Family Fun – Make Your Own Pizza Night

family fun make your own pizza

I love spending time with the kids and creating opportunities for family fun. I’m always trying to think of ways to create quality time with them. Quality time doesn’t always have to mean doing something big or expensive. We do pretty regular family game nights and movie nights, along with a smattering of other activities. (Check out my Geocaching post for example.)

But even when doing a chill family night in, people need to be fed! So I decided to kill 2 birds with 1 stone and do a make your own pizza night! Everyone can experiment with putting different toppings on different slices, or just go ahead and make their good old favorite style of pizza.

By getting everyone involved in cooking dinner, you create a sense of togetherness while also creating a sense of independence and fostering living skills. Sitting around the table making pizzas, also creates a general light heartedness amongst everyone. Maybe it’s the casualness of the food – or maybe it’s the fun of not having to agree on what to make and eat. Whatever it is, it is the perfect time to talk and joke and just generally enjoy each other’s company.



It does involve a little prep, but it’s pretty simple.

If you have the time to make the pizza crusts too, more power to ya! There are many advantages to that. But to make it quick and easy (because those hungry bellies DO need to get filled), you can easily buy pre-made pizza dough.
So you’ll need dough, sauce, and any toppings you have on hand.
My kids like cheese so, even though I don’t eat it, I bought cheese for them. Things like spinach and mushroom are pretty easy because they’ll cook down enough on their own when you cook the dough. I had some broccoli and cauliflower on hand. The kids like when I saute it, so before we began I sauteed it. It was one more step, but one more I thought would pay off in child vegetable consumption. It’s up to you if you have time or want to include something that would add steps like that. Maybe leftovers would be a great option.

family fun pizza night - mom is such a nerd

family fun pizza night - mom is such a nerd

family fun pizza night - mom is such a nerd

I love seeing them experience a bit of independence in a life skill. It gives them confidence.

family fun pizza night - mom is such a nerd

family fun pizza night - mom is such a nerd

family fun pizza night - mom is such a nerd

family fun pizza night - mom is such a nerd

They crack each other up!

family fun pizza night - vegan pizza

I make mine vegan with no cheese. And I love veggies!
My camera conveniently died before I got a picture of the kids’ pizzas.

But the dough had directions to cook for 12 minutes. So once we got finished, I slid them in the oven (the kids’ first) and then we were able to enjoy the fruits of our own labor. And play games and hang out while eating pizza.

Learning, bonding, and eating. Le sigh…

family fun make your own pizza
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January 2017 Lifestyle Favorites

Lifestyle Favorites - January

2017 is already shaping up to be better than 2016. I’m already excited about what it has to hold. I know great things are in store for us. I have high hopes!

It’s so exciting when I find something or someway that makes my/our life a little easier, better, or more fun. I just thought I would share a few of my recent findings. So here are some awesome products/recipes/apps that I love.

        1. S’well Bottle
          My brother and sister-in-law got me this new water bottle for Christmas. I truly love it. I know S’well bottles are expensive but now that I have one, I totally understand why. I fill this puppy up every night (as well as multiple times during the day), put it on my bedside table, and when I wake up in the morning my water is still cold. It’s amazing and I love the color. It’s so fun and so pink which is amazing. But you can get almost any color or design if you prefer.
        2. Cuppow
          Another gift from my brother and sister-in-law. She gets me. 🙂 These are coffee style lids that go on top of mason jars and are then secured by the metal ring. They allow us to take drinks in the car or during family game night. (For some reason, cups and mugs seem to be ever more precarious during board games.)
        3. Minimalist Baker’s Peanut Butter Overnight Oats
          I am always looking for ways to streamline our routine. I love cooking, but I love even more when I find a way to make meals that are quick, easy, and kid-friendly. I love overnight oats because being able to toss a mason jar and spoon to my kids (and myself) makes mornings so much simpler. So when I found this recipe for overnight oats, I had to give it a try. We ALL loved it. My kids even said it tastes like peanut butter ice cream. I made it by the recipe (almost never do that!) and added bananas on top in the morning. It is absolutely superb!January Favorites - Overnight Oats
        4. Laser Tag
          I am always looking for ways to play together as a family – inexpensive and active ways especially. These galaxy blasters are especially great for that. My kids will happily grab one, toss one to someone else, and start firing without a thought for the TV at all. Of course, I enjoy being ridiculous because it makes it more fun for all of us. So run, hide, and roll around. They crack up and do it too. It makes us all laugh and hopefully creates some positive memories for them.
        5. App: Plant Nanny
          Plant Nanny is an app that my daughter found out about from one of her friends. Both of my kids have it downloaded on one of their devices. It’s an app that helps you to track your water consumption. When you drink water you record it on the app and the cute little plant grows. So they keep drinking water because they want to see their plant grow. After a while they will get sick of it, as they always do, but it’s nice that they become more conscious of their water consumption.

 

Have you found any new passions, strategies, or discoveries so far this year? How has January been for you?

* Mom is Such a Nerd is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. This is at no extra cost to you and I truly appreciate it!*

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The 90/10 Rule of Health – Give yourself grace

The 90/10 Rule of Health

I originally had a separate blog for my wellness coaching business. In an effort to keep things simple in 2017, I decided to merge the two blogs – to this one as it is older. In the process, this post somehow never imported. While I wrote it about Halloween, it is relevant all year round. I wanted to share it now.
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Did you raid your kids’ Halloween stash?

Feelin’ guilty about it?

Don’t!

For one, you know they aren’t going to eat all that anyway. (Or at least they sure don’t need to!)  It’s okay to splurge a little every once in awhile – both for the kids and for you too.  A few Reese’s sticks or Kit Kat bars isn’t going to derail all of your hard work.  In fact, quite the opposite.

The 90/10 Rule of Health is all about balance and compromise.

If you maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle 90% of the time, your body will be strong enough and resilient enough to bounce back from a little indulgence. Afford yourself some leniency 10% of the time. Not only will it not hurt you, but it could be quite helpful to the long term maintenance of your healthy lifestyle.

It happens too often that people follow a diet or nutrition plan to a “T,” only to end up going on a binge and beating themselves up about it or just giving up entirely. Being strict with yourself and expecting never ending willpower is basically a recipe for disaster.  I had a good friend who was my accountability partner when I was trying to lose the baby weight after having my son. She was trying to lose weight too. One night, when we were checking in with each other, she announced “I don’t know about you but once I hit my goal weight, I’m going to just eat a whole pizza…or maybe two!!”  One insane meal might not derail your health or body forever. But really? Are you going to be able to hold out that long if you’re already dreaming about devouring two whole pizzas? Plus, I know if I ate all of that, I would not only feel terrible physically, but the guilt and self-hatred following eating two pizzas would eat me up inside.

Instead of losing self control and pigging out, instead of beating yourself up, build “cheats” into your lifestyle. Feeling guilt about what you ate can cause stress. Stress can have  a number of physical and psychological effects on you and your body which, in turn, can lead to other unhealthy habits or issues and create a vicious cycle.

10% of your diet can be 200 calories a day (given a 2,000 calorie diet) or it can be 2 meals a week (given you eat 3 meals a day). So if you are craving a pizza and know that if you try to hold out you will end up eating two entire pies, build a slice or two into your diet. Plan a pizza night this week. Or if you are a sweet treat in the evening kind of person, plan for that. Decide how you are going to use your 10% at the beginning of the week. That way you can keep track of it without obsessing and be sure not to go overboard.

And then, when it’s “cheat” meal time, know that it is a part of your health plan. Savor it. Enjoy it. And pat yourself on the back for contributing to your own long term health and success.

And next Halloween, plan your stash raid as one of your cheat meals ahead of time!90/10 Rule of Health on Link Party

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Make Family Dinnertime Work for You

Family Dinnertime

We’ve all heard that kids who eat dinner with their families:

  • get better grades
  • are less likely to do drugs
  • have higher self esteem
  • have an increased chance of graduation
  • have a lower risk of childhood obesity
  • etc, etc.

It seems like everyone is always touting the benefits of family dinnertime. But you are busy! You work late. The kids have sports after school and play rehearsal in the evening. There’s hours of homework to be done and dishes in the sink. So how are you expected to do this whole family dinner thing too on top of it all?

Firstly, don’t stress over it and don’t beat yourself up. There are ways to make it work for everybody.

It doesn’t have to be dinner.

A lot of the benefits of family dinnertime come from the sense of togetherness it brings, not solely from the food.
So if you tried to find a day that would work for you but there just isn’t one try a different meal. Maybe in the morning everyone leaves at the same time, so you could plan to have breakfasts together. Or after Saturday morning soccer games everyone gets back home at thes same time so you could arrange to do Saturday lunches every week. If that doesn’t work either, try a snack time before bed.
Food is an easy excuse to gather a family around a table, but if there really is no way to schedule a meal together, any kind of regular family time that allows for or facilitates conversation and togetherness can provide many of the same benefits.

Keep it stress free with easy meals.

Dinner doesn’t have to be gourmet. Trying to create entire fancy meals can be daunting and stressful. If you are stressed out during mealtime, you and your loved ones will probably not receive the full benefits of being together. Make it easy.
That Taco Tuesday we mentioned? An easy meal to throw together. The kids can even help rip the lettuce or take toppings to the table. Another favorite of ours is simply veggie sandwiches or wraps with homemade fries. Baked potatoes with lentils, veggies, or even just broccoli are great. Soups are easy to make. Rice bowls are quick if you make the rice ahead of time. Know simple recipes that everyone likes and keep simple foods on hand.
Meal planning can also help with this. Make ahead meals, slow cooker meals, things that are ready for you when you walk in the door are wonderful. One way that I make meals easy when I know we have a crazy week coming up is by utilizing a meal delivery service. Purple Carrot is one I use and highly recommend. (Read my review here.)

Get everyone involved.

The kids can help cook. They can also help clean up. They can put their dishes in the sink at least if they are really little and the older ones can put them in the dishwasher. The more people pitch in the easier it becomes for all.FamilyFamily Dinner - Make it Work for You

Pick a day and schedule it.

If you can’t have family dinner everyday, find a day during the week that people are home or at least, less busy. Maybe your kids don’t have anything scheduled for a certain day or your spouse can come home early one day. Dedicate that day to family dinners and let everyone know they are expected at the table.

Make it an event.

My kids love the idea of Taco Tuesday. That is an event they would never miss.
Often, on Fridays, we have picnic night. In the winter, when we can’t go outside, we put blankets and a tablecloth on the floor and have an indoor picnic.
My cousin has 4 daughters and 6 grandkids. He loves to cook out so the whole family – kids, grandkids, husbands, and boyfriends all get together and have a big family dinner on the weekends. It’s such a beautiful event with so much love and energy in the air that everyone looks forward to it and can’t wait to get together.
Big or small, making an event of it makes it fun for everyone.

Family Dinnertime Pin
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How do you find time for family bonding?

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Breakfast Quinoa – Easy Breakfast Ideas

Easy Breakfast Quinoa

Easy breakfasts that are also healthy, filling, and delicious are like gold in our house. They are what make our morning routines run smoothly.

This recipe for breakfast quinoa is not only all of those, but it is nice and warm for these colder mornings. It can also be a make ahead meal or as a bulk meal – you can keep it for a couple of days in the fridge and warm it up with some more milk (or make the quinoa and add the ingredients in the morning. And it’s good for a backup plan meal because it uses ingredients I generally have stocked while still being plant based – not processed! After a nice big bowl of this, I feel like I’ve given myself and the kids a good start to the day!

This can be made the night before or made in the morning with fairly little fuss. It does take about 15 minutes to cook quinoa but it’s fairly low maintenance. So I can start waking the kids up once I’ve turned the heat down. Just make sure to set a timer and don’t forget it’s on the stove!

Breakfast Quinoa with BerriesEasy Breakfast Quinoa

Ingredients
1 cup water the
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup-1 cup frozen berrie
maple syrup (approx 1-2 Tbsp)
almond milk (about 1/2 cup)
cinnamon (approx 2 tsp)

*Easy Breakfast Quinoa Recipe*This is generally enough for my kids and myself. I’ll often double it and then keep whatever’s left for the next day. It will be super pink from absorbing the liquid and might need an extra dash of milk if you like it a creamier consistency the next day.

Make it:
Boil 1 cup water.
Rinse off the quinoa and add it to the boiling water.
Turn the temperature down, cover your pot, and let the quinoa sit for about 15 minutes or when the water has been absorbed and you can see the “tail” separating.
Add the frozen berries when the quinoa is still warm, mixing them in to melt them.
Stir in the maple syrup (to desired sweetness), almond milk (to desired consistency), and cinnamon or other spices (to desired flavor).

 

Let me know what you are loving for breakfast these days!

Easy Breakfast Quinoa

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Our Small Family (Vegetarian) Thanksgiving

In my post about Healthy Thanksgiving Traditions, I mentioned that this would be the first time our Thanksgiving was just us.  It always used to be at my mom’s house. My brother and his girlfriend would stay for the weekend. My mom would cook the same thing every year – turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole. My dad would make the same joke – yelling “Grace” as he sat down and telling my mom “there I said ‘grace.’ Can I eat now?” We would all acknowledge his joke with the groan he came to expect. And so on.

This year was very, very different. Even before, our dinners may not have seemed large to some. But these year was even smaller. Determined not to have a sad, this-is-our-first-Thanksgiving-without-Mimi Thanksgiving, I decided to make it special. I implemented most of the traditions from my blog post. Some I had started in prior years, but I really tried to make it fun and family oriented.

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Purple Carrot Meal Delivery Review with Pictures

Operating in what I call crisis mode for so long, we were relying on quick food from pseudo-fast food places for way too long.

Crisis mode is when your life gets so busy that you are barely able to check your e-mail or planner an hour before you think you have to be there. It’s when life feels like it’s moving at breakneck speed (while at the same time moving not at all) and it’s all you can do to keep up. I was remembering four hour play rehearsals half an hour before we had to be there. With no time to prepare snacks, we’d run out of the house hoping to pick something up on the way. In the mad rush, we’d realize that we also forgot water bottles and have to pick water up too.

Every single event in our lives was like that. I wouldn’t have time to plan, time to shop, time to prepare eveything. Food was always a last minute thought.

Finally I found Purple Carrot online. They send a box of food in perfect proportions for the recipes they include. It will come each week and you can check the upcoming recipes online. If you don’t like what’s on the menu you can skip the week. It is saving our meals and, surely, our health.

If you are grasping at straws to keep dinner time healthy, affordable, and timely, I would highly suggest trying a meal delivery service like Purple Carrot. There, of course, are pros and cons to everything. Check out the pros and cons below.

This is my referral link. Click here to try it for $25 off of your first order!

proscons-pros

  • It makes eating healthy so easy and relatively inexpensive. Everything arrives at your door in the right proportions and is ready to go. I easily pay the same amount for a meal or two out.
  • Time. The meals so far have taken about half an hour or so. In all honestly, running out and grabbing something “because it’s quick” takes just as much time as it does to make one of these meals. Plus this way the kids are home doing their homework, getting ready for the next event, or spending time in the kitchen helping you. It is pretty exciting for them to get to bring a package in and examine the contents.
  • Introduction to new foods and flavors. I had honestly never cooked fennel before. Not for any specific reason. It has just never happened. I don’t know why. But now I’ve used it in not one but two recipes! The second time I was cutting it and my daughter walked into the kitchen. She suddenly stopped, sniffed, and said “don’t tell me…fennel!?” Then she told me she knew that’s what it was because it smells like licorice. I sniffed it and thought for a second. “Huh you’re right! It sure does,” I agreed. It’s cool that we both have had new experiences with a vegetable that we hadn’t previously had. And by the way – fennel is delicious!
  • Convenience. Not having to plan three of our meals is amazing! It leaves shopping so much easier. I just have to make sure we get breakfast and lunch foods. I try to plan something new from a cookbook or that I saw online for one of the meals. I plan one of our staple family favorites – which is great because at this rate we don’t get tired of them too quickly. For the other two meals, we might order in or throw on some veggie burgers to eat during Family Fun Night and the other I figure out from what I have in my pantry and freezer. It suddenly feels so much easier.
  • These awesome recipe cards and the fail proof recipes on them. These recipes seem so fancy and intricate, but they seem almost impossible to ruin. Because, trust me, if there was a way to mess them up I probably would’ve found it by now.
  • Easy to check the next week’s menu and skip it if you don’t want what’s being served. I love that you can login and check out what’s being served. The pictures are so pretty and the meals, thus far, have been really exciting. I can’t wait for next week’s order!
  • Guaranteed fresh plants in your diet weekly. Including more fresh vegetables in your diet has all sorts of benefits to your health, to the environment, and to the animals. Just something to think about.
  • Deliciousness!!! These meals are so good. They taste professionally made and are so well thought out. I have loved every meal so far. It is so delicious and I still feel good when I’m finished eating it – not all sluggish and gross like when we grab food on the go.

proscons-cons

  • There are only two plan options: 2 servings of 3 meals a week or 4 servings of 2 meals a week. I was slightly frustrated at first because the meal I really wanted was only offered on the 3 meal a week plan – so I went ahead and signed up for the 2 serving plan, but it worked out in my favor anyways because 2 servings works out perfectly for me and my 2 kids. It would be great if you could pick which two of the three you get.
  • Some of the meals we have had in our first two weeks have been pretty spicy, which may or may not be a con to you. My kids are not fond of spicy foods so I just learned to taste the sauces I make if there is an ingredient I am not familiar with.
  • Plastic. And lots of it.

Here are the meals we have had in the first two weeks of our subscription:

Week 1

purple-carrot-wk-1-3
“Chicken” salad wraps.                                                                              This was such a big hit with the kids. It was so good. If I was going to buy fake meat again, I would definitely look for this type. This was also our first fennel experience!

purple-carrot-wk-1-2
Mushroom Miso Hot Pot.                                                                                                                                      This was so good. I was surprised at how professional it tasted. It came out exactly like                                                      something I would order at an Asian restaurant.

purple-carrot-wk1-1
Corn Chowder!                                                                                                                                                This was really good. I was a little apprehensive because I’ve had a corn based soup before – not my favorite. But this was so so good! The texture was perfect and the taste was amazing. I added the chips and hummus myself. Just to give the kids something a little more.
Week 2

purple-carrot-2-1
Cauliflower Steak with Pumpkin Pasta                                                         I was so excited for this meal! And it definitely lived up to expectations. I added the salad on the side to round it out and kind of stretch it because I knew the kids would gobble it up too!

purple-carrot-2-2
Sweet and Sour Noodles                                                                                                                               This was my second experience with fennel! I loved this meal with the fennel, edamame, and pineapple. It was amazing and the kids were excited. It was a good thing I tried the sauce before adding it though. There was an ingredient in the sauce that I wasn’t familiar with fun…but tres spicy! If I had put it on the pasta, the kids would never have eaten it. I made my own sauce for it. Regardless, loved it.

purple-carrot-wk-2-3b
Trick-or-Treat Tacos                                                                                                                                            I think that^^ was the first dish name I actually got right. Anyways, I saw the word tacos and saw red lentils. I thought oh okay, I make red lentil tacos all the time. But these were not your run of the mill lentil taco. The lentil were mixed with tomato paste and smashed, the tacos were filled with brussel sprouts, pickled red onions, and vegan sour cream. They were so good! And this was my first time pickling onions. I have to say, they turned out well and I can see myself doing this for a number of other recipes when I get back to experimenting and playing in the kitchen.
If you would are having trouble finding time to plan, to cook, or to enjoy healthy meals with your family, I would recommend giving a service like Purple Carrot a try. Here is my referral link so you can get $25 off your first order!

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Zoodles! – A Quick & Easy Family Friendly Meatless Monday

So I know I haven’t been around much lately.  It’s been a rough few weeks.  There have been a lot of serious illnesses and ailments in my family. (Not the kids – thank goodness!) But it has meant a lot of running around from one hospital to another, from one doctor to another, from one obligation to another. We end up eating on the road or coming home exhausted and don’t feel like cooking.

When my dad first had his stroke, I swore that I would do everything in my power to live the healthiest lifestyle possible. Maybe we can’t always control what happens to us (although our lifestyle does have the ability to either mitigate or increase risk factors), but we can potentially improve our ability to rehab.  I quickly got overwhelmed and that resolution slipped as quickly as I had made it, but I know intellectually that that is when you need to take care of yourself even more.

Needless to say, I’m going for super quick, super easy, kid friendly meals I can throw together and clean up quickly.

Enter: Good Ol’ Fashion Zoodles! Man we love zoodles!

zoodles

Ingredients

  • 2 zucchini and 2 yellow squash
  • Vegan marinara sauce
  • Roasted cherry tomatoes  (**we tell you how I do this below, but I usually have them ready ahead of time)
  • SPIRALIZER (I’ve heard people say they use a vegetable peeler in place of a spiralizer, but I have not tried)

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Insert the zucchini into the spiralizer and turn.  It works best if you apply some pressure, but not too much.  The kids love to help turn the crank and watch the curly-Qs come out.  
2

Catch the noodles on a cookie sheet or bowl. Then watch the kids fight over who gets to eat the core of the zucchini/squash that comes through. Making ZoodlesMaking Zoodles!

You can stop here and eat them raw if you would like. Or if you would like to sweat them out in the oven, place the cookie sheet with all of the zoodles in the oven for 20 minutes on 200.

Making Zoodles!

Top with the marinara sauce and roasted tomatoes.

6

And enjoy!  (Don’t forget to marvel at how awesome it is to see kids shoveling veggies into their adorable little faces!)

Making Zoodles!Spiralizing Squash

Now for the Roasted Tomatoes:

My kids don’t like to eat tomatoes.  I’ve finally gotten my daughter to the point that she will eat them thinly sliced on a sandwich/wrap/or even taco.  I don’t know why so many people don’t like tomatoes.  I find them cool and refreshing.  Anyways, I discovered that my kids will eat them roasted, plus they are so good in so many recipes this way.  So I get a bunch of cherry tomatoes, save some for wraps and roast the rest to be used throughout the week.

Ingredients:

Cherry tomatoes
Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Half or even quarter the tomatoes if they are bigger.  Place them on a cookie sheet and drizzle a bit of olive oil on them.

Put them in the oven for about 15 minutes on 400.  They are so delish when they are done!

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Meatless Monday: Portobello Cheesesteak

There are so many reasons to add a meatless meal night to your usual meal plan. It can have benefits for the environment, your health, the animals, and even your budget! I don’t want to be all preachy preachy so if you are interested in reading about Meatless Monday in more detail you can check their website out and more in depth reasons to start Meatless Monday here.

Okay, so yeah, you’re a knowledgeable mum. You’ve probably heard about Meatless Mondays about a zillion times by now. But “GIVE ME A HEALTHY RECIPE THAT THE KIDS WILL ACTUALLY EAT!” Hold on! Don’t freak out. I got you on this one. I have a kid-friendly, meat-free recipe that is so easy to throw together. Hold onto your hats! You wouldn’t even believe how good this next one is.

Introducing…

Meatless Monday: Portobello Cheesesteaks

 

Portobello Cheesesteaks are so easy to make! And they seem to be universally accepted. My kids love them. And I have made them for meat eaters before who quite enjoyed them and still ask for more. Couple that with the fact that they are super easy to make and I consider them to be a huge win.  Here’s how I make them.

Ingredients:

Portobello Mushrooms – I use for for our family of 3.
Onion
Green pepper (optional)
A1 Sauce (or other steak sauce)
Hot dog buns or rolls
Olive oil (optional)
Cheese (optional)

What I Do:

 

  • Wipe the portobello caps, remove the stems, and scrape the gills out.  Slice the peppers into strips and marinate in the steak sauce. Set it aside. If you have time to let it sit over night even, the portobello will soak up more and more of the flavor in direct relation to the amount of time it is in the sauce.
  • Slice the peppers and onions into strips. Saute on the stove on medium or medium-low with a bit of olive oil or water.
  • After 10 minutes (or to desired tenderness), turn the heat up to medium and add the mushrooms and A1 sauce. Cover.
  • Toast the buns in the toaster or oven.
  • After about 5 minutes, the mushroom/onion/pepper mix should be ready. Using a slotted spoon, spoon the mixture into the buns. Serve with whatever sides you have available.
  • Be prepared to make more and more because everyone will want seconds!

Bon appetit!

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April/May Lifestyle Favorites

April Favorites - momissuchanerd.comI want to mention that I don’t consume just to consume. I would never buy or recommend a product that hasn’t actually improved our lives in one way or another. So these items are really ones that I can truly say have made a difference.

  1. Prepworks by Progressive Stainless Steel Herb Ball
    I love this little strainer ball. I ordered it when I was looking for a way to use loose leaf tea. I looked through a bunch of different products and this is the one I finally settled on. I didn’t realize how big it was, but now love the size because I can use it to make pitchers of iced tea all summer long. It just clips right on the side of a pitcher, so you can poor in the hot water, let it steep, and then cool it down. Add some fruit and you have the perfect pitcher of iced tea!
    IMG_0695
  2. Gear Beast Running Belt
    My car got hit on the side of the road and was in the shop for a couple months. During that time, I figured out that our new place is only a couple of miles or so from the kids’ schools. So I used it as an excuse to start running again. I would run to the school and then walk back with the kids. But I was running WITH MY PURSE! It was crazy, but I was afraid that I wouldn’t be prepared. Finally, I ordered this running belt and while it looks small, I am able to fit my phone, ID, keys, and a snack in it. So I am so prepared!

  3. Thug Kitchen Cookbook
    I was given this cookbook by my brother and sister-in-law-to-be (that’s a lot of dashes). And I absolutely love it! I have cooked a number of meals out of it and I keep it propped up on my counter. I love the food. It is great and my new go-to. It is also amazing kitchen art. It’s so cool and a good reminder to “eat like you give a f*ck.”
    April Favorites - momissuchanerd.com
  4. Zoob Racers
    I work full time from home and my son only goes to Kindergarten until 11:40 (plus I take care of my dad in the afternoons and evenings). So sometimes I need my son to be able to entertain himself. I do print out worksheets, put out craft projects, books, flash cards, etc, but sometimes a toy that he is able to play with by himself is a huge help. Plus I think that while I love to play with my kids, sometimes it is good for them to learn how to entertain themselves. Anyway, my mom gave my son these Zoob Racers for his birthday and they fit the bill perfectly. They are easy enough for him to do on his own (he’s 6) and he can either follow the instruction booklet or use his own creativity.
    April Favorites - momissuchanerd.com
  5. My DIY Lattes
    So this is not a product, but it has revolutionized my mornings. I cannot keep spending money or other resources on picking up my Caramel Soy Lattes. My mom had instant coffee packets in her cupboard that she did not like and wasn’t going to use. So she let me have them. I decided to attempt to make my own version of a latte. I used the coffee packets (I know nothing about coffee, please let me know in the comments what kind of coffee you recommend), almond milk, and coconut sugar. I use about equal parts coffee and almond milk, whisking the almond milk on the stove to make it bubbly. I sweetened the coffee with the coconut sugar and then added the milk to it. I’ve started making them in mason jars. It fits just perfectly.
    DIY Latte - momissuchanerd.comDIY Latte - momissuchanerd.comApril Favorites - momissuchanerd.com

You can watch me babble about them here if you would like:

What products have helped change your life recently?

 

 

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