Jan 28, 2013

The Last Pancake Recipe You'll Ever Need

This week is potty training week with Will. I've asked for advice from practically every mom I know. I've looked into several potty training "methods". Truth be told, I've been dreading this day. Fear of the unknown? I don't know. I've stalled long enough. It's time. Today is day one of the "three day potty training method". The technique has received a lot of good reviews, but every child is different, so let's just say I'm cautiously hopeful things will click and work out.

To make up for the fact that I planned to take away Wills diapers and temporarily turn his world upside down, I tried to make this last weekend a good one. You know, sweeten him up so maybe - just maybe - he'll go along with the plan. So I made dark chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast Saturday morning. I've experimented with a lot of pancake recipes, so I was glad to finally find this one....THE ONE. The last pancake recipe I'll ever need. I don't always add chocolate chips, but the recipe is totally flexible like that. Will was happy. Mission accomplished.

 Dark Chocolate Chip Pancakes 

2 Cups all purpose flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups low fat milk
3 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)


Mix first four ingredients together. In a separate bowl, mix remaining ingredients. The key is to make sure you beat the eggs prior to mixing with dry ingredients to prevent over-mixing the batter. Then, mix wet ingredients with dry ingredients just until combined. Heat griddle to low-medium heat, spray pan with canola oil spray and pour batter into 4 inch diameter circles. After a few minutes or until golden brown, flip pancakes onto other side. Repeat until all batter is gone.

Enjoy with a side of fruit and love. Wish me luck!

Jan 12, 2013

Vegetarian Lentil Soup

Last year, Walt and I went to Costco and ended up coming home with the mother lode of lentils. I refer to this as the dreaded "Costco effect" (buying 8 gallons of something you don't really need just because it's a great price). How could we resist an enormous bag of lentils for like three bucks? Owned!

Consequently, we (read: me) have been trying to go through said lentils. Definitely NOT as easy at is sounds. I've added them to soups, stews, side dishes, etc. But there's only so many lentils you can eat in a week, you know? Plus, I wasn't finding any recipes that I absolutely loved. So, it has been a slow process.

But recently, things changed. I came across a good lentil soup recipe and improved it with a secret ingredient: Fire roasted tomatoes. Roasting is one of my favorite ways to add a ton of flavor without loading on extra salt and fat. I used canned fire roasted tomatoes for convenience sake. Plus they were on sale, so I stocked up.

I like this recipe mostly because it tastes great and thankfully, it's also really healthy. It's loaded with nutritious lentils and vegetables, which provide fiber and essential vitamins like Vitamin C and A. Plus, fiber helps you feel fuller longer and can combat cravings. I certainly need a little of that in my life. And did I also mention this recipe is really cheap to make? What's not to love?

Let's get started.

First, saute your veggies.

Next, reach for the secret ingredient.

Finally, add your tomatoes, stock,  dried oregano and basil, and cooked lentils.
 Stir and let simmer.

 And done. Enjoy!

Vegetarian Lentil Soup (Adapted from: Lentil Soup)


2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion, Chopped
2 Carrots, Peeled and Chopped
2-14.5oz Cans of Fire Roasted Tomatoes (with garlic)
1 1/4 Cups Cooked Lentils
4 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock
1 Teaspoon Dried Basil
1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
Green Onions, Sliced


Saute onions and carrots in olive oil on medium heat until tender. Add canned tomatoes, stock, cooked lentils, dried basil and oregano and stir until combined. Simmer on low for about 15-20 minutes. Serve with sliced green onions on top.

Jan 5, 2013

Baked Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

Despite spending most of Christmas and New Years sick, I still enjoyed the holidays. After all, we were in So Cal. Who can argue with sandy beaches and clear skies? Certainly not me. 

Now that we're back home, I'm trying to get back into the routine of planning meals. I fell off the meal planning train once James was born, but now I'm ready to get back into it. One of my favorite resources for meal ideas is pinterest. Is anyone else obsessed besides me?

Is it totally normal to go pin-crazy, then forget to make/do/recreate most of it? That's me.

In the spirit of not letting any good recipe go to waste, I'm going to actually start making more of the recipes I pin.

This baked garlic brown sugar chicken recipe is all over pinterest. It's super yummy, yet as simple as simple can be. Are you ready? Three ingredients. Seriously. It's kind of a god send for a busy mom or someone who doesn't want to spend hours in the kitchen to make a great meal.

Three ingredients: Chicken, Garlic, Brown Sugar. Yes, please.

To keep it on the healthier side, I use lean chicken breast and didn't add any extra butter or oil. Just mince the garlic, mix with brown sugar and spread over chicken. Bake at 500F for about 20-30 minutes or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165F. 

I paired it with some mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus and it was a hit with the family. Will, who usually refuses meat, gobbled this up. I'll be honest, I cleaned my plate too.