Taco Tuesday

DSC_0985I know, I know it’s not Tuesday. But Taco Tuesday sounds so much better than taco Thursday, plus we ate these on Tuesday. I love tacos for dinner. They are so simple, delicious and most importantly easy. This is a go-to dinner in our household when we are short on time. For years  we used the little taco season packets that you buy at the grocery store. Have you ever looked at the ingredients though? It’s kind of weird considering it should just be spices. One packet we looked at even have caramel color, whomp whomp. Why do you need to change the color of spices?

Taco seasoning is so easy to make and its all spices you probably have already in your pantry. You can make it as spicy or not spicy as you want. I make a large batch at one time and which makes taco night even faster.

On side note, I love that picture of the taco at the top of the post. It looks so lovely and dainty. As soon as I was done taking pictures I piled on about 10lbs of cheese and salsa. I got no shame in my taco game.

Taco Seasoning

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 4oz

Taco Seasoning

This mix is enough for 3lbs of meat. Only 2T per 1lb of meat is required.

Ingredients

  • 1T Chili Powder
  • 4 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 3 tsp Sea Salt
  • 3 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 3/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 3/4 tsp Onion Powder
  • 3/4 tsp Oregano
  • Spicey Version - Substitute
  • 3T Chili Powder
  • 3/4 tsp Red Pepper

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients in small bowl
  2. Brown ground beef
  3. Add 2T of mix per 1lb of meat
  4. Add 1/4c of water
  5. Stir for a few minutes to allow sauce to thicken
http://runningonlaughter.com/2015/04/09/taco-tuesday/

Quick and Easy Meatballs

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We finally getting our life back together after vacation. The house is clean (ish), we are cooking regularly again and Peanut is back on his sleep schedule. I also finally got a chance to take him to tot time. I try to go pretty regularly to make sure Peanut gets a chance to run around and socialize with other kids. Apparently, it had been too long for Peanut. I debated whether or not to take him since he seemed tired. But decided he would sleep better for it. We were also trying a new place. At first Mason was pretty shy and clung to my leg. After about 30 minutes though he was practically running from activity to activity while throwing his back with a wild, maniacal laugh. Needless to say we will be returning.

Today’s recipe is quick and easy meatballs. I don’t know why but Peanut really loves meatballs. Whenever I am worried he is not eating enough meat I make meatballs since I know they will be devoured in minutes. He is kind of weird kid. If you offer him vegetables or chicken fingers. He will choose veggies – every time. I realize there are worse problems to have when it comes to a child’s eating habits.

Whenever I make meatballs for a potluck I just buy the pre-made ones and make my own sauce. For my family though I try to stick to the homemade kind. The ongredients in the store bought kind bug me. 1. Why are there so many ingredients? 2. Why are so many of them soy?  I have even seen meatballs with high fructose corn syrup. What the what guys? Why is this at thing. These meatballs take 30 minutes so you can throw them together pretty last minute. We have eaten them hoagies, spaghetti and in soups. Make extra and freeze them then you will have them on hand and dinner will even less time.

Quick and Easy Meatballs

Ingredients

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1lb Ground Beef

2 cloves Garlic

 1/4 cup Heavy Cream (Milk also works)

2 Eggs

1 cup Breadcrumbs (Panko is also delish)

1 1/2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning

salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1. Place all ingredients in medium size bowl and mix with hands

2. Form into balls – I made them about the size of a golf ball but you do you. If you make them larger you may need to adjust the cook time.

3. Place on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil.

4. Bake for 20 minutes.

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As you can see my kitchen helper is not about that patient life and was ready to dig in.

Green Smoothies

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Hey Guys! We just got back from vacation and now I need vacation from vacation. We spent a week in Florida visiting my family. It was great to see my family and of course they were excited to see Peanut. But guys, lets be real for moment. The highlight for me was seeing Harry Potter World. If you are fan of the movies/books  and you have the opportunity to go then GO! It was seriously awesome; like walking into the movie. I rode the Hogwarts express and went to Honeydukes. Sorry, my nerd is showing.

Anyways, back on topic. We went on vacation. Peanut got to go to Disney World. For him, the whole vacation was about the Dumbo rode and riding trains. He loves trains. So getting to see and ride so many was really exciting. The one thing we did not do was eat a lot vegetables. So when we came home we really wanted to eat something healthy. B has also wanted me to start making her green smoothies. I was fortunate Kris at The Nerdy Chick lent me her Vitamix to try out. It’s awesome and now on my wishlist.

So today I have two green smoothie recipes. Peanut is obsessed with these smoothies. As soon as I poured the Berry Green Smoothie into a glass he lost his ability to chill.

Pineapple Banana Green Smoothie

Ingredients

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1 Cup Greens (I used a mix of Kale, Spinach and Chard)

1 Banana
3/4 Cup Pineapple Chunks

1/4 Cup Coconut Milk (Almond, Soy or Cows Milk will work too)

6-8 Ice Cubes

Directions:

Wash greens then add everything to the blender. Blend until smooth. Devour.

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Berry Green Smoothie

Ingredients

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1 Cup Greens

1/2 Cup Frozen mix berries

1 Banana

1/2 cup Pineapple

1/4 cup Coconut Milk

4-6 Ice Cubes

Directions:

Wash greens then add everything to the blender. Blend until smooth. Devour.

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Baby Approved!

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Maple Garlic Meatballs

Final Product-editedPeanut is teething…..again. How many teeth can one baby grow. We practice a modified form of attachment parenting. It wasn’t something we conscientiously chose. When we thought about raising him there were just some things we knew we wanted to do (or at least try). Then one day when I was discussing it with someone new they informed that we practiced attachment parenting. So we cloth diaper and baby wear. We are pro-breastfeeding and gentle parenting. We do not co-sleep though.

*Let me take a moment to say if you are not parenting the same way we are, or maybe you do some things but not others, good for you. I mean it. You are parenting the best way for your family. I pass no judgements for the method anyone else chooses to parent. I deal with Peanut’s judgement everyday. This shit is too hard to also have other people judging you.*

Anyways, as I was saying, WE DO NOT CO-SLEEP……usually. If Peanut is not feeling well or teething he tends to spend at least part of the night in our bed. I bet you can already see where this fantastic tale is going. He slept in our bed….all night. It was like a hostage situation, if I even dared move he would wake up screaming. Let me also just say that when Peanut sleeps in our bed, the only person sleeping is Peanut. When my wife was pregnant I would sometimes think about what it would be like to snuggle and sleep with our sweet baby. The reality is somewhat less, well sweet.

This is a perfect representation of our life:

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Needless to say, I’m tired. Which also means, I don’t feel like cooking. Alas the days of eating cereal for dinner are gone now that we have a little one. So on to the next best thing, take out. Just kidding, although maybe that’s a post for another day. I just take pictures of me holding the phone and how I dial my favorite pizza place. I bet it goes viral on pinterest. No, no, no, the next best thing, is the crockpot. Throw it in and forget. This recipe is especially great because it only takes 4 hours to make; so I don’t even have get my shit together until lunch time.  Without further ado

Maple Garlic Meatballs

Ingredients:

2lbs Cooked frozen Meatballs

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/3c maple syrup

1/2c ketchup

2TB Soy Sauce

2TB balsamic vinegar

2TB worcestershire sauce

4 cloves garlic minced

Directions: 1. Combine all ingredients except meatballs in a bowl (I actually took pictures of me adding each ingredient with the intention of posting them but now I feel too lazy. The struggle is real.)

Sauce

2. Pour sauce over meatball and stir to coat. Put the crockpot on low for 4 hours. Crockpost Sauce

Enjoy!

Final Product

Chia Seed Pudding

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Hello! I have been stressed all week on what to make my first post. It seemed it so momentous and mentally I made it a much bigger than most. To be honest I’m sure my wife is relieved to no longer hear “I think I’ll make x for the my first post” every ten minutes. I felt like I needed to put out my very best recipes.  In the middle of all this I have been struggling to come up with breakfast ideas for my 1 year old (M) to eat. Finally I decided eff that I’m going to present to you our life as we eat it. That means I will definitely be putting up some tried and true deliciousness but as Lauren said earlier we are no strangers to pinterest fails. Sometimes we will just be experimenting and I will give you my honest feedback on how horribly it crashed and burned – with pictures for the full effect.  You’re Welcome.

Back to breakfast. We try to limit grains (and generally fail) and M has a sensitivity to dairy. Also, since he has not yet had his 1 year checkup, I’m not 100 percent sure when he can start nut butters (google that shit and you will fall down the rabbit hole of differing opinions). Up until now we had been feeding him fruit and eggs. The only issue, M hates eggs. So I have spent the week looking for nutritious breakfast ideas and stressing about ideas for this post. Enter chia seed pudding.

Guys, its weird …and delicious. I tried the pre-made one from the store and it was weird and gross. So I didn’t have really high expectations. It did check off a number of my hopes for a nutritious breakfast though.

  • High in Fiber
  • Good source of protein
  • Contains Omega-3’s (there is some debate about the quality)
  • Antioxidents

This version takes about five minutes to make, is completely customizable and reminds me of tapioca pudding. Guys let’s be real though, it’s pudding…for breakfast and who doesn’t want to eat pudding for breakfast.

Chia Seed Pudding

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Raw Chia Seeds
  • 2 cup Coconut Milk (almond and soy milk also work for this recipe)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
  • pinch of Salt

Optional – Fruits of your choice, granola, figs, chocolate, etc. – go crazy, I don’t know your life  (for ours we used thawed mixed berries)

1. Place 1/2 c of raw chia seeds into medium size bowl

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2. .  Add 2 cups of coconut milk   NOTE: I find it easier to shake the can(s) of coconut milk before opening. This will combine the milk and the fat. If you forget, it will be fine once you whisk it all together

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3. Add 1 1/4 t of Vanilla

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4. Add 2 T of maple syrup (We like to keep ours in a penguin jar)

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5. Add a pinch of salt

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6. Whisk all your ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours but overnight is better.

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7. Add fruit and other toppings and enjoy! You’re eating pudding for breakfast and no one can give you shit about it because it’s healthy.

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