Doctored Up Red Velvet Cake mix with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Remember when I made this Chocolate Beet Cake?

Chocolate Beet Cake via The Diva Dish

Well, let’s consider that a HEALTHY version, because today I have the HAPPY version…

A Doctored Up Red Velvet Cake Mix w/ Chocolate Buttercream Frosting!

It’s perfect for Valentines Day, or really any day you need to whip up a cake! Which, is like…once a week at least right? This is my GO-TO doctored up cake recipe, I’ve been using it for years. To see the original recipe, GO HERE.

Doctored Up Red Velvet Cake Mix via The Diva Dish IMG_2970 IMG_2972 IMG_2976 IMG_2978 IMG_2982 IMG_2983

Doctored Up Red Velvet Cake Mix w/ Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
 
Ingredients
  • (For the cake)
  • 1 box red velvet cake mix
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1 - 3.9 ounce box chocolate pudding
  • 1 c. vegetable oil
  • ½ c. milk
  • 1 TB. vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 c. dark chocolate chips
  • (Frosting)
  • 2 sticks salted butter, softened
  • 1 TB. vanilla extract
  • 4 c. powdered sugar
  • ½ c. cocoa powder
  • 2-4 TB. milk or heavy whipping cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, add all of your cake ingredients, except the chocolate chips.
  3. Using a hand held beater, mix all of the ingredients together. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Spray your cake pan of choice and add your batter.
  5. Bake for 30-55 minutes. (Depending on the size of the cake pan that you use, the cooking time will vary. So adjust the cooking time accordingly.)
  6. You know the cake is done when you press the middle light with your finger and it bounces back :).
  7. Once it's done cooking, remove from the oven and let cool completely before removing from the pan.
  8. To make the frosting, add the butter to a kitchen aid mixer. Beat the butter until fluffy. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, cocoa powder, and 2 TB. of the milk. Beat until fluffy. Add more milk to thin frosting as needed.
  9. Once the cake has cooled, frost the cake as desired :). Store in the fridge until ready to eat, and then let it sit to bring to room temperature.

 

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Sorry for the cake overload, but it was just too pretty not to photograph! What is your go-to dessert recipe for special occasions. I think I’ve always been a cake/cupcake person because I can whip frosting up in my sleep! I can also eat it without hesitation.

#goals

Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaf

*These Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaves are the perfect meal to make your family on Valentine’s Day! It comes together so easy, and everyone will love seeing a cute little heart on their plate!*

 

Listen. I’m not going to lie to you. Making dinner just sucks.

Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaf via The Diva Dish

Does anybody really enjoy making dinner for a family who 75% of the time won’t touch it? Is it worth the hassle of even checking Pinterest for a ‘weeknight meal’ only to have the energy for Cheerios?

I mean, I get home at 4 from getting my daughter from school. FOUR! That’s basically when I have to start preparing dinner, but who can mentally prepare for that after you do school pick up. With homework, or dance, or soccer, or the ‘I can’t find my dance shoes’  dilemma…Dinner is just so inconvenient ;).

Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaf via The Diva Dish

So I won’t lie and say that every night is a Pinterest night. I just have to mentally tell my self no and save myself the headache. Especially when my husband get’s off work at 8, I just.can.not.

But on the nights where I do try a little harder, the reward is so great. Not for the kids, but for me. Usually that means leftovers, and leftovers means mommy’s lunch, and having something other than your child’s left over sandwich is the best thing ever!

Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaf via The Diva Dish

I will say though, that my oldest two each ate a full sized heart of these cute little meat loafs, which made me re-consider my anti Pinterest dinners…Almost.

Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaf via The Diva Dish

Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaf
 
Ingredients
  • A little more than 1½ pounds of ground turkey
  • ½ c. parmesan
  • ½ c. breadcrumbs
  • 1 package organic ranch dressing seasoning packet
  • 1 egg
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, pressed or chopped
  • ¼ c. milk
  • 1 TB. worcestershire sauce
  • light sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • (Topping Spread)
  • ¾ c. ketchup
  • 2 TB. mustard
  • 2 TB. coconut sugar
  • 1 TB. worcestershire sauce
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven In a bowl, fold together the ingredients for the meatloaf.
  2. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a heart shaped cookie cutter, press the meatloaf into the cutter. Then press the meat out onto the parchment paper.
  3. Bake the meatloaf for 20-25 minutes. (You want the meatloaf to be almost done, but not quite yet.
  4. While the meatloaf is cooking, mix together the sauce for the topping. When you pull the meatloaf out, spread the sauce on top of the hearts.
  5. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until done.

Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaf via The Diva Dish

Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaf via The Diva Dish

So what is your favorite weeknight meal that’s quick, easy, and everybody loves?! Do they exist?!

{EAT} Pressure Cooker Lentil Sweet Potato Curry w/ Barley

I’ve been keeping a secret….

Pressure Cooker Lentil Sweet Potato Curry w/ Barley

I don’t have three kids, I have FOUR.

No, not my husband. Although some of his actions could easily justify him as a child…My fourth child is my Pressure Cooker…

Only this child is sort of my favorite because it doesn’t keep me up at night, talk back, or have a mental breakdown when it can’t find it’s socks. Instead it makes me delicious food that’s fast, easy, and delicious! I guess it’s not really a child, even though I love and nurture it constantly.

It’s more of a nanny or a chef, like the one that Corinne has on The Bachelor ;).

I definitely use my pressure cooker every day, sometimes twice a day! It takes the guesswork out of things like dried beans and barley. It cooks them in half the time without soaking anything overnight. How amazing right?!

Here are some of the things I make using my pressure cooker:

Dried Beans

Rice/Grains

Sweet Potatoes

Butternut Squash

Spaghetti Squash

Chicken, sometimes frozen

Soups

Stews

And this AMAZING CURRY!

Pressure Cooker Lentil Sweet Potato Curry w/ Barley

Pressure Cooker Lentil Sweet Potato Curry
 
Ingredients
  • 2-3 TB. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • ½ tsp. ginger, grated
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 large sweet potato, skinned and chopped.
  • 1 can coconut milk, can substitute light for a lighter version
  • 2½ c. vegetable broth
  • 1 c. dried lentils
  • 3 large TB.Madras Curry Powder, or curry seasoning of choice. Adjust seasoning to desired taste if using another brand.
  • chopped basil for toppings
Instructions
  1. *The directions for this recipe use an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. If you have a different pressure cooker, the cooking instructions may differ slightly.
  2. Turn on pressure cooker to saute setting. Add oil, heat slightly, then add onion and garlic. Continue to toss and cook for 3-4 minutes, then add the ginger. Cook for another minute or so, or until the onions become translucent.
  3. Turn off the pressure cooker.
  4. Next add in all of the ingredients, except the basil.
  5. Mix it together.
  6. Then turn on the pressure cooker to the manual setting.
  7. Set the timer for 20 minutes.
  8. *If you add the sweet potato at the beginning, it will be very soft and washable at 20 minutes. I like it this way in the curry, but if you want it to have more of a bite then set the manual timer for 10 minutes. Don't add the sweet potato. Once it's cooked for 10 minutes, release the steam, add the sweet potato, then set the manual timer for 10 more minutes.
  9. Once it's done, top with basil and serve with rice.

Pressure Cooker Barley
 
To pair this with the curry, you should double or even triple this recipe :). This recipe should serve 2-4.
Ingredients
  • 1 c. dried barley
  • 2¼ c. water
  • dash of salt
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to your pressure cooker. I use an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.
  2. Turn the manual setting on for 25 minutes.
  3. Once it's done, release the steam, and check to make sure it's done. You may need to adjust the time a few minutes to reach desired doneness. Just do this by pressing the manual timer for an additional minute or so, and once it's done release the steam and check again.
  4. Repeat if necessary.

 

Pressure Cooker Lentil Sweet Potato Curry w/ Barley

I am not lying when I say this is probably one of my favorite dishes. It’s so comforting and comes together so effortlessly, which this busy mama needs so bad right now. It’s hard raising three (4) kids and setting aside two hours on Monday for Bachelor/trash tv…

Pressure Cooker Lentil Sweet Potato Curry w/ Barley

The curry that I use in this dish is one of my favorites! It has all the spices that normally go into a curry dish, but mixed into one seasoning! You don’t have to use Madras, there are other curry powders you could buy, but I love Madras the best. Click the title below to find it on Amazon.

MADRAS CURRY

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The Pressure Cooker I use is an Instant Pot. I haven’t had any problems with mine, and they are always going on sale on Amazon! It’s really easy to use and saves time on so many things that can take HOURS to cook, like dried beans and hard grains!

INSTANT POT(THIS IS THE ONE I HAVE)

INSTANT POT (THIS ONE MAKES YOGURT!)

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What are your favorite Pressure Cooker recipes? I would love to hear more ideas!

 

{LAUGH} The Time With The Drive-By

When I think back on my life and ponder as to which moment I would recall as the MOST downright I can never show my face again embarrassing moment, there is one time that keeps popping up in my head.

No, it’s not when I’ve had to drag a toddler out of a store who was screaming and kicking as If I was dragging them to beat the living crap out of them…(Although I’m sure some people really thought that was how THAT situation would end.)

It’s not when I sneezed and then farted the loudest poof of air ever during 7th grade SILENT reading.

It also wasn’t the time when I was so excited to attended my 8th grade graduation swim party and wear my first ever tankini bathing suit…The same bathing suit that just so happened to magically fall off in the wave pool as I stood up in front of my classmates…No that couldn’t be it.

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(Look how happy I was before said incident, thinking I was so hot in that ‘skanky’ tankini…)

It also isn’t when I decided to skip school one day in high school, since my parents were out of town, and my BF at the time decided to join me  And when my BF had to use my bathroom, I mistakingly forgot to flush and my worst nightmare was staring him right in the face as he opened the lid….

OH my! I’m so sorry for that last one…

Sadly, even though those memories haunt me, there is still one that tops all of those…

Sad.

You see, in high school, you could call me a hopeless romantic/stalker romantic. I mean, hallelujah there wasn’t Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snap Chat when I was growing up because…I would have stalked so hard. Unfortunately AIM and MySpace wasn’t enough for this girl, and sometimes you and your best friend just had to take things to another ‘stalker’ kind of level.

I’m not alone here right? I’m not crazy…. Psshhhhh!

I was 18. Yes, 18. Totally mature.

So there was this guy that I kind of sort of had a crush on, and one night my friend and I just got super bored. (UGH!) We decided to drive around in my brand new car that I had just gotten a few weeks before. You can already tell this will be bad can’t you?

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We decided to do a drive by.

IF you don’t know what a drive by is in the definition of a desperate 18 year old girl, it’s driving by your crush’s house to well…just drive by. Not really sure what would the point of a drive by is, but there are pointless things you do as a teenager sometimes.

So as we drove up this large hill to reach his house that was at the top, we noticed he was walking out with his friend to get in his car. CRAP! He’s totally going to know we are stalking him! So, I did what any reasonable stalker would do…We pulled over to the side and ducked down real low.

Well…

We were ‘parked on a hill’, and ducking down. All of the sudden my car crashed as if someone had hit me. I looked up to notice I was no longer where I parked, but I was now down that hill and slammed into a parked car. Also, for some reason, my car wasn’t in PARK. It was in DRIVE!

As I looked in front of me, I noticed the headlights of my crushes car right in front of me. Apparently my accident had prevented them from leaving THEIR street. So what did I have to do?

Get of the car.

“Oh hey…What are you doing here? On YOUR street?”

It was so awkward and so bad. Needless to say, nothing happened between us after that. I think he told someone I was crazy. HA ha…like I’m not, why would he say that?! LIKE, I’M NOT CRAZY!

Also, the guys car I hit was drunk at a party so that was fun…Also telling my dad I just crashed my new car was fun.

THAT NIGHT WAS SO FUN!

 

 

{Healthy} Chocolate Chip Cookies

(To get the recipe for the ‘Happy’ version of our favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies, go HERE.)

It’s no secret that I love making Chocolate Chip Cookies. Every time I get out my big Kitchen Aid mixer and my large bag of chocolate chips, my family knows what is coming!

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

When it came to putting together a healthier recipe, I knew that the cookies had to be just as addicting as the Happy version. I’ve made my fair share of healthy cookies, but I needed this one to stand out…

And more importantly….

I needed my family not to really notice a difference.

 

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies via The Diva Dish

These cookies, in my mind, are healthy. To others they might still be a ‘treat’, and that’s ok. They are packed with wholesome grains, naturally sweetened, and made with coconut oil instead of butter :).

You could skip the chocolate chips, add nuts and raisins…

But raisins in cookies are just so un cool…

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies via The Diva Dish

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 1 c. white whole wheat flour
  • 1 c. unbleached white flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¾ c. coconut oil, softened
  • ½ c. coconut sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 TB. vanilla
  • 1 ripe large banana, mashed
  • 1 c. old fashioned oats
  • 2 c. chocolate chips, carob chips, or chopped dark chocolate
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl fitted with a mixer, add coconut oil and sugar. Beat for 2-3 minutes, or until fluffy. Add egg, and mix in, followed by vanilla.
  4. Next mix in mashed banana.
  5. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture to the wet mixture. Next mix in the oats, and once that is all mixed, then add in the chocolate chips and mix.
  6. Scoop dough onto prepared baking sheet using a small cookie scoop. Flatten the tops of the cookies a little.
  7. Bake for 9-11 minutes. (We like to undercook them slightly, and let harden on the tray.)

 

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies via The Diva Dish

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies via The Diva Dish

(Making her work hard for her cookie!)

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies via The Diva Dish

What other recipes would you like to see Happy and Healthy?! Let me know in the comments below!

{Happy} Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’ve been wanting to share this cookie recipe for a LONG time, because everyone loves a classic chocolate chip cookie recipe right? I’m sure there are a million different recipes for the perfect chocolate chip cookie, and believe me I have tried A LOT of them.

I wanted a recipe that would stick with our family forever. One that my kids would know were their mom’s chocolate chip cookies. A recipe that my friends and family would beg for, where I could hold it over their head hostage and demand their secrets for mine.

And a recipe that wasn’t on the bag of the Nestle Toll House bag… 😉

I’m not going to write a long drawn out post and explain why I love chocolate chip cookies so much, so….

Here you go!

Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies via The Diva Dish

Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies via The Diva Dish

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Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies via The Diva Dish

{Happy} Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 TB. vanilla
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2½ cups flour
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2½-3 cups chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add vanilla and egg yolks one at a time, mixing after each one.
  3. In a separate bowl, add your flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix, then slowly mix into batter until incorporated.
  4. Mix in chocolate chips. (These are full of chocolate chips, so if you want, you can reduce the amount.)
  5. Using a large cookie scoop, measure out cookie dough onto prepared baking sheet (with parchment paper). Using your palm, flatten the tops of the cookies slightly.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes. I like to undertake mine, then let cool on the hot pan for a minute or two before transferring to a wire rack. Careful not to overbake :). Store in an air tight container. Best eating the first 1-3 days.
  7. I also store cookies in the freezer and pull them out in the morning and pack them in my girls lunches. By lunch time they have thawed and are perfect to eat.

 

Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies via The Diva Dish

Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies via The Diva Dish

Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies via The Diva Dish

Do you have a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe? How do you like your cookies? Flat, thick, chewy, crispy, chippy?

Lightened Up Creamy Lime Chicken Noodle Soup

When ever the weather drops down to anything less than 60 degrees, I get out my big ol’ pot and make soup for dinner.

Lightened Up Creamy Lime Chicken Noodle Soup

Soup unfortunately is the one food the 4/5 people in my family loooooaattthhh. I’ve tried everything I can to get them to accept that soup will make an appearance at least once a month. Fancy bowls, cool spoons, funky straws, bowls with built in straws, cheesy sandwiches for dipping, gold fishes for toppings…

My husband still protest every single time. What a picky little turd he is.

But I’ve learned if I play off the textures and flavors that my family likes, I am more likely to get a few sips and slurps. Yes, you heard that right. If I make food that uses ingredients they like, the luck will be in my favor. I don’t know why it took me so long to figure that out.

Lightened Up Creamy Lime Chicken Noodle Soup

So here is what I did: For starters, the noodles.

THESE egg noodles have been a game changer. They are the perfect thick and chewy noodle that taste as almost if you made them yourself. But you didn’t, because it’s 2016 and no mother has time to do that right?

My kids will usually eat the noodles no problem. I say usually, because kids USUALLY don’t do the same awesome thing more than twice.

Next, the flavors.

Adding cream just makes everything taste better. I might have started to buy heavy cream more often than I’m proud to admit. Have you ever drank heavy cream? I mean, no one has right? That would be absurd. This soup is a little lighter and uses light coconut milk, but no one noticed. I however did. No bloating for me! T.M.I.

What about limes? It just takes this soup to a whole new level, a level that makes my husband’s taco truck heart flutter. He loves Mexican food so much that I have limes, cilantro and salsa on hand all the time. And heavy cream.

Because…I don’t mind the bloat every so often…

Lightened Up Creamy Lime Chicken Noodle Soup

Lightened Up Creamy Lime Chicken Noodle Soup
 
Ingredients
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 3 TB. olive oil or butter
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 large celery sticks, chopped
  • 3 TB. flour
  • 10 c. chicken or vegetable broth, or 5 boullion cubes
  • 2 cans light coconut milk
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded (about 2 cups)
  • 1 package egg noodles, thawed for about 2-3 hours before hand, then separated and placed on a plate.
  • ⅓ c. shredded parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4-6 limes
  • cilantro or parsley for topping
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, heat oil or butter. Add in onion and garlic. Toss and cook for 3-4 minutes or until translucent. Next add in carrots and celery. Toss and stir for about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle on flour, continually stir and whisk the flour for about 30 seconds.
  3. Pour in water slowly, while whisking flour. Continue to whisk. Let soup come to a a boil. Whisk in coconut milk, reduce to a simmer and cover for 10 minutes.
  4. Add in egg noodles, stir every so often so that the noodles don't stick to the bottom of the pan. Cover and let cook for about 10 minutes, or until the noodles are al dente. Add in chicken, seasonings and cheese.
  5. Stir and serve.
  6. squeeze ½ lime per bowl of soup.
  7. Top with tortilla chips, fresh herbs, more cheese, etc.

Lightened Up Creamy Lime Chicken Noodle Soup

So…..What’s your favorite kind of soup and how do you get your kids/husband to eat it? Share all the details/tricks/manipulations with me!

 

Christmas Tree 2016

I know I don’t typically share stuff like this, but over the past couple years I’ve been addicted to decorating my Christmas tree! I’ve slowly been adding to my Christmas stash each year, and my husband will find Hobby Lobby and Michaels bags hidden through out the house starting in October. He loves it.

That being said, I thought I would share our Christmas tree(s) each year, just as a little fun thing. And yes, I said trees plural. Currently we have two, the one pictured and another white tree with pink, blue, and silver. It’s the girls’ tree, and I let them decorate it because they aren’t allowed to touch mine haha!!

So here it is, my Christmas Tree for 2016 :)!

Christmas Tree 2016 via The Diva Dish

Christmas Tree 2016 via The Diva Dish

Christmas Tree 2016 via The Diva Dish

Christmas Tree 2016 via The Diva Dish

Christmas Tree 2016 via The Diva Dish

Christmas Tree 2016 via The Diva Dish

My Christmas tree was THIS one from Walmart, and I love it!

As for my ornaments, I’ve collected over the years from different local stores and craft stores. And if my husband asks, that ornaments not new, I’ve totally had it forever ;).

Merry Christmas!

Healthier Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Casserole

There are a handful of reasons why there is no need to make anything healthy when it comes to Holiday dinners. For starters, its a Holiday. Splurge, go all out, pull a Joey and wear maternity pants!

We all have that one dish we look forward to every Holiday dinner. Mine are the rolls and mashed potatoes. Two of the healthiest things on the menu. Wheat and vegetables as I like to call it.

 

HEALTHIER SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE VIA THE DIVA DISH

But you see, sometimes it’s a good idea to balance out the indulgent recipes and healthier recipes…for me at least. For my husband, hecks no.

So let me tell you what happened the other day…

I was at the library with all three of my kids at 4:30 in the afternoon. I know. Anyways, I was doing my best to lasso them up so we could leave when a lady came up to me and said, “Excuse me…”

In my mind I had figured she was going to say one of two things,  “Your kids are just so cute, I don’t know how to do it raising three good little obedient girls!” Or…

“Girl, what the hell were you thinking! Get these kids in check!”

HEALTHIER SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE VIA THE DIVA DISH

Instead she said…

“So, I’m not a lesbian or anything but girl you have a nice ass! You’ve got a big booty, I’m so jealous!”

I was so flattered and kind of embarrassed thinking those tight Lululemon leggings were a mistake, but I quickly replied, ” Oh if I could, I would give my big booty to you!”

In a non sexual way. Like a plastic surgical kind of way. I need to leave. Immediately.

HEALTHIER SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE VIA THE DIVA DISH

I’m not quite sure what it necessarily has to do with this Healthier Sweet Potato Casserole, but let’s just assume for a second that sometimes when you’ve been blessed with extra junk in the trunk…I’m all for a healthier side dish at Thanksgiving!

HEALTHIER SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE VIA THE DIVA DISH

Healthier Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Casserole
 
Ingredients
  • 2-3 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 c. pumpkin puree
  • 1 TB. molasses
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. milk of choice
  • 1 tsp.pumpkin pie spice
  • sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • ½ c. coconut sugar
  • (For the topping)
  • 2 TB. softened/room temp coconut oil
  • 3 TB. coconut sugar
  • 1 heaping TB. flour
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ c. pecans, measured, then finely chopped
  • ½ c. mini marshmallows
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. Wash your sweet potatoes, stab them with a fork multiple times, and bake them in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until soft. You can also skin, dice, and boil your sweet potatoes until soft as well!
  3. Once they are cooked and cooled, remove the skin (if you roasted them), and place in a medium bowl. Mash them together. You want about 2 cups of puree.
  4. Add in the rest of your ingredients, minus the toppings.
  5. Mash together until smooth.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  7. Grease a 8x8 baking dish, and add your sweet potato mixture to it. Gently smooth it on top.
  8. In a separate bowl, add your toppings (minus marshmallows) and mash together with a fork.
  9. Sprinkle toppings evenly on top of casserole.
  10. Bake for 20, remove from the oven, then sprinkle marshmallows on top, and place back in the oven for 10 more minutes.
  11. Once done, remove and let cool slightly! Then serve and enjoy!

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving Holiday!!

Pumpkin Butternut Chicken Noodle Soup

We all know that when it comes to accomplishing certain tasks, if you throw a few children in the mix things can tend to get…tricky.

For example, walking out the door. What should be a simple thing which requires little to no brain activity can turn into one of the biggest trials of November. One lost shoe, 15 minutes late, someone has a dirty diaper, you just noticed you aren’t wearing a bra…and then FUDGE! Where are your keys?

Every parent says FUDGE when they want to swear but can’t. Unless your me, then you say shit. Then your baby says shit. That your 6 your old says, “Mom! The baby said shit!”

FUDGE.

Pumpkin Butternut Chicken Noodle Soup via The Diva Dish

Let me talk about this morning for example. We’ve all been so lucky to get that extra hour of sleep this weekend, unless you have children. Because now they wake up at 5:45 instead of 6:45, and you went to bed at 10:45…(technically 11:45, but you figured you would get that extra hour in the morning.) Think.Again.

We just happened to have an extra hour this morning before we had to leave for school! An extra hour never happens, and then your mind starts to wonder about all of the marvelous things you could accomplish if you had time like this EVERY DAY!

You could shower, curl your hair, wear matching clothes, find your kids shoes in time…

cute baby messy kitchennaughty baby

I decided to do a yoga video. I’m trying to embrace Yoga as of lately because of stress. I’m hoping it will calm me, as well as get me toned in all the areas that seem to have just given up.

So I popped in a TWENTY minute yoga video. To some, this seems so insignificant, but to a busy mom, twenty minutes is basically like asking for Milo Ventimiglia from ‘This Is Us’ to show up at your door unannounced with chocolate. (P.S. why do I want to say his last name all the time?)

5 minutes in, things got dark. The baby was SCREAMING. I have no idea, but I’m pretty sure it was for no reason at all. She climbed all over me yelling in my ear as I tried my best to twist side to side and feel that deep stretch. In between screams I could hear, “Ahhhh. Just breath…”

And then, just like that, with FOUR minutes to spare I hear a cry up stairs, “MMOOOOM! COME WIPE ME!” For real.

“Honey, I can’t! I’m “exercising!” Give me 4 minutes!”

“But it’s DIARRHEA!!”

Baby screaming. Lady breathing. Kid yelling.

FUDGE.

Pumpkin Butternut Chicken Noodle Soup

This is why I make soup. Why, you ask? Because soup is something I love, something that comes together SO quickly. I can make a big pot with whatever vegetables I want and can store it in the fridge for a few days of lunch. Then I can store the other half in the freezer for my lunches next week.

Because sometimes as a mom, you don’t have time to think about yourself. Sometimes, it’s nice to have a meal ready for you in the fridge when you need it. So, hence this soup. It’s warm, comforting, and has vegetables in it! Just make sure everyone is wiped and the baby is napping before you sit down to eat…because we all know what happens when moms try to sit down…

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Pumpkin Butternut Chicken Noodle Soup
 
Ingredients
  • 2 TB. olive oil
  • ½ large sweet onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1½ c. chopped carrots
  • 3 c. diced butternut squash
  • ½ c. milk of choice
  • 1 c. pumpkin puree
  • 12 cups water
  • 6 boullion cubes
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 7-14 oz pasta
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dash of pumpkin pie spice
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil.
  2. Add onions and garlic. Cook until translucent.
  3. Add carrots and butternut. Continue to toss and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add in milk, pumpkin puree, water, and boullion cubes.
  5. Stir and come to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and let cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until vegetables are soft. Next add in pasta and chicken, along with spices. Cook until pasta is slightly undercooked/al dente. (The pasta will continue to retain water as it sits.)
  6. Serve hot and enjoy!
  7. (The pasta I used was rather large and took about a lot of the soup, that's why I say 7 oz-14 oz, depending on pasta size and shape.)

pasta

The pasta I used was this CUTE pasta I purchased from Trader Joes! Those little pumpkins were the perfect match for this soup. But If you do use this pasta, be careful because it get’s rather large. I think next time I might only use 3/4 of the bag. To find the pasta, you can purchase it here: (affiliate link)

 

So tell me busy moms/dads/persons, what do you do to find time for YOU? I specifically struggling when it comes to exercise, so let me know when and how you fit it in! Have a great week!!