Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Salsa Verde Slow Cooker Tacquitos

Hi friends! The days have been scorching hot on this last week of July. The last thing I want to do when it's over 90 degrees outside is turn on my oven for hours and hours of cooking. Enter chicken tacquitos. While this recipe does use the oven, the time frame is short - only 15 minutes. Instead, the work horse of this recipe is the slow cooker. Just throw a few things in, set it and forget it. 


In addition to being easy, this meal also happens to be freezable. If you have leftover tacquitos, allow them to cool in your refrigerator and then seal them up in a freezer safe ziplock bag. They can go right from your freezer to the oven when you're ready to enjoy them. 


If my kitchen walls could talk: Not a fan of salsa verde? Feel free to swap out your salsa and use your favorite red sauce instead! I recommend serving the tacquitos over shredded lettuce and topping with all your favorites - guacamole, nonfat greek yogurt, chopped tomatoes, jalepenos or olives! 

Required kitchen tools: Slow Cooker, Baking Sheet

Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Tacquitos 

Ingredients

2 large chicken breasts
1 cup salsa verde
8 tbsp low fat cream cheese
12-16 corn tortillas, warmed
1 cup lowfat mexican cheese blend, shredded

1. Layer chicken breasts flat in the bottom of your slow cooker.  Pour salsa verde over chicken.  Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours. After desired cooking time, shred with fork and add cream cheese, stirring to combine. Allow to cook on low for an additional 20 minutes.
2. Turn off slow cooker. Remove chicken placing about 1/4 cup on each tortilla.  Top with ~1 tbsp cheese. Roll up, place on a sprayed baking sheet face down.
3. Bake at 425 fahrenheit for ~15 minutes until tortillas are light brown and cheese is melted.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Monster Lactation Cookies

Hi friends! I hope you've been well.  Nesting has taken over blogging, now that our little one is one the way. I've been doing everything I can to prepare for her arrival, including freezing all kinds of meals and snacks to make those sleep deprived days a little easier. I'm planning on breastfeeding and I'm willing to try anything to make it work. I know that it can be a challenging experience, so anything I can do to make it slightly easier is on my radar.

So, what does this have to do with cooking and freezing? Well, certain types of foods/herbs, called galactagogues are said to help with increasing milk supply. A quick google search will show you that "lactation cookies" are blowing up the internet. Do they work..? Maybe? I can't really say yet because my baby isn't here but I can tell you that either way they taste amazing and I'm sure in my sleep deprived haze, I'll be down for eating a cookie at 3 am.


The "galactagogues" found in this recipe - aka the stars of the show - are oats, flaxseed and brewer's yeast. Now, finding gluten free brewer's yeast is slightly tricky. Just like many other foods - blue cheese, soy sauce etc. - it can be grown using wheat. The trick is to buy a brand of brewer's yeast produced from beets - I used Blue Bonnet Brewer's Yeast. I also recommend using a gluten-free flour blend as opposed to a single gluten-free flour, but if you aren't gluten-free, feel free to swap out white flour and you should have similar results.  

I've been obsessed with peanut butter throughout my pregnancy, so I adapted a lactation cookie recipe from How Sweet Eats along with the ingredients for my favorite monster cookies. These cookies freeze beautifully - just allow them to cool and then freeze them in a freezer safe ziplock bag. I hope you love them as much as I do!



If my kitchen walls could talk: The beauty of Monster cookies is that you can add everything but the kitchen sink to them. Peanuts, almonds, coconut, peanut butter M&M's - the sky is really the limit. Need a nut free version of this recipe? Try swapping out sunflower butter for the peanut butter.

Required kitchen tools: Stand Mixer, Cookie Scoop, Measuring Cups/Spoons, Nested Bowls, Baking Sheets



Monster Lactation Cookies

Ingredients

1 stick butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour blend
3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
6 tablespoons brewer's yeast
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups dark chocolate M&M's

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a stand mixer, cream together butter and peanut butter. Add eggs, brown sugar, white sugar and vanilla, creaming together until combined.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, flour, flaxseed, brewer's yeast, baking powder and baking soda mixing until combined.
3. Gradually, add dry ingredients to wet ingredients to the stand mixer while running on low. Stir in M&M's with a spatula.
4. Using a large spoon or cookie scoop, scoop the dough in uniform sizes onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12-14 minutes until lightly golden brown.


Have you tried lactation cookies? Did they work for you? 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Second Trimester Favorites

Hi friends! Hope you're having a great day :) Today, I'm sharing a few of my pregnancy favorites because let's be honest, being pregnant comes with lots of unexpected joys and surprises. While I've loved every second of it, I've found with the transition into each trimester, there are some things that get a little easier and some that get a little harder....

The second trimester brought to me extra energy, a visible baby bump (yes!!) and the finale of morning sickness. However, it also brought along breakouts, trouble sleeping and itchy skin. Early in my pregnancy, I loved reading other bloggers favorite pregnancy products, so today I'm sharing three of mine that solved my second trimester problems!



Belli Skincare


  • One thing my pregnancy brought along with it that was certainly not welcome was breakouts. Unfortunately, many effective acne treatments aren't pregnancy safe. So, what's a girl to do? Enter Belli Skincare! The products were formulated by OBs and dermatologists to use pregnancy safe ingredients. I only purchased the acne serum and I can say that it truly did help clear up those pesky pregnancy breakouts. I thought it was fairly inexpensive compared to most acne products and worked wonders!  


The Snoogle 



  • One thing that's never though of is how uncomfortable sleeping during pregnancy becomes. The snoogle was and still is my sleep life saver. It helped me be able to sleep better through the night without being so uncomfortable and achy. I bought mine at Bed Bath & Beyond and used a 20% off coupon for extra savings! If you're pregnant, I recommend purchasing one as soon as possible. You won't regret it. It's also great for folding in half and supporting your back when sitting! 


Burt's Bees Mama Oil


  • I love this lemon scented oil! Stretch marks are supposedly genetic, but anything helps right? I loved and still love this Burt's Bees oil when I picked it up during my second trimester. Not only is it cheaper than a lot of the other products out there, but I haven't had any issues with it staining my clothes. It smells wonderful, unlike many other products out there, and helps keep my skin from being itchy! 

What were your pregnancy favorites?