Aloha Pineapple

Aloha Pineapple

I cannot believe summer is over?!?! Well, it feels like the end since I’m preparing to send my first child to Kindergarten on Wednesday.  How can my sweet little 7 lbs 9 oz baby girl born the-quickest-five-years-of-my-life ago be going to Kindergarten? Please tell me I’m not the only mama out there struggling with the mixed emotions related to sending their first to Kindergarten. Yes, she is SO ready and SO excited BUT all-day Kindergarten?  She’ll be at school and away from her family most of the day AND who knows what she’ll be exposed to.  Oh, my mommy-heart is going to break a little when I drop her off on the first day. I’m walking into a whole new world.  School schedules, teacher conferences, packed school lunches, homework (do they give homework in Kindergarten?), and I’m sure lots of grumpy days ahead of adjusting to an earlier wake-up time (probably more from me than my daughter).  This is where I need to up my organization game. I’m already excited about adding some of my fun, healthy lunch options like my Apple Fruit Sandwiches to her lunchbox. Oh, quick sidebar… I found this awesome insulated lunchbox along with these slim lunch ice packs if you’re searching for some great lunch boxes for your kids. Outside of packing her delicious lunches, I want to make sure my breakfasts for her are on point.  I need my daughter confidently walking into her Kindergarten day with a belly full of nutrients.  I strongly believe none of us can BE our best selves or DO our best work if we’re not treating our bodies...
Fresh Fruit Salad

Fresh Fruit Salad

If you want something that will be consistently devoured by your family, you’ve come to the right place.  I make a large batch of this fresh fruit salad for every family gathering and it’s a hit each time.  Who would love juicy pineapple, crisp apples, and crunchy sweet grapes? Although a 3 ingredient fresh fruit salad is quick and easy, you don’t want to skip out on my tips. First, wash your grapes and apples!  And by washing, I don’t mean rinsing with water. Scrub those babies! Here’s a post on washing vegetables where you can see the difference between washed and rinsed grapes. I’ve used a few vegetable washes in my day.  I keep coming back to Fit Fruit & Vegetable Wash.  Big BIG fan! For grapes, I pluck them and place them in a large bowl.  I pour a cap full of Fit Fruit & Vegetable Wash over the grapes and fill the bowl with cool water until all the grapes are covered.  Let them sit for about 3 to 5 minutes and use your hands to gently scrub the grapes while still in the water in a circular motion.  Drain and rinse with water. For apples, spray each apple 2 to 3 times with wash.  Scrub the apples with your hands for about 15 to 20 seconds.  While rinsing under cool water, scrub the apple with your hands until you feel the residue wash off.  You’ll oooh and aaah over how great they feel!   After you finish cutting your fresh pineapple into chunks, don’t throw away the rind just yet!  Those crisp delicious apples need the juice from the rind in order to prevent them from...
Gluten-Free Pancakes

Gluten-Free Pancakes

Happy 4th of July!  I’m gearing up for a full day of family fun tomorrow and hope you’re ready to do the same.  Am I the only one feeling like this year is flying by?  I can’t believe it’s already July! Well, the brutal heat makes it difficult to forget we’re mid-summer. Since the last thing I want to do is hang out by a hot oven instead of the refreshing pool, I figured out a quick breakfast solution for my gluten-free friends.  Actually, even if you’re not gluten-free, you must MuSt MUST try these gluten-free pancakes!  We have made them for breakfast 5 days in a row and still want them again tomorrow. My husband usually doesn’t like gluten-free recipes unless it’s my Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies or my Ooey Gooey Brownies.   When I made these gluten-free pancakes for him, he looked shocked.  I believe his exact comment was “these are actually really good!” Gluten-free baked goods can sometimes be… well, rubbery.  These pancakes are anything but.  You’ll only taste light, fluffy, and scrumptious pancakes. The main reason these pancakes are amazing is the Namaste all-purpose flour I discovered.  Oh. My. Goodness!  I have already used my entire bag.  I just went to Costco and bought two more bags since I can’t stop making these pancakes for breakfast.  Confession… we even had them for dinner one night.  This flour has a blend of gluten-free flours and xanthum gum.  We’re shouting for joy over here since finding this tasty flour.  Anyway, I think you get my point.  We’re fans.   You can quickly negate any and all health benefits by which toppings you use....
Coconut Chicken Curry

Coconut Chicken Curry

We have a fabulous little hole-in-the-wall Thai place right around the corner from our home.  I’m embarrassed to admit how often I think of their coconut chicken curry.  I want to call up and request just a tall glass of their coconut curry sauce.  Mmmmm Mmm.  I could just drink it! Since I can only tame that temptation for so long, I have been in the kitchen tweaking and playing with this coconut chicken curry recipe for awhile now.  FINALLY I can now daydream about my own coconut curry recipe. One of the most common questions I get about coconut milk is whether I use the canned or carton kind.  Well… it depends on the recipe, and I’ll make sure to specify when I mean the canned coconut milk.  For coconut chicken curry, definitely use the canned kind. Coconut milk is loaded with fat!  Don’t be scared though, my friend, this fat actually helps with weight loss, reduces heart disease, and does many many more wonderful things for you.  When purchasing coconut milk, purchase the full fat and NOT the light.  The only difference is light canned coconut milk has added water which dilutes the coconut meat.  It’s a waste of money, doesn’t taste as great, and this is one cream you can totally indulge in.   I have 2 kids.  I have busy days.  Some days I don’t want to cook.  Am I alone? I’m betting not.  This is now one of my quick, go-to dinners.  I start preparing the dish while the rice is cooking and everything is usually done at the same time.  30 minutes in.  30 minutes out. I have lots...
Cajun Scrambled Eggs

Cajun Scrambled Eggs

My husband was born and raised outside Atlanta, Georgia. When I was 16, I moved to Georgia where we first met.  ‘Aaaah… high school sweethearts!’  NOT exactly. I’m 2 years older than my man.  In high school, dating a younger man was a serious faux pas.  Anyway, long LONG story short , we were family friends for 10 years until it clicked that we were more than just friends.  Over 7 years of marriage and 2 kids later, he continues to be the best decision I ever made. Love and scrambled eggs DO go together.  Hang in there with me.  After being married a year, we moved to Georgia for his internship with the Atlanta Hawks and Thrashers (such a BLAST!).  On our long painful drive back to Utah (30+ hours… I’m SO not a road-tripper), we stopped to visit my aunt and uncle in Louisiana.  Little did I know this quick visit would FOREVER change my view on scrambled eggs.  My aunt scrambled us some eggs for breakfast and we immediately notice the punch of flavor.  Louisiana… cajun seasoning… my aunt… I’m indebted. Cajun seasoning also makes an appearance in my husband’s two favorite recipes, Breakfast Quiches and Cheesecake Factory Cajun Jambalaya Copycat. Cajun is the perfect combination of spices and makes something simple like scrambled eggs pop!  It’s as necessary as salt and pepper in your spice drawer.  I haven’t tried Slap Ya Mama yet, but it’s Amazon’s best seller.  Louisiana and McCormick cajun are both really tasty. Have you seen Food, Inc?  I’m both informed and traumatized.  My takeaway… we need to do a little more research on the foods we put...
Jamba Juice Orange C-Booster CopyCat

Jamba Juice Orange C-Booster CopyCat

Jamba Juice lovers… holla!  I didn’t realize so many people crave Jamba Juice like I do until my healthy copycat recipes started blowing up! Do you know what my Mango-A-Go-Go, Peanut Butter Moo’d, Razzmatazz, and Caribbean Passion have in common?  They are 4 ingredients or less, dairy-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, and scrumptious-FULL!  Let’s keep this party going by introducing Jamba Juice Orange C-Booster! Okay, I’ll try to chill out on using so many exclamation points…. really, I’ll do my best. When I’m under the weather, my mind immediately turns towards a soothing Jamba Juice Orange C-Booster.  It’s overflowing with vitamin C and nothing feels better on a sore throat than a cold smoothie. I had the flu (yes, the real flu) a couple months ago and it knocked. me. out. I was in bed for a week and my body felt on fire.  The body aches were the worst part!  I’ll stop complaining… there’s a reason nurses make the worst patients.  Since being sick is a form of torture, I of course needed Jamba to comfort me.  Thanks to my sweet honey, Orange C-Booster made an appearance.  It almost makes being sick worth it. Almost. Like my other Jamba Juice copycats, there are only 4 ingredients: orange juice, peaches, pineapple, and banana.  The original recipe calls for orange sherbet which contains added sugar and dairy.  A frozen banana quickly replaces the sherbet and its creamy texture tastes like vanilla ice cream.  Don’t believe me?  Try my 3 ingredient blender ice cream.    Freezing bananas is really simple.  Wait until your bananas are the perfect yellow (not green and not brown).  Peel your bananas (up to 6), place in ziplock gallon...

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