med pizza better
Can I just tell you how much I have missed reading all your blogs and recipe fabulous inspiration?! So much! Honestly, I do not know how on earth last year I had two businesses as well as maintained this blog. I feel busy right now just with my one business.—Albeit less stressed…

Laughing Cow sent me a big box of their cheeses, which I adore, so I decided it was time to dust of the blog and post this recipe because it turned out to good. I made it again that weekend when friends came over by simply doubling it. It would make a great and different app for the Super Bowl too!

And by the way, I have also been busy here with my little boys and their shenanigans
boys and shenanigans

and with….

Celebrating 8 years of message...and three months of PREGNANCY!

In this picture we are celebrating 8 years of marriage…and three months of PREGNANCY!

Yep-surprise!

Hope you are well.

xo,

Bree

med pizza best

Here’s What You Need: (Serves 1-2)*
1 personal pizza crust or flatbread
2 wedges Laughing Cow Chive & Onion
Handful of kalamata olives, diced
1 artichoke heart, cut into pieces (the kind marinated in water not oil)
Greek Seasoning (I use Penzey’s )
1 large cherry tomato, sliced (I like Campari)
Salt and Pepper
Handful of baby spinach cut into strips
Low fat feta cheese (About 2 TBS)
Olive Oil
med pizza dign in
*To make this for four simply buy a 12′ pizza crust, add 5 wedges of Laughing Cow and then double the other ingredients. Yum!

Here’s What You Do:
Preheat oven to 400. Spread the Laughing Cow over the crust. Top with the olives, tomatoes, kalamata olives,  and artichoke heart . Sprinkle with feta and then season with Greek Seasoning. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for about 12 minutes. Add spinach pieces and then season with salt and pepper. Now try not to eat the whole thing like I did!

Note: Laughing Cow supplied me with their product. However, the opinions here and the recipe are all my own.

fajita sauce7

Hello My friends!

My goodness it has been too long!

Honestly I have to tell you that I am considering taking some time off of the blog. As much as I have loved these past two years and have been humbled by the outpouring of support, I haven’t made a single recipe in one of the piles of cook books I have, or in the stacks of  cooking magazines I collect, as I have been too busy on the quest to come up with original recipes. In many ways this has challenged me as a cook, but in many ways it has stunted me. I have always loved the challenge of following a recipe and tasting the fruits of my labor. And frankly I miss some of my favorite recipes from days gone that were not mine-Like my favorite Thai shrimp or roasted red pepper pasta. And as I sit here trying to read my chicken scratch of notes that I make when I cook, I realize in many ways, that I don’t appreciate the cooking process in the way that I did when I just cooked for cooking’s sake. A few more recipes may follow as there are piles of them that have been made and not blogged about, but I ask for your patience as I take some much needed time to step away and drink a glass of wine while making dinner with no worry about getting it done before the sun goes down to snap the perfect picture.
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Don’t worry—I will be back.

Hugs,

Bree
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Here’s What You Need:

1.5 cups of quartered tomatillos
1.5 cups sweet grape tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
¼ cup of evoo
½ tsp of smoked paprika
1 tsp of cumin seed
½ tsp Mexican oregan
¼ tsp chili powder
½ tsp of agave
¼ tsp salt

fajita sauce

Roast at 400 for 15-20 minutes, stirring often. Let cool and then blend until smooth. Amazingly creamy fajita or enchilada sauce!
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Note: I roasted 3 zucchini, sliced; 2 bell peppers of mixed colors, sliced, 1 onion, 1 jalapeno + salt +pepper and 2 tbs of evoo and the sauce to make vegetarian baked fajitas.

 

turkishtaco2
Have you gotten on the food truck bandwagon?!
I wish I lived closer to the city for one reason-To take advantage of the food truck craze! I love all the creative combinations you see-Mexican and Korean fusion; Chinese tamales, etc. You dream of it and they have created it.
I first discovered food trucks two years ago when my sister and I were in Austin, TX.
Here she is diving into our order of fried avocado. Brilliant, ay?!
maddy food truck
I live in a small town which of course has its advantages as well. I drive past llamas to get to my house for goodness sake– and I call that a perk!
Anyway, I have been making up all sorts of tacos in the spirit of the food trucks and these Turkish Tacos are one of many random combinations I have created.

I hope you enjoy them and stay warm this chilly fall day!

xo,
Bree
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Here’s What You Need: Serves ~ 3 but easy to double!

3-4 Sweet Italian Sausages Links; casings removed (Chicken preferred to cut down on fat! Smart Chicken makes a great one)
Penzey’s Turkish Seasoning*
1 cup of chopped kale (I think lacinto or black kale work best)
Handful of pitted kalamata olives
~1 TBS of kalamata juice
1 medium/small tomato, diced
Pitas*
Crumbled feta cheese
Extra virgin olive oil
Hummus or Greek plain yogurt (optional)
turkish tacos
Here’s What You Do:
Heat about 1 capful of evoo over medium high heat. Add in Turkish seasoning (about a palmfull) and the sausage. Use the back of a wooden spoon to break up the sausage and stir it around, cooking until the sausage is browning and cooked through. Set the sausage aside and add the kale along with the tomatoes and the olives and their juices to the pan. Add another dash of Turkish seasoning and salt and pepper if you choose. Cook for about 2 minutes or until the kale stars to wilt slightly. Assemble each taco with a dollop of hummus or yogurt, the sausage, kale mixture and then a good dash of feta cheese. Enjoy!

While I am making dinner...

While I am making dinner…

Kid Tip:
I usually deconstruct my meals and use the little plastic plates with compartments. For this one I gave the boys some meat and  pita with hummus and some fruit. Baby steps ;)

*The Kangaroo pita pockets that are already cut in half work great for this. Bake them at 400 for about 7 minutes. They are especially good if you spray them with non-sick and add seasoned salt to the outside.
*I highly recommend you get this seasoning-It’s great in hummus and pretty much in anything! If you don’t have it on hand and still want to make these, go ahead and create your own mix using these spices and at least it will be close! (salt, garlic, cumin, Tellicherry black pepper,  oregano, sweet paprika)

orange chicken

As my kids get older they get pickier. Frankly I find it a little irritating that their requests stay the same-hot dogs, pizza, mac n’ cheese…
But I have to remind myself that our palates evolve and expand as we get older. So even though I may end up serving a couple hot dogs on the side, I still do try to expose the boys to different foods. And once in a while they surprise me like with this Orange & Curry Glazed Chicken. My five year old have three helpings. Yay!!

Fall hiking!

Fall hiking!

…So when you feel completely dejected that your kids once again turn up their noses and push away their plates before even trying something- don’t give up! Ask that they have at least one “no thank you bite” and maybe there’s that 10% chance that their grimace will turn into a smile of delight ;)

BTW-Thank you to the awesome teachers at the YMCA for introducing us to the “no than you bite.” Love it!

Happy chilly fall day!
xo,

Bree

Here’s What You Need: Serves 2 adults and 2 small kids (So double if you want more!)

2 TBS orange marmalade
1 TBS honey
1 TBS soy sauce (low sodium)
2 TBS evoo + more for sauteing
1/2 tsp curry powder
3 chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
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Here’s What You Do:
Make sauce by whisking the first 4 ingredients. Chop the chicken into bite size pieces and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add 1-2 capfuls of evoo to a pan over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook for about 6-8 minutes, flipping once*. Add in the sauce and cook for 4 minutes more or until it becomes thicker. Spoon the extra sauce over the chicken. Serve with basmati or Jasmine rice and cilantro.
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*In order to brown the chicken, if you have more than three breasts cook the pieces in batches. Otherwise they will steam.

wings2

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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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.

peanutsauce3
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

peanutsauce4

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

peanutsauce2

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.

Let’s be friends! www.facebook.com/skinnymommyllc

 

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

picola2

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.

Let’s be friends! www.facebook.com/skinnymommyllc

stirfry8

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

stirfry4
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.

stirfrygood

 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.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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

couscous3

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)
couscous

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 ;)

Lets’ be friends! www.facebook.com/skinnymommyllc

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
enchiladas
-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.