The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

Recipes!

I feel like it’s always dangerous sharing recipes because what my family likes, yours may not. That said, we’ve found a handful of new recipes these last few months that we are loving and have put on our monthly rotation so I thought I’d share them.

Grilled Chicken with Satay Peanut Sauce Technically we found this recipe last summer. It’s quick and easy (especially if you buy chicken tenders) and the dipping sauce hits the spot. Because we are averse to spice, we skip all of that and it’s still good!

Chicken Thighs with Sundried Tomatoes and Artichokes. I’ve made this in the crockpot and in my clay baker in the oven and it’s divine! I went with sundried tomatoes in oil from Trader Joe’s and they are no joke. We serve this over rice, but you could also do pasta. Excellent leftovers too!

Mango Chicken. We tried this a few weeks ago and to my surprise, the girls loved it. I was nervous, but it came together relatively quickly so is doable for a weeknight dinner. (We skipped the cauliflower rice and just did regular.)

Sausage Egg Roll in a Bowl. This recipe made the rounds on Facebook so I pinned it. I was not sure how it would be received, but Caden loved it. We both liked that it was something different.

Roasted Potatoes. I make some sort of potato hash every Sunday morning for my breakfast. I love crispy potatoes with drippy egg yolks. I usually do my potatoes on the stove, but loved the idea of roasting them in the oven. I scaled back the spices a bit, and roasted them for 45 minutes instead of 35, but they were AMAZING! Perfectly crispy, perfectly seasoned, just perfect. I threw in two sweet potatoes as well because I had them on hand. Not something I would make time to make every weekend, but will definitely be in our dinner rotation.

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Fall?

It was a weird, chilly weekend. Not the kind of weather I like to see in July! But, it worked out because the house was a little neglected and we were worn out from the week of VBS.

* They asked the girls to come to both services to sing songs from VBS. I voted for just our normal 10:30am service, but the girls really wanted to do both. The 9:00am service is the traditional service and it was maybe a little rough to get through. In between there was a celebration thing for the pastor’s daughter who is getting married. They were serving cookies and I thought for sure I would be tortured for 30 minutes but no! They had gluten free cookies! All labeled and they were really good! I stopped in the kitchen to ask where they got them from and they sent me home with a bunch. Love our church.

* Just the opening song from the 10:30am contemporary service made me realize how much I miss church. We definitely need to get there on the Sundays we are home.

* There is a little garden area off the sanctuary. Since the weather was gorgeous they had the doors open and the girls and I spent some time out there. All of the flowers made me realize I hate my landscaping and I need to redo it and get some color in. Mine is green, green, and more green and I miss having blooming flowers in places other than pots on my deck.

* I made banana almond meal muffins and they are ridiculously good. Bonus that they were super easy to make.

* We have an excess amount of puzzles, most of which the girls never put together anymore. Every once in a while they’ll get their puzzle on and do all of them, but it’s rare. Sunday we put all of them together, I took a picture of them, then we put them back in their boxes. All ready for the fall sale! And we cleaned out one of the openings in the toy storage unit.

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Back to Normal

This weekend was our first weekend back to normal since early December. I know there are people out there who are out of the house from sun up to sun down every weekend, but that is not us. Or I should say, not me. My kids would probably love it. Consequently, I was happy this weekend since my house was clean and I wasn’t running from one to do to another. My kids flip flopped between fighting and crying, and giggling and chasing. Luckily we had a birthday party Saturday afternoon so they could be the social butterflies that they are.

I promised the girls we would bake, so we decided to make Pumpkin Chocolate Chip muffins. I realize that recipe says gluten free/dairy free, but just use regular ingredients and make these immediately! They are so good! I looked at a few pumpkin muffin recipes, but went with this one because it had a full cup of pumpkin in it. What’s the point of a pumpkin muffin if it doesn’t have much pumpkin? I only did 1 cup of chocolate chips and that was plenty. These were so moist and so flavorful. The recipe made 18, and we ate five of them already. The rest are in the freezer, but I expect them to be gone by next weekend.

couch

Since this post is a mish mash already, here’s my living room! I had these three canvases made for above the couch. Initially, I just did two canvases, but realized a third would be needed to even things out. I love the pictures and love the splash of color they add to the room, but I should have gone bigger. These are 16×20 and I wish I would have gone one size up. Live and learn!

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Christmas Magic

Source: kevinandamanda.com via Erin on Pinterest

 

First, I made this Crispy Shrimp Pasta for dinner last night and it was SO good! Caden loves shrimp so we eat it occasionally. Normally I do butter + garlic, but this was so much more flavorful. This will definitely happen again.

The girls are in full on Christmas is Magic mode. They are in awe of everything. I decorated the house while they napped and they thought waking up to that was the best thing in the world! We ran into Santa at the grocery store and they haven’t stopped talking about it. Delaney tore things out of the Target ad to show Santa what she wants for Christmas. I think they will even go for sitting on Santa’s lap this year!

This age is so amazing for the holidays, I’m just trying to soak it all up and make memories. I should have taken them to the Holidazzle parade last week when it was warmer, but we definitely need to get there before Christmas. We also need to hit the mall to see Santa and get their picture taken with them. ¬†Delaney wants to set out cookies and milk every night for Santa. It’s all just so adorable.

I’ve been trying to think of some fun traditions to start on Christmas Eve. Kelle Hampton’s North Pole party post gave me a few ideas. We definitely need to do reindeer food! Maybe a treasure hunt Christmas morning to find the things Santa left behind?

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Banana Bread Recipe

I’m one of those people who need a snack every morning around 10am. If I don’t have anything at my desk I end up at Starbucks, and that becomes an expensive habit. I went through a scone making phase a few years back, but they don’t hold up well throughout the week, they’re messy to make, and I don’t always have the ingredients I need.

Most weeks I end up making banana bread. I’ve made it so often now I don’t even need the recipe. By the time the oven is heated, I’ve got the batter ready to go. I have it down to a science! Despite offering it to the girls regularly throughout the last two years, they’ve never really liked it. Until two weeks ago. I brought my loaf in to take it to work and they asked for a piece for breakfast instead of the waffles daycare was serving. I cut a slice off for them and they were in heaven! Now I send a slice along every Monday and Tuesday. It’s nice to finally have them eat and like something I make besides chicken nuggets.

I think this recipe originally came from Orangette, but I’ve tweaked it for my taste.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
3 ripe bananas
3 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan with cooking spray.

Cream sugar, butter and egg. In a separate bowl, mash bananas; then mix with milk and vanilla. In yet another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add flour mixture to butter mixture in three parts, alternating with banana/milk mixture in two parts. Or if you’re me, you add some dry ingredients, then the banana, more dry, banana, then the last of the dry, mixing in between. Add chocolate chips and stir just until combined.

Turn batter into loaf pan and bake for one hour, five minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then remove from the pan. I find that if I use frozen bananas, it needs an extra 5-8 minutes of baking time.

I’ve played around with this recipe a bit. Some weeks I’m not so into the chocolate chips and I cut back on those, other weeks I have buttermilk in the fridge and use that. It’s a fairly forgiving recipe (I once mistakenly did 1T of baking powder instead of 1t. and it was fine) and the loaf of bread still tastes good at the end of the week which I love.

Possibly not the healthiest mid-morning snack ever, but likely better than the 500 calorie scone from Starbucks!

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Fall Evenings

We’ve had some beautiful fall evenings lately so we’ve been heading outside to enjoy them. Playing on the tire swing, trying to get the dog to climb up the slide, going for walks, watering trees. All of those activities you keep getting in one more time before the weather changes for good.

Three quick recipes to pass on. Most of the things I make are good, but rarely fabulous. Or, I’m the only one that likes it. But, we all loved this pasta with tomato cream sauce from Pioneer Woman, as well as this taco twist bake. Both far exceeded my expectations. While the taco twist reheated well, the pasta did not. If you like quinoa, this recipe is fantastic. I skipped the eggs and cheese and it was still good. The avocado dressing is to die for!

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