Picky Eater Meal ideas...

My husband is great about food.  He lets me dive into my "foodie" obsessions and compliments every meal.  He will eat leftovers, and even Mac n cheese if need be.  However my kiddos are not so sweet to their momma.  I have VERY picky eaters, and it usually take Captain Happy Pants an hour to eat dinner.  He doesn't even care for cupcakes... SERIOUSLY?! That is NOT my child!  Anyhow, Here are three REALLY good recipe ideas for your picky eaters.

Cold Cake Dippers:
We always have extra pancakes fresh from the griddle.  I despise to waste such fluffy, yummy perfection so I cut the cakes into thick strips with a pizza cutter, store them in the fridge and serve cold, dipped in Honey for a mid morning snack, or a quick breakfast with a smoothie.  The kids LOVE to dip them and have fun making their own dipping sauces (Yogurt and waffle sticks are yummy too)!

Honey-Balsamic Chicken Tenders:
I came up with this after I bought a glorious bottle of full-bodied balsamic vinegar from my fav grocery store, Trader Joes. 
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup GOOD balsamick vinegar
  • Italian style bread crumbs or Panko
  • Chicken breasts
  • Pepper, 1 tsp. minced garlic, and Olive Oil
  1. Mix the honey, BV, and Garlic in a bowl until dissolved.  Put chicken in mixture and marinate 1 hour at least. No longer then 3.
  2. Dip marinated chicken in bread crumbs and pat to adhere. Place in baking sheet.
  3. Drizzle leftover marinade over chicken, and Olive oil if needed for browning and crisping.
  4. Sprinkle with fresh ground pepper.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes or until cooked.
When done cute breasts into chicken tender strips and pile on top of a mound of fresh made mashed potatoes.  Serve with honey, A1, Ranch, or mustard for dipping.
I serve my husbands and mine as a whole breasts, and I don't use a dipping sauce.
***When I make mashed potatoes I use Red potatoes, peeled, cooked and then mash with a hand masher.  I then melt equal parts butter and milk in a sauce pan and stir in potatoes to reach desired creaminess. Melting the butter makes a WORLD of difference.

Macaroni Cupcakes:  From Giada, adapted my me.
  • 2 cups dried bread crumbs, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 8 ounces ground turkey or ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
  • 8 ounces small pasta, such as pennette, shells, or elbows
  • 2 cups grated Parmesan or Italian blend
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli,
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray 2 (12-cup) muffin or cupcake pans with vegetable cooking spray. Using 1 cup of the bread crumbs, coat the inside of each muffin cup with bread crumbs, shaking off any excess.
  2. In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground turkey or chicken, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, Cook, stirring frequently, until cooked through, about 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside and cover to keep warm.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and add to a large bowl. Stir in the cooked turkey and the cheeses. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Spoon the prepared pasta mixture into the cupcake molds, filling evenly to about 2/3 full. Arrange a few pieces of tomato, and broccoli into each cup. Top with a thin layer of the remaining bread crumbs and drizzle with olive oil.
  5. Bake until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes and carefully unmold with a spoon onto a serving platter.
My Kids LOVE helping make these and have so fun eating them with a side of french bread. They don't even notice the veggies. 


May's Favorite things and a New Designer: Kendra Scott

My fabulous sister is the author of the wonderfully inspiring blog Swirls of Happy.  Her recent post on color found HERE left me thinking about one of my newest favorites whom is a designer who uses COLOR! I was quickly inspired to write about her,  Kendra Scott.  Her Color wheel is genius, and she is just as adorable as one can get.  Check out her delicious designs on this link: Click Me  Kendra recently did a makeover and a dream wedding for a bride and her husband to be whom has been deployed in the service. She featured the giveaway on the Rachel Ray show. Needless to say my eyes were filled with tears, it was a very sweet and kind gesture.  You can read and watch the video about this all American couple and fabulous designer  HERE.  Onto the Favorites!  Every month I will post a list of my current favorites. Here are May's:

  • The new OPI color "Sparrow me the Drama" from their summer collection. It is a perfect pink-purple-nude color.

    I still can't get enough of these versatile dresses since last season.. They are comfy, and chic, and can be layered with a cardigan and a waist belt. So fab!
    Lip Stain in "passion".  I have been going sans makeup in this heat and if I apply this pink color and a coat of mascara I am good to go.  Plus its only $7!  Beauty Bargain!
    This past four months I joined a Modern dance group.  The teacher was amazing, inspiring, and tough.  I constantly had bruises, pulled muscles, and tore my body apart.  It was one of the most physically challenging things I've done (even more than my triathlon), as it used muscles, poise, and concentration I did not know I had.  It was a fabulous class and it enabled me to do something for my artistic outlet.
    I LOVE my usual "creamy nutmeg" candle but for the summer I like something fresh and this is my go to scent for our home. (Plus how happy is this color)! The Caribbean escape is wonderful also and comes in a Pink hue.
    I am in LOVE with this cream formula from MAC.  This color is Posey and gives my cheeks a moisture surge of pinky perfect color for the summer. Thank you MAC
    I am a follower of the Stilla tinted moisturizer but during my wedding I found this little number.  It Illuminates to a pearl finish and also primes my skin for my bare esenctuals.  It is a MUST in my make up bag.  You can get it HERE
    Paradise Bakery...Ahhh...How I love thee.  Their Sesame chicken salad with a side of fire roasted tomato soup is my go to dinner with the kiddos when the Hubs is traveling for work.  I can't go through my week without making two stops (yes two a week) to pick up their lemon zester cookie and plain sugar cookie. Heaven on earth.  I have a mock recipe for these that I will be trying this weekend and will post how it turns out!
    Mary Pope Osborne is a genius children's writer and has got my boys hooked!  Jerron is so into these books and can't put them down!  He currently just bought the newest book "The crazy day of the Cobra" at his school's book fair.  After each book he finishes he gets to choose a restaurant to go to on a family date.  I love that he loves to read! (and that he chooses yummy restaurants! Pei Wei, Paradise, Red Robin, Oregano's) He definitely has his mommas sense of food. Go grab some of the books in this series for your kiddos.
      This new family favorite.  Giada's Chicken Pastina...Find the recipe HERE It's so easy and delish. The hubby and kids adore it.

    • Hands Down the BEST moisturizer ever!  They have an entire line of skincare that I am an avid believer in.  I personally use the foaming cleanser, AM lotion (which contains 30spf), PM lotion at night and the Cerave cream on my gams and feet. The regular body lotion is fabulous too for daily care.  Jerron my 8 year old has the worst eczema and if I lather him up head to toe with the cream he never has breakouts, and his current dry skin patches are dramatically improving.  The best part is you can grab it at CVS or Walgreens and it is inexpensive at $10-$20 depending on the product!  Yeah! 


      My Trader Joes Herb Garden.  This cute little herb garden comes in a hand crafted wooden planter with three slots for Basil, Italian Parsley, and Thyme.  Its perfect in my kitchen and I adore cooking with fresh herbs, plus the kiddies have fun taking care of it!

      Popcorn Indiana is a fav snack in our home. I carry the single serve bags in my purse at all times. Our family favorites are the kettle corn, cinna sugar, and aged white cheddar.  Even better is they are all natural. Now that is Yummy!


    Can you say Soludos?

    Glamour Magazine recently reported on this new up coming spring and summer trend.  It is the Soludos shoe.  It's basically a marriage between a flat and espadrille, and if you ask me BRILLIANT!  It doesn't get more classic then an espadrille in hot weather.  Kate Bosworth and Jennifer Garner have been spotted wearing them and they are a steal... only $28!  Yes Please!  They come in all styles and colors and you better believe I already purchased myself a pair.  Another great tid bit is they are eco friendly and equally easy to wear.  You can find them Here Enjoy your new shoes, your feet and your inner style maven will will thank you... Your welcome.

    PS... They are sold out EVERYWHERE but you can buy a similar pair Here