Friday, September 30, 2016

Mini Whole Wheat Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

October is rolling in tomorrow and I will now officially acknowledge pumpkin season. I baked my first pumpkin spiced bites of the season yesterday and to no surprise, they were a huge hit with Will. 
I don't always have freshly baked treats in my kitchen until Fall arrives and I just can't help myself. GIVE ME ALL THE FALL TREATS. 

I'm convinced that you can really never mess up a recipe made with pumpkin. Almost any pumpkin bread, muffin or cookie tends to stay extra fluffy and never really comes out dry. I have been making these muffins for a few years now and they are still one of my favorites! I lightened up an already healthy recipe even more by swapping in whole wheat flour and omitting some of the sugar. I love that these are bite sized, and perfect for little hands. They are just sweet enough and the mini chocolate chips in every bite make for the perfect toddler treat! 

These mini muffins are totally adult approved, too. 

Mini Whole Wheat Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
recipe adapted from Skinny Taste

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup raw turbinado sugar
3/4 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1.5 cups pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
2 large egg whites
2 tsp. vanilla extract
baking spray
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare mini baking tins with cooking spray or paper liners.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon. In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, coconut oil, egg whites and vanilla until combined. Add the dry mixture to the pumpkin mixture and mix until batter is fully combined. Mix in chocolate chips. 

Pour batter into prepared muffin tin and bake for 22 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. 

Makes 24-28 mini muffins. If you opt for regular sized muffins increase the cooking time to around 25 minutes. 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

What Kate Ate: Beef, Leek, Spinach, Broccoli + Apple Puree

I used to have a hard time with meaty baby food purees but I've learned to embrace them over the past few months. Kate will basically eat anything and I love knowing that she's getting in good, healthy protein as well as a good servings of vegetables. I always test taste a little bit of her food and this combo is seriously good. The texture isn't at all what I expected and the flavors are so bright. Kate ate every last bite! 

Steaming the steak was a tiny bit questionable to me but my Little Foodie cookbook hasn't failed me yet so I just went with it. I bought an organic, grass-fed ribeye that was on sale but I'm sure any good quality beef would work well. I have been paying attention to grocery store specials and trying to buy organic meats as much as possible, especially when I'm cooking for the minis. This puree is packed full of protein and nutrients and has been a hit with the little princess lately! 

Pump Some Iron Beef Puree
recipe from Little Foodie 

1/2 lb. organic beef, cubed
1 cup fresh broccoli florets
2 leeks, white and green parts only, chopped
1 apple, cored and chopped
1 cup trimmed and roughly chopped packed spinach
1/2 cup water, reserved from steaming (or unsalted beef stock)

Fill a medium saucepan with 2-3 inches of water. Heat on medium heat until it comes to a boil. 

Place the beef in a steamer basked (I use a metal mesh strainer on top of a saucepan) over the boiling water and cover for 10 minutes. Add the broccoli, leeks, apple and spinach to the steamer basket and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until all veggies are tender and the meat is cooked through. Let cool for a few minutes.

Place all cooked ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until you reach your desired consistency, adding reserved steaming liquid or stock as needed. I also add a pinch of salt at the very end. 

Refrigerate and use within 3 days or store in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Kate: 11 Months!

Little Miss just turned 11 months old! I cannot believe that her first birthday is right around the corner. I love her so much that my heart could burst. She is quite the princess around these parts and I wouldn't have it any other way. 

At 11 months, she is weighing in at around 18, give or take a bit, pounds when I hopped onto the scale with her last week. She is still in size 2 diapers and mostly 6 month, and some 6-12 months clothes. 

Her hair is really coming in now an it's still a mystery to me as to how it is so light! I just love her little wisps, especially with a bow.

Kate is definitely finding her voice more and more. She makes new sounds daily and still does this little whistle thing that I can't help but be obsessed with. 


Everything she does is just the cutest. "Dada" is still her favorite word to say and she yells it at the top of her lungs whenever Mark walks in the door. She's been such a mommy's girl but she loooooves her daddy! And she love love love love loooves her big brother!

Pointing is her newest trick! She points at any and everything while making all kinds of sweet baby noises. She's still strong on the head shakes and claps. She also picks up my phone and holds it up to her ear. Ha! 

This little girl LOVES food. There is really nothing she won't eat. She especially loves avocado, berries, any roasted veggies, ricotta with olive oil and her newest favorites, salmon and kalamata olives! 

Kate is definitely on the move and standing and cruising along the furniture more and more. I think I forgot how much time you spend chasing a tiny little human around at this age! She's so curious but definitely not destructive by any means. She likes to crawl into Wrigley's cage and kick her legs up and down, just like another little lovie I know did! She crawls right in and right out. 

Her favorite place to crawl is down the hallway to our bedrooms, where she stops and looks at our gallery wall of family pictures. She points and babbles and gets so excited. I think it's the sweetest thing! 

This little girl has already developed a serious pout. She hates the word no and has perfected the whiny face and it's hilarious. I know it won't be so hilarious when she's a teenager but we're enjoying it now. Oh the drama. HA! 

Will started school last month which means this little girlfriend and I get three mornings a week together! We miss Will while he's at school, but I am loving this one on one time with her. We run errands, hit up story time, play and have added in some morning runs now that the weather is nicer. I so look forward to our mornings together and I know it's good for her, too. 

Oh little Kate Kate, we love you more than you know and we can't wait to celebrate your first birthday next month! 

Happy 11 months, Princess Kate!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

#EatMooreDinner, Vol. 2

It's a new week with a new menu and I'm already planning the next time I make some of the dinners we had last week. I cannot stop thinking about these meals!! 

The Paleo Moroccan Chicken Bowls were by far my favorite dish from last week. I'm so obsessed with the flavors and everything was so fresh and good. The leftovers just as tasty!! I passed this recipe along to so many friends! Thursday night was another new dish and I actually never got to photograph it OR taste it since I was eating fried chicken before the Zac Brown concert! I'm going to recreate it again soon. 

My Asian Beef Lettuce wraps are a staple around here. I've tossed the recipe aside really and just saute up ground beef or turkey with whatever veggies I have on hand and season it with Tamari and freshly ground ginger...and a heavy drizzle of Sriracha! When I crave these things, I really think it's that crazy spice I want. My original recipe is linked below! 

Here's what we ate last week:

Lemon Garlic Salmon with Sauteed Broccoli Rabe

Mexican Quinoa Bowls with Chorizo and Pico de Gallo 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Friday Faves {on Sunday}

I had the opportunity to go to the Zac Brown Band concert here in Charlotte on Thursday night and it was AMAAAAZING!!! It was such a spontaneous and spur of the moment thing and I'm so glad I went with my friends. Live music is one of my favorite things in life and ZBB was nothing short of fantastic. I've heard nothing but rave reviews about his live shows and he definitely lived up to it! The entire night was so much fun, and was topped off by running into my favorite person on TV- HODA KOTB! Seriously. Hoda!! I gave her a giant hug like we were best friends (but really, we are!) A chance meeting for sure and I still can't believe it. She's just the best!

I'm still riding the concert high and let ZBB be the soundtrack for my Sunday run. I don't think I have been on a real run in probably all of 2016 and man, it felt GOOD. Kickboxing at our gym has become my routine workout and I really think those hour long classes have given me more power to push through any workout I do. Combined with long walks with my kids in the stroller and my Kayla BBG, I'm excited to add running back into my routine now that the weather is cooler. 

Keeping it short and sweet today...and mostly football related. GO PANTHERS!!

On Self Confidence in Your 30s. By far the best thing I've read all week.

I ordered these little Penguin Ice Packs for Will's lunch box and they are the perfect size and keep his lunches nice and cool. 

For all of my Panther fans...this Etsy shop has tons of cute designs for the whole fam! I ordered from them last season and will definitely be placing another soon. They are local and the service and quality is excellent!

A little feel good video from... SUPER CAM

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Lemon Garlic Salmon

This is the easssiesttttt and also my favorite way to make Salmon. It takes literally no time at all and comes out of the oven perfectly every single time. There's something so satisfying to me about only using a few ingredients. Gourmet cooking at home doesn't need to be complicated! Salmon is a food that my body craves and I start to go a little crazy if we haven't had it in a couple of weeks. It's one of those things that just makes me feel healthy and good after I eat it. Bonus points because, call me crazy, but I always swear it gives my skin a little extra glow. 

I kept it simple on Monday night and paired our salmon with sauteed broccoli rabe. Broccoli rabe has become one of our favorite greens. The bitterness isn't for everyone, but we honestly love it. You can blanche it in water for a minute or two prior to sauteing, as this takes out a little bit of the bitter taste. I have done this before but I usually just wash, chop and cook! 

And as pesky as that salmon skin is...I find that the skin on salmon has better flavor.


Lemon Garlic Salmon

1 lb. wild salmon
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon, sliced
a few thin slices of unsalted butter
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with tin foil or parchment paper.

Top Salmon fillet evenly with garlic. Season with salt and pepper and place a few thin slices of butter on top. Finish with lemon slices lined up on the fillet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until salmon is cooked through and flakes easily. You will need more or less time, depending on how thick your fish is. 

Monday, September 12, 2016


My menu has been made and our fridge is fully stocked! I'll call that a successful Monday! This makes me soooooooo happy. I'm making two new recipes this week, one of which I am totally winging because I saw it on an Instagram feed and am using it as inspiration. 

I'm going to try something a little different this week, and make an effort to take a photo of our dinners this week to post next week! If you follow me on Instagram, #eatmooredinner is nothing new. My creative, hashtag savvy friend Rachel came up with it, and I use this tag for all of our dinner posts. I'm carrying it over to the blog and will hopefully have some tasty photos and recipes to share next week! 

When I meal plan, I typically plan for 4-5 specific meals. We almost always go out for dinner at least one night during the weekend and one of our at home dinners is usually something I quickly throw together with whatever we have on hand or have to use up! On my meal plan list, I also have a section for Will, a section for Kate and a section for us. Here are my extras that I'm making this week.

For Will:
- Hummus + veggie whole wheat wraps (for school lunches)
- No Bake Energy Bites
- Baked Parmesan Zucchini

For Kate:
- Mango + Kale with Ginger
- Superhero Greens with Chicken (from the Little Foodie cookbook)
- Pump Some Iron Beef puree (also from the Little Foodie Cookbook)

For Us:
- Lentil Salad with Mustard and Tomatoes
- Mini Fritattas with Sausage and Veggies (recipe adapted from Skinnytaste)

If you are in need of more meal planning inspo, Real Simple has a daily e-mail that you can sign up for with a recipe of the day. It's a great way to try out new recipes or get out of a rut. Sign up HERE. (#notsponsored- just sharing a good resource because I love it!)

Monday, September 5, 2016

Kate: 10 Months Old!

Our little bitty princess is TEN MONTHS OLD! Double digit months and only two more months until she's a year. It's just all going too fast and I don't care how many times I say that. She has grown so much but is still such a little baby at the same time. Each month gets sweeter with this girl and we love her more everyday. 

She weighs around 17 pounds and is now 27 inches long! She has graduated to size 2 diapers finally. She is wearing mostly 6 month clothes and some 6-12. And it's almost time to spice up the Fall wardrobe! I'm going to miss those sweet summer rompers though. 

Kate is officially crawling and moving all over the place. She's a wild little thing and doesn't like to sit still much these days. She's getting fast and especially loves it when Will chases her around the house. It took her no time at all to figure out how to crawl everywhere. About two weeks ago, she figure out how to stand in her crib and was so proud of herself she couldn't stand it. It's so much fun to watch them learn new things and show so much pride while doing so. 

Miss Kate is full of tricks! She claps, still shakes her head and smacks her little lips in the cutest way possible. Her wave most of the time is her hand opening and closing and it's my favorite thing ever. She has started pointing to things lately which is so cute. Her tiny voice is starting to develop and she's making more and more sounds each day. She especially loves to blow through her mouth and make the littlest whistling sounds! She says "da-da" when she sees Mark so we are claiming that as her first word. 

Mealtime has gotten messier these days as we have started her on more soft finger foods. She usually gets a puree with each meal but she's dong so well chewing on small pieces of roasted vegetables, fruits and even some meat! She loves meatballs and roasted chicken and has honestly eaten everything she's ever tried. 

Kate is loving books more now than she ever has. She sits in our laps and looks at the pictures and takes it all in while making happy noises and laughing. Her favorite book right now is a board book called Little Fish with an orange fish puppet that pokes through a hole on each page. She laughs so hard when you make the fish move. She doesn't discriminate when it comes to books though because when Will gets his daily morning story with Daddy, she is crawling up to them on the couch scooting in to join. 

Also...when you show up at the playground in the same romper as one of your baby BFFs!? All the heart eyes. 

My mom recently brought over my American Girl Doll and Bitty Baby to store for Kate to enjoy someday. I was curious how Kate would react to the baby doll and she went NUTS! I ask her where her baby is and she starts kicking and laughing and immediately kisses the baby's face. 

Aside from her own toys, her favorite toys are anything that Will is playing with! She's become especially fond of the Paw Patroller.

I never want to forget all of these little things. Like the way she buries her head in my chest when she gets embarassed. Or the way she goes crazy when Mark walks through the door. She looks at her big brother with the most loving look I have ever seen in my life, next to the way she gazes at me as she dozes off to sleep as I rock her each night. She has the same little nose as Will that scrunches up when she over-smiles or knows that she just did something cute. She has a big personality in a tiny package and it's so much fun to watch her turn into this amazing person. 

We love you so much, baby Kate and we can't believe how fast your first year is happening. This time last year we were weeks away from meeting you yet it's hard to believe how we ever lived without you.

Happy 10 months, Princess Kate!