"You are sunshine on a cloudy day!"

During our premarital counseling, my husband and I both took surveys in order to better understand our individual personalities. One of the things the profiles both said was that we were each like... "sunshine on a cloudy day." To this day we enjoy teasing each other about this funny little fact. :)

Sometimes we are sunshine...and sometimes we're not. But, we are soooo in love and are completely enjoying our journey in life together.

As we grow in love and in numbers, I invite you to follow our blog! It is bound to be a messy, silly, fun and exciting adventure. Sit back, grab a blanket, maybe even a cup of tea and get ready for a laugh or two. Welcome to our family! May God greatly bless you today!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Quick and Healthy Dinner Ideas...

Looking for something easy, but healthy? Just say “NO” to hamburger helper! I bet one of these dishes is just waiting to be made from food you already have in your kitchen!

As a self-proclaimed minimalist in the kitchen (I am NOT a cook), my family knows two things will be on the table…a main dish and a salad/veggies… and that is that. :) I have no guilt about it. As a wife, teacher, mom (to a very busy toddler)… and now newly pregnant, I do not have the time or energy to spend hours in the kitchen, but my family’s health is still important! Here are three simple and healthy classics for this week!

1. Turkey Sloppy Joes (serves 6-8) Gluten Free Option 

Ingredients you’ll need:
1 lb ground turkey (or beef – whatever you prefer)
2 cans of tomato soup (I like to use organic/all natural Pacific Foods Creamy Tomato Soup -1 box)
½ cup – ¾ cup of water (depending on how thick you like your “sloppy”)
1 Tbs. yellow mustard
Onion (optional)
Whole wheat hamburger buns (for gluten free try Udi’s Gluten-Free Buns)

Brown turkey meat in medium pan, cook off or strain to remove any excess water or fat. When cooked stir in soup, water, mustard, onion (optional) and cook until it is bubbling and hot. Serve over a whole wheat bun (open-faced for less carbs!). Serve with coleslaw, salad or veggies with dip!

2. Yum, Yum Rice and Beans (serves 6) – Gluten Free!

Ingredients you’ll need:
Brown rice
1 can of black beans
Black olives (1/2 can)
2 tomatoes
Sea Salt (to taste)
Butter or Coconut Oil-refined (optional)
Ranch – type dressing (optional)

Cook brown rice according to package directions. Heat black beans. When rice is done place heaping spoonfuls into bowls (to give a more creamy texture you may choose to add butter or coconut oil to rice at this time) and place one large spoonful of black beans over rice. Add chopped olives, tomato and avocado. Add sea salt or dressing to taste.

Did you know that rice and beans combined make a complete protein? No meat needed with this meal! Serve with salad or go wild and serve with egg rolls (I like Asian Style Sensations White Meat Chicken Egg Rolls – No preservatives and no MSG)!

3. Potatoes and Chilli (Serves 4) – Gluten Free!

Ingredients you’ll need:
Baked potatoes (4)
1 can of chilli (I like Amy’s organic chilli – medium)
Cheddar cheese (optional)

This is the simplest one yet! Bake potatoes in oven or microwave (until soft in the middle). Heat chilli. Grate cheddar. Slice open potato, place one heaping spoonful of chilli over center of potato and add desired amount of cheddar cheese (optional). Serve with a nice green salad or veggies and dip.

Sometimes the best ideas for dinner are the ones we already familiar with, but simply needed reminding of! I hope this makes your dinner simpler and healthier tonight!

From Kendall’s kitchen to yours…Peace, Love and Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Minivans and McDonald's Drive-Thrus

So you must be thinking...what in the world do minivans and McDonald's have in common? 

Jon.... My husband.


Oh yes, you read this correctly. 

So a real quick story. 

Last night Jon and I happened to finish dinner early, had an hour to kill (still don't know how that happened with a baby...but we did!) So we decided to head out in our new van! Oddly enough, Jon loves driving the thing (but would never admit that to his truck-driving friends). So, we unanimously decided to go to McD's for a hot fudge sundae.

Okay, quick back story on this...Jon loves to talk in different voices when we go through drive-thrus. You know, he does this weird accent when the person on the other end taking the order can't see him...he thinks he's hilarious. He sort of is, actually.

Well, when he used to do this, it would just be the two of us in his SUV...both of us acting like kids, right? 

Now, imagine Jon last night yelling as loudly as he could into the ordering box, "HI YA'WL, I'D LIKE'N SOME OF THAT THER ICE CREAM! I'LL TAKE A 'ER FUDGEY SUNDAAAAEEEE! 

Except...imagine a thirty year-old man, in a minivan, with his wife and baby in the back seat doing this. Yes, this is my husband. This IS my husband.

I seriously thought I might pee my pants. I was laughing so hard.

The look on the face of the poor high school kid taking our order as we went through to pay... priceless.

I was very worried the kid thought we were completely insane, but as he handed back Jon's credit card he did say, "Well, there you go pardner." He was good...almost said it with a straight face.

Oh how I love my husband... I am one lucky lady. :-)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

All Things Baby: Do-It-Yourself Baby Food! (4 months+)

Being new to the “mom situation,” I have learned so much in such a short time! Being the teacher type, I am constantly researching, reading, learning and practicing things. Some things work, some things don’t, some opinions are way over-the-top, and other opinions are helpful.

All that to say, I tend to share waaaaay too much information with those around me. My close friends like to say, “You know so much random information!” They are sweet. The reality is... I just talk a lot. So, here I am…dispensing more info. Yak, yak, yakking away.

None-the-less, I hope my information is fun, helps make your life easier, gives you confidence or simply encourages.

Today's Food Tips...

 Food Tip #1: Seems silly to say this, but use a plastic bib… I pretty much ruined most of his cloth bibs (the ones that match his outfits) with food stains in the first few weeks of feeding him! What was I thinking!? Plastic bibs…genius! Wipe and go! My favorite…Summer Bibbity Rinse and Roll.

Food Tip #2: Make sure to puree each food separately…babies like individual tastes at first…too many combos can be confusing and unsatisfying!

Food Tip #3: Don’t buy fancy food trays for the freezer (I did and they don’t work as well as the cheapy ice cube trays from the grocery!). Just use BPA free trays and cover with plastic wrap before placing in the freezer! Use cubes within a week for peak freshness.

Food Tip #4: Making your own baby food saves you $$$! On the safe side I will save $20 - $30 per month by making my own baby food instead of buying it! If you calculate it… 15 min. x 4 weeks = 1 total hour. In 1 hour I make $30 not bad!!! Not to mention that babies LOVE eating fresh food!

 Yes, this is a bib I ruined...should have been using the Bibbity!

My little man LOVES avocado! 

On the Go… no prep foods!

Easy Stow, Go and Smash:

Bananas and avocados – simply take a ¼ avocado or ½ banana with you in a Ziploc baggie, a container to mash in, and a spoon for feeding! I usually add a pinch of warm water (optional) to “mash.” They may turn a touch brown throughout the day, but it will not affect the quality or taste of the food.

For the Week…

Puree, Freeze, Pop and Thaw: (Makes approx. 20 oz. of puree for each food when using the following guide.)

Avocados (3-4 med.), Bananas (3-4 med.), Cooked Peas (3-4 cups), Pre-peeled Cooked Carrots (3-4 cups), Peeled Baked Sweet Potatoes (2 large), Peeled/Cored Baked Apples (3-4 large) -

Cook food item if necessary. Puree desired amount in blender (with small amount of water if needed) and pour into ice cube tray to freeze and use throughout the week (each cube is about 3 oz.)! Once I pop a cube out of the tray, I defrost it in the microwave (in glass container) for about 1 min. (or thaw for 2.5 hours at room temp.) Add 2 tsp of warm water (optional) and stir.

Average time for prep: 2-3 different foods for entire week = 15 min. including cooking time (in microwave).

Side Note: Okay, let me be honest here…do I really “bake” or “cook” my baby’s food? No. I usually nuke it in the microwave for two-three minutes or until “tender” and then puree. Easy as pie…or um, easy as baby food!