Meatball and Spaghetti Soup

*This is comfort food at it’s finest. Meatball and Spaghetti Soup is the perfect combination of two comfort foods, soup and pasta, mixed into one! It’s a quick and easy dish, and it’s hearty and filling. Your kids will love slurping up the noodles! And maybe adults too ;)*

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Here’s the deal. I know reading blogs is a thing of the past. So 2012. 2010? Either way, we are a visual world. I know that most of you might just scroll past this and not even read what I’m writing, look at a few of the pics, and go right down to the recipe. You will check the ingredients and then, “Hmmm that sounds doable…I’ll have to remember that, Oh wait! I have a new Instagram notification!”

 Meatball and Spaghetti Soup from The Diva Dish 

So basically, I could really say whatever the flying fargin bastage I want. I could tell you the most embarrassing story about my husband, and no one would know. Except my mom, because I think she still reads my blog? Maybe.

Meatball and Spaghetti Soup from The Diva Dish

So for now, mom, and maybe some random person from France, thank you for getting to this point. I know it was painful, and excruciating. Have you ever typed out excruciating? It’s excruciating.

I’m sorry there is no clever hilarious story, but I’m going to be honest. This day light savings thing has me screwed up and Real Housewives of Atlanta is on. I am not thinking straight.

Here is the recipe you’ve all been waiting for….The End.

Meatball and Spaghetti Soup from The Diva Dish

5.0 from 1 reviews
Meatball and Spaghetti Soup
 
Ingredients
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 TB. olive oil
  • 3 TB. tomato paste
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 c. marinara sauce (jarred or homemade)
  • 4 c. vegetable broth
  • 1½ TB. dried basil
  • 1½ TB. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 12 oz. thin spaghetti, uncooked
  • 18-20 cooked meatballs, I used the following recipe:
  • http://thediva-dish.com/dinner/hubby-meals-simple-turkey-meatballs-over-spaghetti-squash/
  • (Can sub for vegetarian meatballs)
  • Parmesan cheese, for topping
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil.
  2. Then add in the onions and garlic. Stir and cook down the mixture until the onions are translucent.
  3. Next add in your tomato paste. Mix it around for about 30 seconds, then add in your crushed tomatoes, marinara sauce, broth, spices, and spaghetti.
  4. Cover and cook soup until the spaghetti is al dente.
  5. Add in the cooked meatballs, cook for an additional 5-10 minutes on low heat, covered.
  6. Serve with parmesan cheese on top, and enjoy!

 

Meatball and Spaghetti Soup from The Diva Dish

A little about this soup. It’s the perfect combination of 2 comfort foods, soup and spaghetti. It makes a lot of leftovers if you have children who eat like birds, which makes for a perfect mommy/daddy lunch!

Don’t forget a side salad to add some veggies to this heavier carb dish, because you also can’t forget the garlic bread! If you make your own meatballs, I LOVE this recipe. It’s my go-to every time. I made the meatballs while the soup was cooking, and then threw them in at the end! It also has veggies in the meatballs, tomato veggie soup, and if you include a side salad, you are on track! It’s the perfect Sunday dinner meal or when you are having guests over. This is a really long paragraph, so hopefully you get my point :).

Meatball and Spaghetti Soup from The Diva Dish

If you made it this far, go ahead and eat some chocolate. You deserve you unique one of a kind son of a gun! Bonjour! xo

The BEST Acai Bowl

From the age of 16 through 20 I worked at smoothie businesses.

One might think this is where my love of ‘healthy living’ developed…But when a pizza place next door starts exchanging you breadsticks for smoothie, well…

The BEST Acai Bowl from The Diva Dish

Also, did you know the majority of smoothie chains make their smoothies with sugary juice and frozen yogurt ice cream? It makes them taste oh so delicious! But it also kind of cancels out the fact that drinking a smoothie is a healthier option.

Does that mean pizza bread sticks could have been a healthier choice?!

I’d like to think so.

The BEST Acai Bowl from The Diva Dish

Hands down one of my ALL TIME favorite smoothies are Acai bowls, which are becoming quite popular.

(Let it be known that I totally like Acai Bowls before they were cool.)

But unlike so many others, I won’t toss my beloved smoothie bowls to the curb when it gets popular. I won’t think of it any different even though it has become quite the media whore.

No. I will love them forever. Why? Because when Acai Bowls are tomorrows news and another health craze becomes the star…I’ll still be there. Just like I was for Kale.

The BEST Acai Bowl from The Diva Dish

One smoothie place I worked for used apple juice and strawberry juice with acai ice cream.

Another used almond milk, vanilla ice cream, and acai smoothie packs.

With the knowledge I have and for the love of all things healthy, I came up with is what I think the BEST Acai Bowl ever.The BEST Acai Bowl from The Diva Dish

But seriously, what makes them so popular? Besides the looks, it’s a great way to make a meal out of a smoothie. You can add fruit, crunchy granola, and a drizzle of funny and eat it all up with a spoon!

It’s mad I tell you, MAD. But once you do it, you won’t be able to stop thinking about it. Then before you know it, you will dream about it, and then well…

The BEST Acai Bowl from The Diva Dish

Then you will make an acai bowl i guess.

Or you will drive to the nearest juice bar and have them make it for you because most likely they will know you by name and exactly what you want. So in order to avoid that embarrassment you will have to make it at home sometimes.

You’re welcome.

The BEST Acai Bowl from The Diva Dish

The BEST Acai Bowl
 
Ingredients
  • 1 acai smoothie packs, I found mine at Costco
  • Handful of frozen strawberries and blueberries
  • 1 frozen banana
  • a little bit of non dairy milk-I used cashew or almond
  • (opt. a little bit of apple juice)
  • 1 TB. agave
  • handful of ice
  • Toppings:
  • chopped fresh strawberries, frozen blueberries, sliced bananas, and a drizzle of honey
Instructions
  1. Add all smoothie ingredients into a blender and add a splash or two of liquid (milk and apple juice.) The less milk, the creamier.
  2. Blend until creamy.
  3. Add toppings to smoothie and dig in with a spoon!

The BEST Acai Bowl from The Diva Dish

The BEST Acai Bowl from The Diva Dish

Would I trade this acai bowl for a box full of breadsticks now a days? I mean…No, but I love bread sticks so…halfsies?

Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts

*My kids request donuts often, and I love baked donuts that I can make from home as a healthier alternative! These are made with pancake mix, so half the work is already done for you! Enjoy these Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts with your kids anytime without the sugar overload!*

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We live somewhat close to a donut shop, and every so often on a  Saturday we will walk over with the kids and get them their favorite chocolate donuts! There is also a green juice place next door, so usually I’ll grab my breakfast there and then stare them down with jealousy as they eat.

It’s a wonderful family tradition.

Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish

I’ve made quite a few baked donuts at home, but I always seem to have a problem with the texture. Especially if I have used bananas in the batter, then I just feel like I’m eating a circle sized banana bread. But lately I’ve been baking with pancake batter, and for some reason the texture has been just perfect!

Light, airy, but still cake like. All that’s missing is a rich chocolate frosting with 1/4 cup of chocolate sprinkles on each donut.

Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish

Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish

Even better, these things bake up in a little over 10 minutes, and you don’t have to wait in a long line only to find out the parent in front of you took the last chocolate donut that would have belonged to your 4 year old. Thank goodness for a game of rock, paper, scissors with your husband to see who has to relay the message to her…#firstworldtoddlerproblems

Speaking of my husband, he ONLY eats glazed donuts. I just. I can’t. It’s all about the cake donut my friends. Am I right?

Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish

Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish

Also, I’ve talked about my love for Kodiak Cakes before, and I swear they aren’t paying me to say this, but they have been my favorite pancake mix to use! I just LOVE the ingredients, so if you haven’t ever tried it, definitely do so!

And while you are at it, drizzle some good quality melted chocolate over the top of your donuts. When the chocolate hardens on the soft donut it’s OH SO GOOD!

Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish

5.0 from 1 reviews
Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts
 
Ingredients
  • 1 c. pancake mix-I used Kodiak Cakes
  • 2 TB. cocoa powder
  • ¼ c. coconut sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 TB. melted coconut oil
  • ½ c. milk of choice
  • ¼ c. mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Whisk the pancake mix, cocoa powder, and coconut sugar together.
  2. Then add the egg, coconut oil, and milk and whisk until combined.
  3. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Grease a donut pan.
  5. Add the batter in a large plastic bag, and then cut the corner off.
  6. Pipe the batter into each donut, filling almost all the way to the top.
  7. (This should make about 5 regular sized donuts.)
  8. Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes.
  9. Let cool and then remove from the pan.
  10. Top with desired toppings~I drizzled some melted white chocolate over and it was delicious!

 

Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish

Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish

In the spirit of Valentines, feel free to sprinkle a touch of pink love on each donut. It appeals to little eyes even more! No pink box needed ;).

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!

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 :)!

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!

Chicken Pesto Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes & Artichokes

*This is probably one of my families favorite meals to eat, and my favorite meal to make. Chicken Pesto Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes & Artichokes. It’s the easiest thing to throw together on a busy weeknight, and it’s great dish when you have to bring meals to others!* 

 

When Boo was first born, I will never forget all of the emotions I was experiencing. Scared, excited, overjoyed, blessed, freaking out, worried, emotional, irrational, tired, delirious, thirsty, and hungry.

And probably 456 other emotions that I can’t remember…

Oh yea, memory loss.

Chicken Pesto Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes & Artichokes, via The Diva Dish. Easy dish for a weeknight, and perfect to bring to others when making dinner for them!

When Boo was about two weeks old, and all of the family had headed back home, I remember feeling like “Oh my gosh…what do I do? How do I take care of her? What if she coughs? How come I can’t hold my pee when I laugh? Also, I am I seeing things or am I just tired?”

My husband was deep in the middle of finals for grad school and I was scared out of my mind every time he left that morning for school. I knew it would be at least 10 hours before I saw him, and probably 6 hours before I talked to him. I was eating random things here and there, and drinking straight from a bottle of cranberry juice…

It was kind of…a beautiful mess. (So to speak.)

Chicken Pesto Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes & Artichokes, via The Diva Dish. Easy dish for a weeknight, and perfect to bring to others when making dinner for them!

I was fully in love with my little new born, but hadn’t quite figured out how to live life as a new mom. I felt alone a lot, but at the same time so comforted knowing that she was always with me.

Then one night when my husband was studying late at school, there was a knock on my apartment door. I opened the door to find a lady and her young daughter smiling so big with handfuls of food. I knew this lady just a little bit from church, and had maybe talked to her once. She had just moved to our area after going through a horrible experience in her life and had ended up living in our apartment complex.

She stood there with this hot pasta dish, bread, a huge salad, and a delicious homemade strawberry pie.

Chicken Pesto Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes & Artichokes, via The Diva Dish. Easy dish for a weeknight, and perfect to bring to others when making dinner for them!

I’m pretty sure I balled my eyes out (and tried not to pee my pants) as she told me she had brought our family dinner because she knew the joys and stresses of being a new mom. As they held sweet Boo in their arms, all I could think about was how in that moment I wasn’t alone, and there was someone watching out for me. And even despite what this beautiful woman was going through, she had found the time to serve someone else, and help someone in need.

I’ll never forget that experience, and to this day I can still taste that strawberry pie.

At the beginning of this month, my girls and I made a goal to bring someone food every week. Not always a full meal, maybe some homemade bread or fresh cookies. For me, food is such a comfort, and I love sharing that with others.

This pasta dish has been one of my tried and true recipes from time to time as I’ve brought dinners to others. It’s SO easy, which is kind of a necessity if you are making dinner for not only YOUR family but someone else’s.

Chicken Pesto Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes & Artichokes, via The Diva Dish. Easy dish for a weeknight, and perfect to bring to others when making dinner for them!

Chicken Pesto Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes & Artichokes
 
This dish is SUPER simple and can come together quickly when you need a quick weeknight dinner! Also, it's the perfect dish to deliver to other families!
Ingredients
  • 1 pound, or a little more, pasta of choice. (The recipe works best with a tortellini pasta filled with cheese.)
  • 1-1½ c. pesto, jarred or fresh (or 1 jar.)
  • 1-2 cups sundried tomatoes, we prefer more 🙂
  • 1-1½ c. chopped canned artichokes
  • 1-2 cups shredded chicken
  • 8 oz mozzarella pears
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Strain pasta and place in a large bowl. Add the pesto, tomatoes, artichokes, and chicken and mix until combined.
  3. Sprinkle the top with the mozzarella pears.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

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Chicken Pesto Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes & Artichokes, via The Diva Dish. Easy dish for a weeknight, and perfect to bring to others when making dinner for them!

I’m so grateful for moments like that. Times where I felt comfort even when I was scared.

Also, I’m grateful I don’t pee my pants any more. Unless I cough, sneeze, jump on a trampoline, and run…

So so grateful.

 

Would you guys like to be apart of something amazing?! Join my girls and I bring others a food of comfort one time each week for at least a month!  Let’s make others feel loved! xoxoxo