End of Summer Food Highlights

Happy Thursday folks! Welcome to another food highlight post. We had a few dinners with friends and family this week that I forgot to capture, and it seems like I’m a little on food photos this week in general. Oh well. I’ll share what I’ve got, and as always feel free to join in in the comments sections with what you’re eating this week!

We were in the mood for pizza again last Thursday since it was so good the week before. This time we got the hot honey pepperoni, and an italian sausage pizza. Wood fired thin crust pizzas are my new favorite! I’ll never be able to replicate these at home, I can’t get the dough super thin without breaking it.

Who doesn’t love a classic breakfast of toaster waffles smothered in butter, maple syrup and fresh berries. This was Josiah’s breakfast the other day, while I ate leftover pancakes (what’s new).

Another way we’re loving fresh berries this week is on top of salads. This salad was a base of local mixed greens, berries, goat cheese, avocado and honey roasted almonds drizzled with balsamic dressing. Yum!

Kind of looks like a hot mess, but I made this jalepeno black pepper basil chicken stir fry the other night and subbed cilantro for the basil. I served it on top of our favorite coconut rice. It was good, but once again a reminder that I’m not the biggest fan of stir-fry’s. Hot sauce to the rescue!

Y’all know I can put down a bowl of pasta any day of the week though. And this burst tomato pasta hit the spot. It was literally bursting with summer flavors. An equally light yet satisfying bowl of pasta. I can’t wait to dig into the leftovers later today!

While we’re on a roll with dinners this week, here’s a look at the buffalo cauliflower tacos we enjoyed on Monday night. Taco Monday anyone? Haha. I usually make buffalo cauliflower lettuce wraps but since we had corn tortillas to use up, we opted for the traditional taco route. Topped with shredded lettuce, diced tomato, blue cheese dressing, shredded cheese, and avocado. We’ll call it meatless Monday, how about that?

You might remember this wrap from yesterday’s post, but I’ll give you the full scoop. I’ve totally copied this combo at home, but needed something convenient yesterday after our busy morning. It’s mixed greens, roasted sweet potato, quinoa, gorgonzola, dried cranberries and toasted almonds all tossed in balsamic dressing and wrapped up. This one might have to go on the lunch menu soon. Once you’ve got your roasted sweet potato cubes and quinoa cooked, this wrap comes together in no time.

I’ve been loving the convenience of baked oatmeal this week. Particularly in the form of this salted brown butter banana zucchini baked oatmeal. I’ve been topping it with either cashew butter or peanut butter and berries because I find that any baked oatmeal recipe is best enjoyed with toppings.

Let’s get to the treats already. If you’re anything like me, this is what you came to see-haha! Like these homemade soft pretzels both salty and sweet, a whole lot of doughy goodness right there.

Last but not least, petit chocolate salted caramel thumbprints that my friend Sam made for our get together the other day. I’m sure I got the name wrong, but these bad boys totally stole the show. SOOO SO good. I’ve mentioned Sam’s amazing cookies before on the blog and she swears by The Cookie Book by Rebecca Firth. It’s going on my Christmas list!

I hope you have a great Thursday, friends! Happy eating πŸ™‚

Friday Favorites #10

Happy Friday to YOU! How’s the week going? Yay for another summer weekend. Gotta soak up all things sun and summer while it lasts, am I right?! We have a few plans on the agenda including dinner with friends, a church picnic, and an afternoon playdate for James including games and snacks for us and some friends. I’m looking forward to having Josiah home the next couple of days because life is always more fun when he’s around πŸ™‚ Without further ado let’s take a look at what I’ve been loving this week! Feel free to join in in the comments section, I’d love to hear from you!

  • DATE NIGHTS

Speaking of my wonderful husband, let’s talk about how awesome date nights have been the past couple of weeks. I used to take for granted time spent with Josiah, but these days any uninterrupted time together is extra special, especially when it involves a meal that James is not throwing all over the floor. We have been trying to be more intentional about having regular date nights and Thursday’s have worked well with our schedule. It’s nice to have one night a week to look forward too, knowing that we’ll be getting a parenting break to recharge and connect.

  • GRANDPARENTS
My how James has grown in a year!

What a blessing it is for James to have both sets of grandparents right nearby! He has a very close relationship with all of his grandparents and it makes my heart so happy. I can’t wait to see these relationships grow over the years. Grandparent-grandchild connections are as special as it gets.

  • FAMILY TIME

We’ve got quite the theme going so might as well roll with it. Summer get togethers with family are definitely a favorite. Between nice weather, yummy food, and good company, you can’t beat it. As I mentioned in my food highlights yesterday, my sister was in town last week which called for a family dinner at my parent’s house. Despite how close we live to both of our parents, we actually don’t get together for meals too often. It’s a nice treat when we do πŸ™‚

  • MY CUDDLE BUG

Every afternoon this week James has woken up from his afternoon nap wanting to relax in my arms or fall back asleep, as you can see from the photo above. He has been a crib sleeper from the very beginning, I didn’t want him to get in the habit of sleeping on me or Josiah or anywhere else besides his crib, but I’m letting things slide this week because these moments feel fleeting, I want to soak up all of the baby cuddles while I can!

  • AROUND THE WEB

This post from Robyn on career and motherhood has provided me with a lot of reassurance and comfort and a new perspective in times when I’ve felt like the only mom out there who enjoys being a full-time mom. She hasn’t been blogging much these days because she’s busy being a full-time mom herself. But as a Registered Dietitian and Nurse Practitioner, her blog has a wide range of helpful resources when it comes to women’s health and nutrition. She’s a non-diet dietitian as well which I wholeheartedly support! I’ve actually been mentored by Robyn personally and through her “Heal Your Hormones and Get Your Period Back” online course. I love her so much!

I can’t wait to make this Burst Tomato and Burrata Pasta this week. Cherry tomatoes are so good right now! I’m going to sub fresh mozzarella for the burrata because we like mozzarella better (and it’s a whole lot cheaper). I like the taste of burrata, but it’s a little too soft for me.

If you’ve never made soft pretzels before, you’ve got to give it a try! Since we’re having friends over for games and snacks on Sunday, it’s the perfect excuse to make a batch of these tasty twists. The recipe yields 12 pretzels and I usually end up making 1/2 the batch classic salted pretzels and the other half dipped in butter and cinnamon sugar. My mouth is watering just thinking about these!

Question of the Day: What is one thing you’re loving this week?

Have an amazing weekend everyone!

Pizza, Ice Cream and Other Food Highlights from the Week

Hello to all of my foodies out there! Who else is loving what they’re eating these days? If I don’t have good food in my life, all else is lost. I’m kidding, but seriously, isn’t food just the best!? For those curious what we’ve been eating this week, keep on scrollin’.

Let’s kick things off with some pizza and ice cream from our date night last Thursday! Bonus points for not having to drive anywhere. After a rainy couple of days last week, the weather cleared up just in time for our night out. My sister and mom kindly offered to watch James for the evening so that Josiah and I could have a night free of parenting duties. Since the skies had cleared and the sun was popping out, Josiah suggested walking down to a local bar featuring wood fired pizzas. We were very pleased with the two pizzas and Italian tossed salad we shared. The pepperoni pizza above was called “hot honey pepperoni”, and I’m pretty sure it was just a normal pepperoni pizza with chili pepper flakes and honey drizzled on top. I have recently become a huge fan of honey on pizza (sounds crazy), and this one hit the spot! Of course we couldn’t walk home without making a detour for ice cream. Love a vanilla cone dipped in peanut butter, although it quickly became quite a mess.

Speaking of peanut butter, what better breakfast than PB and pancakes. I discovered this idea when we were down in Texas. The family I worked for insisted that pancakes topped with peanut butter and maple syrup was a combination that couldn’t be beat, and it turns out they were right! I’ve been lacking in the maple syrup drizzle, but often find that pancakes are sweet enough to eat without it…as long as you top them with lots of peanut butter of course πŸ˜‰

We aren’t looking too pretty #reallifemornings. But I had to share this photo fail of the giant box of multigrain cheerios we’ve been trying to tackle this week. The box is literally HUGE, we just couldn’t capture the correct scale in any photos. I think it’s funny that “family size” is so big. Then again our family of three will end up eating this box no problem…

Love love love hummus plates for lunch. I could eat this all day. A meal where you get to enjoy a little bit of everything and every bite is different is perfect in my mind. Sweet, savory, soft, crunchy, you name it! Plus you can’t mess up a hummus plate, anything goes!

My sister was in town this past week so we enjoyed dinner at my parents house on Friday night. Burgers, pasta salad, watermelon and un-pictured corn. Also neglected was the chocolate chip cookies and ice cream we had for dessert. I must have been too anxious to eat the sweets πŸ˜‰

This sandwich combo is so strange but so good. I got the idea from an Instagram story that Ambitious Kitchen posted the other day. She’s got the best recipes so I figured she wouldn’t steer us wrong with a sandwich. Are you ready for it? Ok, lightly toast two pieces of bread, top one slice with dijon mustard and the other slice with jelly. Next layer a few slices of turkey on one slice of bread and top with 1/2 of a sliced avocado, spinach (which I forgot), and a fried egg! Frying the egg is the most time consuming part of this sandwich (not even that long) but so SO worth it. Something about the dijon and jelly compliment each other in the best way. The avocado adds a perfect creaminess. Turkey because it’s got good flavor and protein. And fried eggs make everything better. Let me know if you give it a try!

Because I was skeptical of the sandwich and we had leftover pizza in the fridge, it turned into mix and match lunch. Although the next day I made the same sandwich again and ate the whole thing.

Last minute change to the meal plan resulted in this delicious summer meal! It is Ambitious Kitchen’s (told ya I love her), 30 minute brown butter goat cheese grilled veggie orzo. Y’all I don’t know what else to say other than it tastes as good as it looks and sounds. I felt like we were eating a lot of heavy meals…pizza, burgers, etc. and I was craving something light, fresh, and summery. This meal delivered.

Speaking of meals that are kind of on the heavier side (but taste amazing), this is a copycat chick-fil-a meal I made the other night using Aldi’s Red Bag Chicken. I topped our sesame buns with How Sweet Eat’s house sauce, it tastes very close to chick-fil-a sauce, followed by the chicken, pickles, lettuce and tomato (mostly for color). Paired with waffle fries and one again corn that went un-pictured. Sorry corn, I’ll get you in a photograph one of these days.

And we’ll wrap things up with all things quiche. I wish I had a delicious dessert photo to share, I guess the ice cream was pretty tasty. You know I like to end things on a sweet note, I just haven’t been capturing our sweet treats this week. I found a homemade pie crust in the freezer the other day and it sparked the idea of quiche for dinner, and breakfast, and lunch. I made a broccoli cheddar quiche from America’s Test Kitchen and I loved the fact that I could make it during James’s nap and easily serve it for dinner a few hours later. That’s been my strategy lately since dinner time is usually busy and involves crankiness around here, as much as I can make or prep in the afternoon, the better the evening goes!

Question of the Day: What is one of your go-to summer meals?

Happy Eating πŸ™‚

Pancakes, French Fries, and Other Food Highlights from the Week

Happy Thursday folks! I hope everyone’s having a good week! I didn’t capture enough food photos to share a highlight post last week, but I’m back with some delicious eats from this week! I’ll be sure to link as many recipes as I can in case you’re interested.

First things first, we’re back to pancakes. After a failed attempt to switch things up due to the fact that James wasn’t touching any of the other breakfast options I was putting on his plate including toaster waffles smothered in butter and maple syrup, I mean come on! How can you say no to that classic breakfast?! So we were left with no choice but pancakes. These are our favorite banana oatmeal blender pancakes topped with peanut butter and blueberries.

How cute are the fries that came with James’s happy meal the other day?! I cant. And yes, we bought our 15 month old son a happy meal, I might have eaten his burger and most of these fries…

We tried to do the breakfast sandwich thing…

But pancakes are currently winning. These are whole wheat zucchini bread pancakes from our fav pancake girl Ambitious Kitchen, and they are amazing! Taste like a treat, but actually really healthy. I topped mine with whole milk greek yogurt and strawberries for some added protein and flavor!

The blueberry avocado quinoa salad that I mentioned last week in Friday Favorites, a little more work than I’d like to put into lunch but worth it in the end.

And then there’s meals that require very little effort like this plate of spaghetti and meatballs. Especially when the meatballs are frozen, but congrats Wegmans on your delicious frozen meatballs!

I see you healthy, but don’t go thinking you’re the star of the show here. Sign me up for the pizza and fries in the back please πŸ™‚ My sister and I took James out to dinner Saturday night. It was a scene. It was far from relaxing. We shoveled this food into our mouths and booked it out of the brewery before disaster struck. James needs practice at restaurants. But we tried and we survived.

Yes to all of this. Marinated BLTA’s are now the highlight of all lunches this summer. It took hardly any effort to add in the marinating step, but wow does a marinated tomato totally turn this sandwich upside down. In a good way.

Thanks to some marinated tomato inspiration I created this summer meal of Caprese Chicken Thighs with Lemon Basil Couscous. Super fast, extra flavorful, and includes all of your summer produce staples.

Green Chile Chicken Burritos turned into quesadillas. Let’s take a vote, are you on team burrito or team quesadilla? I’m pretty close to a 50/50 split, but the quesadilla might take the prize. I find them easier to eat and dare I say, cheesier?!

I’ve got 4 words. Chocolate. Peanut Butter. Lava. Cakes. They sound like the most difficult dessert on the planet, but literally take 15 minutes start to finish. Dangerously easy and oh so decadent.

That’s a wrap. I hope that you’re all enjoying some time in the kitchen this summer cooking up all kinds of yummy foods. And if you own a grill, this is the season for you! We are not a grill family, but maybe in the future you’ll find me on the back patio grilling up all kinds of goodies.

Thanks for reading!

BBQ, Burgers, and Other Food Highlights from the Week

Hello to you, and happy Thursday! How’s the week going for you? It’s time for my favorite blog post of the week, all about food! I’ve shared a few glimpses oF the yumminess happening around here this week, but let’s dive in to the rest of the goods!

Gotta love a simple sandwich combo for lunch. On the sandwich was mayo, ham, salami, tomato, pickles and spinach, paired with leftover pasta salad. Hit the spot!

We also love a “throw together salad” that looks way prettier than it deserves. Haha. A bed of lettuce topped with tomatoes, celery, shredded carrot, chickpeas, ham, and swiss.

Date night dinner of eggplant napoleon and a devoured bread plate. I wish Josiah liked eggplant because I would definitely try to recreate this simple yet flavorful dish at home. According to the menu description it was grilled eggplant, topped with tomatoes and marinated mozzarella served over homemade marinara sauce. It was SO GOOD!

How can we forget about Bob’s BBQ that was thoroughly enjoyed after an eventful morning at the splash pad!

Summer Risotto Stuffed Peppers from How Sweet Eats. She has one of my favorite food blogs around, and these stuffed peppers are just one of the reasons why I keep coming back to her recipes time and time again. This dish is vegetarian, and a wonderful summery twist on a traditional stuffed pepper. If you’re looking for a comforting yet seasonal meal, give this one a try!

Speaking of How Sweet Eats, here’s another great recipe for you! These are her cheeseburger sliders and Josiah and I are both in love (with each other of course, as well as all of this cheeseburger goodness!). These are the perfect meal to throw together on a busy weeknight, and they work well for us because there’s no grill needed and they taste amazing!

And because we couldn’t eat sliders alone for dinner, here’s a look at the full meal. Sliders, tots, and tomato cucumber salad. Perfect amount of comforting and refreshing.

An impressively easy salad that I brought to girl’s lunch the other day. Mixed greens, strawberries, blueberries, goat cheese, and honey roasted almonds. If I am feeling extra fancy, I’ll add grilled chicken and avocado to this salad. YUM. Top with balsamic and you’re good to go!

And a few throwbacks to round out today’s foodie post. How can we forget the chocolate zucchini muffins and pizza from Sally’s Baking Addiction? Seems like we had a healthy week over here…Ha!

Question of the Day: What have you been eating this week?

Have a great Thursday, friends!

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins and Pizza

What a combination, right?! Happy Tuesday friends! I hope everyone’s week is off to a good start. James and I have had a busy day so far, starting with breakfast and grocery shopping. I’ve been loving the Tuesday morning scene at Wegmans, it’s not too busy and no one seems to be in a rush like the afternoon crowd often is. James gets lots of attention (and a bakery treat) which always makes the experience 10x better as well.

After quickly unloading our groceries we headed back out the door to the downtown farmers market which is held every Tuesday. Now that my mom is back in the office 3 days a week, we’ve been trying to meet up with her, and the farmers market is an added bonus! We snagged lots of fresh produce, in fact, the stroller couldn’t have held any more! Post farmers market early lunch was courtesy of Water Street Bagel, my favorite bagels around! I feel like the bagel sandwich I ordered needed a big slice of fresh tomato, but other than that I my belly was happy.

You’re probably wondering when I’m going to explain the title of today’s post, I thought it would be a fun idea to highlight a food blogger and this week it’s Sally from Sally’s Baking Addiction. The title comes from two delicious recipes I’ve made from her website this week and figured I would share my love for her site as well as these delicious recipes with all of you!

First up, chocolate zucchini muffins! I was *so close* to making healthy zucchini muffins on Sunday afternoon, but decided to do a quick search Sally’s website just in case she had a chocolate zucchini recipe that caught my eye. Sure enough, she did and it is out of this world amazing! I used her chocolate zucchini bread recipe to make 12 muffins. I did not use any espresso or coffee powder and they still taste great. Her recipe says not to use dutch process cocoa, but I did anyway because I think the chocolate flavor cannot be beat, and I would definitely do it again! I replaced the yogurt with sour cream because the more fat the better. And I used dark chocolate chips in the batter, with a sprinkle of milk chocolate chips on top of each muffin.

The shredded zucchini totally disappeared in these muffins and they taste like a decadent chocolate cupcake, no frosting needed! We have been thoroughly enjoying them for dessert every night πŸ™‚

Next up is Sally’s homemade pizza recipe. I’m mostly referring to her dough recipe here, because we tend to make all kinds of pizza creations using whatever ingredients we have on hand. I will say, I made her caramelized apple and gorgonzola pizza many years ago, and still enjoy coming back to that topping combo when we’re in the mood for something different. Apples, gorgonzola, rosemary, and honey left me feeling skeptical at first, but it is a must try if you’re a fan of unique pizza flavors!

I was feeling extra lazy and overwhelmed with the thought of making homemade pizza dough, so I almost bought dough from the grocery store instead. I am so glad I didn’t because I forgot how easy it is to make pizza dough. Only 5 ingredients, and very minimal hands on time needed. It is so worth it.

Our flavor combinations this week were cheese and pepperoni, I bought a log of pepperoni because for some reason a fresh slice of pepperoni from the log is a game changer. For the second flavor I used some of our leftover Bob’s BBQ chicken, shredded it and tossed it with some ranch and Frank’s red hot topped with mozzarella to create a buffalo chicken pizza of sorts. I’m realizing now that I meant to put some crumbled gorgonzola on this one, oh well! The third flavor consisted of sauteed broccoli, peppers and onions seasoned with TJ’s everyday seasoning, pizza sauce and mozzarella. All of the pizzas have a hefty sprinkle of parmesan cheese on them as well.

These two recipes from Sally’s Baking Addiction have my mouth watering still. I have been a big fan of her blog for many years now, and she never disappoints! Sally has a huge assortment of sweet treats on her blog, with plenty of savory mixed in. Our family loves it all. If you haven’t already, give her blog a visit. I promise you won’t regret it πŸ™‚

Have a great day everyone!