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How are you?

 Personally-I feel like I kind of suck at everything right now. This is how I always feel in September, though I seem to forget every year until the time comes again.
I feel I am a crappy mom, friend, business owner, housekeeper, blogger…and the list goes on. Breathe I keep telling myself. And yet, I am still awoken in the middle of the night by my own racing list of things to do. (Or a little boy trying to sneak into my bed!) Thank goodness for kids Benadryl that makes me woozy enough to fall back asleep ;).

Isn't he precious?! Albeit naughty ;)

Isn’t he precious?! Albeit naughty ;)

And yet as crazy as it is, I wouldn’t change it. I love my job. I love being busy. I love the hustle and bustle of the fall. I even love the occasional midnight visit of my three year old and his sweet warm breath on my face.
But I cannot lie and say that I am not counting the days until the sand touches my toes, the sun shines down on my face and the ocean washes my worries away. T minus 5 weeks until I am in Florida for a long weekend with my little sis…. It can’t get here soon enough!
Hugs to you all! I am sure you are equally as crazy busy in whatever it is you are up to, so hang in there!

Xo,
Bree

My five year old and my husband fought over these-So you may want to double the batch!!!
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Here’s What You Need:
1.5 lbs small  wings
2TBS evoo
3 TBS 100% pure maple syrup
2 TBS Worchester sauce
3 TBS honey mustard

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Here’s What You Do:
Marinate the chicken with salt pepper and olive oil. Then add the sauce by mixing all the ingredients above until blended. Put them on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper and bake at 400 for about 25-35 minutes. Make sure they are cooked through. Grab some napkins–you will need them. (Or just lick your fingers!)

Kid Tip:
None needed-these were a huge it! I wish I made more.

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Hello my friends!

How are you? I have been completely remiss in posting recipes as life is so busy. We are adjusting to my little one being in kindergarten-I love his teacher and his bubbly enthusiasm, but having to stick to a schedule is tough for me ;).
I am busy meeting with potential buyers for my Busy Bree’s Dinner Starters and am blessed to have three amazing women who are interested.

And with the start of fall begins the craziness of registration for Futura.–

So it’s a good kind of busy and a good kind of crazy, right?!

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But I still made time for the farmer’s market! I bought some raspberries there last week and came up with this sauce/syrup.

Oh my my! It  is divine!

Enjoy!

xo,

Bree
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Here’s What You Need:
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1TBS vanilla (I prefer Penzey’s-either way use the real stuff!)
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup 100% maple syrup

Here’s What You do:

Blend everything until smooth.

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Serve it over French toast, pancakes, on cheesecake, pound bread or even to sweeten your  smoothie….

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peanutsauce

Have you ever wanted to drink a sauce?

Well, now you will.
This peanut sauce is rich, creamy, and sweet and salty all at the same time.
I was literally licking my spoon and double dipping it like nobody’s business.

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Luckily I work from home and no one saw me. Just like no one hears me having conversations with myself throughout my work day.
If the neighbors did ever peak in and see my dishelved food stained self sitting at my computer they probably wouldn’t recognize the smiley, perky blonde from the front yard.
But hey who’s looking right? And I am still plowing through emails and writing work agreements like any pencil skirt wearing girl in a high rise downtown just maybe a little stickier from licking up peanut sauce. ;)
Hope your day is grand!

xo,

Bree

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Here’s What You Need: (Serves 2 with left over sauce, but easy to double)

Handful of broccoli florets
1 carrot, diced
1 chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
Asian seasoning (I used Penzey’s Sate Seasoning)
½ cucumber, diced
2 capfuls of vegetable oil*
Soy sauce
2 TBS peanut butter
½ tsp minced garlic
1tsp capful of Asian cooking wine (mirin) or Rice wine vinegar
1 tsp of sesame oil

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First make the sauce!
Add 1/3 cup of low sodium soy sauce to a blender along with the Asian cooking wine, sesame oil, garlic and peanut butter. Blend until smooth.

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Then make the chicken!
Season chicken breast on both sides. Heat one capful of oil over medium high heat and add chicken for about 5 minutes, turning once. Move to a place. Add another capful of oil and be sure that it is hot when you add the carrots and the broccoli along with a capful of soy sauce. Stir constantly for about 1-2 minutes then add the cucumber for about 30 seconds or a minute. Add the chicken back in and stir to be sure it is warm. Drizzle the yummy sauce over the sauce!

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Now enjoy! :)

Kid Tip:
Deconstruct! Rice on one part of the plate, chicken on another and veggies in another compartment.

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picola

There is this amazing little pizza place in my “hometown” called Pizzeria Piccola. I adore their spicy pepperoni pizza, which is more like spicy salami all nice and crisped up. But I equally love the simplicity of their margherita with its basilly pepperiness (Are these even real words?! Probably not, but they work, right?!) But my all time favorite thing on their menu is their Arugla Salad with Shaved Parmesan and Sliced Mushrooms which inspired this salad.
So tonight as I am home by myself packing up all the cr** in my cabinets to prepare to get new ones tomorrow and watching the sun shimmer over our little lake, I created this Italian Pizzeria Pizza for one combining my three favorite things from Piccola.

The chaos of my kitchen!!

The chaos of my kitchen!!

 One word-yum. Seriously. I grabbed my book and my San Pellegrino and devoured the entire thing on my patio. And now, it’s back to the grind of cabinet emptying. How on earth does one little family of four have so many stinkin’ dishes?!
Cheers my friends, cheers!

Bree

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Here’s What You Need:(Serves 1-2)*
1 flatbread or small pizza crust (I prefer a garlic naan like the one from Target’s Archer Farms)
Minced garlic
Handful of basic, sliced
Handful of arugula
Extra virgin olive oil + balsamic vinegar
Sea salt  + pepper
1/2 of a large ripe tomato, sliced
1 piece of salami cut into strips
Grated parmesan
Fresh mozzarella (About 4 pieces)

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Here’s What You Do:
Preheat the oven to 400 and drizzle evoo over the crust and then sprinkle with the parmesan. Add the tomato slices fanning them out. Add in the mozzarella and the salami. Drizzle with evoo and bake for 10 minutes. Broil for two more minutes, turning once. Add the basil and arugula to the top and then drizzle with a capful of balsamic vinegar. Delish!
*(If you want to make this for the whole family, but one large crispy pre-made pizza dough and then double the ingredients listed above.

Kid Tip:
My kids adore pepperoni, so I would make half the pizza with just the sliced salami and the cheese, minus the tomatoes. Easy. Peasy.

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salsa

Do you like your co-workers?
I bet you don’t like them as much as I adore mine.
I pretty much hit the jack pot when it comes to employees-These women are smart, dedicated, and motivated.
They challenge and impress me everyday.
They have become my dear friends.
I am so wholly grateful for each and everyone of them.

Me and the girls!

Me and the girls!

 So when we gathered at Northern Bay for a staff retreat it was natural and fun and productive-Like all my encounters with these wonderful girls.
I am excited to embark on my 12th year of owning Futura and the 12th year of being surrounded by great people …
I am a blessed and lucky girl…
Hope blessings are finding you today too!
~Bree

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Ps: I made this salsa for an appetizer at our staff retreat and it was a huge hit ;)

Here’s What you Need: (Makes about 24 ounces but you may want to double it and freeze it. It goes fast!)
2 cups whole tomatoes in basil* puree
1 tsp course sea salt
¼ tsp of black pepper
juice of ½ limed to 1 whole
½ sweet onion
1 chipotle (frozen is fine)
3 small garlic cloves
½ cup of loosely packed cilantro
1-2 tsps of agave*
*=Secret ingredients!
salsait

Here’s What You Do:
Pulse in the food processor. Add some crispy thin restaurant style chips and you are ready for some yum!

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Some dishes just photograph well.
And thank goodness, because I still have my fancy camera on automatic.

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Which rather perfectly sums up everything in my life some weeks-on automatic.
With a  husband who travels about four months out of the year I am often the mother, the father, the chauffer, the business owner( x2),  the housekeeper…and the list goes on. I try to stifle my sense of frustration and frankly resentment towards Andy as he is golfing and dining out at fancy restaurants with customers while I am cutting nails, wiping faces, and cleaning up spills - feeling like a miserable failure at everything.
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I wouldn’t trade positions with him for the world. I don’t want to miss four months of the boys life every year-but gosh life is easier with a partner! With a helper! With another set of hands! It is at these times that  I feel such an overwhelming appreciation for single moms who do it every day with no break in sight. Like my own mother did for many years…My hats go off to you. What everyday heroes you are to me and most certainly to your children.
Hugs for a good day,
Bree

stirfrygood

I made this quick stirfry on one of those busy “single mom nights”.
Here’s What You Need: (Serves 1 adult and 2 kids but easy to double)
1/2 red pepper, diced
2 small carrots, diced
1 can of water chestnuts, drained
2 green onions, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Handful of cashews.
Vegetable oil
Sauce 4TBS of soy sauce, 4 tsps. of orange marmalade, 1 tsp of sesame oil (mix together)

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Here’s What You Do:
Preheat 1-2 capfuls of vegetable oil over medium high heat.
Once the oil is hot add in all the ingredients.
Stir constantly for about 4 minutes.

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Meanwhile stir all the sauce ingredients together.
Add the sauce to the pan and stir to warm through.
Serve over jasmine or basmati rice with soy sauce to pass.

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 Kid Tip:
I recommend cutting the veggies into tiny pieces and stirring the sauce into the rice to make it a tasty, sweet rice dish. Was this my kids number one meal? No, but my five year old loved the rice with the sauce and I still love to expose them to different foods of different cultures. One day they will be jumping up and down about stirfry they way they do hot dogs ;).

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couscous7

Something very bizarre happened to me.
I found out that I have a sister I didn’t know about.
For 29 years.
A simple message sent through Linked in to my little brother and here I am sitting with one more sister in my circle.
I met her and recognized my biological father in her lips, her chin, and her skin.
I saw my exact same green eyes when she pulled down her sunglasses.
And I saw my own feisty self in the little glimpses I had of her personality.
Her name is Alessandra.
It’s funny because it is a name I have always loved.
And now I know one.
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I am not sure where we go from here, because where do  you start from after 29 years?
All I know is I am glad I met her-that I saw her smile.
-That I know she is well and on this earth…
Have a beautiful day full of surprises and smiles!
-Bree

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Here’s What You Need: (Serves about 6 as a side)
1 box of Near East Couscous with Parmesan
Extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup of slivered almonds
Greek Seasoning (I prefer Penzey’s)
Garlic Salt
2 TBS flat leaf Italian parsley
1 medium or 1/2 large ripe tomato, chopped and seasoned with salt and pepper
1 cucumber, chopped
Vegetable broth ( 1 1/4 cups)
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Here’s What You Do:
Make the couscous according to the package substituting the water for broth and then set it aside. Meanwhile heat a tsp of olive oil in a pan over medium high heat, seasoning it with Greek seasoning. Add the almonds and heat them through until they start to brown slightly (about 3 minutes or so).  Mix 1/8 cup of evoo with 1 tsp each of Garlic Salt and Greek Seasoning and pour over the fluffed couscous. Stir in the almonds, cucumber, tomatoes, and parsley and it is good to go!

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Kid Tip:

Okay so my kids are not jumping up and down begging for couscous, but I feel very strongly about at least exposing my kids to different foods. Then I carefully deconstruct this to make piles of cucumbers with hummus and the “rice” separate so they will actually eat it ;)

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ceasar3

Oh dear friends I haven’t forgotten about you!
I haven’t meant to disregard your kind comments on my recipes or fail miserably at reading your beautiful blog posts.
I have simply been living with only the tiniest bit of social media trying to swallow up the last days of summer while scrambling to get my company ready for the “fall boom” and my dearest little boy ready for kindergarten. I have been simply living. Cooking little and photographing less.

Enjoying summertime with my little man!

Enjoying summertime with my little man!

But I couldn’t not share this awesome Caesar dressing with you to enjoy while the air is still warm and the sun dangles in the sky past 8pm. These are the best days to enjoy a lemony parmesan Caesar. Dress it up with grilled chicken or blackened shrimp and crusty pieces of bread for a perfect summertime meal.
Enjoy!
xo,
Bree

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Apparently the bee really liked it too!

Here’s What You Need: Serves 4-6 as sides
1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup of grated parmesan
1-2 anchovies*
2 tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp course sea salt
¼ tsp black pepper
½- ¾ lemon
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Here’s What You Do:
Blend all the ingredients in the blender until smooth. Toss with about 6 cups of chopped romaine right before serving.

*Don’t skip the anchovies-they MAKE this dressing. Just close your eyes as you drop them into the blender ;)

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enchiladas4

Happy Monday my friends!
Isn’t summer going by way too fast?!
Because I work in Education, my summer comes to a rather screeching halt come August, so I am woke up this morning in a bit of a panic…
Luckily my little jog along a country road lined with corn swaying in the wind, birds screeching in the air, and wildflowers tickling the street really gave me a little bit of zen to start my week.
And breathing in the clean, crisp, country air, certainly didn’t hurt.
I just starting jogging and I am so horrible at it-frankly I am slow as molasses, but it does make me feel good, so I will keep plugging along….
You-Keep plugging along as well
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-and dive into this super creamy, super easy enchilada dish!
Hugs,
Bree

Here’s What You Need:  (Serves 4)
3/4 lb of chicken tenders, cut into bite size pieces
4 Wedges of Laughing Cow Queso Fresco Chipotle
1 jar of salsa verde* (about 16oz)
Tortillas (I used corn)
Shredded cheese (Cheddar or a Mexican blend)
Queso fresco (optional)
Cilantro (optional)
1/2 zucchini or yellow squash, cut into bite size pieces
Extra virgin olive oil
Taco seasoning (I like Penzey’s Bold)

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Here’s What You Do:
Preheat the oven to 375. Preheat a pan over medium high heat. Add the chicken seasoned with the taco seasoning and cook for about 6 minutes, turning once. Toss in the Laughing Cow, breaking into pieces, along with the squash. Cook for two more minutes. Spread the bottom of pyrex or baking dish with about half of the salsa. Fill each tortilla with the chicken mixture and then roll tightly.
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Place seamside down into the baking dish. Top with the remaining salsa and press down so that all the tortillas are covered in salsa. Sprinkle lightly with the cheese. I recommend covering it for baking until about the last 5 minutes. (Loosely so the cheese doesn’t stick). Bake for about 15 minutes.
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Grate queso fresco over the top and add fresh cilantro. Serve with dollops of ff Greek plain yogurt.

*I recommend choosing a very mild salsa if you want your kids to eat the enchiladas. Otherwise, save some plain cooked chicken for your kids along with tortillas or quesadillas. These may be more kid friendly options!

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Kid Tip:
Cut this into little pieces to give your kids or if you have picky ones like mine, give them pieces of chicken with tortillas on the side.

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 Please note: The Laughing Cow provided me with their products; However, the recipes and opinions are all my own.

eggbest

Morning Sunshines!
While you are reading this I will be at one of my favorite places on earth-Garden City Beach, South Carolina. The house we stay in is far from fancy, we get a little crowded, and my kids probably drive the adults crazy, but there’s nothing closer to God then looking out and seeing the water of the ocean lapping up along the marsh that’s the most brilliant green and dotted with slender white birds, squawking into the blue sky. The salt water seasons the air that’s already thick with humidity and I rock back and forth on my worn out rocking chair, watching boats splash seawater  as laughter resounds.
I bury my head in a book, I put my feet in the sand, and I put my face to the sun.
Ahhhhh….
South Carolina etc 124 South Carolina etc 171 south carolina2

Hope you are finding your peace today too!
xo, Bree

PS–This breakfast is so easy, healthy and delicious. Great combo, right?!

Here’s What You Need: (Serves 1)
1 piece hearty bread (I love the ones from Clasen’s Bakery)
1/2 ripe avocado
Salt + pepper
1/2 tomato, sliced
1 egg
Spring greens, optional egg4

Here’s What You Do: Preheat a pan coated with non-stick over medium and crack in an egg and cook until set. If you like, you can fold, over the egg during cooking. A couple of minutes should be good. Toast the bread. Salt and pepper the avocado, tomato, and the egg and build the sandwich with the egg on the side. Pile it with the spring greens. Make sure to get each thing in every might. Yum!

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Kid Tip: Toast, scrambled eggs, and a side of avocado? My kids sure are not into runny eggs they way I adore them! Can we be friends? LIKE Skinny Mommy on Facebook! www.facebook.com/skinnymommyllc

 

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When I cracked my egg, there were two. Kind of crazy!