Glowing Skin Green Smoothie


Did you know we are old?  I don't mean to collectively group "us" together, because I know "we" are all different ages.  But whatever that age is, it's older than you used to be (what up, Debbie Downer!!?).  I'll never forget the day I realized that I was older than the fictional characters in The Baby-sitters Club books.  It was mind blowing.  There was just no way I could be as cool and mature as Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia and Stacey, and don't get me started on Dawn from Cali (sigh).

That sudden awareness of my age still happens as I get even older.  Like when college students suddenly look like babies (and it's even possible you could be the incoming freshmen's mother).  The day you realize professional athletes are actually much, MUCH younger than you.  Or even that mom friend you see every day and you just assume you were born on the exact same day because you both have kids and then you realize she's not even in her 30's yet.  And so on, and so forth.

My point is, I feel young, which is good I guess!  But sometimes I'll have those long, stare-at-your-face in the mirror, somber moments and it will again occur to me... I'm older than I used to be.  One of my new year's resolutions was to take better care (or ANY care) of my skin.  I'm usually so tired by the end of the day that I'm lucky if I brush my teeth.  But I keep vowing to wear some masks, exfoliate, put on night cream, I don't know, something.  Anything!  Enter, this smoothie.

I have to admit something: I am not a smoothie person.  Or a juice person.  I like to chew my food.  I like to chew it reeeeeal good.  It has always seemed like a lot of work to make a smoothie in the mornings when toasting a bagel requires little to no effort.  Alas, as I slowly become a Golden Girl, I've decided I need to embrace all of the different ways of the world, like the smoothie ways.  And I'm glad I did!  This took me MINUTES to make, using mostly frozen fruit, fresh avocado (which we always have on hand), a handful of spinach and coconut water.  Best part?  It's supposed to make my skin glow, so my goal is to try one for breakfast every day this week.  Check out my Instagram for the before pic... and next week I'll post a transformed photo in which I look exactly like Dawn from The Baby-Sitters Club.      

You can find the recipe HERE.

p.s. This kept me full for HOURS, which is Breaking News in my world.  

Perfect Mini Banana Muffins


The other day, my two-year-old came across a package of Little Bites Banana Muffins, and by "came across" I mean I bought them to keep her quiet at Target so I could shop in peace.  Did it work?  Yes.  I bought the few things I actually needed and 13 other things I did not in complete and utter serenity.  Anyway, she LOVED them and would not stop asking for more.  Between the three of my kids, we polished off the box the next day and of course, they were hooked.  However, I felt torn between giving them something they actually enjoy eating and feeding them a snack with ingredients I can't pronounce.  The solution presented itself when we came home from a long weekend away to dark bananas.  I made my own!  I wanted to make them mini, perfectly moist and just sweet enough.  They were fantastic... two-year-old approved.  Best part?  Only took a matter of minutes to prepare the batter IN ONE BOWL and made 50 mini muffins... plenty to eat and plenty to freeze for future snacks.  That's more than one best part, sorry not sorry.       

Perfect Mini Banana Muffins
Makes 50 mini muffins

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 small ripe bananas)
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, add the sugar and vegetable oil and stir until smooth.  Add the eggs, vanilla and lemon juice and stir again until smooth.  Add the mashed bananas and stir to combine all ingredients.  Add the flour, baking powder and salt and stir until just combined.  Add the milk and stir once more until just combined.  You don't want to over-stir or you'll have dense muffins.  Spray a mini muffin tin with baking spray.  Add a tablespoon or so of batter into each cup (about 3/4 of the way full).  Bake for 10 minutes.  Let cool and then remove onto a wire baking rack.  Enjoy!  

For more breakfast inspiration, check out my segment on the Today Show this morning here.

Crispy Quinoa Broccoli Fritters


This week was all about balance.  One day I ate a healthy green sandwich for lunch, the next day I was at McDonald's.  One day I took a barre class, the next day I canceled my Soul Cycle bike hours before I was supposed to be there (which, by the way, would have been my second time ever and I'm still terrified of it all).  Living a life of balance is the only way I know how to live.  A healthy dinner, dessert after, yogurt and fruit for breakfast one day, a giant bagel the next, and so on and so forth.  Of course, I find it much easier to be lazy and indulgent than healthy, so it helps when I make a large batch of something to freeze like these Crispy Quinoa Broccoli Fritters for nutritious lunches.  I sound like a commercial.  Anyway, they were delicious and perfect on their own, on top of a salad, tucked in a pita, etc.  Carson and I loved!  But if you're wondering if my kids ate them, I will laugh manically in your face.

Crispy Quinoa Broccoli Fritters
Serves 12-15 (depending on size)

3 cups cooked quinoa
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup breadcrumbs or panko
1/2 cup broccoli, finely chopped or processed
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Olive oil 

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients (except for the olive oil) and stir until combined.  The mixture will be moist, but if you aren't able to form patties, you can add more breadcrumbs.  Form 12-15 small patties, depending on your preference in size, and place on a platter.  In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon or so of olive oil over medium-low heat.  Place 6 or so patties into pan, cover, and sauté for 7-8 minutes.  Uncover, carefully flip, and sauté for another few minutes, until both sides are golden brown.  Enjoy!  Note: You can freeze these patties for up to 2 months.

Recipe adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

Hash Brown Egg Cups


It's that special time of year, my friends.  When we're so excited school is back in session but waking up to make lunches feels like hell.  When we're thrilled the holidays are over but we want to pay someone one billion dollars to remove all the Christmas decorations.  Or maybe that's just how I feel: halfway between motivated and lazy.  Somewhere in the middle of wanting to eat fish and kale every night and wanting to order Chinese take-out.  I'll get there, I'm sure of it (wherever "there" is), so I'm trying to be patient with myself, which was a resolution of mine after all.  As was optimism, so here goes... will I blog more in the new year?  You bet I will!  Will I take better care of my skin?  Probably almost every night or at least once a week!  Will I learn to say no?  No!  I mean, yes!  Will I put down my phone more?  What phone!?  Will I floss my teeth?  Certainly not!

Ok, I feel better now.  I feel ready to face 2017 and the dentist at the same time!  

For now, though, I feel ready to share these baked eggs nestled in hash brown cups that I made the other day.  Of course, the recipe called for potatoes (that are then baked and shredded into hash browns), but I didn't have them so I sautéed some frozen tater tots on the stove and then mashed them up.  I'm pretty brilliant, I know.  I used a variety of regular taters and sweet potato, which added a lovely balance to the dish.  These make a perfect breakfast for busy on-the-go mornings, which is pretty much every morning right?

Recipe HERE.

Crispy Tortellini Bites


How are your holiday breaks going?  Are you eating a tremendous amount of food and frying things for a midday snack like us?  My sister dragged me to my first ever Soul Cycle experience today and I thought I was going to die.  My body was like, "LOL you crazy fool, you've had 17 pounds of beef, chocolate and vodka over the past week, HOPE YOU'RE HAVING FUN!"  Oh well, the new year is right around the corner and then we'll all hit the gym and eat nothing but kale and drink gallons of water, right?  Riiiiight.  In the meantime, let's keep frying things!

These crispy tortellini bites are AMAZE BALLS.  They are also very easy to make, although slightly time consuming because you have to work in batches.  However, SO worth it.  It's as simple as making tortellini according to the package, coating it in an egg, flour, panko mixture and lightly frying it them in oil.  Serve alongside marinara for dipping and sprinkle parsley on top for color!    

Recipe HERE.

Have the Happiest, Healthiest New Year's Eve - see ya in 2017 :)

Cigar Tuiles


I only have 17 things on my to-do list today... one of them being to bake ONE more Christmas cookie (which will never happen)... and I'm feeling frantic.  However, I wanted to share these Cigar Tuiles I made the other day because they are so impressive, not THAT difficult to make, and very delicious!  It's basically a cookie dough that you spread very thin on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roll into a cigar shape the second it comes out of the oven.  Then you dip it in chocolate and chopped nuts.  Obviously.  I used a recipe from a special Cookie edition of America's Test Kitchen that I can't find online, but you can find similar recipes here and here.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a Glorious Whatever You Celebrate.  I wish you all peaceful weekends spent with the ones you hold dear!

Andes Mint Fudge


I love fudge, fudgy fudge fudge.  Fudge is my favorite, like smiling.  Smiling is my other favorite.  And if you're not watching the movie "Elf" as much as we are, then you probably have no idea what I'm talking about right now.  Anyway, I made this glorious fudge the other day that tastes exactly like a giant Andes Mint.  Chocolate fudge on the bottom, white chocolate fudge with peppermint extract in the middle and a dark chocolate topping that's sprinkled with mini chocolate chips and chopped up Andes Mints.  It should be it's own food group this time of year... Buddy would approve.

Recipe HERE.


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