Creamy Ranch {21 Day Fix}

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I’m going strong on Day 4 of the 21 Day Fix.  Thus far, this program has seemed very sustainable.  I’m not hungry and I am exploring new options to fit into my allotted containers each day.

One thing that I really enjoy is being able to dip veggies and being able to cover my salad with dressing — but of course, this isn’t the healthiest option.  I used both of my orange containers for my Cheeseburger Salad, but I knew I needed for find another alternative so I can use those orange containers for other goodies!  So, I created my own, protein-packed, creamy Ranch.  It’s perfect for dipping or for topping a salad.  And, since it’s a protein, it’s a red container food — meaning I can have half of a red container with veggies for a snack and then use the other half later on a salad for one red container!  It’s perfect.

I love this Ranch and I think I’ll continue to use it even with I’m not on the fix!  I stored mine in the fridge in glass mason jars, but you could always just reuse the cottage cheese container as well.  This makes a LOT of dip/dressing — and the best part is, it’s okay to eat a lot of it too! 🙂

5.0 from 1 reviews
Creamy Ranch {21 Day Fix}
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Prep time: 
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Serves: 20
 
Ingredients
  • 20 oz. of 2% cottage cheese
  • 2 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1½ tsp. dried dill weed
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 tsp. dried onion flakes
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried chives
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, combine the dry seasonings and stir. In a blender, add the cottage cheese, white vinegar, and dry seasonings and puree. If the mixture is too thick, it can be thinned with water, 1 or 2 Tbsp at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Store in the fridge and it should be good until the date on your cottage cheese container.

 

 

Cheeseburger Salad {21 Day Fix}

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You probably thought this blog was defunct.  It’s not.  We’ve just been busy.  But I’m recommitting to the blog this Fall — along with recommitting to healthy eating.  On Saturday, I started the 21 Day Fix and while I’m only on Day 3, I think this is a diet that will actually be sustainable — more of a lifestyle change than a diet long-term.

I signed up to be a Team BeachBody Coach as well (mostly to receive the discount) but if you’re interested in any of their products or workout plans — or even becoming a coach yourself — please let me know.  I’d love to be a part of your journey.  I also setup a new Instagram account @Stickyfeetfitness where I’ll be taking photos and sharing recipes each day if you’d like to follow me there.

My friend Jamie is doing the fix with me — so it’s nice to have someone to chat with about recipes, questions, etc.  I’m also in a competition with my husband’s best friend, Owen.  We are going to Las Vegas with him and his wife in November and whomever loses the most weight (based on percentage) is buying the other couple a couple’s massage.  Now there is some motivation!

Since I’ve had kids, I’ve done a pretty good job of exercising consistently — my main issue is food.  It’s just too easy to eat their leftovers, take them out for donuts and ice cream, and to make cookies on a rainy, dreary afternoon.  And the truth is, I still plan to do all of those things… (okay, maybe not eat their leftovers…)…  It’s just going to be a little bit more planned and less of a whim.

I had this salad on Saturday evening when the rest of the family was having hamburgers off the grill with coleslaw and baked beans.  This salad was just as satisfying and I didn’t feel deprived.  Total breakdown is 1.5 red, 2.5 green, 1 blue, 2 orange for the whole salad.  Delicious and satisfying!

I made the Dijon Vinaigrette the day before and stored it in the fridge.  You could use just one orange container, but I wanted my salad with lots of mustardy dressing to add to the cheeseburgerish flavor.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Cheeseburger Salad {21 Day Fix}
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Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lean hamburger, grilled and diced (1 red)
  • 1¾ cups Spinach (1.5 green)
  • 5 baby carrots, chopped (.5 green)
  • 1 hard boiled egg, sliced (.5 red)
  • Fix Dijon Vinaigrette (2 orange) - you could just use one but I wanted plenty of mustardy dressing
  • Shredded cheddar (1 blue)
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, add your spinach, chopped carrots, shredded cheddar, and diced hamburger. Arrange the sliced egg and top with vinaigrette. Delicious!

 

Strawberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Anna and Clara recently celebrated their 4th birthday!  It’s impossible to me that I have 4 year olds!  It feels like they were just born yesterday (and like I’ve known them forever)!  They chose a pink and purple butterfly theme so I tried to carry that through all of their parties (you can see more about their birthday celebrations on my family blog).

Since we were going with a pink and purple theme, I thought pink strawberry cupcakes would be perfect.  These cupcakes have a great strawberry flavor and are very easy to pull together — which is a good thing!  I made 4 batches of these cupcakes two days before their birthday.  We took cupcakes to school, cupcakes for their pizza party, and then more cupcakes for their family party.  I was the cupcake queen for a few days! 🙂

I made the butterfly picks for the cupcakes.  I used this butterfly punch with pink cardstock and then glued two of the butterflies on to a toothpick using glitter glue.  I originally found the idea on Pinterest.

Strawberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
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Serves: 24
 
Ingredients
  • Strawberry Cake
  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1½ cups water
  • ⅓ cup oil
  • 3 egg whites
  • 3 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 small box strawberry Jell-o
  • ½ cup strawberry preserves
  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1 stick butter
  • 9 oz. cream cheese (3- 3oz packages)
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Instructions
  1. Mix all cake ingredients in a medium bowl using a hand mixer. Distribute batter into 24 muffin cups and bake according to directions on the box.
  2. For the frosting beat the butter until creamy. Add the cream cheese. Add remaining ingredients and mix until light and fluffy!

 

 

Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake

I promise this will be the last sweet treat for awhile.  For those of you battling New Year’s goals and resolutions like me – even looking at a cake like this can quickly cause us to gain 5 pounds! 

I made this bundt cake several months ago when I took dinner to my friend, Tenille, after she had her fourth baby (4 year-old twins, a just turned 2 year old, and a baby — she’s got her hands full!). 

I love this cake because it’s easy to prepare and quickly dresses up a boxed cake mix to make it more appealing.  It can be iced, but I prefer it plain with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  And like all sweet treats, this cake has my trio’s seal of approval.

Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake
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Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cake
  • 1 chocolate cake mix
  • small box instant chocolate pudding
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 3 whole eggs
  • ⅓ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a bundt pan with PAM. Beat all ingredients except chocolate chips until well blending. Fold in chocolate chips. Bake for 50 minutes.

Winter Minestrone

Last week, the weather report said that there was a blizzard coming — it turned out to be nothing more than a dusting of snow and a bit of strong wind.  The cold, dark, dreary, blustery day was the perfect opportunity to throw together a hearty winter minestrone soup.

The recipe I based this soup on is from the Barefoot Contessa.  I used different quantities and left out a few ingredients.  Spinach in soup just seems weird to me — but who knows.  🙂

It takes awhile to chop all of the veggies for this soup — and you’ll want to have your homemade chicken stock already prepared and on hand.  For a snowy evening at home, this soup is thick, rich, and satisfying.

I served it with breadsticks and fruit.  The kids wouldn’t touch it — they aren’t soup fans — but even Mike, the vegetable hater himself, ate a bowl — picking out the chunks.

Winter Minestrone
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Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 to 4 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 small butternut squash, diced
  • 1½ tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. Thyme
  • 26 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 - 15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup small pasta, I used orzo
  • ½ cup good dry white wine
  • 5 Tbsp. pesto sauce
  • Parmesan cheese, grated finely
Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta and set aside.
  2. In a dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook for 6 to 8 minutes until lightly browned. Add the onions, carrots, celery, squash, garlic, and thyme and cook over medium heat until the vegetables begin to soften.
  3. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Discard the bay leaf. Add the beans and cooked pasta and allow to simmer until meal time. Stir in the white wine and pesto 5 minutes before serving. Dish into bowls and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve with warm bread.

 
Maybe you can enjoy this soup to reintroduce a few veggies after the massive eating that will take place over the next few days! I’ll be posting sporadically until after Christmas break, then I’ll hopefully be back to my three times a week posts. 🙂 Enjoy your holiday season!

Triple Lemon Cake {& Mike’s 36th Birthday}

Mike turned 36 on 12-12-12.  This was his 11th birthday we’ve spent together!  Unfortunately, the trio was sick that day (Bo had strep and they treated our whole family) but it did mean that Mike took the afternoon off and was home with us to spend part of the day.

Mike requested a lemon cake for his birthday, so I turned to Pinterest and found one to make from scratch.  I tackled this in the morning and it was challenging keeping sick little kiddos out of my cake batter — but for the most part I succeeded.

I make the ugliest cakes known to man.  I have zero cake decorating skills.  However, the cake did taste delicious.  I’d probably make the cake a bit differently if I had to do it again — it was slightly heavy — but the filling and icing for this cake were absolutely amazing!  The filling I could (and did) eat with a spoon.  Delicious!

Lemon Curd Filling
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Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (about 1-2 lemons)
  • 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1. Combine all ingredients in a double boiler (or in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water, like I did).
  • 2. Heat while stirring constantly with a whisk.
  • 3. It is done when it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. You will be able to tell it has thickened, but I wouldn’t say that it’s “thick.”
  • 4. Refrigerate until cool and thick.
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat while stirring constantly until just boiling. Refrigerate until cool and thick.

 

Monday Munchies: Laura’s Banana Cake

Banana Cake 2

On Saturday evening, we had two families over for dinner.  Amazing how adding only two families to our house means we are feeding a total of fifteen people!  Luckily, everyone pitches in and brings a few items to supplement the menu.  This week, Laura brought this delicious banana cake that I loved.  All nine of the kiddos devoured it in record time.  I knew this was a recipe that I’d be making in the future – both because it tastes great and because it seems like I’m always trying to find new ways to use up overripe bananas. 

The cake is very moist and flavorful and the creamy topping makes it a great spring dessert.  I’ll even admit to eating a piece for breakfast the last two mornings. It tastes great with coffee too.  🙂

Laura gave me permission to photograph her cake and share the recipe on the blog.  Thanks, Laura!!

Banana Cake

Cake:

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups cold water

Topping:

  • 8 oz Cool Whip (lite is fine)
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 1 small instant vanilla pudding
  • Preheat oven to 350.

Mix together the cake mix, bananas, baking soda, eggs, and water.  Spread into a 9×13 pan sprayed with non-stick spray.  Bake for 35 minutes and cool completely.  For the topping, whip together the Cool Whip, milk, and instant pudding.  Spread on top of the cooled cake.  Refrigerate.  Laura said that this is the type of cake that becomes even better after it’s aged a few days and having just had another piece this morning, I will say that I agree!

Banana Cake 1

I’m hoping my food photography starts to improve soon.  My Mother’s Day gift was two books I’ve been eyeing on Amazon regarding Food Photography.  Looks like I’m going to have to invest a bit for the proper lighting, etc. but hopefully I can figure out the trick to making the food look extra yummy – and the plates look less blue – in the near future!

Each Monday, I’ll showcase a family and kid-friendly recipe to share with your family. Please let me know if you try one of my recipes! Enjoy!

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Monday Munchies: Fuzzy Navel Smoothie

Fuzzy Navel Smoothie

This recipe received two thumbs up from my kiddos.  I originally found this recipe when I was doing Weight Watchers pre-children and was inspired to make it for the kids one morning last week.  They loved it – but what’s not to love?  It’s very sweet from all of the fruit, but at least it’s natural sugar.  Of course, they wanted cinnamon bread toast too, but at least I felt good that they were getting lots of Vitamin C and nutrients from the smoothie! I doubled the recipe and split it four ways, which was plenty for the kiddos.  The banana makes it creamy without the need for milk or yogurt and don’t leave out the vanilla extract – it adds dreamsicle type quality that is quite tasty. 

Fuzzy Navel Smoothie

  • 1 cup frozen peaches
  • 1 small banana
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Put all ingredients in blender and liquefy. Makes a great smoothie for 4 points (old Weight Watchers program). Includes 3 fruit servings for the day!  Serves 1.

 

As you can see, these smoothies were definitely trio approved!!

 

Anna smoothie Bo smoothie Clara funny face 

Each Monday, I’ll showcase a family and kid-friendly recipe to share with your family. Please let me know if you try one of my recipes! Enjoy!