Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Balls

We’ve all heard about those kind of kids…

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The ones whose pictures float across the internet of them covered in diaper cream while standing in a gallon of spilled milk. Or THAT kid who flush wallets, watches, and other valuables down the toilet…Or worse yet, swallows them.

Or how about that kids who screams like a baby piglet when they don’t get their way in the store…seriously? Whose child is that?

Before I had kids, I remember thinking to my self, “How on earth did that child end up in THAT situation?! Wasn’t anyone watching the kid?” (For example; diaper cream switch.) Or, “Seriously, those parents are the WORST parents ever to have that screaming kid! If that was my child…”

And then one day, I birthed THAT child.

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The child who finds her self in the most unbelievable messiest situations when I run to the bathroom. The child who shoves a pearl in her ear. The child who screams like a piglet when she wants G-U-M at the store…

The child who whenever they see a glass full of liquid HAS to dump it all over my open and perfectly working computer…And then play with it.

AND THEN, when you take that computer to the store to get fixed, said child throws a major tantrum on the floor because she wanted G-U-FLIPPEN-M.

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I love THAT child.

I love that child’s multiple kisses and hugs. I love her funny phrases, songs, and noises, (most of them.)

I love that child’s bubbly, bright, and silly personality. That sneaky smile and the way she closes her eyes, bows her head, and folds those chubby arms when she says her prayers.

I love that child more than life it self…

Even if she cost me $234983749.98 to fix my dang computer. (And all my pictures, videos, programs…etc.) #yup

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Dear child,

Please continue to be THAT child. And I promise I’ll continue to be one of THOSE parents.

xo-

Mommy

Now…For some much needed cookie dough balls ya?

(I shared a picture of these cookies on my Facebook page and the results were outstanding! I knew I had to share the recipe with all of you! xo)

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Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Balls
 
These don't last long in our household! They are perfect for a quick pick me up, since they are full of protein! They also work great for treats in kids school lunches! Either way you eat, enjoy!
Ingredients
  • 1 c. raw peanuts
  • ½ c. oats
  • 2 TB. honey
  • 2 TB. maple syrup
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ c. chocolate chips (or more if needed)
Instructions
  1. In a food processor or blender, add peanuts and blend until a fine flour comes together to form a dough. (Don't process after that or you will get peanut butter!!) Note: Don't process all ingredients together because the mixture won't turn out. You will get a cookie crumble, which is totally fine, but it won't form into balls!
  2. Next add the rest of the ingredients, besides chocolate chips, and blend until combined. (Not too much blending!)
  3. Add the chocolate chips and pulse a few times to mix.
  4. Using a small cookie scoop, make balls and keep in the fridge or freezer!
  5. Makes 14-16 small balls!

 

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THAT child loves these PB cookie dough balls.

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And THAT child makes a huge mess when she eats them, and then dumps her milk all over the place to top it off…

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I love that child.

Kids Macaroni & Cheese

Since the beginning, I’ve always been a ‘food based blog’. I started out as cupcakes, next was just desserts, and then I went healthy. All.Over.The.Place. Right?

Kids Mac n' Cheese! Secret ingredient is CARROT puree to up the nutrients for your kiddos! Recipe from The Diva Dish!

I love blogging about food and healthy meal ideas, but recently I’ve been thinking of ideas of how I want to do more than just blog about food. Obviously food is a huge part of living a healthy lifestyle, but I also believe so many other aspects go into health, and happiness. I want to stretch this blog a little more and focus on the idea of ‘health & happiness’ as a whole…and not just food.

(Did I repeat myself?)

I haven’t fully decided what that means, but I am hoping that over the summer The Diva Dish will be able to find it’s voice. Whether that means more of this or that I don’t know…But food will always be a big part of this, so don’t worry. 🙂

How many times can I say the word food in this post?

Kids Mac n' Cheese! Secret ingredient is CARROT puree to up the nutrients for your kiddos! Recipe from The Diva Dish!

 

A small part of that change will be sharing more of a reality as to what my kids really do eat. Pretty recipes and “true stories” can only convince you guys so much right?! I mean…Do my kids REALLY eat healthy? Have they ever even had boxed Mac n Cheese?!

Yes and Yes.

Kids Mac n' Cheese! Secret ingredient is CARROT puree to up the nutrients for your kiddos! Recipe from The Diva Dish!

 

Sometimes I get worried to post a recipe that has cheese or a high amount of calories because it may not be considered “completely healthy” and then the world will think I’m a FRAUD!! But here right now, I will tell you my kids eat cheese. And some of their meals are probably high in calories…

One important thing I’ve learned with my kids is that they are growing and their body needs food and it’s nutrients to grow. Their body doesn’t need fat free, calorie-less foods. They need the fats, proteins, carbs, etc. to help their brains and bones!

Kids Mac n' Cheese! Secret ingredient is CARROT puree to up the nutrients for your kiddos! Recipe from The Diva Dish!

 

Mac N’Cheese is always a kid favorite, and I’m not going to lie, making it from a box can save a lot of time. But on the days where I have a little more time, I love to make homemade mac! It last us for the next couple of lunches, which is one of the things I love about it!

Switching up the pasta shapes is always fun for kids, but I love adding in orange-colored pureed veggies to really up the nutrients! This dish has carrot puree, which brings out a subtle sweetness to it! And, carrots are orange, fake cheese is kind of orange…soooo….

Win Win!

Kids Mac n' Cheese! Secret ingredient is CARROT puree to up the nutrients for your kiddos! Recipe from The Diva Dish!

 

Kids Macaroni & Cheese
 
Ingredients
  • salt
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 12 ounces pasta of choice
  • 1 TB. butter or coconut oil
  • 1½ TB. flour (can use whole wheat, spelt, all purpose, etc.)
  • 1 tsp. ground mustard powder
  • 1 12 ounce can evaporated milk (or other milk of choice)
  • 2 c. sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • For the Topping (optional)
  • 1 TB. coconut oil
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. tumeric
  • ¼ c. bread crumbs (fresh)
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the carrots until tender.
  2. While the carrots are cooking you can make your topping.
  3. Melt the oil in a pan, then add the rest of the ingredients for the topping. Whisk together for a minute or so then remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Remove the carrots when they are done with a slotted spoon and transfer to a blender.
  5. Add the pasta to that same pot/water. Cook pasta until tender. Reserve 1¼ cup of pasta water, then drain the pasta. Add the water to the carrots in the blender.
  6. Puree the carrots until smooth.
  7. In a sauce pan melt your butter/oil on medium heat. Whisk in the flour and mustard powder and continue to whisk for 1 minute.
  8. Then whisk in the evaporated milk and carrot puree until smooth.
  9. Simmer the mixture until it has slightly thickened.
  10. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese until it has melted. Fold in the pasta!
  11. Serve into individual bowls and top with crunchy topping!

 

Kids Mac n' Cheese! Secret ingredient is CARROT puree to up the nutrients for your kiddos! Recipe from The Diva Dish!

 

As for us parents, don’t be ashamed to eat a little mac n’ cheese! Serve this along side fresh veggies and a large salad and you are great!

Kids Mac n' Cheese! Secret ingredient is CARROT puree to up the nutrients for your kiddos! Recipe from The Diva Dish!

For the record, Carrots > Fake Cheese.

 

What would you like to see more of on The Diva Dish?! I Would LOVE your input!!

 

Popeye Spinach Juice

We are now three weeks into summer ‘break’ with my girls, and I’m ready for September.

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Not because I don’t love being with my girls all day, but I’m over the 110 degree weather (and it will get worse). And…As much as I love swimming every day, I don’t. Unless it’s on a beach, of coarse.

Throughout the day, the girls and I get really thirsty, and I’m always looking for new ways to rehydrate without plain water. Lemonade is always a requested choice, but I would love something that offered a little more nutrition. Then I was reminded about THIS drink that I had a few weeks back, and knew I had to recreate it.

I could have gotten in my car and just ordered one for myself. But it’s 110…I don’t drive in 110. Unless it’s to a place where my body will be in water…

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Popeye Spinach Juice
 
Ingredients
  • 2 navel oranges
  • 3 handfuls spinach
  • 2 limes
Instructions
  1. Juice all ingredients in your juicer, not blender.
  2. Drink immediately, and serve over ice. (Make sure all of your ingredients are cold before juicing!)

 

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I haven’t tried this drink with other greens or citrus but I have a feeling it would taste great with lemon too!

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Now i’m off to blow up  a large inflatable Disney Princess Pool in 110 degree weather and try not to pass out.

Wish me luck!

Homemade Bread

Let me share a story with you about breadsticks…

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We were young, thin, and energetic, and we went to dinner at Olive Garden. That’s where you go when you live in Rexburg, Idaho. That or Wingers. Or Jack in the Crack.

I remember being so nervous and thinking, “Ok I’ll only eat one breadstick, because if I eat more than one he’s going to thing I’m this out of control pig right?…” We sat down to order, and of coarse I asked for the soup and salad like a lady. Then, came my husband (BF). He ordered this seafood Alfredo pasta with a side of alfredo sauce and extra breadsticks.

First thought…

No making out tonight.

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Our meal was brought out to us, and we casually began to eat, flirt, and eat. I remember sitting there watching him pound bread stick after bread stick, as he dipped each bite into a bowl of warm alfredo sauce.  “Another basket sir?”, said the waiter. “Why yes, thank you!”, said the boyfriend.

SIX baskets later, he was done.

Six baskets of bread, three extra servings of alfredo sauce, one seafood alfredo, and the most garlicky sea food breath one could ever imagine.

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Want to know the worst part of the whole story…He weighs like 140 pounds. Feel free to shout at the screen, because IT’S JUST NOT FAIR!

To this day, he is still the same way. Anything he loves food wise, he goes crazy. I have to buy it or make it in bulk, because quickly it will be gone. Especially homemade bread. I usually reserve a loaf just for him, because late at night I’ll hear, “Babe? Will you toast me some bread with butter and honey? Oh, and could you get me a glass of chocolate milk too?”

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So far, I’ve been making THIS homemade bread from I Heart Nap Time, and it’s worked perfectly every time! Our family loves it! Obviously this is a healthy lifestyle blog, and the recipe calls for butter, white flour, and a little sugar, which might contradict someone’s idea of “healthy.” But I’ve always felt that making something from scratch in your own kitchen is always better than buying it at a grocery store, so I’m perfectly fine with making the bread with the ingredients that the recipe calls for.

BUT, I love a challenge, and I decided to see if I could up the nutrients a little and make it a little more “wholesome.”

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I was worried that the ingredients I added would completely mess up the bread, but it came out beautifully! I know that baking bread is a scary thing, but i’ve learned that practice makes perfect. I’ve finally learned how to proof yeast after years of failing. Honestly it was all trial and error, and sadly lots of errors. Play around with water temperatures, and make sure that the water is warm enough to wear you can stick your finger in it for a few seconds without it being too hot.

As for the bread rising, I’ve learned that the place it rises is crucial.

Since it’s 110 where I live, (Jealous?), I open the window and place the bread/yeast on a chair next to the door. It worked perfectly! (I just leave the door open long enough until my husband notices I’m letting out  all of the cool air…)

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And besides, who doesn’t love to bake bread in a hot oven when it’s 110 outside?!

Am I right, or what?!

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Homemade Bread
 
Ingredients
  • 2 c. warm water
  • 2½ tsp. yeast
  • ½ TB. sugar
  • ¼ c. melted coconut oil
  • 1 TB. salt
  • ¼ c. coconut sugar-or organic sugar
  • ⅓ c. evaporated milk
  • 5-7 c. bread flour
  • 4 TB. ground flax seeds
  • 3 TB. chia seeds
  • 4 TB. quinoa flour
  • 4 TB. oat flour
  • 1 TB. melted coconut oil
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl whisk together yeast and sugar. Add warm water over the top and whisk for a couple of seconds Set aside for 15-20 minutes until the yeast rises and become bubbly and frothy. (Place this mixture next to a warm area, such as by a window with sunlight.)
  2. In a mixing bowl fitted with a stand mixer, add the oil, salt, sugar, and milk. Whisk together. Then add the yeast mixture and whisk together.
  3. Attach the bread hook to the stand mixer. Slowly add in 3 cups of the bread flour, kneading until incorporated.
  4. Next add in the flax seeds, chia seeds, quinoa flour, and oat flour. Knead, until incorporated.
  5. Then, using ½ c. measurements, slowly add in flour until the dough is somewhat sticky, but doesn't stick to your fingers.
  6. Remove the dough from the bowl, knead a little if needed. Form dough into a bowl, coat with the 1 TB. melted coconut oil.
  7. Place the dough into a bowl, cover with a light towel, and place in a warm area.
  8. Allow the dough to double in size, about an hour and a half.
  9. Punch the dough down after its doubled.
  10. Knead the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough in half.
  11. Rough each dough into a rectangle, then roll it up into a loaf.
  12. Spray a bread pan with cooking oil, place the loaf into the pan, cover with a light towel, and let the dough rise until it's come about the top of the pan.
  13. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.
  14. Top with coconut oil.
  15. Enjoy!

 

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I also made little rolls out of the loaf, and they turned out great for lunch sandwiches!

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So now that my husband turned 30 this year, I told him all of those breadsticks and other food he loves is going to eventually catch up to him…And then he will come running to me saying, “Oh babe! You were so right! Please help me to eat healthier! I love you I love you I love you!! “…

Any day now…Any day…

Sweet Lime Chicken

The very first ‘home cooked’ meal I ever made my husband was chicken. It was disgusting.

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I remember calling my mom every 5 minutes, “Wait, so how do I know when the chicken is done? It’s been in for an hour?”

It was done alright.

I have this fear of undercooking meat, so I tend to go overboard and make sure that it’s really cooked. I remember the look on my husbands face when he first tried my chicken. It was like, “I know we just got married and all but how can I tell my new wife that she’s the worst cook and I wish my mom was here?….”

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Sadly it finally took me a couple years before I started cooking chicken the right way. That’s right…A couple of years. Exactly how many chicken dishes did husband have to force down during that time, I don’t know…But now I know his exact face when I make something that doesn’t taste the best. I always follow that look up with a, “Whaaaaaaat?! What’s wrong with THIS dinner?!”

The secret for cooking chicken, in my eyes, is to buy a meat thermometer. That kitchen tool right there has saved my life.

As for the chicken breast, they say it’s done when the internal temperature reaches 165. So I always cook the chicken to about 160 degrees, and then I pull it out of the oven, cover it with foil, and let it continue to cook a little more. I also make sure the breast are thin and even. It doesn’t cook evenly if one side of the breast is super thick, and the other is super thin.

Bored yet?

Ok, here is the recipe:

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Sweet Lime Chicken
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • Chicken Breast or Tenders, desired amount
  • Olive Oil
  • Limes (3-4)
  • Lime Zest of 1-2 limes.
  • Coconut Sugar or Honey
  • Paprika
  • Cumin
  • Oregano
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • *There are no measurements for this recipe
  • Optional: Top chicken with chopped cilantro
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add your chicken to a baking dish large enough to where the chicken isn't too crowded together.
  3. Drizzle olive oil on top of the chicken. (Enough olive oil to coat the entire top of the chicken. It's ok to be somewhat generous.) Then Squeeze your limes onto the chicken. (I used 1 and a half limes per side. Don't be shy. Squeeze enough juice to coat entire tops of chicken.)
  4. Grate lime zest over the chicken, one lime per side.
  5. Sprinkle coconut sugar on top of chicken, enough to coat entire top of chicken. If using honey, drizzle on top. Use enough to coat lightly.
  6. Do the same with the remaining spices, paprika, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Be generous.
  7. Flip the chicken, and do the same to the other side ; olive oil, sweetener, and spices.
  8. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until internal temperature is close to 165 degrees. Cover at let sit for at least 5-10 minutes after baking to let the flavors come together.
  9. Top chicken with chopped cilantro.

 

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My next food to learn how to cook is steak.(P.S. I have a food blog?)  I usually don’t eat steak, but my husband loves it. I feel bad that I rarely cook it for him…Sadly I feel even worse when I DO cook it for him. Let’s just say there is NO red in the middle, and the outside has this ‘char’ to it. Crispaaaaayyyy!

 

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But if my husband asked me to make him chocolate cake, well by all means…It would be fantastic!

Citrus Creamsicle Smoothie/Milkshake

There was a time when I went to Costco and bought a large sack of grapefruit because I was determined to loose 15 pounds.

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I planned out my morning to where I’d eat that grapefruit cut in half  and eat it with a silver spoon, and watch my metabolism kick start and burn that fat away. The very first morning I tried it, I took a bite of that grapefruit and thought…

&%#$

That’s disgusting.

Then I read you could sprinkle a little sugar on top to take away the tartness. So I tried that.

A sprinkle on top turned into a spoonful of sugar with each bite, and well the only thing that kick started that morning was my attention span.

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Sure, most people enjoy grapefruit in the morning. It’s tart but sweet, and the perfect way to start the day. I look at it as, it’s like drinking straight lime juice and 13 minutes later I’m completely starving. It just doesn’t work for me. But I can eat an entire watermelon and feel completely full till noonOddly enough, my favorite green juice taste like a grapefruit, and this new recipe I’m about to introduce has a hint of grapefruit as well. Also, this grapefruit cake most likely taste incredible…

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But if there is one thing I’ve learned in living a healthy lifestyle, it’s that food that is healthy needs a partner. Like Kale. You wouldn’t eat kale plain would you? I mean some of you might, that’s ok…(no it’s not.) But if you massage the kale with lemon juice, salt, and pepper and then roast it, it’s delicious!

Same thing goes for grapefruit. Pair it with a friendlier (and sweeter) citrus, along with the sweetness from the honey and the banana. Followed by the cream from a coconut (or greek yogurt), and next thing you know you are telling Orange Julius “Buh Bye!”

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And now you have a reason to enjoy that 20 pound bag of grapefruit that you got from Costco…

You.Are. SOO.Welcome.

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Citrus Creamsicle Milkshake/Smoothie
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Serves: 1-2
Ingredients
  • 2 grapefruits
  • 1 orange
  • ½ frozen banana
  • 1 tsp-1 TB. raw honey
  • ¼ c. coconut cream(milk), or greek yogurt
  • ice
Instructions
  1. Juice the citrus. Reserve ½ c. of the juice for the drink, and save the rest for drinking, smoothies, etc.
  2. Add the ingredients into a blender and blend until creamy.
  3. Sip and enjoy!

 

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Seriously though, anyone need some grapefruit?