Wednesday, July 27, 2016

STEALTHY HEALTHY BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE

Stealthy Healthy Smoothie Recipe

I've come to realize that in our house, the food one child loves is often the food the other child can't stand. One loves fruit but the other won't eat it. One loves eggs and yogurt but the other refuses to try them. The list goes on and makes preparing meals more of a challenge than it should be. I've had success renaming foods to coax the kids to try them and our "power shakes" are the perfect stealthy healthy breakfast. 

Smoothies are a way for fruits, healthy fat, and dairy to go undercover as a sweet tasting "shake" and straight into the stomachs of little ones not always willing to eat them. They happily drink them down without knowing the secrets inside this stealthy 007-ingredient smoothie.



A nurse at our pediatrician's office suggested I use weight gain shakes to move our daughter higher up on the growth chart but I was concerned with the ingredients used in them and instead tried incorporating more healthy fat into her smoothie. My super healthy-eating friend suggested adding fats like cooked egg yolk and coconut milk to her drink and when combined with the avocado and high fat yogurt I'd been using, this stealthy healthy smoothie became our go to breakfast.


Stealthy Healthy Smoothie Recipe




A lot of people have asked me about using the egg, skeptical about whether their kids would drink it, but it's undetectable in ours. I usually eat the egg white myself so I make a batch every Sunday to last for the smoothies I'll make during the week. Boiling the eggs is about the only prep that goes into the week's smoothies. 



I use a coconut cream that's very thick and silky smooth instead of coconut milk. One can lasts for several smoothies and I just store the remaining cream in a covered container in the fridge. I also use half of an 8 oz. container of lemon or honey Noosa yogurt. We love it and have it on hand all of the time.



After adding almond milk, banana, avocado, yogurt, coconut cream, and egg yolk, I add about 1.5- 2 cups of frozen fruit and blend for a minute or two. I typically buy a large bag of a Dole frozen blend that has peaches, pineapple, mango, and strawberries in it. Using frozen fruit keeps the consistency of the smoothie icy and milkshake-like. If it's too watery, they won't drink it!



I've also added a tablespoon or two of flaxseed oil or ground flaxseed depending on which one I have and you could certainly add spinach or other greens if you prefer and have kids that will tolerate it! I've found that when I really press my luck and try to add too many things into the mix, they don't drink it.

Our kids both drink one full serving and sometimes have seconds and they both have a favorite cup that's just for drinking their smoothies.



Rather than waste any, I freeze the leftover mixture in these trays and add the cubes to a smoothie when I'm running low on any of the ingredients or just add to a glass of the juice they're drinking in place of ice.



Directions:

1. Fill blender with 8 oz. almond milk

2. Add avocado, banana, and cooked egg yolk

3. Add coconut cream and yogurt

4. Add 1 1/2 to 2 cups frozen fruit (this recipe uses pineapple, strawberries, peaches and mango)

5. Blend until smooth and serve with a straw



Do you have any stealthy tricks or secret recipes of your own for getting your kids to eat healthy? 

Enjoy blending your own 007 style smoothie! Here's the Stealthy Smoothie recipe one more time:


Stealthy Healthy Smoothie Recipe



Thursday, June 30, 2016

Tweets From the Drive-Thru


Anyone that has spent enough time in the Starbucks drive-thru line can probably share an odd, funny, or irritating experience they've had there.

No car? No cash for a tip? Maybe they're just looking for fried chicken. These are the people that make the drive-thru line interesting, unnecessarily long, and inspire the coffee tweets that make me laugh when all I really want is caffeine. 

If you somehow manage to avoid the drive-thru line, these Twitter users' Starbucks Drive-Thru tweets perfectly illustrate the characters you can expect to find there.


Remember that time you were in line at the drive thru for a coffee and the person in front of you forgot milk is sold everywhere else?


Immediately after her disco party ended she was banned for life from getting her drink made right.


But it would be Our Pleasure to make you a COFFEE!



There is a tip cup at the window. The barista assumes that if you tip, you'll tip cash.          




A barista paid that potato forward when his next customer was a horse.



If you have what it takes to bring your horse through a drive-thru line, you better be riding it.



Something tells me she wanted a frappuccino.

FYI- the person in the car behind you isn't wearing any pants.

Slowly raises hand.....




Anyone else?

Thursday, June 23, 2016

White Walls

How long does it take to decorate when you move to a new house? A month, three months, SIX months? We moved into a new house in March and I'm still not over the fact that every inch of every wall is painted white. The lack of color is weirdly overwhelming and at the rate I'm going, my white walls are going to stay bare all summer. Most of our wall hangings and artwork are leaning against the walls in the rooms I *think* they're going to hang in which I realize is inviting disaster.




I go back and forth between not caring what the inside of the house looks like so I can just enjoy the summer with the kids and stressing about the fact that life seems to run so much smoother when everything is in "it's place". I know that kids could care less about what my walls look like and won't remember the time I spent hammering nails into the walls but hope that some of the adventures we've already had at this house were worth remembering.






Spring flew by and when it wasn't raining looked like this.


Now our summer is in full swing with a beach trip and another upcoming trip to NY to see family.



I've thought about where to find more time for decorating, playing, taking trips, writing, working on editing about five million photos, and still getting sleep at night. I haven't found it but looking back at pictures like this one of our front hall I can see we've actually made a lot of progress!





Thursday, April 7, 2016

Disastrophe: When Parenting Disasters Meet Catastrophe

After his first soccer practice yesterday while I was helping him change out of his cleats, my four-year-old looked at me and said "Someday I'll sit and watch you play soccer when I'm big," and whether he was promising this to repay or reward me, it melted my heart. As both kids are getting older these sweet moments are happen more frequently and I love the way little minds show us exactly what they're thinking when they think it. Of course, like every family we have our share of the not so Pinterest-worthy moments too...

My son shouted DISASTROPHE after crashing a tower of blocks down and ever since, it is our go-to term for the minor to major 'oops' moments that seem to happen all day long. He used to watch Gaspard and Lisa, a cartoon about French dog/children that look more like bunnies and go to school in Paris. At some point in each episode they yell CATASTROPHE and when he combined that with the word disaster, DISASTROPHE became the best way to punctuate our most terrible moments with a little French flair.

Disastrophe for parenting fails


Every parent knows how easily bad becomes worse and can probably think of a time when equal parts disaster and catastrophe combined to form the dreaded disastrophe. 

It's not only that the baby had a diaper blowout but had a diaper blowout on the couch, or that the same baby didn't just fall down at the park but fell onto a huge pile of green goose poop. Get the picture? Disaster is implied when a four year old screams "I NEED PAPER TOWELS" but followed by "FOR PUKE! ON THE RUG!" it's clearly a disastrophe.

The wrong color countertops were installed in the kitchen at our last house while I was at work. Some would decide that was a catastrophe and it sure felt like that to me when I arrived home to see a product installed in my house that I wouldn't have ever considered, but finding out that I signed paperwork with that wrong product listed clearly on it weeks earlier? Therein lies the disastrophe.

As parents we have to try to stay on our toes for the survival of our little people but the reality is that a lot happens in the instant we let our guard down- whether it is once or ten times a day. These are the moments that produce our disastrophes. Beware when something seems like a disaster- "Mommy I SPILLED!" because that's when the words "your coffee" or "your wine" follow and a would-be disaster becomes disastrophe.

I like to think our use of disastrophe is the perfect way to indulge our melodramatic side and avoid offending those who may have experienced actual disasters or catastrophes. (Or those who haven't but would still be offended because they just need to laugh more)

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A Day in the Life of My Texts


One of the things I noticed right away after having kids was that the time or desire for talking on the phone no longer existed. My children can be playing quietly or even asleep but the second I get a phone call, they make a beeline for me and put an abrupt end to any adult conversation with questions, demands, or telling me they have to or have just pooped.

Lucky for me, around the same time that my son was born, texting became the accepted and preferred way to communicate with just about everyone I know. Scrolling through my phone at the end of the day can be an amusing snapshot of how my day went and the kind of friends that played a role in it. Do you see yourself in any of the categories below?

The hungry pregnant friend: "I want some really good chicken fingers with ranch" and "Where is there a donut shop?" These texts often come in at strange times because pregnant friends like to taunt their sleep deprived mom friends with the fact that they could be sleeping but aren't.

The workout motivator: "Did you get a workout in this morning?! Perfect weather for a run!" Depending on whether or not this text arrives before coffee you might hate this person but either way, unless you've already worked out, this text is super annoying. (Bonus points if your pregnant friend is also your workout motivator)

The best friend: "I'm in the Starbuck's Drive-Thru. I'll be there in 5." They know your order and they know you're home.

The 'not quite there yet' texter: These narratives often take the form of a hybrid voicemail-meets- email from your mom who knows you probably don't have time to talk at 11 a.m but somehow manages to do it anyway via giant texts. "Hi Kate, it's Mom. I just wanted to say hi and see how it went last night. It's snowing really hard here but Dad and I are getting ready to go out to breakfast and were wondering if you wanted us to mail you....." These texts disappear from your phone's screen before you can get to the punchline but you make a mental note to call later.

The perfect husband: "On the way. Want wine?"  Experience and self preservation combine to ensure all is well at home after a long day. In time the wine in that sentence will be understood and the text will become a question only of "red or white?" but for now, I'm happy to reply a simple 'Y.'
Who am I kidding? My reply will still be 'Y'

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Pot O' Gold Potato Gratin (An Ultimate Recipe Challenge Blog Hop)


I'm so excited to team up with The Kim Six Fix and this group of amazing bloggers to share The Ultimate Recipe Challenge Blog Hop with you today! Each challenge will have a theme ingredient and our first challenge ingredient is potatoes. (Endless possibilities right?!)



We love combining cheddar and Gruyere cheeses in our homemade macaroni and cheese but for this challenge we decided to try mixing Gruyere with a Dubliner for a St. Patrick's Day spin on a potato gratin.  



We used our mandoline slicer to get the potatoes super thin but you could also use the slicing attachment on a food processor. Just get them as thin as you can!


The bubbling cream mixture that froths out of the sides of this dish when it's finished is practically dessert-like and it smells like fondue while it's cooking. Even though we make this for a side dish, it's rich enough that it could easily be the main dish served with a salad. My thoughts are more along the line of 'so rich it's best served with a good steak and an even better wine' but that's just me. 



Our 'Pot O' Gold Gratin' came out so savory and delicious and I can't wait to try the recipes the other bloggers came up with for the challenge!

Ingredients:

3 Pounds Gold Potatoes
1 Cup Finely Shredded Gruyere Cheese
1 Cup Finely Shredded Dubliner
3/4 Cup Whole Milk
1 3/4 Cups Heavy Cream
2 Cloves Fresh Garlic (smashed)
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh dill (plus more for garnish)
Salt and Pepper
Butter for dish


Steps:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Butter the bottom and the sides of a casserole/baking dish

3. Peel and thinly slice the potatoes using a mandoline slicer or food processor ( about 1/8 inch)

4. Combine milk, cream, chopped dill, and the smashed garlic in a saucepan and bring to a low simmer

5. While cream mixture is warming, grate cheeses 

7. Layer the potatoes and cheese like a lasagna, seasoning as you go with salt and pepper and reserving about 1/4 of the cheese for the topping

8. Pour cream mixture through a fine mesh strainer over the dish to catch the garlic cloves and dill

9. Press hands down on top of the potato mixture forcing the liquid between the layers of the potatoes

10. Sprinkle remaining cheese mixture over the top layer

11. Bake for 90 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and browning to look like a Pot 'O Gold!

Garnish the finished dish with some sprigs of dill and serve in cheesy stacks. Enjoy!



Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart's Potato Gratin


Be sure to check out how all of the other bloggers used their Potatoes in this Ultimate Recipe Challenge! 


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