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Monday, February 27, 2012

Boys Favorite Casserole Dish

I love this recipe I adapted from clean eating, or cooking light magazine. Can't remember which one it was now... It's SUPER easy, high in protein and low carb, and it's pretty tasty.

Added bonus, the boys all cheer, actually CHEER when we have it. =)  TOUCHDOWN for mama!

You'll need: 5 slices of P28 or 5 cups whole-grain bread-if you can find one with flax in it grab that! Cut the bread into 1 inch "squares"

1 tbsp olive oil

1 pkg low fat turkey sausage. I used the Jeanio Sweet Italian Sausage this time, which is a bit higher in fat, but couldn't find what I typically use.

1/4 cup chopped onions

1 1/2 cup milk - I use almond breeze

1 can green chili's

6 egg whites

1/4 cup Parmesan/ Romano cheese blend

2 tbsp parsley

2 large tomatoes

How to: Preheat oven to 375.
Spray a 9x13 glass dish with non-stick spray and line bottom with bread crumbs.

Remove casings from sausage and brown in skillet along with onion.

Meanwhile, put 1/4 of the milk, and the can of diced green chili's in blender and pulse until finely chopped.
Add remaining milk and egg whites and 1/2 of the cheese and the parsley, pulse until combined.

Pour mixture over top of bread crumbs. Put sausage/onion mix on top. Finish with think layer of tomato slices. Use your hand to press tomatoes down until covered with liquid mixture to moisten. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top of the tomatoes and bake until puffed and golden brown, about 40-45 minutes.

Enjoy the deliciousness!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Thanks Pinterest!

I now have to find a way to clean these up, otherwise I am SO gonna have to indulge as is. Recipe compliments of:

I LOVE peanut butter! =)

Peanut Butter Ice Pops

Notes: If you want to add more flavor but don't fancy chunks of bananas in your pops, you can also blend them into the Peanut Butter Ice Pop Base

If you add the mix-ins to the molds before the ice pop base, you may need to tap the molds to remove any air bubbles. If you add them after you pour in the base, you risk a little overflow.

If you add the chocolate chips to a vertical mold, they will most likely sink to the bottom. To solve this problem, if you are using a mold that has individual cavities that are removable from the base, try leaving it on its side in the freezer for a half hour or so until it is semi frozen. Then, place it in the vertical mold holder and all of the chips will not sink to the bottom of the mold / top of the ice pop.

Special equipment: blender, ice pop mold


yield: serves 6, active time 20 minutes, total time 5 hours
  • For the Peanut Butter Ice Pop Base:
  • 2 cups lowfat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter (I used Peanut Butter & Co. Smooth Operator)
  • 1/4 cup honey (optional)
  • For the Berry Swirl-In Base:
  • 1/2 cup lowfat vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup raspberry, strawberry, or blueberry preserves
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Freeze-Ins:
  • Mini chocolate chips (I used two tablespoons per pop)
  • Sliced bananas (I used about three 1/2 inch slices per pop)


  1. To prepare the Peanut Butter Ice Pop bases, combine the yogurt and milk in a blender and pulse until smooth. Use the lowest setting to continuously blend the mixture and gently add the peanut butter by the spoonful and then stream in the honey (if using). Transfer the ice pop base to a large mixing bowl and clean the pitcher and repeat process for the Berry Swirl-In Base.

  2.  To prepare the ice pop, fill each mold about 2/3 with the Peanut Butter Ice Pop Base. Gently add the Berry Swirl-In Base until the mold is almost, but not quite full. Remember that the ice pop handle’s stick will take up some of the volume, and the liquids will expand slightly during freezing. Use the tip of a spoon or butter knife to gently swirl the contents of each cavity, lightly scraping the inside walls of the mold to create a marbled or swirled effect.
  3. Freeze for at least four hours or until firm. To unmold, run outside of mold under warm water and then gently pull handle. Enjoy immediately.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Quick Savory Soup

This was originally supposed to be a recipe I tore out of a clean eating magazine-yes, the magazine was mine. ;p

However, after coming home from the grocery store I realized I'd forgotten to get about 1/3 of the recipe actually called for. I'm told this will happen more frequently as I get older. Not looking forward to that. 

Anyhow, I decided to improvise and create my own soup. I must say turned out pretty good, although I'd add zucchini or spinach next time around. 

You will need:
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Cup Chopped Onion
2-3 Tablespoons Minced Garlic (I LOVE Garlic-feel free to scale back here)
1 Package Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage (Casings removed)
2 cans Vegetable Broth (You can sub Chicken or Beef, I just happened to have Vegetable in the pantry)
2 cans White Beans (rinsed and drained)
1 can Diced Tomatoes

Heat pan over Medium High Heat and add Olive Oil, Garlic, Onion and Sausage. Cook until Sausage is browned. Add broth, water, tomatoes, and beans. Bring to a boil. 

Add 1 Tablespoon Grated Parmesan as a garnish. 

*Optional-when adding beans, just add one can. Take the second can and puree them - then add to broth. This will give the broth a thicker consistency. 


Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Aidan got his first Valentine (from a GIRL) yesterday.... Augghhhhh!!!! Mommy was not ready for that. 

During his Valentine's party, the upper-class students were delivering "candy grams" and they brought in a bunch to Aidan's class to distribute to various second graders. Before I knew it, he was holding this:
Then the mama of the little girl, says "She insisted, there was no getting out of it. I think someone has a crush"

So.... I asked Aidan more about this particular girl. His response? "She's a really great encourager mom"
Awwwww! How sweet is my little bug!?!?

Then he decided he should give her something in return, made a card and inserted his $5 bill inside. I suggested he make something, or come up with something that involved a little more thought. About 10 minutes later he brings THIS to the kitchen:
A lego rose! Ok ya'all, my son is absolutely precious! I mean just look at this thing. 

And then his sweet little card:

 He was very careful to write "from, Aidan" and not "love, Aidan". 
He says to me, "mom, I don't want her to think I want to be her boyfriend or marry her, so I can't put love on the card. And plus I only write that on Virginia's cards." Then I got the explanation of the difference between "liking" and "LIKING" someone... I love his innocence! Can he stay this way forever. Please!?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

The plan was to take the boys to the melting pot... but they had a fixed menu tonight, and if I'm going to spend a month's pay on one meal, it's going to be when I can order exactly what I want. So, we stayed in tonight and had this yummy meal instead. 

Baked Flounder and Zucchini. It was delicious!
For the flounder: Dredge fillets in oat flour, then dunk in whisked egg whites, then dredge in this:
Then bake at preferred temperature until fillets are cooked to your liking.

For the zucchini: Chop 2-3 zucchini's in half. Then cut into sticks. Combine a teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, 1 1/2 cup of almond meal and 1/4 cup cornmeal in ziplock bag. Shake to mix. In medium bowl whisk together several egg whites. Dip zucchini sticks in egg whites, then place in ziplock bag and toss to coat. Remove and lay on greased cooking sheet. Spray evenly with cooking spray. Bake at 425 for 15 min, rotate sticks, spray again with cooking spray (I use the olive oil version) and cook another 10-15 min.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


For your guiltless weekend pleasure.

About as simple as recipes come. You're welcome.

Compliments of my friend Jen - Thank ya ma'am. All I did was sub out the sour cream she used and instead used plain Greek yogurt in my version. 

You will need: 1. Packet of Hidden Valley Fiesta Ranch Dip
                      2. Tub of Plain Greek Yogurt                 
Mix the two together. The dip is actually pretty spicy, so I usually end up using about 1/2-3/4 of the package rather then the whole thing. Add a little bit at a time until you get a flavor you're satisfied with.

Chop up veggies. I LOVE using peppers for this. The kids like celery and carrots and broccoli, so it's really up to you. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Sometimes God blesses me to tears

Have I ever mentioned that God uses music to speak to me? Music and the Psalms... it's always been that way, as long as I can remember. I'm talking all the way back to when I was really little. I remember sitting on top of my dresser looking out my window with my Psalms for kids book and walk-man singing along to Carmen's Hunger for Holiness.

It's funny the things that stay consistent with you throughout your life. But I'm grateful that the Lord knows just how to speak to me.

If you know me at all you know this last year has been excruciating. Compounding that is that 99.9% of the time I am misunderstood, my actions are perceived as one thing, yet my heart is a completely different story. And while I know that, and more importantly GOD knows that, it doesn't ease the pain I feel from lost friendships, judgement, and a move in a different direction - from everything that is familiar, a move from everything I thought was mine.

BUT I have seen God's faithfulness this last month like I NEVER have before. He's lead me after much prayer to a new church. A church that is able to express their love for me and is committed to making me feel SAFE and welcome. He's connected me with the most unlikely group of women, who in a few short months have included me more in their lives and circle then 95% of the women I have known for 4+ years. He has given me the strength and the courage to put myself in new, awkward, scarey and sometimes painful situations, and He has blessed me to tears each and every time. He's provided me with a flexible job that allows me to take Asher with me. I am in pain, BUT I am blessed.

One of the things that I am really struggling with right now is people's perception of me. There is so much people don't know-much that they will never know. And for years I've thought of that as a burden I had to carry alone. What I am learning, is that YES, it is a burden, but it doesn't need to be MY burden... it belongs to the Lord. He is gently teaching me that I needn't carry the pain/shame/rejection/fear and loneliness myself-He will step in and take it from me. And as for people's perception of me, judgement and rejection is always going to hurt. Always. But during my quiet time with the Lord last week, He brought me to Psalms 91, which says:

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!" For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and a bulwark. You will not be afraid of the terror by night, Or of the arrow that flies by day; Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or of the destruction that lays waste at noon. A thousand may fall at your right side and ten thousand at your right hand, But it shall not approach you. You will only look on with your eyes And see the recompense of the wicked. For you have made the Lord, my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place. No evil will befall you, Nor will any plague come near your tent. For He will give His angels charge over you, To guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, that you do not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and cobra, the young lion and the serpent you will trample down. Because He has loved me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name. He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With a long life I will satisfy him and let him see My salvation."

VS 15 is what really struck me.
"He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him."
 Yes, the Lord has answered! He has been with me! He has not left me alone. And though for a season it may feel like I have lost my honor and dignity I believe with all my heart that God was using this verse to speak to me, to say that even that, in time, will be restored. I was moved to tears.

When I went back to that Psalm later in the week, I was touched again by verse 15, but verses 1 and 4 also hit me as I was in prayer thanking God for His faithfulness and Mercy, for the Compassion that He extends, for the Unconditional love only He can give
"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty... He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark." And again I burst into tears, how true this has been for me! In vs 1 the word shadow is used as a metaphor for care, and protection. And oh! how I have felt that from the Lord this last month. Vs 4 talks about a parent bird gathering her children under her wings for safety and comfort. The Lord has given me both, and my heart bursts with thankfulness.

Then yesterday as I was driving to work, I was grieving some of the losses and, well injustices that I feel. And a series of songs played in succession on the radio, each speaking to my heart in a way I can't explain other than by saying the Lord wanted to get my attention and minister to me.
It started off with "All I know is I'm not home yet, this is not where I belong, Take this world and give me Jesus, this is not where I belong" then "Be still there is a healer, His love is deeper then the sea, His mercy it is unfailing, His arms a fortress for the weak, let faith arise, let faith arise, I lift my hands to believe again, You are my refuge, You are  my strength, as I pour out my heart these things I remember, You are faithful God forever." Next was "To the one whose dreams are falling apart, and all you're left with is a tired and broken heart, I can tell by your eyes, you think you're on your own, but you are not alone. Have you heard of the one who can calm the raging seas, give sight to the blind, pull the lame up to their feet? With a love so strong He'll never let you go, Oh, you're not alone. You will be safe in His arms, You will be safe in His arms, cause the hands that hold the world are holding your heart. This is the promise He made, He will be with you always, when everything is falling apart, You will be safe in His arms." Followed by "Why in the world did I think I could, only get to know you when my life was good? When everything just falls in place, the easiest thing is to give you praise. Now it all seems upside down, cause my whole world is caving in But I feel you now more then I did then, How can I come to the end of me and somehow still have all I need? God I want to know you more, maybe this is how is starts, I find You when I fall apart. Blessed are the ones who understand, we got nothing to bring but empty hands. Nothing to hide and nothing to prove, our heartbreak brings us to You. Now it all seems upside down, 'cause my whole world is caving in, but I feel you now more then I did then. How can I come to the end of me, and somehow still have all I need? God I want to know you more, maybe this is how it starts, I find you when I fall apart. I don't know how long this will last, I'm praying for the pain to pass. But maybe this is the best thing that has ever happened to me. cause my whole world is caving in But I feel you now more then I did then, How can I come to the end of me and somehow still have all I need? God I want to know you more, maybe this is how is starts, I find You when I fall apart."  and then this one, which forced me to pull the car over "The days will come when you don't have the strength, when all you hear is you're not worth anything. Wondering if you ever could be loved, and if they truly saw your heart, they'd see too much. You're beautiful, you're beautiful, You are made for so much more than all of this. You're beautiful, you're beautiful, you are treasured, you are sacred, you are His, you're beautiful. I'm praying that you have the heart to fight, 'cause you are more then what is hurting you tonight. For all the lies you've held inside, THEY ARE NOTHING IN THE SHADOW OF THE CROSS!" and while I was pulling myself together this song came on "Savior please take my hand, I work so hard, I live so fast. This life begins and then it ends, and I do the best that I can, but I don't know how long I'll last. I try to be so tough, but I'm just not strong enough. I can't do this alone, God I need you to hold onto me. I try to be good enough, but I'm nothing without Your love, Savior please keep saving me. Savior please, help me stand, I fall so hard, I fade so fast, Will you begin right where I end, and be god of all I am , because you are all that I have. I try to be good enough, but I'm nothing without Your love, Savior please keep saving me.Hallelujah, Everything you are to me, is everything I'll ever need, and I am learning to believe, that I don't have to prove a thing, because you are the one who is saving me. I try to be good enough, but I'm nothing without Your love, Savior please keep saving me.."