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Healthy Living: Back to School Breakfast Baked Oatmeal Cups

Back to School Breakfast Baked Oatmeal CupsBack to school breakfasts are wreaking havoc with my psyche this year.

I know breakfast is the most important meal of the day (and my personal favorite), and the PRESSURE to deliver a nutritious, delicious, easy and convenient back to school breakfast is mounting.

I haven’t stressed out about breakfast in the past, but this year, one of my kids will need to take his breakfast to school. For whatever reason, this is throwing a kink in my best-laid breakfast plans.

So, it’s back to the drawing board for his school breakfasts.

I was referred to this recipe on a blog called “Flex with Faith Fitness,” written by a super mom, teacher and fitness instructor committed to a healthy lifestyle. It fits all my requirements for a fabulous school morning breakfast: it’s healthy, easy and can be made ahead of time. It’s also delicious.

I can’t wait to try these!

Baked Oatmeal Cups

coconut oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large bananas (or 2 cups unsweetened applesauce)
1 Tbs raw honey
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 Tbs ground cinnamon
pinch of cloves
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
toppings of your choice (such as fresh berries, chunks of fresh fruit, nuts, pure maple syrup, chocolate chips, etc.)

Preheat oven to 350° F. Coat muffin tin with coconut oil or nonstick cooking spray, or use paper liners. Paper liners tend to work best if you’re freezing these.

Combine eggs, vanilla, bananas and honey in a large bowl. Mash bananas and mix well. Set aside.

Combine oats, cinnamon, cloves and baking powder in a small bowl. Stir well and combine with banana mixture. Stir in almond milk and mix well.

Divide oatmeal evenly between prepared muffin cups, and add toppings of your choice.

Bake for 26 to 30 minutes or until golden-brown.

Serve immediately or freeze.

Makes 12

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 175, Fat: 4 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 31 mg, Sodium: 35 mg, Carbohydrates: 30 g, Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 5 g, Protein: 6 g.

View this recipe to print or add items to My Shopping List.

Product Talk: DiGiorno Artisan Melts

DiGiorno Artisan MeltsAs summer gives way to the school year, I have to give thanks for one product that got us through the long summer days: DiGiorno Artisan Melts.

My boys LOVED these for lunch or for a snack after a day of swimming or playing outside, so I’ll definitely continue buying them as an after-school snack or weekend treat.

DiGiorno Artisan Melts, found in the frozen foods section of Brookshire’s near the garlic bread, are a flatbread crust topped with a variety of fresh toppings.

My kids like Pepperoni Speciale, but DiGiorno also offers Spicy Sausage Pomodoro, Chicken Bruschetta and Quattro Formaggi/Four Cheese.

They’re simple to make. Simply heat them in the microwave, toaster oven (our preferred method) or the conventional oven.

The perfect snack or meal, these are quick, tasty and easy to make, even for a teenage boy.

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Dine In: Power-Packed Pasta

Power-Packed PastaMy sons are both running competitive cross country this year with their respective schools, and I couldn’t be more excited for the change in pace from the Saturday soccer games we’ve (gladly) attended for the past 10 years.

Their first meet is coming up, and we’re going to be prepared by carb-loading the night before, for energy, because it never seems like teenage boys have enough fuel to get them through the day, let alone an athletic event.

For the night before a race, a cross country runner should eat a meal high in carbs and moderate in fat and protein. They should also drink a lot of water, or “camel up” as the saying goes.

Since our meets are on Saturdays, Friday nights are the perfect time for a power-packed meal.

Power-Packed Pasta (i.e. Spaghetti and Meatballs)

1 lb whole-grain spaghetti

1 lb lean ground beef
2 Tbs whole milk
2 Tbs parmesan cheese, grated
2 Tbs panko breadcrumbs
1 Tbs parsley, chopped
1 Tbs dried oregano

1 white onion, diced
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (48 oz) can tomato sauce
2 (14.5 oz) cans fire-roasted tomatoes, diced
1 (4 oz) can tomato paste
fresh parsley, oregano and basil, to taste
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Start your sauce first. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. When it starts to become fragrant and shimmers, sauté onions until translucent. Add garlic, and stir for 1 more minute. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and all spices. Stir together. Bring to a boil, and then turn heat to medium-low to let simmer.

While your sauce is simmering, prepare the meatballs. Preheat oven to 400° F. In a small bowl, combine milk and breadcrumbs. In a large bowl, place ground beef, cheese and spices. Add in moistened breadcrumbs. Mix thoroughly. Shape into balls, about 2 inches in diameter. Bake at 400° F until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add meatballs to sauce immediately.

Bring a large stock pot of water to a rolling boil. Add whole-grain spaghetti; cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain well. Serve with sauce and meatballs, with a side salad and garlic bread.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 524, Fat: 12 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 123 mg, Sodium: 1616 mg, Carbohydrates: 69 g, Fiber: 7 g, Sugar: 17 g, Protein: 38 g.

View this recipe to print or add items to My Shopping List.

Family Matters: Pacifiers

PacifiersAs the mom of a child who spent many, many years in speech therapy, I feel qualified to offer this tip: If your child can walk, limit pacifier use to bed only.

I see LOTS of toddlers walking around with pacifiers.

A pacifier is a great object for self-soothing, and many babies need to suck to relax themselves and soothe that instinct. However, a toddler should be replacing the pacifier with other self-soothing habits.

Walking around with a pacifier can inhibit speech, either because there is something in their mouth preventing them from speaking or because extended use of a pacifier can lock a child’s mouth into an unnatural position, making it more difficult for his tongue and mouth muscles to develop normally.

Pacifiers can also push against teeth, making them come in at an unnatural angle.

Some pediatricians recommend ridding baby of the pacifier all together by 18 months. I’ll readily admit that both of my boys used them until they were after 2, but only in bed, for naptimes and bedtimes after about 9 months. Also, our speech issues were not pacifier-related. Although, I talked to lots of moms in the speech language pathologists’ waiting room who did admit a pacifier contributed to their toddler’s speech issues.

Family Matters: Teething

TeethingAround the time your baby hits the second half of their first year, you might see teeth sprouting, if you haven’t already.

The age for a first tooth varies widely. Some babies are born with them, and some don’t sprout until closer to a year. It’s all normal, so don’t fret.

Between 4 and 7 months old is average for a first tooth.

When baby starts drooling a lot, gets a little fussy and you can see raised ridges on her gums, she’s probably teething. She might refuse food or chew on anything she can get her hands on. Again, all normal.

Some children experience diarrhea as a result of teething, but doctors can’t agree on whether this is actually a symptom. Some say that the increase in saliva production (the drool) also causes some upset tummy issues. Same with fevers. There’s no physiological reason for a child to spike a fever when they are teething, but enough babies do it that a lot of moms consider it normal.

When your baby shows signs of teething, you can give her a little infant Motrin or Tylenol for the pain. Let her chew on something cool, even a soft rag that you’ve put in the freezer. Teething toys or rings are also great for baby as she gets her first teeth. Carry some with you at all times and keep them handy!

Family Matters: Baby Smiles

Baby SmilesI have a new nephew, a cute little guy with a head full of hair, born about two weeks ago.

He’s precious.

My sister-in-law recently texted a picture of him smiling at us.

Totes adorbs, but did you know that he’s not REALLY smiling?

Babies don’t reward all your hard work, sleepless nights and constant care with a genuine grin or coo until about six weeks of age. Despite how hard your mother-in-law might protest, yes, it’s just gas or an involuntary reflex.

That doesn’t mean baby can’t be happy or content or even grace you with what looks like a smile, especially if he’s sleeping. In reality, the purposeful expression of happiness will come in a few weeks. Hang in there, Mom and Dad. He’ll be smiling at you for years to come.

Mi Blog Hispano: Cocinando en la Olla de Barro Eléctrica

Cocinando en la Olla de Barro EléctricaMi mama me regalo una olla de barro eléctrica (slow cooker) hace dos navidades atrás y aunque siempre tuve la intención de usarla, nunca la use hasta esta semana.  Realmente no sé porque me tarde tanto en usarla si es una maravilla.  Creo que me desanimaba la idea de que las comidas se cocinan allí por largas horas.  También porque creciendo mi mama nunca cocinaba en este tipo de olla.  Todo era desde el empiezo en la estufa de gas y muy autentico.  La semana pasada vi la carne para rostizado y se me antojo porque bajaron un poco las temperaturas y ha estado lloviendo mucho.  Revise algunas recetas de cómo hacerlo y me pareció que la mayoría de las personas hacen el rostizado en la olla de barro eléctrica así que decidí hacer el intento.

La noche antes corte las papas y medí todo para que al siguiente día, antes de irme al trabajo, no me tardara preparando esta comida.  Después de algunos sueños y mucho descanso, me levante temprano para poner todo en la olla.  Puse las papas, zanahorias, sazone la carne, agregue la cebolla y otros ingredientes más y prendí la olla eléctrica.  Quizás me tarde unos 15 minutos para hacer esto.  Me fui al trabajo y deje la olla cocinando.  Regrese a casa durante mi hora de almuerzo para revisar que todo estuviera bien.  Al entrar a la casa mi cocina olía a los ingredientes y sazones que le puse.  Eran aromas como de comida Mediterránea, tan penetrantes.  Sabía que tenía que ser el aroma de los sazones rosemary (romero) y thyme (tomillo).  ¡Qué riqueza de aromas!  Todo estaba muy bien y me regrese al trabajo.

Mi esposo llego a casa antes que yo y me llamo para preguntarme que estaba cocinando porque olía tan sabroso.  Me encanta cuando a él le emociona lo que estoy cocinando.  Le pedí que por favor apagara la olla ya que habían pasado ocho horas.  Al salir del trabajo sabía que la cena estaría lista en muy poco tiempo porque solo tenía que llegar a hacer los acompañamientos, arroz blanco y broccoli, y nada más.  Llegue a la casa y los aromas estaban todavía más fuertes y persistentes, y mi familia estaba ansiosa por probar el nuevo platillo hecho en la olla de barro eléctrica.  Comimos y nos encantó a todos.

El rostizado bien sazonado (hmm…me gusto esto para el nombre de la receta) es una delicia de comida.  Y qué fácil es cocinar en la olla de barro eléctrica.  Quizás se tenga que cocinar por varias horas, pero la comida se está cocinando sola.  A parte de que solo metí los ingredientes a la olla en la mañana y al llegar del trabajo el platillo principal ya estaba listo.  ¡Qué maravilla!

Definitivamente volveré a cocinar el mi olla de barro eléctrica, ¡y más frecuente!

Aquí les paso la receta del Rostizado Bien Sazonado.  ¡Les va a encantar!  Por cierto, compre todos mis ingredientes en Brookshire’s.

Rostizado Bien Sazonado en Olla de Barro Eléctrica

Carne de res para cocer o en ingles se le llama “chuck roast” (3 lb)
Papas rojas (1 lb)
Cebolla picada (1/3 tazas)
Zanahorias chicas (1 taza)
Caldo de res en lata (2)
Pimienta (1/2 cucharadita)
Rosemary / Romero seco (2 cucharaditas) – marca Brookshire’s
Thyme / Tomillo seco (1/2 cucharadita) – marca Brookshire’s
Mostaza Dijon (1/4 tazas)
Polvo de Ajo (1/2 cucharadita)
Sal (1/2 cucharadita)

Corte las papas en pedazos.  Ponga las papas y las zanahorias en la olla de barro eléctrica.  Combine la mostaza, el romero, el tomillo, polvo de ajo, pimienta, y sal en un plato y mezcle.  Si la carne está muy grande, córtela a la mitad.  Yo compre un paquete de dos piezas de carne y no tuve que cortarla.  Luego, unte la mezcla sobre la carne y agregue la carne a la olla.  Agregue la cebolla.  Agregue las dos latas de caldo de res.  Yo le puse un poquito más de romero, tomillo, y pimienta sobre los ingredientes después de agregar todo a la olla.  Prenda la olla de barro eléctrica al nivel bajo.  Deje todo cociendo por 6 a 8 horas hasta que la carne este tan tierna que muy fácilmente se deshace.  Yo lo deje cociendo por 8 horas exactas y quedo muy bien cocido, muy suave, y delicioso.

Espero que les guste y disfruten de esta receta.  Yo seguiré usando mi olla de barro eléctrica y se las recomiendo.  ¡Qué facilidad cocinar en ella!

Shop the Sale: Low Country Crab Boil

Low Country Crab BoilWe just got back from our annual family beach vacation, and after seeing my family, my favorite part of the trip was the nights we feasted on crabs.

We usually pick up a bushel to eat at home one night, and then we go out for crabs another night. Both nights are pretty much my favorite eating of the year.

Snow crab clusters are available at Brookshire’s today! While it’s a different kind of crab than the Maryland Blue Crabs I eat on vacation, the principal is the same, and they are delicious!

With the snow crab clusters, I like to do a Low Country Boil out of the meaty legs. You still get the great crab flavor and most of the tender, succulent meat with so much less work.

You can also freeze snow crab clusters, and save them for a day when you just want to feel like it’s summertime at the beach.

Low Country Crab Boil

2 large bags Zatarain’s Seafood Seasoning
1 Tbs liquid seafood seasoning
1 1/2 cups kosher salt
3 lemons, halved
2 limes, halved
10 small whole potatoes, washed
8 ears corn, shucked
1 lb smoked sausage, cut into pieces
5 lbs medium to large raw Gulf-harvested shrimp, unpeeled
8 to 10 snow crab clusters

Fill a very large, heavy stock pot about a 1/3 full with water. Add seafood boil seasoning, salt, lemons, limes and sausage. Cover and bring to a boil. Add potatoes; boil for 5 minutes. Add corn; boil for 5 minutes. Add shrimp and simmer. Place crab clusters on top. (They don’t have to be submerged in the liquid.) Bring to a boil, and then remove from heat. Cover and let sit for up to 1 hour.

Drain the pot. Scatter contents on newspaper; eat immediately.

Serves 8

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 734, Calories from Fat: 194, Fat: 21 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 645 mg, Sodium: 22350 mg, Carbohydrates: 51 g, Fiber: 7 g, Sugar: 5 g, Protein: 81 g.

View this recipe to print or add items to My Shopping List.

Healthy Living: Kid-Friendly Breakfast Sushi

Kid-Friendly Breakfast SushiSchool started last week, and I’m up against an added challenge this year: getting a kid to an athletic practice in the morning before school.

He’s STARVING by the time he finishes practice, but he can’t eat anything heavy before he goes to the workout.

We came up with breakfast sushi, a “roll” that gives him some energy, but it doesn’t weigh him down. It has protein, potassium to help rebuild muscles, and “good” carbs that he can burn during practice.

Bonus points: my other son loves them, too.

Breakfast Sushi

1 large, firm banana
1 Tbs plain Greek yogurt
1 Tbs natural peanut butter
2 Tbs granola or other whole-grain breakfast cereal, crushed
1/4 cup strawberries, finely chopped

Peel banana.

Mix together Greek yogurt and peanut butter. Roll banana in mixture, and then coat with a layer of crushed cereal. Sprinkle with strawberries. Refrigerate overnight, and serve first thing in the morning.

Serves 1

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 262, Calories from Fat: 145, Fat: 16 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 1 mg, Sodium: 17 mg, Carbohydrates: 50 g, Fiber: 8 g, Sugar: 24 g, Protein: 13 g.

View this recipe to print or add items to My Shopping List.

Product Talk: Blue Diamond Smokehouse Almonds

Blue Diamond Smokehouse AlmondsAs soon as I opened the bag, I was overcome by the deep, smoky aroma of Blue Diamond Smokehouse Almonds.

Blue Diamond clearly doesn’t mess around with their naming conventions, as “Smokehouse” is exactly the right scent – and flavor – of this delicious snack.

Sold in a handy bag that you can easily reseal, Smokehouse Almonds are a great back-to-school snack for kids, or handy for adults who need a midday pick-me-up.

Since 1910, Blue Diamond Growers have produced quality almonds from orchards in California.

Almonds are cholesterol-free, have three grams of fiber per serving, are rich in vitamin E, and provide six grams of protein per serving with only two grams of net carbs.

Lightly salted, Smokehouse Almonds are the perfect snack for on the go, at home or any time.

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The products mentioned in “Share, the Brookshire’s Blog” are sold by Brookshire Grocery Company, DBA Brookshire’s . Some products may be mentioned as part of a relationship between its manufacturer and Brookshire’s.

Product Talk

Each Monday we feature a new or interesting product.

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Ideas for the whole family come to you every Thursday.

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