While I’d be most likely to head savory for breakfast – this idea stuck with me for ease of prepping in advance, and I love love nutella.
I’m also into this because it wasn’t so so so sweet – and was something I could feel good about.
Nutella Chia Pudding with Strawberries Ingredients: (serves 2) 1/3 cup cocoa powder 1 tablespoon Nutella 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 3/4 cup milk 1/4 cup chia seeds ~1-2 cups strawberries (mine were frozen, defrosted, sliced) Sprinkle of sugar & sprinkle of water whipped cream
Directions: Mix together the cocoa powder, nutella, vanilla extract, and a splash of milk to mix into a paste. Then add more milk until completely mixed. Add in the chia seeds and stir well.
Refrigerate overnight, or at least 3+ hours (give an additional stir after the first 30-minutes). Slice the strawberries & add a sprinkle of sugar and water (can be done ahead). Serve with strawberries & whipped cream.
The nutella provides the flavor and sweetness and the cocoa powder adds to the chocolate flavor without being sugary.
Let’s talk about the texture – it is slippery and cool. It wouldn’t be for everyone. I need some variety in texture – the strawberries help that for me. This would be good topped with something crunchy like granola, nuts, cereal, etc. Frozen dark cherries would be delightful too!
Two servings is ideal so you aren’t committed to eating this all week. It is so much easier than baked oatmeal or anything that requires any cooking!
Thanksgiving flavors are even more appreciated away from the holiday, don’t you think?! Burrito-izing the wrap, as in, wrapping and cooking on the griddle, makes the deli turkey, cranberries, stuffing, and arugula so delicious.
They’re special-enough to be dinner (I mean, anything can be dinner) but these are like a special lunch or easy-but-fun-dinner while hitting a few food groups.
Thanksgiving Hot Wraps Ingredients: (for 1) 1/2 cup stuffing mix 1/2 cup chicken broth sprinkle of garlic powder & dried sage (optional) 1 flour tortilla 2-3 slices turkey 2 tablespoons cranberries (canned whole berry) 1 cup arugula (or spinach)
Directions: Prepare the stuffing according to the package. Add in the garlic powder and sage- if using. Assemble the wraps with turkey, a smear of mayo if you wish, arugula, cranberries, and stuffing. Preheat a skillet over medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil.
Fold the sides inward, about 1-2 inches, then roll from the bottom away from you, tucking the sides in as you roll away. Place the rolled wrap into the skillet, seam side down. Hold with tongs if it starts unrolling. Cook for ~2 minutes and rotate on each side.
I loved this! The stuffing makes it decadent. I wouldn’t be against some sharp white cheddar in there but I kept it quite traditional this time. Cooking the wrap is the game changer. The turkey and the stuffing want to be warm, right?
My kiddos can eat their weight in jellied cranberry sauce so they wouldn’t care if it were alongside anything. I don’t know if they can be fooled with this canned whole-berry sauce, but we’ll probably give it a go for the leftovers – I think we grabbed it by accident.
I love love love grain bowls and the inspiration for Cobb Salad Rice Bowls was to winterize a salad. Plus, the build-your-own aspect gives everyone a bit of what they like (me = arugula, littles = cucumber).
We made these cute little Greek Chicken Turnovers for dinner with hummus, chicken, tomato, oregano, and creamy caesar dressing. We had them with a little orzo/tomato/cuke/feta salad.
The Little Girl: She’s always packing backpacks with all the toys & books that’ll fit. We saw her do a lot of sock-skating around the house this month too. Lunches packed for daycare have been a struggle – she cannot be fooled with peanut-less pb.
The Big Guy: He’s currently enjoying school vacation. He really likes school but appreciates getting to stay in pjs longer, and of course more play time at home. He’s 100% into hard boiled eggs right now. All of us have been enjoying nerf battles.
Goals: Year of nail polish! I got a brick red (this one) More international food inspiration: Greek turnovers & a little “international night” for the Olympics! More soups/salads: We had blackbean soup that was so so easy. More apps: some for the Olympics and some for the superbowl! More fun drinks: tea – this one is my new obsession Updating photos: nope What I’m reading: I read Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu for bookclub – it was ok. Then I read Anne of Manhattan by Bria Starler which was more romance-novel-ish than I expected. Somebody’s Daughter by Ashley Ford was amazing, and powerful – a must read. What I’m watching: all Olympics, all the time. We were grateful for more sleep once they ended. What I’m listening to: showtunes with my workouts!
Love a rice bowl – this inspiration was perfect for winter when we want something warmer than salad! Rice bowls are also filling and great to use leftovers! I subscribe to the goal of: grain + protein + veg + drizzle = grain bowl
Cobb Salad Rice Bowls Ingredients: (serves 4) 1 1/2 cup rice/grain 4 breaded chicken tenders 4 hard boiled eggs 2 cups greens (I used arugula) ~3 tomatoes ~6 oz cheese 1/4 cup salad dressing
Directions: Cook the rice and the chicken and hard boil the eggs. (My rice was in the pressure cooker for 10 minutes and my chicken went into the air fryer.) While the rice, chicken, and eggs cook, chop the cheese, tomatoes, and greens.
Assemble as you like and drizzle with dressing. Enjoy!
Bacon, avocado, and pickles would all be great additions too but my avo decided a few days prior to this meal ‘it was now or nothing’.
The kiddos had cukes versus greens, and they like theirs separate and to dip into dressing. I stirred some bacon bits into the rice when I made it the first time!
There’s a whole category (over to the right under “rice/grain bowls”). I pack them for lunch all the time too – I just scoop out the raw things and warm the rest and dump back on and drizzle. Voila!
I love a Valentine’s Day treat! At the same time, I admittedly unfollowed an IG influencer who spouted “small” Valentine’s Day gifts for her kids – then the next thing we saw was coloring kits, playdoh sets, puzzles, stuffed animals, candy, play jewelry, and matching pjs. It is their job to get people to buy stuff – but none of us need the expectation out there that we’re showering the kiddos with so much stuff every single holiday. Cookies are the right answer – everyone can enjoy a soft pink cookie.
Strawberry Crinkle Cookies Ingredients: 1 box strawberry cake mix 2 tablespoons flour 2 eggs 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/4 cup powdered sugar
Directions: Mix the cake mix, flour, eggs, oil and extract together.
Preheat the oven to 350-degrees. Let cookie dough cool at least 10 minutes in the fridge. Roll golf-ball sized balls (~1.5-2 inches) and gently roll in powdered sugar. Place onto a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray or with a silicone mat each one about 2 inches apart. Bake 9-10 minutes and let sit on the baking sheet 1 minute out of the oven then carefully let cool on cooling rack.
I love these. They are delightfully soft and almost gooey. The strawberry flavor brings some summertime feelings to mid-February.
These little turnovers had a few flavors we love, in an easy format, plus the kiddos helped and liked them. We used puff pastry, hummus, roasted chicken, salad dressing, and tomatoes.
Anything in crescent dough is good in my book but the hummus in here was great! They would be perfect as an app or we had them with some orzo and some salad.
Greek Chicken Turnovers Ingredients: (for 8 turnovers, serves ~4 as a meal or 8 for apps) 1 tube crescent rolls (or crescent dough as a roll would make double sized ones) 1 cup roasted chicken (~1 chicken breast from a rotisserie chicken) 1-2 tablespoons creamy caesar dressing 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or fresh chopped oregano 1/4 cup hummus 1-2 small tomatoes
Directions: Preheat the oven to 350-degrees (or as the package directs).
Chop and mix the chicken, the dressing, and oregano. Unroll the crescents and lay each triangle flat, then spread hummus onto each triangle. Add chicken onto the wide part of the triangle and top with tomato slices and salt & pepper. Carefully roll the wide end of the triangle and roll over onto itself towards the point. Place onto a baking sheet.
Bake for ~10 minutes (according to your crescent rolls) until golden brown.
We had these with orzo and some tomato/cucumber/feta salad in Italian dressing. They were so fun! The hummus is really subtle but adds some substance and keeps them from being too liquid-y and dripping.
Each kid ate one. They’re not always excited about foods all together but these are flavors we like and they were a hit. They’re very, very into feta in salad.
They reheat well too – especially if you undercook a bit (maybe 8 min versus 10) and reheat in the oven or toaster oven. They don’t need to be served hot – room temp is good too!
January went by quickly! The little boy is 7! I got to work remotely a lot and we were thrilled for some snow for sledding and ice skating. I had so much joy from one single trip ice skating. It felt like an awakening and that we were more solidly in a state of kids versus toddlers. Just going ice skating where each kid could kind of do the activity without as much from us as parents felt like a shift. Getting back to something we haven’t done in years, outside, on a pond….it was magical. I loved it.
I’m in the minority for this dinner, but I stand by it. French Onion Manicotti was so good – I know, I ate the leftovers for days. The fam was not whole heartedly into this one but I liked the flavors and a twist out of the ordinary.
Olympics and Superbowl snacks are ahead for me! I’m so excited. I have one sweet treat planned for Valentine’s Day.
The Little Girl: She’s so hit or miss on meals. Either she’s all in or takes a few bites and doesn’t care about more. Cheese is always a safe bet. I couldn’t believe how much quinoa she ate one night. This girl powered through T’s birthday cake. She love love loves her babies and stuffed animals. She is going to loooove Valentine’s Day since she folding her pictures into “cards” is a pastime of hers and she loves envelopes.
The Big Guy: He had such a fun birthday! We did a family party and his ideas as a chicken nugget eating contest. He ate 14! Claire ate 5! Wow! Grandma made a Pokemon logo cake. He got nerf stuff and is loving it. He’s still eating hard boiled eggs most breakfasts. He really loved sledding and he’s very into going to the library.
Goals: Year of nail polish! I got a deep moody navy (this one) More international food inspiration: nope – unless we count our homemade crunchwraps? More soups/salads: We had cheeseburger soup and crescents with sesame seeds! More apps: not really, but Winter Olympics and the Super Bowl are coming. More fun drinks: tea! Updating photos: not this month. What I’m reading: I read Bad Muslim Discount and it was incredible. I slogged through Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty – I love Anderson Cooper but skip the book, or maybe listen to it. Hola Papi: How to Come Out in a Walmart Parking Lot and Other Life Lessons was so fun for a perspective I don’t automatically see – a self-help writer for LGBTQ dating sites from small-town Oklahoma. What I’m watching: Project Runway What I’m listening to: I really missed all the podcasts who were on break for December.
I baked! I had this idea churning and we were having cheesecake for Christmas day so I left some space after just having it – then I just went for it without an occasion. This has pretzel & graham cracker crumb crust with cheesecake topped with apple and salted caramel.
The cheesecake is super fluffy and has a great balance of crumb to cheesecake to topping ratios – I pretty much want each in every bite.
Cheesecake with Salted Caramel Apple Topping Ingredients: (for graham cracker & pretzel crust) 1 packet of graham crackers 1/2 cup of pretzels 1 stick of butter, melted 1/4 cup sugar (for cheesecake) 16 oz cream cheese 2/3 cup sugar 8 oz sour cream 4 eggs 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half (for salted caramel apple topping) 3 large cortland apples 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 cup caramel sauce 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Directions: Preheat the oven to 350-degrees. In a food processor, blend together the graham crackers, pretzels, butter, and sugar and press into a springform pan sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake for 8 minutes then reduce heat to 325 degrees. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix together the cream cheese, sugar, and sour cream, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and vanilla and heavy cream. Bake for 60-minutes until the edges are set and the middle is barely giggly.
Let the cheesecake fully cool out of the oven, in the pan. Peal and chop the apples to cook over medium-low heat in the butter. Add in the brown sugar and cinnamon and cook for ~5 minutes until they soften but aren’t mush. Add in a teaspoon of the caramel apple sauce and some salt. Taste and add in more of the kosher salt as you like. Refrigerate until serving.
When serving, spoon apple topping over the cheesecake and drizzle with remaining caramel and a sprinkle of kosher salt. Enjoy!
I loooved this. I started with apple topping from just 2 apples then made more wanting there to be PLENTY. I love the little salt bits in the crust and on the topping. Cheesecake is so convenient to prep ahead of time and I liked the salted caramel apple topping even better when it was cool – just like the cheesecake.
French onion soup meets stuffed manicotti! It would have been stuffed shells but they were MIA at the grocery store. These were fun! I caramelized onions, added french onion soup mix to the ricotta filling, and topped it with an onion sauce with optional mushrooms. I’m the mushroom fan, and the rest of the family had without.
French Onion Manicotti (or stuffed shells) Ingredients (for ~5 servings) 1 onion 2 tablespoons butter 1 package manicotti (or jumbo shells) 16 oz ricotta cheese 1 packet of french onion soup mix 1 pint of mushrooms 1 cup veggie broth or golden mushroom soup 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce 1/2 cup milk or half and half 1 cup shredded mozzarella
Directions: Slice the onion and cook in a large skillet over medium-low heat with olive oil and butter, stir often and reduce heat once the onions are translucent. Cook for ~30 minutes until caramelized, soft, and brown. Boil a large pot of salted water for the pasta. Cook until al dente and drain. Mix half the onion soup mix into the ricotta.
Slice the mushrooms. Cook in a hot pan with olive oil and butter – not stirring, let them brown on one side and flip once. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees and spray a baking dish with non-stick spray. Warm veggie broth, worcestershire sauce, and remaining onion soup mix over low heat. Cook for ~10 minutes to cook the soup mix. Then and add in the milk/cream and cook for another 5 minutes. Spoon the ricotta into a zip-top bag (tip: put around a tall drinking glass with one bottom corner pointed down). Then snip the bottom corner and pipe into each end of the manicotti to fill. Place into the baking dish. Top with caramelized onions and mushrooms.
Spoon 1/2 to 1 cup of sauce over the top. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake for 40 minutes until warmed through and the cheese melts. Enjoy!
I liked this one! I wouldn’t make it alllll the time, but it had good flavor and was fun for variety. I rarely make manicotti but they’re so good and piping in from a bag was great – I’d be pulling my hair out if spooning it in!
If mushrooms/onions aren’t your thing: Make with pesto & sausage (here)! Make like chicken parm (here)! Make with butternut squash & alfredo (here)! Make with spinach & cheese (here)!
Happy 2022! We started the new year with this fun breakfast after getting to sleep in and it was great – a bit decadent from the bacon and the maple aoli but a bit smartly balanced from the sweet potato and egg.
Both the bacon and sweet potato can be made ahead – or cooked a few ways. That would even turn it into a speedy weekday breakfast too!
Sweet Potato & Bacon Hash Ingredients: (for 2) 1 sweet potato 4 strips of bacon 2 tablespoons mayo 2-3 teaspoons maple syrup 2-4 eggs
Directions: Peal and chop the sweet potato into bite-sized pieces. Then cook (bake ~20 minutes or airfry ~10 minutes or pan fry ~ 10 minutes & bonus points if cooking them in the bacon fat!) Fry the bacon – ~20 minutes in the oven or chop into small pieces and pan fry for ~7 minutes. Mix together the mayo and syrup together. Start with some of the syrup and add more to taste.
Mix together the sweet potatoes and chopped bacon and divide onto plates. Drizzle half of the aoli on top. Cook the eggs sunny-side or over easy with salt and pepper. Put the eggs on top and drizzle remaining maple aoli on top. Enjoy!
I loved this. The runny yolk is the best. The aoli could swap the maple with hot sauce instead! Add some onions and peppers. Add some garlic. Add in some black beans. Go for what you like! A shred of cheese would be delicious too.
Our bacon was leftover from NYE sliders. Sometimes I make it in the oven or anytime it is crumbled means pan frying in little pieces would be easy too. This would be ideal as breakfast-for-dinner too!