Strawberry Cake Muffins-adapted from Ina Garten).

We “bake/put together” a lot of whole food snack treats. Raw honey, flax, almond meal, chocolate chips that kind of thing. So when we bake a fun recipe like this it’s worth documenting! Here’s my version of the Ina classic.

Our version of Ina’s Coffee Cake Muffins.

ingredients:

12 TBSP butter, unsalted room-temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 large eggs, room temperature

1 1/2 tsp. Pure vanilla extract

8 oz. (about 1 cup) sour cream

1/4 cup milk

2 1/2 cups bread flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 package of strawberries, washed, steamed and chopped

instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Pl. 16 paper liners in muffin tins.

In an electric mixer bowl, cream the butter and sugar about five minutes till light and fluffy. With a mixer on low add eggs one at a time, then vanilla, sour cream, and milk.

Then add the flour, baking powder baking soda and salt. Mix minimally, and slowly. Fold in the strawberries with a rubber spatula. Do not over mix.

Skip the batter out into the muffin tins, they will be pretty full, almost a rounded top. Bake in oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until tester comes out clean. ENJOY!!!

5 tips on making Easter feel normal this year.

Changes in our America due to the virus aren’t allowing us to celebrate Easter, or Ressurection Sunday like we normally would.

Here are 5 great ways to make Easter feel a little bit more “normal” this year!

#1. Decorate!

Even if it’s just a few plastic eggs in a basket, or whatever decorating you normally do for Easter. Having the kids help with decorating, and putting out some eggs always makes it feel more festive! The kids “Gigi” bought them this adorable garland for the mantle, such a sweet addition! And the lavender flowers cake from my mom. I picked up the bunnies a few years ago at a craft store, all together it makes a cozy, sweet space the kids love.

#2. Fun Hairstyles.

Us girls played around with braiding and did two inside-out braids.

#3 Family pictures.

I already bought the kids Easter outfits, so we took photos in front of the fireplace. You could take pics outside, on a bench, around the table. We made it fun…well, more like I bribed the kids into taking pics by giving them Nerds and gummy bears. (Ugh)

#4 Paint Eggs.

Theres nothing more fun than paint, right?! The kids love painting eggs, and I especially love it when their hard faux eggs from the craft store. Easy, no breaking, making memories…done!

#5 Tell them the Easter story.

Why do we have ressurection Sunday? We love opening the Bible and sharing with them the very FIRST Easter Sunday, when Jesus rose from the dead. You can find the story in the Bible book of Matthew 27 and 28. (If you don’t have a Bible there are plenty of free Bible websites you can read it off of, I like this one http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org ).

What’s everyone doing this Easter!? We are celebrating with family at a later date…as long as there’s an egg hunt the kids won’t know a difference. 🙂 Happy Easter everyone!

Cauliflower Crust Pizza. (Easy!)

This was adopted from a Pinterest recipe I found, And I can’t even remember where I found it because I memorized it because it was just so easy. I use steam cauliflower which I steam the day before for dinner. I make about 2 cups extra, and that is what I use for this recipe. It’s in the fridge from the night before ready to use. So easy!

RECIPE INGREDIENTS:

2 cups steamed cauliflower ( mine is pre-buttered, and salt and peppered from the night before. I use it cold. Also have used it warm though and it doesn’t seem to make a difference )

1 cup grated parmesean cheese (I use shelf stable cheese, but fresh would be amazing I’m sure!)

2 eggs

Salt and pepper to taste

Oregano (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Blend of the cauliflower in the food processor until pulverized.

Please remaining ingredients, along with cauliflower in a mixing bowl, and mix until mixture forms a ball.

Toss onto lightly greased pizza stone (or baking sheet-as long as it’s greased). Using The back of a metal spoon press the “crust” to form a pizza shell. (The dough will not seem as though it wants to stick together that is normal.) Sprinkle with a little dried oregano if desired.

That’s it! Pop it in the oven and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from oven. Pour pizza sauce on, mozzarella cheese and toppings of choice! Yum!!

Go veggies! Don’t tell anyone it’s made out of cauliflower and see if anyone can guess! This is so good you would have no idea it’s made from a vegetable!

Enjoy!!

Banana Spinach Lemon Smoothie (high protein)

Here it is! Here’s the recipe if you want a high protein, low in fat, full of greens smoothie. No fluff, just high-density nutrition…right here.

RECIPE INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup frozen spinach (I buy fresh bagged, then freeze it and add this)

Small handful of ice

2 packets of Stevia sweetener or sweetener of choice

1/2 frozen banana

1 squeezed fresh lemon and/or 4 drops Lemon essential oil (I make sure mine is certified safe for internal consumption)

3/4 cup almond milk (unsweetened)

1/4 cup water

1/2 – 1 TBSP Truvia (or other preferred sweetener of choice)

1 scoop Vanilla protein powder (any will do, I use Vegan protein, sweetened with natural sweeteners only)

1 tsp Maca Root (optional I like for endocrine support)

1 TBSP Hemp seeds (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Put all ingredients (except for protein powder, and Hemp seeds) into high-powered blender or NutriBullet, all wet ingredients first then dry.

Blend until mixed and we’ll combined then add protein powder and blend for just a few seconds. (Too much will make the smoothie very “fluffy”)

Pour into glass, top with hemp seeds and enjoy!!

That’s it! Enjoy anytime of day, I especially enjoy after a good workout!

Full of protein.

Satisfies hunger.

Great way to get your greens in.

Nourishing.

Full of Calcium.

Brown-bagged, diabetic-friendly, blood sugar stable lunch.

Six years of packing lunches for a diabetic, you learn some things along the way. What to do and what not to do. My Chad is a diabetic, so we’re constantly looking for healthy foods that will support good blood sugars for him. Here’s I’m sharing super fast, and easy tips for packing a good blood-sugar stabling lunch! I hope these inspire you to recreate your own brown-bagged lunch that helps to support healthy blood sugar levels. Let me know if you’d like to see more of these lunch ideas in the comments. Of course never replacing your doctors specific guidelines and recommendations…I hope these ideas inspire you! And these tips aren’t just limited to diabetics, I like to implement some of these (somewhat lower carb strategies for myself too!)

NUMBER 1: (although not pictured) I like to start off strong. I like to set my body up for success by eating first thing in the am to boost my metabolism. Focusing around protein, some quick and easy favorites are…a (clean) protein powder smoothie: low on fruit, high in protein for an awesome stable blood sugar start to the day! (Check out my “Mango/Banana/Vegan/Protein breakfast smoothie” for a good breakfast standby (feel free to only use 1/2 frozen banana and 1/4 c mango for less sugar).

NUMBER 2:Fuel your body with keeping blood sugars stable with frequent small snacks. (pictured above) a small handful of almonds, with a little carbohydrate (if needed). So my husband will normally have (if his blood sugar is somewhat on the low side) a protein snack with some added carb. So either the apple OR the 3 dates. Soo good.

NUMBER 3: Lunch time! Keeping things simple with sprouted toast, sliced hard-boiled eggs, a little pr-made hummus, cherry tomatoes, fresh parsley, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze for a little sweetness and added flavor. Protein source: eggs + hummus. Carbs: bread.

NUMBER 4: We find our bodies are so much healthier the more RAW food we add into our diet. So incorporating something raw into our lunch everyday is essential. Today is fresh cut veggies, with light ranch, and some more hard-boiled eggs for extra protein to snack on. (There’s also a 1/2 of a turkey wrap in this box, for another small snack for him!)

NUMBER 5: Natural energy juice! Antioxidant rich, blood supporting berry juice, full of blueberries, pomegranates, Ningxia wolfberry (highest antioxidant berry out there)…all which are a natural way to get an energy BOOST midday (or anytime of day!). This just makes your whole body FEEL better, and drank cold while eating a cheese stick (or other protein source) is a great healthful snack! Feel energized all.day.long.

NUMBER 6: Statistically most Americans don’t consume enough natural IODINE-rich foods. Which help with Thyroid function (very important for diabetics), PH levels, increasing bone density, (some say) preventing cancer, supports weight loss, and rich in vitamins and minerals that are essential to our bodies. An easy way to get iodine in?? Seaweed chips! Other foods high in iodine are: collard greens, shallots, spinach, swiss chard, onions, turnip greens, nori, wheat grasses, cherries, beet greens, tahini, kelp, nettles, parsley, blackberries, and prune juice. Have you tried any of these SUPER nutritious foods before?? Any favorite ways you prepare them? I’d love to hear below if you have any tips!!

So those are some of our favorite healthful, easy, nutritious, and blood-stabling lunch ideas!! If you enjoyed this post and would like to see more lunch ideas, let me know below!

Camping getaway.

Chad and I started a yearly family tradition of camping. Every trip we’ve taken has been such a sweet, fun experience (actually…except for one when I was 8 months pregnant with Ryley, another story for another time.) This trip was filled with camp fires, S’mores, fishing, bike rides, boat trips, and just being together with nothing else to do.

Such a fun time with family. A couple of my sisters were able to join us for a few days too. So many smiles, laughs, and bike trips to get ice-cream.

That was such a fun trip, don’t you love just getting away and relaxing? With building our home, the new pregnancy, and just busy daily life…this trip was much needed. So grateful to make memories with my family in the mountains.

Healthy peanut butter/molasses/iron-rich popcorn.

First off, I cannot take credit for this recipe. I got this from a cookbook I bought, attending a “10 Steps to Better Health” class hosted by our Chiropractor and his wife. Both super educational, and have been in the health world for decades. This popcorn is a healthy/iron-rich way to enjoy “caramel popcorn” but I don’t resemble this with regular caramel popcorn, this treat has its own delicious flavor and taste. I think you’ll love it! If you at all like molasses, even just a little bit you have to try this you’ll be surprised at how tasty it is!

RECIPE:

4-5 quarts popped popcorn

1 1/2 cup blackstrap molasses

1 1/2 cup peanut butter (natural creamy if my preference, or regular Jiff is fine too)

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

3 TBSP butter

HOW TO: Pop the popcorn, set aside in a LARGE bowl. In a medium saucepan melt butter, molasses and peanut butter. Heat until only combined and smooth. Then add the vanilla, stir. Pour over the popcorn and toss together. Place popcorn evenly into 2 baking sheets, bake at 180 for 1 1/2-2 hours, stirring once. Cool and store in a glass container. ENJOY!

I had a little 4 year old assistant. 🙂 He needed to test the popcorn.

Progression: a home tour.

I thought it’s be fun to “walk through” our soon to be forever home and show you what almost every room looks like. To start here’s the garage! Up to the right is the doorway to the mudroom.

Although I do hop ewe avoid as much “mud” as possible.

Once you walk through the mud room, you end up in the kitchen! The tapped areas on the floor outline the island and counter tops.

Turn to the left anddddd living room!

Left again, and here’s the dining room, and entry hall.

Ryleys room.

Our master room, and some kids!

That’s all for now. We’re excited the plaster is done. And the painting will be started soon! For now, I’m working on thinking about furniture placement, wall colors, light fixtures (just to name a few.) It’ll be great looking back one day at these early home pics.

Local farm strawberry picking.

We love picking strawberries every year at a local farm! The last few years my sister and I bring our kids, which they love and we always benefit form extra hands picking more strawberries. Then we go home and create delicious desserts or jelly. So fun.

She always inches down the slide. So funny. Love all of these little loves.

Do you go strawberry picking every year?? What’s your favorite recipes to make with your finds?! I love trying new recipes, my favorites though are strawberry cream roll, strawberry pie, and strawberry shortcake. Bring us alllll the desserts. And yes, that second to last picture…our son is wearing his shirt backwards. He insisted it was “the right way”. 🙂

Mango/Banana/Vegan/Protein breakfast smoothie.

Fruit and protein smoothies are so easy and filling in the morning! The kids even love them. Such an easy breakfast full of protein and fruit.

RECIPE:

1 cup (approx.) frozen banana cubes

3/4-1 cup frozen mango chuncks

1 cup (approx.) unsweetened almond milk

2-3 packets of Stevia sweetener, or sweetener of choice

1 TBSP coconut cream (from a can)

2 TBSP vegan protein powder of choice

Hemp seeds for sprinkling on at end and

honey for drizzling.

BLEND all ingredients in a high powered blender (I use a NutriBullet)! And that’s it! Pour in a pretty glass and sprinkle with hemp seeds and a drizzle of honey! Enjoy!!!