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So excited to have the sun shining on my face as I type this! And I am excited to announce a great giveaway… A PopSugar Must Have box!

 Their Must Have boxes sound amazing. They contain all the hottest trends from food to fashion and have a monthly membership plan too. Love!
In order to win this month’s Must Have LIKE Skinny Mommy on Facebook and leave a comment below on why you want to win.

Here’s a link to some samples of past boxes.

Even if you don’t win, you can still have a Must Have boxes for a discount….

Use the code MHMOM8 and get $5 0ff Your First POPSUGAR Must Have Subscription. Coupon code is good through May 31sth 11:59 PST. See Must Have Terms for details.

Use the code MHMOM8 and get $5 0ff Your First POPSUGAR Must Have Subscription. Coupon code is good through May 31sth 11:59 PST. See Must Have Terms for details.

Crossing my fingers that YOU win!!

On a separate note….With Cinco de Mayo right around the corner, here’s a Skinny Cinco de Mayo inspired dish that’s quick, easy, and delicioso!
Mexican Medley Bowl
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Here’s What You Need:

4 Tequila & Lime Chicken Sausages from Amy Lu, sliced
1 small zucchini, sliced
1 small yellow squash, sliced
1 medium size tomato, chopped
1 tsp each cumin and ancho
1/2 tsp sea salt  + 1/2 tsp pepper
1 TBS evoo
1/2 cup Muir Glen Fire Roasted Tomatoes with Green Chilies
Serve over: Uncle Ben’s Quinoa and Brown Rice with Garlic

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Here’s What You Do:
Preheat a pan over medium/medium high and add the sausages for a couple of minutes. Stir in the vegetables along with the olive oil and seasoning for a few more minutes or until they start to soften. Add in the tomatoes and simmer for about five minutes. Serve over the rice or scoop into a tortilla. Add a dash of green onions or cilantro.
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Kid Tip:
How about kebobs? Or my old standby-Deconstruc! Put the sausage on one side of the plate and the veggies cut into small pieces on the other. Don’t forget to add fruit!

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salmon5I don’t know about you, but when the spring weather starts tease me with some intermittent sunny days, I get antsy.
Really antsy.
As in, it is hard to sit at my desk antsy.
I want to be out hiking with my kids.
With my face in the sun.
Spring shopping.
And I certainly don’t want to spend hours in my kitchen.
That’s when…Flatbread pizzas are lifesavers!
Flatbreads are great for dinner, breakfast, lunch and even appetizers..

They can be done in less than 15 minutes and you can make several to meet all the different tastes within your family.

This Smoked Salmon and Dill Flatbread Pizza is for me.
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Here’s What You Need:
1 garlic flatbread (I like the naan from Archer Farm’s from Target) 2 Light Swiss Laughing Cow wedges 1/2 tsp Penzey’s Country French Vinaigrette 1 small tomato, sliced and seasoned with salt + pepper Olive oil Handful of baby spinach, cut into strips 1/4 cup smoked salmon  (I like the cracked pepper. You can find these in the refrigerated section near the seafood.) Crumbled feta

Here’s What You Do: Preheat oven to 400. Mix Laughing Cow with the seasoning. Spread onto the flatbread. Top with the salmon and then with the tomatoes and spinach. Add the feta crumbles. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 6-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 Oh wait! So is this one…

My kids love a traditional pepperoni and cheese like this one.
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My husband? A modified version of my BBQ chicken pizza..

I even make flatbreads for breakfast. Check out this handsome one!
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Wait! What about this one?!
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Seriously the list goes on…I am obessed with these things and I think you will be too…

XO,

Bree

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chickpeasgood

The Original Skinny Mommy.
That would be my Grandma, aka Gigi.
To say she is amazing would be an understatement.
She is extraordinary.
She is in her mid 80s (Sorry for the big reveal Grandma!)
and she runs TEN MILES every other day.
And on the opposite days? She lifts weights.
I am sure you just exclaimed, “Wow!”
Wow is right.
-And way before anyone was doing pilates or eating organic my Grandma was doing aerobics to a record player and eating rice cakes.
She’s the only Midwestern Grandma I know who likes Thai food and tofu.

I am only 4'11 so that gives you an indicator of how tiny she is!

I am only 4’11 so that gives you an indicator of how tiny she is!

Aside from being incredibly fit, she’s equally smart. She was the valedictorian of her high school class and then went on to graduate from Bradley University and taught ESL.
And did I mention that she had 6 children?!
She’s the cutest, tiniest thing and an inspiration to everyone.
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I asked her for a few of her favorite “Skinny Mommy” recipes and this Chickpea Ragout recipe was one of them. I spruced it up a bit with fresh lemon and herbs and put it over polenta.

I love how it gets better every day….Kind of like you Grandma.
Big Hugs,

Brita
Here’s What You Need: (Serves 4)
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Olive oil
½ large yellow onion, diced 1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tsp cumin
2 can of organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 can of Organic Roasted Tomatoes, not drained (I prefer Muir Glen)
2 stalks of fresh thyme
2 tsps honey
1 lemon
2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
Salt + Pepper
Serve with polenta or couscous
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Here’s What You Do:
Preheat a pot over medium high and drizzle with the evoo.  Add the onion and the garlic and stir to coat. Add the cumin. Saute until they start to soften. Stir in the chickpeas, tomatoes, and thyme (removed from the stalk). Add the broth and ½ tsp of salt and pepper to taste. Boil for about 10 minutes. Serve over grilled polenta* or with couscous. This is one of those dishes that gets better every day!

*Preheat a grill pan over medium high and then drizzle with evoo. Slice the polenta and then season it on both sides with salt and pepper and “grill” for a few minutes per side. You can add a dash of parmesan to the top if you want too!
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Kid Tip:
I got my kids to at least try this which was a feat since it is not really a typical kids dish and I think it is important to expose them to different foods even if they are not crazy about them. I kept the polenta and the chickpeas in separate compartments on their plates. My husband said he doesn’t like chickpeas or tomatoes and that he thought the flavors here were really great. Plus!

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teriaki10Happy Friday my friends!
Did I tell you how a couple of weeks ago we went to Jamaica for my sister in law’s wedding?
Well, the wedding was beautiful-probably one of the most scenic weddings I have ever been too and I couldn’t get enough of the food at the rehearsal or the wedding-it was delicious!
The house we stayed on the other hand?
Oh my.
Let’s just say, we survived it.
It was way up on this hill in a local Jamiaca town. I want to emphasize local, no tourists to be found in this town!
The view was incredible.
See?houseThe inside?
Not so much.
There was filth and mold dripping from the walls.
I am drama, but this is no exaggeration.
See?

My sister pointing out the beautiful bathroom!

My sister pointing out the beautiful bathroom!

There was no air conditioning in 86 degrees.
I love it hot.
But so do the mosquitos.
See?

Poor little guy doing shots of Benadryl!

Poor little guy doing shots of Benadryl!

We still had fun of course.
See?

Andy and I at the rehearsal dinner on the beach!

Andy and I at the rehearsal dinner on the beach!

And the owner of the house, though untidy, made a mean teriyaki sauce.

Here’s my version…
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Here’s What You Need for the Sauce:
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2-1tsp of minced garlic
2 TBS + 1tsp of sugar in the raw
1 tsp of agave (Honey should work too)
1 cup of water

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And for the chicken:
1lb of chicken cubed
Penze’s Singapore seasoning (Or other Asian inspired spice)
Olive oil

Here’s What You Do: (Sauce)
Heat all the ingredients and bring to a rolling boil for about 10 minutes.
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Here’s What You Do: Chicken
Season chicken on both sides. Heat pan drizzled with evoo over medium high and cook chicken about 6-8 minutes, turning once or until cooked through. Cook in two batches so as to not crowd the pan! Remove chicken to a bowl and then saute the remaining chicken. Add all the chicken to the pan and pour the teriyaki sauce over the top and simmer on high for 2 minutes.
Serve with Tasty Bite rice (I like Ginger Lentil), drizzling extra sauce over the top.

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Kid Tip:
My son literally said to me. ” Can you make that chicken with the rice again exactly the same” a mere two days later. That’s a good sign that it is kid friendly, right?!

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 I have become one of those super annoying people who talks incessantly about the weather.
I try not to, but come on! It was 35 degrees and pouring rain for the third day in a row as I drove my kids to school this morning–In mid April.
It makes me want to stay in my pjs and linger in bed.
Frankly, tt’s bad for productivity ;)
I think that is why my spring fever is in full swing. I have become obsessed with looking for a new house, a cabin or a beach house. Just something NEW to replace the old that is winter.
So for these super chilly days of early spring this Skinny Baked Rigatoni is the perfect comfort food.

-Comforting me from the reality that I probably won’t get a new house, cabin, or beach house…
Enjoy this recipe my friends and send some sunshine my way!
Hugs,

Bree

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Here’s What You Need: (Seves 4)
2 Smart Chicken Spicy Italian sausage links (casings removed)
Extra virgin Olive oil
1 small zucchini
Marinara (About 26oz) I like Field Day Organics-tastes great, is organic and affordable!
1 TBS red wine
8oz organic or whole wheat rigatoni
Babybel mozzarella flavored (About 3)
Optionals: parmesan, red pepper flakes

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Saute the chicken with the zucchini

Here’s What You Do:
Make the pasta according to the directions but about 2 minutes shy of al dente. Preheat the oven to 375. Saute the sausage in evoo and add 1 small diced zucchini once the sausage is starting to brown. Pour in the marinara along with the red wine and simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in the pasta. Pour the pasta into a baking dish coated with non-stick and top with the Babybels, cut into tiny pieces. Bake covered with foil for 10 minutes and then uncovered an additional five minutes. Season with salt and pepper and pass with parmesan and red pepper flakes.

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Add in the marinara

 Kid Tip:
Pasta is usually a fairly big hit with kids, especially with a big dollop of parmesan on the top!

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Note: The Babybel cheese was provided by the Laughing Cow, but the opinions shared here are all my own.

 

grilledburrito

Hello my friends!
As  you all know, after winning the Hottest Kitchen Entrepreneur Contest last July life has been insanely busy launching my new product line-Busy Bree’s Dinner Starters. One thing I have figured out is that selling the product to the grocery store is not the hard part-supporting the grocery stores is the hard part. –Staying in touch to make sure they have adequate product, doing demonstrations to sell the product, and in my case, schlepping the jars across town from my manufacturer to the stores in the back of my Volvo.
With 100 or so employees at Futura I have really taken a step back in selling Busy Bree’s because I want to do it right. I want to support the stores and make sure my product sells.
But as the new Hottest Kitchen Entrepreneur Challenge starts and there is new media coverage, I am looking forward to the renewed excitement for Busy Bree’s and Skinny Mommy as well! :)
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I for one, always stay excited about the products themselves. I truly use them every single week cooking for my own family.
Hopefully, someday, they will be at a grocery store near you…
-and when that time comes, here is a super easy, really delicious Grilled Chicken Burrito recipe.

Have a fabulous day,

Bree
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Here’s What You Need: (For 4)
*1lb of ground chicken (I prefer Smart Chicken)
½ of a yellow squash, chopped
½ of a zucchini, chopped
1 jar of Busy Bree’s Dinner Starter Healthful Mexican (Previously known as Skinny Dinner Starter!)
1 avocado
Whole wheat tortillas
Lime
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Here’s What You Do:
Preheat your Panini maker*. Drizzle a pan with extra virgin olive oil and heat over medium high. Add the chicken until it starts to cook slightly before adding the vegetables. Cook for a few minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and then add the Dinner Starter and simmer for about 5 minutes. Chop the avocado and add some to each tortilla and top with the chicken mixture. Squeeze a quarter of a lime over the top. Fold up and then place in a heated Panini maker for 4- 5 minutes.  Serve with Greek yogurt in place of sour cream and hot sauce or salsa for dipping.

*You could also make this with chopped chicken breast or all vegetables. If you don’t have a panini maker, simply put the burrittos on a heated grill pan and and add another pan to the top to press it down to make the great grill marks. You could add a tiny bit of shredded cheese to the burrito if you like!
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Kid Tip:
These actually do make nice finger foods! Play up a fun Mexican theme to get the kids really excited.

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salad6 What do you typically do for Easter?
For many years my husband and I have hosted Easter brunch, which I adore.

….Quiches, fresh vegetables, and of course, mimosas.

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I am still smiling about this picture of my boys with the Easter Bunny last year!

 This year things will be different. Andy will be out of town on Sunday morning, which means I am going to be a busy Easter Bunny!
Also, we won’t be hosting brunch, but rather having dinner at my uncle’s house. I am equally excited to see my extended family and love the focus my family puts on salads and fresh greens.
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 Now this is what I call as Special Occasion Salad!

Here’s What You Need:
Large package of organic spring greens (I like Organic Girl)
1 batch of candied pecans (Like these ones or even better the fabulous spiced ones from Treat Bake Shop*!)
1 bunch of roasted asparagus
4oz of crumbled goat cheese
Light balsamic dressing (Like from Neuman’s Own)
Roasted beets (About 3)– I love buying  pre-roasted ones from Love Beets
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*Watch out! These pecans are so good you may be tempted to eat the whole jar before you put them on the salad!

Here’s What You Do:
Roast the asparagus and then set it aside to cool. Right before serving toss all the other ingredients together, very gently. (Add the goat cheese at the very end on top) Pass the dressing.

Happy Easter my friends!

Xo,

Bree

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

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Hello my friends! How have you been?! Long time no talk, right? I was just in Jamaica for the past week where the house I was staying in for the majority of the time had no air conditioning much less wifi. So I came home to almost 600 new emails between my two businesses.  I have been standing at the kitchen counter for the past two hours frantically trying to sift through them all so tomorrow morning doesn’t feel so daunting.
More on the Jamaican adventure later….
For now I want you feast your eyes on these MUSSELS! They are my absolute favorite date night at home dish. Add a side of roasted green beans and some big crusty bread and a romantic dinner you have. Did I mention mussels cook in about five minutes too? Fabulousness… (Is that a word?!)
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So, check out the entire recipe over at my hometown girl April’s site Food n Focus!

Now I must go scratch my zillion mosquito bites….;)

pocketI have to apologize for two things:
1. When you read this (If I can get my technology straightened out) I will be sitting in the sunshine on a tropical beach.
2. The pictures kind of suck stink. I was far too lazy to get them taken before sundown.

I can tell you, however,  that these Homemade Pizza Pockets are yummy, easy, and because they come out of the oven all golden and grande they are impressive too.
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I am pretty sure they will be a hit with your whole family.
So eat these up and I will talk to you in a week.

I am taking a much needed 1 week break from Social Media ;)
xo,
Bree

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Be sure to spray the pan with non-stick before putting the two pockets on there!


Here’s What You Need (to serve 4)

Handful of baby spinach (per pocket)
Marinara (I like Field Day Organics)
2 large pepperonis (or 4 small) Uncured, nitrate free please!
1 Mini Babybel Mozzarella (per pocket)
½-1 wedge Laughing Cow Creamy Swiss Light (per pocket)
1 Pillsbury whole wheat pizza crust (cut in half)
1 egg, whisked with water
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Here’s What You Do:
Preheat the oven according to the pizza crust instructions. Cut the crust in half and place onto a baking sheet coated with non-stick. Spread the marinara onto each crust, leaving a border. Top with the pepperonis, cheeses and the spinach. Fold over, crimping the sides. Brush the top and sides of each pizza pocket with the egg wash and then cut little holes in the top (make tiny slices with a knife). Bake according to the crust instructions. Cut each one in half as they are huge!

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Kid Tip:
A pizza in a pocket?! The kids will love it. Okay if you must, you can skip the spinach or cut it into bite size pieces.

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*Laughing Cow provided me with the samples for the post, but the opinions expressed are all my own!

 applegood2My friend Donna always teases me because I don’t have a sweet tooth. In fact, I hate to admit it but I barely even skim any recipe that includes cupcakes, cakes, tarts, bars, cookies….
I will never make them.
First of all I am a terrible baker. But more importantly-
I simply don’t crave them.
This is exactly why Donna says to me,
“Are you sure you are a girl?”
Um yes…
- just one that would much rather eat an order of mozzarella sticks than a cupcake.

Oh –but did I mention I can eat gummy bears and Mike n’ Ikes like they are going out of style?!
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This salad is the perfect combination of naturally sweet and savory with a tasty crunch.

My husband was really impressed and it took mere minutes to make.
I hope you like it too!

xo,

B
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Here’s What You Need: (Makes 2)
1 small organic apple, diced
1 small celery stalk, diced
1 tsp minced walnuts
Salt + pepper
¼ Lemon juice
1 tsp good quality blue cheese

Dressing:
1tsp Dijon
2tsps red wine vinegar
½ Lemon juice
1tsp agave/honey
Salt + Pepper
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Here’s What You Do:
Chop everything for the salad and then whisk the dressing ingredients together and drizzle it over the top. Season with salt and pepper and divide between two plates.

Kid Tip:
Deconstruct the salad! Serve apple slices with peanut butter the celery with
yogurt-based ranch dressing or hummus.

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