Category: Recipes

A Working Mom and Her Pancakes

I’m not going to lie to y’all – I have been BUSY!

But since I’m being honest, I can say that I kind of love it!!

Being back to work has been an adjustment, of course, but I think we’re finally… sort of… almoooooost… in a groove! This groove does require being in bed by 9:30 (if I’m lucky) and waking up at 5:00 – but it’s totally a groove!! Hopefully this week I’m going to try and give you an updated “day in the life” kind of post. I always think those posts are super fun! But for now – here’s what’s been up with THIS buttercup!

I’m very lucky that the staff at KinderCare have been so accomodating and willing to send a fairly nervous Momma photos of her babe. Of all the one’s I’ve received, this is the one where Emma is the happiest lol.

Emma not hating daycare

 

Obviously, Emma hasn’t been thrilled at the prospect of being dropped off with strangers. But after three weeks – she’s downing at least two bottles and eating bits and pieces of solids, too, which makes me very happy! Dropping her off is kind of rough, but I’ve kept it together!! Once I’m at work, though, I hardly even have time to check my phone to see how she’s doing before it’s time to head out again! Time has seriously gone by so, so quickly! I can’t believe it’s been three weeks back to work already. I’m loving every second of my new job! (I’m a Project Manager for an Internet Marketer in Harrisburg). I kind of just got thrown right into the fire and am already working with clients – but I can’t imagine it any other way. I learn best by doing, so I think it’s working out pretty well.

I’ve resorted to some serious meal prepping since I’m so busy. I’m all about salads in a jar for lunch. I’ve done an Asian one, a Greek one, and a Southwest one. This week I’m thinking Strawberry Spinach. I plan to write a post on them soon – so we’ll see how that goes. 😉 Hardboiled eggs and string cheese are my snacks of choice – as are grapes, sugar snap peas, baby carrots, and the occasional rice cake with peanut butter and banana on top.

Breakfasts have been protein smoothies, overnight oats, and eggs and avocado toast.

eggs and avo toast

On a good day – I’m up at 5:00am, I feed Emma who then goes back to sleep for a bit (on a good day), I shower, get ready and have time to eat some breakfast before I grab the babe head out the door. Having a flex start time is amazing because I don’t need to stress if I’m running a few minutes later than I’d prefer because I can show up anytime between 8:00am and 10:00am…it’s pretty glorious. Obviously as an early riser I do what I can to get there for 8:00am. So far so good!!

emma and her drawerEmma bear is seriously on the move, lately!! And getting into everything! We’ve officially had to start baby proofing…but this drawer just has oven mitts in it…so it’s hers now lol.

And o0o0o0o0o!!!! I had a lovely first Mother’s Day, thanks for asking!!! The hubs and the babe took me to brunch at a place in the Burg I’ve been dying to try – Home 231. I got not 1…but 2 mimosas (I know, I’m wild) and huevos rancheros which were effing delightful. I struggled to pick something, but it’s pretty much a guarantee that if a menu has huevos rancherors Imma get it.  Hubs got a burger and fries with some Troegs Perpetual IPA – of course. We brought Emma cheerios so she was a happy camper!

brunch

Being back to work really does make me appreciate the weekend again!! Last weekend, I made Em and I matching banana oat pancakes for breakfast. There is something about mini breakfasts that just make me happy inside. She at about half of one of these babies and thoroughly enjoyed the peanut butter on top. I ate all of mine…and one of hers. But I don’t feel bad about it lol. We still haven’t given Em chocolate, so I reserved the chocolate chips for me. Mu-hu-hahaha.

mommy and baby pancakes

 

Gosh, don’t you just love breakfast food?! All I want to do now is eat these pancakes. Here is the foolproof recipe!!

Mommy & Baby Banana Oat Pancakes

  • 1 ripe banana, smashed
  • 1 egg (if you haven’t given your baby a whole egg yet, i suggest two yolks.)
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats

Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl. Cook on a griddle over medium heat… like you would any other pancake… and serve!!

I know, that recipe isn’t the most specific. But if you don’t know how to make pancakes I’m sure there is a video on youtube that will show you how… in fact….here ya go! Have at it!! The internets is great, isn’t it?

Pesto Chicken & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

It pains me to admit that I so rarely fiddle around with new recipes in the kitchen. When you’ve got a handful of quick recipes that make everyone happy it’s very easy to fall into a routine of just making the same things over and over again. I was feeling creative last night and with only six ingredients – ingredients that I always have on hand, but have never combined this way – I made a fabulous, healthy, and gorgeous dinner in 30 minutes. Seriously.

Pesto Pepper 2

Now I’m not going to lie to you. I have never had “traditional” stuffed peppers. I love peppers, don’t get me wrong, but I just never found the concept of mushy peppers stuffed with ground beef and rice all that appealing. Sounds pretty bland if you ask me.  This recipe is far from bland and packed with flavor! I also don’t cook the peppers to mush – I like them to have a little texture left to them. But if you like your stuffed peppers that way …

 Pesto Chicken & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

  • 2 bell peppers, sliced it in half
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts , diced into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup of quinoa, cooked
  •  2 tablespoons of good quality, store bought pesto (if you have homemade, even better!)
  • 2 cups of baby spinach
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the peppers, open side up,  and place in the oven. Let cook for about 10 ten minutes.

While the peppers are cooking, cook the chicken breasts in a nonstick skillet sprayed with a little nonstick spray over medium high heat until cooked through – about 7 minutes. Add the spinach and cover with a lid to wilt. Add the cooked quinoa and pesto to the pan. Stir well to combine.

Remove the peppers from the oven and carefully spoon the chicken and quinoa mixture into each pepper cavity. Top each pepper with 1/4 cup the mozzarella. Return to the oven and let cook ten minutes more until the cheese is melted and begins to brown.

Let cool about 5 minutes before serving!

Pesto Chicken & Quinoa Stuffed Pepper

 

 

Chocolate for Breakfast, Please & Thank You

Well hello there!!

What’s it been? 7 months? Yikes!

The hiatus was definitely necessary. Not because I DON’T enjoy blogging.
But because I DO enjoy being a Mom!!
Time has gone by so, insanely fast it’s hard for me to believe!

mom and em

At 10 months old, my sweet little Emma Bear has finally almost fallen into a routine!

HUZZAH!

This means a few things:

  1. With naps a part of the every day I have more me time – for things like exercise and blogging;
  2. Without being latched onto me 24/7, I am finally starting to have the time to experiment with new recipes instead of just making the same old all the time;
  3. Sleeping through the night may not be a thing yet, but we’re getting close! A well rested Mom and Baby are a much happier pair!

There are soooooo many different directions I feel like I could take this post. I could talk about the attempted face-lift I’m giving the blog. (It’s still a work in progress – so please forgive the ever changing layouts as of late. I’ll find something I like soon, I’m sure. You’ll also notice a name change! Twenty-Something & Starving has become Mommy Runs for Food! I’ll explain that later, too!) I could discuss with you adventures in breastfeeding and un-planned bed-sharing. I could talk about my latest workout routine, PiYo, and my conversion to being a team beachbody believer. But for today, I think I will stick with the classic quick and easy recipe!

In a perfect world I would eat chocolate every single day without consequence. (The same goes for peanut butter – but I’ll save that for another day.) There may have even been a time not too long ago when I did, in fact, eat chocolate every day. Ooopsies! Now that I’m really back on board the health train, I limit my chocolate intake to a few days a week and mostly have it in the form of protein, Shakeology, and dark chocolate on occasion. So having chocolate for breakfast is kind of my jam!

Now that it’s finally not freezing outside, overnight oats are a staple breakfast for me. At night, once I put Em down to bed, I usually have some decaf tea and get my hubby’s lunch together for the following day. While my water is coming to a boil, it’s soooo easy to just throw some ingredients into a jar and have breakfast ready and waiting for me in the morning. I’ve been experimenting with a few different recipes for overnight oats – but these ones may be my new favorite. Packed with protein and tons of chocolate flavor for a sweet addict like me – waking up has never tasted so good so fast.

Toasted Almond Chocolate Overnight Oats

In a mason jar or container with a lid, mix the following ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup oats (I used steel cut, but rolled would be great, too!)
  • 1/4 cup nonfat vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 1 scoop chocolate whey protein
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Set in the refrigerator and breakfast is waiting for you in the morning!

Serve topped with 1/2 of a sliced banana, a few chocolate chips, and some toasted slivered almonds!

 

toasted almond chocolate overnight oats

 

Chipotle Chicken Chili

First of all…the fact that I’ve had the opportunity to post TWO DAYS IN A ROW…is madness. Complete and utter MADNESS!! I love my baby girl, but boooooooooy do I love nap time. Muhuhahahaha.

Not only am I sharing another NEW recipe today, but this is another super simple crock pot recipe! Just in time for fall, amiright? I have never loved my crock pot as much as I do now that I am a mom. The faster I can get something done, the more likely I am to eat it without having a baby on my boob! Though, I can’t lie, I’ve gotten pretty great at doing things with one hand because I have a baby in the other…or balancing her perfectly on the Boppy while I eat OVER her. I prefer to avoid that if I can, though, heh.

Anywho, the Falcons were playing last night (What a game! I’m not sure I’d really even call that a game…poor Bucs.), so I wanted to make something appropriate for football viewing. Chili was the obvious choice. But without having any beef on hand I decided to go for a chicken version.

BEST. CHOICE. EVER.

I posted a photo of the finished product on Instagram last night and had a few requests for the recipe. So here it is, my friends.

Words cannot describe how easy this chili is to make. You literally just stir everything together in the crock pot, add the chicken breasts, pop on the lid and BAM. You are a mere 5 hours from delicious!

Chipotle Chicken Chili

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can white beans
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 onion
  • 1 chipotle in adobo, minced
    (add more or less … depending on your spice tolerance. 1 gives it a nice kick, but you won’t be sweating)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • salt to taste

In the base of your crock pot, add the can of tomatoes. Fill the empty can halfway with water and add it to the crock pot. Add the beans, peppers, onions, and spices. Stir well to combine. Nestle the chicken breasts into the tomato mixture. Cover and cook on high 4-6 hours or until the chicken shreds easily with two forks. Shred up the chicken and serve your chili with cheese, avocado, and whatever else you fancy…just make sure you have plenty of tortilla chips for scooping!chipotle chicken chili

Also, because I can’t keep this cuteness all to myself…check out my little happy bear!! EEEEEEEEEEEE. I just can’t.

Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake

I’m not sure if you’ve gathered this about me by now, but I’m not really much of a baker. I can safely say this is the truth for a few reasons.

First and foremost, I’ve always been more of the “creative” type in the kitchen and I always have a very hard time following recipes. It’s not that I’m incapable of doing so. It’s just that baking is so exact that, personally, I can never get that excited about it.

What’s so exciting about following directions??

Nothing, I say!

That’s what I’ve always loved so much about cooking. Sure, there are techniques that I may need to know or ratios that are important but, ultimately, every time I whip something up in the kitchen the best part, for me, is that I don’t need to think about measuring or having things precisely a specific way and I know that whatever I make will still turn out delicious!

Another thing about baking is that the result of baking is so rarely healthy that I can’t  justify even bothering to bake something. Sure, there are some baked goods that I adore. I love a buttery croissant or cheese danish, I swoon over carrot cake, and I have a hard time saying no to brownies (especially if there are nuts in them!). Luckily, though, it’s always pretty easy for me to refuse a slice of chocolate cake, apple pie, or a big deli blueberry muffin.  As someone who typically advocates eating healthy, when I DO bake it’s usually something  like my banana oat muffin/bars or something similar, where there is no white flour or butter to be found!

For Easter this year, though, when I decided to make breakfast for the family I knew that I wanted to have something sweet to accompany the quiche I was making and although fruit is delicious (and was had in abundance) I decided to give baking  something a whirl.  Another pastry that I enjoy and my husband in particular loves is coffee cake. Nothing too crazy about it. Not some fancy, fruity, glazed nonsense.  Just a lovely cinnamon swirl coffee cake.

I found a fairly basic recipe for a standard classic coffee cake and spruced it up to make it my own (because I just can’t help myself). The batter is spiked with lemon zest and cinnamon and uses white whole wheat flour to get some fiber in your diet! I also used plain, nonfat greek yogurt to replace the traditional sour cream used in most coffee cake recipes and this recipe turned out perfectly moist and tender.  The cinnamon swirl contains oats and walnuts to bulk it out because I wanted as much swirl as possible without adding anymore sugar to the recipe.  The resulting coffee cake was delightful, especially paired with a steaming hot cup of English Breakfast Tea with milk and honey (or ya know…coffee…if you’re like most people.) I hope you enjoy this recipe!

coffee cake

Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake

For the Coffee Cake
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain, nonfat greek yogurt

For the Cinnamon Swirl
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9×9 inch baking dish with some nonstick spray and set aside.

To make he cinnamon swirl: combine the sugars, oats, walnuts, and cinnamon in a small dish. Add the vanilla and the softened butter and, using your hands, smush everything together until the butter is distributed and the mixture is crumbly. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer if that what you’ve got) cream together the butter and sugar for about 5 minutes on medium speed until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, vanilla extract, and lemon zest and mix until just combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Slowly add 1/2 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture with your mixer on low speed. Add 1/2 of the yogurt and combine. Add the remaining flour and combine, followed by the yogurt.

Spread half of the batter into the prepared baking dish. Top with half of the cinnamon swirl mixture. Top with the remaining batter, making sure you spread it out to cover the swirl, and top with remaining cinnamon mixture.

Bake the coffeecake for 45-55 minuets, or until a toothpick (or heck, I always just use a knife) inserted in the center of the coffeecake comes out clean. Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving…preferably to people you love…because you’re not going to want to share this coffeecake with just anyone.

 

Do you have a favorite breakfast pastry??  

Do you prefer coffee or tea??

Last, but certainly not least,  don’t forget to grab a badge and link up with your favorite real food recipe, today!!

Twenty-Something & Starving

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