Browsing the blog archives for June, 2013.

Farmer’s Market Haul (with meal ideas)!

California, Healthy, Kids

Last summer, I fell madly in love with the Torrance Farmer’s Market. I love it because it’s big so there is a lot of selection, but not so big that you can’t get to know the vendors. I looooove that it’s a year-round market (since you know, 2 weeks of rain is ‘winter’ down here) and most of all I think that the concept of local citrus, and local avocado and omg local dragonfruit (whaaaat) is so so otherworldly. It is very temping to walk through your local farmer’s market and buy healthy, delicious produce at random. If you eat a lot of raw fruits and veggies that can probably work for you, but if you’re aiming to make meals from as much of your haul as possible, it’s generally wise to show up with a list.

Yeah, I know. But I’m making lists again!

This is what I brought home with me this week…

Beets, carrots, kale, cucumbers, lemons, limes, oranges, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, ginger, shallots, garlic, onions, white peaches, white ‘donut’ peaches, apricots, grapefruit, purple grapes and avocados. Not pictured whole wheat pita bread, whole wheat pita chips, jalapeƱo feta (I know right??), a layered feta / sundried tomato / pesto dip, artichoke hummus and beet hummus.

Farmer's Market Haul

Of course, the very first few recipes that run through my mind when I stood back to look at my loot were from Peas and Thank You, a few Deceptively Delicious recipes came to mind too and naturally, Undressed Skeleton. Here are some things I’ve already posted about that will end up happening this week here, and I’ll follow it up with a loose plan for the week.

blackberries, limes, ginger





dip for everything





all berries

lemon, lime, ginger, kale, cucumber

Ideas for this week’s meals and snacks! I will take pictures and post about them next week!

Adding beet puree to whole wheat pancakes (made with flax and almond milk instead of eggs and cow milk) for breakfast is a hit with all of us!
Dressing up rice cakes or flatbread with non dairy ‘cream cheese’ and fruit
Dressing up rice cakes or flatbread with smashed avocado and nuts
Dressing up rice cakes or flatbread with jam and berries
I’m going to swap my berry smoothie for some fresh beet / carrot / apple juice – apparently, it’s amazing (and amazingly healthy, natch)
Whole wheat (from scratch) garlic bread.
Frozen grape skewers topped with non dairy vanilla pudding and dates or prunes or raisins (I haven’t decided yet) šŸ˜‰
Chick pea and kale falafels
Red velvet cupcakes with beets and non dairy ‘cream cheese’ frosting
I will also make some candied carrots for the kids as a side for dinner and mix some beets into mashed potatoes for pink potatoes!
Oh and pies!! I promised my husband pies!
Lemon meringue pie!
Cherry pie!
Blueberry tarts!
Maybe a peach pie too, we’ll see!

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Skinny Poolside Dip


Today I’m linking up with Ladybug Blessings, Hope Studios, A Bowl Full of Lemons, Naptime Creations, Crafty Confessions, Me and My Boys, Mandy’s Recipe Box, Chef in Training, and Pink Sized Baker. Check out some of these link ups. So many recipes and projects to be inspired by!

I use the term ‘skinny’ pretty loosely here, because duh if you eat enough of pretty much anything there’s nothing skinny about it. It should also go without saying that swapping out crackers or flatbread for veggies to dip in this will also totally change what kind of day you have.

It’s at least fair to call it a light dip because if you’d normally be snacking on chips or crackers this dip is a step up with a lot less fat and calories and a little boost of veggies.

Skinny Poolside Dip

‘Skinny’ Poolside Dip

1 chopped red pepper
2 seeded and chopped jalapeƱos (or leave the seeds in if you really want the kick)
1 can of corn (drained)
16 oz fat-free cream cheese (softened)
1 packet ranch dip seasoning mix

Mash up the cream cheese to be sure it’s blended and ready for other add-ins. Stir in the seasoning mix first and when it’s well distributed, add the red pepper and the jalapeƱos. Then fold in the corn. Pop it in the fridge for a few hours for all the flavors to set.

That’s it. Just break out the crisp dipping veggies and some crackers.

I know, right? Too easy! You’re welcome!

Skinny Poolside Dip
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Tissue Paper Puffs

Crafty, Kids

Today, I am linking up with Keeping it Simple, Skip to My Lou, Boogieboard Cottage, Craft-o-Matic, Making the World Cuter and C.R.A.F.T. There are so many creative and fun projects in these link ups!

I have a soft spot for old school birthday parties at home. I mean, yeah we have had a few Chuck E Cheese parties in our day and it’s always really temping to just throw a few hundred dollars at an indoor playspace and hit the bakery but you know me. I … just … can’t. I really love the feeling of a houseful of kids, homemade decorations and a crazy towering homemade cake. Originally, we had planned a party in Santa Monica at Pacific Park and we ended up getting passes for the girls and doing that as a family, and throwing an old school party at home instead.

Wee One #3 invited her little posse of four year olds and when I asked her to pick a color she picked ‘rainbows’ so I went with a mix of mostly primary colors.

These puffs were originally inspired by Martha’s puffs, but these are so much cheaper and so so easy!

Total cost for each puff was only slightly over $1, and these made really big puffs. All you need is a package of tissue paper, a pipe cleaner and a length of ribbon to hang it from. There were 20 pipe cleaners in the package and about 15 yards of ribbon on the spool!

Tissue Paper Puffs
For each:
1 package tisse paper
1 pipe cleaner
1 length ribbon

First flatten out the tissue paper and then accordion fold it until it’s all folded. Secure it in the middle with a pipe cleaner.
Tissue Paper Puffs
Cut points at each edge and then separate all of the layers of tissue paper. This is the most tedious part and it’s not really all that tedious.
Tissue Paper Puffs
Now, hang them up all over your place! If you use an assorted package of paper, you’ll end up with multicolored puffs like these!

Tissue Paper Puffs

I made this cloud-like puff by not cutting points at the edges, all the other steps are the same.

Tissue Paper Puffs

These last two were made with solid sets of paper and the same method as the multicolored ones with the points. So cute!
Tissue Paper Puffs
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Slutty Brownies


Today I’m linking up with Ducks ‘n a Row, Wednesday Whatsits, Fluster Buster, Buns In My Oven, The NY Melrose Family, Gooseberry Patch, Lady Behind the Curtain, Ginger Snap Crafts, Polka Dots on Parade, Sugar and Dots, Lil Luna, Sew Much Ado, and All She Cooks. So many inspiring recipes and crafts in these link ups!

Yes. Slutty. Brownies. I know, I didn’t make it up, but it’s a great name, right?

These brownies involve chocolate chip cookies, Oreos and well, brownies. These treats have been made and blogged about and made again and blogged about again all over everyone’s favorite foodie blogs but as far as I can tell, it was Rosie over at The Londoner that first introduced these to the internet.

Slutty Brownies

Slutty Brownies via The Londoner

chocolate chip cookie dough (use the Good Housekeeping version)
chocolate brownie batter (this is my granny’s recipe)

Does this require a recipe? Really?

I’m going to completely gloss over that you could choose to use a box of cookie mix and a box of brownie mix. I will judge you and be really disappointed in you if you don’t make them from scratch. Just kidding! No but really, I’m totally judging you.

Make a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough and spread it in a greased brownie pan.
Slutty Brownies

Now place Oreos on top!
Slutty Brownies

Whip up a batch of brownie batter and pour it over the cookies! Bake for 30 minutes.
Slutty Brownies

Look what you can do!! How amazing is this? So so very!!
Slutty Brownies


Fancy Hairband Display

Crafty, Kids

Today, I’m linking up with Keeping it Simple, Skip to My Lou, Boogieboard Cottage, Craft-o-Matic, Making the World Cuter, Sumo’s Sweet Stuff, and C.R.A.F.T. There are so many amazing projects in these links ups!

My girls love to get fancy, and this is no surprise to anyone who reads this blog, but in the last year or so, they’ve been reading a lot of Fancy Nancy books. A lot. If you’re not familiar, Fancy Nancy is a sweet character in a series of books (there’s over 50 of them) revolving around her life. She’s a young girl who loves to dress up, she takes ballet, loves butterflies, French words and all things fancy! The illustrations in the books are so full of whimsy, with random feather plumes sticking out of vases and lace trim on almost everything and glitter and cute buttons and and and….all the details are so wonderful.

So now two of my littles are bent on having an uber fancy room with a zillion fancy details. Since their hairbands were living in a cute little basket on a dresser I decided to start there. I was initially just going to spice up the basket they were already using, but we can use baskets for so many other fancy things, right?! I think the best way to go about creating a fancy room is to display as many of their fancy objects (like their crazy cute hairbands) as possible while still storing them in an organized way. I think this nailed it, it’s copied from all the tween shops we have bought these girlie accessories in. So cute!

Fancy Hairband Display

You’ll need…

a cannister large enough so the hairbands don’t slip down, but small enough that you’re not stretching out the bands!
glue gun
decorative paper
sparkly things
whatever cute glittery things you want to add!

First I covered my cannister with plain construction paper to make a plain background to work from. I cut some glittery scrapbooking paper into medium and smallish pieces and hot glued them all over it like a patchwork quilt. Cute!!

Fancy Hairband Display

Then I dug through my crafty box for some lace and flowers and sparkly things and attacked it with the glue gun. I had Wee One #3 coaching me the whole time on how much of what I should be attaching where. It was hilarious how specific she was!

Fancy Hairband Display

Here is the finished project with some of their hairband collection on display! So sweet and now when someone needs a giant blue bow to go with their outfit we’ll know exactly where it is!

Fancy Hairband Display
Fancy Hairband Display
Fancy Hairband Display
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Menu Monday with Cornbread Stuffed JalapeƱos


Menu Monday is back by popular demand – who knew you guys cared about Menu Monday?! Thanks for the emails, ladies! šŸ˜‰ I write out the menu and usually stick it somewhere visible in the kitchen. Wee One #1, who has all of a sudden transformed into a hungry almost teenager, will see something he’s really excited about and ask to rearrange the week (‘can we switch today with Sunday so we can have buttermilk fried chicken, pleeeeease?!’). I went through a year long period of blissful extended vacation when we first moved to California and I would have swapped days without a thought. Sure, I still had laundry for 5 to do and yes we were homeschooling, but I had no real time constraints, nowhere I had no be at any specific time. It started slowly with one little taking Jiu Jitsu a few times a week, then the other two started taking dance a few times a week. Then before we knew it, not only were they getting better at their chosen activities, they were pushing themselves harder and asking to go more often! So now we’re at the dojo 4/5 days a week and at the dance studio 6/7 days a week! I know! We also moved to a much coveted, much bigger apartment, which of course means more cleaning. Duh. So now I find myself unable to mess around with dinners because, for example, while I will be homeschooling all day today (final week stretch woot woot), Wee One #1’s Jiu Jitsu keeps me out exactly when I should be making dinner, so dinner has to be something I can make and finish early and then heat up with no mushy consequence – you know, like stew. When I know I’ll be home all afternoon (like pretty much every Sunday) I can make something that is a serious time and mess investment and it’s all good. Sorry little people, no meal switching. You’ll just have to eat your stew and long for Sunday. šŸ˜‰

Ever since the The Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook entered my life, I have been cooking and baking up all kinds of neat things that (shocking) everyone has loved! Usually at least one person is not 100% happy with dinner, but from this book, they’re all happy. I know. It’s my new favorite thing. I can’t bring myself to post recipes from her book since I have been reading her since the dawn of time (aka 2007), but since she does post some of her cookbook recipes on her blog and I’ll happily post those. More this week!

This week is full of Pioneer Woman goodness, and some other goodness as well. šŸ˜‰ The Cornbread Stuffed JalapeƱos are not a PW recipe, but they’re crazy fantastic! The original poster intended these jalapeƱo poppers to be cheesy jalapeƱo cornbread but switched them up because she’d done the spicy cornbread a zillion times before (I may be paraphrasing). This is one of those things that reminds me of the foodie differences between Canada and The States, I have never had cheesy jalapeƱo cornbread. That’s ok, I’m sure I’ll get the opportunity!

This Week’s Menu June 3 – June 9

Monday – PW beef stew with buttermilk biscuits and lemon meringue pie for dessert

Tuesday – ranch crusted chicken pieces with homestyle french fries & salad, and PW homemade donuts for dessert

Wednesday – PW meatloaf, bacon mashed potatoes and PW roasted cauliflower, and ice cream sundaes for dessert (with tiny fudge brownies)

Thursday – barbecue pork chops, smashed potatoes & candied carrots and samoas cookies for dessert

Friday – spaghetti and meatballs with all-day tomato sauce and PW ‘Knock You Naked’ brownies for dessert

Saturday – chicken Alfredo with cornbread stuffed jalapeƱos, and cinnamon roll cookies for dessert

Sunday – buttermilk fried chicken, mac & cheese, & broccoli and toasted coconut cake for dessert

Cornbread Stuffed JalapeƱos

Cornbread Stuffed JalapeƱos via Oh, Bite It!

12 medium fresh JalapeƱos

1 cornbread mix

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (reserve 1/2 cup for sprinkling on top)

1 cup corn (canned or fresh, whatever)

Cornbread Stuffed JalapeƱos

Clean out your peppers, if you like it spicy leave some of the seeds in, otherwise clean them out. I usually wear gloves when I handle peppers but I didn’t when I made these and yeah my fingers were all burny for about half an hour after. Sigh. Wear gloves, people!

Cornbread Stuffed JalapeƱos Cornbread Stuffed JalapeƱos
Follow the instructions for your cornbread mix, then add in the corn and 1 cup of the cheese.

Cornbread Stuffed JalapeƱos
Now, duh, fill those babies in! When they’re full, sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese on top! Cook at 350 for about 20 minutes and voila!

Cornbread Stuffed JalapeƱos
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