5.22.2014

{3-Ingredient Strawberry Pies}

I know I have posted a lot about food this week, but I just can't help myself!  So many recipes have been catching my eye, and I have to send them your way.  Last night I made this delicious Creamy Broccoli and Chicken Quinoa Casserole after they fixed our oven {soooo good!}, and then today I learned over at Brit + Co. that May is National Strawberry Month.  Did you know that?  I sure didn't, but I do LOVE strawberries!! I think I'll celebrate National Strawberry Month with these…Enjoy!!
{via Brit + Co.}
Ingredients:
  • 1 package puff pastry, thawed

  • strawberries

  • turbinado sugar

  • 1 egg (or, you can just use water)

  • Nutella, optional
Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Dice strawberries and
set aside. Lightly flour your work surface, and gently unfold one puff pastry
sheet. Roll out the dough into a 15 by 15 inch square. Use a cookie cutter to
cut out 24 rounds.

2. Beat the egg together with a few tablespoons of water to
make an egg wash. Place 12 rounds of dough on a cookie sheet and brush the
edges with the egg wash.

3. Spoon diced strawberries into the center of the rounds.
Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.

4. Place a second round on top of each filled circle. Use a
fork to crimp the edges together.

5. Brush each mini pie with egg wash and cut a small vent on
the top of each one. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for 15-17 minutes,
or until golden brown.

6. Serve with Nutella.

xoxo,
Katherine
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5.21.2014

{Creamy Broccoli and Chicken Quinoa Casserole}

How delicious does this dish look?!?  It is on my "must-try" Pinterest board, and I'm dying to whip this up.  My mouth waters every time I see the picture, and once our oven is fixed, this casserole is going in!!
{via Cooking Classy}
Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and
    diced
  • 12 oz broccoli florets (about 4 cups), diced and steamed
    just until tender
  • 1 1/2 cups dry quinoa
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion (about 1 medium onion)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 oz finely shredded Parmesan cheese, divided (about 1 cup
    slightly packed)
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tsp dried)
Directions

Cook quinoa according to directions replacing 2 cups of
water with the 2 cups chicken broth (so you should be using 2 cups broth 1 cup
water). Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large skillet, melt butter along with
olive oil. Add in onion and sauté over medium heat until soft. Add in garlic
and flour and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. While whisking slowly
pour in milk, then add in thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook,
stirring constantly until thickened then remove from heat and stir in half of
the Parmesan cheese, then mix in sour cream, lemon juice and fresh parsley.

To assemble, butter a 13 by 9-inch baking dish and spread
half of the cooked quinoa into an even layer in bottom of baking dish. Then
spread steamed broccoli into an even layer over quinoa, followed by chicken
then remaining cooked quinoa. Pour white sauce evenly over top and spread into
an even layer and sprinkle top with remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake in
preheated oven 25 minutes. Serve warm.

Thank you Cooking Classy for this yummy adaptation of your Mom's recipe. :)

xoxo,
Katherine
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5.20.2014

{Summer To-Do List}

With summer quickly approaching, I've been trying to think of some fun activities that I can do with friends and with my little Kate in tow.  As I was brainstorming and searching the web, I came across Mique's idea to start a Random Acts of Kindness Summer List.  What a wonderful way to turn summertime fun into something meaningful and beneficial for others.
{Download Here}
I just love this list, and I can't wait to get started.  You can download this list HERE, or you can create your own HERE.  Thank you, Mique, for the inspiration!!

xoxo,
Katherine
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5.19.2014

{Healthy Peanut Butter Balls}

I discovered a new favorite snack over the weekend, and the fact that it's good for me is an added bonus.  This pregnancy has brought on a bit of an increased appetite, but I'm trying to stick with a healthy diet by preparing nutritious treats to curb my cravings.

Last week I introduced you to one of my favorite pregnancy smoothies, and this week I wanted to share the recipe for these delicious peanut butter balls.  These little balls of goodness were so easy to prep, and I just grab one or two whenever I'm in need of a little snack.  Simple, sweet, filling, and oh so delicious!!
{Peanut Butter Balls}
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup dry oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • Dash of vanilla
Directions:

Mix all ingredients together, form into balls, place on wax paper, and freeze for 1 hour.  **  Feel free to add ingredients such as flaxseed, protein powder, raisins, etc.  Enjoy!!

xoxo,
Katherine 
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5.16.2014

{Happy Birthday, Daddy!}

Today is a very special day…Today we celebrate my Daddy's birthday, and I'm so excited!  Kate and I got to FaceTime with him and my mom first thing this morning, and it just really made our day.  Tonight, Forrest, Kate, and I will get to celebrate with Dad, and I'm counting down the hours.

My Dad is the most wonderful man I have ever known, and I feel so blessed and so lucky that he's mine.  I thank God every, single day for him, and I can't wait to shower him with love tonight!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DADDY!!  WE LOVE YOU!!













xoxo,
Katherine
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5.15.2014

{20 Awesome Uses for Coconut Oil}

One of the greatest pregnancy tips I received was from my sister when she was expecting her first child.  She recommended using coconut oil as a belly moisturizer, and it worked wonders!!  My skin stayed hydrated, smooth, and stretch mark-free throughout my entire pregnancy, and you better believe I started slathering on the oil right away with this pregnancy.

I buy this stuff in bulk now, so I started wondering…What other ways can I put my coconut oil to good use?  Well, I found some great ones when I stumbled upon Thyme is Honey today.  Check this out, and run to your local grocery store to snag some coconut oil for your house.
{Thyme is Honey}
xoxo,
Katherine
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5.14.2014

{Pregnancy Smoothie}

I have always loved a good smoothie, but they are even more satisfying to me during this pregnancy. I  often find myself craving a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack, and rather than give in to the unhealthy options, I just whip up this smoothie.  It is so refreshing, and it always satisfies my appetite and keeps me full for quite awhile.

Although I have altered mine a bit, I first got this idea from Eat, Live, Run.  She always has great recipes, and I have really enjoyed her pregnancy posts.

Although I call this my "Pregnancy Smoothie," of course it's perfect for anyone.  It's such a healthy treat, and it's full of nutritious ingredients…Great for Moms-to-Be and everyone else out there trying to add healthy snacks to their diet! :)
{Click here to learn more about my mason jars}
Ingredients:
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 raw medjool date
  • A dash of cinnamon
** I add a few ice cubes to mine to increase the thickness, and I occasionally toss in a couple frozen strawberries.

Directions:

Place all ingredients in blender and process until smooth.  Enjoy!!

On a side note, this smoothie is also Kate-approved, so it must be good! ;)

xoxo,
Katherine
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5.13.2014

{Mother's Day}

Hey friends!!  I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day!!  Mine was so special and perfect…Want to know why?  I got to spend it with all of the most important people in my life…My day started with my husband and precious daughter showering me with so much love, and then I got to finish my day spending such wonderful quality time with my amazing Mom, Dad, and sister.

These two beauties in this picture are what Mother's Day is
all about for me.  My Mama...My role model, my mentor, my best friend, my
strength, and my biggest supporter.  My daughter...The angel who made me a
Mama, my brightest ray of sunshine, and the most precious gift I've ever
received.  I feel so blessed that God chose them for me, and I'm so happy
I got to spend my Mother's Day with them.

Here's to all you moms out there…I hope you had a very Happy
Mother's Day!!

xoxo,
Katherine
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5.09.2014

{Five Favorites}

This week was a long one for me.  Probably because it started with the terribly sad news about a fellow blogger suffering a tragic loss.  I haven't been able to get Jacqui and her family off my mind, but I have been holding my family tight and finding beauty and happiness in the little things…Little things like watching our house become our home, with a beautiful new yard in which our kids will run and play for years to come…An uplifting scripture from a friend to start the day off on a positive note...The tippy toes of my baby girl who loves to look out every window...A Greek salad that totally satisfies my Greek tooth...And a new tutu for little Kate to float around in from our sweet neighbors.  Those are the things that brightened my week. :)









** If you'd like to learn more about Jacqui's story, you can do so here.  Click here to offer support.

Have a great day!!

xoxo,
Katherine
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5.08.2014

{Red Balloons for Ryan: Support}

Another day has dawned, and I haven't stopped thinking about Ryan and his family.  It completely consumed me yesterday, and I still can't get this story out of my mind.  I thought about that precious boy and his parents every second yesterday…Then, when I got home last night, I lay in the bed beside my husband, and we looked at all of the pictures on the Baby Boy Bakery blog.  I found myself scrolling to her very first posts which showed pictures of Ryan as a beautiful little baby, and my heart just hurt for them.  As I was taking my shower this morning to prep for my day, I found myself weeping for this family.  I felt the tears running down my cheeks, and I couldn't help but think about how differently our days would go…I would head off to my doctor's appointment to listen to our sweet little unborn baby's strong, steady heartbeat on the fetal monitor, meanwhile another mother is experiencing pain and heartbreak that I cannot even imagine.

Hearing the news about Jacqui and Dan's son, Ryan, has caused me to reflect on what is so precious and perfect in my life…My family.  Our little Kate is definitely an early bird, and in true Kate fashion, she awoke before 6 am this morning.  I usually huff and puff when I hear her stirring that early on her monitor, but not today.  Today I rushed upstairs, took my baby girl in my arms, felt her skin against mine, twirled her curly hair in my fingers, kissed her sweet, soft cheeks, rubbed her little back, and cuddled her just as long as I could.  And then I thanked God for giving me this precious angel on earth and for allowing her to brighten our every day.

I wish I could just hug Jacqui and Dan…Take away their pain and suffering.  But since I can't do that, I hope they find some glimmer of light and hope in the Instagram/blogging community that loves them so very much.  If you would like to offer support to this wonderful family during this tragic time, you can do so by visiting the links below.  These amazing shops have created products to honor Ryan's memory, and proceeds will go directly to the family.
{Ryan's Necklace by Lisa Leonard}
{Sunshine Dreams - For Ryan. By Geo Fox Apparel}
{"Remember Ryan" Tee by Geo Fox Apparel}
{Red Balloon for Ryan Cruz Saldana - Indie Nook}
{Red Balloons for Ryan Print - Mulberry Press Co}
{Cards, iPhone cases, T-shirts, and Fabrics - Craftberry Bush}
{Red Shades for Ryan - Subsidy Shades}
{Cherry Bomb Moccasins - Antlers and Bows}

{Red Balloons for Ryan Print - idieh design}
If you would like to read more of the story, you can do so here. You can also make a direct donation to the family via the Thrive Moms blog.

I will continue to pray for them every second…For peace, for comfort, for strength.  And I will continue to pray for Ryan, who is dancing in Heaven in his beautiful angel wings.

Rest in Peace, sweet Ryan Cruz Saldana.
#redballoonsforryan

 xoxo,
Katherine
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5.06.2014

{Red Balloons for Ryan}

I had planned on posting a new recipe or a DIY project on the blog today, but my plan changed when I heard this news.  I have followed Baby Boy Bakery for years, and this morning I kept seeing pictures of her precious little boy pop up on my Instagram feed.  I was devastated as I started to read the captions…Her sweet son passed away in a tragic accident over the weekend, and it makes my heart break for this family.
{#redballoonsforryan}

You can read more of the story here, and today I'll be praying for this family, thanking God for mine, and hugging my baby girl a little tighter.

xoxo,
Katherine
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5.05.2014

{4-Ingredient Enchiladas}

I love a simple meal and I crave Mexican food, so this recipe was a perfect one to add to my dinner list.  Kevin and Amanda's Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas caught my eye as soon as I saw that they only call for 4 ingredients, and my husband absolutely loved them!!  I paired them with a side salad, and I had this meal prepped and on the table in no time.  Perfect choice for a quick and easy weeknight meal!
{via Kevin and Amanda
{via Kevin and Amanda}
Ingredients:

1 (16 oz) jar Salsa Verde

2 cups shredded pepper jack
cheese

3 cups (12 oz) cooked,
chopped chicken (I use a Rotisserie Chicken from the grocery store)

8 medium (soft taco size)
flour tortillas

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon a thin layer of
salsa verde into the bottom of the dish.

2. Combine chicken, 1 cup salsa verde, and 1 cup cheese in a bowl. Spoon about 1/3 cup mixture down the middle of a tortilla. Fold sides over and place seam side down in prepared baking dish. It’s okay if they overlap a bit.

3. Top with remaining salsa and 1 cup shredded cheese. Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes until bubbly. Serve and enjoy!

Thanks Kevin and Amanda for the yummy recipe!!

xoxo,
Katherine
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