Category: Eat

Sometimes all it takes to get a little extra mommy motivation is finding a yummy new recipe to prepare for your family! Growing up in the midwest has given me a love for hearty and nutritious meals that leave everybody satisfied. I also have a bit of a sweet tooth and most certainly like to keep it balanced with delicious desserts from time to time.

Fairlife Milk & A Magic Bullet Giveaway

Being raised on a farm, I was taught to have a deep love for cow’s milk. It was served at every meal, and my day still isn’t complete without a big ol’ glass. I LOVE it, and almost finish a whole gallon by myself every week.

In recent years, almond and coconut milk have become incredibly popular due to their health benefits. I’ve tried time and time again to like the stuff, and while I can tolerate it in my coffee, it just doesn’t do it for me the way cow’s milk does. Well, it just so happens there is now a healthier cow’s milk!

When I heard about Fairlife milk, I was very intrigued. Fairlife is a cow’s milk created by dairy farmers from Indiana that contains 50% more protein and calcium and half the sugars of regular milk. It’s also lactose free! They’ve developed a state of art filtration system that allows them to do all this.

There is so much awesome information on their website, PLEASE check it out! You’ll love what you hear. Here’s a video from their founders. I have to admit, having parents who still farm, their story definitely touches my heart!

They delivered free samples to my door to try out. I was given a bottle of skim, 2%, and chocolate. photo-209

Jake and I couldn’t get over how good it was! The chocolate milk is honestly the best I’ve ever tasted. The skim milk has a creamier flavor than regular skim milk, and the 2% tastes a lot like whole milk. We liked it so much that we went hunting it down in the stores around here. They launched in Minnesota in February and it’s currently available at Cub Foods, Kowalski’s, Lunds & Byerly’s, and Rainbow. We found it on sale at Kowaski’s 2/$5.00, and swiped the very last chocolate milk off the shelf. I guess we’re not the only ones who think it’s the best!

As Fairlife continues to launch across the country, I’m thrilled to be able to help raise awareness for this awesome company and their nutritious products. I plan to keep buying the milk for my family and would love for you to try it out as well when it becomes available in your market!

To keep up with the latest news and launch cities, I’d like to invite you to follow Fairlife on Facebook and Twitter!

If you need a little extra motivation, I have just the thing! Fairlife has offered to give away an Original Magic Bullet to one lucky Mommy’s Me Time reader! They strongly believe in encouraging us to live a healthy lifestyle and the Magic Bullet can certainly help to make that a whole lot more convenient. Using the Fairlife milk in smoothies is a perfect way to pack in extra protein! Magic Bullet

Please enter to win using Rafflecopter below! This contest is open to U.S. residents only and will run through Tuesday March 25th! The winner will be announced next Wednesday, March 26th!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

XOXO,

Amber

*I was given free milk from Fairlife and asked to review it, but all opinions are my own. 

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Apple Cinnamon Crunch Baked Oatmeal Muffins

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Honey Bunches of Oats. All opinions are 100% mine.

IMG_0803When it comes to breakfast, I’m all about choosing hearty whole grains that keep my belly full all morning long.

When the opportunity to try Honey Bunches of Oats Morning Energy was presented to me, it seemed like a good fit. Their new cereal, called Morning Energy, is packed with whole grain, protein, and fiber and the texture is amazing! Like their other cereals, it has the perfect combination of whole grain flakes and granola clusters.

I was given a box of each of their two flavors to sample, review, and share with my family. IMG_0834I liked both of them! The Cinnamon Crunch had the perfect amount of sweet, and I liked how big the granola clusters were. The Chocolately Almond Crunch was delicious too. I really liked the almond in there. It gave it a pop of flavor that was more substantial than I would have expected.

My favorite was Cinnamon Crunch. I ended up eating some like regular cereal with milk, some mixed with greek yogurt, and then used the rest of it for a little experiment with baked oatmeal muffins.

Since I’m all about convenience in this stage of life, I love having breakfast options around that I can quickly grab while I’m busy with the kids or that I can send out the door with Jake when he has to leave at the crack of dawn. These muffins were oh so easy to make, and the Honey Bunches Of Oats Morning Energy added substance that kept me full all morning.

They were a big hit with my family, and I think yours will love them too! IMG_0843

Apple Cinnamon Crunch Baked Oatmeal Muffins 

(adapted from MOMables.com)IMG_0824

Ingredients: 

-2 cups old fashioned oats

-1 cup Honey Bunches Of Oats Cinnamon Crunch Morning Energy

-1 teaspoon baking powder

-1/2 teaspoon salt

-2 tablespoons butter, melted

-2 cups milk

-1 egg

-1/2 cup brown sugar

-1 1/2 cups chopped fresh apples (I peeled and sliced them, then pulsed in my food processor for a  few seconds)

Directions: 

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease or prepare a 12 count muffin pan with liners.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the oats, cereal, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and apples. Set aside.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the butter, milk, brown sugar, and egg. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients.

3. Batter will be very loose and wet. Fill each muffin tin until they’re all full of batter. It won’t expand that much, so don’t be afraid of it filling them up. Bake at 375 for 25 – 35 minutes or until the muffins are just golden brown. Don’t underbake, or the mixture won’t hold together well.

4. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. Makes 12 muffins. Store leftovers in an airtight container.

To keep up with their newest products and breakfast ideas, you can like Honey Bunches Of Oats on Facebook and follow them on on Twitter.

Which of the two flavors do you think your family would enjoy the most? 

XOXO,

Amber

 

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Homemade Pizza Lunchables

IMG_0617When it comes to lunchtime, I’m all about making it kid friendly and easy, because any mom knows that when the hunger comes we have approximately 60 seconds to fill their plates. Popular items on our menu rotation include peanut butter and jelly, Annie’s mac and cheese, Earth’s Best fish and chicken nuggets, and Applegate hot dogs. Add to those sides of fruits and veggies and we’re golden.

Then there are always those occasions when we’re out and about running mid-day errands and I grab something to go. In a few cases, I’ve opted for pizza Lunchables which were an immediate hit. I couldn’t believe how quickly Baylen scarfed down all three pizzas. AND, he thought it was the coolest thing ever that he got to put on his own toppings. It’s so cute watching him carefully sprinkle on the cheese!IMG_0594Happy that I found a new lunch option, but not so happy about the preservatives and extra money that accompanied the Lunchables, I decided to experiment and go the homemade route.

It turns out these are the easiest and cheapest things to make at home! It’s also an awesome indoor activity for the kids to help with! Baylen had a ball rolling the dough.IMG_0578Basically, all you need to do is use a favorite pizza dough recipe and take a few minutes to bake tiny pizzas ahead of time. I’m pretty excited about these and will most definitely be adding them to the rotation. If you have school aged kids, I’d imagine this would be a fun thing to fill their lunch boxes with! On the flip side, if you have babies who are venturing into the solids realm, these are a great option too. My 10 month olds love them!IMG_0608

Homemade Pizza Lunchables (makes about 36 mini-pizzas)JJzp3o1391028109

Ingredients: 

(For the dough)

-4 1/2 tsp active dry yeast (2 packets)

-1/2 tsp sugar

-1 1/2 cups warm water

-3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

-1 tsp salt

(For on top)

-pizza sauce

-shredded cheese

-additional preferred toppings

Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees and lightly grease a baking sheet. Dissolve yeast and sugar in water; allow to rest for 8 minutes. Add flour and salt and mix to form dough. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead for 2 minutes. Roll out with a rolling pin until it’s about 1/4 inch thick. Use a glass or cookie cutter to form the size and shapes of the pizzas you’d like.IMG_0585 Place pizzas on baking sheet and poke with a fork to prevent air pockets.IMG_0586Bake for 5 minutes. Remove, let cool and serve. Store extras in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

I hope your sweeties enjoy them as much as mine do!IMG_0592

XOXO,

Amber

 

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How To Roast A Spaghetti Squash

IMG_0314It’s Wednesday January 15th! I’ve been looking forward to this day for a few months now, because today is launch day for Twin Cities Moms Blog! I mentioned a while back that I’m a contributor, which means I’m on a team with about 15 other ladies from around the Twin Cities who will be sharing all sorts of topics that moms are interested in. I would love if you’d head over and take a peak at the opening post as well as my post about 30 Ways To Encourage A New Mom and all the other fabulous posts that have already been published by our talented team!

Another reason why this isn’t just any other Wednesday is because it marks the half-way point of the Whole30 challenge I’m doing. I still really like how it’s making me feel. I don’t seem to have those middle of the day slumps like I used to, but instead my energy levels seem to be more steady throughout the day. I decided to add some dairy back in. I don’t see dairy being a problem for me and wanted to start incorporating it so that I’m more likely to continue many of these habits after the challenge is over.

As a pasta lover, I’m missing it. But, thankfully I’ve been keeping my pantry stocked with spaghetti squash which has been a healthy and delicious substitute. I usually cook one up during nap time and eat it over the next couple of days for lunch. (Except for the time I ate a whole squash in a day.) I keep it simple and add some tomato sauce, oregano, basil, rosemary, or whatever sounds good. In the picture I added pine nuts as well. If you’re looking for a healthy lunch that leaves you feeling satisfied, give this a go.

How To Roast A Spaghetti SquashIMG_03041. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Cut the squash in half length-wise.

3. Scoop out the seeds and discard.

4. Place the halves on a baking sheet with the cut sides up.

5. Drizzle a couple tablespoons of olive oil in the center and evenly brush it around. Season with salt and pepper.

6. Roast for 45 – 60 minutes, or until a fork punctures the “noodles” easily.

7. Remove from oven and let it cool for a couple minutes until you can comfortable touch it. Scrape the noodles out with a fork and place them in a bowl.

8. Add your desired seasonings and toppings and enjoy guilt free “pasta!” IMG_0308

Enjoy!

XOXO,

Amber

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Sweet Potato Hash Browns

It’s been crazy cold this week, and while I obviously wouldn’t want it to last forever, there’s been something cozy about the past few days as I’ve been holed up inside with the kids. Each morning I hop into my slippers, turn on the fireplace, haven’t been in any rush to get us out of our pajamas, and make everyone breakfast that warms our insides.We’re still going strong with our Whole30 challenge. Overall, I’m a big fan of how it makes me feel. If it weren’t for cheese, greek yogurt, wine, chocolate, and oatmeal, I’d probably be able to do it forever. ;) But I know myself and I simply would never choose to give those things up long term. They’re too good! However, I’m loving the challenge of thinking out of the box, especially for breakfast. We’re allowed eggs, but no grains, so I’ve had to get creative (creative for me at least, who usually just pours cereal out of a box).IMG_0300These sweet potato hash browns only take about five minutes to make, and gosh are they good. They give me the sweet that I’m use to during breakfast time, and I can add in whatever I have in the fridge that sounds good with them. My favorite combination is pictured, which is just sweet potato hash browns, spinach, and an egg (or two) all cooked in coconut oil.

Sweet Potato Hash BrownsIMG_0291

Ingredients:

-3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and grated

-sprinkle of cinnamon

-large handful of fresh spinach

-eggs

-1 Tablespoon coconut oil (or your oil of choice)

-sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Peel sweet potatoes and use a handheld kitchen grater to make them into hash browns. In a large skillet on the stove, melt a tablespoon of coconut oil on medium-low. Add potatoes, sprinkle with cinnamon, and fry until tender. Turn burner to low and add the spinach, meanwhile keeping the potatoes on one side of the skillet while you fry your eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Makes enough hash browns for 4 servings.

Enjoy and stay warm!

Love,

Amber

 

 

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Healthy Snack Idea: Banana Nut Salad

IMG_0274Jake and I are a day and a half into our Whole30 challenge and so far I’m enjoying the process of teaching my mind to be more intentional about the food choices I make. What I’ve come to realize is that I was doing quite a bit of mindless snacking through the day. Mostly when I was feeding the kids. I hardly ever run to the pantry to find a snack for myself, but when I gave the girls some Cheerios, I’d usually sneak a handful for myself. Or when Baylen had a few bites of his meal left, I’d finish it off for him. Or if I saw a sleeve of opened crackers on the counter I’d grab a couple. Yesterday I actually had to spit out a bite of Bay’s peanut butter and jelly sandwich because I didn’t realize it was in my mouth until Jake called me out on it!

I like the fact that I’m forcing my brain to put forth actual effort now when I want something to eat instead of munching on what’s convenient. I don’t know if I’ll document our meals every day, but here’s what we had yesterday to give you an idea of what we’re up to. It doesn’t feel restricting at all. We are able to eat as much as we want, but we’re eating quality food!

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with red and green peppers

Lunch: Mixed green salad with shaved turkey breast, kalamata olives, green olives, red onions, and italian vinaigrette.

Dinner: Meatballs and a side of broccoli

Our meals were delicious, but when night came I was craving my usual sweet bedtime snack. I simply couldn’t go to bed without something, so I whipped up this Banana Nut Salad. It was so tasty, and since I thought there may be more of you out there looking for healthy snacks to get the new year started off on the right foot, here it is!LIxjRO1388695447

Banana Nut Salad

-1 banana, sliced

-a small handful of cashews and almonds

-sprinkle of cinnamon

-sprinkle of unsweetened shredded coconut

Happy HEALTHY snacking!

Amber

Question: What are your go-to healthy snacks?

 

 

 

 

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Slow Cooker Ham Bone, Potato & Cheese Soup

IMG_0243 I mentioned yesterday that I made a ham for Christmas dinner. Since it was mainly just Jake and me eating it (with a few additional bites going to Baylen) we had lots of leftover meat. I kept the bone and decided to try my hand at making soup with it. I threw in a little of this and a little of that, and it ended up being pretty darn good. I’m inspired to make ham more often!

If you have some leftover ham in your fridge, here’s an easy peasy way to transform it into a new meal that you can serve to your family and guests this weekend. IMG_0248

Slow Cooker Ham Bone, Potato & Cheese Soup

Ingredients:

-1 ham bone with leftover meat or at least 2 cups chopped ham

-3 cups chicken broth

-1 tablespoon olive oil

-1 teaspoon minced onion

-1 teaspoon minced garlic

-2 cups chopped carrots

-8 – 10 medium sized potatoes, peeled and diced

-1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

-16 oz Velveeta, sliced

-salt to taste

Directions: Place ham bone in crock pot and pour chicken stock overtop. Add water until the ham bone is completely covered. Add olive oil, onion, garlic, and carrots. Cook on high for 2 hours. Carefully remove ham bone and chop off leftover meat, and add it back into the broth. Add extra ham from the fridge if needed to reach a total of at least two cups. Add diced potatoes and cook on low for 3 hours or until the potatoes are soft. Add heavy whipping cream, Velveeta, and salt. Cook for an additional 30 minutes on low. Garnish with cheese and/or parsley. Makes enough to fill a large slow cooker.

Skinny version: You could easily leave out the heavy whipping cream and Velveeta, and it would still taste great! I’m just giving myself a little extra holiday freedom this week. :)

Enjoy your leftovers!

What do you usually make with leftover ham?!

Amber

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Zuppa Toscana Soup

IMG_9955Hi guys! I feel like so much has happened since our last visit, including a wonderful staycation that Jake and I got to have last weekend. My parents took the kids for a few days so we could get caught up on some things around the house that we haven’t had a chance to do since the girls were born, and also to have some time to rest and recharge. It was glorious. We did things that most parents of little people don’t get to do, like take a nap at 4:00 in the afternoon, stay out past 7pm, shop at the mall for more than 20 minutes, and go out for dinner to actual sit down restaurants three nights in a row. We also managed to clean out our entire storage room and transform it into a basement playroom for the kids. It was the perfect mix of productivity and relaxation. However, by Sunday morning we were more than ready to be reunited with our little loves. Our house was far too quiet without them!

Unfortunately, when they returned home their colds took a turn for the worse and after several visits to the doctor we found out that all three of them have double ear infections. Ugh! Thankfully we were able to get them on antibiotics before we leave for northern Wisconsin to visit Jake’s parents for Thanksgiving.IMG_9938

Jake and I haven’t been feeling our best either lately, and have been stuffed up with sore throats. Gosh, I hope this doesn’t last all winter! We were in the mood for a comfort food that was easy to swallow, so I recreated one of our favorite soups from Olive Garden. It was a cinch to make, and tastes exactly like the Zuppa Toscana they serve! I’m so excited to have discovered how to make it, since going out for endless soup and salad with three kids under three isn’t exactly in the cards for us these days.

If you want to bring a taste of Olive Garden home to your sweet family, give this a try! It would make for the perfect at-home date night!0p8nJr1385497177

Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup (Adapted from Food.com)

Ingredients: 

-1 lb. mild italian sausage

-4 cups chopped russet potatoes, skin on

-1 medium white onion, chopped

-1/4 cup bacon bits

-2 garlic cloves, minced (I buy a jar of minced garlic and used a teaspoon)

-4 cups kale, chopped

-2 (80z) cans chicken broth

-4 cups water

-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

-salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Brown the sausage in the soup pot. Drain. Add chicken broth and water to the pot and stir. Place onions, potatoes, and garlic in the pot. Cook on medium heat until potatoes are done. Add bacon and crushed red pepper. Salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Turn to low heat. Add kale. Heat through and serve. Makes 4 – 6 servings.

Enjoy! I hope your families are feeling better than we are this week! While we’re not on top of our game, there is still SO much to be thankful for! Happy Thanksgiving week, everybody!

What comfort foods do you make when your family’s under the weather? 

Love,

Amber

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Easy Healthy Meal Ideas For Moms With Babies Link-Up

I’ve found one of the most challenging things to accomplish during the baby stage is getting supper on the table for my family each night. Early evening isn’t a likely time to have two hands free to cook a meal. It becomes a juggling act of finding something to keep the babies distracted and happy long enough to throw together the quickest and easiest thing I can think of, which can easily end up being eggs and pancakes or throwing a take and bake pizza in the oven.

While I’m completely okay with pizza or pancakes on occasion, I’d like to make sure I’m consistently serving my family foods that contain a bit more nutrition. I want to serve well-balanced meals that my husband looks forward to when he gets home after a long day at work. Meals that put us on a trajectory toward many more healthy years together. And I want healthy eating to be part of my kids’ lifestyles from the get-go!

After talking to other moms, I’ve realized that I’m not alone in this endeavor. Most of us want to provide life-giving meals to our families. We want the best for the people we love the most. But how? When the baby starts fussing and we’re supposed to eat in a half hour, what’s a mom to do?

Well I certainly don’t have it all figured out, but I do know that the times I’m able to get a nutritious meal on the table is when I plan ahead and either throw something in the crock pot while the babies are sleeping, or rely on simple recipes that are easy to throw together in a few minutes (likely while holding a baby).

I have a good friend who had a baby a couple months ago and she asked if I would share some of my favorite crock-pot recipes. Then a few days later I talked to some other ladies in my Bible study and they were sharing tips and tricks that help make supper time less stressful. It got me thinking about how great it would be to help each other out and share our go-to recipes!

I’ll go first and then I’ll let you know how you can participate!

A round-up of Mommy’s Me Time easy recipes…

Slow Cooker Chicken TacosIMG_9642

Chicken Cordon BleuIMG_9581

Homemade Dump & Taste Chicken SoupIMG_8241

Crock Pot Hamburgersphoto-34

Quick Chicken CacciatoreIMG_9377

Spaghetti BakeIMG_9410

Easy Healthy Meal Ideas For Moms With Babies Link-Up

Here’s where you come in.

What recipes or tips would you suggest to moms with babies? Whether you’re in the baby stage currently or have survived through it, your advice is invaluable! Please share what you’ve learned! What may seem like not a big deal to you could be a new idea for someone else! I’d love for you to share anything that comes to mind…please? I think I speak for many moms when I say I’m in desperate need of some new inspiration!

To participate, please leave a comment below in which you either provide links to your favorite recipes or you simply type out the recipe. Remember, tips and tricks are welcome too! If you have a blog, please link up so we can see what you’ve made for your families!

*I have a link to this post on my sidebar so it will be easy to refer back when we’re in need of a new recipe to freshen things up, or discover a new one that we want to share with each other.

Thanks for your help! I’m looking forward to trying your recipes in weeks to come!

Happy meal planning!

Amber

 

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Healthy Homemade Fruit Roll Ups

IMG_9867I’m always on the lookout for healthy snacks to stock my pantry with, so I was pretty excited last week my mom showed up with homemade fruit roll ups! She has apple trees at their farm which she makes into applesauce and from there it’s just a matter of cooking a layer of it in the oven to get these tasty treats! The healthiest way to make them is to use applesauce with no sugar added. These are so much better for your family than the store-bought kind with gobs of sugar and other not so good ingredients.

Homemade Fruit Roll-ups

Ingredients:

-no sugar added applesauce

-parchment paper

Directions: Preheat oven to it’s lowest setting. Mine was 170, but ovens may vary. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour a layer of applesauce and evenly distribute with a plastic spatula until the paper is completely covered. Bake for 7 – 8 hours, or until it looks like fruit leather. Let it completely cool. Trim off the extra paper around the edges. Roll it up length-wise, then cut with a scissors into individual rolls. Store in a covered jar or zip-lock bags.

IMG_9849

I’ve already made a few batches, and love snacking on them throughout the day. They satisfy my sweet tooth without any guilt associated! Your kids will love them too!

Enjoy!

Amber

 

 

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