Wednesday, March 30, 2011


  • 1  tube (13.8 ounces)  refrigerated pizza dough
  • 1/2  cup  pizza sauce
  • 1/2  cup  shredded Italian-mix cheese, divided ( used more like 1 cup)
  • 1  cup  fresh baby spinach leaves (I used 3/4 box frozen WELL thawed and squeezed out)
Directions 1. Heat over to 400°F. Unroll dough from tube. Spread pizza sauce on top.
2. Sprinkle with half of cheese and top with spinach leaves. Roll up, starting with short end.
3. Cut into 8 pieces, then lay pieces flat in a greased pie tin. (They will not be all touching but will touch when its done.) Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake 22 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Both kids enjoyed this and I liked the pre-portioned feature.  It was much easier for my almost 3 year old to hold than a slice of pizza would be.  I could see changing this and adding other ingredients as well.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Banana Cake

Got a couple brown bananas sitting around?  Make a Banana Cake.

Original Recipe from The Cake Mix Doctor by Anne Byrn, I modified it slightly by making a bundt cake instead of 2 - 9 inch rounds.

Serves 16

1 package yellow cake mix
1/2 C lightly packed brown sugar
1 tsp  cinnamon
2 medium sized ripe bananas (peeled and mashed)
1 C water
1/2 C vegetable oil
3 large eggs

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees and pre-oil the pan. (I used cooking spray.)  You could probably do this recipe with cupcakes too just use the recommended times on the package.

2.) Place cake mix, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl.  Add the bananas, water, oil and eggs.  Blend together.

3.) Bake the bundt cake for 40-45 minutes (mine went closer to 45)

4.) Allow to cool for 15 minutes before overturning on a serving plate.

(Sorry, no pictures I am sick and its a miracle I actually made anything today. My only motivation was that the bananas were not going to last another day.)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Products I Love For My Kids Pt. 4

1.) Juice Box Holder

I've been wanting one of these for some time now.  I bought 2 Dwink holders but there are various other brands out there that probably work just as well.

It is seemingly impossible for little ones to hold a drink box without squeezing it.  My old method was making my daughter keep her hands off until I got the straw in her mouth, thus catching that first squeeze.  In the car, this was not an easy task.  So this will save me some laundry issues and some frustrations.

Dwink Box Universal Drink Box Holder - Purple

 2.) Ziploc Divided Rectangle Container

There are a lot of fancy lunch containers with divided sections.  Often labeled or marketed toward Mom's sending their kids to school with lunch, they are trendy for the "green" movement.  Unfortunately they are also pretty pricey ranging from $15-$40 for one box.  My kids don't need fancy at this point or even something of their own choosing.  Instead, I need easy options with few pieces and dishwasher safe.
Ziploc - Divided Container, Rectangle - 2 ea
I was picking up some plastic freezer bags and saw these in that aisle.  They come in a 2 pack so it can work for more than one lunch or for one in the wash one in the diaper bag.  The large section is big enough for 2 sandwiches (not huge loaded ones, but like PB & J for the kids.) The 2 small side compartments are good for fruit or veggies and a treat or crackers.  I've also used the main compartment for miscellaneous foods like string cheese and fruit snacks and a small ice pack for a morning at the park when hand held food is needed. These are easy to clean and don't leak (so far) and best of all if they break or I need more its not a big investment. Find these in the plastic bag aisle of your local supermarket or Target/Walmart type store for about $3 for 2.

3.) Annie's Food/Snack Products

This line of crackers, snacks, and meals like macaroni and cheese is great.   I'm not super strict about organic stuff in general.  I cook most of the food my kids eat rather than buy pre-made stuff.  But there are times when snacks and easy foods are great options.  The problem is most of these foods are just loaded with weird stuff and with salt and sugar.  Annie's has Natural & Organic options that are made with real food ingredients and they taste good too.  My daughter loves the mac and cheese or shells and cheese mixed with frozen peas that are cooked in the noodles the last minute or two.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Non-Working out Update

My work out habit was derailed greatly around Christmas.  After getting sick as well as having less and less time, I just haven't started up again.  However, I have found a great way to keep the weight off AND lose more!

Step 1: Find an accountability partner.  Someone you don't live with who you will be able to communicate with daily.  It is helpful if they want to lose weight too.

Step 2: Find out your BMR, then find out your caloric needs for your activity level. 

Go to these sites:

These sites are really helpful in figuring out how many calories you need to maintain, lose, or gain weight.   Figure out your calorie's for the day and share that goal with your partner.

Step 3: Write down (in text, email, Facebook message, etc.) EVERYTHING you eat along with the calories in all of it.  At the end of the day get the total.

This only works if you are honest.  You have to pat attention to every snack, drink, nibble etc.  It is also my suggestion that you always round up in the calories estimated.  If something was 375 calories, just go to 400 instead.  The reason is because you will likely underestimate if you let yourself and this leaves a little room for those extra crackers you ate from your kids snack pile but forgot about while at the park ;o).

I also am still nursing quite a bit so I added that in by upping the activity level I had when figuring out my caloric needs.  My goal is around 1600 calories a day but I range from 1500-1700 most days.  I have found that cutting out sugary drinks (soda, juices, etc) helps a lot and keeping the portions close to the suggested amount is important.  If I know the serving size is ridiculously small I try to figure out how much I actually eat.  For example, pasta has a serving size of 1/8 of a package which is 200 calories.  1/8 is not enough food for me so I eat about 3/8 or so.  That with sauce will be about 700-750 calories.  It sounds like a lot but not if I've eaten a normal breakfast and lunch and avoided my downfall which is eating when I'm bored or avoiding housework. ;o)

Anyway, since starting this around January, I've lost another inch on my waist and hips (without exercise) and I've lost about 3 lbs.  SO if you don't have time to workout, find a friend that will be your food accountability buddy and be brutally honest about your eating habits (the embarrassment will make you put down that 2nd or 3rd brownie.)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I subscribe to Weelicious and get her emails daily.  Her recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup came up and it sounded fairly easy and tasty.
Picture from

I followed the recipe with a few modifications.  I used 2 garlic cloves, 1.5 tsp of cumin, 1 tsp chili powder, and instead of corn I used a package of frozen "southwest" veggies (corn, broccoli, bell peppers etc), I added 2 tbsp of quinoa, and a can of roasted garlic tomatoes.  Having no chips on hand, I fried up some corn tortilla strips to use.  To finish it off I added avocado slices and some cheddar/jack shredded cheese.  It was all really good.  Everyone liked it (10 month old and Toddler included.)

  I would say that this is really satisfying and simple to make, its also easily adjustable to your likes and needs.  I will definitely make this again.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...