Meatball and Spaghetti Soup

*This is comfort food at it's finest. Meatball and Spaghetti Soup is the perfect combination of two comfort foods, soup and pasta, mixed into one! It's a quick and easy dish, and it's hearty and filling. Your kids will love slurping up the noodles! And maybe adults too ;)* *******************************************************************************************

Here's the deal. I know reading blogs is a thing of the past. So 2012. 2010? Either way, we are a visualworld. I know that most of you might just scroll past this and not even read what I'm writing, look at a few of the pics, and go right down to the recipe. You will check the ingredients and then, "Hmmm that sounds doable...I'll have to remember that, Oh wait! I have a new Instagram notification!"

Meatball and Spaghetti Soup from The Diva Dish
Meatball and Spaghetti Soup from The Diva Dish

So basically, I could really say whatever the flying fargin bastage I want. I could tell you the most embarrassing story about my husband, and no one would know. Except my mom, because I think she still reads my blog? Maybe.

Meatball and Spaghetti Soup from The Diva Dish
Meatball and Spaghetti Soup from The Diva Dish

So for now, mom, and maybe some random person from France, thank you for getting to this point. I know it was painful, and excruciating. Have you ever typed out excruciating? It's excruciating.

I'm sorry there is no clever hilarious story, but I'm going to be honest. This day light savings thing has me screwed up and Real Housewives of Atlanta is on. I am not thinking straight.

Here is the recipe you've all been waiting for....The End.

Meatball and Spaghetti Soup from The Diva Dish
Meatball and Spaghetti Soup from The Diva Dish

Meatball and Spaghetti Soup

Ingredients

  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 TB. olive oil
  • 3 TB. tomato paste
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 c. marinara sauce (jarred or homemade)
  • 4 c. vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 TB. dried basil
  • 1 1/2 TB. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 12 oz. thin spaghetti, uncooked
  • 18-20 cooked meatballs, I used the following recipe:
  • http://thediva-dish.com/dinner/hubby-meals-simple-turkey-meatballs-over-spaghetti-squash/
  • (Can sub for vegetarian meatballs)
  • Parmesan cheese, for topping

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil.
  2. Then add in the onions and garlic. Stir and cook down the mixture until the onions are translucent.
  3. Next add in your tomato paste. Mix it around for about 30 seconds, then add in your crushed tomatoes, marinara sauce, broth, spices, and spaghetti.
  4. Cover and cook soup until the spaghetti is al dente.
  5. Add in the cooked meatballs, cook for an additional 5-10 minutes on low heat, covered.
  6. Serve with parmesan cheese on top, and enjoy!

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Meatball and Spaghetti Soup from The Diva Dish
Meatball and Spaghetti Soup from The Diva Dish

A little about this soup. It's the perfect combination of 2 comfort foods, soup and spaghetti. It makes a lot of leftovers if you have children who eat like birds, which makes for a perfect mommy/daddy lunch!

Don't forget a side salad to add some veggies to this heavier carb dish, because you also can't forget the garlic bread! If you make your own meatballs, I LOVE this recipe. It's my go-to every time. I made the meatballs while the soup was cooking, and then threw them in at the end! It also has veggies in the meatballs, tomato veggie soup, and if you include a side salad, you are on track! It's the perfect Sunday dinner meal or when you are having guests over. This is a really long paragraph, so hopefully you get my point :).

Meatball and Spaghetti Soup from The Diva Dish
Meatball and Spaghetti Soup from The Diva Dish

If you made it this far, go ahead and eat some chocolate. You deserve you unique one of a kind son of a gun! Bonjour! xo

The BEST Acai Bowl

From the age of 16 through 20 I worked at smoothie businesses. One might think this is where my love of 'healthy living' developed...But when a pizza place next door starts exchanging you breadsticks for smoothie, well...

The BEST Acai Bowl from The Diva Dish
The BEST Acai Bowl from The Diva Dish

Also, did you know the majority of smoothie chains make their smoothies with sugary juice and frozen yogurt ice cream? It makes them taste oh so delicious! But it also kind of cancels out the fact that drinking a smoothie is a healthier option.

Does that mean pizza bread sticks could have been a healthier choice?!

I'd like to think so.

The BEST Acai Bowl from The Diva Dish
The BEST Acai Bowl from The Diva Dish

Hands down one of my ALL TIME favorite smoothies are Acai bowls, which are becoming quite popular.

(Let it be known that I totally like Acai Bowls before they were cool.)

But unlike so many others, I won't toss my beloved smoothie bowls to the curb when it gets popular. I won't think of it any different even though it has become quite the media whore.

No. I will love them forever. Why? Because when Acai Bowls are tomorrows news and another health craze becomes the star...I'll still be there. Just like I was for Kale.

The BEST Acai Bowl from The Diva Dish
The BEST Acai Bowl from The Diva Dish

One smoothie place I worked for used apple juice and strawberry juice with acai ice cream.

Another used almond milk, vanilla ice cream, and acai smoothie packs.

The BEST Acai Bowl from The Diva Dish
The BEST Acai Bowl from The Diva Dish

With the knowledge I have and for the love of all things healthy, I came up with is what I think the BEST Acai Bowl ever.

But seriously, what makes them so popular? Besides the looks, it's a great way to make a meal out of a smoothie. You can add fruit, crunchy granola, and a drizzle of funny and eat it all up with a spoon!

It's mad I tell you, MAD. But once you do it, you won't be able to stop thinking about it. Then before you know it, you will dream about it, and then well...

The BEST Acai Bowl from The Diva Dish
The BEST Acai Bowl from The Diva Dish

Then you will make an acai bowl i guess.

Or you will drive to the nearest juice bar and have them make it for you because most likely they will know you by name and exactly what you want. So in order to avoid that embarrassment you will have to make it at home sometimes.

You're welcome.

The BEST Acai Bowl from The Diva Dish
The BEST Acai Bowl from The Diva Dish

The BEST Acai Bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 acai smoothie packs, I found mine at Costco
  • Handful of frozen strawberries and blueberries
  • 1 frozen banana
  • a little bit of non dairy milk-I used cashew or almond
  • (opt. a little bit of apple juice)
  • 1 TB. agave
  • handful of ice
  • Toppings:
  • chopped fresh strawberries, frozen blueberries, sliced bananas, and a drizzle of honey

Instructions

  1. Add all smoothie ingredients into a blender and add a splash or two of liquid (milk and apple juice.) The less milk, the creamier.
  2. Blend until creamy.
  3. Add toppings to smoothie and dig in with a spoon!

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The BEST Acai Bowl from The Diva Dish
The BEST Acai Bowl from The Diva Dish
The BEST Acai Bowl from The Diva Dish
The BEST Acai Bowl from The Diva Dish

Would I trade this acai bowl for a box full of breadsticks now a days? I mean...No, but I love bread sticks so...halfsies?

Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts

*My kids request donuts often, and I love baked donuts that I can make from home as a healthier alternative! These are made with pancake mix, so half the work is already done for you! Enjoy these Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts with your kids anytime without the sugar overload!* ********************************************************************************************

We live somewhat close to a donut shop, and every so often on a  Saturday we will walk over with the kids and get them their favorite chocolate donuts! There is also a green juice place next door, so usually I'll grab my breakfast there and then stare them down with jealousy as they eat.

It's a wonderful family tradition.

Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish
Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish

I've made quite a few baked donuts at home, but I always seem to have a problem with the texture. Especially if I have used bananas in the batter, then I just feel like I'm eating a circle sized banana bread. But lately I've been baking with pancake batter, and for some reason the texture has been just perfect!

Light, airy, but still cake like. All that's missing is a rich chocolate frosting with 1/4 cup of chocolate sprinkles on each donut.

Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish
Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish
Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish
Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish

Even better, these things bake up in a little over 10 minutes, and you don't have to wait in a long line only to find out the parent in front of you took the last chocolate donut that would have belonged to your 4 year old. Thank goodness for a game of rock, paper, scissors with your husband to see who has to relay the message to her...#firstworldtoddlerproblems

Speaking of my husband, he ONLY eats glazed donuts. I just. I can't. It's all about the cake donut my friends. Am I right?

Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish
Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish
Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish
Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish

Also, I've talked about my love for Kodiak Cakes before, and I swear they aren't paying me to say this, but they have been my favorite pancake mix to use! I just LOVE the ingredients, so if you haven't ever tried it, definitely do so!

And while you are at it, drizzle some good quality melted chocolate over the top of your donuts. When the chocolate hardens on the soft donut it's OH SO GOOD!

Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish
Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish

Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts

Ingredients

  • 1 c. pancake mix-I used Kodiak Cakes
  • 2 TB. cocoa powder
  • 1/4 c. coconut sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 TB. melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 c. milk of choice
  • 1/4 c. mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Whisk the pancake mix, cocoa powder, and coconut sugar together.
  2. Then add the egg, coconut oil, and milk and whisk until combined.
  3. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Grease a donut pan.
  5. Add the batter in a large plastic bag, and then cut the corner off.
  6. Pipe the batter into each donut, filling almost all the way to the top.
  7. (This should make about 5 regular sized donuts.)
  8. Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes.
  9. Let cool and then remove from the pan.
  10. Top with desired toppings~I drizzled some melted white chocolate over and it was delicious!

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Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish
Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish
Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish
Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish

In the spirit of Valentines, feel free to sprinkle a touch of pink love on each donut. It appeals to little eyes even more! No pink box needed ;).

Walnut Berry Protein Smoothie + Our Kitchen Before Pictures!

*Need a quick snack for your hungry littles, or even yourself? This Walnut Berry Smoothie is the perfect treat to keep those bellies full!* I've discovered over the past month that there is not only ONE but TWO places near my house that make Acai bowls. You know those smoothie bowls topped with fresh fruit, granola, and a drizzle of honey?

I've been back and forth to both locations because I don't want to embarrass myself with how many acai bowls I'm really eating. Gosh dang...They are just so good.

Walnut Berry Protein Smoothie from The Diva Dish
Walnut Berry Protein Smoothie from The Diva Dish

Unfortunately a regular bowl is just shy under TEN DOLLARS, and after 4 visits in a week your husband will start to question your insanity. I've tried to make my own acai bowl at home, especially since I used to make them in high school when I worked at a smoothie place...I'm like a pro.

But by the time I go to the grocery store to buy the acai, my kids all of the sudden act like a pack of wild kangaroos raised them, I forgot my list at home, and the store feels like it's 115 inside and I begin to sweat profusely. And then I'm pregnant, so that basically means my mind is a bowl of spaghetti.

NOW do you see husband?!?

Walnut Berry Protein Smoothie from The Diva Dish
Walnut Berry Protein Smoothie from The Diva Dish

SO, I've been trying to make my own versions at home using what I have on hand LIKE A RESPONSIBLE ADULT...and I recently found a combination that I LOVE.

Smoothies are such a staple in my household, we are basically addicted to them. They are just so quick and you can add whatever you want depending on how you are feeling.

In this case, my girls asked for a pink smoothie, so I did my best and aimed to please.

Walnut Berry Protein Smoothie from The Diva Dish
Walnut Berry Protein Smoothie from The Diva Dish

Sadly it was purple and they were pissed.

Thank goodness for Princess Sofia the First and her purple obsession!

Walnut Berry Protein Smoothie from The Diva Dish
Walnut Berry Protein Smoothie from The Diva Dish

Walnut Berry Protein Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 c. almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1/3 c. yogurt of choice, I used plain greek yogurt for more protein
  • 1/4 c. frozen strawberries
  • 1/4 c. frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 c. frozen raspberries
  • 1/4 c. frozen dark sweet cherries
  • 1 heaping TB. walnuts
  • 1 heaping TB. chia seeds
  • 1 TB. honey
  • 1/2 c. ice

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until creamy.
  2. Serve immediately.
  3. Optional: Top with your favorite toppings, like fresh fruit, granola, and a drizzle of honey!
  4. Serves 2 littles and one mama (For a snack)

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Walnut Berry Protein Smoothie from The Diva Dish
Walnut Berry Protein Smoothie from The Diva Dish
Walnut Berry Protein Smoothie from The Diva Dish
Walnut Berry Protein Smoothie from The Diva Dish
Walnut Berry Protein Smoothie from The Diva Dish
Walnut Berry Protein Smoothie from The Diva Dish

This is great as an afternoon snack, bedtime snack, or 'I just need a snack'. You can definitely make this to be like an acai bowl and top with your favorite granola, fruit, and honey! But if your like me, you forgot the granola along with the acai...

Nailed it.

********************************************************************************************

Side note:

We are re-doing our downstairs in our home!! :) (Yes, we are having a baby in two weeks lol!) I know this isn't a DIY blog, but who doesn't love before and afters right?!

We don't have the after just yet, but I do have really crappy before pictures!

Before: kitchen/ The Diva Dish
Before: kitchen/ The Diva Dish

Yup! That's our fridge in our living room!

Before: kitchen/ The Diva Dish
Before: kitchen/ The Diva Dish
Before: kitchen/ The Diva Dish
Before: kitchen/ The Diva Dish

I'm excited to show you the after!

Have a great week!

Preschool Lunch Ideas

When my oldest started going to preschool, one of the things I was most excited about was packing her lunch. And maybe the break too.

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish
Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

I loved the idea of packing her food that she would be excited about and all the other kids would be...I don't want to say jealous, but I kind of want to say jealous.

Her first year of preschool when she initially started I remember going ALL out. Like cutting things in shapes, making themed lunches, and putting a lot of effort into her lunch.

But then my youngest at the time was becoming more needy, life became more busy, and I just became too tired.

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish
Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

(Sidenote: Isn't she the most beautiful think ever? We are in trouble.)

After that I had to have a realization with myself that her lunches didn't have to be fancy/time consuming (or PIN worthy), but they could still be quick, simple, healthy, and toddler approved.

Fast forward to now I'm a busy mom of two with one on the way, which technically makes me a lot slower. I have a hard working husband and bags under my eyes.

Most likely I haven't prepared anything the night before, and we are running late because a certain someone refuses to change out of the Elsa pajamas.

So lunch prep has to be quick.

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish
Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

Here is my lunch DISCLAIMER :) :

My oldest is SUPER picky, so I try to appeal to her taste/preferences when she has lunch at school because I'm not there to monitor how much/what she eats.

I try to add one new thing a week, just letting her slowly try different foods.

Her lunches don't always have vegetables. It all depends on what I have on hand, and if I don't pack a veggie she likes, then I will make sure to incorporate veggies later on that day. (Snack/dinner time.)

I pack sweets. Some are homemade, and some aren't. She LOVES chocolate/which chocolate chips, so that's usually her 'treat'.

Here are 12 lunches that I prepared at the start of this school year. Again, nothing fancy. Just simple/quick/healthy/toddler approved.

1- Grapes, Carrots + Dip, White Chocolate Chips, Nut mix, PB + J Sandwiches

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish
Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

2-Sunflower seeds, Hummus Sandwich, Grapes, Raspberries, Fig Bar, Blueberry Greek Yogurt

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish
Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

3- Turkey, Mozzarella Cheese, Baby Tomatoes, Crackers, Berries, White Chocolate Chips

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish
Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

4- Grapes, PB+Honey+Banana+Cinnamon Sandwich, Shredded Mozz. Cheese, Carrots + Dip

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish
Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

5- Dehydrated Snap Peas, Shredded Chicken, Salad w/ tomatoes and croutons, Blueberries, White Chocolate Chips. (My daughter LOVES salad!)

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish
Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

6-Apples, Blueberries, Sun Chips, Bagel w/ PB +Honey+ Cream Cheese + Cinnamon, Tomato slices, White Chocolate Chips

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish
Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

7- (Halloween Theme), Peanut Butter Spider Crackers, Tortilla chips, Bat cheese, Blueberries, Candy Corn, White Chocolate Chips, Carrots + Dip. (I wanted to use guacamole but my avocados were bad when I opened them!)

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish
Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

8- Cute Oranges, Homemade Biscuit Turkey + Cheese Sandwich, Carrots, Dehydrated Snap Peas, Craisins, Sugar Cookie

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish
Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

9- Dehydrated Snap Peas, Hazelnut Butter, White Chocolate Chips, Cutie Oranges, Turkey

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish
Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

10- Blueberries, Plain Greek Yogurt + Honey, Chocolate Chips, Dehydrated Snap Peas, Pretzel Sticks, Cucumbers +Dip

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish
Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

11- Blueberries, Shredded Chicken, Chocolate Chips, Ants on A Log, Pretzels

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish
Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

12- Berries, Chocolate Chip Cookie, Cream Cheese + Crackers, Applesauce

Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish
Toddler School Lunch Ideas, The Diva Dish

Like I said, nothing fancy :)!

What do you pack your kids for lunch? This coming fall I'll be making two lunches, I'll definitely have to post more of those experiences because my girls have WAY different food preferences :)!

Mini Pancake Muffins (Pumpkin)

Who doesn't love pancakes in the morning?! What if we turned them into Mini Pancake Muffins perfect for those little hands! (And not to mention, perfect to eat when time is short!) Keep reading for the recipe! *********************************************************************************************************

I've never understood people that don't eat breakfast, or aren't very hungry in the morning. I feel like they can't be trusted...

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I go to bed thinking about what I'm going to have for breakfast, I wake up in the middle of the night wanting that breakfast, and I get up in the morning rushing to go eat that breakfast. Almost before I do anything, like put my glasses on. Or get my children out of their bed.

Luckily for me, my girls are just as excited about breakfast, and usually remind me at 6 in the morning it's time to get up RIGHT THIS SECOND and make it for them because they might pass out of starvation.

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My four year is the most particular about the foods she eats, so I usually get asked every morning if she can have Cheerios, water, and five pounds of blueberries. As easy as it is to sometimes let her get her way, I'm trying my best to offer her different suggestions. (And let's be honest, blueberries aren't cheap when you buy them by the pounds...)

I usually can do pancakes with her, but not waffles. Unless I lie and tell her it's a pancake, then I'm in the clear. But don't add blueberries to the batter because she will react as if you cut off all her hair in the middle of the night while she was sleeping. Dramatic? No, total reality. She definitely doesn't get it from me...

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So I took a big leap of faith and decided to make muffins out of pancake batter. I thought it would be fun to make them bite because for some reason kids LOVE mini foods! I added a few chocolate chips on top, which was a risk, but it definitely went over well. I also thought about making these banana muffins, which you could do, but I bought 47 cans at the beginning of pumpkin season so I'm trying my best to use those up!

Oh boy...these were good!

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My girls dipped theirs in pure maple syrup, but you could definitely drizzle it on top as well! Even adding a little melted butter or coconut oil on top would be heavenly!

These, my friends are 4 year old dramatic princess approved!

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IMG_9341

Mini Pancake Muffins (Pumpkin)

Ingredients

  • 2 c. pancake mix, I used kodiak cakes protein pancakes because they have the best ingredients
  • 1 c. milk of choice
  • 1 chia egg=1 TB. chia seeds mixed w/ 3 TB. cold water. (let sit for 5 minutes.) OR one egg
  • 1/2 c. coconut sugar
  • 1/4 c. melted coconut oil
  • 1 c. pumpkin puree-Can sub mashed banana
  • 1 TB. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 TB. pure vanilla extract
  • Chocolate chips to top muffins with

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until combined. (Leave out the chocolate chips.)
  2. Spray a mini muffin pan with oil, or use mini muffin liners. Add batter to the pan, filling about 3/4 full. Top with a few chocolate chips.
  3. Bake in the oven at 350 for 18-20 minutes, or until they are done.
  4. *If using an egg, these may cook faster than if using a chia egg, so watch muffins carefully!)

3.2.1310

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Just looking at these muffins makes me hungry for 2nd breakfast!

Wait, what? You don't have 2nd breakfasts? Oh...It must be a 29 weeks pregnant thing than right?

Right????!!! ;)

Hint of Coconut Overnight Baked French Toast

With the holidays approaching, that means a lot of family will be staying together and spending lots of time with each other! So I love the idea of having an Overnight Baked French Toast ready in the morning for everyone to enjoy together! Unless being around a lot of family is overwhelming and you are perfectly fine waking up at 445 to eat a bowl of cereal quietly to yourself with no one disturbing you...I've never done that.

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Speaking of family, my parents came for the weekend! (You aren't overwhelming mom, I promise!) They cleaned my house, fixed things here and there, hung pictures, washed and folded my laundry, gave us food, and babysat my kids. I just sat all weekend, it was lovely.

My parents always leave my house so exhausted, I don't understand..

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I wanted to do something nice for them, since I basically turned everything over to them, and the one (only?) way I know how to say thank you is through food. I wanted to have homemade cake, muffins, dinner ready, and fresh bread on the counter for when they got here. But I forgot how much energy it takes for me to find the flour in my pantry and I had to go with plan B.

Breakfast.

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I didn't want to be slaving over a hot stove making pancakes for everyone, because no one gets to eat together, especially the one 'slaving' :). So I love the idea of baked french toast, because it's ready all at once and we can all enjoy it together!

Speaking of love, have you tried this vanilla paste? I swear it has changed the way my baked goods taste! Can I drink it? No, because it's like $15 a bottle and I wouldn't want to waste it...

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You can also change up the flavors and make it however you and your family would like, especially the syrup! Homemade syrups are the best!

And while everyone is happily enjoying your homemade breakfast, you can sneak away and go back to bed and no one will know. Unless your 4 year old finds you...

Busted!

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IMG_9223

Hint of Coconut Overnight French Toast

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf whole wheat french bread, cinnamon french bread, etc. (Stale is good!)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 3/4 c. buttermilk (non dairy if needed, add 1 tsp. vinegar to non dairy milk)
  • 3/4 c. milk (non dairy if needed)
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 TB. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 TB. vanilla extract
  • 1.4 c. coconut sugar or honey
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened coconut

Instructions

  1. Tear apart bread and place into a greased 9x13 baking dish.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients until combined. Pour liquid over the bread cubes, and toss just a little bit to make sure all of the bread is coated.
  3. Cover and place in the fridge overnight to make in the morning. (I left mine in for two days, and it still turned out fine!)
  4. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 and bake un-covered for about 30-35 minutes.
  5. Serve warm with a drizzle of melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and more coconut!

3.2.1310

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Do you have a favorite holiday breakfast? Share with me in the comments below, I would love to hear your family traditions!

Chicken Pesto Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes & Artichokes

*This is probably one of my families favorite meals to eat, and my favorite meal to make. Chicken Pesto Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes & Artichokes. It's the easiest thing to throw together on a busy weeknight, and it's great dish when you have to bring meals to others!* 

When Boo was first born, I will never forget all of the emotions I was experiencing. Scared, excited, overjoyed, blessed, freaking out, worried, emotional, irrational, tired, delirious, thirsty, and hungry.

And probably 456 other emotions that I can't remember...

Oh yea, memory loss.

Chicken Pesto Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes & Artichokes, via The Diva Dish. Easy dish for a weeknight, and perfect to bring to others when making dinner for them!
Chicken Pesto Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes & Artichokes, via The Diva Dish. Easy dish for a weeknight, and perfect to bring to others when making dinner for them!

When Boo was about two weeks old, and all of the family had headed back home, I remember feeling like "Oh my gosh...what do I do? How do I take care of her? What if she coughs? How come I can't hold my pee when I laugh? Also, I am I seeing things or am I just tired?"

My husband was deep in the middle of finals for grad school and I was scared out of my mind every time he left that morning for school. I knew it would be at least 10 hours before I saw him, and probably 6 hours before I talked to him. I was eating random things here and there, and drinking straight from a bottle of cranberry juice...

It was kind of...a beautiful mess. (So to speak.)

Chicken Pesto Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes & Artichokes, via The Diva Dish. Easy dish for a weeknight, and perfect to bring to others when making dinner for them!
Chicken Pesto Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes & Artichokes, via The Diva Dish. Easy dish for a weeknight, and perfect to bring to others when making dinner for them!

I was fully in love with my little new born, but hadn't quite figured out how to live life as a new mom. I felt alone a lot, but at the same time so comforted knowing that she was always with me.

Then one night when my husband was studying late at school, there was a knock on my apartment door. I opened the door to find a lady and her young daughter smiling so big with handfuls of food. I knew this lady just a little bit from church, and had maybe talked to her once. She had just moved to our area after going through a horrible experience in her life and had ended up living in our apartment complex.

She stood there with this hot pasta dish, bread, a huge salad, and a delicious homemade strawberry pie.

Chicken Pesto Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes & Artichokes, via The Diva Dish. Easy dish for a weeknight, and perfect to bring to others when making dinner for them!
Chicken Pesto Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes & Artichokes, via The Diva Dish. Easy dish for a weeknight, and perfect to bring to others when making dinner for them!

I'm pretty sure I balled my eyes out (and tried not to pee my pants) as she told me she had brought our family dinner because she knew the joys and stresses of being a new mom. As they held sweet Boo in their arms, all I could think about was how in that moment I wasn't alone, and there was someone watching out for me. And even despite what this beautiful woman was going through, she had found the time to serve someone else, and help someone in need.

I'll never forget that experience, and to this day I can still taste that strawberry pie.

At the beginning of this month, my girls and I made a goal to bring someone food every week. Not always a full meal, maybe some homemade bread or fresh cookies. For me, food is such a comfort, and I love sharing that with others.

This pasta dish has been one of my tried and true recipes from time to time as I've brought dinners to others. It's SO easy, which is kind of a necessity if you are making dinner for not only YOUR family but someone else's.

Chicken Pesto Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes & Artichokes, via The Diva Dish. Easy dish for a weeknight, and perfect to bring to others when making dinner for them!
Chicken Pesto Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes & Artichokes, via The Diva Dish. Easy dish for a weeknight, and perfect to bring to others when making dinner for them!

Chicken Pesto Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes & Artichokes

This dish is SUPER simple and can come together quickly when you need a quick weeknight dinner! Also, it's the perfect dish to deliver to other families!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound, or a little more, pasta of choice. (The recipe works best with a tortellini pasta filled with cheese.)
  • 1-1 1/2 c. pesto, jarred or fresh (or 1 jar.)
  • 1-2 cups sundried tomatoes, we prefer more :)
  • 1-1 1/2 c. chopped canned artichokes
  • 1-2 cups shredded chicken
  • 8 oz mozzarella pears

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Strain pasta and place in a large bowl. Add the pesto, tomatoes, artichokes, and chicken and mix until combined.
  3. Sprinkle the top with the mozzarella pears.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

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Chicken Pesto Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes & Artichokes, via The Diva Dish. Easy dish for a weeknight, and perfect to bring to others when making dinner for them!
Chicken Pesto Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes & Artichokes, via The Diva Dish. Easy dish for a weeknight, and perfect to bring to others when making dinner for them!

I'm so grateful for moments like that. Times where I felt comfort even when I was scared.

Also, I'm grateful I don't pee my pants any more. Unless I cough, sneeze, jump on a trampoline, and run...

So so grateful.

Would you guys like to be apart of something amazing?! Join my girls and I bring others a food of comfort one time each week for at least a month!  Let's make others feel loved! xoxoxo

Mexican Style Salad Naan Pizza

Often times I try and make dinners that can please the whole family, and everyone will enjoy. That's in a perfect world though...In reality, my husband wants Del Taco, one daughter is screaming for a popsicle, and the other is eating crumbs off the kitchen floor...And I just want to make peanut butter and honey sandwiches for everyone and tell them to suck it up. (And then I'll go out and have myself a nice dinner.)

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Nothing's worse than making this huge dinner to have one person try it, and the rest of the family dabble at it. So glad I spent 45 minutes making dinner for everyone to not eat it.

AM I RIGHT MOMS?!?!

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I've learned that effort is good when making dinner, but going all out crazy just isn't worth it. No matter how many sauces, dips, spreads, spices, and methods I used making that dinner, there is a chance that 50% will eat only a few bites. And then I feel bummed because all the work I put into dinner, so I finish off everyones plate to make up for it.

It's not pretty.

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So when it comes to dinner, I try and think simple. I remember that I have two kids under 3, and a husband that has the flavor palate of a 15 year old. I also usually try to stick with dishes that can easily be adapted for my kiddos. That means that I can take different parts of that dish and serve them separately to my one year old. For example, this pizza.

I made it so I can serve her the chicken separately, along with the corn, and I can make a quesadilla out of the rest of the ingredients.

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The sauce is so easy that it took 2 minutes to make, just the way I like it! It's vibrant and green due to the cilantro and avocado, which goes perfectly for a mexican style pizza! I also added this in my girls quesadillas!

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Let's not forget about the "crust" in this pizza. It's garlic naan bread, which just took a few hours off my dinner prep. On days where I don't have the will or time to make homemade dough, naan bread is the perfect sub. It's fluffy and flavorful, and when you broil it in the oven it has a nice little crunch just like pizza dough would!

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Then there is my husband and I who have completely two different food preferences. So for my pizza, I opted for no cheese to keep it a little lighter.

But for my husbands pizza, I added a little bit more chicken, lots or cheese, and a few dashes of hot sauce!

After the pizzas are baked, I drizzled cold plain greek yogurt on top, which brings it all together!

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Mexican Salad Naan Pizza

Ingredients

  • For the Pizza
  • Garlic Naan Bread
  • Avocado Cilantro Sauce(Recipe to follow)
  • romain lettuce
  • Cooked chicken
  • corn
  • tomatoes
  • peppers
  • cheese
  • plain greek yogurt
  • hot sauce
  • (For the Avocado Cilantro Sauce)
  • 2 small avocados
  • 2 small limes (juice)
  • 1 small bunch cilantro
  • 1/4 c. chopped white onion
  • 1-2 gloves garlic chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • salt/pepper

Instructions

  1. Make the dressing by combining all of the ingredients into a blender, and blending until creamy. Adjust salt/pepper to preferred taste.
  2. To make the pizza, get the naan bread. Spread the sauce on top of the bread.
  3. Then top with chopped romain, corn, diced tomatoes, diced peppers, cooked chicken, and if desired, cheese.
  4. Turn the oven on HI broil, and cook pizza for about 5 or so minutes, until the naan bread is a little crisp and the cheese is melted.
  5. Drizzle with greek yogurt.
  6. Enjoy!

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My husband said this was his favorite dish from me. But he totally says that all the time because I'm such an amazing cook so...

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This is what the girls dinner looked like. It wasn't as colorful, but they enjoyed it! Their quesadillas had cheese and the avocado sauce.

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Don't worry, tomorrow night I WILL serve peanut butter and honey sandwiches.

Sweet Cherry Avocado Ice Cream & Peanut Butter Avocado Ice Cream

Let's talk about this issue I have with our rental house. (You probably thought I was going to say I had an issue with my chipped nail polish. Sadly...No.)

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So for some reason, our precious little rental has carpet in the kitchen/dinning room. Fine. Whatever.

Unfortunately I have this one year old I like to call DESTRUCTABLE/DESTROY EVERYTHING IN SIGHT/GET INTO EVERYTHING/THERE ARE STAINS EVERYWHERE BECAUSE OF ...this one year old. For example, this morning  I was trying to fix our curtains that happened to fall and almost land on my head when I moved them. (Ahem. Husband.) As I was doing this, my one year old found my nail polish (the pretty chipped one I'm wearing), and thought she needed to paint her toes.

Now there are nail polish foot prints and stains through out the kitchen/dinning room carpet. It's lovely. Right next to it is a blue paint stain that my three year old made. Then right next to that is my brown couch that has blue marker written all over the cushions. Like I said, lovely.

I highly doubt we will get our deposit back.

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After living in our rental for over a year now, I finally decided food and art projects should probably take place out side. I know...I FINALLY decided that? What took so long Ari? Did my house have to look like a Crayola Box exploded before I did something?

Recently, I was sent these adorable girly bibs from JJ Cole to review, and the girls and I decided to make some ice cream and test them out. These bibs will soon be released at BuyBuyBaby.com, so look out for them! I figured the girls would eat the ice cream like they normally do, dripping everywhere/all over their face...But just my luck they ate the ice cream as clean as I've ever seen them. But I did love the bibs because they were wide enough to wear it covered all of their top. And any ice cream that did drip, I just wiped right off!

For the record, it took a good 10 minutes to stop the girls from fighting over the bib that had a little more pink than the others.

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The ice cream the girls ate was avocado based, which is a great healthy fat for kids! (Great for brain growth!) It doesn't have any avocado flavoring to it, so need to worry about a guacamole flavored ice cream :)! The mix ins are so versatile, you could pair it with almost anything. An added bonus is the creamy-ness that the avocado adds, which gives it the perfect ice cream texture!

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Peanut Butter Avocado Ice Cream & Sweet Cherry Avocado Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • • Sweet Cherry Avocado Ice Cream:
  • • 1 frozen avocado, cut up
  • • 1 frozen banana, diced
  • • 1/2 c. frozen dark cherries
  • • 2 TB. honey
  • • PB Avocado Ice Cream:
  • • 2 TB. natural PB
  • • 1 frozen avocado, cut up
  • • 1 frozen banana, diced
  • • 2 TB. honey

Instructions

  1. The directions are the same for both ice creams.
  2. Blend ingredients in a food processor or blender until creamy. If needed add a little milk to make it blend easier.
  3. Eat immediately or store in a closed container to let it harden a little. It will be perfect for an ice cream cone after it's hardened for at least 30 minutes!
  4. Enjoy!

3.2.1255

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I'm thinking I should probably pay someone to professionally clean my carpets, or I could just buy a cute rug to place over the top?

Or...I could just watch my kids more closely...

* A special thanks to Michelle for sending my girls and I these cute samples of JJCole bibs! I was not paid to write this review, just asked to express my opinion. These bibs will be available at BuyBuyBaby.com, so if you love them, check them out! Thanks again!*

Taste The Rainbow Fruit Parfait!

  I kind of feel like St. Patricks Day is my least favorite holiday.

Taste The Rainbow Fruit Parfait! - A Healthy and Colorful Treat via http://thediva-dish.com
Taste The Rainbow Fruit Parfait! - A Healthy and Colorful Treat via http://thediva-dish.com

Obviously any excuse to eat a bowl of Lucky Charms with green milk is a fantastic holiday, but the idea of wearing green bothers me. I remember being in middle school and making my dad rush me to the nearest store to find some hideous green t-shirt because EVERYONE would be wearing green  at school the next day and I didn't have ANY green shirts. (Was that a run-on sentence?)

I still don't.

Do people even wear green shirts?

Taste The Rainbow Fruit Parfait! - A Healthy and Colorful Treat via http://thediva-dish.com
Taste The Rainbow Fruit Parfait! - A Healthy and Colorful Treat via http://thediva-dish.com

I wish I could say that my children don't know what Lucky Charms are, but sadly grandma and grandpa have taken care of that. And I'm not going to lie and say Lucky Charms are horrible and unhealthy and no one should ever eat them because, well...Marshmallows for breakfast?! Come on!! That sounds amazing...

When are they going to come out with Lucky Charms made with JUST dehydrated stale marshmallows?!

This is a healthy lifestyle blog.BTW.

Taste The Rainbow Fruit Parfait! - A Healthy and Colorful Treat via http://thediva-dish.com
Taste The Rainbow Fruit Parfait! - A Healthy and Colorful Treat via http://thediva-dish.com

With the holiday soon approaching, I could obviously share many 'Green' recipes, but this year I want to focus on the rainbow! For some reason when a plate is full of color and vibrant foods, it becomes all that more appealing. (At least to me and my babies.) This first 'rainbow' food post is all about fruit, and tomorrow I'll post a recipe made with veggies! I've got both your bases covered!

Taste The Rainbow Fruit Parfait! - A Healthy and Colorful Treat via http://thediva-dish.com
Taste The Rainbow Fruit Parfait! - A Healthy and Colorful Treat via http://thediva-dish.com
Taste The Rainbow Fruit Parfait! - A Healthy and Colorful Treat via http://thediva-dish.com
Taste The Rainbow Fruit Parfait! - A Healthy and Colorful Treat via http://thediva-dish.com

The idea of this rainbow fruit parfait is that it's topped with white clouds and a sprinkle of gold, because gold is found at the end of every rainbow! The fruit is interchangeable, and if you have more time you could make the shape of a rainbow on a plate. As for the white clouds, I used greek yogurt for added protein. You could easily use a non dairy yogurt or a whipped coconut milk cream! Yummmmm!

Taste The Rainbow Fruit Parfait! - A Healthy and Colorful Treat via http://thediva-dish.com
Taste The Rainbow Fruit Parfait! - A Healthy and Colorful Treat via http://thediva-dish.com
Taste The Rainbow Fruit Parfait! - A Healthy and Colorful Treat via http://thediva-dish.com
Taste The Rainbow Fruit Parfait! - A Healthy and Colorful Treat via http://thediva-dish.com

Rainbow Fruit Parfaits

Prep time:

5 mins

Total time:

5 mins

Taste the Rainbow!

Ingredients

  • Rainbow colored assorted fruit
  • Greek yogurt mixed with honey-or non dairy yogurt, or coconut milk whipped cream
  • gold sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Arrange the fruit by color in a shallow glass. (You can also arrange in the shape of a rainbow.
  2. Add a dollop of your 'clouds', or cream on top, followed by gold sprinkles.
  3. Serve immediately.
  4. (If wanting to make ahead, don't add the greek yogurt or cream until it's ready to be served!)

3.2.1255

Taste The Rainbow Fruit Parfait! - A Healthy and Colorful Treat via http://thediva-dish.com
Taste The Rainbow Fruit Parfait! - A Healthy and Colorful Treat via http://thediva-dish.com
Taste The Rainbow Fruit Parfait! - A Healthy and Colorful Treat via http://thediva-dish.com
Taste The Rainbow Fruit Parfait! - A Healthy and Colorful Treat via http://thediva-dish.com
Taste The Rainbow Fruit Parfait! - A Healthy and Colorful Treat via http://thediva-dish.com
Taste The Rainbow Fruit Parfait! - A Healthy and Colorful Treat via http://thediva-dish.com

Don't tell anyone, but I'm almost tempted to buy a St. Patty's day t-shirt at Walmart. Do you think the other moms will be wearing them too?? I hate feeling left out...

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Looking for a Shamrock Shake, similar to the one a popular fast food joint serves?! The big difference is it's healthy, made with natural sweeteners, and it's good for you!

A Better For You Shamrock Shake

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