Almond Ice Cream Bars

Summer will be here before I know it; the temperatures have already started creeping up and when that happens I tend to use my oven less and less.  I created these Almond Ice Cream Bars as a dessert for my family and I think we all agreed that these are an excellent warm weather treat.

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These bars are no-bake, Paleo friendly and sweetened with honey.  They have an almond shortbread crust, almond butter and coconut cream filling and coconut butter drizzle.

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The coconut butter topping and sprinkle of cinnamon is optional, but gives these bars a more polished, complete look.  (I mean, they look a bit naked without it!)  You could also drizzle with chocolate.

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Our Favorite Story Books (Boy, Age 3)

We read books.  A lot of books.  I read to my son before his nap time and before bed time.  When he was younger, he would look at books in the car and reading was a playtime activity between naps.  Needless to say, my son loves books and reading and we’ve gone through many children’s books.

We have two libraries nearby and I make it a point to go at least once a week (sometimes we’ll make it to both libraries if the weather is crummy).  Many books have been complete duds.  Seriously, some books that I’ve checked out shock me – how do they even get published?!  Haha!  I think if I had 24 more hours during the day then I’d try my hand at writing a few children’s books.  But among all the let-downs, there are many books that shine and we read over and over and over until it’s time to return them to the library.  So today, I’m sharing some of my favorite children’s books, particularly for boys ages 2-3, as that’s my main audience 😉 Read More

Nut-Free Energy Bites

Gotta love energy bites.  They are ridiculously easy to make, convenient, store well in the fridge or freezer, taste amazing and there are millions of different flavor combinations.  Well, I’m adding to the plethora of recipes out there by introducing these Nut-Free Energy Bites.

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They are Paleo, Allergy-Free and even coconut-free for those that can’t have coconut.  You can make them Vegan Friendly by substituting the collagen for a plant based protein powder.

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Best Baby Products (Age 0-1)

My baby boy is almost one and I cannot believe how quickly this first year flew by.  Life with two kids is so different than just having one.  I’m busier than ever, but I can’t imagine life without either one of them.

I want to share some of my “must-haves” for a baby, because there are items that made this past year so much easier for me.  Before I was a mom, I had no idea what I really needed for my new baby.  You walk into a store or search online and there are a million things to choose from.  We all have our own ideas of what is necessary and, let’s face it, different babies like different things!  But after two kids, I have a pretty good idea of what products made my first year with a baby a lot easier.  The products I’m sharing are things that we actually used and I think are worth purchasing.  Whether you are a new mom, grandparent, aunt or just had your 5th child hopefully these will give you some good ideas.  I’d love to hear your must-have products as well!  Here is my list (in no particular order) of: Read More

Cabbage Stuffed Burgers

We just got a new vacuum, and I never thought I’d say this but…I’m excited to vacuum now!  I love it!  Our old one was cheap and sucked, but not literally because it actually barely picked up any debris and when I tried to use the hose it would spray dust it had picked up back onto the floor.  But my husband read reviews on Amazon and decided this one was a must-try.  And I must say, he did well!  So, if you are in the market for a new vacuum, you know my recommendation 😉

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As exciting as vacuums are, I know that’s not what you are here for.  You’re here for these Paleo friendly Cabbage Stuffed Burgers.  I make burgers ALL the time for my family.  I prefer making them from scratch because I can sneak in veggies and spices, adding extra flavor and nutrients.  And these burgers do just that!

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Today’s “hidden” ingredient is cabbage, which I’m sure you already guessed 😉  Chop it up, add some Italian seasoning, ground mustard and salt and there you have it: 5 ingredient organic beef burgers that are tender, full of flavor and veggie infused.

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I cooked these burgers on the stove top, but grilling would be an excellent option as well.  Which reminds me: I cannot wait to whip out our grill and start cooking veggie skewers, meat and potatoes over the coals.  (I’m a fan of charcoal grills…anyone else?) Read More

Cinnamon Sugar Collagen Bars

I often get asked why I don’t eat gluten.  Some people assume that I have a gluten allergy or intolerance, but I don’t…at least not that I’m aware of.  The truth is that I don’t think gluten is healthy.  I don’t think it belongs in the human diet, at least not the way gluten-containing grains are grown and manufactured today.

Full disclaimer: I’m not a dietitian, nutritionist, doctor, health coach or anything of the sort; I have no formal education in any area of health or nutrition but I have done a lot of my own research.  I’m [obviously] fond of the Paleo lifestyle and so that does have a large influence on my health beliefs but I also use myself as a guinea pig to determine whether or not certain foods work with my body.

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Gluten, sugar, alcohol and highly processed foods don’t work with my body.  I feel sluggish, retain water, my face gets puffy, my sleep suffers, my digestion is off and my hormones just feel out of whack when I eat these foods.  Now, that’s not saying I eat “perfectly”.  I will consume sugar, alcohol and processed foods from time to time but gluten is something I really try to avoid.  I never crave it, and these days there are so many gluten-free options that I never feel deprived.  (If you’ve been following my blog or Instagram for a while you know that I love my gluten free treats 😉 )

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Seed Crackers

Why are crackers so tasty?  Or is it just me (and like every kid on the planet) that thinks this?  Now, I haven’t tried every cracker out there, but rarely do I find a brand or flavor that I dislike.  My children are a bit pickier than me, but crackers are one of their favorite snack foods too.

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My favorite way to eat crackers are on/with salads – a great crouton alternative.  They add just the right crunch and a bit of saltiness to any leafy green bowl.  I have a lot of cracker recipes on my blog, but considering the quantity my 3 year old eats there shouldn’t be any surprise.  Since I opt for gluten-free, organic brands crackers can be quite the expense!  Making your own is cheaper; granted it does take a bit of extra work, as anything homemade does, but the fresh ingredients, numerous flavor options and cheaper cost is worth it…at least from time to time.  Plus, kids love getting in the kitchen and making their own food.  Or at least that is my experience.  And since kids already love crackers, then baking them will be 10x’s as exciting 😉

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These Seed Crackers are pretty self explanatory – they’re mostly made from seeds with a little seasoning and tapioca flour (helps with texture).  They are Paleo, Vegan and allergy friendly (no nuts, egg, dairy, gluten or grains).

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Curry Crusted Chicken Tenders

I made these Curry Crusted Chicken Tenders three times within two weeks for my family (which amounted to about 15 meals shared among the three of us)!  We all liked them SO much (seriously, we weren’t sick of them during those two weeks) that I decided putting them on the blog was a must.  So, I actually took out my measuring cups and spoons and wrote down specific measurements so that I could share with all of you; which is something I rarely do when cooking savory dishes.

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I very rarely measure the ingredients in a savory meal unless I’m creating a recipe.  That’s one of the things I love about cooking (rather than baking): it’s not an exact science.  When cooking, I enjoy looking at recipes to get a general idea for flavor combinations but I like using my own palate to determine quantities.  It does take some practice, but once you’ve played with enough spices, seasonings and sauces it’s easy to just eye-ball it.

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So, although the recipe for these Curry Crusted Chicken Tenders has specific measurements, I urge you to play around with the quantities.  Even add or subtract spices as you see fit!

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These simple chicken tenders are Paleo friendly, Whole 30 approved and free of most allergens.  If you don’t or can’t eat nuts then swapping out the almond flour for ground flax seed is an option. Read More