Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Sunshine State Vacay


We recently spend almost a week in Florida and had the best time. We stayed in the Tampa area with Mark's family and had fun exploring the area that he grew up in. The car ride from Charlotte clocked in at around 9 hours and with our two little ones in tow, it took around 11 hours. 


We spent a ton of time with Mark's family and extended family and our kids looooved having fun with their cousins. The beaches were gorgeous. I love love love Carolina beaches, especially Kiawah, but this was a different kind of beautiful. I don't think you can ever compare them because they both have their unique qualities. 






This was Kate's first trip to the ocean and she was in LOVE. She ran through the water, got her toes in the sand and made a giant mess. Ha! The little princess has no fear. Will hadn't been to the beach since he was two, and he was so excited to be back. 



Tarpon Springs was my favorite little spot! We walked around the little town that reminded me of a European village. We enjoyed some Greek pastries with coffee and popped in and out of the shops. The boats were just beautiful- something about seeing tons of boats on the water gets me every time. 



We ventured to Clearwater beach to dinner one night. We ate at Frenchies Rockaway Grill which came highly recommended. The outdoor patio was right on the beach and our meal was FANTASTIC. Fresh fish from the gulf coast is hard to beat- my grouper was beyond delicious. It also turns out that Tampa Bay Brewing has some pretty delicious IPA. 


After dinner that night, we walked on the beach just before sunset. The sand is like baby powder and the water is crystal clear. I'm a beach girl so this was heaven for me. Will and Kate loved running around on the sand and sticking their toes in the water. This was my favorite night of the entire trip! 





We spent a day at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park which was fun and hilarious. Apparently this is one of Florida's oldest attractions, including MERMAIDS! My six year old Ariel loving heart was freaking out a little. 




The Florida sun was in full force and it was HOT but it was such a fun outing. We also took a boat ride down the springs and watched a wildlife show with snakes, alligators and turtles. 



On our way home, we made a pit stop and enjoyed a glass bottom boat ride in Ocala. The state park has been been running these boats for over 100 years! The Springs were beautiful and Will especially loved being able to see all of the fish and turtles below. Our captain tossed fish food into the water and tons of fish swam up to the bottom of the boat to eat. I still cannot get over the crystal clear spring water. Definitely worth the stop and it was perfect since it was right on our way home.


Thankful for fun, sun and plenty of family time and memories! 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Taco Turkey Spaghetti Squash



It's been a whirlwind few weeks! The four of us went on nearly a week long trip to Florida and two days later I packed my bags back up and enjoyed a girls weekend in the mountains. I had the best time on both trips but it's nice to be home for a bit. After a week of indulging, I'm anxious to get back to my regular gym routine and back in the kitchen. We are keeping it light, easy and healthy this week. My body is craving ALL THE VEGGIES. 

This turkey taco spaghetti squash is a newer favorite around here. It's the perfect weeknight meal and comes together so fast. I LOVE the fresh pico de gallo that my Harris Teeter sells, making this dinner easier than it already is. It's loaded with fresh tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, cilantro, lime, jalapeno, spices and ZERO junk. It's one of my favorite grocery store finds of all time. 

I was inspired by this Skinny Taste recipe, but adapted it a bit to make it my own. It's hardly a recipe- that's how EASY and fool-proof it is. This is also a great lunch to have on hand- packed with protein and vegetables and super filling to power you through the day. We all love this dinner and I hope you do, too. 

Taco Turkey Spaghetti Squash

1 lb. lean ground turkey breast
1 spaghetti squash, roasted
Fresh pico de gallo or salsa of your choice
avocado, thinly sliced
Taco seasoning (my homemade recipe below)

Taco seasoning:
1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder

Roast spaghetti squash. See my fool-proof method here

In a large saute pan on medium-high heat, cook ground turkey. When the turkey is cooked all the way through, add taco seasoning and simmer for 3-5 minutes. To plate it all together, layer a pile of spaghetti squash and top with turkey and pico/salsa. Serve with avocado on the side. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Citrus Curry Marinade



Grilling season is officially upon us! I'm sitting here on my screened in porch with some iced coffee and my favorite warm weather Pandora station playing- Bob Marley, obviously. It's totally setting my Summer mood.

This marinade is my go-to for chicken. My family has been making this for years and it's always a favorite with big crowds. I love the unexpected flavor of curry. It's bright and slightly sweet and gives the chicken a bright yellowish color when grilled, making it look extra tasty on the plate. 

Speaking of big crowds and parties, while listening to Ina's interview on Katie Couric's podcast last week, she talked a bit about the best ways to prep for a dinner party. She suggests centering your meal around three dishes. With that, she says that one should be made ahead of time, one should be made on the stovetop or grill, and one in the oven. This way you can time your meal appropriately and not be scurrying around trying to get it all served. This is excellent advice.

Bottom line, this marinade makes the most delicious and juicy grilled chicken breast. The butcher at my grocery store will fillet my boneless, skinless chicken breasts for me making for minimal prep work! If you've never asked at your grocery store I bet they will do it. This is almost the only leftover chicken I will eat- it's amazing on salads for lunch! 


Citrus Curry Marinade
(marinade for about 2 pounds of chicken)

1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
juice of 1-2 lemons
1 Tbsp. curry powder 
Salt + Pepper- add this to the chicken right before cooking

Whisk marinade ingredients together in a bowl. Pour into a bag or shallow dish and add chicken. Let chicken sit in marinade for 30 minutes- an hour. Add salt and pepper to the chicken as it hits the grill. 


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Friday Faves (on a rainy Sunday afternoon)


Hoda came back this week from maternity leave, Cam Newton showed up at Coachella in floral romper (not really a romper) and everyone is losing their minds over Starbucks' Unicorn Frappucino. So many things breaking the internet this week! And can I just say, HODA! Gah, I love her. She radiates joy and happiness always, but even more so now than ever. Motherhood looks good on her. 

Those donuts up there are from Duck Donuts and they are the best! There are tons of donuts here in Charlotte, but these are my favorite. Duck's doesn't mess around and they don't ruin a good thing. Simple donuts are hard to beat. We enjoyed those the morning of Mark's half marathon a few weeks ago thanks to my sister. GIVE ME ALL THE SPRINKLES. 

I had a list of random errands to run on Friday morning and quickly abandoned ship when I got the urge to plant Spring flowers. I took my motivation and ran with it, re-doing all of my porch pots and the flowers around our mailbox. I may even head back to the store this weekend for more. Who am I!? I haven't always liked to plant and garden but I'm learning to appreciate it more- and already planning next weekend's plantings.

Here are a few of my favorites from the week:

Tomato and Roasted Lemon Salad- this has my name written all over it. So does this Roasted Garlic and Tomato Lentil Salad

Oberon season is here!! (well, it has been for almost a month) This is my most favorite beer and it's perfect for these warm sunny days ahead. Easy drinking and just delicious. 

Mark and I recently started using Harry's razors and I must say, I'm impressed! The subscription service makes it very convenient and the price is on point. And gone are my days of paying for overprices women's razors. 

Olive Tapenade- I always forget how easy this stuff is to make yourself. Serve it with pita chips or endive for a quick and easy app. 

Let's put Missing Richard Simmons on the list of strangest things I have ever been into. I can't explain why this podcast was so good- but it was. I think it was just so out there and weird and I couldn't stop listening. 

And while we're on the subject of podcasts, Katie Couric's interview with Ina Garten was so enjoyable! I didn't even know Katie had a podcast until this week. In the archives she also has an interview 

Essie Splash of Grenadine is my new favorite pink for spring! It looks nothing like the photo if you order on Amazon- search for it on Pinterest for an accurate depiction of the lilac-y color. 

Spring front door paint ideas that will give your exterior an instant refresh (via Southern Living). Our front door is red but I've had the urge recently to give it a facelift. Do I go with just a brighter red or change it up all together?  I love all these fun punchy colors! 

Hope you all are enjoying a relaxing Sunday! 


Friday, April 21, 2017

Cinnamon Olive Oil Banana Muffins



It's me with a muffin recipe. AGAIN. But hear me out!  I had two lonely, and very ripe bananas sitting on the counter and instead of wasting them, I decided to mix up a quick batch of breakfast muffins. These came as a surprise this morning and both of my kids LOVED them. I like that they're not super sweet, especially because I can't have Will thinking we eat cupcakes for breakfast.

I'm not one for winging it while baking, but I did here and the result was excellent, which is why I'm sharing it with all of you. I pulled a few of my favorite muffin recipes, mixed the ingredients in one bowl (with my almost 4 year old assistant) and crossed my fingers when they went into the oven. You almost can never go wrong with banana baked goods! 



These muffins sound fancy with the olive oil in them and all but let's be honest here, I'm sure that unsalted butter or coconut oil would work just as well. Olive oil totally makes the recipe sound better but in all honesty, I find myself using olive oil in my baking a lot. No melting necessary and hello! Good fats. The result is a semi nutty, slightly sweet breakfast treat that you can feel good about giving your kids. I'm really into using honey or maple syrup as natural sweeteners when I bake for my little ones to keep everything free of refined sugar. The best part about this recipe? Everything can be mixed in ONE BOWL! These muffins are an all around win! I love these with fruit for an easy breakfast for Will and Kate. I also think they would be a great pre-workout snack! Enjoy!


Cinnamon Olive Oil Banana Muffins

1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup mashed banana (about 2-3 medium bananas)
14 cup honey or maple syrup
1/4 cup almond milk
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1.5 cups white whole wheat flour
2 tsp. cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with liners or spray with cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, combine olive oil, banana, honey, almond milk, eggs and vanilla. Mix until combined. Add in dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt). Mix until everything is incorporated and you have a nice thick muffin batter. Fill liners with batter a little over 3/4 way full. 

Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes. 


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Easter Eats

{image via}

Easter is only a few days away and we are enjoying this week getting ready for time with our families for the holiday. I rounded up some recipes from the archives if you're still menu planning and need some inspiration. One thing is for sure...Easter with my family on Sunday is going to include my Lemon Almond Ricotta Cake. It's the perfect Easter dessert!

Breakfast/Brunch- 

Classic Belgian Waffles
Crustless Mini Quiches
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
Tomato Corn and Zucchini Fritatta

Small Bites/Starters-

Sweet Pea Crostini
Steamed Mini Atichokes with Butter Dijon Aioli

Salads/Sides-

Baby Greens with Figs, Goat Cheese + Champagne Vinaigrette
Endive, Citrus and Arugula Salad
Green Bean Salad with Pickled Onions + Fried Almonds
Brussels Sprouts Leaf Salad

Desserts-

Coconut Macaroons
Lemon Almond Ricotta Cake (THE BEST)
Strawberry and Mascarpone Filled Cupcakes

Monday, April 3, 2017

#EatMooreDinner, Vol. 5




(turkey taco salad bowl- one of our favorite easy weeknight staples!)


Popping in on this rainy menu to share our menu for the week. I was feeling totally uninspired yesterday as I made our meal plan and wrote out my grocery list but I rallied and came up with some yummy dinners. This week is looking excellent!

"Popping in" by the way...this is totally little term my mom always uses and now that I'm using it, I'm laughing to myself.

Mark is running a half marathon on Saturday here in Charlotte so on Friday night we will be carb loading- I'm thinking a favorite pizza or pasta and perhaps we will go out as a pre celebration. 

Here's what's on our menu this week:

Whole 30 Chicken Picatta + Zoodles

Lemon Garlic Salmon + Roasted Cauliflower, Chick Pea and Kale Salad

Chicken Avocado Salad with Peanut Dressing (I'm MOST EXCITED about this one)

Butternut Sausage Bake with Kale + Tomato Cream

Grilled Skirt Steak, Avocado Chimichurri, Roasted Potatoes + Kale Salad 

Oven Fajita Quinoa Bowls

For more dinner ideas, search #eatmooredinner/@ninanmoore on Instagram! Or follow me on Pinterest