4 cup shredded raw carrots, at least 1 cup spinach, 1 cup frozen fruit.
  2. I am drinking much less DD coffee these days and am trying to pack my lunch for work. It's kinda working. It's hard because I literally hit the road after every student, so I pass a billion restaurants/convenience stores each week.
  3. Still totally sucking at exercising. I am only doing yoga 1x per week. I don't have time and when I do have time it's the LAST thing I feel like doing. Wonderful, right?
  4. They're discontinuing our age group at mommy and me yoga. Three more classes then we're done. Boo.
  5. A lot of my friends are becoming more and more interested in healthy eating. I love discussing it with them!!!
  6. I am going to my first sushi restaurant tomorrow!
  7. Baby A got her first BEAN stuck in her nose yesterday. Thankfully I noticed it right away and plugged her free nose with my finger---the bean shot out into my other hand. YUM!
  8. My photography world has been rocking. We won #2 in the category of BEST Children's Photographer!!! We got TWO photos into a juried art show in Center City Philadelphia! YEAH!
  9. It's been very chilly in the Philly burbs lately----I LOVE it! We had some delish mac and cheese last night and have been drinking piping hot tea before bed. One of my client's owns a tea room and they have PUMPKIN tea! I need to find a way to get over there!
  10. Speaking of pumpkin- every year I crave pumpkin everything. Well, a few weeks ago I had a nasty pumpkin iced coffee and now don't even want my annual pumpkin spiced coffee!!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

B.I.T.K. Holiday Gift Guide

Have you checked out our holiday gift guide? SO many more good things to come!!!!



Ten Tips for Healthier Breakfast

This is perfect for busy moms....especially new moms and those moms getting kids out the door in te morning!

Ten Tips to for a Healthier Breakfast
  1. Instant Oatmeal- choose one that is not pre-sweetened. Sweeten with raisins or fresh fruit.
  2. Smoothies- low-fat milk or yogurt, a banana and a blend of fresh or frozen fruit are all you need. Add spinach if you want to pack in more nutrients!
  3. 100% Whole Grain, Fiber-Containing Cereals- use low-fat or fat-free milk. Whole wheat muffins with smashed banana are another easy and tasty choice.
  4. Eggs! Boil, scramble, or poach eggs and serve on whole-grain toast.
  5. Toaster Treats- frozen whole-grain waffles take almost no time to make. Top them with berries, low-sugar applesauce or sliced bananas instead of syrup (yogurt works well, too!).
  6. Nuts-spreading peanut or almond butter on whole-grain toast is a great way to get protein+fiber.
  7. Fruit- fresh chunks of fruit with a dollop of low-fat/fat-free yogurt is a great way to start the day. Apples contain fiber and bananas contain potassium.
  8. All-Fruit Spreads- substitute butter or margarine on toast with all-fruit spreads, fruit butters, or even sliced bananas or strawberries.
  9. Bagels- try whole wheat or sunflower seed bagels with low-fat cream cheese or peanut butter.
  10. On-the-go: Keep whole-grain mini bagels on-hand, muffins, nuts, dried and fresh fruits that can easily be taken to the car.

Thank you to Empower Me for the great hand-outs at CHOP's Healthy Kids Day.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Healthy Snacks for Growing Kids by O'Boy Organic

Last week, I told you about the Happy and Healthy Mom Fair, and specifically that I met O'Boy Organic. Among the many handouts I received, the ones from O'Boy Organic were my favorite!  I don't know about your children but Ava eats SO MUCH. I feel like she is smacking her lips yelling "Hunnnnny!!!!!!!" (hungry) every two hours, a little throwback to the breastfeeding days when her nickname was "The Little Bull".

Sometimes we get in a snack rut and she eats the same 5 or 6 things over and over again. Thanks to O'Boy Organic for keeping our snacks fresh and exciting with this list...


1. Fruit cut into bite-sized pieces: apple, pear, plum, apricot, peach, nectarine, kiwi, pineapple, berries, banana, canteloupe, watermelon, papaya, mango, grapes.  Let them dip in a low-sugar yougurt mixture (we use greek plain at our house).

2. Grain Snacks: whole grain crackers (try to get the ones with flax seed mixed in), toaste dbread and fruit preserves or cream cheese (try sprouted bread- tons of protein and fiber), pretzels, oatmeal bars, cold ceral (dry or with milk).

3. Veggie Snacks: choose your child's favorite vegetable and let him dip in hummus, salsa, ranch or guacamole.  Try carrot sticks, red or yellow pepper strips, jicama slices, and broccoli florets --call them "trees"!

4. Dairy Snacks: yogurt, yogurt and fruit smoothies, cheese and crackers, cheese with apple slices. During hot months, try freezing smoothies or yogurt and make ice pops.

5. Protein-Packed Snacks: hummus or black bean dip with pita triangles, crackers or sliced veggies, peanut butter sandwiches

*Because nuts and peanuts cause allergic reactions, wait until at least 2 years old before introducing to your child.  Take to your pediatrician about when to introduce potentially allergenic foods as it may be best to wait longer than the stated guidelines.  Small round foods like grapes can cause choking in young children. Avoid whole grapes until age 2 or older.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Make Your Own: Pumpkin Waffles

Pumpkin Waffles? Yes please!!!!


More savory goodness from Weelicious!

Pumpkin Waffles

pumpkin-waffles.jpg
When I come up with a new recipe for weelicious, it usually takes me some to test it, write the post and stage and edit the photos and so on before publishing it here. But, earlier this week I innocently posted a picture of Kenya’s lunch on my facebook and Twitter, and almost immediately I was barraged with emails and messages asking what it was that I made. So, by overwhelming demand, I bring you one of my favorite recipes, pumpkin waffles!
Over the holidays, I buy tons of canned pumpkin puree and inevitably it sits in the cabinet for months until I get around to using all of it. This recipe is for anyone who’s overstocked on pumpkin and wants to get rid of it in the yummiest way possible!
In our house, we’re all about serving these waffles for breakfast, but I decided to take them a step further. I like to make a big batch of waffles, enjoy half of them when I make them, freeze a few for future breakfasts (just pop them in the toaster oven when you need them) and make sandwiches with the remaining. Yes, sandwiches. How excited will your kids be when they open their lunch box to see cream cheese (and maybe some sliced fruit) between two fluffy pumpkin waffles? I guarantee you’ll win mom (or dad) of the year for that one!
Pumpkin Waffles (Makes 12 4 inch Waffles)
2 1/2 Cups Flour
1/3 Cup Light Brown Sugar
2 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 Tsp Ground Ginger
4 Eggs
1 Cup Milk (I used rice milk)
1 Cup Buttermilk (I used low fat)
1 Cup Pumpkin Puree
6 Tbsp Butter, melted
1. Preheat waffle iron.
2. Sift first 7 ingredients into a bowl.
3. In a separate bowl whisk the remaining ingredients.
4. Whisk the dry ingredients into the liquid mixture and whisk until smooth.
5. Pour about 1/2 cup of the pumpkin batter into a waffle iron that’s been buttered or greased and cook according to manufacturer’s directions.
6. Serve with maple syrup or make into sandwiches filling with cream cheese and whatever other fillings you desire.
*Allow to cool, place in a ziploc bag, label and freeze. When ready, place in toaster oven or oven at 300 and heat for 10 minutes or until heated through.

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