Sunday, December 18

Weekend Recap: Shopping, Smoothies, Chai Tea, & Brussels Sprouts

    I have finished my Christmas shopping for my girls, Nate, my dad, my sister, and Nate's mom. Woo!! All I have left is my mom, Nate's dad and Nate's brother but we know what we are getting Nate's brother. We had a great idea for Nate's dad but I can't find it anywhere now. How seriously frustrating--hopefully it's to the rescue! haha

    Since I've been away for a bit, let me explain where I've been. 


    Then I did some more shopping. 

    And then, oh yea! I did a little more shopping. :)

    Thursday was the big grocery shopping trip since it was payday. Friday morning was dedicated to Christmas shopping (3 different places at that) that needed to be done before the weekend. Both of those days I needed to be home in time for Abby's naptime--and then to be at the bus stop later. So those days I needed some serious refueling while Abby was sleeping. Don't ask me why, but Thursday I had the idea of an omelet. And it was goooooooooood! 

    A two-egg omelet with feta cheese, green onions, and black olives topped with mozzarella cheese and parsley. Then 2 pieces of buttered whole wheat toast on the side. The pairing of feta cheese and eggs became one of my favorites. Wow. I definitely recommend it. :)

    The second part of my refueling came after Kyleigh came home from school with our snack--fruit smoothies! 

    We've been making these all school year but it wasn't until my friend asked me while were standing at the bus stop one afternoon about how we make them. After all, depending on what you put in them, smoothies can sometimes not actually be too good for ya. So let's talk about fruit smoothies. :)

Ours are incredibly simple. Ice, fruit, juice. That might sound like it wouldn't be smooth. It is. Really! 

We start out with a few handfuls of ice. 

Then add in 2 frozen fruits of your choosing. 

Then add in a banana or two. 

Now pour in some orange juice so that three quarters of the contents are covered.

    I always have SunnyD Smooth in the fridge because it is the only orange juice Kyleigh likes. 

    So this is the juice we use in the afternoons. 

    The girls and I like to use a variety of combinations of frozen: pineapple, blueberries, strawberries, and peaches. 

    After putting all this in the blender together, hit liquefy and let it go. More often than not, I do have to add more juice a little ways into blending it. 

    I love using this for an after-school snack because it is packed full of vitamin C--one of the key components to keeping healthy. C'mon, we know how rampant colds and viruses are in school. Let's hope this strategy works. :) 

Okay, so back to my thread before the smoothie deviation. 

    Thursday and Friday I ate a two-egg omelet for lunch to refuel and enjoyed smoothies with the girls to replenish the vitamin C I know my body needed. Then after the second half of my day, I needed a way to unwind. And a discovery was made.

    I love this tea so much I've even brought some out to the bus stop in the afternoon with me. And I find it's a nice way to unwind in the evenings once the girls fall asleep. A lot of the spices are similar to those that go into gingerbread. And who doesn't like gingerbread?? You should try it. :)

There is one more thing I'd like to share before I sign off for the night. 

    There are a lot of foods that get a bad wrap. All you have to do is hint at a particular food and people cringe automatically.

    Oh yes, I'm talking about the most notorious of these "black-listed" foods. The little green mini-cabbage looking veggie.

    See what I mean? I bet you just wrinkled your nose.

    But before you turn away, I have one more word for you: bacon. I swear I just heard the collective sigh that only the deliciousness bacon can summon. :)

    So why not use the delectable bacon to elevate the cringe-inducing brussels sprouts? I came across a recipe in a magazine that did just that. And since I am going to try to diversify my family's diet in the new year, why not get some practice in now?

    Yeah, I couldn't come up with a reason either. So I dove in head first. 

And I enlisted help.

Alright, so while Nate cooked the bacon, I prepped the other ingredients.
This included thinly slicing shallots, cutting the tips off the brussels sprouts and removing the outer leaves. Then in a small bowl I combined the brown sugar, salt and pepper.

And the recipe, from magazine:

  • 4 cups Brussels sprouts, stems trimmed and tough outer leaves removed
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (which I omitted due to Nate not being able to eat nuts/seeds/etc)
  • 1/2 tsp packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
    Use a paring knife to cut out a cone shape from stem end of each sprout. Separate leaves, leaving the small, tender centers intact; set aside.
    In a large nonstick skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, about 7 minutes; drain on paper towels and set aside. Discard all but 2 tablespoons bacon fat in skillet. Add shallots; cook for 5 minutes until softened. Add sprouts; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes, until wilted. Add bacon, nuts, sugar, salt and pepper; stir to combine. Serve immediately. 

And I was unable to get a picture of the final product. And this is the kicker. My 5-year-old, who eats barely anything, declared she LOVED the Brussels sprouts. Then, get this, she asked for seconds!!!!! I know! I am beside myself too! It's a good thing she couldn't see my face when she stated these things because she would have second-guessed her thoughts. I near about fell outta my chair when she asked for more. Really? Really?! REALLY?!?! Wow, guess I did something right. haha 

Okay, I think I've made this post long and shocking enough. :) Till next time!!


  1. WOW!!!!! Awesome stuff Tanya!!!! You're Da Bomb!!!!

  2. Haha Thanks Mommy. :)I learned it from you. ;)


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