Walnut Berry Protein Smoothie + Our Kitchen Before Pictures!

*Need a quick snack for your hungry littles, or even yourself? This Walnut Berry Smoothie is the perfect treat to keep those bellies full!*

I’ve discovered over the past month that there is not only ONE but TWO places near my house that make Acai bowls. You know those smoothie bowls topped with fresh fruit, granola, and a drizzle of honey?

I’ve been back and forth to both locations because I don’t want to embarrass myself with how many acai bowls I’m really eating. Gosh dang…They are just so good.

Walnut Berry Protein Smoothie from The Diva Dish

Unfortunately a regular bowl is just shy under TEN DOLLARS, and after 4 visits in a week your husband will start to question your insanity. I’ve tried to make my own acai bowl at home, especially since I used to make them in high school when I worked at a smoothie place…I’m like a pro.

But by the time I go to the grocery store to buy the acai, my kids all of the sudden act like a pack of wild kangaroos raised them, I forgot my list at home, and the store feels like it’s 115 inside and I begin to sweat profusely. And then I’m pregnant, so that basically means my mind is a bowl of spaghetti.

NOW do you see husband?!?

Walnut Berry Protein Smoothie from The Diva Dish

SO, I’ve been trying to make my own versions at home using what I have on hand LIKE A RESPONSIBLE ADULT…and I recently found a combination that I LOVE.

Smoothies are such a staple in my household, we are basically addicted to them. They are just so quick and you can add whatever you want depending on how you are feeling.

In this case, my girls asked for a pink smoothie, so I did my best and aimed to please.

Walnut Berry Protein Smoothie from The Diva Dish

Sadly it was purple and they were pissed.

Thank goodness for Princess Sofia the First and her purple obsession!

Walnut Berry Protein Smoothie from The Diva Dish

Walnut Berry Protein Smoothie
 
Ingredients
  • 1 c. almond milk, unsweetened
  • ⅓ c. yogurt of choice, I used plain greek yogurt for more protein
  • ¼ c. frozen strawberries
  • ¼ c. frozen blueberries
  • ¼ c. frozen raspberries
  • ¼ c. frozen dark sweet cherries
  • 1 heaping TB. walnuts
  • 1 heaping TB. chia seeds
  • 1 TB. honey
  • ½ c. ice
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until creamy.
  2. Serve immediately.
  3. Optional: Top with your favorite toppings, like fresh fruit, granola, and a drizzle of honey!
  4. Serves 2 littles and one mama (For a snack)

 

Walnut Berry Protein Smoothie from The Diva Dish

Walnut Berry Protein Smoothie from The Diva Dish

Walnut Berry Protein Smoothie from The Diva Dish

This is great as an afternoon snack, bedtime snack, or ‘I just need a snack’. You can definitely make this to be like an acai bowl and top with your favorite granola, fruit, and honey! But if your like me, you forgot the granola along with the acai…

Nailed it.

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Side note:

We are re-doing our downstairs in our home!! :) (Yes, we are having a baby in two weeks lol!) I know this isn’t a DIY blog, but who doesn’t love before and afters right?!

We don’t have the after just yet, but I do have really crappy before pictures!

Before: kitchen/ The Diva Dish

Yup! That’s our fridge in our living room!

Before: kitchen/ The Diva Dish

Before: kitchen/ The Diva Dish

I’m excited to show you the after!

Have a great week!

Life/Baby/Blog Update!

I’ve needed to do a Life/Baby/Blog update for quite sometime, so I decided to do a little video blog to fill you guys in :). So much easier than writing a whole blog post, I must say!

By the way, recording myself talk about…myself…Just awkward. Luckily I had a very talkative 4 year old right by my side!

Seriously though friends…Thank you! I love this blog and I consider you guys my BFF’s :).

Breakfast Ice Cream!

I’m always trying to get creative with food for my girls, but with the least effort possible. That’s ok right?

Healthy Ice Cream, For Breakfast! Two Ingredients, Protein Packed, Mom Approved! the diva-dish.com

Healthy Ice Cream, For Breakfast! Two Ingredients, Protein Packed, Mom Approved! the diva-dish.com

Morning rolls around and frankly, I’m just not in the mood to be creative. I stayed up way too late the night before watching The Bachelor and Google-ing things like, “How come I’m so hormonal at 36 weeks pregnant?”

Then the sun rises and I hear the little pitter patter of feet come to the side of my bed and little tiny voices saying, “Mom…Mom…Can we watch Princess Videos on your phone?”

Yes babies. Until 10:30, then wake Mommy up my sweethearts.

Healthy Ice Cream, For Breakfast! Two Ingredients, Protein Packed, Mom Approved! the diva-dish.com

Healthy Ice Cream, For Breakfast! Two Ingredients, Protein Packed, Mom Approved! the diva-dish.com

I love morning time with my girls, but as they get older I’m seeing how our morning routines are getting shorter and ending quicker. What used to be roll out of bed and watch Mickey has turned into…Run down stairs and eat, grab your clothes and let’s head to school. (And not be late again for the 56th time.)

As hard as some days are, I can’t help but get emotional (no seriously, I can’t help it) knowing that the first thing they want in the morning is to come and see me. Or my phone.

But let’s just go with me.

Healthy Ice Cream, For Breakfast! Two Ingredients, Protein Packed, Mom Approved! the diva-dish.com

Healthy Ice Cream, For Breakfast! Two Ingredients, Protein Packed, Mom Approved! the diva-dish.com

So we’ve been trying new things for breakfast, and not turning it into such a ho-hum, let’s go rush to school kind of morning. Making it just a little more special than a smoothie or a quick bowl of cereal, but still the same amount of time!

Healthy Ice Cream, For Breakfast! Two Ingredients, Protein Packed, Mom Approved! the diva-dish.com

And this breakfast can be made at 6 a.m. when the sunrises, or at 10:30 when your kids have watched 3 movies and let you sleep in…

It taste delicious no matter what time it is!

Healthy Ice Cream, For Breakfast! Two Ingredients, Protein Packed, Mom Approved! the diva-dish.com

Breakfast Ice Cream
 
Ingredients
  • 1 c. plain greek yogurt
  • Honey to taste
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Toppings of choice
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, mix together yogurt and honey to taste. (It all depends on how sweet you like it.)
  2. Using an ice cube tray, add yogurt to individual cubes.
  3. Freeze yogurt cubes for at least two hours or until frozen. (Overnight is perfect, so that way it's ready in the morning.)
  4. When ready, add yogurt to a food processor or blender, plus vanilla.
  5. Turn on the machine and let the yogurt come to ice cream consistency. If needed add a few splashes of milk. (Careful, too much milk will make it not so thick.)
  6. Eat immediately, or store in an air tight container in the freezer until ready to eat. (If you store the ice cream in the freezer, allow it to thaw a few minutes before eating.)
  7. Top with your favorite breakfast toppings and enjoy!!

Made with Love using Chobani :).

Healthy Ice Cream, For Breakfast! Two Ingredients, Protein Packed, Mom Approved! the diva-dish.com

What I love about this breakfast is that it’s full of protein, naturally sweetened, and it makes for a sweet and unexpected treat in the morning. You can dress it up any way you like, even with colorful sprinkles!

To make this quick in the morning, freeze the cubes the night before so all you have to do is pop it in a food processor or blender in the morning and you are ready to go!

Healthy Ice Cream, For Breakfast! Two Ingredients, Protein Packed, Mom Approved! the diva-dish.com

Healthy Ice Cream, For Breakfast! Two Ingredients, Protein Packed, Mom Approved! the diva-dish.com

Healthy Ice Cream, For Breakfast! Two Ingredients, Protein Packed, Mom Approved! the diva-dish.com

I swear, Greek yogurt is one of my favorite foods right now! It’s just so versatile, and you can create so many fun recipes with it! Not to mention it’s full of amazing benefits, including protein, which is sometimes hard to get kids to eat enough of!

Healthy Ice Cream, For Breakfast! Two Ingredients, Protein Packed, Mom Approved! the diva-dish.com

Healthy Ice Cream, For Breakfast! Two Ingredients, Protein Packed, Mom Approved! the diva-dish.com

Healthy Ice Cream, For Breakfast! Two Ingredients, Protein Packed, Mom Approved! the diva-dish.com

Healthy Ice Cream, For Breakfast! Two Ingredients, Protein Packed, Mom Approved! the diva-dish.com

Cheers to Ice Cream for Breakfast!

 

Preschool Lunch Ideas

When my oldest started going to preschool, one of the things I was most excited about was packing her lunch.

And maybe the break too.

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

I loved the idea of packing her food that she would be excited about and all the other kids would be…I don’t want to say jealous, but I kind of want to say jealous.

Her first year of preschool when she initially started I remember going ALL out. Like cutting things in shapes, making themed lunches, and putting a lot of effort into her lunch.

But then my youngest at the time was becoming more needy, life became more busy, and I just became too tired.

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

(Sidenote: Isn’t she the most beautiful think ever? We are in trouble.)

After that I had to have a realization with myself that her lunches didn’t have to be fancy/time consuming (or PIN worthy), but they could still be quick, simple, healthy, and toddler approved.

Fast forward to now I’m a busy mom of two with one on the way, which technically makes me a lot slower. I have a hard working husband and bags under my eyes.

Most likely I haven’t prepared anything the night before, and we are running late because a certain someone refuses to change out of the Elsa pajamas.

So lunch prep has to be quick.

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

Here is my lunch DISCLAIMER :) :

My oldest is SUPER picky, so I try to appeal to her taste/preferences when she has lunch at school because I’m not there to monitor how much/what she eats.

I try to add one new thing a week, just letting her slowly try different foods.

Her lunches don’t always have vegetables. It all depends on what I have on hand, and if I don’t pack a veggie she likes, then I will make sure to incorporate veggies later on that day. (Snack/dinner time.)

I pack sweets. Some are homemade, and some aren’t. She LOVES chocolate/which chocolate chips, so that’s usually her ‘treat’.

 

Here are 12 lunches that I prepared at the start of this school year. Again, nothing fancy. Just simple/quick/healthy/toddler approved.

1- Grapes, Carrots + Dip, White Chocolate Chips, Nut mix, PB + J Sandwiches

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

2-Sunflower seeds, Hummus Sandwich, Grapes, Raspberries, Fig Bar, Blueberry Greek Yogurt

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

3- Turkey, Mozzarella Cheese, Baby Tomatoes, Crackers, Berries, White Chocolate Chips

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

4- Grapes, PB+Honey+Banana+Cinnamon Sandwich, Shredded Mozz. Cheese, Carrots + Dip

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

5- Dehydrated Snap Peas, Shredded Chicken, Salad w/ tomatoes and croutons, Blueberries, White Chocolate Chips. (My daughter LOVES salad!)

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

6-Apples, Blueberries, Sun Chips, Bagel w/ PB +Honey+ Cream Cheese + Cinnamon, Tomato slices, White Chocolate Chips

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

7- (Halloween Theme), Peanut Butter Spider Crackers, Tortilla chips, Bat cheese, Blueberries, Candy Corn, White Chocolate Chips, Carrots + Dip. (I wanted to use guacamole but my avocados were bad when I opened them!)

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

8- Cute Oranges, Homemade Biscuit Turkey + Cheese Sandwich, Carrots, Dehydrated Snap Peas, Craisins, Sugar Cookie

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

9- Dehydrated Snap Peas, Hazelnut Butter, White Chocolate Chips, Cutie Oranges, Turkey

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

10- Blueberries, Plain Greek Yogurt + Honey, Chocolate Chips, Dehydrated Snap Peas, Pretzel Sticks, Cucumbers +Dip

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

11- Blueberries, Shredded Chicken, Chocolate Chips, Ants on A Log, Pretzels

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

12- Berries, Chocolate Chip Cookie, Cream Cheese + Crackers, Applesauce

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

Like I said, nothing fancy :)!

What do you pack your kids for lunch? This coming fall I’ll be making two lunches, I’ll definitely have to post more of those experiences because my girls have WAY different food preferences :)!

Healthy Banilla Peanut Butter Milkshake

I don’t know about you guys, but this is kind of how I feel after the holidays…

Tired, chocolate all over my face, hair in a bun because I’ve been doing lots of “relaxing”…

It’s not pretty.

Healthy Banilla Peanut Butter Milkshake, The Diva Dish

I know in years past I’ve written out a few things I learned the previous year, and goals that I wished to accomplish the following year. But I won’t do that today.

Because I’m really bad at deadlines and goals.

And because I said I was working on a breakfast e-book last May, and I hoped to have it done by the start of the school year 2014.

And It’s not done. Not even close.

I actually didn’t make a ‘list’ of goals for this year because If there is anything the year 2014 taught me it’s that things happen, and plans go out the window, and most likely we won’t be prepared for things to come.

How’s that for motivation?

Healthy Banilla Peanut Butter Milkshake, The Diva Dish

Let’s cut the Debby Downer crap and say even though this was a ‘harder’ year for me (and maybe some of you too), I was tremendously blessed and I think I may have turned into a grown up.

Almost.

Bachelor starts Monday, so there’s that.

Healthy Banilla Peanut Butter Milkshake, The Diva Dish

SO whatever this year may bring, I say Bring It On! If there is ONE thing I’ve learned this year it’s that no matter what, things will be ok and work out for the best.

Unless of coarse there really is a chocolate shortage like everyone is talking about, then by all means START FREAKING OUT!

And don’t forget to drink a lot of milkshakes. Healthy ones and some not so healthy ones ;)!

Healthy Banilla Peanut Butter Milkshake, The Diva Dish

Healthy Banilla Peanut Butter Milkshake
 
Vegan, Diary Free, GF, Healthy
Ingredients
  • 1 large banana cut into slices and frozen
  • 1 spoonful of natural peanut butter
  • 2 tsp. good quality vanilla extract, or vanilla bean paste
  • dash of salt
  • a few splashes of non dairy milk
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients in a blender and blend until nice and creamy!
  2. Sip through a straw or eat with a spoon! Enjoy!

Healthy Banilla Peanut Butter Milkshake, The Diva Dish

I promise I’m going to start working hard on that e-book! I already have TEN recipes, but I really want to have at least 25. So if there are any special breakfast request, let me know! The goal for this book is quick, healthy, easy, kid friendly, and of coarse delish! :)

Healthy Banilla Peanut Butter Milkshake, The Diva Dish

P.S.

I also swear I’m going to work on painting my nails more often. #nomorechippednailpolish

P.P.S

Im having a baby in like a month or so?! AHHHH! I can’t wait to kiss that little baby’s face!

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Excuse me if this post doesn’t make any sense. That Frozen movie is on in the background, and well, I’m repeating line for line in my head along with trying to type this up.

Do you wanna build an artichoke dip?

Protein Packed, Veggie Full, Kid Approved Spinach Artichoke Dip (Made Healthier!) From The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

Where was I?

If you are new here to The Diva Dish I’ll fill you in a quick bit on my family. I have two little daughters, who some how have become WAY smarter and sassier than I ever could be. I love them so much it hurts! I also have another daughter on the way this February!! I’m married to the hardest working babe I know, and he could eat every single day of his life LOVES McDonalds.

And…This is a healthy lifestyle blog.

Protein Packed, Veggie Full, Kid Approved Spinach Artichoke Dip (Made Healthier!) From The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

I get a lot of emails and comments from parents who feel like they don’t know what to do because their little one “just won’t eat healthy”, or “only loves macaroni and cheese!” They wonder how on earth I do it, and why I am so lucky to have kids who love vegetables and are disgusted from fried food and cheesy noodles.

All I have to say is…

Dang! I must be a good liar! ;)

Protein Packed, Veggie Full, Kid Approved Spinach Artichoke Dip (Made Healthier!) From The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

I’m here to break the news to you my friends….My kids are NOT good eaters.

Their picky-ness and my desire to raise my family living a healthy lifestyle is why I started this blog in the first place. I knew that there were others out there struggling with the same issues I was, and I wanted to share my successes and well..my fails.

Protein Packed, Veggie Full, Kid Approved Spinach Artichoke Dip (Made Healthier!) From The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

So here’s the deal, Let it go. OMG, sorry…Frozen.

But seriously, I’ve learned to ease up a little. If I stress and cry and force feed, it never ends pretty. If I spend 75 minutes making this healthy incredibly stressful dinner, I most likely will have each child take two or three bites and then they are done. SO I keep it simple.

I’ve made a wide range of food for them, but I’ve paid close attention to which types of ‘foods’ and healthier foods they prefer/enjoy.

For example, my oldest doesn’t like things too salty, too sweet, mushed together, or funny looking. My youngest is the opposite. She likes flavors and will try almost anything. But she eats like a bird, so when I feed her I try and make sure it’s filling and full of fats/proteins/etc.

Doing that has allowed me to play with their food preferences and make some of the food they love and prefer a little healthier.

Protein Packed, Veggie Full, Kid Approved Spinach Artichoke Dip (Made Healthier!) From The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

So WHY artichoke dip?

Protein Packed, Veggie Full, Kid Approved Spinach Artichoke Dip (Made Healthier!) From The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

A while back we were eating at a restaurant with family when someone ordered spinach artichoke dip as an appetizer. When it came I joked with my 4 year old (the flavor/mushed together food hater) if she wanted to try some. She shockingly did, and ate bite after bite.

Now here’s the deal.

Spinach artichoke dip at restaurants are most likely not healthy. There is probably a lot of butter, cream, unhealthier fats, and lots of cheese stuffed in there. So do I stop her from eating it?

NO.

She’s not on a diet. She’s a growing girl, and a picky eater. Are some fats and a lot of butter going to just RUIN her? Of coarse not.

Protein Packed, Veggie Full, Kid Approved Spinach Artichoke Dip (Made Healthier!) From The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

I think we tend to get too ‘healthy crazy’, almost to the point where we forget that our kids are growing and NEED substance. I’ve had a hard time in the beginning because I was trying to watch what I ate, and keep things light not super heavy. But kids can’t survive off salads, smoothies, lettuce wraps, chicken and veggies.  (Honestly, I can’t either. I need chocolate!)

So here is my ‘healthier’ version of spinach artichoke dip. It has healthy fats, veggies, protein, etc. Everything our growing kiddos need! And, adults with chipped red nail polish too, of coarse!

Protein Packed, Veggie Full, Kid Approved Spinach Artichoke Dip (Made Healthier!) From The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

5.0 from 2 reviews
Spinach Artichoke Dip (Healthier)
 
By The Diva Dish
Ingredients
  • 3 TB. coconut oil
  • 3-4 TB. minced fresh garlic
  • One 10 ounce packaged frozen spinach, drained and thawed (Can use fresh spinach)
  • 1 can artichokes, drained and roughly chopped
  • 3 TB. coconut oil
  • 3 TB. flour
  • 1 can light coconut milk (13-14 ounces)
  • 1 c. plain greek yogurt
  • 1 c. grated parmesan cheese (can experiment with ½ c.)
  • salt & pepper
  • Parmesan cheese grated for the top (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a sauce pan add your 3 TB. coconut oil and melt.
  2. Then add in your garlic and cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes.
  3. Next add in your spinach and toss into the garlic/oil mixture.
  4. Cook over medium/high heat for about 3-5 minutes.
  5. Add the cooked spinach to a strainer and strain the juices back into the pan. (Press the spinach to get it all out.)
  6. In the same pan, add your artichokes.
  7. On medium/high heat, cook the artichokes for a few minutes until they have some color on them.
  8. Remove the artichokes from the pan and place on a plate and set aside.
  9. In the same pan, add the other 3 TB. of coconut oil and flour. (Reduce heat to medium.)
  10. Whisk together until a paste forms.
  11. Then slowly whisk in the coconut milk.
  12. Continue to whisk on medium heat, or a little higher, until the mixture becomes thick.
  13. Next whisk in greek yogurt and combine until creamy, followed by the parmesan cheese.
  14. Stir until everything is melted and combined.
  15. Sprinkle a little bit of salt and pepper in.
  16. Next, fold in the spinach and artichokes.
  17. Pour mixture into a greased baking dish, 9x9 or which ever size you prefer.
  18. Eat immediately, OR top the dip with a little extra shredded parmesan and bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

 

Protein Packed, Veggie Full, Kid Approved Spinach Artichoke Dip (Made Healthier!) From The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

I served this at my parents house and everyone ate them with baked pita chips, but my 4 year old loves them with salty tortilla chips! Who knew?! You could easily dip carrots or cucumbers in this too, which I think would be a great alternative to the bread.

But…Bread is so good.

Protein Packed, Veggie Full, Kid Approved Spinach Artichoke Dip (Made Healthier!) From The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

Protein Packed, Veggie Full, Kid Approved Spinach Artichoke Dip (Made Healthier!) From The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

Protein Packed, Veggie Full, Kid Approved Spinach Artichoke Dip (Made Healthier!) From The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

I probably should go fix my nail polish while my girls are napping huh? That’s right. The girls are asleep and Frozen is still on. I don’t even know who I am any more…

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I’d love to hear about your kiddos, their food preferences, and if they are picky or not and what you do with them to encourage them to eat!

Orange Rolls

It’s not December is it? Because my girls are still wearing their Halloween Costumes, and I think my husband just threw away out our pumpkins last week.

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Although, I feel like it is December because we’ve had treat after treat being dropped off at our house and I’ve been consuming more than enough peppermint, eggnog, and gingerbread sugary treats.

I’ve learned that being pregnant in December is just cruel, because you already have food aversions to healthy foods, and carbs and sweets are the ONLY thing that sounds good. Throw in the cold weather, which equals sweat pants and oversized sweaters and well…

HOLY CRAP. I now have a baby bump in the front….

And in the trunk.

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Fast forward to cinnamon rolls.

My daughter and I have this cooking bond, which is my most favorite thing in the whole wide world. She will watch cooking shows, look at food pictures, and be right beside me in the kitchen.

Lately her and I have been recording every episode of The Pioneer Woman. Boo loves her show the most, and I think because a lot of her food looks.so.good!

That and she has horses, dogs, a farm, and usually dessert ready to eat when desired. Every 4 year olds dream right?!

And mine.

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During one episode she made these delicious orange rolls that seemed SO easy to make. I loved how she made everything in a pot, and I could let the dough sit in the fridge for two days and pull it out when we needed.

Of coarse her rolls are amazingly delicious as is, but I decided I wanted to play around with the ingredients to see if I could make them using coconut oil and sugar.

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I’ve made cinnamon rolls before using those ingredients, so I was excited to try this version with a citrus twist! I think cinnamon rolls are the perfect Christmas morning breakfast, and Orange rolls seem even better!

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My little helper. She snacked on blueberries while spreading the marmalade. And by snacked I mean ate the entire thing.

She’s currently at a pack a day. I’m worried.

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One thing I’ve always done with cinnamon rolls is cut them using dental floss. It’s something my high school boyfriends mom taught me. (HI!!)  She was a great cook, and I would often try and help her in the kitchen.

Then we would all joke how I was a horrible cook.

And now I have a food blog.

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The great thing about these rolls is that the dough can sit in the fridge for at least a day or two, so if you want fresh warm rolls in the morning, you don’t have to start the rising process at 3 a.m. All it requires is about an hour of rising, so now you can start at 5 am. (Because who sleeps in on Christmas morning?!)

Oh yea, my husband.

Ba Humbug.

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I’m so glad that Christmas morning is only two weeks away, because I don’t think I can wait any longer to have something sweet!

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Oh wait…Is that the doorbell?

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Orange Rolls
 
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman's Orange Rolls
Ingredients
  • 2 c. full fat coconut milk, regular milk, or milk of choice
  • ½ c. coconut oil
  • ½ c. coconut sugar or maple sugar
  • 1 pkg. active dry yeast
  • 4 cups, plus ½ c. extra reserved, flour. (You can do half whole wheat half all purpose)
  • ½ tsp. heaping baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ TB. salt
  • Melted coconut oil for the inside
  • coconut sugar for the inside
  • orange marmalade (a natural brand)
  • cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves for the inside
  • sprinkle of salt for the inside
Instructions
  1. To make the dough:
  2. In a pot over the stove, heat milk, oil, and sugar.
  3. Whisk together and heat just until the mixture begins to boil. Then remove from heat and let cool until the mixture reaches 110 degrees. I use a candy thermometer.
  4. When it's cooled down so it's warm but not hot, sprinkle the yeast over the top.
  5. Let it sit for a few minutes.
  6. Then add in the four cups of flour, and stir together with a wooden spoon. Be careful not to over mix too much.
  7. Let the lid sit on top of the pot in a warm place and let it rise for at least an hour. You want it to almost double.
  8. Once that happens, then add in the remaining ½ flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir together.
  9. You can make the rolls immediately, or cover and put in the fridge for the next morning, or a day or two later.
  10. When you are ready to make the rolls, get the dough out of the fridge and roll it into a large rectangular shape.
  11. Spread a layer of orange marmalade over top the dough, followed by some melted coconut oil to coat the entire surface. Then sprinkle on some coconut sugar, followed by a sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground cloves. (I didn't measure, I just kind of sprinkled over the top until it was coated. (Not heavily with spices, but just enough.)
  12. Begin to roll the dough, starting with one side and working your way to the other.
  13. Cut the rolls and place on a baking sheet.
  14. Let the rolls rise for at least an hour. (If the dough isn't cold from the fridge it might not take that long.)
  15. Bake the rolls at 375 for 15-18 minutes, or until desired. (We like ours a little under cooked.)
  16. Top with the glaze or frosting of choice immediately.
  17. For the glaze I used the pioneer woman's recipe, only because my husband insisted, but you can use a healthier recipe by using cream cheese, some honey, orange juice, vanilla, and orange zest!

For the original recipe go HERE on the Pioneer Womans site.

For a healthy frosting recipe, check this out HERE on Naturally Sweet Recipes.

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My husband insisted if I was making the rolls ‘healthier, (as if I was putting kale in them), he wanted the original frosting. He was in charge of pouring it on and well…they were swimming in it.

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I removed the rolls onto a separate tray so they didn’t become soft little pillows of sugar. Although, that sounds good.

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I promise I’ll post a non-sweet recipe next time. Something with kale. :)

 

Mini Pancake Muffins (Pumpkin)

Who doesn’t love pancakes in the morning?! What if we turned them into Mini Pancake Muffins perfect for those little hands! (And not to mention, perfect to eat when time is short!) Keep reading for the recipe!

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I’ve never understood people that don’t eat breakfast, or aren’t very hungry in the morning. I feel like they can’t be trusted…

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I go to bed thinking about what I’m going to have for breakfast, I wake up in the middle of the night wanting that breakfast, and I get up in the morning rushing to go eat that breakfast. Almost before I do anything, like put my glasses on. Or get my children out of their bed.

Luckily for me, my girls are just as excited about breakfast, and usually remind me at 6 in the morning it’s time to get up RIGHT THIS SECOND and make it for them because they might pass out of starvation.

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My four year is the most particular about the foods she eats, so I usually get asked every morning if she can have Cheerios, water, and five pounds of blueberries. As easy as it is to sometimes let her get her way, I’m trying my best to offer her different suggestions. (And let’s be honest, blueberries aren’t cheap when you buy them by the pounds…)

I usually can do pancakes with her, but not waffles. Unless I lie and tell her it’s a pancake, then I’m in the clear. But don’t add blueberries to the batter because she will react as if you cut off all her hair in the middle of the night while she was sleeping. Dramatic? No, total reality. She definitely doesn’t get it from me…

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So I took a big leap of faith and decided to make muffins out of pancake batter. I thought it would be fun to make them bite because for some reason kids LOVE mini foods! I added a few chocolate chips on top, which was a risk, but it definitely went over well. I also thought about making these banana muffins, which you could do, but I bought 47 cans at the beginning of pumpkin season so I’m trying my best to use those up!

Oh boy…these were good!

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My girls dipped theirs in pure maple syrup, but you could definitely drizzle it on top as well! Even adding a little melted butter or coconut oil on top would be heavenly!

These, my friends are 4 year old dramatic princess approved!

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Mini Pancake Muffins (Pumpkin)
 
Ingredients
  • 2 c. pancake mix, I used kodiak cakes protein pancakes because they have the best ingredients
  • 1 c. milk of choice
  • 1 chia egg=1 TB. chia seeds mixed w/ 3 TB. cold water. (let sit for 5 minutes.) OR one egg
  • ½ c. coconut sugar
  • ¼ c. melted coconut oil
  • 1 c. pumpkin puree-Can sub mashed banana
  • 1 TB. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 TB. pure vanilla extract
  • Chocolate chips to top muffins with
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until combined. (Leave out the chocolate chips.)
  2. Spray a mini muffin pan with oil, or use mini muffin liners. Add batter to the pan, filling about ¾ full. Top with a few chocolate chips.
  3. Bake in the oven at 350 for 18-20 minutes, or until they are done.
  4. *If using an egg, these may cook faster than if using a chia egg, so watch muffins carefully!)

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Just looking at these muffins makes me hungry for 2nd breakfast!

Wait, what? You don’t have 2nd breakfasts? Oh…It must be a 29 weeks pregnant thing than right?

Right????!!! ;)

Hint of Coconut Overnight Baked French Toast

With the holidays approaching, that means a lot of family will be staying together and spending lots of time with each other! So I love the idea of having an Overnight Baked French Toast ready in the morning for everyone to enjoy together!

Unless being around a lot of family is overwhelming and you are perfectly fine waking up at 445 to eat a bowl of cereal quietly to yourself with no one disturbing you…I’ve never done that.

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Speaking of family, my parents came for the weekend! (You aren’t overwhelming mom, I promise!) They cleaned my house, fixed things here and there, hung pictures, washed and folded my laundry, gave us food, and babysat my kids. I just sat all weekend, it was lovely.

My parents always leave my house so exhausted, I don’t understand..

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I wanted to do something nice for them, since I basically turned everything over to them, and the one (only?) way I know how to say thank you is through food. I wanted to have homemade cake, muffins, dinner ready, and fresh bread on the counter for when they got here. But I forgot how much energy it takes for me to find the flour in my pantry and I had to go with plan B.

Breakfast.

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I didn’t want to be slaving over a hot stove making pancakes for everyone, because no one gets to eat together, especially the one ‘slaving’ :). So I love the idea of baked french toast, because it’s ready all at once and we can all enjoy it together!

Speaking of love, have you tried this vanilla paste? I swear it has changed the way my baked goods taste! Can I drink it? No, because it’s like $15 a bottle and I wouldn’t want to waste it…

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You can also change up the flavors and make it however you and your family would like, especially the syrup! Homemade syrups are the best!

And while everyone is happily enjoying your homemade breakfast, you can sneak away and go back to bed and no one will know. Unless your 4 year old finds you…

Busted!

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Hint of Coconut Overnight French Toast
 
Ingredients
  • 1 loaf whole wheat french bread, cinnamon french bread, etc. (Stale is good!)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • ¾ c. buttermilk (non dairy if needed, add 1 tsp. vinegar to non dairy milk)
  • ¾ c. milk (non dairy if needed)
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 TB. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 TB. vanilla extract
  • 1.4 c. coconut sugar or honey
  • ½ c. unsweetened coconut
Instructions
  1. Tear apart bread and place into a greased 9x13 baking dish.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients until combined. Pour liquid over the bread cubes, and toss just a little bit to make sure all of the bread is coated.
  3. Cover and place in the fridge overnight to make in the morning. (I left mine in for two days, and it still turned out fine!)
  4. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 and bake un-covered for about 30-35 minutes.
  5. Serve warm with a drizzle of melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and more coconut!

 

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Do you have a favorite holiday breakfast? Share with me in the comments below, I would love to hear your family traditions!

My Imperfectly Perfect Life

I have to tell ya…Hitting the “New Post” button on my blog felt SO weird and comforting at the same time. I’ve really missed opening my computer and sharing my love of health, with a little glimpse of my crazy beautiful life, and my overly dramatic personality…

It’s been too long my friends. Way too long.

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Someone close to me recently told me that I portray myself having this perfect life in my posts/FB statuses/Instagram, but in reality my life isn’t so. Like I’ve been fake…It was a little bit of an “ouch…really?” I feel like I’ve tried to be as real as I can on social media and my blog post. I think I have done my best to share the good most definitely, but I also feel that I’ve been open with sharing some of the bad and the ugly. (We are entitled to some privacy right?) :)

I know that social media can be a place where we don’t always show the reality of life, but I’ve always looked at this blog and my social media outlets as a place of positivity.  A place of comfort, strength, passion, common ground for others, and definitely a place of reality.

So that had me thinking, and since then I’ve been eager to share a little bit of reality of my well…Imperfectly Perfect life.

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It’s been about a month since I’ve been present here on The Diva Dish, and before that I was touch and go. Truth is my friends, we all have touch days/months/years. Times where it’s like, “Ok, can I really take much more?!” Times where we think everything is falling apart and there is NO way we can pick ourselves.

This has been one of those years.

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There has been a lot of loved ones lost this year, a lot of financial difficulties, relationships have been tried and tested between family members, friends, and my marriage. I’ve felt alone, lost, and even like a terrible mother and wife. I’ve seen loved ones struggle more than ever before, and I’ve been hurt by people who I respected and loved.

BUT…

There is always a but!

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I’ve also been blessed so much. I was able to get pregnant and continue to stay at home and raise my two baby girls. I’ve had many opportunities to see prayers answered by my loving Heavenly Father when I most needed them. I’ve learned the true value of friendship, and have seen many serve and sacrifice to help myself and my family out in many ways. I’ve learned that there is nothing better than a phone call of comfort from my mom or dad. And I have never felt closer to God than I do now…

I’ve become a lot stronger and so much more confident in myself than ever before, something which I’ve struggled with for a while. I know that I can do hard things, and I am doing the best I can to be a great mother, wife, friend, and woman.

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Why am I sharing this?

Not just to say that my life isn’t perfect, because I know that I’ve expressed that before.

What I really wanted to share was that life can be extremely difficult. We all go through things unimaginable, and no trial compares. It’s easy to get wrapped up in other peoples lives, thinking that their grass is greener (or their house is cleaner!)

But even in times of darkness, there is light. I’ve learned this so much this year. Even if it’s just a smile and an “I wove you!” from my two year old, or an “I’m so happy mom!” from my 4 year old. There IS light. Some days there will be more than others…But I know that we are strong, we are loved, and that no one is living a fairy tale.

More of like a broadway show, ya know :)!

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There will be multiple days of messy houses, laundry piles for DAYS, tantrums, toys on the floor, (and even some food!) And there will be nights where we order a pizza and eat three slices with ranch dressing and not feel bad about it..(And then have a bowl of rice krispies later that night!)

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And then there will be times where our world is turned upside down. Times where we fall and we don’t really want to get up, and we need help.

It’s so important to love others because we really don’t know what burdens others are carrying. Look for opportunities to serve and love others…

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And look for times where there is a little (or a lot) of light…

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I love you my friends and I’m grateful you have stuck with me this far during this year. I love this blog and I love all those who have supported me! Please know that despite the challenges this year has brought, we are doing GOOD! We are so blessed in more ways than we can count!

I’m so happy it’s the Holiday season! I can’t wait to eat more pumpkin and have hot chocolate by a sparkly christmas tree! With a large pile of laundry next to me of coarse :)!