If you’ve ever read this blog in your life, you know that I am constantly surrounded by pregnant women. My girlfriends are now at the point of considering babies, not preventing babies, or frantically preparing for the arrival of their babies. And when it comes to work, there isn’t but one male on our entire list of employees. But there’s a whole host of fertile Mrytles walking around up there on my unit, that’s for sure. And even if you’re like me, shaking your head fiercely back and forth and making a stank face when someone points to you and makes the ‘you’re next’ comment, you can’t help but get excited for all these little blessings about to enter the world. I’m definitely excited to meet all these babies and happy for all the expectant parents too.
And when you’re happy, you must party. You just have to. But throwing showers for five girls can be hard. But if your mothers-to-be are two peas in a pod, take that opportunity to honor them together. And if it’s North Carolina hot (and it is) then have an ice cream social. And call it “Two Scoops are Better than One” since you’ve got two babes to celebrate and run with it!
So there’s a picture of our spread. We found those cute ice cream cones online for $4 each on Amazon (steal!) And we made a simple paper doily banner with pink and blue letters that spelled out the name of our theme.
What’s an ice cream sundae without toppings galore? We used mason jars to store them all, and put them in an old beverage crate to keep them contained. And just so there’s no confusion, we made little tags to identify them ;).
One of the coolest things we found for this party were these awesome printables online. It had pinks and blues and some more unisex colors and they were absolutely perfect for this party. And they were free!
We had a great beverage bar too, complete with sweet tea, Orange Fizz Punch, Cheerwine Punch and water. And of course, the ever popular stripey straws. Of course I believe a good spread and good decorations are necessary, but that takes a real backseat to the good company. And these girls always bring their A-Game.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t venture out much when it comes to cooking. There’s a safe place between chocolate chip cookies and baked chicken. Branching out isn’t easy, and it most often means you don’t even know where to start to find what you need. It is a little unnerving to wander through the grocery store looking angrily (let’s be honest) for an ingredient I cannot find because I’ve never used it before. And maybe this seems a little simple to you guys because this ingredient isn’t uncommon, but I could not find pitted dates for the life of me this week. And I was so frustrated I wore a blister on my foot stomping around two different stores, true story.
Why dates, you ask? Only for a recipe that rocked my socks. Bacon-wrapped dates, exactly. I had them recently at a cookout and it practically changed my entire outlook on the world. You know how it is, when you go to a potluck event and you make something delicious and sure to please? It’s nice to be the one that brings the most delicious thing, the thing that people have to have the recipe for. But it’s also nice to be the one that discovers the most delicious thing and get the recipe for yourself. So thank you, Christine, where ever you are and in whatever way we are connected through mutual friends, thank you for the game changer. Yeah, did you hear me?
Bacon. Wrapped. Dates.
Simple enough. Buy a bag of Sun-Maid pitted dates and your favorite bacon. Cut each bacon piece into thirds (width wise) and wrap around the date, secure with a toothpick. Bake on a cookie sheet at 350 for 35 minutes. Eat it!
Let’s keep it rolling with some healthy recipes I’ll actually eat. And more importantly, a recipe that I will make again, a true sign of deliciousness. Erin and I decided that if we were going to run a food prep marathon, we deserved a decent dinner during the process. We got some fresh shrimp that day so that dictated which meal we were making that night. We crossed our fingers and attempted to make Shrimp Scampi. It was a shot in the dark, I’ve made shrimp once, and homemade sauces, like, never.
4 tsp olive oil
1/2 lb raw shrimp, deveined without tails
6-8 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup minced parsley
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet, then saute the shrimp for 3-5 minutes or until barely pink. Add the garlic to the skillet and stir constantly for 30 seconds. Remove the shrimp and keep warm. In the skillet, add broth, wine, lemon juice, parsley, salt, pepper and bring to a boil. Boil until the sauce is reduced to half the original amount. Pour the sauce over the shrimp and serve on a bed of rice or with fettuccine noodles (we chose the latter). Garnish with uncooked parsley if you wish. This makes 2 servings.
I’m here to report it was fantastic. It might sound crazy but I think this would be perfect for a summer dinner party because it’s so light. Sangria, scampi, a fabulous dessert. Yes, I said dessert…because everything in moderation. If you know of any crowd-pleasing skinny recipes please send them over! Have a great week yall!
Like I mentioned before, eating in doesn’t always sound so appealing. When you compare it to the probable sabotage of eating out though, you might be like me and want to find a way to make it work. Now, I’m no foodie and I do not have a refined palate. I’m good to eat a chicken sandwich for dinner from now until kingdom come. But I figure if I’m going to try to cook some healthy options at home and expect my husband to eat, I’m going to have to venture out of my comfort zone.
So my workout partner, Erin, and I discussed “freezer meals” in an effort to have real food to eat while at work and attempting some healthier recipes in the process. It was an all day marathon of selecting our recipes, making our list, shopping at 3 different stores, making our dinner, two snacks, and four freezer dinners. It remains to be seen if all these recipes will be edible…I don’t have much hope for any kind of sauce made from cauliflower but we’ll see.
But right off the bat, we do know there are a couple of recipes that are winners. Erin really wanted to try these no-bake energy bites. They remind me of those no-bake cookies I have made in the past. You know the ones….2 cups of sugar, a ton of butter, cocoa, oatmeal. Yeah, they’re delicious. Delicious and terrible for you. Cue the energy bites. I could certainly eat those and not feel like I cheated myself out of what I wanted. And not in that, “I wanted something sweet so I settled for this thing instead, but now my craving really hasn’t subsided because my substitute was no real substitute” sort of way. Like, it’s a real substitute and can satisfy whatever craving you’re having.
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 mini chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla flavoring
Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Roll into bite-size balls and store in the refrigerator.
Sometimes, cooking in just will not do. Either you’re tired or uninspired or craving something you cannot replicate in your kitchen. I get it, I totally binged on Chinese food the other day. But with all this gym going and the reintroduction of apps into my life that calculate my caloric intake and nutrition…eating out just isn’t looking all that great.
I had made some easy decisions at the beginning of the year that would impact me at work: I was absolutely not going to eat from the cafeteria unless I had to since everything served to nightshifters is deep-fried and fabulous, I was not going to partake in the fresh doughnut train as it made its way through my unit (which is just about every other day), I was going to pay attention to my fluid intake since I hardly drink anything while working, and I wasn’t going to eat any vending machine treats (a dang Air Head takes more than a 1/2 mile on the elliptical to work off!). All that was great but then there’s the other battle: if you don’t put any thought into your meals for work you end up packing your lunch and eating for convenience. That’s almost as bad as all the rest of the things I was trying to avoid.
Truthfully, I would like to attempt some “skinny recipes” too. But for now, I’m just focusing on increasing cooking and preparing food at home. Now I’m not about to suggest that this recipe is a healthy option…but it’s certainly not the worst thing for you if you compare it to what you might consume outside your kitchen. It’s simple and quick and has very few ingredients and that’s perfect.
Rosemary and Dijon Chicken
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup dijon mustard
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Mix mustard, syrup and vinegar together. In a greased dish, place chicken breasts and season with salt and pepper (minimal salt, lots of pepper). Pour the mustard mixture over the top of the chicken, coating each piece. Bake for 35 minutes at 425 degrees. Add chopped rosemary ( I only used 1/8 of a cup) over the top of each piece of chicken and bake an additional 10 minutes. Serve warm!
This recipe was husband approved, and that doesn’t happen often with these internet-Pinterest recipes. I will say though, to use the rosemary sparingly…it’s potent. Happy cooking yall!
In the spirit of the Super Bowl and all the glorious food there is to eat at those parties, I’m going to share a little comfort food recipe with you that’s sure to please the masses. Every holiday, we visit D’s family and I know two things are going to happen: we’re going to have belly laughs with a handful of sweet people and I’m going to eat my weight in Booger Pudding. Might not sound appetizing, but it is. In fact, if it’s my holiday to work I always beg D to bring me Booger Pudding so as not to miss out on all the fun. More than likely, you’ve had a variation of this dessert at some point in your life. This is like a better version of the oreo & pudding layered dirt cake. D’s Aunt Lisa makes it all the time, and even if we’ve run the holiday family gamut and I’m stuffed to my gills, there’s always room for Booger Pudding. So here’s how ya make it!
1 box fudge brownie mix (prepared per directions on box, I like Ghirardelli Double Chocolate)
8 crushed Heath Bars
1 large tub of whipped topping
1 large box of instant Chocolate pudding (prepared per directions on box)
After preparing the brownies, let cool completely and crush them into pieces. Put a layer of brownie crumbs in the trifle dish, topped with a layer of chocolate pudding, whipped topping, and Heath bits. Continue to add layers in trifle dish until all ingredients are used, it should make 2-3 layers. Serve chilled and enjoy. So easy!
I don’t know about you, or if you’re as obsessed with Pinterest as I am, but we are gonna talk about it today. I get real pissed off when I find an idea on Pinterest and I expect miracles to occur and the Earth to move based on how much stock people put into said idea. I mean, if you tell me its the best thing since sliced bread…I expect it to be true. But sometimes it just ISN’T and you sit around wondering if you actually did it right. So, let’s dive into a couple of these ideas and I’ll tell you if they’re worth it before you invest your energy.
So did you see the whole “soak your shower head in vinegar” to improve water flow and rid the shower head of any moldy gunk with minimal effort on your part? Yes? Ok, I let my shower head get as disgusting as I could stand for the sake of this post. This was difficult for me since I’m pretty anal retentive about my house being clean. I have been in living situations so cringe-worthy that I have LITERALLY been reduced to tears in my past. But that’s just a whole other thing all together. So here is the before picture:
Don’t JUDGE me, I did this for you!
And here is the during picture:
And here is the after:
So basically, not worth your time. Obviously, I need my shower head to be spotless. So I still ended up having to clean it with the old toothbrush like I always have. Not to mention the fact that I left the vinegar bag hanging for way longer than the post instructed me to just because I wasn’t getting any of the desired effects. So my whole bathroom smelled like stanky vinegar for over a day. And if you’re having trouble imagining what that must be like…think about a locker room occupied by a gym class full of sweaty boys knowing they barely place enough value on personal hygiene to be considered “good human code.” That ought to do it. Pass on this pin.
Another post that sang to me was the “Sharpie Art Mug” because I think on the whole, nurses consume ungodly amounts of coffee and there are statistics that prove it. We’ve made the top ten list and when someone brews a fresh pot of coffee at about 3AM this is what my coworkers look like:
So of course my nursing buddies could appreciate a thoughtful coffee mug. I got a mug at Dollar Tree and used some sharpies I had on hand. I do suggest using a fat-tipped marker, not a skinny one. I think the handwriting just looks better!
I wrote a real sweetsie note to my friend and baked it in the oven at tree-fiddy for 45 minutes. Simple as that. I let it cool off and wrapped it up with all kinds of coffee and coffee-themed snacks. This pin was totally worth my time. And It can be worth yours too! I wish this idea was mine originally, but it ain’t. I never would have thought to bake a mug in the oven because I wouldn’t want it to shatter in a fiery inferno ball and burn my house down. But people bake in ceramics all the time so I don’t know what I was afraid of.
I hope you all have a great week. Maybe you can actually make something you’ve pinned for once if you’re feeling up to the task!