Autumn-y Apple Fritters

I am failing miserably at all of my goals for the month.

But in my defense, I have not bought anything new and we’re 20 days in and we just tried our first new recipe last weekend. We hit up Larriland Farms with some family friends up in Howard County, picked pumpkins, took a hayride and generally enjoyed the season.

 

We also saw cows! Ethan has started mooing which is highly amusing.

We did not pick Apples (that would have been a nightmare with little man) BUT we did buy some fresh picked ones and so Hubs has been in full on apple baking mode. His first mission? Apple fritters. Cue Pinterest. Thank sweet baby jebus for Pinterest.

I’m not a HUGE apple fan but these? Were amazing. I’m not going to post the recipe since it was NOT my own but I am going to link back to it and tell you it was easy (Hubs isn’t the best at following directions and I don’t usually trust him to bake, but he baked these incredibly well without burning anything so huzzah!)

neon

 

{Recipe here}

And no, this recipe does not require a deep fryer. Just a lot of vegetable/canola oil. It was super simple. Not hugely messy and not incredibly time consuming. So huzzah! A+ on all fronts!

apple fritters

He also made apple dumplings but ehhhh I wasn’t so down with those. And not just because half of those pots and pans are STILL in my kitchen sink uncleaned.  BUT, we still have a good 6-8 apples left so we’re trying to figure out what to make next. I may get him to make more apple fritters – those were AMAZING!

What’s your favorite Apple recipe for the fall?

 

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Meal Plan Monday: Clean Eating Style

So I’m getting ready to sign up as a Beachbody Coach – a friend of mine has been talking to me about it since we went to our RRCA coaching certification together. She recruited me this week to join her 5 day clean eating challenge. I’ve been a part of this other challenge group off an on but I think there are a few factors that contribute to me not…participating as actively as I should be. But because A is local, she can whoop my butt into gear if I slack. Which is exactly the kind of accountability I need.

Anyhow, I got the meal plan for this five day refresh and I’m kind of excited about it. I made some a few modifications to their plans…certain fruits/nuts/etc…we’re supposed to replace one meal for shakeology – I chose breakfast because it’s usually when I’m in the most rush – PB Banana Chocolate…here we come!

5daycleaneating

 

I’m kind of excited to have everything planned – I know for a fact that planning and prepping is the key for success. I’ll be sharing images over on my instagram throughout the week this week (trying to hold myself more accountable and all that jazz). Not to mention, I also have my workouts planned. The great thing about this menu is that it’s easy. I’ll have leftovers. And I prepped it easily (hello hard boiled eggs, and veggies). FINALLY I’m also using the containers from the 21 day fix to help with portion sizes. Dual purpose my friends.

Saturday I’m doing another 20 mile bike ride, and I’m going paddle boarding on Sunday morning (yay for knocking something off my summer bucket list!!!) so huzzah for activity!

How do YOU set yourself up for success through the week?

 

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A Weight Watchers Recipe Win

Last week, I had  a girls night in with Liz which involved some delicious enchilladas, some wine and a lot of girl talk.

I had originally suggested a weight watchers recipe that I saw on the weight watchers website but she wasn’t feeling pasta so we substituted and the enchilladas were a huge hit!

However, I went back to the pasta dish tonight – because easy dishes on nights when it’s just little man and I are key and this one was a big fat win. Not so much for Ethan but definitely for me. I couldn’t find the recipe so I improvised.

weight watchers spaghetti

Meatless Meat Sauce and Whole Wheat Spaghetti

Ingredients 

1/2 box whole wheat pasta (I used spaghetti)
1 jar your favorite sauce (I used organic vodka sauce)
1/2 onion
2 cloves garlic minced (or 1 T garlic paste)
1 package tempeh – grated
1 T. Olive Oil

Directions

Heat pan with olive oil, garlic and onion for 3-4 minutes. Add tempeh. Stir until coated. Add sauce. Bring to simmer while stirring frequently.

Cook pasta according to directions.

Mix and top with cheese.

Enjoy!

1 serving (~1 c. pasta & 1/2 c. sauce) = 6-8 Points Plus 

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Meal Planning Monday

With hubs gone, meal planning has been necessary. I’ve been cooking things with leftovers to make it easier to prep Ethan’s lunches (which I usually do the night before).

So I decided to give my hand at sharing my meal planning ventures with y’all because well…why not right? Especially now that I’m really focused on trying to lose weight.

meal planning

 

Last night I prepped the macaroni salad – a recipe I found on weight watchers, 3 pp per serving (1/2 c. is one serving) so even if you go for 1 c. you’re not breaking the points plus bank.

macaroni salad

The recipe was super easy – we’ll see how tasty it is. Will follow up with a full review later this week!

The enchilladas I got last week at a meal swap that my moms group held (miraculously I found the time during Sunday’s nap time to make five dishes of stuffed shells. Yummmm.) and taco salads are an easy go to that give plenty o’ leftovers for both E and I.

I used to over think meal planning – thinking that all recipes that were worth it were complex. But that’s just not true. As a working mama, ain’t nobody got time for that. I like to find healthy recipes that a. don’t require a lot of prep. b. give leftovers (though not required definitely a plus) c. are something that E might eat. Which is sometimes a feat.

Do you plan out your meals each week? What type of recipes are your go-to’s? 

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Recipe: Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Over the past few weeks, I’ve dug out not one, not TWO but three new recipes on pinterest. This is probably a record for me since I’ve started pinning and definitely since Ethan was born ten months ago. I always say I’m going to try x number of new recipes each month/quarter/year and usually I fall woefully short and end up scraping the idea like the long gone moldy leftovers in the fridge. But this one is a happy blend of healthy, hearty and leans a touch on the “paleo” side which Adam keeps wanting to try.

I shared one recipe a couple weeks ago, it was tres yum, but this one, well this is easy peasy and equally as delish. I changed the recipe a touch, but here’s where the inspiration came from.

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients
1 can diced tomatoes (fire roasted with green chiles)
1/2 c. corn salsa
2 c. quinoa (cooked. I use the frozen precooked type from Trader Joes because I’m a. lazy and b. can never cook quinoa right except in the microwave. Leave the “OMG THE MICROWAVE IS SO BAD FOR YOU” lectures at the door plskthx)
1 onion diced
4 peppers of your choice (I used 2 red and 2 green)
1/4 c. cilantro shredded (estimate. Add to taste)
1 can black beans
Cheese (be generous 🙂 )
chorizo, cubed. We added 4 links.

Directions
1. Cut tops off peppers, scoop out seeds, set aside.
2. Mix together cooked quinoa, salsa, black beans, tomatoes, onion, and cilantro. 

quinoa stuffed peppers
3. Add quinoa mixture to inside of peppers and top with your favorite cheese

quinoa stuffed peppers
Cover with tinfoil
Bake in square casserole dish 20-25 minutes covered with tinfoil. Remove tinfoil for last five minutes.

quinoa stuffed peppers

Finally, enjoy!

We’ve made this recipe twice in the past couple of weeks, altering it both times. The first time, we didn’t add chorizo (I couldn’t find any), the second time, I ran out of cilantro. Both recipes were delicious. The great thing about recipes like this is that you can alter them to your own liking. Adam likes his spicier than I like mine

We had plenty of leftovers of the filling with this recipe so you can either make a couple of extra stuffed peppers, or I really liked enjoying the stuffing with some chips as a snack. Nom.

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Recipe: Sausage Zucchini Boats

God bless pinterest.

I mean really, it’s like an encyclopedia for life. In search of the best cookie recipe for the holidays? Search and seconds later, half a dozen amazing (and easy!) cookie recipes are at your fingertips. Need to know what to make with your {insert random vegetable/grain/meat here}? Pinterest’ll tell you what to make for dinner – the only thing it won’t do is cook it for you. Need workout inspiration? Hundreds at your fingertips waiting to be completed. Welcome to the internets my friends.

We’ve made it a point to eat healthy this year. So this week I planned out our meals and took my meal planning to pinterest to try something new. Voila! This whole meal planning thing means we’ve eaten in every meal and tonight, the new recipe I had on my meal plan was made – something my lazy bum hasn’t done in ages.

Had Ethan not had a diaper explosion and/or demanded bath time in his grunting and angry ooo-ing ways, he would have gotten to try some of the deliciousness. But while it baked and wafted delicous marinara smells into our kitchen, homeboy got his bath and was down to bed by 7p.

Anyhow, I’m going to link to the recipe, since I didn’t alter it. SkinnyMom is a favorite website for easy, healthy recipes, if you’re not a reader of them yet, I highly recommend for all things related to being a healthy mama.

Here are my unattractive, but still delicious looking zucchini boats. It was like lasagna…but with zucchini and not pasta. So slightly healthier if Hubs hadn’t doused it in cheese. Mmmm cheese.

Also, the zucchini was smaller, so they didn’t hold all the “stuffing” very well. Silly out of season veggies. Whoops?

{recipe here}

All in all, a pretty easy meal that was super delicious and mostly healthy. I highly recommend!

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Recipe: Pumpkin Fudgey Brownies

Happy friday friends!

A few weeks ago I made a delicious dessert inspired from pinterest. I wanted it to be seasonal and since I was meeting many coworkers for the first time, I wanted to make sure it was deee-licious. On the contrary to that, being a work at home mama, I don’t often have time to bake so I wanted to make sure my recipe was easy-peasy and something I could start after bedtime that wouldn’t take me all night to bake.

So here’s my easy-peasy pumpkin fudge brownies. Thanks pinterest! (I can’t credit one recipe because I picked like three and picked and chose my ingredients…)

Pumpkin Fudge Brownies

Ingredients
1 box of your favorite fudge brownie mix
3/4 c. pumpkin puree
1/2 c. chocolate chips
1 t. pumpkin pie spice

Directions (lolz)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together brownie mix and 1/2 c. of pumpkin pie puree. Add pumpkin pie spice and chocolate chips. Mix well.

Don’t be afraid to go a little crazy with the chocolate chips. I always do.

Spread out over a 13×9″ pan – or whatever size you want really. Add remaining pumpkin puree and swirl throughout.

I should note i added all my pumpkin initially but i had not intended to. Whoops.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cut into squares. Enjoy.

These were super yummy – like a chocolatey pumpkin pie. Everyone really enjoyed them, hubs enjoyed them. I enjoyed them.

Looking for an easy peasy recipe for a Halloween party with seasonal flavors? Try this out. Pumpkiny chocolatey goodness.

 

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Recipe Share: Pumpkin Meatballs

This recipe isn’t original but I had to share for it’s full of autumny and gourdy awesomeness. Also, it counts for one of the four new recipes I wanted to try this month. You can bet this one will be a regular in our kitchen for the next couple of months.

Spaghetti Squash & Pumpkin Turkey Meatballs {via We Are Not Martha}

The recipe was easy enough to follow and wasn’t terribly time consuming. I simply replaced the ground chicken for ground turkey and cooked the spaghetti squash a la my microwave method which happens to be my favorite way because it takes 15 minutes versus an hour in the oven.

It was…divine. We ate all of it. It was surprisingly healthy – even including the bacon. It simply added divine pieces of bacony awesomeness.

Be sure to also check out We Are Not Martha for other amazing recipes – their blog is one of my go to’s for deliciousness!

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Recipe: Roasted Acorn Squash

I’ve been on a super seasonal food kick. Between butternut squash and sweet potato purees for baby (he likes them too), and roasted squashes for us. It’s seasonal foodie heaven in these parts if you will.

I had some mashed roasted acorn squash down in South Carolina that my step mom made and it was delightful and perfectly sweet and squishy just like mashed squash should be. So here’s my take on roasted acorn squash.

Roasted Acorn Squash

Ingredients

1 medium sized Acorn Squash
2 T brown sugar
2 small pats of butter
maple syrup

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees on bake.

Cut acorn squash in half, scoop out seeds.

Place in square dish with about 1″ of water.

Add sugar topped with butter to middle of squash halves. Drizzle with maple syrup to taste.

roasted acorn squash

Roast for 45-60 minutes or until sugar is caramelized or until a fork can easily be stuck in the squash.

We chose to east these out of the skin but you could definitely scoop the squash out and mash them as well.

We enjoyed as a side to soy maple glazed salmon. It was one of the best meals we’ve both eaten in a long time.

What’s your favorite way to cook squash?

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MNO: 1747 Pub

A couple weeks ago right after I got back from South Carolina, the Plum Moms Group rocked my world again with another amazing Mom’s Night Out.

This time, it was at 1747 Pub, formerly known as Sly Fox Pub, in downtown Annapolis. I was always a huge fan of Sly Fox prior to it closing shop. The outdoor space is really the best in Annapolis in my opinion, so while I’m bummed that Sly Fox shut down, I’m so glad Reynolds Tavern kept it up with 1747 Pub

Since I had had dinner before going out, I ordered an appetizer – Fried Green Tomatoes. Really, you can’t go wrong with fried green tomatoes – one of these days I need to get my nana’s recipe that I pray she has written down somewhere. These were pretty amazing – they were topped with shrimp and corn. The shrimp was cooked in a chipotle cream sauce that was perfectly complementary by adding a touch of spice to this Southern classic dish.

fried green tomatoes 1747 pub annapolis

They had a small, but decent beer list but the wine list seemed a bit more comprehensive than beers.

A few nights later, I wanted to enjoy the outdoor seating while we still could. The happy hour at 1747 is from 3-7p so Adam and I popped over on a friday night for a cheapie dinner off the apps menu and a couple of drinks. We were pretty pleased with our finds – including the bratwurst and Natty Boh for $6.

Another awesome find? Grilled, buffalo corn on the cob. Granted you only get one ear for $4 which is absolutely a rip off considering you can get ten ears of corn for $4 at whole foods (Cheaper at Giant!) but trust, this was well worth it.

Was so yummy. I don’t even like buffalo flavoring since I find it often has too much of a kick for my liking (I’m so anti- super spicy it’s not even funny.). I ordered the fried green tomatoes again, because I stick with what I know and while the happy hour menu is tasty, it’s not super expansive.

The thing that I loved most was the laid back vibe – just like it was when it was formerly Sly Fox, the laid back atmosphere was just perfect for the perfect fall evenings I was out during. Monday night with the mom’s group there was trivia (I so want to go back for that) and Friday night when Adam and I went (much earlier) there was live music on tap (as well as a beer stein holding contest sponsored by Sam Adams….random).

1747 is also awesomely baby friendly especially if you go earlier – happy hour, not busy, and plenty of room for strollers to be rolled up. Ethan was in a surprisingly good mood and even made some suggestions off the craft beer list.

So if you’re in Annapolis – definitely stop by 1747 Pub – they have heaters keeping the outdoor space going into the colder months (well, since they’re new who knows but Sly Fox used to keep them going and threw a baller New Years Eve party…so I heard). In the winter months, they have the indoors pub downstairs from Reynolds Tavern which has fireplaces and hidden back bars. I haven’t been during the week but on the weekends, it’s a raucous good time!

1747 Pub
7 Church Circle
Annapolis, MD

{Curious about Reynolds Tavern? My book club previously went there for tea one afternoon!}

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