Thursday, July 24, 2014

Homemade Salsa

Finally tried my hand at making my own salsa and all I can say is why the heck did I wait so long?!?!



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Homemade Salsa
by happyvballgirl @ My Epicurean Adventures
http://www.myepicureanadventures.com/2014/07/homemade-salsa.html

Ingredients:
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 small onion, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
1 Tbsp dice pickled jalapenos (or more to taste)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 lime, squeezed
5 fresh whole tomatoes (vine-ripened work reeaaaaally well but makes for a more watery salsa.)

Directions:
  1. Mix together and enjoy!
  2. If you're using a food processor or blender, no need to finely chop everything. Just quarter tomatoes and coarsely chop onions and green peppers and place ingredients in the order it is listed above. Pulse slowly (speed 4 if using a Vitamix Blender) 4 or 5 time for a couple seconds at a time or until desired consistency.
Makes about 4 cups of salsa. 
Note: salsa will be slightly watery.

Papa Spuds - for providing the freshest fruits and veggies (and more) right at my doorstep!

Thanks so much for stopping by and please feel free to make my day by leaving me a comment, joining my blog in the top right corner or liking my on Facebook at MyEpicureanAdventures - the more the merrier! :)

Christine, aka happyvballgirl :)

Here are some affiliate links to the products I love and use on a daily basis. Well, I don't use ALL of them everyday but I do use at least 3 every day... you know what I mean! :) Feel free to ask me about any of 'em!

Any purchases made through these links earns me a little extra cash to support my bento habit, which my hubby would really appreciate. haha! So thank you!!! if you choose to use any of 'em! :)

Handy Kitchen Tools:
Vitamix - what can I say but I love it! You can enjoy free shipping when purchasing one through their website using this coupon code: 06-009331 (or just click on the hyperlink or button below)

vitamix.com Products

or purchase one through Amazon.com:

  

Nutribullet - Didn't think I needed one when my parents gave it to me, but it sure has come in handy:

  

This post has been shared at:
Homemade Mondays
Tuesday's Table
Anyonita Nibbles' - Tasty Tuesdays

Disclosure: Affiliate links are used on this blog. :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Spinach Taco Salad

I've been on a serious taco salad kick lately. Must be the leftovers from Taco Salad Night. :) Plus, they are so darned yummy. And can be pretty healthy depending on what you put in it!

Here's yesterday's lunch:


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... and dinner from a couple nights ago. I just can't get enough! But alas, I finished off the last of it, so it'll be a little while until my next one. 


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In these Taco Salads:
  1. Baby Spinach, chopped up
  2. Shredded Carrots - further chopped up
  3. Broccoli Slaw - further chopped up
  4. Taco meat (see Taco Salad Night for a link to the recipes)
  5. Mushrooms (dinner has 'em, lunch doesn't - I LOVE mushrooms but this one tastes better w/o 'em)
  6. 3 Blend Shredded Cheese from Trader Joe's
  7. DELICIOUS Cherry Tomatoes from my CSA Papa Spuds
  8. Muir Glen Organic Salsa - Medium
  9. Mt. Olive's diced jalapenos - best idea ever. :)
  10. Fresh cilantro - this is what makes them irresistible to me!
  11. Sour Cream
  12. Crispy Tortilla Strips (see below)
* The lunch has a side of cantaloupe and the tomatoes on the side.

The icing on this cake was DEFINITELY the crunchy tortilla strips on top. I just took one soft flour tortilla, cut them up into strips and toasted them in my toaster oven until they looked like this! You can also bake them in the oven at around 350 for about 7 mins or until lightly browned. Yummy!


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Shout Outs:

MOMables - for sharing so many delicious and healthy recipes with us!

Papa Spuds - for providing the freshest fruits and veggies (and more) right at my doorstep!

Thanks so much for stopping by and please feel free to make my day by leaving me a comment, joining my blog in the top right corner or liking my on Facebook at MyEpicureanAdventures - the more the merrier! :)

Christine, aka happyvballgirl :)

Here are some affiliate links to the products I love and use on a daily basis. Well, I don't use ALL of them everyday but I do use at least 3 every day... you know what I mean! :) Feel free to ask me about any of 'em!

Any purchases made through these links earns me a little extra cash to support my bento habit, which my hubby would really appreciate. haha! So thank you!!! if you choose to use any of 'em! :)

My new favorite cookbook - sooooo many awesome recipes perfect for kids and adults alike:

   

The Lodge - for their high-quality made in America cookware that seriously makes cooking more fun. :)

  

Pyrex Storage Containers to store leftovers (or get leftovers from!):

Monday, July 21, 2014

Here's Lunch #31: Jelly Sandwich Sticks

Girls wanted some jelly sandwiches last week, so I reluctantly obliged. Made sure to at least include some cheese for protein. With that, heeeeeere's lunch! :)


Big Sis' Lunch:


Little Sis' Lunch:


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In this lunch:
  1. Jelly sandwiches using Cascadian Farm Organic Blueberry Jelly on Trader Joe's Organic Wheat Bread
  2. Organic Carrot Sticks w/ Simply Dressed Ranch Dressing
  3. Trader Joe's 12-grain Mini Crackers
  4. Food Lion Brand Monterrey block of cheese cut into squares
  5. Organic strawberries in Little Sis' and Peeled Snacks Apple Clusters and a box of Sunmaid Raisins in Big Sis'
  6. Annie's Homegrown Cheddar Bunnies
  7. Mini Whoopie Pie (leftover from Big Sis' Soccer party)
* "Here's Lunch" is a series of lunch posts for those days when I really don't have more to say than "Here's lunch". :)

Shout Outs:
Annie's Homegrown for so many delicious and wholesome foods I love feeding my girls.

Peeled Snacks for a healthy fresh fruit alternative (for Big Sis)

Papa Spuds - for providing the freshest fruits and veggies (and more) right at my doorstep!

Thanks so much for stopping by and please feel free to make my day by leaving me a comment, joining my blog in the top right corner or liking my on Facebook at MyEpicureanAdventures - the more the merrier! :)

Christine, aka happyvballgirl :)

Here are some affiliate links to the products I love and use on a daily basis. Well, I don't use ALL of them everyday but I do use at least 3 every day... you know what I mean! :) Feel free to ask me about any of 'em!

Any purchases made through these links earns me a little extra cash to support my bento habit, which my hubby would really appreciate. haha! So thank you!!! if you choose to use any of 'em! :)

Items used in this post:

  

Ice Packs:

  

My favorite Bento supplier @ All Things For Sale.  Just click on the pix to view/purchase now! :)

Japanese Bento Accessories Sauce Container set of 4 Lovely Mayo Cup Japanese Bento Accessories Silicone Colorful Food Cup 6P  

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Grilled Wraps or Burritos


I've been really into grilled burritos and wraps lately. Something about that crispy tortilla shell just makes my mouth water. What's awesome about these is that you can put just about ANYTHING in them and they will still taste delicious. I had a grilled chipotle chicken wrap at the mall last week, a grilled burrito using leftovers from Taco Salad Night a couple days ago and now this one. Even made one for the girls' dinner last night. This one is from today. I call it the "fridge-clearing wrap" because I was able to use up the rest of the grilled chicken, Mexican rice, Annie's Homegrown refried black beans as well as some shredded lettuce that was on the verge of trashdom all filling up my fridge. I also threw in some salsa, diced pickled jalapenos and sour cream to top it off. I can't believe I forgot the cheese, but I didn't notice it lacking any deliciousness when I bit into it. :)


I grilled it using my favorite "newish" kitchen toy, my Lodge 8" Cast Iron Skillet. I SWEAR cooking food in this pan makes just about everything (minus scrambled eggs which get blackened - lol) taste better. Simply spread a little butter on each side of the burrito/wrap and fry it up in a pan. I cooked it over medium-medium/high heat until it was nicely browned on both sides.

Here's what the hubby got, who's working from home today:


And mine, as I headed out the door with it. Notice mine has a little treat! It's a mini whoopie pie I made over the weekend for Big Sis' soccer team party. I love me the occasional little treat, don't you? Can't forget these delicious little cherry tomatoes that I got from our CSA, Papa Spuds.


What yummy ingredients would you put in yours?

And thank you Kelly, for putting this lovely collage together. You are so awesome!

My Epicurean Adventures: Grilled Wraps or Burritos in @easylunchboxes

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Shout Outs:
Annie's Homegrown for so many delicious and wholesome foods I love feeding my girls.

Papa Spuds - for providing the freshest fruits and veggies (and more) right at my doorstep!

Thanks so much for stopping by and please feel free to make my day by leaving me a comment, joining my blog in the top right corner or liking my on Facebook at MyEpicureanAdventures - the more the merrier! :)

Christine, aka happyvballgirl :)

Here are some affiliate links to the products I love and use on a daily basis. Well, I don't use ALL of them everyday but I do use at least 3 every day... you know what I mean! :) Feel free to ask me about any of 'em!

Any purchases made through these links earns me a little extra cash to support my bento habit, which my hubby would really appreciate. haha! So thank you!!! if you choose to use any of 'em! :)

Items used in this post:

   

And a lot of Pyrex Storage Containers:

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Here's Lunch #30: Bunny Mac and Cheese and Hummus

Heeeeeere's lunch! :) Just a snack for Big Sis who's buying lunch at school today (corn dogs, her fave) and a full lunch for Little Sis.



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In this lunch:
  1. Annie's Homegrown Bunny Mac and Cheese (in the Hello Kitty Thermos)
  2. Snack Factory's Pretzel Chips
  3. Sabra's Tuscan Herb Garden Hummus (Little Sis' new fave)
  4. Fresh organic strawberries
  5. Organic carrot sticks
  6. The Pioneer Woman's Dark Chocolate Brownies
* "Here's Lunch" is a series of lunch posts for those days when I really don't have more to say than "Here's lunch". :)

Thanks so much for stopping by and please feel free to make my day by leaving me a comment, joining my blog in the top right corner or liking my on Facebook at MyEpicureanAdventures - the more the merrier! :)

Christine, aka happyvballgirl :)

Here are some affiliate links to the products I love and use on a daily basis. Well, I don't use ALL of them everyday but I do use at least 3 every day... you know what I mean! :) Feel free to ask me about any of 'em!

Any purchases made through these links earns me a little extra cash to support my bento habit, which my hubby would really appreciate. haha! So thank you!!! if you choose to use any of 'em! :)

Items used in this post:

 Shop LunchBots 

    

Disclosure: Affiliate links are used on this blog. :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Taco Salad Night

I was so excited when I discovered the girls liked taco salads (or fancy nachos as we sometimes call them). It makes for a fun dinner where the girls can "design" their own salads and it really doesn't take very long to throw together, especially if you make the meat ahead of time. Looks pretty fancy, too.

The taco meat filling was made using 1 lb of meat, 2/3 cup water and about 2 Tbsps of MOMables' Make Your Own Taco Seasoning. The toppings here include shredded lettuce, dice tomatoes, organic salsa, dice pickled jalapenos, shredded 3-cheese blend, organic sour cream and organic corn tortilla chips.


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Here are the girls assembling their dinners...


 ...and then enjoying the fruits of their labor. They both decided the cheese and lettuce needed to be much closer to them and brought them to the table. Good job, Little Sis for eating over you plate because taco salads can be messy business.


In this dinner:
  1. Taco Salad
  2. Organic Carrot Sticks
  3. Steamed broccoli 
  4. Chocolate Milk using 2% Organic Milk and MOMables' Homemade Chocolate Syrup
And lastly, here's mine. It's a lighter portion than my usual, but I was heading out to a sand fours volleyball match in high heat and humidity and didn't want to stuff myself too full (though I reaaallllly wanted to)!


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I'm already looking forward to our next taco night. I think I'll add some black refried beans next time!

Shout Outs:
MOMables - for sharing so many delicious and healthy recipes with us!

Thanks so much for stopping by and please feel free to make my day by leaving me a comment, joining my blog in the top right corner or liking my on Facebook at MyEpicureanAdventures - the more the merrier! :)

Christine, aka happyvballgirl :)

Here are some affiliate links to the products I love and use on a daily basis. Well, I don't use ALL of them everyday but I do use at least 3 every day... you know what I mean! :) Feel free to ask me about any of 'em!

Any purchases made through these links earns me a little extra cash to support my bento habit, which my hubby would really appreciate. haha! So thank you!!! if you choose to use any of 'em! :)

Items used in this post:

    

Pyrex Storage Containers for AFTER diner:

  

* A quick note about the plates: I LOVE these plates. The price on them vary greatly, though, so pay attention when ordering them. The lowest I've gotten them from is right at $9 but I've seen them go as high as $24 so just be patient when ordering these. The price will eventually go back down. And it's Prime (ie free 2 day shipping)!

This post has been shared at:
Homemade Mondays
Tuesday's Table
Anyonita Nibbles' - Tasty Tuesdays

Disclosure: Affiliate links are used on this blog. :)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Play Date Lunchables

Big Sis has a 3v3 soccer tourney today and left at 7am this morning with her daddy and a couple teammates for it. Little Sis and I were planning on carpooling to watch a few games later w/ a teammate's mom and HER little sis, but with it 45 mins away, really hot, humid and sunny AND we have an outdoor concert this evening, PLUS Little Sis is tired from a busy week, I made a last-minute proposal to said teammate's mom to watch the both girls while she went and cheered for me. I think it was a really good call considering this is how I found Little Sis at 11am after getting off the phone. You'd think I ran her ragged but all we did was run to the store for a couple things AFTER I had to wake her up at 9am. Whew. That was a close call. lol.


But worry not, the second her buddy came over, she perked right up!


 The girls were so busy playing, they didn't get around to eating until 2:30!! American Girls make you forget about hunger, I think. The girls are getting ready for lunch, too, using the new table and chairs Little Sis got for her birthday. :)


I had already packed Little Sis a lunch for the day before the change in plans, so I decided to pack another one for her friend. It doesn't matter that we're not going to eat out, eating out of these EasyLunchboxes at home are just as much fun!

My Epicurean Adventures: Play Date Lunchables @easylunchboxes

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In these lunches:
  1. 365 Everyday Value Unsalted Tops Saltine Crackers from Whole Foods + Golden Rounds Crackers from Trader Joe's
  2. Trader Joe's Muenster Cheese
  3. Applegate Genoa Salami
  4. Applegate Roasted Chicken
  5. Organic Carrot Sticks
  6. Locally grown cantaloupe from our CSA Papa Spuds and Organic strawberries from Trader Joe's
  7. Organic Avocado from our CSA Papa Spuds
 They were very busy and kinda quiet during lunch time... as you can see, they were busy eating and that's a good thing!



Here's how they did, minus the 2 carrot sticks they didn't finish (but I did). I think that means they liked it. haha!


The really cool thing about play dates at this age and with such aweome friends is that while they keep themselves fully occupied having lots of fun, I get to try out The Pioneer Woman's Dark Chocolate Brownie recipe for the concert tonight:


... AND start tackling this mess of a mess! :)

One of the (very few) downsides of going to year round school :
1 week between school years is NOT enough to organize school papers
Good luck, Big Sis! Sorry I'm not there to cheer in person, but I'm rootin' for you guys every step of the way! :)

Shout Outs:

Applegate for providing natural (and organic varieties, too) nitrate-free yet oh-so-convenient pre-packaged deli meats. Check out my FB post professing my love for them: FB post professing my love for Applegate :)

Papa Spuds - for providing the freshest fruits and veggies (and more) right at my doorstep!

Thanks so much for stopping by and please feel free to make my day by leaving me a comment, joining my blog in the top right corner or liking my on Facebook at MyEpicureanAdventures - the more the merrier! :)

Christine, aka happyvballgirl :)

Here are some affiliate links to the products I love and use on a daily basis. Well, I don't use ALL of them everyday but I do use at least 3 every day... you know what I mean! :) Feel free to ask me about any of 'em!

Any purchases made through these links earns me a little extra cash to support my bento habit, which my hubby would really appreciate. haha! So thank you!!! if you choose to use any of 'em! :)

Bento Boxes and misc fun:

 

Bento Tools:
Silicone Muffin Cups:

    

My favorite Bento supplier @ All Things For Sale.  Just click on the pix to view/purchase now! :)

Japanese Bento Box Accessories Food Pick Cute Animal Fork 8 pcs Japanese Bento Accessories Silicone Colorful Food Cup 6P