Monthly Archives: March 2013

Rice Krispie Easter Treats

I don’t usually post on Fridays, but this was just too cute not to share!

My coworker, Stephanie, brought each of us an Easter treat this morning—little Rice Krispie Easter eggs covered in pastel sprinkles, all wrapped up in adorable packaging. Seriously, how cute are these?!

I love Rice Krispie treats because they’re kid-friendly and super easy to make. And today, I am choosing to believe that they are a nutritious breakfast food (hey, it’s cereal, right?).

This is actually the second Easter-themed Rice Krispie treat I’ve had this week. My in-laws came over on Sunday and brought Olivia a plate of Rice Krispie Easter baskets filled with M&Ms, similar to the ones pictured below, sans coconut. Olivia was thrilled to be allowed to have two of her favorite treats in one!

Photo via

Ok, that’s all I have for today. Just wanted to share these sweet little treats! I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter!

Egg-cellent Easter Tables

This week has been a bit hectic, so today I’m posting an oldie but a goodie! Enjoy!

Yep. I went there. And you know what? I’m not even ashamed of that one! You know what else? I don’t even really like eggs that much (scrambled is okay but never hard boiled). I do, however, like dying them for Easter and decorating my house with them like I suddenly live in a chicken coop.

I was looking online the other day for inspiration on how to use my brightly colored and be-glittered eggs on my Easter table and came across some pretty amazing ideas, some of which actually include eggs. My dining room table is neither big enough nor grand enough to accommodate most of these decorations (seriously, where does the food go? over-the-top doesn’t even begin to describe them), but I have to say, I rather like the one with the egg cups and the Peeps—no eggs, but cute nonetheless!

Photo via Good Housekeeping

Photo via

Photo via

Photo via

Photo via

Photo: Tonya Lee, Guide

Photo via Ladies Home Journal

Six Stylish Toddler Sandals

Last year, I found a pair of green sandals for Olivia on clearance for $4 at Target. She got so many compliments every time she wore them that it kind of became this inside joke with us. Who knew that the cheapest pair of shoes she owned would be the most popular?!

I went back this year to see if I could find the same ones in a larger size but no luck. So I set out to find ones that could compete with the mythical green sandals.

There are some seriously cute sandals out there for toddler girls this year! I’ve rounded up six of my favorites.

Embellished Flower Jelly Sandals at Gap, $16.95

Wakely Sandal at Stride Rite, $30

Flower Sandals at Gymboree, $32.95

Cherokee Jumper Sandal at Target, $14.99

Strappy Neon Sandals by Carters, $16

Navy Espadrilles by OshKosh B’gosh, $18

Shrimp and Grits

My husband is not a fan of grits, but I thought this recipe just might bring him over to the dark side. I was right—he enjoyed every bite, much to his chagrin.

With no cream or flour, this recipe is lighter than what you’ll find in most restaurants but it’s every bit as tasty!

Shrimp and Grits

1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ lemon, juiced
¼ tsp Tabasco sauce
¼ tsp cayenne
4 slices of bacon
¼ red pepper, chopped
¾ cup onion, chopped
1½ cups sliced mushrooms
2 cups water
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup quick grits
1 cup shredded cheddar
1 tbsp butter

1. Combine shrimp, lemon juice, Tabasco sauce, and cayenne; set aside.

2. Cook bacon in a large sauté pan until crispy. Drain on a paper towel, but reserve the drippings in the pan. Crumble bacon and set aside.

3. Add the red pepper, onions, and mushrooms to the bacon drippings and cook until tender. Stir in the shrimp and bacon and cook until the shrimp turns pink.

4. In a medium saucepan, bring water and chicken broth to a boil. Slowly whisk in grits, reduce heat to medium-low, and continue cooking until the grits are thick, about 5 minutes.

5. Remove the grits from heat and stir in cheddar, butter, salt, and pepper.

6. Portion grits into bowls and top each with some of the shrimp and veggie mixture.

Easy Chicken Tostadas

Instant rice and rotisserie chicken make this meal super quick and easy for a busy weeknight. I tweaked a few things from the original recipe (like using brown rice instead of white, wheat tortillas instead of flour, and shredded reduced fat colby jack instead of queso fresco), but the finished product was still delicious. I cut my two year old’s tostada into quarters so it would be easier for her to pick it up, but it was still a bit difficult for her to handle—she ended up just eating the stuff off the top.

Chicken Tostadas with Chipotle Rice

Adapted from Cooking Light

3 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 ½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp salt
1 cup diced tomato
½ cup diced white onion
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 avocado, peeled and diced
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 (6-inch) whole wheat tortillas
2 cups shredded green leaf lettuce
1 (15-ounce) can organic black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups shredded boneless rotisserie chicken breast
¼ cup shredded reduced fat cheese

For the rice:
1 ¾ cups water
1 tbsp butter
2 tsp chipotle seasoning
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
2 cups instant brown rice
1 small can of mild green chiles
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro


1. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add tomato, onion, cilantro, and avocado; toss gently to coat.

2. To make the rice, combine water, chipotle seasoning, salt, and pepper in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add rice and stir gently. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 5-8 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork and stir in the cilantro and green chiles.

3. Heat a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add ¾ tsp oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add 1 tortilla to pan; cook 1 minute on each side or until browned. Repeat procedure 3 times with remaining 2 ¼ tsp oil and tortillas.

4. Place 1 tortilla on each of 4 plates. Layer each tortilla with ½ cup lettuce, about ½ cup beans, ½ cup chicken, ¼ cup avocado salsa, and 1 tbsp cheese.


A Girly Dinosaur Bedroom

Did you see the hilarious T-Rex shirts by Crazy Dog on Zulily last week?









How great are those?! Olivia loves dinosaurs. I can only assume it’s because she occasionally watches Dinosaur Train on PBS. When I saw those shirts on Zulily, it gave me the idea to do a girly dinosaur theme for her new big girl bedroom. So I set about researching to see how doable this idea would be.

Not surprisingly, most dinosaur decor was for boys—lots of blue, green, red, brown, etc. I did, however, manage to find a few girly dinosaur accessories. Here are a few of my favorites!

Wall Art

Etsy shop Designs by Amanda Lee, Dinosaur Print, $30


Alex Marshall Studios lamp from Jack and Jill Boutique, $176


Etsy shop Drummbelina pillow, $21

Wall Decal

Rosenberry Rooms Dancing Dinos wall mural, $89.95

stuffed animal

Land of Nod Rex plush toy, $24.95


Sausage and Lentil Stew

Lentils are a one-pot superstar. They’re low in calories and fat while packing a punch when it comes to fiber, protein, and iron. They sometimes get a bad rep for being difficult to cook, often turning out crunchy or mushy. But if you get the process down, they can be filling and flavorful when cooked correctly. I actually found this recipe on the bag of Safeway brand lentils (go figure), and it’s now one of our cold weather favorites!

Sausage and Lentil Stew

Sausage and Lentil Stew

1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1½ cups chopped carrots
1 lb smoked sausage (I use Hillshire Farms Turkey Polska Kielbasa)
1 lb dried lentils, rinsed thoroughly and drained
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp dried thyme
¼ tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 lb fresh spinach or kale

1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté onions, garlic, and carrots until tender (about 10 minutes).

2. Add sausage, lentils, broth, sage, thyme, pepper, and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or until lentils are barely tender.

3. Stir in spinach or kale and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for another 10 minutes or until lentils are tender. Ladle stew into bowls and serve.

Lentil and Sausage Stew

*Recipe originally from Safeway 

Green Treats for St. Patty’s Day

Bring a little luck of the Irish to your kitchen this Sunday with one of these fun green recipes!

Kale Pesto White Bean Dip from Annie’s Eats

Sneaky Healthy Mint Chip Milkshake from Yummy Mummy Kitchen

Pasta with Basil, Arugula, and Walnut Pesto from Cooking Light

Chocolate Mint Icebox Cupcakes from Two Peas and Their Pod

Honeydew-Cucumber Mojito from Marth Stewart

Edamame Hummus from Babble

Green Velvet Cupcakes from Love from the Oven

My Little Supergirl

Who says girls can’t be superheroes?!

These shirts from Old Navy are BRILLIANT. Mixed in with the Disney Princess, Minnie Mouse, and Hello Kitty T-shirts, you can now find Supergirl and Bat Girl shirts (complete with capes!) in toddler sizes. For some reason, they are not available online, but I was able to find them in store as recent as a week ago.

I love the message this shirt sends to my daughter … almost as much as she loved “flying” around all day!

Homemade Bran Muffins

My mom used to make these bran muffins all the time when I was little. I can still remember running downstairs to the smell of these in the oven and staring through the glass until they were done. Even though this recipe makes a ton (around 5 ½ dozen), the batter lasts in the refrigerator for up to six weeks, so you don’t have to make them all at once.

Homemade Bran Muffins

1 15 oz pkg wheat bran flakes cereal with raisins (I used FiberOne Raisin Bran Clusters)
5 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups sugar
1 tbsp plus 2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
4 eggs, beaten
1 qt buttermilk
1 cup vegetable oil

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Line muffin pans with paper liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.

2. In a very large bowl, combine first 5 ingredients. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.

3. Add eggs, buttermilk, and oil; stir just enough to moisten the dry ingredients. At this point, you can either choose to bake some or all of the muffins, or you can cover the batter and store it in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks.

4. To bake, spoon the batter into muffin cups, filling about 2/3 of the way. Bake for 12-15 minutes.