Thursday, April 30, 2015

Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken Chili

Today was one of those days that screamed CROCK POT to make dinner. Busy day with a busy evening of soccer, so I needed something quick and easy. I went to my Pinterest - Yummy Stuff Crock Pot Recipes Board and perused it for something different and something yummy. I ran across  Rita May's recipe for Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken Chili and decided that this was the one. Instead of one whole chicken breast, I threw in two. Instead of Rotel, I used Muir Glen's Organic Unsalted Diced tomatoes and because I didn't have canned corn on hand, I just used frozen Cascadian Farm's Organic Corn. Everything else was as is, per recipe.

It was super easy to make and I have to say, reeeaaaaaaallly yummy AND pretty. Do you think so, too?


Little Sis, the hubby and I had ours on soft corn tortillas while Big Sis had hers in burrito form with a little spinach, rice and cheese, too. Oh wait, I had one of those, too. OOH! I have to share with you that the other day while eating some plain Greek yogurt the other day, it dawned me that it tasted just like sour cream, so yesterday I decided to do the ol' switcheroo on the girls and just flat out replaced sour cream with Fage 2% plain greek yogurt and they never even noticed the difference. Yay!!! Love that they are getting a little bit of extra protein now!

Here's a look at the soft corn tortilla version. The chicken chili was topped with chopped spinach, cheese and fresh tomatoes. Though Little Sis did not like the looks of the black beans in it, her eyes got wide opened and she let out a long mmmmmmmm after her first bite. She quickly devoured hers and promptly asked for a second. I guess it's a winner in her book! The much pickier Big Sis reallly wasn't happy about the beans so after eating about half, we let her pick the rest of the beans out. She, too, finished her burrito with the help of some Trader Joe's organic white corn chips. That's a win in my book. :)


The hubby's version had diced jalapenos and fresh cilantro as well. We all had a side of broccoli. Tonight the girls' had theirs steamed with some butter and a little salt to change things a but a bit from our usual steamed and salted. It was soooooo good, that Little Sis asked for seconds on that, too! I guess she was hungry after soccer practice! And Big Sis finished hers without much prodding, so yay again! :)


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So the next time you need a quick and yummy dinner, pull out that crock pot and throw this one together! You won't be sorry!

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 items used in this post. To see a full list of my favorite bento gear and such, just visit my "Products I Love" page! :) 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! :)

   

This post has been shared at:
Homemade Mondays
Tuesday's Table
Anyonita Nibbles' - Tasty Tuesdays
Disclosure: Affiliate links are used on this blog. :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Best Homemade Kids' Lunches on the Planet: Cookbook Review and Giveaway

The Best Homemade Kids' Lunches on the Planet Cookbook Review and Giveaway. Ends at 11:59pm on Thursday 4/23/15

I've been a MOMables fan for many years now and when I saw its founder, Laura Fuentes, was coming out with a cookbook, I was more than excited. As often as I get my recipes online, I'm kinda old school in that I prefer cooking using actual cookbooks. I just love flipping through pages, looking at pictures and picking out something yummy to make. I couldn't wait to get my hands on this one! And then Laura asked if she could send ME one to review and I was thrilled beyond belief! OF COURSE, I said! It was my absolute honor. :)

When the school year started, like 9 months ago - lol, we were faced with an incredibly hectic schedule thanks to piano lessons and 7 soccer practices during the school week between my 2 girls. I was really needing to get organized to stay on top of things and was determined not go insane and not to make hitting fast food drive-thru's a habit. This cookbook has been the answer to all that and more. I rarely read cookbooks cover to cover, but this one I couldn't put down until I had done just that. Laura offers so many great tips on how to plan, organize, prepare (and often how to store) delicious and healthy meals for kids (adults love them, too!). For a while, I brought it with me everywhere I went, especially the after school carpool lane, when I had some down time to really dig into it. :)


The recipes are not only ones that kids will eat, they are healthy, too, which is a must. She offers a variety of ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between - like snacks, treats and drinks, too! Plus the ingredients used are easy-to-find, often items you already have-on-hand and the recipes themselves are no-nonsense. Yes! Exactly what I was in need of!

I decided to get the girls involved too, since this is, after all, for them! During piano lessons one day, I had them each peruse it for recipes they wanted to try while the other one had their lesson. Little Sis chose breakfast burritos and that's Big Sis on the right pointing at blueberry bread, among many other things.


I can't say enough good things about this cookbook. In just a short time of owning it, it quickly became one of my most-used and favorite cookbooks! Here's just a little sampling of the recipes I was able to whip up.

1. Hawaiian Puff-Wheels, page 87, made with bacon instead of ham. These were a HUGE hit with the girls, myself, their friends AND their mom! Send this in on the girls' first day of school last year and they gobbled them right up.


2. My favorite of all Homemade Chocolate Syrup, page 186, because Big Sis LOVES chocolate milk and I have no more worries about high fructose corn syrup, preservatives or nuts! Plus I can control how sugar it gets, NOT the companies that produce them!


3. Mini Quiches, page 125, made using pie crust. Perfect for adults and kids alike. Pretty, too, don't you think?


4. Glazed Cake Donut Muffins, page 43. Yum. is all I have to say.


5. Breakfast Burrito, page 36. Made ahead for busy mornings! A huge plus, because Little Sis could eat one every day if ya let her!


6. Blueberry Bread, page 163. You had me at blueberry. And bread. ;)


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7. Cornbread Muffins, page 169. Quick, easy and oh so yummy with the touch of honey that's added.


Here are some other favorites not pictured:
Read Chicken Nuggets, page 120
Neighborhood Meatballs, page 104
Peaches and Cream Wafflewiches, page 62
Ricotta and Jam Pancake Sandwiches, page 51

And I'm still dying to try: Lunchbox Falafels, page 115 (and many more)


GIVEAWAY DEETS

I did say this is a giveaway, right? Well, simply leave a blog comment on this post telling me which of these recipes you'd like to try first and enter to win one of your very own! Winner will be chosen using random.org. Check back here on Friday 4/24/15 to see if you've won!

This giveaway is open to contestants with US shipping addresses only. Sorry everyone else! ONE winner will be notified (so leave me whatever way you'd like for me to contact you whether it be an email, facebook profile, g+ profile, etc ESPECIALLY if you are commenting as anonymous! LOL) and will have 48 hours to respond. If no response is received, a new winner will be selected. Laura Fuentes will be responsible for mailing the winner their prize. Giveaway ends at 11:59, EST, on Thursday, 04/23/15. Good luck!

For more information on the amazing Laura Fuentes, please visit her at her website: LauraFuentes.com.

Feel free to stop by and like our Facebook or Instagram pages, though it's not a requirement at all to win. :)

Laura Fuentes' Facebook Page
Laura Fuentes on Instagram
My Epicurean Adventures' Facebook Page
My Epicurean Adventures on Instagram

Updated 4/24/15 10:15 AM to announce winner:
Updated 4/26/15 10:22 PM Haven't heard back from first winner, so I drew a new winner, comment #25:


True Random Number Generator  25

SHANNON QUALLS!!
Congratulations!!

Thanks so much for playing, everyone! To get a copy for yourself, just click on the picture below or follow this link to purchase one at Amazon: The Best Homemade Kids' Lunches on the Planet Cookbook.


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 items used in this post. To see a full list of my favorite bento gear and such, just visit my "Products I Love" page! :) 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! :)

        

Check out this fun post about Fun with Jars and Labels to store your homemade chocolate syrup in!


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

 Japanese Bento Accessories Silicone Colorful Food Cup 6P 

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

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Orange Banana Smoothie

OMG, a smoothie that my girls actually kind of like AND drink a bit of? lol. Yes, it sounds too good to be true, people, but I've finally found one that they'll tolerate. I've been trying over the past couple years to find a good smoothie recipe that the girls like, but haven't been successful until now. I think my approach was just too overzealous - trying to pack SO much goodness into one cup, sometimes sacrificing color and flavor - because, yes, these 2 are of paramount importance to kids! I decided to take baby steps and started with something my girls love, especially Big Sis. She just loves coconut and orange cream flavors so I decided to make her just that - orange cream with a splash of coconut. Getting her to each fresh fruit is like getting a cat to take a bath (so I've heard!) so I just love that she's getting just that in liquid form. It's a win-win! :) And even though she's not getting a full serving of spinach, it's SOMETHING, right? And the perfect pre-soccer snack.




Orange Banana Smoothie
by happyvballgirl of My Epicurean Adventures

1/2 orange, peeled
1/2 frozen banana
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt (or 1/4 c plain, 1/4 c vanilla as my girls prefer it)
1/4 coconut water, coconut milk or coconut "beverage"
4 baby carrots
1 handful spinach (optional)
2 frozen strawberries (optional)

Place all ingredients in blender and mix until smooth.

Makes about 2 8oz servings.

* Use coconut water and vanilla yogurt for a sweeter smoothie.
** Use coconut milk or "beverage" with plain yogurt for a less sweet smoothie. I definitely prefer mine this way.

To me, this smoothie is just heavenly with all the options included. It's the most beautiful shade of pale green, but guess which ones my girls prefer? Yup, no options. Neither of them liked the green color and Little Sis is just dandy with the strawberries but Big Sis HATES them, though I doubt that she can even taste 'em, but how can I lie to her face when she asks me if I put strawberries in it? Whatever! I'll take what I can get! :) But I'm still gonna work my way to adding that spinach back in, leaf by leaf. lol!

Stick the finished product in some YummiPouches for great smoothies on the go. I swear they drink more this way because it's just fun to suck on. lol.

Here are today's car snacks for right after school and just before piano lessons and then soccer practice for both girls with pretzel crisps, hummus and the orange banana smoothies. Yes, Tuesdays are crazy busy around here!



Lastly, stick 'em in cups and then in EasyLunchboxes for the perfect quick lunch for when they're too busy "selling" stuff. ;) The girls wanted to set up a stand to sell some stuff they've made one Saturday afternoon... right around lunch time of course. Anh, why not? After a late breakfast and a pending soccer game, I just threw together a quick lunchables for them along with some carrots and the leftover and the orange banana smoothie left over from that morning.



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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 items used in this post. To see a full list of my favorite bento gear and such, just visit my "Products I Love" page! :) 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! :)